Your first week after Ayahuasca
You had a life-changing Ayahuasca experience and you feel amazing and now you ask yourself,
“how do I maintain this magic for as long as possible in my life?”
Or maybe you dealt with some deep emotional pain and you are asking yourself, “what is next, how do I handle this?”
Where do you start when returning back to you day-to-day life?
This blog will help you with your Ayahuasca Integration. The first part of the blog is how you should handle the time immediately after the ceremony (the next 3 -7 days), what you should and shouldn't do. Then we move over to the best practices for Ayahuasca integration and in the last part you will find in depth ways on how you to deal with the more complex topics of life that will come up.
- Decompress after an Ayahuasca ceremony. Rest and eat well and journal on your experience, plus the homework you received on Ayahuasca. Do not share your Ayahuasca experience on Social Media.
- After an Ayahuasca ceremony it is great to revisit your habitual ways. What places, people, thought patterns etc give you energy and what takes energy from you. Cut the things which are not beneficial for you and start doing more the things that make your life better.
- Implement a spiritual practice to stay grounded. Trust yourself and take one step at a time and allow for things to develop. Many times deep fundamental changes take time to actually come to fruition.
- This is the time that actually determines how valuable the Ayahuasca is to your ceremony of your life. Do your best and forget the rest :).
Table of Contents
What not to do after an Ayahuasca Retreat
Do not share your Ayahuasca ceremony on Social media or friends or family
Before you do anything after your Ayahuasca ceremony, it is important that you do not to certain things that you will regret later on. And that is to start sharing about how your life has changed after Ayahuasca. Of course not on Social Media, but the best also not with friends and family. I understand it is a very natural impulse to want to share after you experienced a strong emotional impact and you want to let other people in on that. But it is better not to..
- Because you might have changed, but the people in your world have not.
- You have gone through a transformational experience, but they have not..
- For you all of this makes perfect sense, but for them it does not…
And it is ok. There are other things you can focus on.
Things have shifted inside of you, but honestly you have not changed yet. To what degree you will be able to integrate your experience in your day-to-day life is yet to be determined.
The best thing to do is to start making changes in your life, letting go of what you know you need to let go of and once people start noticing that change in you, then it is a good time to share. But do not become the ambassador for Ayahuasca, telling everybody that all of there problems can be solved if they too have the courage to drink Ayahuasca. (I used to be like that…) but it is not the way.
Do not be in intense environments
Other than not sharing your experience right after your ceremony it is also important that you do not go into high energy / pressure situations. Don’t go to a party, do not have a difficult conversation right away (this should happen, but give it a moment).
Do not go back to autopilot
Also after coming home from the ceremony you will find your life how you left it. You will be tempted to go back to certain habits and routines. These are normally running on autopilot. Now that you did take a step outside of your day-to-day life you do get a change to revisit that autopilot.
Does this habit serve me?
You will generally feel a deeper connection with your body. Listen to it and let it guide you.
- Do you actually want to drink coffee or is this just a habit that you usually fall back into? Smoking a joint in the evening to relax? Do you really need it or is this just your old auto-pilot self?
- You will notice yourself opening the same apps and websites? Do you actually want to spend time on them or is it best to significantly reduce or possibly even cut them out of your life?
- Your friends will have the same conversations… Do they resonate with you? Do you want to engage in gossip, mindless chatter or do you notice that this does not serve you any more?
In this case it is important that you listen and really follow it. You can fall back a lot faster to old (deeply ingrained patterns) than you anticipate. I recommend you do not tell yourself, oh I just did so much work, I can allow myself to do some unhealthy things. (sure you can do that, but does it really serve you?)
It might seam like I am over exaggerating here… I just want you to be really aware that you are in a special state right now, a moment in your life when change can happen. Use it wisely.
What to do:
rest, eat well, decompress and journal
The best thing you can do is rest, hydrate and eat! You might not notice, but you have not eaten for more than 16 hours, you are dehydrated, Ayahuasca is a challenge to the body, so make sure you replenish (high protein recommended)! This is very important, if you do not do this, it is likely that you will get sick.
As you probably know by now it is easy to focus on the outside and challenging to go within. So instead of talking endlessly with friends, this is a time for you to decompress. Spend some time alone, go into nature and journal. Things that might have not been clear to you right after the ceremony will start to make sense if you do give yourself time to decompress.
