No sex. No masturbation. No Alcohol. No drugs of any kind (even coffee). No salt. No sugar. No chili. No dairy. No pork. No red meat.
For the past week this has been my life, more or less, in preparation for the Ayahuasca ceremony tomorrow night.
This week has been tough to say the least it was my final week of exams whilst on exchange. Many of the friends I have made over my last 6 months in Colombia are heading home. My family is pressuring me to come up with a return date for next year, to attend a wedding. And to top it off I have all but ended a relationship with a girl I have been in love with for over two years.
It has certainly been tough, but what I did not expect is the profound lessons that cutting out things that have become normal in my life, things that I have learnt to rely on, are teaching me.
Ok, so I still find time to procrastinate as I pretend to study for exams I do not care about. That In truth I am only finishing so I do not have to pay back my scholarship.
But, when I go out partying with my friends, on our last nights together, I cannot rely on drugs or alcohol to make my night enjoyable or memorable. I find myself more aware, being more engaged and after overcoming some slight uneasiness actually enjoying myself, quite a lot in fact.
I have no excuses when my family or that girl wants to talk to me. I sit there present as I take everything in that is being said, embracing the sick feeling in my stomach, the stress, the nervousness the sadness, the remorse, the guilt, even the unhappiness. Then when it is over I have nowhere to run, nowhere to bury my head. Instead I have to sit there accept and figure out what I am going to do with my life after these new revelations.
I can’t go out and write myself off with drugs and alcohol partying with friends. I can’t go to my room get high watch documentaries, comedies or Alan Watts videos on YouTube. Hell, I can’t even jerk off!
Perhaps what was most surprising though is my reliance on food. When I find myself getting that feeling of sadness or uncertainty creeping into my mind, immediately I think “maybe I will go and get something to eat”. Only now with the restrictions on my diet there is almost nothing I want to eat, some plain brown rice maybe? A serve of steamed vegetables? Not exactly the most exciting comfort foods.
When I realise there is nothing i want to eat, I turn to drugs or alcohol to distract or relax myself, but they are not available either, my distractions are all but gone. I am left face to face with whatever problem I have in my life.
But now, I feel Alive, really Alive, and I have not felt this fullness of experience for some time. I am experiencing the entire spectrum of human emotions unfiltered, raw, powerful and deeply profound.
I have a sense of presentness, of clarity really. Although my problems are far from over, although I still feel these negative emotions creeping back into my mind, oddly I am completely calm and most unexpected of all I am actually happy. I am Fucking Happy! I cannot explain it, but despite the adversity I can’t help but smile, confident in my ability to take on anything that might come next.
I am wondering what else in my life have I been hiding behind, what other crutches do I have? If something as simple as food can distract me from life’s most important decisions, than what else might be affecting me? What else do i need to learn to appreciate again or not take for granted? This is something I will be thinking about a lot in the future.
I feel ready than ever for the ceremony tomorrow night. I am still anxious, I certainly have no idea what is about to come next, or the person I will be, come Sunday morning, but the fear is gone. I am happy and clear and conscious, uncertain but alive.
It’s nearly time to jump down the Rabbit Hole and this time. I’m excited!
Check out Part I Here.
Usually i post a Quote relevant about how i am feeling, but i think this video of comedian Louis Ck has been most relevant to me this week. Watch as he describes the profound beauty of sadness and happiness; and its freaking funny too:
Would love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments
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