And I sat there in the hot seat, shaking.
Eager, anxious, excited for what's to come.
Mikis lit a new tobacco stick.
He looks at me.
"What am I most good at, Grandmother?"
Is the intention I'm given for our first night of drinking Ayahuasca.
For as long as I can remember, I've had the belief system that I'm not good at anything.
But deeply engrained.
Where did this belief come from?
How could it even be true?
I layered up, white dress on top and we walked through the jungle to Casa Blanca.
It was pouring rain tonight so ceremony was being held indoors.
Our mats were set up for us, our Shipibo shamans sitting in the dark, I couldn't see their faces.
I felt star struck to see them wrapped in their hand embroidered fabrics, that I've known so well for the past year, leading up to this moment.
Sara from our hosting team, with power and gratitude led us in calling in and giving thanks to the directions.
"We call on OTORONGO! JAGUAR!"
This was now real.
We were led one by one up to the shamans to have tobacco blown on us and handed a small cup of the plant brew.
I went to my mat, sat cross legged, like a warrior, closed my eyes and bravely asked.
"What am I most good at Grandmother?"
... to be continued
Artist: Lobsang Melendez Ahuanari