Also you are in a lot more sensitive state right now. Use it and keep on connecting with yourself.
What to expect in the first week after Ayahuasca
It is likely that you will have strong vivid dreams and it can maybe even feel like you are still in the ceremony (in your dream). The Ayahuasca is still in you and working. Feel into it and see what is coming up for you.
Must read Blog: Nightmares after Ayahuasca
Ayahuasca helps us release our emotions which are stuck in our subconscious. It happens in ceremony, but most likely there is a lot more to be released. Ayahuasca started a process in you, it started to move and shake things up so it is normal that you are not done yet… Trust it, it is “la medicine” which is working in you.
For example I had a really good, positive ceremony but the day after I felt very sad and lonely… It was serious and I didn’t even know why I felt sad. Luckily, I did know that this is normal and part of the process as well. Instead of putting a label onto it, I sat with the feeling, I let it run its course.
So in case something similar happens to you, do not worry, you are not getting crazy, you are processing emotions that you haven’t suppressed for a long time.
Ok, so after the first couple of days are over it is time to start to integrate more of your experience.
Ayahuasca Integration, the 8 best practices you can do
So now after your Ayahuasca experience has started to settle down, the question is, how can you get the most out of it? How can this truly be an experience that changes the trajectory of your life and not just a glimpse of hope and you falling back into old patterns…
For this I want to list out 8 tips that you can follow to keep the flame of your ceremony burning.
Be patient and compassionate with yourself.
I understand, you want change and you want it fast. And things can happen quickly as well. At the same time you are in the process of changing probably decades of programming inside of yourself.
Just like you do not need to resolve all of your life problems in one Ayahuasca ceremony you also do not need to overcome all of the challenges you have in your life within the next 90 days.
You will mess up along the way. You will have off days, you will be rough to people you love, it is a part of life. The fact that you catch yourself that you are not in alignment with the person you want to be is already a great first step. That acknowledgment and awareness will help you change.
Do not fall into the trap of feeling guilty and beating yourself up for every mistake you make. This perpetuates the cycle more than the mistake in and of itself.
Start building a community of like – minded individuals
Your transformation can serve as an inspiration for your current social circle to start doing the inner work and go on this journey as well. Some will, but most won’t. You might notice some of your interest changing, so it is good to start building a social circle which is supportive of your new direction of life.
I notice that it is very easy to build deeper connections with people who are on the inner work journey because you generally skip the small talk, you don’t need to pretend you are somebody to be liked and you can bond on deeper things you have in common.
Also being part of a community like this will not make you feel like you are the crazy one, the odd one out but will actually motivate you to go keep on going.
Find a way to creatively express yourself
This one is beautiful because it puts you in touch with your inner child, you do things primarily for the reason of expressing and not the get a certain outcome. This helps you become present to the moment.
Good examples can be playing an instrument, starting gardening, painting, building something, heck maybe even playing a sport of working out can be this for you.
Also follow your instinct here. Whatever comes most naturally to you.
Develop a spiritual practice for yourself
It is great to have transformational experiences with Ayahuasca, they help us process things on our subconscious level. At the same time you also shouldn’t opt for plant medicine every time you are having a problem but develop a way on how you can be centered in your day to day life.
Different spiritual practices can be meditation, breath work, sports, going on a walk, playing music, gardening. Whatever it is for you.
You can join an online holotropic breathwork class or a breathwork in Medellin with us.
This will help you regulate your nervous system, calm your mind and allow you to be generally more centered in your day-to-day life.
Connect with your body and intuition
Personally I believe our body has a very deep intelligence and it is a way that our soul speaks to us. We know what is best for us. The food we should it, the level of intensity of workout, what people are good for us.
When you meet somebody, your body will signal to you if you are nervous but will also signal to you when you feel joy about the encounter. You know what is right for you. Follow that. And the more you follow that the more you start trusting it, your intuition.
A way to develop this is to actually connecting with our body, through exercise, meditation, yoga, breathwork, whatever it is for you.
Even an illness which we experience is our spirit communicating to us through our body that something is off. And when you are connected with yourself, you know why you are sick.
