Part 2: How Ayahuasca Ripped Apart My Soul, Nearly Ruined My Copywriting Career, Then Stitched Me Back Together Piece-By-Piece

mindset Jun 30, 2022

Part 2  
June 2021 

When I opened my eyes, I was ravenous - I had gone more than 24 hours without food.

I was also exhausted and weak.

I felt… clearer somehow as well.

The memories of the previous night of horror floated back into my mind.

I turned to Angel, who was also waking up, and said, "That was insane… I don’t think I can do the second night. That wasn’t anything like shrooms."

We discussed our individual experiences.

Angel was apparently vomiting the entire night…

But also had beautiful visions of the jungle.

She met and talked to Mother Aya, a wizened old grandmother with dark, bark-like skin.

She saw how this medicine was invented.

If you didn’t know… ayahuasca is brewed from a vine from one plant and a leaf from a totally different plant.

Each ingredient on its own does nothing.

Yet somehow… at some point… a tribe in the Amazon figured out that if you brewed these two completely different plants together, you’d get a potent hallucinogenic mixture.

When Angel met Mother Aya the night before, she asked about that… and the medicine showed her a vision of a young girl in the rainforest, running and playing.

Mother Aya guided the girl to bring the two plants back to her tribe…

And that’s how the medicine came to be.

Ayahuasca means "vine of the dead" - a fitting description for a mixture that brings you to the spirit world and back.

Angel and I got up and walked slowly from our room to the dining area.

The short walk winded me - I was still weak…

But the walk was beautiful.

There was a clear blue sky in Sedona, Arizona - it was hot, yet the desert was alive.

Flowers bloomed. Cactuses sat. Birds and dragonflies buzzed back and forth… all with the dramatic backdrop of big red cliff faces.

I wobbled into the dining area and noticed all the shamans sitting at a table.

They looked at me on the way in and we gave each other a nod.

We weren’t supposed to talk about the "A word" in public - the people at the wellness center thought it was all a meditation retreat.

I approached the table and thanked them all for taking care of me.

Each had such kind eyes and a caring aura.

I ate the pescatarian meal provided, and we sauntered back.

We chatted about what we learned.

As I told my story to her, I got to the part at the end where I was thinking…

"Where is Angel? Where is Angel? Where is Angel?"

It suddenly struck me: Angel is the woman I’d been looking for all along.

Someone who accepts me totally and completely for who I am…

Someone who takes care of me and loves me no matter what…

All despite all my flaws - and despite what I’ve put her through.

A wave of gratitude flooded over me. I stopped, turned to Angel, and began to cry.

"Thank you so much for being there for me. Thank you for everything."

We hugged.

Went back to the room and made love.

Oddly - this time my mind was clear and present.

I wasn’t fantasizing about anyone else or playing movies in my mind…

I was there with her, grateful.

We fell asleep again and when we woke up, it was dinnertime.

At dinner, I sat with some other folks… including one of the guys that carried me back to our room the night before.

When I told them I didn’t think I could do the second night, they urged me to continue.

"You don’t leave in the middle of a surgery," One of them said.

I sighed.


Time to be a big boy.

Before I knew it, it was 7 pm and we were back in the yurt, ready for round 2.

This time, Angel and I sat right next to each other.

The guy that carried me back to our room the night before was to our right.

"Hey if you shit yourself tonight I’ve got an extra pair of pants here!" He smiled and we laughed.

I felt safe and protected.

I took a deep breath and meditated.

I remembered the intention I had around money… and as I sat there, a vision came to me.

I saw money as a river, flowing into and out of everyone. A big river from some sources. Thousands of tiny rivulets into other sources.

My whole life, I had been treating it like a resource to hoard, to stow away.

I had been building a dam around my bank account - as the money came in, I stashed it there out of fear. The medicine was showing me a money block that I had.

I took my notebook out and drew the images down.

When it was time for the ceremony to start… I reminded myself:

No matter what happens, no matter how painful or scary it is, I’m going to hold and comfort my inner child throughout tonight’s journey. Whatever happens, I’ll be okay and I’ll come out the other side healthier and stronger.

I walked up and the dose was lighter - I got ¾ of a cup this time.

Bottoms up.

Again, all 50 of us laid there in silence around the candlelit altar.

I prayed my intention to Mother Aya: "Please take it easier on me tonight. Please show me light and joy… I ask for a more enjoyable experience."

I laid on my mat and stared at the ceiling.

I felt my ego and my thoughts start to melt away.

"It’s starting…" I thought.

The ceiling began to morph into 3 different layers.

I felt the familiar tearing away of reality - I started to lose memory of things.

This time, it was less scary.

I kept telling my inner child, "I’m here with you. It’s going to be okay. You’re going to be okay. Everything will come back. Your memories will come back. Your ability to write copy will come back. You’re going to be okay."

Soon enough, the first person vomited, HARD.

Angel and I looked at each other and we giggled. It was kinda funny.

Then Angel vomited.

She weakly looked up from her bucket and gave me a thumbs up sign.

I placed my hand on her back to comfort her as a jangly, voodoo-like song came on.

Some sort of voodoo witch-doctor looking character was dancing a jilted waltz in the middle of the room, chanting a demonic song.

"Oo ye maka chika ro! Oo ye maka chika ro! Oo ye maka chika ro!"

Immediately, vomit sounds erupted around me.

