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” It gave me clarity about how I want to show up in the world “

I was born in Mexico, and my parents and I moved to Los Angeles when I was five. From as far back as I can remember, I was physically abused by my mom, and even today my scars remind me of those days. As a result, I grew up being extremely socially anxious, insecure, afraid to meet other people, and afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone. In high school I became attracted to alcohol, which I now realize was because it helped me escape my anxiety and hide from my traumas. By the end of high school, I had had enough, and my internal voice started telling me that my current lifestyle was no longer serving me. I started looking for a new community that was different from the one I was used to. Thanks to my willingness to explore and seek for healing, I was lucky to come across a community that worked with ayahuasca medicine. As I started working with the medicine, my deep traumas from childhood started coming to the surface. I realized how my trauma of being physically abused by my mother rippled down though my teenage years and into my present. I saw the source of my insecurity, shame, lack of power, inability to step up, and

 inauthenticity with myself. Some time later I decided to get my family together in a circle to share our deepest thoughts and emotions with each other. That’s where I shared my realizations about my childhood physical abuse with my mom. My mom started crying and apologizing and saying, “Please, forgive me.” And then she shared another story with us. When she got pregnant when she was 21, she was carrying me and going to school, but she was extremely ashamed and afraid that her mom and other people were judging her. I realized that the shame that was in me originated before I was born, there inside around mom. After that realization and up to today, the medicine has helped me release that shame and insecurity, and have clarity about how I want to show up in the world, and how I want to be seen. Ayahuasca has taught me courage, willingness, trust, and faith to speak up for myself, and paved the way for me to become who I am now: somebody who is dedicated to the sacred path of being of service.

Interviewer: Kirill Ignatieff (founder of 22STORIES)

Photography: 22PORTRAITS

Story editor:  Seema Seraj


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Project Description

Ayahuasca is a psychoactive medicinal mixture of plants used for healing purposes in a ceremonial setting. The next morning after each ceremony a “Sharing Circle” takes place where all participants share their spiritual journey from the night prior.  The stories that come out of those sharingcircles are very profound and life-changing, but only very few have access to them. This project is about sharing those stories with a broader audience and help people understand the power and the benefit of the medicine and it’s community.