Listen to ceremony music
Listening to the music you heard in the ceremony can help you anchor back to that experience and remember the teachings you received. Also generally medicine music is very healing and deliver beautiful messages.
What can you let go off what does not serve you any more:
So it is not just about cultivating the new but also about what can you let go what actually does not serve you any more.
This can be people, certain places, habits, substances, websites. Whatever it is for you. And deep down you know it. Limit this as much as possible and replace it with things that fill your cup.
Also you might be asking yourself where am I going to get all of this time to do those things. Well, by you letting go of certain activities that you have been doing, it will free up a lot of time and energy to focus on the activities that you do want to cultivate in your life.
Work with a therapist or Ayahuasca integration coach
It is easy to fall back into old patterns now that you are surrounded by your usual environment and triggers. It is very helpful to work with a therapist or probably even an Ayahuasca Integration Coach. This will help you give an extra perspective, help remind you of your blind spot and help you stay on track.
Also there are amazing therapists out there. At the same time very few will be able to understand what you are really going through because most haven’t had an Ayahuasca retreat either and cannot speak from first hand experience. While an Ayahuasca Integration Coach is connected with the Ayahuasca, has gone through many processes himself and is constantly surrounded in his professional work with people who are specifically in this sub-niche. If you feel are looking for a compatible Ayahuasca Integration Coach, shoot me a message and we can figure out if we are on the same wavelength and if I can assist you on your journey.
Must read blog: What Ayahuasca taught me – 20 life lessons
Find out if Ayahuasca is right for you
- Will you be safe physically and emotionally?
- How will you be supported in the ceremony?
- How do the facilitators handle difficult situations?
- How will you be able to process the experience?
- You want change, but will your life be unrecognizable after Ayahuasca?
+ 13 things to consider before drinking Ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca Integration, first step: Understand your experience
One part of is it you have to first understand your Ayahuasca experience. And your Ayahuasca ceremony and the message you received might be totally clear. Congratulations and start implementing (keep on reading further down in the article)
But your Ayahuasca experience might have not been so clear and you are looking for answers, what did it try to show me. In this case, I want to recommend a YouTube video I created around the topic. Let’s summarise a bit
Not all visions are true
Some might be a warning or a subconscious fear you carry inside of you which you were able to release.
Other visions might be showing you your own hopes and dreams. Will they come to fruition? Maybe. In a certain timeline yes. And if you stay in that energy, you put in the work, have faith the vision can manifest. But just because you saw something it doesn’t mean that it is now your destiny and no matter what you do you will arrive there.
Seeing people in your vision
The people who appear in our visions are usually people who we admire (or hate) and have an impact on our life.
One time a participant said that the spirit of the Taita she worked with appeared in her vision. The next day she called him and thanked him for it. And he responded, no I was in my bed last night sleeping. I wasn't there. So I do not want to destroy your romanticised idea… But your visions probably have a lot more to do with you and how you interpret the world than with other people…
Animals appearing in the visions
Jaguar, Anaconda, Macaws or other animals can appear in your vision. Observe and feel into it. What significance does it have towards you?
Messages for your spirit
Also, the information we receive on Ayahuasca is information for our spirit and in most cases not for our thinking mind. It will be really hard (or even impossible) to remember, explain or to understand everything we experience in our Ayahuasca ceremony. That is ok. You don’t have to. A deeper part of you does understand. In a deeper part of you things are shifting. Trust the process.
If you did not have an experience / emotional impact drinking Ayahuasca.
This generally happens to 10 % of people who are drinking for the first time. In my first ceremony I didn’t feel anything after drinking 3 cups of Ayahuasca. It is not that the Ayahuasca was bad (it worked for everybody else), but it was a sign of how disconnected I was with myself and I needed a lot of medicine to start to connect with myself (on the 4th cup the magic did happen for me).
So I do get it, it is frustrating. You have a lot of anticipation and expectation going into the ceremony and then apparently nothing happens. But trust me, something is moving in you, you are moving and releasing energy.
I actually had a participant come to a ceremony and he did not feel anything. But after about 6 months he did tell me things did change in his life and that he attributed them do Ayahuasa. Even if you adjust your path a little bit, in 3 months, 6 months a year or 2 later the trajectory to where you are can be totally different. So trust and keep on going.
