After I became sober and decided to become a recovery coach, I made a personal commitment to research and resource all recovery methods and modalities so that I could help clients connect with the approach that best fits their personal beliefs and lifestyles.
I have to admit though that, despite my best efforts, I was still struggling two and a half years into my own recovery. There were more bad days than good. I felt like I was constantly running away from my own demons, judging myself and carrying a lot of the pain from my past.
I knew I needed to do something and under the guidance of one of my mentors, Dr. Gabor Maté, I decided to attend a retreat at the Blue Spirit yoga and meditation retreat in Nosara, Costa Rica.
It was the right decision. Not only did I get to meet Gabor in person and take in some great sessions, eat healthier than I ever had in my life, and bask in the unparalleled beauty of the area, I also came face to face with what I had been running from all along.
The plan was that, after a week of sessions practicing Compassionate Enquiry with Gabor and other recovery coaches, therapists, and doctors, I would attend a traditional ayahuasca ceremony, which is described as follows: “The goal of our ceremonies is to create a safe and therapeutic atmosphere that encourages each participant to explore and journey within themselves, to confront the darkness and embrace the light. It is only through this duality and knowing all parts of ourselves that we can truly find balance.”
I chose to do ayahuasca because of Gabor and the healing he believes it brings. I was miserable and suicidal. I was doing all the meetings (AA, psychotherapy, etc.), all kinds of research, following Gabor and participating in his Compassionate Enquiry program, but something was missing.
Before the ceremony I was terrified, but I was as ready as I would ever be.
The ceremony begins in the dark. There’s music and singing. After consuming the ayahuasca drink (which tastes really bad), I relaxed into the experience and was consumed with messages. There were flashbacks that went as far back as my childhood to where I am now. Everything I needed to address moving forward was shown to me. I felt a tremendous weight lift as I saw that I had to live healthier, spend more time with my family, accept who I am, be more humble, follow my heart, and forgive myself and others.
After the ceremony, I walked outside and felt connected to the earth in ways I never had before. It was the most beautiful night of my life, a very spiritual experience.
Since those two weeks in Costa Rica, I’ve had so many more good days than bad. I’ve let go of a lot of things I don’t need to carry any longer. I’m at peace. I’m in balance.
This makes me a better recovery coach. I understand addiction, that feeling inside of you that you want to escape and will use any way you can find to do that. I faced that in the ayahuasca ceremony. And I’ve left it behind.
This is just an example of how, at White Wolf, we don’t discriminate against any modality of recovery. We are much diversified, well-researched and find what works for you and will help you get there —from abstinence to harm reduction and moderation to other therapies such as plant medicine and more.
Like me, you may need to find that therapy, that experience, that “light” that will put you on the path you need to follow. The one that will help you have your life back, bring you peace, and connect you once again to the people and the life that matters to you.
I would love to join you on that journey.