Krista shares her incredible experience at Eleusinia. Krista visited us with the intention of addressing her chronic pain and found so much more along the way. Living a life she felt was not her own, her experience opened up profound realizations. Not only was she enough, but she in fact brought everything to the table. This is a story about understanding self-worth and how this aids in well-rounded healing.
Tawnya: You have made it to the Psilocybin Podcast brought to you by Eleusinia Retreat.
Jessica: Eleusinia is a unique psilocybin retreat based in Mexico with a focus on meditation, neuroscience and brain health.
Tawnya: We are your hosts: I’m Tawnya the medical coordinator, and Jessica is the founder of this amazing experience. Join us as we break down practical psychedelic techniques, research and share personal stories of transformation.
I am so excited to introduce to you this. Next guest. Today. We have an opportunity to hear from Krista who came to Eleusinia to work with her chronic pain, but she found so much more. Today, we dive into finding value in who we really are and
How to heal, cope, and move forward from a chronic pain condition
Krista, thank you so much for coming to the show. Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what brought you to Eleusinia?
Krista: Yeah, sure. I feel like for who I am, it’s a really interesting question after having gone through this retreat. But I think in terms of why I came, I am somebody who was just feeling very stuck in life, like both physically, due to chronic jaw pain, headaches, but also spiritually, just feeling very stuck, like career, relationship, like every aspect. And I try so many things. I think like, you know, taking on certain practices, like meditation, seeing so many different types of doctors and like having different procedures done that, you know, you just feel like something is still missing.
Like no matter how much you therapize yourself or talk about something or no matter how many times the chiropractor cracks my neck or doctor does a procedure, it still doesn’t feel aligned or complete. And I had several friends who had tried psilocybin and just talked about these incredible spiritual experiences they had.
And so I think for me, I was definitely seeking out something deeper, something spiritual, not necessarily expecting that, but you know, I watched a documentary that kind of opened my eyes to this and learned that my siblings had tried like, definitely smaller doses than the one we had, but I then was more comfortable saying this may be something to try and let’s just see what it could do for me.
Tawnya: And were there reasons that you picked this particular retreat, even though you had to go to Mexico to attend? Was there challenges there, and what made you feel like this one was the one?
Krista: So I’d done a bunch of research on retreats and, you know, I think what stood out to me about this one was the fact that you actually learn something. I can take something home with me. It’s not just, okay, I’m going to have this amazing spiritual experience by the beach with a bunch of, you know, beautiful people in Tulum or wherever. It’s a little bit more like I’m going to learn to make this thing. I’m going to learn to cultivate it and implement it into a practice to continually keep healing or be on a process of healing. And that really stood out to me. I loved everything I was reading about Jessica’s journey and just the overall approach. I’m so “Type A,” I was like, I love seeing the itinerary every day. Like I love knowing like what I’m going to get out of this every day.
And it just seemed like such a beautiful place. I don’t know. I just got like an energy that felt very safe from even just the website, and just some of the things I was reading. Listening to this podcast definitely helped. So I think for some people it might sound crazy. You know, I know when I told my friends, they’re like “why, to Mexico city to do what?” I’m like
Yeah. But, you know, it just felt right. It felt like a good decision. And I didn’t really have much hesitation about it. It was kind of like I found it and was like, oh, this is the one for me.
Tawnya: Were you scared the day of?
Krista: Yes, I was in a really weird place the days leading up to come here. Just so depleted, I think. And so I was actually having a ton of anxiety about coming here because I think a lot of what I was fearful of is facing myself. It’s like, I didn’t feel I even trusted my own decision making or trusted myself. And so I was kind of like, what am I getting myself into? Am I going to feel worse?
You know, it’s a big unknown and I don’t do well in unknown situations a lot. So coming here, I was definitely nervous, scared… but also excited still. I still felt like there was a possibility, like it could go really well for me, or I could just have a really interesting experience. Regardless, I knew I’d learned something and I knew I had to do it. Like I had this feeling, I have to do this no matter how like uncomfortable or scary it might be.
Tawnya: So how did it go? How did it initially go after the macro dose ceremony and moving into that space?
Krista: I mean it was fascinating. I feel like I was so prepared for the experience beforehand. You know, and I think a lot of people say, “let’s just get to the thing… stop telling me about what I might experience,” but like that actually really helped me, and even though you kind of go to a place that you’re not necessarily in full control of, you’re able to remember certain things that will ground you throughout it. And I know that I would definitely be nervous to do that level of a dose on my own. I would definitely want somebody there to be watching me, but I know that I can be in control of it from some of the tools that we learned the night before. So even during the day, I could feel myself needing to “Yeet,” which is that feeling of like getting up and moving.
