"’Sort of' is such a harmless thing to say... sort of. It's just a filler. Sort of... it doesn't really mean anything. But after certain things, sort of means everything. Like... after "I love you"... or "You're going to live"... or "It's a boy!"" - Demetri Martin
What if I wrote to you in Comic Sans? Does it throw you off and bring up memories from the advent of the internet and AOL / Yahoo messenger?
But for real, I'm inspired today, upon the encouragement of a friend, to share with you my psilohuasca trip that I undertook in December. I was hesitant to share this experience because to some people, it can be a taboo topic. That's only so simply because there's not much education around what it actually is. They might relate it to taking club drugs or destructive substances, which it decidedly is not.
Psilohuasca (ayahuasca + psilocybin mushrooms) is a healing and medicinal plant medicine from the Amazon. It's taken in ceremony led by a shaman and supportive guides and musicians. I took my ceremony in New York City, though I believe being a natural setting would be better.
My psilohuasca journey was a spiritual undertaking that opened up higher consciousness. It was quite possibly the best night of my life.
My entire 2018 was a spiritual undertaking for me, and I think that's why I had such a transformative and positive experience. I read "A Course In Miracles" almost every morning and started understanding love versus fear and the ego.
A week before the trip, I went on a physical and mental diet. I hardly drank alcohol or coffee and ate stripped back, simple and healthy plant-based foods. I also took a mental diet where I eliminated all news and negativity around me.
The ceremony I participated in was in New York City in a holistic dance studio with about 20 of us in total, including the shaman and guides. The organizers vetted mentally healthy people ages 24-65 from multiple countries.
We set intentions before we began - mine were about personal relationships, overcoming fear to do what I want with music, and finding my tribe (YOU, I later realized).
The shaman spoke to each of us to know our history and our intentions. At the beginning of the ceremony, we went up one by one to receive our tea and have the shaman administer rapé. We then returned to our places and went inwards.
It started with a feeling in my body. I felt I could divide my body into two parts, like I was sawed in half. It wasn't painful; I was shifting energy back and forth between sides. I love dancing, and this was a deep way to wrap my head around feeling directional energy. Mind you, I was laying down and it probably didn't look like I was moving.
I then started seeing flashes of visions appear and disappear. I tried to chase them, though they would never stay. Some others around me were starting to experience whatever it was they were experiencing. I, instead, found myself trying to make something happen. I knew that I came for answers and visions, and I would not be content to leave the experience without much of that.
I went back to the shaman and she made me another tea. It then started to blow my mind.
In short: It was fucking awesome. Everything is love. You're God. I'm God.
I saw incredible visions bending space, time, past and future. There was a blanket of shifting sacred geometric forms, laid out infinitely throughout the universe. There was a connection to earth and also the intangibility of space, time, and matter. There was a golden stone pyramid radiating light with felines, trees, and flowers around it.
I felt at that I could release all of my fears because I knew I would be okay and that I'm alive throughout eternity. I'm already living out everything I've ever wanted and I will forever.
I saw myself in multiple lives in human, animal, and abstract forms. I was alive in a form like this blue shape below.
I became connected to the truth of light and love. Everything is creation.
I could play with my face melting in every direction. It was fun and exploratory. I cried, but it wasn't out of sadness. I was in awe and the tears were more in a way of releasing feelings.
There was a music ceremony and there was a pink and blue florescent light. I moved out to attend this little concert of theirs, as I guess it was, in a way. I just sat and stared and took it all in. I felt like a wolf but also a human observer.
As the image of the musician reflected in the mirror of the room, I had this calling: "Transmute." I took it to give me encouragement to go towards my own transformation, join the Transmute class for support in making the electronic music I've always wanted to make, and to release fears about who I can allow myself to be.
There were so many more visions, including John Lennon as a teacher, it is good for me to teach just by being and creating, and of colorful swirls of leaves across my face. I had a vision to transform my performances to include these.
Coming to at the end was awakening to incredible acceptance of myself and others and any situation. The feeling in the room was of unlimited love and caring for one another. It felt like there were no walls or barriers between us. We moved to another room to integrate with each other.
I curled in a blanket, tired from a long week and a little cold from the December air coming in through the windows. These new friends invited me to lay down in a warmer area, but I wanted to soak up the cold, hard floor. I learned that suffering is a choice. Release to a better place was warmly offered to me through these people. Part of the old me wanted to grieve. I shed a few gentle tears and just wanted to soak up that choice of suffering, understanding how so much of my suffering in my past and present was and is a choice. I wanted to get my fill so that I grieve it and then let it go.
I'd been holding onto suffering from my past notion of inadequacy, confusion, fear, and inferiority AND superiority (since they're two sides of the same coin). I was doing this all only because it was what I knew.
