My Story

Where I was

I spent most of my adult life depressed, unhappy, and unsatisfied with life. I tried many different therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and anti-depressants. Some of them were moderately successful, some of them probably even saved my life, but I never found the “breakthrough” I was looking for. A lack of results gave rise to self-medicating coping mechanisms like marijuana, pornography, sex, and the biggest for me – alcohol. I tried so many other different things – relationships, different jobs, going back to school, alternative therapies, but the more they didn’t work the more the feeling of hopelessness grew. This feeling of despair translated into two rehabs and three hospitalizations for suicidal ideation over the course of my life. However, I was still always looking for an answer. When I was fairly stable, a little less than a year ago, a therapist suggested I try ayahuasca. She’d never done it herself, but had clients who experienced it with great success. The contact she gave eventually connected me with Humberto and his group of amazing people.

I want to tell my first experience with ayahausca, but before I do I want to make something abundantly clear – every person’s experience is different and every time you take it your experience will be different. As you’ll soon read, there probably won’t be a participant who keeps a blindfold on her person during ceremony. Before I begin, I feel like it’s important for you to know my beliefs at the time. My background was in engineering so I was always, and still am, very skeptical. I was essentially agnostic – I believed that unless it was proven otherwise, you lived, mostly suffered, and then you die.

I had all the information on attending, I didn’t follow the diet at all, and I was secretly vaping nicotine as the ceremony started. We all took what I thought at the time was a “drug”, and then waited for the show to start. For the first 2.5 hours, nothing happened for me. There were other people laughing, or crying, or throwing up, or clearly on a “different planet.” Meanwhile, I was sitting there writing about a traumatic experience involving my father in a journal, wondering if I got a “bad dose.” An amazing person came over and said “I’m a healer, can I help you?” I immediately thought to my self, “healer”? Bullshit. But, I had nothing to lose. I put my journal down, and she took my hand. The very first thing she said to me was “Wow, you’re really channeling your dad right now.” This time I didn’t hold back on my thoughts, I said it out loud “bullshit, you saw me write in my journal.” She calmly explained, “first of all it’s dark in here, second I don’t have my glasses on.” Third, she put a blindfold on. She proceeded to tell me specific details about the experience with my father, as well as a litany of other things that happened in my life. I was silent through the entire experience, and I’m well aware of what “cold-reading” is. I was starting to realize that perhaps I had been wrong about beliefs my entire life. However, my brain realized that I had also told the therapist, who recommended I try ayahuasca, all of these things. In that exact moment, the “healer” mentioned something that had happened, the previous day while I was in my car completely alone. In that moment, I felt like all the walls around my brain exploded. The flood gates opened, I began to cry, I felt an extreme sense of humility and gratitude. I felt a divine, loving connection, and I realized that there is more to life than I thought. This was the start of my journey.

Where I’m At Now

Everything has changed. Since the first time, I have participated in a ceremony every month. I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico twice and participate in a multi-day retreat at the Finca. I made the decision to quit a very comfortable job and pursue something that helps people. I have a sense of purpose and direction and hope. Ayahuasca did not fix my problems, but it showed me the path. I still have to put in the work, but I have the motivation and direction to do so. One of the biggest changes for me is the “fear” is gone. The fears we all have to a different degree as humans – social anxiety, loneliness, dying, acceptance, being loved. I have a heightened sense of gratitude, empathy, fearlessness, and love. I have a positive outlook on life and I look forward to the future. Our shaman Humberto Alcala, the staff of the Finca, and myself look forward to helping you on your journey.