It was awful. On my hands and knees, my head in a bucket, barfing my guts out.
Did they poison us? They must have.
Trying to lift my head out of the bucket was an impossible task, soon to leave me with a dent in the middle of my forehead. My badge of honour?
Glimpses of my life painfully flashing before my eyes and hearing her voice – “Odette, you asked us to show you who you had become, and here it is.”
Intense waves of nausea dancing with fear were overwhelming at times, followed by a release, and then a blessed relief. I am not sure I liked what I saw but with each round, the darkness slowly turned to light.
When it was all over, I felt a separation between my ego self and my soul, leaving me with a sense of internal peace and a humbleness I have never experienced. The fears, doubts and worries I held on to for so many years, were no longer. It was…I was… blissful and beautiful.
Tomorrow night and the next two nights after, I would do it all over again.
Rewind 6 months earlier…
I was in Tampa Florida leading a huge 3 day Speaking and Story-telling event for 18 amazing and eager entrepreneurs excited to grow their businesses. As a business coach for 7 years (after building a seven-figure international company), it was my shining glory and a tremendous success! The event netted over $250,000 and with ongoing residual income for years to come.
I had finally ‘made it’.
Plenty of high fives and praises for a job exceptionally well done, followed by words of: “You must be so proud of yourself”, “You must feel so excited and happy”, “You can rinse and repeat and make even more money”, “All your hard work paid off” ….
My shining glory moment that cracked the code of success for me and was to be repeated year after year, and took everything I had in me, lasted a mere 48 hours.
I felt totally depleted, exhausted, and confused as to why I wasn’t feeling more joy and gratitude for my accomplishment and for that, guilt and shame set in for not feeling what I was supposed to feel.
People around me would say “Are you kidding me? What more do you want?”
Why was I never enough, doing enough, having enough? I did not have the answers.
So, I continued to chase the money, chase success, coming from a place of ‘I have to do this’.
The merry-go-round went round and round, faster and faster, and I couldn’t get off.
Meanwhile, I had lived a life in the fast lane when it came to personal development – years of investing in expensive coaches, 100’s of programs, reading books, experimenting with all kinds of conventional (and not-so-conventional) healing methods to fix me.
I had tried (almost) everything to help me find that missing piece to my puzzle … but NOTHING had gone to the root of my discontentment.
By this point, my business was tanking, and I fell into a depression.
By that point I was so desperate I would have tried ANYTHING.
Then my life hit a turning point with an invitation to join my client on a retreat in Costa Rica.
“Oh, and by the way”, my client said; “It’s an Ayahuasca retreat.”
Aya – what?? I’d never heard of it before…googled it and thought to myself, ‘What the hell, it’s plant medicine. How bad can it be?’
That first night, crawling on my hands and knees trying to escape the visions of who I had become, altered my life in a way that I now live from gratitude and a sense of inner peace – something I strived for but never truly thought possible.
For the first time I could see it all with clarity and compassion – the brutal anxiety that had driven me to control everything around me for my entire life.
I held a powerful intention for myself and, for the next three nights of that retreat, Mother Ayahuasca helped heal my heart and merged me back with my soul.
I came into that retreat broken.
I left feeling whole and complete, for the first time in my life.
We all need guides and these are mine
I was 52 years old.
That was four years ago.
Today I live in Costa Rica, looking out my window at the jungle as I write this post, reclaiming my hippie-dippy lifestyle I craved for decades, embracing the freedom of my life without the shackles of how I thought life was supposed to be lived.
I sold and gave away all my material positions that once were my status symbols, in exchange for the only thing I own today – a bucket of bolts (my Costa Rican car) and pray that it starts every morning for my trip to the outdoor markets.
My life is in these 4 bags
I have less material things but live more. I wake up to jungle sounds, not car horns. I go to sleep peaceful with a full heart, not a worrisome massive to-do list. I decide my day will be based on what feels good, not what others tell me should feel good. That the most certain thing is to embrace that everything is uncertain. There is comfort in that.
The biggest thing that I learned, and the hardest lesson in all of this, is to trust that I got this and not matter what, I am going to be ok.
Oh, and the biggest love of my life is myself. I never liked myself, let alone loved her, but now, she’s pretty awesome 😉
My two beautiful daughters, now in their 20’s and still living in Canada, finally have a role model that they can look up to as an inspiration to follow their dreams, not hide from them.
My life today is so the opposite of my then fast paced, long working hours and money chasing days.
I never used to like getting dirty! Embracing a Sweatlodge
Today I work to live not live to work.
Today I am a certified Psychedelic Integration Coach and Plant Medicine guide. I help people discover themselves, choose the right plant medicine for their healing journey (and there’s so much more than mushrooms and Ayahuasca) and make changes in their lives through what they uncover during a plant medicine journey. I educate them and guide them so the experience is safe, powerful and makes change in their life. Follow up integration sessions allow them to integrate their new discoveries into their everyday life. (For more info on how this works, click HERE)
They say everything is a mirror and I now work with people who are just like I was. Business professionals, career focused, over achievers striving to have it all and do it all – and feeling like something is just not quite right. Seekers who want answers, who want to live with purpose, meaning and less stress. Many know they have “stuff” that needs healing. Many feel they always have to be in control. And many have bouts of anxiety and feelings of depression.
Really, all of this comes from trauma. And it doesn’t have to be Capital T Trauma. All humans have experienced ‘little t’ traumas that resulted in feelings of not being good enough, feelings of not being safe or not being lovable. It could be as small as a casual comment from a parent, being lost for 10 minutes in a shopping mall as a child or being left out of a game at school.
In those moments, we make up a story about ourselves and our worth in the world. We develop resilience to survive, and we stuff down those negative feelings to get through life.
Of course there are Traumas too – death, abuse, loss of all kinds. None of us get through life without experiencing some of the hard stuff.
All those experiences affect us. They have us behaving in certain ways to get through life, repeating patterns and relationship dynamics, we stay stuck in jobs or circumstances we hate – we do all kinds of things that just don’t work because of all these past events. Read more on HOW PSYCHEDELICS CAN HELP
Your turning point is when you are ready to see who you have become and committed to making a change. This is where I come in.
You don’t have to do it like I did. You don’t have to sell it all, give up your current lifestyle or move across the world to find your own inner peace and joy and live life on your terms.
You can look for purpose and meaning in your life, heal your past then integrate the learning back into your current life. And I can help you do it with awareness, safety and guidance. Read more on how Integration support is crucial to deep healing.
So, you’ve read this far, are you seeing yourself in this story? Is it the stress that is getting to you? The emptiness? The constant nagging feeling that something isn’t as you thought it would be or want it to be? Are you looking for answers about who you really are and what you’re here on this earth to do?
If so, then…Let’s talk! Book a confidential, no obligation call with me …
Or email me directly at email@example.com
I totally get what you are feeling, what’s going on inside your head or out in your world, when you come from a place that is not aligned with what you truly want. It feels crappy.
What I do know, from personal experience of trying to fight off the urge to make a change, is that there is a world beyond your wildest dreams that remains untouched by you.
And it’s easier to explore it with a guide.
See you on the other side,