My Life Changing Iboga Experience & Tips for Aftercare

life changing iboga experience

A couple weeks ago I participated in my first Iboga healing retreat. Iboga is an intensely powerful plant medicine from Africa. I heard about it from a friend who mentioned it casually in conversation. When I couldn’t stop thinking about it weeks post chat, I knew I was getting an intuitive hit that had to follow up with. So I contacted the healer, Michael DancingEagle, felt a strong sense that this was my right next step, and I signed up!

The Ceremony

The Iboga experience is personal, so I won’t go too much into what happened so not to set any expectations. Everyone in ceremony experienced something unique! It began outside on a warm summer’s night with each participant surrounded around a beautiful bonfire under a clear sky and a bed of twinkling stars. It’s a small group of 5 people, plus Michael, the nurse, and a helper. Michael shares the teachings of the Bwiti tradition, and once dark, comes around to give each person medicine based on their own personal needs. What I love about how Michael conduct’s ceremony is the way he continually nurtures each person with a gentle, supportive approach that by the end of the retreat had me feeling like a completely spoiled little baby!

The medicine, though tasting like absolute fucking hell, carries the same vibration of unconditional love. While people were dropping like flies needing to go inside to lay down, my pal and I felt like we drank a bottle of wine each! We felt amazing! So expansive, making jokes, feeling light and open, laughing, having the most incredible time!  Michael and our helper had to reluctantly drag us in to lay down!

Inside the retreat centre, each person is privy to their own air mattress, eye mask, and blanket. And for the first while I was still feeling great, laughing to myself and enjoying a nice body buzz. My body was uncomfortably cold because of the fibromyalgia I had been experiencing the past couple years, so the medicine was specifically working on my body.

Michael came around to guide me through a journey. First he guided me to my studio apartment where I found myself numbed out watching tv. Upon seeing this, I didn’t want to admit it because I was ashamed of this version of myself. So I immediately looked away, hoping to see another version of myself maybe in the kitchen preparing something healthy to eat or maybe doing some yoga! But Michael says, “no, go back, right there over by the bed.” And he was right, and I find it so cool that he knew that! So I went over to her, and said hello.

“Hey”
“What are you doing here?” She asks, full of sass and inconvenienced by my presence. I repeat what she says allowed for Michael to hear.
Repeating after Michael, I responded “oh I just came to ask you some questions! Is that okay?” 
“Alright” She responds, making sure I understood just how much I was troubling her.
Now Michael pulls out my journal with some questions I had prepared ahead of time.
He says, and I repeat, “Who am I?”
“Erika.” Duh. And as I tell Michael her responses I can’t help but laugh at her, our, sass.
Next, “What am I doing here?” 
Which as a question I was assuming a more existential approach, but to which she replied, “I don’t know, you showed up!” 
lol! And Michael and I laughed so much that he had to get a bit stern with me to get me to stop!

The conversation between us went on and when it ended, Michael shot me up into space where he asked me if there was anyone that had passed that I wanted to see. Immediately I replied, “Lucky!” My cat and best friend that had passed a couple years prior. Just as I thought it, I broke down into a hot mess of tears and sobs, that again I couldn’t get myself out of without Michael’s help.

After a visit with a few more late friends, Michael guides me to clean up my body. When I travel up to my heart, I visually saw this old vintage machine that was barely working and was held together with elastic bands and electrical tape. Michael instructs me to clean it up and once complete, it turns into this bright beautiful shining quartz crystal heart. Then I travel up to my brain where I find cobwebs and dust. Once cleaned up, it looks like a minimalist version of a computer room from Star Trek, like something that Apple would design.

As Michael leaves me to bask in my pristine new body, I felt the necessary release of everything that’s been cleared out. After a couple uses of my puke bin and a couple trips to the bathroom, I continued to lay, feeling somewhat uncomfortable and honestly tired of hearing my own thoughts, but surrendering to the intelligence of the medicine.

“The Break Through” or The Ego Death- When Creating The Journey Feels Fake

Some people who take Iboga receive visuals similar to those experienced in Ayahuasca. Michael says this may be a disservice if the person is distracted by the visuals, losing sight of why they’re really there. I did not have any Ayahuasca-type psychedelic visuals, nor did some of the other participants, and because of this, there was a common doubt and concern that they were making up their journeys.

