A demon called Fear

I think from the exact moment of my arrival on this planet, I have lived with a fire inside, a yearning, an innate wildness captured in the essence of myself. I have greeted this world with journeys to unknown shores far away from home. On these journeys I discovered the Ocean and mother Ayahuasca as my teacher and my medicine. I discovered LIFE on the road and in the stinging salt of the waves; constantly humbled by the possibility of death that hangs in the crest of each hungry break. Always walking away reborn,  cleansed by the everlasting power of this planet and fulfilled with a fundamental need to experience ALL of it.

Mother Ayahuasca called me to her teachings three years ago.  To then be initiated and violently stripped of my concept of  what I thought ‘reality’ was. I wanted a very naive ‘quick fix’ for my existential crisis. What I got in return was a paralyzing fear, unbearable anxiety, depression, confusion, and a three year battle with the feelings of suffocation of my spirit in this human incarnation.

Little did I know this was only the start and a necessary humbling process of my rebirth.

On a random night in Nicaragua I felt the magnetic pull to sit with her again. Even though I previously said ‘never again, I reserved my spot in the circle. Once you start a relationship with this plant, it’s her teachings and the evolution of your soul that basically pulls the strings. Even when my poor threatened ego wasn’t very happy with the decision, I took the pilgrimage back home to the jungles of Costa Rica.

The presence of Mother Ayahuasca swoop over me as soon as I arrived in the well familiar jungle. Being back felt uncomfortable but at the same time I felt right where I needed to be…home.

The evening of the ceremony arrived fast. While watching every brave soul in the circle with admiration I was the first one invited to drink. Already feeling an unbearable pain in my stomach all I wanted to do was to run away crying. I received the cup of sacred tea. I bowed “Please be gentle, I’m open to recieve your teachings for my healing in gratitude” I whispered  and as soon as I drank, it kicked right in.


“Salud Marianne” they all cheered. Feeling really heavy I crawled on hands and knees back to my spot. I felt sad and tired. Sad because I knew she was going to force me out of my fresh established comfort zone once again.

I tried to resist her very fast rising within me. I knew there was no way. I surrendered to the discomfort and felt sadness well up… Sadness of feeling not being in control of anything from this point. And oh how I love to be in control. She spoke that it was not going to be pleasant for a while, and that we were going to walk through the gates of hell once again. Revisiting some familiar places where we left off last time. The only difference this time was that I was offered a chance to practice the ‘tools’ I have learned these last few years to find ‘ease’ in times of discomfort and challenge.

I fixated on my breath and the Icaros. I surrendered to the healing words during moments of anguish. I stared to get visions of moving snakes covered in shipibo patterns, scary demon monkey’s and  I was entering the eternal portal where time doesn’t exist.

Yes, that familiar void where I’ve been held captive before. For a month, sixty-thousand years, or an hour? It was all the same.

“Stay centered, breathe, be brave, survive. Fear is not real. I am LOVE” I repeated this mantra over and over.

Physically overwhelmed by cramping and stomach pains, I started to feel my body lose strength. A demon stabbed my stomach, and weighted heavy on my entire body. I was suffocating, couldn’t breathe,  the pain was all consuming. I could barely hold my body up as I held on tight to the pole I was leaning on for assistance. I concentrated as best as I could on the Icaros, who were echoing in my fragile bones. I knew it was coming…

The Icaros grew heavy with intention. Collectively we were all at war with a very consuming, weighty darkness. My body collapsed entirely from weakness, leaving  it in a pile of suffering on the floor. Falling into helpless despair, I couldn’t lift my head or speak a word. I felt I was dying, I was scared. My consciousness became overwhelmed once more by demonic darkness, pain, petrified it may never return to the light.

As soon as I was about to fall into the rabbit hole of infinite terror again, out of nowhere a vision of a familiar ‘earth angel’ appeared. Weeks before the ceremony we magically ‘stumbled’ upon each other on energetic level. Little did I know that this beautiful teacher, made from the stars, built upon the power of mighty ancestors would share simple but necessary words of medicine to inspire me to navigate through the most challenging part of my shamanic journey.

“Breathe, do not resist the discomfort, move with it, do not work against it…It’s almost over…and I am with you.”

This message made me feel so supported  and I felt safe to allow it all move through me. I embraced the scary situation with the help of this mystery man while holding on to a very powerful Icaro. Before I knew it all my demons and pain vanished like smoke.

