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  • Writer's pictureTommy Cicero

Preparation for my retreat

Working with Ayahuasca should be taken very seriously. It's not to be done for recreation, or to "see what it's like." Many people suggest you should be called to it, rather than seek it out. This is what I feel happened to me, as this is not something I had on my 2024 bingo card. It was only after a MeetUp about microdosing, to help my dad, and then learning about the experiences of the MeetUp host Matt Simpson in his book, Worth The Fight. In the first half of the book, I was fascinated by the healing he received through meditation, breathwork, and psychedelic plant-medicine, including Ayahuasca. I thought to myself, "Maybe Ayahuasca can help me to further heal from past trauma and any internal blocks that prevent me from becoming my best self." I'm all about leveling up in life these days. By the end of the book, I was certain that working with Ayahuasca should be the next step in my healing and transformational journey.

I am grateful to Matt, who helped me confirm this was the best next step for me. I do not take this lightly. As a matter of fact, I am being fairly strict about taking care of my mental, physical, and Spiritual health while I prepare for my retreat. Three more weeks! I will address the areas where I have been preparing so far.

Physically, I have been preparing my body through regular exercise, breathwork, and healthy eating. I do weight training three days a week and a run 4 miles on the alternate days. I also do 15-20 minutes HIIT workouts on my cardio days. I aim to get 10k+ steps in every day, and I'm consistent with it. I even have a walking treadmill for those cold days where I'd rather not walk outside. Running is different. It was 32 degrees out this morning, but I don't mind running in the cold. It's invigorating! I have been doing 10-15 minutes of yoga first thing in the morning, followed by 15-20 minutes of breathwork. I follow Breathe with Sandy on YoutTube. He makes it easy for me to show up every morning. The yoga and breathwork are a great way to start my day!

An example of a Breathing with Sandy video

To maximize the healing properties of Aahuasca, it is recommended to follow a strict diet leading up to the retreat. The place where I am doing my retreat has a preparation page, complete with foods to avoid prior to, and after a retreat. I already started avoiding red meat and pork, and switched to decaf this past week. I think that's where some of my irritability came from :) but I had plenty of energy to get through each day, and felt like I had better quality sleep. I also started avoiding processed sugar and salt. For my final week before the retreat, I will switch to only drinking water and coconut water, and I'll switch to a plant based diet. I'll be consuming free-range chicken and wild-caught fish for the next two weeks, along with organic eggs. Just veggies, beans, and fruit for the final week before the retreat.

A few other things I am doing to prepare myself physically is avoiding alcohol, which I have not consumed since April of last year, and cannabis, which I have not consumed since January. I will also refrain from sex/masturbation for the final few weeks leading up to the retreat, as preserving my sexual energy is supposed to help aid my healing while working with Ayahuasca. I also just installed a water filter on my showerhead, as it is supposed to help remove any toxins/chemicals from the tap water. I'm also using organic soap, as this is also supposed to help keep my body chemical-free leading up to and during the retreat. I know some of this may sound like overkill, but I'm willing to make the small investment, if it helps to maximize the healing experience of working with Ayahuasca.

Mentally, I have been preparing my mind through morning meditation, right after breathwork, while I'm still seated on my cushion. Again, it's a great way to clear my mind and prepare for the day. I also started limiting my time on social media, and I'm doing my best to avoid the news as much as I can. Avoiding the news is a tough one for me, as I love to stay informed, especially with everything going on in the country and world. My thoughts are, the world will still be here after my retreat, so it does not matter if I fall behind on what's happening. I'm sure I'll learn of any big events through interactions with others. The good thing is, I get most of my news through Twitter, so by limiting social media, I'll be limiting my newsfeed too. I'm actually looking forward to being "unplugged" for the week of my retreat.

I believe that my physical and mental preparation have been helping with my Spiritual preparation, as I feel more connected to Spirit. I believe in a Higher Self, and believe that my Higher Self is proud of of the work I am doing to prepare for my retreat. I know these practices are helpful to living a better life in general. By taking better care of my physical and mental health, I know it's helping me increase my "Soul growth," which is what I believe we are all here to do during this lifetime. I have also been journaling in preparation for my retreat, by setting intentions and processing my thoughts and feelings as I prepare for this magnificent journey I am about to embark on.

I will dive into my intentions for my retreat in my next post, as a big part of preparation for working with Ayahuasca is setting clear intentions for taking a leap of faith into the unknown, and being willing to accept what is granted to me by the "Vine of the Soul." I am prepared to receive what I need, not what I want, but setting clear intentions will show Mother Ayahuasca that this is something I am taking very seriously, and what I hope to receive guidance with as I keep learning, growing, and healing on this rollercoaster ride of life.


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