The ego death is a complete loss of subjective self identity. Our ego is how we identify and navigate through our reality as a functioning human being. So the ego is not a bad thing at all, but who we are actually, our Self, is everything. There is no they or no other, it is all one. We’re not a fragment of the universe, we are the universe. And to get to this place, we need to experience the ego death. Psychedelics like Iboga make this possible.

There are four levels to an ego death:

  1. The breaking down of social barriers and conditions that are limiting and take our power away. We realize life isn’t what we thought it was and we aren’t who we thought we were. We’re lead down a path of self-inquiry and deep self examination. We realize we’re apart of something bigger than our body and our identity.
  2. The lines between the body and the environment become blurred. We are guided towards understanding the connectivity between all things. The Self begins to disassociate with the ego. Pettiness, judgements and individual differences fall away and our deepest values and how we are connected and similar to others surface. This brings us into an expansive, amazing feeling of freedom.
  3. The individual consciousness dematerializes into the dimensions of infinite possibilities and the dimensions of creation itself. This is the dimension of thought itself, the Astral Realm, or the plane of the collective consciousness where all things exist simultaneously. We can be whoever we want to be and go wherever we want to go. All possibilities exist here in all dimensions beyond time and space. This new state brings out the limitations and mirage of the old identity, and we can now explore the infinite possibilities that exist within us and our capacity of consciousness that we already have within us right now as a human being. This realm is the connected consciousness of the universe, the place where all knowledge and experience emerges.
  4. The ego death. We are now in a state of pure consciousness. We do not exist in reference to anything external. This is the identity of our Higher Self, our true identity. This is the state that exists beyond thought itself. It is a complete loss of the ego self, personality, and any subjective association. We are pure awareness, pure bliss.

    (Reference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDJIsscCoGE)

What scares many people about psychedelics is the loss of control. Given the description of the ego death, this is valid. However, we’re actually holding on so tightly to the bit of spare change that we can hold in the palm of our hands, when if we were to let go, we would be connected with the wealth of abundance that already exists all around us. We just can’t see it because we’re so afraid to look, to trust, to surrender and let go.

Prior to Iboga, I’ve experienced the ego death through connecting with the guidance of my Higher Self in meditation and visualization. Iboga provides that guidance system for us, it’s a bit like training wheels before we can do it on our own. So because of my experience and understanding that we are the universe, I understand that to visualize something in my mind, makes it true and real- whether I believe I am the one creating it or not. We are all one. We are creators, our mind is our canvas, and the world is how our art comes to life. Thoughts are things. Everything we create in our minds exists, and to manifest these visuals in this reality, it takes receptivity, surrendering, action, gratitude, and total trust in ourselves as creators. I know and trust in what I created and how I collaborated with the medicine. This is considered a breakthrough in an Iboga ceremony, or an ego death, and it’s what people who attend multiple ceremonies are seeking.

My advice to get to this point is to first, trust yourself and learn to play with your imagination. If we are all one, then it doesn’t matter whether we are creating the visuals or if the medicine is creating them for us. It is a collaboration and like life, we need to participate to generate any results. I remember in an ayahuasca ceremony, the visuals were so incredible and I asked myself, as an artist, am I doing this?? Is this what I’m capable of creating?? And the answer was yes, I am creating with the medicine’s influence. What each of us creates is as unique as our individual creative expressions. Trust that! Trust yourself.

Second, learn to let go, hold space for yourself, and listen. When I was asking sassy Erika questions, I held space and listened, paused, waited for a response. And it came. This was me connecting with the collective consciousness, allowing infinite ideas and possibilities to emerge. But if you doubt it, you discount it like a smack in the face. How rude. If you treat a friend or a child with this kind of scepticism, they’ll eventually stop sharing with you. And often, this is what happens- we shut ourselves down and need to repair the relationship. So learn to sit with yourself to just listen. Listen to the kinks in your body, how she wants to move, and the emotions held in all the many cavities.

Integration Day

In the morning we are one at a time assisted up to our beds. Walking was challenging for me as I felt weak, tired, and nauseous. I spent the day resting, taking mini naps, and journalling. While my friend was clearly full of energy, I found myself feeling rather depressed. When Michael checked up on me, he asked me how I am and I told him I couldn’t move. He said it was normal and I objected, “but Kate’s taking a shower! I want to take a shower! I want to brush my teeth!” But he assured me that each person processed differently, and my body had undergone some major healing.