So I think that feeling of knowing, oh, I need to “Yeet” right now, or I need to move into a different space because I will have a different experience was so helpful. I don’t think a lot of people have that knowledge going into taking psilocybin. It’s like, I’m going to sit here and I’m not in control of what I experienced at all. And in many ways that’s true, but it really does depend on the environment. And that’s why I think the container that you all have created here is so special. And I know I’m safe. And that’s what I feel has been created here. So for me, like the experience was extremely profound.
I had so many different experiences within one experience. Like, there’s just so much of it that I feel went so well for me. And every fear I had didn’t happen. So that, in and of itself was a lesson of the way that we can overthink ourselves into these really dark places. You know?
Tawnya: Can you tell us a little bit about your journey in finding the correct spot and where that led you?
Krista: Yeah, so I had several spots throughout the day, but the first spot I went to was surrounded by trees and flowers and beautiful nature. So that’s where I started my day and it just put me into such a nice reflective place.
I cried within minutes because I was just kind of looking at how everything around me, even down to mosquitoes or the trees, they’re just living. They’re just being a mosquito. You know, they’re just being a bee or a hummingbird or whatever it might be. They don’t have to worry about, what’s my career? What’s my purpose in life? My purpose is to just be myself.
And so that was a really great place for me to start. And of course I moved around quite a bit, but I ended up back in that spot later on and again, it just made me very emotional. I was like, “God, I just feel so good here.” And Jessica came over and sat next to me. And we were just giggling. I don’t know what it was, but we were just having the best time. The next thing I know, Andrew comes on over and it just felt like I created this little party spot. And in my head I was like, how we’re just having the best time. I could see everything. I was having so many amazing realizations in that moment. But every time someone would come over, I’d be like, “This is the spot!” You know, like this is it. And then eventually I moved spots. My partner came and sat, we had an amazing time. And then I moved spots and everyone was still in the spot and they were like, “all right, we’ll hold down the spot. It’s a great spot.” And then I moved and was like, wait a minute. I was like, do they know that the spot has now moved? Like, I think I’m the spot.
And I think so much of my journey has been about self-esteem, not trusting oneself, not being sure of who you are. Struggling with anxiety. Not feeling good enough. And it’s crazy because I feel like people from the outside look at someone like me and they’re like, wow, you’re so successful. And you got it all together. You’re so organized with this amazing life. And yes, I’m very grateful for my life. But I also feel like sometimes my life is not my own. It’s like I’m going down some path that I didn’t necessarily choose. And so I think being in that new spot, I just started having all these incredible realizations. It was right under this beautiful tree, which is so central to my experience.
I just had this realization that I was like, I’m the spot. I’m the source of abundance in my life. I’m the source of everything in my life. I can create whatever I want. I don’t need anyone to do that. I thought about my job in the middle of it and laughed. I was like, oh, how insignificant is that? And it was more of this realization. And then I had this like ongoing mantra there that was, “I’m the source.” And being underneath that tree, I felt like I was like the tree, like I’m the roots. I’m the branches. I’m the leaves. I’m the flowers. Like, I’m all of it.
And it was such a relief in the moment. And I feel like I had a couple moments where I was looking at my partner and I feel like he was looking at me and we’re having completely different experiences obviously, but I’m someone who I think was seeking things out of relationships in my life or out of jobs or friendships. I’m seeking to complete something that I feel is missing. I’ve got to find it in somebody or got to find it in this job, this career. And I just remember thinking in that moment, like, no… it’s already all there. And it’s like everyone around me is looking at me and pointing. And they’re telling me to look behind me, look up, but I just keep looking down. It’s like being on a tree and like only seeing the roots.
Tawnya: Like your perspective is that you were only seeing yeah the roots, like you were that thinking you were that small.
Krista: Thinking I was that small. Exactly. But everyone around me is trying to point me to look up there, like look up there, like that’s all you and just looking up and you see the whole tree. I’m like, wow, I’m so much bigger than I think I am. You know? And that was just so profound for me.
And I describe my experience as a very feminine experience because I just feel like I’m this waterfall of abundance and energy and flourishing and it’s all already in me and I don’t need to search for that anywhere else, you know?
And I can be okay if things come and go in my life. I don’t have to feel scared. Will I be able to be okay? Like now I know I’ll be okay. And I think when I was meeting with Josephina, she kind of told me, you know, like you’re lacking passion. Like that passion isn’t there. Something isn’t aligned between your heart and mind. And it’s that spiritual realignment that I feel happened.
I was talking with my partner a lot about this. It’s like you can intellectualize things in your life so much and talk about all your traumas and your triggers and all these things that have happened, but it’s different to know that they’re resolved in you.
And I feel like that’s what happened for me under that tree. It was a combination of that and just also a huge generational trauma release. And what I mean by that is, I have a really interesting relationship with my family. I love my family so much. I just think that there’s energetically something I feel I’ve been carrying that never felt like it was my own thing. And what I think this did for me is to be able to experience what that emotional load was through the lens of my other family members who are actually the ones that are carrying that load and to realize, oh, that’s not mine.