Angel mentioned later she thought the man was chanting, "Get out demons. Get out of us."

Honestly, I loved the song.

Angel kept throwing up.

I kept placing my hand on her back.

My way of comforting her was looking at her, smiling, and then calling out our favorite inside joke: "SHEEEEEEEESH!"

We both giggled.

Then she went back to her puke bucket.

The shamans started going through their set list, singing one healing song after another.

One of the shamans came by to check on me.

"Hey I know you were having a rough time last night… how are you doing now?"

"I’m… not quite sure what’s going on… but I like it." I told him.

"Okay perfect." He smiled and left.

The song was about being grateful.

You can listen to it here:

"For the moonlight falling through the trees,
And for this ground beneath our knees,
For the memories of love we have known,
Forever grateful.

And for the pain, for the pain and all we have lost,
And for the sorrows we have caused,
Still we whisper grateful,
So very grateful,
To have loved at all."

Grateful for loved ones. Grateful for lessons. Grateful to just be here, experiencing it all.

"After all, you’re here, aren’t you?" The head shaman shouted.

Angel and I looked at each other and tears flowed down both our cheeks.

As the song ended, a chime rang out.

One of the shamans walked around with a bell…

And we all sat in silence, listening to it.

There were no thoughts.

We just sat, attuned to the sound.

Then, the most bizarre sound:

"Happy birthday to you…"

The shamans began singing the birthday song. The message?

You are reborn this day.

The whole room laughed at the end of that one.

The shamans brought out a Native American chief to lead the next song - his name was Yoshi.

"Ah tay wankah tankah oh mah kee ai yo,
Hey yah hey oh,
Wahnee wachi ay lo,
Wahnee wachi ay lo,
Hey yah hey,
Ah tay wankah tankah oh mah kee ai yo,"

You can listen to the song here:

The name of the song was "I want to live."

The chief had written it in honor of his friend who had committed suicide.

The sacred drum beat like a metronome.

As the shamans sang verse after verse, the crowd was entranced.

I got up, walked up to the center, and joined a circle of people sitting around the altar, where all the music was.

We sat, swaying to the music.

I looked back and Angel had joined, a big smile plastered on her face.

At the end of the song, the shamans suggested we go out and look at the stars - it was 3 am, the darkest part of the night.

Angel and I walked out…

And we were struck by the awesome sight of the night sky unpolluted by light.

Millions of diamond-like stars twinkled… a spray of the milky way ran down the middle of the sky… and every minute or so, a shooting star would streak across and we would gasp in surprise.

We laid down on the ground and just watched.

It was incredible.

I felt… so small, witnessing such an immense universe.

The beauty of it all overwhelmed me.

I had never seen the night sky like that in my life.

After awhile, the shamans herded us back in, and the last few songs rang out.

I got up and danced with the circle as a lady sang out…

"Fly now you’re free…"

The song was about spreading your wings and flying.

Somehow, the song reminded me of my mom, and I cried every time the chorus rang out.

To me, it meant…

You are free to follow your own path now, my son.

Spread your wings and stay true to your journey.

It’s time to let go of the cage they put on you.

As the ceremony ended, Angel and I walked back to our room at sunrise.

It truly was an incredible experience.

After sleeping and eating, Angel and I drove the 7 hours back to San Diego, rehashing the whole adventure.

I went through memory after memory as I drove…

My brain was looking at my past with new wiring.

By the time we got back to our place in San Diego…

It was dark.

I walked into our house… and it all felt incredibly weird.

I sat down and told Angel, "I feel weird."

She looked concerned. "How so?"

"I don’t know… I don’t remember anything about my life. Like… I don’t remember anything."

"Do you remember Boston?"

"I’m not sure."

I started panicking.

I ran to my computer and fired it up - the first thing I looked at was a sales letter I had been writing copy for.

My fingers hovered over the keyboard…

But when I tried to type, I couldn’t.

The words literally looked like a foreign language to me.

A terrifying realization hit me.

"I can’t write copy anymore!" I told Angel in a panic. "What am I supposed to do? I’m supposed to COACH people tomorrow!"

Angel later told me she was freaking out too…

But she hid it well.

"Look, if you can’t write copy anymore, that’s okay. We’ll find a way. We can survive without copy."

That’s what you call a ride-or-die partner.

With that thought…

We went to sleep.

When I woke up in the morning… I felt a lot better. Thank God I could write copy again...

Apparently, the medicine had still been in my system - I hadn't thrown up at all - and I had driven the 7 hours back to San Diego like that.

What the hell.

While I asked for more money, the lesson I got was gratitude.

You're already making a crapload, bud. Be grateful for what you have.

Be grateful that you get to write copy at all and live this incredible life - because not a lot of people get to say that.

I grabbed my surfboard and paddled into the Pacific that morning.

It felt like a rebirth - like the ocean was renewing me.

Afterwards, I walked back home, ready to begin the next chapter of my life.

The end.

Hey Copy Gangsta - hope you enjoyed my story. Let me know if you liked it, if you want more of this content, or not. Therapy and healing has been a big part of how my income has jumped year after year, so I want to share my journey with you. The picture below is of Angel and I right after our journey last year.

If you like my content and want to continue learning copywriting from me, feel free to sign up for the waitlist for my Zero to 5K program here:

>>> Click here to get on the waitlist for the next Zero to 5K launch

- Ning


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