I Did Ayahuasca & My Heart Exploded!

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 10
Shares 9.7
Hearts 1.0
Comments 3.2
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
4 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.


What had I just done? I no longer felt like my heart was inside of me.

Instead, I felt like I was inside of my heart.

It felt like my heart was exploding, like the me I knew was disappearing, and all that mattered was this love. This love looked like a rainbow in my heart and felt like the most blissful thing I had ever known.

For the first time in my life I felt truly loved, and I realized this love wasn’t coming from someone else, but it was coming from me!

I had drunk a strain of ayahuasca tea called Paloma Blanca in a small colonial town in Mexico. A town that just happens to be built on a bed of quartz crystal and is considered to be the heart of Mexico. The purpose of Paloma Blanca ayahuasca is to open your heart.

You make an intention before you begin the ayahuasca ceremony, and my intention to this sacred plant was, “Show me what I need to know.” Because I knew that I didn’t know sh*t. I knew there were things holding me back from becoming the person I could be. However, I didn’t know exactly what it was. So, I asked to be shown.

If you are wondering what ayahuasca is like, nothing can prepare you for it except for complete surrender. Yes, the ayahuasca ceremony is not a thing to be taken lightly. Not unless you are willing to give up everything you have ever known, and not unless you are willing to go on a journey that will last not four hours, but for the rest of your life.

Ayahuasca is not a recreational drug, but truly a medicine, and it’s not for everyone. You can be harmed if you are taking antidepressants and certain other pharmaceutical drugs. Some shamans have been known to mix other substances into the ayahuasca that are dangerous, so choose the person who is giving your ceremony very carefully.

The Ayahuasca Ceremony Begins

When the ayahuasca first started affecting me, I felt such complete bliss that I couldn’t help but laugh. I just laughed and laughed. I then saw many other souls around me. I heard a voice say, “You are not alone.”  I realized that I had somehow always feared being alone in this world. Of course, I really wasn’t. And, then another voice came through that said, “You are all of this. And, so you are alone.”

The entire journey was like this. My mind learned to see both sides of everything. I realized how limited my thinking was, and how everything was true and yet not true at the same time. I watched as light and love swirled through my mind and almost seemed to change how I thought my thoughts, how my mind seemed to work. It seemed to be cleaning out many of the fears that I had lived with all of my life. I came to see that the only thing that really mattered was love. However, I had never really known what real love was.

I saw a vision of myself. I was a toddler running through a nursery. I was grabbing all the toys and breaking them because I was holding them so tightly. I saw that this was how I had loved. I was shown nothing but kindness and complete acceptance, though. There was no judgement for how the old me had navigated through life. I was told, this was how I loved because this was how I had been taught to love. It wasn’t my fault, but things could change.

I had been living a life with closed fists instead of with open hands and heart. I had been trying to control everything when there really was nothing I could control. I began to see the grand plan for everything, and I just loved it all. I no longer needed to try and get love from anyone else because I finally had the ability to love myself. I felt free. Freer than I had ever felt.

And, there was a cost. I had to let go of all the fear I had been holding inside. All of the doubts. I had to give up my version of what I thought love to be. And, the biggest thing? I had to give up judgement. I saw that love and judgement cannot occupy the same space. I had to give up the resentment for when others had hurt me. I had to let it all go. And that was what allowed this space in my heart for unlimited love.

During the ayahuasca ceremony, I heard the Divine Mother tell me that I needed to keep my heart open to absolutely everyone. This didn’t make sense to my rational mind. I asked, “What about the ones I need to protect myself from?” The mother replied with a laugh, “Don’t you see? It’s all me. There is nothing you need to protect yourself from. If someone hurts you, it just shows an area inside yourself that needs healing.”

The true miracle (and the hard work) began, though, after the ayahuasca ceremony. My relationships have been healed as I realized that those who hurt me were only mirroring my beliefs about myself. Some people I rejected in my life who had shown me complete love, and I had rejected because they didn’t mirror my belief that I didn’t deserve love. I am watching my relationships change, as I go about them with more awareness and love.