Like, that’s their thing to experience. And somehow this energy got passed on to me and it’s not mine. I don’t have to carry that. I don’t have to internalize certain things so much. And that for me was really profound. Really that was life changing. Like I would say that is the most life changing part of the experience, in terms of letting a part of me die so I can figure out, okay, I’m the source. That heaviness is not mine to carry. And like, now who can I be? You know? And I feel like from there, the experience just transformed into so much more of just feeling like a oneness, exploring what life is like, what life means.
Again, just on the theme of being feminine. Looking around at women, like you, like Jessica, Josephina, who are all around creating this safe space. And I really was like, wow, women are divine. Like we can generate. We can care for. We can give. And it’s okay to give.
I think I’ve been told a lot in life. It’s like oh you morph into whatever situation you’re in. And in the moment, I remember my voice inside my head being like, that’s such a good thing. Like you can have compassion and empathy and like you can transform and feel what others are feeling, you know? And I think the difference is knowing that I don’t need to. I don’t need to transform so much into someone else’s problem that I’m taking on their problem too. I can feel, but I don’t need to then carry that too. So that was really big for me.
Tawnya: Can you tell us a little bit about what your jaw pain felt like in the experience then, and give us a background on how much you were suffering with it.
Krista: Yeah. So about four and a half years ago, I started experiencing this really awful TMJ pain. And you know, at first I was just getting these headaches, waking up every morning and like cracking my jaw open and being like, ugh. Wow. It must have been a really stressful day. And then over time it got worse and worse, to where I didn’t even realize it was pain anymore. It was just there all the time. Like my left jaw felt stuck. My right jaw also felt stuck and all this pain was existing on the right side of my head and in my right jaw, even though the left side is the one that ultimately I found out was stuck.
And so I tried so many things. I saw so many different specialists. Cranio-facial specialists. I’ve tried Reiki. I saw multiple orthodontists. Finally found one that was determined to help me. And then ultimately that ended up in meeting with an oral surgeon and I found out I have arthritis in my left jaw, which was causing all of this pain on the right side for compensating. My jaw was also dislocated. Like a lot of things. And so I had to have a small procedure done about six months ago.
But I feel like there’s still pain. It’s like even though the pain isn’t as crazy as it was before the procedure, I still am dealing with like these headaches, which was kind of devastating at first. Because you think like, alright, I’m going to go on this operating table. And things are going to be fixed. And I might not be able to open my mouth as much as before, but I won’t have pain anymore. And I’m still having pain, but it’s also like this deep mental struggle associated with my jaw.
Like this fear that my jaw is going to become dislocated or I’m going to have so much pain it’s going to crack or something’s going to break. You know and it’s debilitating because you feel like you can’t express how you feel. You feel like you don’t have this range of emotion. Our faces express so much emotion in our lives.
And I used to sing. I used to do all these things that just made me feel like I could express and be myself and speak my truth. And I feel over the years like I’ve become so small and like I’d silenced myself so much that it literally had manifested in my jaw.
But you know, during that moment, when I was under the tree, I was talking about that intergenerational trauma release. And there was a moment where I literally felt on that left side like a hand pull like a ball of weight, just pulled it out. And then the rest of the day, I was just feeling this force moving in and out of my face.
And I feel like everyone was like, wow, you’re so expressive. You’re making all these faces, but I couldn’t control it. Like my jaw wanted to go wherever it wanted to go. Smiling, frowning. Just making all these deep, expressive faces that I hadn’t made. And I feel like it was like this involuntary muscle release, is like what I feel was happening, which was amazing. And like sitting next to some of the other people that were here… they were just like, wow, you’re just so expressive. Like you’re so emotive. And my laughter or you know, feeling joy throughout, I just hadn’t felt in a really long time. And so much of that had to do with just releasing this pain. So I feel like that happened for me. And it was like a spiritual release.
So I think that the bodywork with Andrew was also unbelievable. That’s something I definitely want to continue. I do feel like there’s things I still need to work through that are not deep emotional storage in your body. You know, like now it’s like, okay, I can manage this by continuing to do the mini doses, by getting some bodywork done, like really stretching and breathing. I think that’s something I learned from Andrew too. Like the way I’m talking to myself, the way that I perceive having to deal with pain, I’m really talking negatively to myself and I don’t do the exercises I need to do because it’s like, oh, I’m not good at doing them, or is going to hurt so bad. So reframing all of that was incredible.
