I was sprawled out, snow angel style, on a stage in the ceremony room.
I was smiling, happy, euphoric, and at peace. The approval of self and fear I had just acquired on the bathroom floor was a nuclear release of trapped energy. I was enjoying the come-up, feeling all the good and healing vibes around me as a sacred healing ceremony took place in the center of the room.
I felt good, free, like a child again.
Then suddenly, as the medicine does, it opened another door...
"Grandpa, we need to talk."
Well, that's what I heard myself say.
My Grandfather, a larger-than-life character in my eyes, was being summoned, and I wasn't clear why. I should mention he's been dead for about ten years.
"What do you need, Grandson?" He so simply and casually asked.
He was right there, right there in front of me, and while it felt natural, not only could I hear and see him, but I could feel his presence.
I miss this man so much, and I always think about him. That was the first thing I shared with him.
To which he said, "but I'm always right here."
As tears rolled down my cheeks, I told him we needed to talk. He seemed a bit confused. I went on to acknowledge him. To thank him for his love, his generosity, and his leadership. I thanked him because without him, his drive, commitment, and love of family, we would not live the privileged life we have enjoyed.
He created so much of our family's story, and his success carried us forward in various ways even after he had passed. I shared with him his impact, my gratitude, and my love. He received my acknowledgments. I could feel how good he felt to be seen and appreciated.
And then I said, "and it's time for some things to change."
I shared with him how his success, while incredible, was built on the back of fear and scarcity. I explained how I could see his success had been the product of his experience through the Great Depression and WWII. And his goal of being able to support and provide for a family at a level never to have them experience the challenges he had to experienced was incredible. However, in the process, his success was built on the backbone of fear and scarcity. He was driven so hard to succeed, but his driver was fear.
The Ayahuasca was opening caverns of repressed family stories, narratives, and ways of being about money, wealth, work, fear, and success.
It knows precisely where you need healing and shines a light on it.
My Grandfather was confused by my claim and told me to look at the world. He pointed to the violence, the chaos, and the economic turbulence. He then doubled down sternly, expressing that the world is scary, dangerous, and unsafe.
While he's not wrong, seeing the world like this, even if it supports you in achieving success, comes with some harsh realities and consequences.
Success through fear only emboldens the fear. Ultimately, that fear steals much of the joy that typically comes with success. Fear plagued much of his life, robbing him of much happiness and peace. His fear showed up as worry, anxiety, and always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Those stories, feelings, and truths about how "life is" were passed down, just as the rewards of success were.
I pleaded with him to see that while he had created so much from this mindset, he had also missed out on love, joy, and freedom.
But he couldn't see it; the fear was powerful. He was staunch that his methods and mindsets were accurate and that we should see the world as he did for our safety.
Pleading and trying to convince him wasn't working. Expressing the cost and toll fear, worry, anxiety, and scarcity were taking on the lives of our family members wasn't making a difference.
And then the medicine and my soul took me in another direction.
Suddenly, we warped our way back into the past. As if in an instant, we traveled roughly 100 years back in time.
I was sitting with him, my Grandfather, but the eight-year-old version. The small sweet boy in front of me was the eight-year-old whose family had lost everything in the Great Depression. This boy only graduated elementary school because he needed to work and make money for his family. This wasn't the man I was arguing with but a sad, scared, and brave little boy.
At that moment, I shifted. I expressed my heartbreak for him, for the experience of the trauma he lived through. And I held him and told him how much I loved him. I shared that I could never understand how horrifying it must have been to have experienced the Great Depression. To have been this tiny, vulnerable, and scared at a time when you were supposed to be having fun, feeling safe, and being a child. I praised his hustle, work ethic, and his finding his entrepreneurial path so early, something that would ultimately lead to his success in the future. My heart spoke to his, and his heart took over and let me in.
Suddenly, we jumped forward in time. I was still with him, but a roughly 20-year-old version. This handsome young man was ripe with life, brave and proud yet terrified. He was on the verge of being shipped to Europe to fight the Nazis in WWII. While he was proud and willing to fight for our country, I could feel the trauma this experience created inside him.
I continued to speak to his heart. I acknowledged the brave young man who didn't run from battle, the man who left behind the women he loved, who learned to fight, survive, or do whatever was necessary to serve and return home. I also shared that I understood how one would see the world as scary and scarce after the experiences he had lived through. Those two experiences, followed by the Cold War, the Korean War, Vietnam, and a rapidly changing world, created a world overrun by fear and scarcity.
I then held the young man and the little boy. I told him I loved him, was proud of him, and was sorry he experienced all that. I also said I was sorry he missed out on much of the joy and love that comes with a life that isn't seen through a lens of fear and scarcity.
I was then with just the little boy again and asked that little boy if we could now find a new way to succeed for the sake of myself and my children?
The little boy nodded in approval. He felt safe, seen, and his heart had been nurtured.
My Grandfather, the older version, reemerged but softer, more vulnerable, and more open. I could now feel his heart.
I shared with him that while he got us to this point, it was my time to lead, live, create, and earn in a new way, a way of love and faith. A way that still brings discipline and hard work when necessary but a way that isn't fueled by fear or scarcity. A method that is driven by our dreams and desires. A life fueled by what we want, not what we try to avoid.
I asked him to release our family of the karmic lineages and ancestral ties he had created.
He tightened up a bit, still resistant. The fear was so powerful. You could feel his heart trying to release the grip of fear.
I then asked him if he trusted me.
He said he did.
I asked him if he trusted me to lead.
He said he did.
So I asked him what he needed so he could let go?
He broke down in tears and shared he didn't want to be forgotten. It was sad. I wept tears of joy because I felt those ancestral chains dissolving. I assured him he could never be forgotten. It wasn't possible to forget him because the new path I am committed to carving out was only possible because of the place he got us to.
That my journey would have never been possible without his.
He then told me he trusted me to lead. I told him he would always be in my heart, and his love and guidance would always support and fuel my journey.
And somewhere in there, he was gone. I was back on the stage crying, smiling, and feeling more set free than ever. I saw the disempowering stories of money, fear, scarcity, and hard work all shifting inside me. I felt a younger me healed and a future me thriving. I felt my family lineage healing within me all the way forward and all the way back.
Later that night, Evin and I shared our ceremony experiences in bed. I started to tell her about this experience when suddenly I burst into tears. It was like a dam burst, and energy held in my body for years was finally released. I couldn't stop crying. I don't know that I'd ever cried this long and this hard. And I didn't even know why I was crying. But the energy poured out of me.
While most people's bodies and souls were dispelling unneeded energies, traumas, stories, ideas, and toxins through the weekend via purging. I hadn't experienced any of that. I hadn't purged at all. From ego, I believed I was purer and had not been holding onto things.
At this moment, I learned something else. The Ayahuasca taught me there are many ways to purge, one being through our tears. I cried and cried and cried. The energy that was dispelled from my body was magnificent.
I have never cried or released any energy to that magnitude.
In that moment and through this release, in Evin's arms, I also felt safer and more loved than at any moment in my adult life. I experienced total intimacy and vulnerability, another gift from the mama ayahuasca.
A layer of trauma, fear and doubt from my childhood was pouring out of me, leaving me, creating a space for me to step into what would come next.
Part III Coming Soon...