There are many more things that I have learned from the ayahuasca ceremony. Mainly, I know that I still don’t know sh*t. Because, you know. It’s not in the knowing. It’s in the loving. And, that’s what it’s all about.


Relephant read:

Making Love with the Cosmos while Puking my Guts Out: An Ayahuasca Adventure.

Author: Valen Dawson

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Wikipedia

Image: Cristian Newman/Unsplash

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 10
Shares 9.7
Hearts 1.0
Comments 3.2
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
4 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

anonymous Mar 24, 2016 1:57am

Such nice article Valen,
I should have been come here little earlier but unfortunately I came here now but it is really helpful for me. Thanks for this !

anonymous Jan 16, 2016 8:28am

You are my best author on elephant journal Valen ! I like all your articles. The way you describe the things is very much appreciated including this article. Thanks

anonymous Dec 14, 2015 3:10am

Your article is really awesome Valen ! I love this…!

anonymous Aug 15, 2015 3:37am

Ayahuasca is a lifestyle for many cultures. A lot of Shaman in the Amazon have done it all their lives. It's non addictive. It is not a drug or pschyadelic drug. It's medicine. We are living in a society that fears anything that doesn't mirror their belief. I've done Aya three times and each experience was unique and healing.

anonymous Aug 5, 2015 6:06pm

i loved this thank you! it was exactly what i needed to hear today 🙂

anonymous Aug 4, 2015 2:16am

I am looking to try this experience and am currently in NY. If you know of how, please let me know.

anonymous Aug 3, 2015 7:09pm

I love Ayahuasca. After many years of spiritual practice, I needed a profound deep experience like I experienced at the beginning of my Sadhana journey. After throwing up I felt soooooo good. Very whole & very grounded. The music was sublime. My wife had a very different experience, very strong, very deep with loadsa colours etc.
We will journey again this coming weekend. I wonder what Madre will show me this time. I already know my intention.
On another note, I have Ayahuasca's power, and you have to be in a relatively good space, internal & external, otherwise it can really space you out. Think carefully, prepare properly before embarking on the Magical Mystery Tour. Love and Take Good Care.
Btw loved the article 🙂

anonymous Aug 3, 2015 5:18am

I would love to try ayahuasca once, but when I'm READY. I think a big issue with doing psychedelics is that people do them for the wrong reasons, before they are mature enough to really gain any value from the experience. Or, yes, they do not moderate themselves and they overdo it. I think a lack of moderation is what ends up harming people through experiences with any drug, not just hallucinogens. This all being said, it sounds like you were ready to have this vision and I'm glad it has healed you in some way.

    anonymous Aug 3, 2015 7:16pm

    Yes, one has to be ready. It has to be done in a safe & protective environment with experienced Spirit Helpers on hand and definately not to be abused.Moderation is balance, and I think we have to listen to our personal needs to be able to go deep with this awesome medicine. Nuff said.
    Blessings to all. Live without fear is my motto, but don't muck up!.

      anonymous Apr 7, 2016 12:00pm

      It's a sacred medicine and sacrament that is not " used ", but given. It should be given in the right context where Daime is a part of everyday life ex. Communities in Brazil ( santo Daime)

anonymous Aug 2, 2015 10:01pm

I think 15 times.. is 14 times too many. Abusing something tends to lead to a negative end. I experienced a few things one too many times. It was because if once was good., more was better. So.. I lost track of the real reason I did it to begin with. I was taking advantage of the substance.

anonymous Aug 2, 2015 3:35pm

My stepson did this, and he thinks its the closest you can be to actually going to heaven while still on this earth.

anonymous Aug 2, 2015 1:25pm

Ayahausca is dangerous. I have participated in 15 ceremonies and in the last one nearly lost my mind. Yes, you can experience incredible states of bliss however there is dark side too. I went thriugh hell then merged with God, only to spend the next two years on the verge of psychosis. I wouldn't want anyone going through what I went through. A friend lost her mind for two years. We are lucky she came back.

