This article is a submission for the Ayahuasca Awareness Program, an initiative by the Spirit Vine Center in Brazil. The program aims to help increase awareness of the potential of ayahuasca by sponsoring free ayahuasca retreats every month for people who feel the call for spiritual development with ayahuasca and other methods.

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One Step

What are our options when we feel uncomfortable?  Physically, emotionally, mentally?  There are a myriad of choices that we can make to improve our state of “feeling”. We can eat healthy, stop doing what we are doing, breathe deeper, exercise, do some critical self contemplation, sleep under a pyramid, call upon ayahuasca, you name it.  All of these choices point to a general theme, CHANGE.  We can make changes in our lifestyle to improve our wellbeing.  Better yet, each individual will feel compelled to make different changes, changes that suit them and their specific curiosities. This common thread, CHANGE, which is behind all of the growth and evolution one experiences can be graceful, challenging and everything in between.  Here are some guidelines to riding these waves, welcome to surf class.  Once you get it, it get’s easier.

Step 1: Embrace it.  Embrace that shit.  Ya I swore, embrace it.  The discomfort we feel is often caused by our resistance to change.  Today we hear lines like accept, allow, surrender, equanimity.  Here’s a fancy line, the grace we experience in life is proportional to our ability to accept things as they are. Counter intuitive perhaps.  Allowing things to be as they are, without the need to change them is integral to profound transformation.  Case study 1: Shit goes down it feels unpleasant and my first reaction is I don’t want this and I resist this and I try to change it.  The balance of my mind and body is lost.  Case study 2:  Shit goes down, it feels unpleasant, my first reaction is okay this is happening, and I have already begun to allow the energy behind this experience to move and it has already begun to change.  The balance of my mind and body may fluctuate but balance will be established faster.

In all honestly our psychology is a little more complex then the way I described it.  Reality for someone who is trying to change their old habit patterns is more like Case study 3:  Shit goes down, it feels unpleasant, I don’t want this, but I learnt that accepting is better so I don’t want to resist this.  So I force myself to change my outlook, hoping that my shift in perception will bring a lasting shift in sensation.  The reality in this case is, they are both short lived.  The balance of my mind and body is lost, regained, lost, regained and I enter a rollercoaster of mental incantations.

So let’s take a look at Case study 4: Shit goes down, I accept this, it feels unpleasant, I accept this, I want to change this, I accept that I want to change it.  I prioritize loving and accepting how I am feeling and not adhering to some holy concept that I resonate with but am unable to truly say is my own.  From this position, I am accepting reality as it is and I will be able to move in the direction that pleases me, much more freely.  I feel angry and am unable to accept this. I accept this.  Eventually I will be able to recognize that I DO want to change this but I will use this as an opportunity to accept it instead because that feels better.

So that’s it, there’s only one step to this right now, Embrace It.  Embrace who you are, as you are.  Accept that you want this, you feel that, you hate this, you like that etc… From there you can make a new choice and forego the resistance.

Author: Daniel Haboush

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