Misha Almira on Ayahuasca and Energy Clearing for Empaths
Misha Almira felt everything a little too much while growing up, and took on everyone’s energy. Here’s her story of being an Empath and healer.
Thanks so much doing this interview with me, Misha! I know about your story, but it will be exciting to hear it in your words. So, let’s get started!
What was growing up like for you, and when did you realize that maybe you were different?
I was told or treated like I was different. There were clues, though. My first memory of feeling different was from before I began speaking in English.
I remember talking to my mom very clearly in what she considered baby language. To me, it seemed to be very clear communication, but she wasn’t getting it.
I just remember feeling frustrated that I had to learn this seemingly inefficient language to be understood! It was a very vivid memory and the first clue that I was not like everyone around me. She said when I started speaking, it came out in complete sentences rather than one word at a time.
The other memory that comes to mind was when I was around 8 or nine. I was playing with some kids at my uncle’s softball game when a little boy walked up to play with us. I could read his thoughts and knew he was going to try to hurt me. I told my older sister I did not want him to play with us, which was not like me.
None of the other kids were seeing what I was seeing and it occurred to me that I was different. They decided to let him play with us and I got as far away from him as I could. It was obviously not far enough when he picked up a big rock, threw it and hit me right between the eyes.
I would see ghosts and feel spirits regularly. My mom was very supportive of all of it. It wasn’t something I told others about so it was never a problem in school.
What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’ and when did you discover spirituality?
From a young age, I fell in love with dance. I thought I wanted to be a professional dancer or actress. Then, in high school, I started going to a little church on the same street as our home with a pastor that inspired me. He seemed to channel straight from God.
At that point, I started thinking I wanted to be a pastor. He even let me lead a sermon one Sunday while he was out of town, which was incredible.
I remember being very intrigued by Jesus as a young girl. I didn’t know why but I instantly loved him deeply. I would go to bible school before church and hear stories from the bible, but many of them did not seem right to me.
I would grill my pastor at the time with lots of questions that I needed answers to, but often was left with only more questions.
When I was 18, a close friend of my mom’s that I’d grown up with, sent me an guided meditation tape. It was a little white cassette tape. Remember those?
Anyway, I started listening to it every day. I cleared an area in my walk-in closet that was my first sacred space. This caused a shift from looking for God outside of me to experiencing God inside.
I continued meditating with my little cassette tape until it wouldn’t play anymore. It satisfied a deep longing and at the same time ignited a burning desire for more.
At what point in your life did you discover that you were an “empath” and what is an empath exactly?
I became aware of absorbing the energy of other people when I was a teenager, but I did not have a name for it. I thought it was a character flaw or weakness.
I just felt like I was too sensitive and I wasn’t sure how to manage it. I would lose myself for periods of time, through addictions, depression, or anxiety.
My first introduction to depression was my last year of high school. The previous year, I’d been accepted to an Arts Magnet school in Dallas so we all 3 moved into a tiny two bedroom apartment close to downtown.
My dad was an alcoholic. He had lost his business and a lot of money before the move. My mom threatened to leave him if he didn’t stop drinking so he promised to stop and get his life together when we moved. He did stop drinking, but he fell into a deep depression.
I remember becoming very sick and depressed. I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I can see that I absorbed the depression from my dad. One day when I was home alone with my dad, I became bombarded with suicidal thoughts.
I had no situational reason, but I believe I was being psychically attacked. It became so intense, I walked to the medicine cabinet and took all the pills I could find.
Luckily, they were not strong prescriptions so I just went to sleep for a day and a half. My dad was sleeping in his room so he never noticed.
It was a dark time for me. It seems like I became depressed overnight for no reason. I lost my desire to dance which had been my reason for living.
The Dr. prescribed Prozac for me and I didn’t know any different so I got on it. This is when I started spending a lot more time at church with Harold, the pastor that inspired me to become a channel for God. My focus switched from dance to God.
