Well here we are!
After some of the hardest months of my life, I can officially say that I’ve made it through to the other side! Not to say I still don’t or won’t have my share of lessons, but I can ultimately say that, at least for the time being, I have completed some important cycles and am moving on to the new.
In typical Lyndsay fashion, everything seems to have pulled together just before my birthday, leading me to reflect on the year I’ve had. (I think the last time I wrote a blog post I really enjoyed was this time last year also)
It’s funny, usually when I approach a birthday I feel all sorts of guilt around productivity. Have I achieved enough? Am I worthy of celebration?
This year, after navigating two sets of grief, living in a house during renovations, dealing with some intense control drama in my life, experiencing loneliness then coming out the other side, sitting a kambo ceremony, sitting two ayahuasca ceremonies, all the while managing to do this while not losing the light in my heart (even though I felt close at times) not to mention still writing poetry, posting on my instagram and just generally being an active member on the scene, I can absolutely say yes, I fucking did enough, and yes, I deserve to be celebrated. Sometimes, if you don’t advocate for yourself, no-one else will.
Today I want to share with you my podcast on ayahuasca.
It really needs no introduction, as I really feel I go “in” on the episode!
You can listen to it here: (trigger warnings are included at the start)
If you’re interested in hearing a little bit about my thought patterns beforehand, I’ve included below two blog posts that I didn’t quite feel right about hitting “publish” on at the time. These were right when I was wrestling with some heavy feelings. I didn’t feel out of the woods, and I didn’t want to speak on my situation without more clarity.
I can tell you now that I have it.
They are messy and minimally edited, think of them as journal entries.
I can’t wait to hear how you found the podcast!
Currently, I have felt there to be a big gap between who I am and who I want to be. Perhaps I’m holding myself to too high a standard, or perhaps (and I feel this may more closely resemble the truth) I am slightly afraid of raising up a level. But either way, I have been feeling this gap, like I can see a more aligned version of myself just dangling in front of me, yet there appears to be a fog, a haze, or a pane of glass preventing me from getting closer.
Recently, I have been holding myself back a lot. Perhaps due to fear, fear of over-exertion, fear of ridicule, fear of getting my heart broken. I have slowly backed away into the comfort of my house, nestled myself inside four walls, into routine and monotonous conversations. The other week as I was falling asleep, I reached over to grab my journal and wrote “I feel like I’m losing my wild” I’ve seen many people write about this concept before, especially women but it’s not something I understood to be a huge problem for me. Maybe because I’ve often equated travel with freedom, and travel has always been where I’ve found my freedom in the past. But here I am, feeling wholeheartedly “tamed”, “domesticated” or, dare I say it, “boring”.
I’ve felt there is this better version of myself just dangling in front of me. I feel lately I have been making things too complicated, getting so caught up in matters of the mind and so unwilling to just tune into the here and now. Often everything you are seeking already exists within; peace, unity, serenity, freedom. It is all within. How many times have we read that? But how many times have we actually internalised it, how many times has it truly prompted us to tune in to the paradise within our own hearts? I truly believe that heaven exists on earth, and it is up to us to actualise it. We are so much more powerful than we have been led to believe.
I did not expect this piece to be so joyful, but it is. Perhaps because that is what a lot of us are missing.
I have so many goals for future me, so many hobbies I want to take up, so many things to learn, training to enrol on, I’ve wanted to step into this new, improved version of myself for so long.
In the future, I see myself taking in the sunshine in new and exciting places, connecting with like-minded people, eating and drinking fresh and local, taking part in rituals, in training, developing my spiritual abilities and connecting to spirit. I hold this vision so clear in my head, that when I feel myself snowed under by the tasks that come with existing in the modern world, I feel frustrated because I know something else is possible. I know this alternate version of life is available to me. I know that I am supposed to be in this part of the world for the time being, but sometimes it all just feels hopeless.
I didn’t think I’d be sitting back here so soon writing this entry.
Over Christmas I spoke about feeling down and un-centred. After a really bleak, strange and synchronistic few weeks, I ended up facing my inner resistance and answering a call to sit with ayahuasca. A big topic I know and not one that I thought I was prepared to speak about online (especially being pre-ceremony which I currently am) but I offer this information to give context. I was lucky enough to find a beautiful centre and to even be shown around with the idea that once I am able to, I will return to this place and spend four days in retreat.
The reason why I speak on this is because once I felt the pull, answered the call and said yes; a lot of things in my life started to fall into place and propelled me to this moment. I started feeling really good about my friends, I felt really good about myself, the feeling of creativity returned and that heavy feeling in my chest seemed to have lifted. I think the return of the sun also had something to do with this; seeing the first few snowdrops of the year felt quite magical, especially since reading about their symbolism. Ultimately, since saying “yes” internally to this medicine, my life started to shift in unexpected ways, and I felt like things were speeding up.
If you have followed the past few posts on here, or listened to my Podcast (I say that word really lightly – think of it as a very long voice note to a friend) or even if you know me personally, you would know that the last few years of my life have really centred around death. Without going into it in too many ways (because I’m holding off till I can do a big explanation that wraps it all up) it was showing up in my relationships, in my work, in my living situation, in the mood of others around me, in anxiety, in panic attacks, in just a general feeling and also in the physical reality of actually losing a few people. For a while, it really felt like death was all around me.
