"You're The First Normal Person I've Met Into That."

I joined the gym in my work building. And, naturally, started working with one of the trainers there.

The current trainer is a 20-something ginger who is originally from (if memory serves) Brisbane. He spent a number of years, like me, living in downtown Toronto before moving here to SD with his girlfriend. When he is not training me, and other clients like me, he works with professional rugby players.  He's a solid trainer who is patient, but persistent. And three weeks into our training, and he already has me deadlifting 125 pounds and squatting 115 pounds.

Because we are lifting heavy weights, and therefore doing fewer reps, there is a lot of downtime for conversation.

About a week ago we started talking about upcoming vacation plans for both of us. As timing would perfectly sync up... He would be in New Orleans while I was in the Amazon jungle.

"That so cool!" he said in his chilled-out Aussie nature. "Do you just go down there and hang out in the jungle?"

I paused. Was I ready for him to think I am crazy?

"Well," I said. "More or less. I cut myself off from electricity for a week and hangout meditating with the Peruvian shamans."

"Cool," he said.

"Oh, and I do ayahuasca," I added.

He perked up. He knew exactly what I was referring to.

"No way!" he said. "That's amazing! I've wanted to try that!"

I smiled. I told him how awesome the experience was, the good connections I have made as a result, and that I try to go twice a year if I can.

"But," he said, "You're so normal. You're the first normal person I've met who has done that."

I understood what he meant. The idea of "plant medicine" can conjure up the idea of a person who is a little flakey, overly-emotional, and likely to have abused illegal drugs a few too many times. Narcissists.

Only the last one on that list do I profess to actually being. I am none of the other things.

I let him know that the reality of the type of people I have met on these retreats is very much far from that.

"There are a lot of high profile people who go to these things," I told him.

Fortune 100 CEOs. Hollywood Actors. Musicians. Athletes. Politicians. High-level government appointees.

And then there are us common folk. Many who have saved up a pretty penny to attend, and go through the same exact experience as all of the high profile people.

Ayahuasca is an amazing equalizer. It treats everyone the same. Wherever you are at mentally and emotionally when you sit down and drink that cup... It's going to give you the same attention it does everyone else. Sometimes that attention is tougher and more overwhelming to take than other times. But shit gets moved around.

I told my trainer all about this.  That there are all kinds of people whose paths cross for a whole week, confronting every ceremony and sharing the energy of the ceremony together.

"It's profound. And just awesome," I said.

It felt nice to know he didn't think I was crazy.