How else will Ayahuasca influence your life
Other than the best practices there are certain other things that might change in your life after your Ayahuasca experience
Be ready for things to accelerate in your life
You cleaned and transformed a lot of energy in your ceremony. And when things shift inside of you, things on the outside shift as well. You might have been asking for more fulfillment and excitement in your professional life and now all of the sudden you are laid of (actually happened to a retreat participant).
Instead of falling into the fear based and victim paradigm, what am I going to do, why does things like that happen to me etc. Know deep down that this is part of the process. The old needs to go first, before the new can develop. And there are good things on the way, I promise. But you also need to do your part, keep your head up and feel that things are happening for you and not to you.
Things might start to be a lot different after a powerful Ayahuasca Retreat. For this I dedicated a separate Blog: Spiritual Awakening after Ayahuasca.
Changing interpersonal relationships
When you are healing and growing quickly it is possible that you start to outgrow your current circle and can have a big influence on your social life.
Let’s first talk about how it can affect your friendships. You might notice that certain conversations do not resonate with you any more. That certain activities do not give you the same level of joy than it did before and you are not bonding with your friends in the same way. It is ok. It can also be normal that you certain friendships start to fade away. Unfortunately, this is a truth to life. But it doesn’t have to be bad. You can still love and care for each other and just not spend as much time together anymore. It also doesn’t mean that you are a better person that they are, you are just on a different path.
Also you might notice that you want to start to become more authentic. Maybe you used to say yes to invitations from the fear of missing out. Or you did not have clear boundaries and played into the nice guy side of yourself were you would do everything to please other and not take care of yourself (which is a toxic behaviour). So by you changing now, this is going to be noticeable to your friends around you. And it is likely that they will be off put by it. This is a test for you. Do you fall back into old behaviour patterns or do you have the courage to live out the new ones. Even if it might mean losing out on a friendship (with most likely a person who didn’t really value you anyway).
My recommendation is to be yourself, to have the courage to speak up about what is in your heart. The wrong people will be triggered by it and those connections will start to fade away while others will start to gravitate towards you. And those people are not attracted to your mask but really to your vibe / authenticity.
So this is a blog post in and of itself. Romantic relationships are complex & intense and we mirror to each other constantly the unhealed parts of ourselves.
Generally two different things happen.
- One person starts healing, putting down the mask, becoming more authentic, growing. And the partner is not ready in their own personal development to grow as well. So eventually a break-up will happen. Sorry to break it to you… It might seam like something negative and what you don’t want. What is happening though is an acceleration process. People that are not supposed to be in your life will start to go away. Maybe you two would have only come to that realization in 2 years and now it happens within 3 months. My personal opinion it is better that things get resolved faster and each one can move on with their life. Of course this is a hard pill to swallow but it kind of is the truth.
- The second option is that your growth also inspires your partner to look within and deepen their journey as well. You will have deeper and more profound conversations. You will both start to take more responsibility, you will grow together and the connectedness you feel with your partner will increase tremendously and you can really take it to the next level. But it requires a lot of courage, looking deep into the mirror and doing the work. And if you both do it, congratulations, you two are on a great path.
Your professional life after Ayahuasca
Let’s talk about how Ayahuasca can impact your ambition, or you could watch the video on it:
Becoming more ambitious and connecting with your purpose in work
I generally observe that people become more ambitious with the things that really matter to them. They often (re-)discover the deeper reason why they are doing there profession in the first place. Sometimes they even discover their life purpose. And when you are connected to what you are doing on a deeper level than just financially you will experience fulfilment but generally also cultivate excellence in your profession as well.
A good example is Aaron Rodger who won back-to-back MVP awards after his Ayahuasca experience. You can find out him more talking about how Ayahuasca affected his performance in this podcast.
Another very inspiration example is Gerald Adams. He is an 8 figure entrepreneur, before drinking Ayahuasa (and also after). But now his business is driven by purpose and not by ego (proving that he is worthy). I have been following him for many years and it is beautiful to see his transformation how he evolved and matured. You can tell that he is having a positive impact on people with his business and that he is also doing it, not to drive the next super car but really to provide in the best way possible for his family.