Can you tell us a little about your experience with Ascension, and how did that prepare you to become an Energy Healer?
My mom’s cousin sent me a book called First Thunder, by MSI. He was the founder of Society for Ascension.
This was my first introduction to Ascension. At the time, it was the answer I was looking for. It talked about meditation techniques that came from St. John. The techniques were mantras based on praise, gratitude, and love. The book seemed to come alive as I read it. I couldn’t put it down.
Then, at the end, it talked about a center in the mountains of North Carolina that housed the Ishaya Monks and teachers of the techniques.
I read that Ishaya means for Christ and I was certain this was my path. I knew at that moment, I would devote my life to God through this teaching.
I ended up getting accepted to an internship program that would lead to Teacher Training within a year. I actually learned the techniques at a weekend workshop in Dallas before moving to North Carolina.
They were simple but profoundly powerful. I received the first four techniques and began meditating 6 hours a day around work. My life started changing dramatically.
When I got to North Carolina, I felt like I’d come home. The Presence of the Divine was palpable. The property was nestled in a beautiful valley in the mountains with a charming little creek running through it.
It wasn’t just the property, though, I felt like I’d found Avalon/Eden. It was slightly removed from this world. That was evident.
There were about 300 people there (interns, teacher trainees, & teachers), and they were all focused intently on praise, gratitude, and love. The vibration was very high and miracles were just part of everyday life as a result of this.
I started my internship but was granted a scholarship half way through to attend Teacher Training. It was one of the most challenging and fulfilling times of my life, in so many ways.
Later that year one of the senior teachers started having an awakening. He was having memories of other dimensions, parallel realities, and channeling his Teacher, MSI, which had passed the previous summer.
I was at a center with him and a handful of teachers at the time of the awakening. We all started having simultaneous awakenings.
I remember one day being on the sofa with him and watching him physically change into MSI and then Christ right in front of me. His mannerisms had changed.
He had gone from a goofy guy to an eloquent Master overnight. His inner stillness filled the space with peace. He seemed to embody the Christ energy.
Before that, I’d never fully understood the desire to wash someone’s feet until that moment. In that moment, that is all I wanted to do.
I was having visions, telepathy, and changing physically. He sat me down and started talking to me, calling me by a different name.
As he spoke, I slipped into another reality. None of it made sense to my logical mind, and it was overwhelming. At the same time, it was the most fulfilling I’d ever felt up to that point.
I truly believed he was Christ incarnate. He began calling the senior teachers out to be with him. They would either be moved to tears or get angry the minute they saw him.
Even complete strangers were moved by the Presence. I remember walking in the Galleria and every baby I saw would either want to jump into my arms or reach for my eyes. Adults would seem mesmerized or moved to tears when I talked to them.
He would speak for hours, delivering eloquent speeches of truth that fed our souls. We all were so full of light, we lost our appetites and seemed to be connected as One being.
It was difficult to stay grounded from the high level of light that seemed to be transmitting through the whole group. I even blacked out at one point, he had to shake me back into my body. He recommended we all eat heavier foods, like meat, for grounding. Most of us were vegetarians but the meat helped.
There were moments that he didn’t seem as Christ-like but I was in such a whirlwind at the time. We all trusted everything he did and said. Looking back I can see how darkness started finding its way in. I could see him abusing the power.
I’m ashamed to say, I witnessed manipulation, verbal, & physical abuse. We’d completely handed our power over to him in trust so we somehow thought it was God’s will for these abuses to be happening. I’d judged cult members as ridiculous and ignorant before this experience, but it is different from the inside.
I believed the teaching was pure and beautiful. I still do. It has changed many lives for the better. However, just like dogmatic religions and cults, the organization got terribly twisted by a few egos.
I became a certified Teacher of Ascension to share the techniques with others. I had to separate all that had happened from the actual teaching. I had taken lifetime vows dedicating my life to God, and that has never changed. They are still living through me today.