For meals, Michael, challenging the traditional Western doctor-patient hierarchy by bringing us up fruit for breakfast and the most incredible vegan wrap for lunch!! I can’t remember the last time someone brought me breakfast and lunch in bed! I felt so wonderfully spoiled and loved!!!! I was important. I mattered. The days following, while the medicine was still in my body, I could see energetic tracers around the room and was still able to connect with my soul to get answers to every question that I had. I was still connected with the collective, and after my ego death, was integrating my ego and my Higher Self to be in service to each other.

For the Self to be in service to the ego, the ego needs to surrender to receive the universal insights and wisdom available from the collective consciousness. When the ego is in service to the Self, it uses this information to create a life that is in alignment with the true values, principals, and purpose of the Self. Because when ego and Self are aligned, then we are in flow and in a state of freedom and bliss. Celebrating life and playing on this beautifully lush earth becomes possible because through this connection we feel completely secure, supported, and abundant. We begin to appreciate the gift of life the way that a gift is meant to be enjoyed; and this is the ultimate form of gratitude.

The Benefits I Received 

I feel like someone hit the reset button on my entire being. After 4 days and one ceremony, I feel like I’ve taken a five year sabbatical.

Physically

The day after ceremony, I felt that the fibromyalgia in my body was gone, but I didn’t want to get too excited so I wanted to wait and see. Two weeks later, it’s still gone. My body is completely healed of any pain! I feel so free and so amazing in my body. I don’t know when it’s going to rain now! Aside from checking the weather network, but who can rely on that!

I realized that the fibro related to how I was tightly still holding onto my old life. Two years ago, my relationship with my partner ended and my best friend Lucky passed away and I never expected everything to be taken away. It devastated me. So I’ve been unconsciously waiting, numbing out in front of the tv, completely unaware of what I was doing, hoping for my old life to come back. I haven’t been able to move forward or make any changes because I was trapped, and my body was showing me that. Iboga helped me let it all go. Looking through old memories the other day, I saw photos of the family I had created and lost and I felt peaceful, grateful that I had experienced it, and excited and curious for what I was creating now. I felt free for the first time ever.

I received clarity on how I want to create my life going forward. I want to be a digital nomad, live and work all around the world! I want to spend each day celebrating this life that I’ve been gifted. How lucky I am to still be here, to have this most incredibly beautiful planet to play and create in. I feel an excitement for life that I haven’t felt since I was a kid.

Mentally
My mind doesn’t feel all messy, jumbled and noisy like it used to. It’s like the difference between hearing someone mumble, and hearing them speak articulately with precision and intention. Every word is thoughtful and counts. I have control over my thoughts, what I allow myself to think and the direction of my thoughts.

I’ve become aware of how I create my own suffering with the meanings that I attach to things and the perspectives that I wear. It’s my responsibility to choose how I want to see things to create the outcome that I desire.

I’m aware of the power games that people play and I find myself watching them like a science experiment. I’m not taking the bait and getting caught up in their dramas. I feel like an old chrone watching kids play. No judgement, just, “oh that’s where you’re at, you’re doing that again, yea, I know that place.”

I quit TV cold turkey. I noticed what a time waster it was and if I was really going to do things differently and change my life into one I wanted to live, I needed to quit this addiction.

How I Continue To Work With The Medicine & Keeping The Experience Alive

It’s easy to fall back into old patterns, and while Iboga cleared me out and showed me the way to connecting with consciousness, it’s up to me to create new habits and behaviours that will support me being the best version of myself. I am responsible for creating these new neural pathways in my brain. Nobody can do that for me, that’s my work as a free will being and as a creator. I can choose to create what I’ve always done and follow those same pathways that take me down the route that I don’t want to go, or I can stubbornly commit to creating the new pathways that take me in the direction that I do want to go. And it’s like I’m fighting with myself, “No! I will not do that same shit, I’m going this way! Get up! No feeling sorry for yourself! Step up! Let’s go!” Because sometimes we need tough love and tenacity to get through a treacherous phase of our journeys.

What has helped me the most is having a morning and evening routine with myself. This is only possible now that I’ve quit TV. During Iboga, we are hyper connected to our intuitions. To get quiet allows that space to get reacquainted and reconnected. I use a journal to write. I’ll start with clearing- writing everything that’s bothering me and bogging me down, and when that’s clear, there’s a natural elevation that happens. I’ll feel gratitude to bring me up to a higher vibration and then I’ll feel her presence right there waiting for me, and just like in ceremony, I can ask her anything and get a response and have clarity. I’m again entering into a state of integrating my body with full awareness.

