Now I’m going to go ahead and skip all the way to the ceremony for this part because it’s a long one. And at this point I’m sure you have an idea of how my day went:
Fruit, hammock, breakfast, hammock, lunch, hammock, nap, ceremony.
Wow time really flew eh.
As night fell we gathered in the ceremony house once again for our third experience of the retreat. It would be myself, AJ, J Balvin and (if I remember correctly) Michelle Pfeiffer participating in this ceremony. We took our seats on the same mattresses as before and one by one walked up to the bartender to pour us that shot to take us over the edge. The candle went out, the Shaman began singing and we were off once more.
The visions kicked in quickly and intensely as they had before. But instead of a happy, loving vibe, this trip began in a much darker place. Laying on my mattress with my eyes closed I saw a cloud of black smoke fill the maloca almost completely, hovering just above the eyes of everyone on the mats. The smoke slowly began to take the shape of a giant spider with the head above where the Shaman were seated and it’s bulbous back above our heads (and far too close I might add). Then the texture of the spider’s back began to form into millions of tiny demon masks. But not like typical red and black devil faces. The masks were wild colours, lots of silvers/whites, and the features were all distorted and spinning in all directions or changing places instantly.
This was not okay.
Something I had been doing in order to keep myself grounded was to lay with my left foot off the bed and if things got too intense I would tap my heel on the ground to be like “oh good, still here.” I tapped my heel and opened my eyes for a second. No spider. All good. When I closed my eyes again it was still quite present in my vision however. I remembered the Shaman saying never to worry about what we saw, everything had a purpose (except those lucky cats apparently) and that the maloca was cleansed of evil spirits. But seeing this mayhem happening an inch from my nose was tripping me out a little so I sort of “looked” to the Shaman with my heart or my mind’s eye, or whatever you want to call it, for reassurance and I received it in a bright orange pulsing light in the distance. So I stuck around and eventually this nightmare was over.
My trip was far from finished though.
Everything went dark and a double swinging door appeared before me. My mattress changed into a mine cart and I heard a voice say “please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times” which forced me to physically pull my heel off the ground and onto the mattress. As I did this a track shot out in front of me and I was off on an amusement park train ride like one of the mine cart stages in Donkey Kong. I was whipping around left and right and going up and down hills. It was quite the thrill ride. Then another set of double doors would open up before me and I would be shown a memory from my past. Once the memory finished playing in my mind, the track would appear again and we’d be off. This happened several times and unfortunately I couldn’t remember the memories I had been shown after the ceremony had finished.
Save for one.
The doors opened again and I was transported back to when I was two years old. I was watching myself on my lawn at my grandma’s house and I remember thinking, “holy fucking shit, that’s me, that’s my grandma, that’s our house, I remember all of this.” So here’s two year old me rolling around like a fucking dummy, doing somersaults or something and in my little baby brain I was going “daddy daddy, look what I’m doing, isn’t this amazing,” but not using those words, more like expressing that exact feeling with my heart.
Here’s a little something you may not know about me. I’ve never met my father. And apparently this was when I realized this as a baby.
So it was at this moment that little baby Shawn went, “oh…I’m supposed to impress this person…but they’re not there…so why would I try hard at anything then if I can never impress the person I need to.”
And from that point on I became an underachiever. My inability to accept praise/love from others also stemmed from this moment. When people would offer their love and support I would reject it because I wasn’t looking for theirs…I was looking for his.
So I was all like, “well fuck, doesn’t that conveniently explain so much about me.” Then a final set of double doors appeared and my cart was off once more.
Now, when I had spoken with the Shaman about my intentions for coming here, he had mentioned that my problems would be easy to remedy. What I failed to mention before was that he also said that the reason I was feeling lost or depressed or whatever the feeling was that convinced me that this adventure was necessary, was that I lacked direction in my life. I lacked passion and purpose.
Thankfully, my ride wasn’t over yet.
As it reached the end of the track it just sort of dissolved and I walked up onto a gigantic stage. It was tall and made of wood with a big tapestry over the top which made it look like a puppet show. As I approached the front of the stage I heard an eruption of applause and began clapping myself (actually physically clapping in the real world) and I even said (out loud), “well done everyone, we did it! Goodnight.”
I can’t explain how I knew, it was like it was always there. But in that moment standing on that stage I realized my purpose in life was to entertain people.