I made mistakes and felt lost at times. We all go through times of darkness. I’ve had to forgive myself, which has taken time.
I had to completely let go of the practice and the teacher to realize that it is not about that which was one of the hardest lessons for me. I got the message to let it go, but I didn’t listen.
Then, the connection I’d felt through meditation went away. As much as I tried to connect with Source, I felt nothing. I started questioning everything I’d known up to that point.
It was difficult feeling like I had to let go of all that connected me with God and being left with nothing. I resisted and fought it until it became so painful that all I was left to do was surrender. It took a lot of trust.
On the other side, I realized I was only letting go of the illusion that God/Goddess/Creator was in someone else rather than inside of me. It took away the searching and revealed the Being.
Sometimes, we have to empty ourselves of all that we believe and think we know to find Actual Truth.
When I was in teacher training, I began sensing more subtle levels of energy flow within the body, luminous field, other dimensions etc. It seemed a natural occurrence while meditating 8-10 hours or more a day for so long.
I became comfortable with journeying and vision quests, even though I didn’t know that is what I was doing. It seemed to all be leading me to this moment. I would frequently have visions of animal spirits even before I knew of Shamanism.
I remember getting a Reiki treatment from one of the interns and I could feel her hands healing my organs and readjusting my circuitry. That was the first time, I experienced hands on healing. I was amazed at the energy coming through her hands.
I didn’t know anything about how to become a Reiki healer until I was approached by a student at a course I was teaching in Colorado Springs, CO.
She said she got a message to give me an attunement, which was not normal but she couldn’t ignore it. I became attuned to Reiki for the first time and immediately loved it. It felt new and familiar at once. I was so grateful that she shared it with me that day.
The light that flowed through was soft, gentle, and safe. Guides and angels started showing up with each Reiki session and it became a natural addition. I worked with Ascension and Reiki for years and became an Usui Reiki Master in 2004.
Teachers have come and gone throughout my life, when I was ready for them and led me to working with Shamanic Energy Medicine Healing. I find myself working with stones and remember collecting stones as a young girl. I would talk to them and use them all the time.
I’m actively working with animal spirits and archetypes, remembering communicating with animals at a young age. I also had many visions of archetypes. It seems I have been on the same path all along.
When did you discover Ayahuasca, and what is it, and who is it for?
I first heard of Ayahuasca when a close friend of mine traveled to Peru. She ended up participating in several ceremonies and stayed to help facilitate. I believe she stayed almost 6 months.
When she told me about it, I was intrigued. She invited me to come work with the Curandero she was facilitating with, but I was not being strongly called yet.
When I was called by Ayahuasca, it was about a year later, I knew I would experience it. I made plans to go Lotus Vine Journeys which was known by a different name at the time. My first retreat was 14 days with 8 ceremonies. I went in May 2015.
I experienced deep healing, beyond what I could have even imagined. There was no way I could have prepared myself for what I went through. I was by far the most profound and intense work I’ve ever been through.
It altered my life permanently and I came back a new person. It is hard to describe but I’ve written about it in more detail on my website.
Ayahuasca is a powerful plant mixture that can induce altered states and is used primarily for the purpose of healing.
It is known as “The Vine of the Soul”. It is normally brewed into a tea combining the Ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi)and either chacruna (Psychotria viridis) or chagropanga (Diplopterys cabrerana), plants that contain a relatively high amount of the psychedelic substance DMT.
It is a thick vile tasting tea that is hard to forget. When I first tasted it, I thought it tasted like a cross between molasses, mud, and a bitter Chinese herb concoction.
It has a lingering bile type sourness that torments your stomach for the first 30 minutes or so making it hard to hold down. It is not pleasant.
It is common to release toxic energy through vomiting, sweating, chills, trembling, or crying. At one point, my nose, eyes, and ears were running. The body just releases old energy it doesn’t need anymore.