One morning when I was journaling, I was inspired to make three posters: Who am I, What is Life, and my big WHY. Having these up offer an incredible vibe that is pulsating off the wall right now. When I started to doubt myself while at work, I look up for a reminder and it instantly pulls me back up. It’s made me productive, driven, inspired, motivated and excited for life! I cannot wait to see what I create!

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Erika

To participate in an Iboga ceremony, contact Michael at
[email protected]

To learn more about Iboga:
http://bwitihealing.com/

Everything I’ve Ever Wanted I Already Have in the Richness of My Imagination

Create Visualize Imagine Inspiring Photo

We live in a world of duality, a reflection of the separation of the two hemispheres of our brain- right and left, yin and yang, feminine and masculine, surrender and action. Enlightenment is merging both into the sacred union allowing us to be the creators that we came here to be to imagine a life of our own choosing into existence. We’re meant to be playing and having fun, we just forgot how powerfully creative we already are.

Thoughts Are Things: Harnessing the Power of Our Minds Through Imagination & Visualization

Our natural state is to play. Look at kiddies, making up stories and seeing a world that to us isn’t there. I remember once having a funeral for a dolphin lol Our imaginations are vast and using them, harnessing their power, is the first step to creating a life that we desire to live.

But, our mind power may be weak because it’s been a while since we’ve effectively used it. The brain is a muscle that needs to be exercised to be strong. Certain actions like watching tv, having fun but mindless chatter over a glass of wine, are like junk food for the brain. They make it sluggish and lazy. But other actions like meditation, focusing, visualization are like a work out for your brain.

Baby Steps

When I first started meditating, my brain literally hurt in my third eye area just like your quads or abs hurt after a workout. But just because something hurts or is too hard doesn’t mean we should stop. How would we develop any of the skills that we have if we gave up? The Compound Effect is an amazing book that speaks to the benefits of developing simple habits that compound over time, leading us to huge results with very little effort. It’s really a matter of five minutes a day and building on it slowly because a new healthy habit have the power to change our entire lives.

Mufasa Said It Best: Remember Who You Are

A little while ago I wrote about playing for the team that you want to win. We’re either a victim to our circumstances, powerless, feeling sorry for ourselves and scoring on our own nets destined to never amount to anything beyond what we already are. Or, we’re creators- self aware of our own power to choose a life we desire by investing into ourselves.

Just like we’re genetically predisposed to the DNA of our parents and ancestors, we’re also made up of a spark of the Universal Love that we came from. We’ve been playing it small because we forget who our real parents are. At our core, we too are Love, powerful, beautiful beings. When we remember this and honour this, we raise our standards and revere ourselves in the highest esteem.

It Begins With Having A Healthy Relationship With Ourselves 

A couple years ago when my partnership ended and my beloved best friend crossed over, I had to master surrendering. I didn’t yet have a healthy relationship with myself and I looked to the external world to keep me here. I know she left at a time when she knew I was strong enough to be here on my own. It was terrifying because I felt like a pendulum hovering in space without any grounding. I was constantly tested by the worst quality of people. I had to learn how to come home to myself. Independence. How to be my own best friend. I was a stranger to myself, and not willing to go the distance and make the effort for a stranger. To have the will to push through all of the resistance that keeps us small and trapped, we need to harness that fierce loving energy that we would feel for our child, animal, best friend. We need to feel that for ourselves.

Spending time alone with the tv on or reading a book doesn’t count. Imagine yourself as two people- how much of a connection would you develop with that other person with distractions all around. Connection comes from listening to yourself, quality time, self pleasuring, doing nice things for yourself, acknowledging the efforts that you make, gratitude- all of the things that you would do for your partner to feel loved.

And when you begin to develop this relationship, you acknowledge the value and worth that you have. This is where true confidence comes from. You believe in yourself. When someone talks shit about you, it no longer resonates like it used to. You know you’re not perfect but you do know that you’re worthy. You see your spark and you’re a beautiful little human.

When We’re Going Through A Difficult Time, or Having a Bad Day, We Need To Start By Clearing

When challenges arise, the victim says poor me. The creator asks, where’s the opportunity? What’s the lesson? How can I show up as the best version of myself? The creator chooses to respond in a way that’s for the highest good of all, rather than reacting in a way that perpetuates fear and lack. The creator knows that they are the master of their emotions- they decide how they want to feel.

