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Ayahuasca for Transforming Trauma and Pain with Mee Ok Icaro - Ep 120

Unraveling Adoption

Release Date: 11/20/2023

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My adoptive father talked about it as my birthright to go back to Central America. I really like that framing. So I think that was part of the reason why they let me go on so many trips and that was such a wonderful experience. - Nelson de Witt Discover the shocking truth about Nelson de Witt's journey to uncover his past after being adopted from Central America. His story is a heart-wrenching tale of forced disappearances, political strife, and the courage to face the truth. Nelson's experiences will leave you in awe and disbelief as he navigates the complexities of adoption and the impact...

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Reserve your FREE ticket to the Sacred Plant Medicine for Healing the Adoption Constellation webinar featuring Mee Ok as one of the panelists, December 3 at 1pm PST: https://healingadoptiontrauma.eventbrite.com


When you're in the margins and outside of the dominant narrative, you're very aware of what is just taken for granted. - Mee Ok Icaro

A transformative journey unfolds as Mee Ok, a Korean transnational adoptee, embraces the healing power of Ayahuasca, finding dramatic physical healing, challenging her beliefs, and finding spiritual growth amidst the risks and rewards of this sacred plant medicine.

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Discover the transformative power of Ayahuasca on one's healing journey.

  • Explore cultural assimilation in the context of sacred plant medicines.

  • Learn about how sacred plant medicines (psychedelics) can treat and cure autoimmune diseases.

  • Understand the profound connection between the mind and body, and how it impacts physical ailments.

  • Explore the responsible and ethical use of sacred plant medicines for personal growth and healing.


📆 Community Calendar: UnravelingAdoption.com/Calendar

✨Healing the Adoption Constellation database: UnravelingAdoption.com/Healing

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My special guest is Mee Ok Icaro

Mee Ok Icaro is a noted writer, poet, teacher, book doula, and sacred medicine support practitioner. Born in Korea and adopted by a white evangelical couple in the US, her personal journey has been shaped by the complexities of transracial and transcultural adoption. Mee Ok was one of the case studies in Dr. Gabor Maté's recent book, The Myth of Normal, where she shared her experiences of overcoming scleroderma through the use of sacred plant medicines. Her story was also featured in an episode of Netflix's series [Un]Well, shedding light on her healing journey. Mee Ok's expertise and insights have led her to participate in Dr. Maté's panel for his Wisdom of Trauma Summit, where she shared her profound knowledge on the responsible use of sacred plant medicines. Her upcoming involvement in Unraveling Adoption's Sacred Plant Medicine for Healing the Adoption Constellation panel promises to offer valuable perspectives on how adoption, trauma, and physical pain can be transformed by sacred plant medicines.

The resources mentioned in this episode are:


Transformative Power of Ayahuasca
Ayahuasca, a plant medicine native to the Amazon, is renowned for its transformative potential. This sacred plant allows individuals to tap into deeper levels of consciousness, confront unresolved trauma, and initiate profound spiritual and personal growth. However, engaging with Ayahuasca requires due diligence, caution, and support from reputable indigenous healers to ensure a safe and efficacious journey.


Other resources mentioned in this episode:


Unraveling Adoption is produced and hosted by Beth Syverson

Music written and performed by Joseph Nakao

Email questions or comments to [email protected]

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Support Unraveling Adoption on Patreon: Patreon.com/UnravelingAdoption


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Timestamped summary of this episode:

00:01:28 - Mee Ok's Adoption Story
Mee Ok shares her experience of being adopted from Korea by a white evangelical couple in the US. She talks about her upbringing and the challenges she faced, including childhood sexual abuse by her adoptive father. She also mentions her search for her birth family.

00:05:29 - Finding Birth Mother through Ayahuasca
Mee Ok shares her journey with Ayahuasca and how it helped her find her birth mother. She describes the process of fasting and being alone in the woods while working with the plant as well as the incredible coincidence of receiving an email from her adoption agency informing her that her birth mother had returned to their offices on the same day she started her fast.

00:11:41 - Healing and Understanding
Mee Ok discusses her healing journey through plant medicine, trauma work, and connecting with her birth family. She emphasizes the importance of understanding the intentional misplacements and eradication of records in adoption

00:14:41 - The Market for Adoption in Korea
The guest explains that the market for adoption in Korea was created due to complex social issues and economic devastation. The flow of money has made it difficult to stop the adoption market.

00:16:06 - Cultural Context of Korea
Mee Ok discusses the cultural context of Korea, highlighting its Christianization and the presence of U.S. military bases. She also reflects on her experience as a Korean adoptee growing up in a diverse community, then a homogeneous one.

00:18:02 - Transracial Adoption and Assimilation
The guest shares her experience with transracial adoption and how her parents followed the convention of assimilation. She talks about her mother's efforts to introduce Korean culture, but her own desire to be seen as an American kid.

00:19:26 - Illness and the Search for Healing
The guest recounts her journey of falling ill with scleroderma and seeking various treatments, including Western medicine and alternative therapies. She explains how she discovered Ayahuasca as a potential healing tool.

00:24:47 - Ayahuasca at Home
Due to her physical limitations, Mee Ok initially had to bring Ayahuasca into her own space and drink it at home. She shares her experience of using Ayahuasca as a therapeutic tool for healing while bedridden.

00:28:22 - The Healing Power of Communication
Mee Ok discusses how advancements in communication technology have allowed her to overcome the challenges she faced due to her disability. She mentions that she is now able to walk and no longer needs a wheelchair.

00:28:54 - Lack of Coverage for Alternative Healing
Mee Ok expresses frustration with the modern healthcare system's lack of coverage for alternative healing methods, such as Ayahuasca, which is the only effective medicine has found in her own healing journey. She highlights the narcissism and self-interest of Western medicine and the financial interests involved.

00:30:27 - The Mind-Body Connection
The guest explores the connection between physical and emotional pain, particularly in relation to autoimmune diseases like scleroderma. She shares her belief that healing should be holistic and not limited to psychotherapy or physicality alone.

00:31:51 - Ayahuasca and Healing in the Jungle
The guest describes her experiences with Ayahuasca ceremonies in the jungle and the profound healing she has experienced. She mentions the Shipibo tradition and their expertise in working with Ayahuasca and other medicinal plants.

00:34:37 - Ayahuasca as Sacred Medicine
The guest explains her perspective on Westerners becoming guides or practitioners in the Ayahuasca tradition. She believes it should remain with the native people who have preserved it for thousands of years and sees the role of Westerners as supporters rather than leaders.

00:42:30 - Finding a Legitimate Ayahuasca Healer
It's important to vet Ayahuasca healers before booking a retreat, as there are many illegitimate practitioners. Due to its illegal status, finding trustworthy healers can be challenging, and personal connections are often necessary.

00:43:04 - The Darker Elements of Ayahuasca
Ayahuasca experiences can have negative aspects, including energetic attacks. It's crucial to work with reputable healers and be protected during the process. Soltara is recommended by the guest as a reputable retreat center.

00:43:30 - Restoring the Soul through Ayahuasca
Ayahuasca healers often help restore one's soul, especially for those who feel disconnected. Mee Ok, who was previously an atheist, had a profound experience with Ayahuasca that transformed her perspective.

00:44:22 - Importance of Support and Integration
Ayahuasca journeys can leave individuals feeling isolated. Having allies and support during the integration process is crucial. The host shares her own experience of finding an integration circle for her son.

00:46:38 - Ayahuasca as Serious Medicine
Ayahuasca should be approached with the same seriousness as Western medicine. It's not something to be taken lightly, and thorough research and finding the right practitioners are essential for a safe and transformative experience.