It has been known to heal issues such as diabetes, some cancers, addictions, anxiety, depression, and other diseases. Shamans look at disease differently. They see all issues as an imbalance or stuck energy. They work to remove what is blocking it so the energy can flow again.
Once this happens, symptoms often go away. They go to the source of what is causing the symptoms. The medicine works on multiple levels.
I was having intense pain in my lower abdomen on the right side and wrapped around my back. It started two weeks before my retreat. It got progressively worse as I got closer to Peru. I was concerned and shared it with the Shaman.
He could immediately see it. Before ceremony that night, he came and blew Palo Santos over my body. He blew smoke, whispered, over me for about 30 minutes.
Then, that night in ceremony, it was getting extremely intense for me. I had a lot of purging in all the ways I mentioned above. The pain was intensifying in my abdomen and I was going into some dark places.
The Shaman knew it and came right over. He started singing and then sucked what I could feel was an entity straight out of the place in my abdomen. He turned into a jaguar and chewed the black mass out of my body. I felt a little residual pain the next day and since then have not had it since.
I could see that it was not just physical as he was working on it. It actually felt like a being inside me that did not want to come out. This is not unusual for Shamans. They see the entities or masses and know how to remove them. It was incredibly freeing.
It often works on a spiritual level opening people to a deeper perspective and revealing mysteries on a Universal scale.
Many people go through an ego death or a life review, leaving them fundamentally changed after the experience. I went through an ego death and a soul retrieval. My inner child of nine years old came running into my arms after an intense night of hell realm battles.
I wrapped her in my arms and let her know she was safe and I’d never let her go. We protected each other.
It is meant for the people that are called to do it. Mother Ayahuasca has a way of calling individuals to her. When the student is ready, the teacher appears. She is a brilliant Teacher with infinite ways of penetrating the depths of the heart and consciousness of each individual.
Each ceremony is distinctly different and there is no way to prepare for what is coming next. You will be thrust into the unknown. That is a given. That is part of the healing.
Although I could think of many people that would benefit from Ayahuasca, it is not for everyone and not everyone will be called to do it. I personally would not recommend someone doing it just to scratch it off their bucket list, for a wild adventure, or because someone else wants them to.
It can catapult you straight into the parts of yourself you’ve hidden deep in your psyche. They compare one ceremony to 20 years of therapy. Once you are in it, there is no turning it off…at least for 4-6 hours. Although, a few nights it persisted until dawn.
It takes courage and determination. It can also bring in indescribable bliss, joy, compassion, beauty, understanding, and love.
I think it is very important to know why you want to do it and be clear about your intention. Plus, Mother Ayahuasca has a way of demanding respect. I’d suggest having that going in.
It is not recommended for anyone taking MAOI’s or certain prescription medications.
Who do you recommend take Ayahuasca, and where can you find it?
I recommend anyone that feels a strong desire to take Ayahuasca to follow through with it, but only with experienced guides, ideally Shamans.
I have done some research on retreats with high reputations. This is just my opinion and I’ve only personally attended number 1 & 4.
I picked number 4 because of Dr. Joe Tafur MD. He is passionately dedicated to ultimate healing for others and that comes through in working with him. He works with each person individually and focuses on the source of the problem. I am grateful to him for the loving support and deep healing I experienced.
I highly suggest doing your own due diligence for your own safety.
You can find my list here. http://mishaalmira.com/top-5-best-ayahuasca-retreats/
How can somebody prepare for Ayahuasca so they don’t have a bad trip, and what are the long-term benefits of taking Ayahuasca?
In my experience, it is always good to purify as much as possible before you go. It eases the purging process. The individuals that did not follow it, seemed to struggle more physically.
They recommend a specific diet two weeks prior to the first ceremony. I followed it for a month and it really seemed to make a difference.
