I started feeling the medicine of Iboga after the second round. It went through my body, and asked permission to come into my brain to heal me. I said yes, and the journey began. The first few minutes, I just felt a buzzing, as I saw the energy of it stream through my body. I felt that it was reading me, and also healing me physically.
But, then the next 5 hours, scenes of every fear I’ve ever imagined flashed through my mind. You name it, I saw it. Every fear. The darkest stuff you can imagine. It wasn’t like I was watching a movie, though. It felt like this was actually happening to me. This felt like the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.
Where did this all come from, I asked? I got the answer.
Television, movies, the news. My mother used to limit our movies if there were sex scenes or vulgar words, but she never cared about violence. All of this violence that I had seen and not even thought twice about still lived on in my mind. I saw that all of this violence had deadened my conscience. It became acceptable to see these things. To not think twice about someone getting shot in a movie. Killing others, hurting others, and being unkind became the new normal. It was on TV, so that must make it OK.
After seeing these fears, I saw that they were in my mind all the time. I wasn’t aware of my thoughts, and I was constantly thinking these same fears over and over again. I saw these fears were like a film loop, constantly spinning around on a big screen—all inside the circumference of my own head.
I realized I had to start paying more attention to my thoughts, and that I would be shown later a way to change these fear-based thoughts. I also saw that it’s so important to be careful of what we let into our minds. That I could no longer watch a violent film if I didn’t want those visuals and thoughts inside of me.
When I purged, it felt great. Like long-buried things were being released.
The next part of my journey got even harder, but, oh what a blessing to have the illusions of myself revealed! I started seeing memories of times I’ve hurt someone, and justified my reason for doing so in my mind. I saw memories of times I’ve done things that weren’t right, and how I justified them and ‘made it okay’ to do these things by lies I told myself. It was hard to see this. I also saw, though, that a part of me knew. This was the part that didn’t like myself and this was why. Because I wasn’t admitting to myself all that I knew was there.
I also saw that being brought up in the Church taught me that I was already bad. As a child, any time I did wrong, I thought that meant I was bad. I saw all of these messages of how evil I was, being projected at me. These messages were arrows and I was the dartboard. Every time one of these arrows hit, they took more and more life out of me. I thought it would make me feel better by feeling more and more guilty. I had feelings of guilt going on and on in my head thinking if I could just feel enough guilt than I could make myself feel better. Well, that didn’t work. So, then I learned to justify anytime I did something wrong why I did it. I had an excuse for each action. Maybe if I could just ignore this bad behavior it would go away. But that only made it worse.
Many different scenarios played out, as I watched old things that had happened in childhood and how those moments shaped what I believed about myself. I saw that as a child I used to be so excited about life every day, eager to wake up, wondering what magic would happen that day.
I saw that at around 10 years old, because of childhood pain, that excitement for life stopped. I stopped seeing the magic of the world, and even disconnected myself from it. I lost that childhood wonder.
I saw that we have to make friends with the negative thoughts inside of us. For instance, when guilt arises, we have to acknowledge it. We can say, ‘Thank you, guilt, for showing that to me. What I did was wrong. I forgive myself. Let’s release it now.’ When we are shown fear, we can acknowledge it and thank it. We can say, ‘Thank you fear. I know you are just trying to keep me safe. And I am.’
After never really having the desire to meditate, I had the desire to meditate and watch what was in my mind more often.
I realized while I’ve often had a desire to be alone, I haven’t often really spent time getting to know myself. I’ve distracted myself with my computer, books, or music.
I often hid from people because I didn’t want them to figure out there was something wrong with me. I saw that I needed to get out in the world more. That I’ve often gone from guru to guru. But often the people with the most beautiful messages for me were the people right in front of me. And that I, too, had things to share with others, and needed to get out in the world to share these things. It’s time to stop hiding!
I needed to start saying ‘yes,’ to life more instead of closing down with ‘no,’ when I felt fear.
I saw about my intuition and how to listen to it. Often, I’ve thought I’ve been listening to my intuition, when I was really listening to fear. I saw that intuition really can only be found in the stillness, and I have to get past my fears to listen.
I saw that I have spent so much time worrying about my choices, when they all lead somewhere. There really is no wrong choice, because all choices will eventually lead to the same place. This life is all about experience, and that as long as I’m living in integrity and kindness, there’s no mistake I can make.
I also saw a lot about judgement and how harmful it is. After all, when you see yourself in everyone else, what is bad energy? It’s all you!
I also started seeing my addictions and how they’ve prevented me from living a full life. I saw that I was addicted to comfort, and often picked things that would be comfortable when the uncomfortable choice would have helped me grow. I saw that at times, I’ve been addicted to pain and actually attracted painful things to me because of this. I’ve created drama and painful situations because of this.
In my ceremony, I also experienced sudden pain in my lower back. I have had lower back pain for 15 years, and have spent thousands of dollars going to chiropractors trying to heal it. All of a sudden, I felt deep pain in my psoas muscles. I then saw a vision of my root chakra and the cords that run from it into the earth all twisted and tangled in knots. I saw that as a child, I didn’t know how to deal with the pain of this earth, so I decided to disconnect with it. This was the cause of my back pain and the medicine was healing it.
When I awoke the morning after ceremony, I had no more back pain. It was gone! I also have felt, every day since my ceremony, an incredible excitement for life. That childlike excitement is back. What exciting miracles are going to happen today? And incredible synchronicities have happened ever since.
After the journey, I also experienced no thought. I had spent so much time chattering and chattering in my mind that there was no more chatter left. It was an incredible feeling.
Since leaving ceremony, I continue to be shown things. I understand about really living in the moment. We often think, ‘There’s not enough time.’ Yet, we fill that time with worrying that a perfect moment will be over and all of a sudden we’re no longer in the moment. We lose an entire half day of our weekend because we’re already living in Monday on Sunday night. All I wanted to do was just sit and be in the stillness and enjoy the beauty of it. There’s so much beauty in a moment that we often miss. The way the light is shining, the shadows, the smells, the sounds. We miss it all by being so preoccupied with repeating thoughts in our heads.
There is so much time. When I get rid of worry and fear, time is all there is. I’ve been spending so much time listening to the worries in my mind that I’m not even fully doing what I set out to do. No wonder why time goes so fast.
Time has slowed way down since my Iboga journey. I don’t feel like I’m in a rush like I used to be. Sometimes, I get things done more quickly because all of my energy is being used to do them. And, sometimes I do nothing at all because I just want to sit and make friends with with who I am. And that’s okay. Because there’s so much time. There is time later to do the things that I need to do. Those ‘things to do’ will still be there when I’m ready to do them. And, you know what? They will get done exactly when they’re meant to get done.
Right now, I am just in the moment—without trying to hold on to it.
It’s truly beautiful, this new way of being in the world. Everyone who took this medicine had completely different experiences, but we all experienced that same stillness, and being in the moment, in the end. It brought us all to the same moment. Which is now. There is only ever now. And, I’m so glad that we are a part of it.