Questioning your motivation after Ayahuasca
However, it is also common, that people start to question their motivation.
- Am I doing what I am doing because my Dad always wanted me to be a hockey player?
- Am I doing this because I want to prove to my ex who broke up with me what a badass I am?
- Am I doing this because I want to drive the next lambo? Why do I want to drive the lambo in the first place?
And maybe you see that these are not the reasons that motivate you any more. So you change, you put your effort into something else, or you find a different reason why you want to do this. Also when you do things for outside reasons, a lot of times it will feel very heavy to do the things. You have to drag yourself to do it, there are things inside you holding you back. a Lot of friction in general.
Once you find the internal reason, on why you really want to play hockey, than it is like a huge burden is lifted off your shoulder and you will enjoy going to practice again.
And of course hockey is an example, you can use building a business, your career whatever is fitting for you.
Do you want to explore this topic deeper in an Ayahuasca Retreat? Feel free to consider our beautiful Ayahuasca Retreat Center in Colombia.
Losing motivation and work ethic.
It is also possible that you will lose motivation. This can have multiple reasons. New values can have a higher priority now for your life, for example your health. It is not going to serve you if you work 80 hours a week and neglect your health. Is that even a good investment? How much will you pay later on because of that.
Another higher value for you know can be your family, most likely that is the reason why you are doing this anyway. Maybe you can find a way to reduce your workload, become more organized, delegate, focus on the most important stuff so you can be present with your partner, kids etc.
Also this is something that you will realize in yourself. Maybe you see the consequences of what will happen if you keep on going down that path. But it is something that will come from a deeper part of yourself.
In this blog post we explore the impact of Ayahuasca on your career:
Some people start to become aware of the problems of their life that they previously just suppressed. This can start a difficult process. For that I created a separate blog:
Must read Blog: Depression after Ayahuasca
Will you become a spiritual hippie and not want to work all together?
Let's talk about the love and light, spiritual hippie. This usually happens when somebody didn't reallt have a strong personality, he was going with the tides of the wind and probably didn't have a lot of things going for him.
Now it is likely that a spiritual ego is formed, he is thinking he is better because he is on this path of enlightenment, please don’t be this person.
Must read blog: Spiritual Ego after Ayahuasca
Having conversations after your Ayahuasca Retreat
Who you should have conversations with about your Ayahuasca experience.
So interestingly the indigenous believe that the information you receive in an Ayahuasca ceremony is a secret revealed to you and is only meant for you. At maximum they share it with their Taita / shaman / medicine person in a personal conversation.
The whole idea of talking about your Ayahuasca experience is a western concept. And it makes sense. An indigenous person having drunk Ayahuasca their entire life, that being part of their culture, them living in the amazon, all of these factor lead to them having a totally different connection to Ayahuasca than a software developer who drinks Ayahuasca for the first time.
It can be helpful to unpack those experiences with the facilitator you are working with. At the same time have it in the back of your mind that certain messages were just meant for you. People outside of the Ayahuasca world will have a hard time understanding what you went through.
Also, I like to compare it a little bit with sharing goals. The time and energy we spend on talking about our goals could also be spent on actually putting in work to get there. Plus for whatever reason, when you share good news too early they have a way of being jinxed.
While it is good to keep certain messages for yourself it is also a good idea to have conversations with people to heal or strengthen the relationship with them.
The easy ones
So after your Ayahuasca ceremony you might feel a lot of gratitude and love towards somebody. It could be your parents, your friends, your romantic partner, hey maybe even your employer. In this case it is really good to express and extend that. It might seam very obvious but we can get caught up in day-to-day life, forget about it or the “right” moment for it never comes.
So give them a call, meet up with them in person and share the gratitude and love towards them. You don’t need to say you realised this in an Ayahuasca ceremony. Just share what come from the heart and it will multiply in joy and happiness. This is a beautiful process.
Also I observe that people start to become “more human” again after drinking Ayahuasca. And a big part of that is the relationships we cultivate in our life. These non-transactional relationship can be the source of great trust, authenticity, connection and happiness. Make sure you nurture them.
Talking about the elephant in the room.