Self awareness is key. Sometimes we wake up feeling the weight of anger, sadness, depression, shame, fear- all of those patterns that keep us trapped in the victim archetype.

But the creators notices and says, “I’m going to change my state. I’m not going to spend my day feeling this way.” And there are probably different ways of doing this, but this is how I do it.

Changing Our State- From Victim to Creator

I sit in meditation, either at home in isolation or outside in the sun- depending on what intuitively best serves me at that time. I listen to my body. I asked it, what’s up? I don’t analyze or try to make sense of it, I just allow myself to feel everything deeply. There’s resistance- I surrender into that. I might cry, make noises, definitely breathing deeply. I am super focused on holding space for my body and spirit. This is where you need strength of mind to focus.

I’ll start to intuitively move into different yin yoga postures. Holding there and allowing the energy to release. After doing this for years now I can feel the release and transformation. The old emotions pour out of me into the earth to be transformed. And for some reason, I have no idea why, it’s really painful! Something about moving forward into the new and leaving the old behind. We hold a lot in our cells and it’s like an energetic detox. I have to surrender into it, trust the process, trust myself, and trust the outcome, until it changes, and it always does, and I feel better, expansive, lighter, happier.

Now We’re Ready To Create: Feeling Gratitude To Raise Your Vibe

In this place, I start by attuning myself to a high frequency. I loooove the frequency of gratitude. It feels expansive, supportive, loving, kind and nurturing. When I tap into the energy of gratitude is when I feel the most creative. I feel like I’m in flow with the universe. I feel my divinity. How supported I am in this world because I am the one supporting me and if I am divine then I can and will always have everything that I’ve ever desired. I am always taken care of because I am always taking care of myself. The universe has my back because I am the universe and I’m so incredibly grateful for this and for everything.

Every self help book or program we read from Napoleon Hill to Tony Robbins to Mama Gena says you need to say your gratitudes. But to say them is futile. We need to feeeeel them deeeeeply. And it’s not as tedious as one may think because once we feel how incredibly good they feel, it’s completely addictive! When I first started this process, and even still from time to time, the feeling of gratitude is so overwhelming that it turns me into a blubbering mess.

It helps to have a gratitude journal and as your write them down, feel your energy expand. Notice yourself get happier and happier. When I do this at the park, the dogs always come to me and give me their toys to play with them lol. Such cute, innocent little babes. Animals sense energy so it’s a great confirmation that it’s working. When I feel filled up, high, excited, and connected then I flow into my visualizations.

Everything I’ve Ever Wanted I Already Have in the Richness of My Imagination

The world that we currently reside in, is one reality. But we need to understand that our thoughts, imagination, and visualizations create alternate realities that are different, but just as real as this one. A spirit exists in another reality, and just because we’re not in that reality doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Sometimes it crosses over into ours, and sometimes we cross over into theirs, which is how they are sometimes visible. Thoughts are things. They exist in other realities and the more we energize them, the more likely they are to manifest into this reality.

The best way to energize our imagination, aka image maker, is to experience what we desire with all of our senses. Not sure what you desire? Think of those you’re jealous of- what do they have that you wish you had?? Imagine the noises you would hear, flavours you would taste, textures you would touch with your hands, and notice all the details and colours you would see. Allow your emotions to be activated. You are there right now in your imagination, how would you naturally feel? If it’s your fantasy you’d probably be ecstatic! Balance both the small things that you’ve had before that are easy to visualize like cookie dough ice-cream, with the big adventures of African Safaris and running your own empire. The more details the better. Get so blissed out that you’re grinning from ear to ear.

Escape this reality and travel to another that exists just as much as this one. And feel that gratitude that everything you have ever desired is here right now. It’s already yours. Trust that because you are Diving Essence and you get to create everything you’ve ever desired because it’s what we’re here to do. It’s time to have fun and create a world that is rich with desire.

It’s Selfish Not To

I have a sense that you may be thinking that to desire more than we already have as spoiled North Americans is selfish. I think that it’s selfish not to. We’re here to be the best versions of ourselves, light ourselves up from within so that by healing the duality within us, we heal the external world. The external world is a reflection of the internal world. We need to step into our Mastery and Creator  energy first, become independent, to then become interdependent. Harmony depends on us. We need to fill up our glass first. We need to first fulfill our desires, to then realize we don’t need them at all, but we do have the power and spark of divinity to heal the duality within us and create a Utopian Bliss.