There’s so much I can say on this topic because I truly don’t feel like death is as bad as we think. I’m lucky that I have a few people around me who also feel the same and who are prepared to talk about this with me. Since having quite a profound experience on 5meo dmt once (again, something I never ever speak about online) I actually really came to learn that death is one of the most beautiful things that will ever happen to us. The realm where we travel to during death is peaceful. Sorry if that sounds morbid. I know this is a complex and layered topic. I am simply trying to organise the thoughts in my head and speak only about my lived experience.
This week felt synchronistic, even though a lot of it was tumultuous. Maybe it’s not even important for you to know exactly what occurred. Some of the things that happened had seemingly no relation to one another and yet, somehow I know that they were all laced with meaning.
It felt like the sort of week you would write about, the sort of week that would somehow work it’s way into a novel.
So while the weekend saw me sitting my first solo cacao ceremony in a long time, Monday happened to be our last Scribble & Stretch in the series (the yoga and writing class I’ve been running) and of course, it was the one we felt we’d got the most “right” I have loved working with my friend Sarah on this and we were actually joking about how natural we felt while preparing for class and how “second-nature” this has all become.
Attribute it to the heart-opening weekend I’d had, or attribute it to the heart opening yoga Sarah had prepared but I really felt myself go deep within the session and I felt an internal shift. Not to toot our own horns, but I know we ran a powerful session because we felt it too and I certainly felt it within my own heart.
The next two days were quite synchronistic in good and bad ways, the most significant part being quite a traumatic event, in which I (mistakenly) thought that I had lost a friend.
To preface; few weeks ago, a beloved friend and poet from Birmingham named Leon took his own life. Since then, I have found myself in a hazy blur of feelings. Due to not knowing him too well, I almost felt guilty for mourning. Living in a house that belonged to someone who’s passed really serves as a reminder to Leon (and any death) but in the best way, as I think it’s important we process our feelings. Although sad, I feel like this new death was a breaking point for me and actually one of the catalysts that led me to decide to sit with ayahuasca, in order to better understand my own fears around death.
This recent loss, coupled with some memories of other people throughout my life meant that when a close friend of mine seemingly went missing, I found myself mentally preparing for the worst. I’m not sure how many people have had to experience first hand what it’s like to physically search for someone but I sincerely hope you don’t have to. An occurrence that turned into a nightmare (luckily all was fine in the end) led to a day of feeling completely overwhelmed, exhausted and numb and now, two days later I’m able to start to pick that experience apart.
I spoke to a good friend of mine today, someone who is also mourning Leon and they really reminded me of the importance of rest. Without knowing him too well I almost felt like I wasn’t entitled to take this time to repair myself, but clearly his passing has had an effect on me and it’s important now to be gentle. When my grandpa passed, I really felt as though I was so swept up in the planning of the funeral, the house move, the going to see the body that I actively tried to postpone the grief. I didn’t feel like I was in a place to process it so I mentally added it to the to-do list (something I feel happens a lot with grief, especially in this country) I realised during this phone call that with both my Grandpa, my Grandma and Leon, I hadn’t actually ran my own ceremony for them to acknowledge their passing. I think this would be a healthy thing, given how important ceremony and ritual is for me, and I am hoping to be able to do this soon.
Something I’ve noticed about myself is the feeling of despair I sometimes feel at wanting people to meet me in the depths. Today my friend pointed out that not everyone is as prepared to have uncomfortable conversations as I am. I’ve noticed ex’s of mine say this before, and it’s a sentiment I’ve had echoed to me throughout my life, yet I am only now understanding the power of it. I do believe it’s a power, to hold discomfort so graciously and to become so at home in it. I am not someone who wallows, and anyone who follows me on social media or even who interacts with me day to day would probably be surprised at just how deep and morbid I can go (I’m always described as the ‘sunny one’) but I believe it to be healthy. I believe the reason why I am so balanced, why I am so in love with life is because I give myself permission to go there, to get taken away by my emotions and to stare face-on at the darkness.
The darkness is a part of life
I think that’s partly why I am here in this world, to help others do the same. I want my poetry to help people reach their own feelings and I know that sometimes that can make people uncomfortable. I have had partners leave in the past because I feel they weren’t ready for true sincerity or accountability. If you want someone to call you on your bullshit, I am happy to do that in a very gentle way (of course I have my own flaws and still need someone to do the same.)
Earlier on the phone my friend said to me “You have the habit of making people grow up around you and you grow people into your standards” I feel like it sounds super righteous to say, trust me I have a million and one flaws and in some ways am barely doing the work myself but, it was nice to see this side of myself reflected back. I value myself and I value what I bring to others. I hope it doesn’t seem self involved, there is so much hurt and pain around me and here I am, relating all these things back to myself. But I feel it’s a necessary cycle, it’s only through understanding these topics through the lens of myself that I am able to understand how best I can show up for the people around me.
I’m happy to have friends who lovingly hold me accountable, who chose to lean further into me during times that challenge our differences of opinion and where we could have quite easily turned away from each other. I’m happy to have friends who are able to sit with me through discomfort, who have no desire to change me but are equally happy to witness me change of my own accord. I’m happy to have people who grow beside me. God, I’m so happy to have the friends I do.
Perhaps eventually, these entries will stop being about death and I will have moved on to another phase or lesson in life. But for now I’m here and despite it all, I’m happy.
Listen to the podcast here:
One thought on “healing grief through ayahuasca”
really proud of you Lyndsay well done beautifully put Mother has guided you divine timing my friend xx