Then there are also a lot more difficult conversations that can lead to a lot of healing and liberation. Part of integrating Ayahuasca is also about healing and repairing relationships. Of course it starts with ourselves but it also naturally extends to the people in our life. It is normal that mistakes and conflict happens. Sometimes milder ones and sometimes also the deeper ones. And you most likely won’t be able to heal a relationships with one Ayahuasca ceremony or a conversation (even though it can) it is great to start sowing the seeds for the healing so it can develop over time.
I encourage you to start talking about the elephant in the room with certain people. The things which are there but we never really talk about because we know it will be uncomfortable and most likely a heated argument will arise from it.
Before having these conversations it is important that you yourself start to understand certain things.
Everybody is on their timeline of healing
You are at specific point in your healing journey, the other person is at their point (or maybe not even on it). You cannot force healing to happen. Have some compassion with the other person. Even though you might be at the point where you are ready to address certain issues, the other person might not be. This is part of the process as well.
Take judgement and expectation out of the conversation
When things went wrong, it is easy to focus on what the other person did wrong, in the way they harmed you etc. And this resentment can easily carry into the conversation. However, if you bring it into the conversation do not be surprised that the person will be mad, angry and triggered and most likely nothing will get resolved.
Also I get it, you want to achieve a certain outcome with a conversation, close a chapter but certain things you cannot force. Do not share because you want the other person to apologize, take responsibility or change after the conversation. All of these things can happen, but do not put the pressure and expectation on it because it will affect and burden the conversation. So what is the best way to go about it.
Set the right intention
It is good to let them know that you want to have a little bit of a tough conversation with them. But also share with them that this is not about blaming, judging or playing the victim. Ask them if they are willing to help listen to you while you express some things which have weight your heart down.
Focus on your part in the story
Share about the parts where you messed up, the things that you said and did that added to the conflict or maybe even created it.
Express how things made you feel and show that this is your responsibility
So people do things and we give meaning to it, we link it to other similar experiences They bring up our triggers and we create stories around it. So in this case by you making it about yourself, or taking responsibility, you are not communicating: “You are a bad person because you did this.” It is more: “What you did, created this effect in me and this is the story that I added onto it.”
Again remember to not do this in a blaming tone of voice.
Remember to practice compassion
In 99 % of the cases the person did not do this out of bad intent or to hurt you. They most likely did it because they were acting unconsciously or this is the blueprint that they were exposed to growing up and this is how things have always been handled in that situation. Knowing this it can help you understand the other persons point of view and action as well as their innocence in acting this way. You might not be able to see it from this far away, but really practice compassion as well as you can.
In your Ayahuasca journey you also you might have also seen certain errors that you have done and how it hurt and affected people you love. In this case it is good to acknowledge and share that with the other person as well. They might open and share their shortcomings in the story as well, but remember this is not why you do it.
Writing a letter
Also there are situations where a conversation cannot happen, maybe because that person is not here anymore or because the other person does not want to engage in a conversation. Or maybe even you yourself are not ready for that either. What you can also do is write a letter. Make sure it comes less from your thinking brain and more from your heart. Turn your phone and distractions off, sit down and pour your heart out.
Once you are finished you will feel a high level of resolution. Now you can send this letter, but you don’t have you (sometimes it is a better idea not to). You already did a big part of your work. You can burn the letter in a fire, do your own little closing ceremony with it.
Also it is great to write letters to others, but the ultimate letter you can write is to yourself. Forgiving yourself, really expressing how you feel… You will be surprised by how much will come out.
Are you ready to change?
Honestly, you just read one of the most thorough articles on Ayahuasca Integration on the internet, knowledge of multiple years drinking and integrating Ayahuasca has gone into this blog.
But the true question is are you ready to change. We go to drink Ayahuasca because we want change in our life. Ayahuasca shows us the way, it helps us release stuck energy and it gives us homework.
Must read Blog: Ayahuasca effects long – term
Will you do the homework?
Do you just say you want to change or do you truly want it? Maybe you have not suffered enough…? Maybe you are still addicted to your old personality and doing things the way you have always done…
And you can have all the information in the world, you can have access to ancient knowledge and experience transcendental Ayahuasca ceremonies.
But in the end the medicine is you. You are the key to your life. Feel that in your heart… And start to do what is serving you and I wish for you to go live your best life ever.