Lovely article, but people should be warned about the other side of this powerful drug. Blessings

    anonymous Aug 2, 2015 6:40pm

    Although I don't believe fully in using mind altering substances, I did enjoy this story and if it weren't for my own mental sensitivity, I would love to try it. But I would say anything is dangerous if over used. Maybe participating in 15 Ayahausca ceremonies was one or 14 too many?! It suggests to me that if you had to go through this experience more than once, then you didn't understand the point of trying it in the first place, rather you became addicted to the sensation, than gaining or learning anything from it? You may as well have done mushrooms or LSD, would've had the same effect?! Rather than chasing that blissful feeling over and over by artificial means, I would think the point is to use what you have been shown by your experience (1 time!) and implement it in your life without continuing to use Ayahausca, otherwise you are hiding inside the drug like any other? I hope you are well now! Maybe your lesson was to learn how to live a happy life without artificial substances, only to really learn that you had to go through a real living hell to be able to appreciate waking life? I wish you peace and true happiness and contentment. And remember, everything in moderation.

      anonymous Oct 12, 2015 8:48pm

      There are cultures where people are drinking medicine regularly. The medicine changes itself every single time you use it. If you use it only once, you will see one side of it. But if you work with the medicine regularly you see and learn new things every time you go. Also it is not addictive (unless you consider really loving doing medicine work on yourself which can be pretty brutal). Medicine also doesn't necessarily give you a blissful feeling ever–sometimes it can be extremely uncomfortable. Lots of people drink ayahuasca repeatedly–in fact aya retreats in the south offer nights of medicine in a series–like 4 nights in a row. That is how it is done. Most people don't sit for just one night.

      Also, having a hard time with the ayahuasca–even living hell–its just part of the deal. It can be hard sometimes, and just because it is hard, just because we don't get that church experience we all long for doesn't mean the experience isn't valuable or ought to be condemned. Sometimes we just need to have a hard night.

      As to what Lucy is talking about–those of us who believe in this medicine all know that things like this can happen. The medicine can heal you. It is more powerful than your wildest imaginings. And it can also be like a door for things that are dangerous. If you don't sit with an incredibly powerful and mature healer, you are frankly in danger of experiencing things that are frightening, or that can even change your life. This is a fact.

      Most people want to experience heaven, but the medicine opens you up to something larger, beyond our human knowing– and EVERYTHING is in there. Avoid smoking ganja at ceremony–keep yourself totally clean and straight. And for the love of plant medicine–choose your guides carefully.

anonymous Aug 2, 2015 10:39am

Ayahausca in Mexico?

anonymous Aug 2, 2015 8:07am

You are lucky to have gone through such a wonderful experience. I had a friend who also had it, and told almost the same.

Thanks for sharing it. I’ve almost felt it myself.


Jeff Zie Mar 4, 2018 7:09am

"I realized that those who hurt me were only mirroring my beliefs about myself. " This right here...thank you for putting things into perspective for me & many other readers <3

Valen Dawson Mar 5, 2017 4:08am

San Miguel de Allende. Feel free to message me on Facebook!

Kristin Hatfield Sep 26, 2016 5:13pm

Where specifically in Mexico? Who can I contact to take this journey?

Marina Stan Sep 26, 2016 2:24pm

It's like reading my own Ayahuasca story! Thank you for sharing and thank you for the reminders! :)

Read The Best Articles of March
You voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares.

Valen Dawson

Valen Dawson is a writer, life coach, and retreat leader who lives in the dreamy colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. In 2013, she wrote the book, DreamCatcher: The Magic Of Living Your Dream Life, to inspire others to get in touch with themselves and to live the life they were being called to live. She is also the inspirationalist that owns the website, Your Own Life.