What to Avoid:
*Ice, ice cream, or ice cold drinks
*Salt or pepper
*Sweets or chocolate
*Animal fats (lard, etc.)
*Carbonated drinks (including diet sodas, energy drinks, non-alcoholic beer)
*Caffeine & stimulants
*Sexual activities of any kind, including masturbation
*ALL street drugs (cocaine, MDMA, amphetamines, etc.) – essential for your safety and for the possible energetic impact during ceremony
I would also recommend establishing a strong meditation practice before going. The individuals that had a solid foundation of meditation had the most positive experiences.
Your thoughts have a big impact on where you go during ceremony. It is good to be mindful because you can travel far and fast.
Mindfulness, mantras, and breathing can bring you back to a calm centered place.
It has given me more compassion, clarity, purpose, deeper connection with nature, helped eliminate anxiety, balanced my brain chemistry and I’m happier! In general, it seems to bring more lasting balance in whatever area an individual needs.
You can read more on How Not To Freak Out During an Ayahuasca Ceremony.
You now do Empowerment Coaching with Energy Clearing for Empaths. Can you tell us a little bit about this?
I was born an empath with psychic abilities as many people are. It was difficult not being able to manage all the emotions I picked up from others. It would often feel out of control, and overwhelming. It caused quite a lot of suffering.
For many years, I didn’t even know there were ways to work with the energy. I just silently suffered and tried to avoid people.
Now, I see it can be a gift. I want to help other empaths and highly sensitive people step out of suffering and into their own power.
What are some of the exercises for grounding and clearing for Empaths?
The ones I use the most frequently are really quite simple and you can do them anywhere.
Imagine roots growing out of the bottom of the feet and stretching down into the core of the earth spreading out and anchoring you. You can do the same with your hands as well.
Imagine a solid grounding cord reaching from the bottom of your tailbone into the core of the earth and into an aquifer.
Flush and release any heavy energy from the body down the grounding cord and into the aquifer for the earth to recycle it. Let go of anything you don’t need anymore and anything that is not yours. Let it flow down the cord completely.
Then, connect with the vital life energy of the earth, bringing it up into your belly, feeding you. Let your awareness go to the base of your spine and travel up the spine and through the top of the head, connecting with Divine Source Energy.
Picture golden white liquid light of Divine Source moving through the crown of your head, filling all of your body and eventually swirling with the Earth energy in the belly.
Your tagline on your blog says, “Empowering women to stop living on default and Activate Their Passion.” What kind of women should work with you, and what can you do for them?
I work with women that are feeling stuck or held back from their ultimate potential, women ready for change and brave enough to do the work.
Women that are feeling they have something profound to share but are not sure how to step fully into it.
Women that know they are meant to play a bigger role and sense of something greater wanting to emerge through them.
We work together to identify and remove the obstacles (that are often hidden in the subconscious) so they can break free for good.
This enables them to boldly and confidently move forward in full alignment with their divine purpose.
What are your goals for 2017?
- The main goal is to deepen self-love.
- Be and stay fully aligned with Divine Source in service
- To help a core group of 5-10 women, step into a bigger vision of themselves in service to humanity
- Master my goal yoga pose
- Earn 6 figures by being me and help others do the same
What is your favorite book right now and why?
Love Without Conditions by Paul Ferrini
It contains fundamental truths that can open the heart just by reading it. In all of the work I’ve done, love is the key element that transforms suffering into freedom.
Unconditional love is a Universal force that transcends barriers of any perceived separation. Dogs are such good examples of the power of unconditional love.
This book is a beautiful reminder of how to come back to our open, unguarded innocence, like a child again.
What is your favorite quote and why?
I have 2 right now:
Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. ~Max Ehrmann
If We Are Going to Love Well, We Have To Stop Seeing People As Problems or Their Situations As Problems -Adyashanti
Thank you so much for doing this interview, Misha!
For more information on Misha, please visit: Energy Clearing for Empaths Blog.
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