And then also just being able to breathe. Like I didn’t realize… I think our breath is so much more than just taking air in our lungs. Like you can direct your breath to certain parts of your body. And that was very profound for me too. I think that’s going to be so helpful for me. I mean, even this morning, I woke up, meditated and did my neck stretches and I there’s other things I want to do now that I feel I can help manage this. But I remember looking around on the closing night of this retreat and I didn’t have any pain at all.
Like that is like… I want to feel that. Like, I want to feel that. Like physically no pain, you know, and I think it’s something that I dealt with by myself for a really long time. Like my partner is the only other one that knows how bad it was. Like obviously I have told my family, but it’s like, when you deal with pain like that every day, and you start to realize, you start to think, oh, the pain’s just there. It’s just part of me. You know, it becomes part of your identity. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I let that go and it’s not going to be part of me. I’m going to keep working it out. And when I feel there’s tension, I’m going to work through what that is, but I don’t want to be storing emotions in my body for years. Why am I doing this? Yeah.
Tawnya: I love your story because you talk so much to the spirit of so many women. I’m just wondering if you have a message for women out there that maybe feeling some of the same things. Like feeling small, feeling like their voice has gone underway and got buried down.
Krista: Yeah. I feel like over the past few years I’ve been more intentional about the women I’m around. And something that draws me to the women that I call friends is that they have a sense of peace inside. Like there’s this sense that everything will be fine. I wouldn’t necessarily call it knowing myself, but it is a knowing that I feel they each have. The reason I say that is it’s important to know who you have around and for me I just feel it’s almost like I was feeling inspired. Like, oh, I want to feel what that thing is that they’re feeling. You know, like, what is that like? What is that feeling of knowing.
It’s like a radiating light or something, that you just get drawn in, you know? And I’m sure all of them would say like, but you’re that way. But I didn’t feel that way. And so I think coming here, whether or not I knew it, I’m seeking that feeling in your chest of just knowing that you are enough and you have everything you need already within you.
And I think people will be like, oh, it’s so cliche. You know, like we have these affirmations and mantras of “I am enough”. And I’ve tried those. Like I’ve literally woken up and had an affirmation practice for a year. And I think it worked for a little while, but then slowly, if you’re not spiritually secure in a certain way, other people’s words, or the stress of work, or you have one little tip with your boss, or an argument with a family member, all of a sudden other people’s words can just fill up the space inside you instead of you filling it up.
And so I think coming here for any woman that is struggling with that anxiety, struggling with that, I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. I don’t know if I’m on the right path. I still don’t know any of those things. I think knowing who you are is not possible, because it’s a constant journey. I’m a different person every day. I think that it’s like that poem you shared, I make a promise to be born and die, be born and die again.
I feel like I literally died here. I feel reborn. It sounds so dramatic, but I feel like I closed some chapter of allowing so much being vulnerable in a way that was allowing so much negative self-talk and other people’s doubts or questions to enter me in a way that was causing so much anxiety and feeling so lost and small.
Now I can enter a new chapter saying, “No, I’m not small.” And that’s just someone’s opinion and that’s a reflection of what they might be going through and what they might be thinking. And I can have more compassion for them actually, instead of feeling like they know me better than I know myself.
You know, and that’s what I think this is really so incredible for people. Not only going through pain, going through anxiety, just a general sense of like feeling lost. This is just an incredible way to find yourself. To center yourself. To feel alignment. I feel a spiritual alignment that I’ve been seeking for my whole life.
Tawnya: Thank you so much for sharing that. Is there anything that we missed that you wanted to touch on?
Krista: I think it’s just rare when you can feel super vulnerable with anyone. Like it’s really hard to be vulnerable with people that know you really well. It’s a little bit easier with strangers because it’s like putting on a Halloween costume, like I could be whoever I want to be. But I feel like here, I was able to just check in with my true self, my true energy. And I was able to share that with a bunch of strangers who were all going on the same journey. And it was safe. This didn’t happen for me in a space like a music festival or something crazy in the middle of Manhattan.
It happened in such a safe environment around nature with people who are all healers that only care about you going through your journey and helping you in that journey. And it’s the best way to experience this. I mean, I want to come back. Like this is just such a reset. You know, when you go on vacation, you’re usually dissociating or checking out from the craziness. And I feel like I checked in to my life. I’m in my body. And I’m seeing what little changes I can start implementing and just keep doing this as part of my practice every week, and see what opens up for me. So, yeah, I’m just so grateful for you guys.
Tawnya: Thank you so much for sharing your story, Krista.
Krista: Thank you.
Tawnya: Thank you all so much for listening, you can find all the information that you need to learn everything about this retreat on Eleusiniaretreat.com
we are a retreat that offers. Ongoing integration, support breathwork classes. And cultivation support after you have attended this retreat. It’s an amazing experience.
That’s one of its kind. If you’re looking for a science based retreat, something out of the box, something to change your life, something to add to your practice. This is where you really need to start Eleusiniaretreat.com.