I'm learning more to identify chosen suffering in my life and how I allow it to be there and hold me back. Recently, I read Holocaust survivor and psychoanalyst Viktor Frankl's book, "Man's Search for Meaning." It's a profound book, and one of the things I took away from it is that we can give meaning to any situation and choose how we want to perceive our present moment.
Awakening with my new friends there was a rebirth, like hatching from an egg. I saw the light of God / Universe / Spirit in morning light and connection through our beings.
I'll never perceive life the same way again. Everything is elevated and more conscious.
I'm bringing up this experience for a number of reasons:
1) My uncle passed away suddenly this week. I'm very sad for his departure since it was too soon and he had so much life left to live. Moreso, I'm saddened for the people who were close to him who will miss him dearly and in heartache. After my psilohuasca trip, though, I'm not feeling bereaved (at least at this moment). Instead, I believe that he's alive throughout all time and in many life forms, kind of floating through the universe through different life forms, like a human in multiple different lives on earth or elsewhere, a butterfly, an abstract shape we can't even imagine, a light, or an intangible form.
2) As I've been stepping up towards my vision (and living the earlier stages of the journey), I've noticed older limiting beliefs pop up mainly around my potential to have success in my career, love and meaningful friendships in my life. It seems my old self / ego is feeling threatened by my higher self. It's that notion of holding onto suffering creeping back in.
Every day and night, I meditate through an intentional moment of laying down listening to guided meditations, or I meditate simply through my way of carrying myself as I walk through my house or down the street. It's a serene bliss where I have a sharp focus on what I choose and I allow other distractions to fade into a hazy blur around me. I come back to my psilohuasca experience and tap back into my connection with the divine.
People, books and resources:
A Course In Miracles
Syma, Flourishing Goddess
////////// WARPER /////////
///////// AT THE DEEP END ///////////
NYC’S LARGEST SHOWCASE OF LIVE ELECTRONIC ART AND MUSIC
THURSDAY, JUNE 13
OMNIDIGITAL ART and MUSIC from 8PM SHARP until close.
The DEEP END
1080 Wyckoff Ave, Queens, NY
(steps from the Halsey L train stop)
FRONT ROOM STAGE
9:00 - Creative Apocalypse
9:45 - Sousastep
10:30 - Parnhashnakovsky
11:05 - RYAL
11:50 - Alarke
12:20 - Flo-Pilot
12:50 - Shelter Melter
12:20 - 185668232
1:50 - S@V@GE
MAIN STAGE VISUALS
9:00 - Permian Strata
11:05 - n8tronick
12:50 - Shelter Melter
12:20 - 185668232
BACK ROOM STAGE
8:00 - TJ Mcau
8:30 - Primitive Heart
9:00 - The Axions
9:30 - Nukage
10:30 - Without A Chord
11:00 - Mystic Modern
12:00 - I JAM LIVE
12:30 - Rob Interface
1:30 - Brian Thabault
BACK ROOM VISUALS
8:00 - ( )
8:30 - Primitive Heart
9:00 - VJ DoctorMojo
11:00 - RGB Values
FROM THE SHOWER TO THE STAGE:
This week's masterclass went more electronic, and it's super fun.
Watch the replay and learn how to:
write electronic music in the style of your favorite artist; today we'll be looking at 'New Rules' by Dua Lipa
use vocal loops and fx to create cool and imaginative music
pull sounds and loops from Splice to generate musical ideas
Set Your Life To Music <<< check it out here
My songwriting students and I are diving deep into writing catchy hooks, looping vox (vocals, if you weren't sure), playing with fx, and fine-tuning lyrics - all of this for the purpose of singability and playability to be able to get out there and perform.
Lionheart, if you're interested in really going for it, there are 4 spaces available in Set Your Life To Music this June. Is NOW your moment to say yes to yourself and decide to uplevel. Click on the button below or reply to this email and let's hop on the phone to see if this is a good fit.
Claim one of the three remaining available spaces this June and receive a bonus 90-minute vox intensive to improve your vocals and develop them to have confidence onstage and sharing your music and your message. This is only available this June and is TRANSFORMATIONAL!!
Mad love. Wishing you inspiration and expansion.
XO ALARKE AKA MARY ALOUETTE
Alarke (AKA Mary Alouette) stands out with her compelling twist of experiences as an international opera singer turned Gypsy jazz singer turned award-winning electronic pop singer and songwriter.
Throughout her 25-year professional career, Alarke has mesmerized audiences from the Kennedy Center, the Rainbow Room, and Carnegie Hall to Fabrica Del Arte in Havana, Cuba, Romani caravans in Samois sur Seine, France, and castles in the Italian Alps. She's written songs that have gone to NBC's World Of Dance and won the Grand Prize in the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Competition, performed at the Apollo's National Tour, won artist residencies at Strathmore and the Brooklyn Arts Council, and written songs with residents at the Ritsona Refugee Camp in Greece.
Her music is an exciting, vibey, future-forward melt of pop, electronic, dance, and world music.