Fear is a self created illusion.

I got a little lost…and the only direction I could seem to navigate led me straight to the clarity of the mysterious healing presence of this beautiful human. Helping me and guiding me through a very dark challenge. Opening the way to surrender and remember the ‘tools’ to exercise this darkness out of my psyche. My love and admiration for this charming Lightworker consumed me. It reminded me that absolutely everyone you meet on your path is a teacher or angel in disguise. Our bodies might be tied to the limited views of the ego and the linear timeline of earth. Our souls are not. We connected  in Spirit first, to then be blessed to experience a brief, dreamy, heart opening, transformational adventure in the physical world. Gone before I even realized it was there, missed before I knew I had it.

I have a tendency to over-romanticize things, but honestly this level of alignment with someone was something that I had always daydreamed of. An other worldly experience of purifying love pouring through hearts and  bodies, raising energy, and simply the result of two people willing to come together with open hearts. This planned encounter between souls had the essence and wisdom far beyond the space where time exists.

Vibrating with regained power and embracing the primitive lioness warrior within me, I thought of my mother, my grandmother, ex-boyfriend, a close friend,…

I felt so deeply the discomfort and the weight of their pain. Their struggles with addiction, anxiety, depression,….

“Stop trying to fix all these people!” This was not the first time mother Aya warned me for this repetitive, self destructive pattern.

I (subconsciously) believe that when the ones we love are hurting, their pain trumps everything. Their pain gets top priority, and whatever goals and dreams I’ve been working toward vanish in comparison.  I thought that love meant tending to the other person’s needs first—always. And this form of self-sacrifice comes very naturally to me. Fixing other people can easily become a destructive self-identity.

“Share your talents and resources. Generously give your time and attention. But you cannot pour a magical tonic on the wounds of every person walking the planet. It’s not your job.”

After this realization, I cuddled into my own body under my blanket.

I felt tired.

My heart was beating. My heart… beating in my chest and I heard it like the gong of a ceremonial practice taking over the whole jungle. MY heart is beating and it’s the most amazing feeling in the world. It’s opening, and eternal love is pulsing right through it, non-stop, for free, expanding its level of intelligence.

“The love you seek is already present, every second of the day”.

Right there, on the floor, holding myself  like I always wished  a lover would hold me during lonely nights, I discovered a much needed and infinite source of self-love.

I received beautiful golden visions of sacred Union and the divine dance of Shakti and Shiva. Teachings about how intimate relationships are one of the greatest and most profound sources of personal and spiritual growth. How we can come together to honor the divine within ourselves and within each other. Relationships shouldn’t be based on dependency, obligation, sacrifice or selfishness, but are here for personal and spiritual development. Connecting to the scared feminine and masculine within ourselves and then growing and honoring this energy with a partner.

Laying between cushions and blankets  I felt waves of bliss vibrating trough my body…I slowly returned to this dimension. While I was admiring the stars in the night sky I  felt like a mermaid swimming in an Ocean of love, surrounded and supported by my soulfamily. I’m at home in the Pura Vida lands and I love and worship those jungles more than words can ever express. I was dancing through glistening waves and stars in the sky, reflecting the glow of the moon.

And right in that very moment, absolutely everything made perfectly sense.

The true discipline of ayahuasca integrates long after the ceremonies end. I walked away with a gaping hole inside once filled with a demon, a physical representation of fears I harbored deep within. Fear is an insidious virus living in all of us. If you let it, if you don’t actively resist fear, it will sink in deeply, and spread a cancer at the molecular level that will paralyze you. Fear is an illusion, one fails before one tries, one judges before one acts.

Ayahuasca forced me to relive this hell, to face these demonic anxieties once and for all, so I could empirically know, even when faced with my own death, the demon I have inside will lose to the savage female fighter, every time. I may never be free of fears, but I will never surrender to them either. Ayahuasca bestowed on me the responsibility to restlessly pursue the true capability of the light that shines within.

I am committed to this kind of soul work and I will return to go deeper July 2017!  Thanks to ayahuasca I look at this splendorous world with new empowered eyes, with more breath in my lungs, toes curling deep into the earth, and consistent unwavering love in my heart. I wake to every rising sun with unsurmountable energy and existential lust for the future of this world. Equally grateful to live, as I am to have died.


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