I believe plant medicine has a lot to offer us. Especially in a world where 66% of Americans are on prescription drugs,* 1 in 5 adults struggle with mental health, says the CDC, and an opioid addiction crisis rages on.
After reading Michael Pollan's book, How to Change Your Mind, I became curious about the therapeutic uses of the medicine for both healing and creative expansion.
It's not only my job, but one of my deepest passions to explore all nooks of healing and creativity. And so, I embarked on an expedition...
As happens when we follow threads of curiosity into rabbit holes, I connected with a plant medicine guide that specialized in psilocybin and LSD.
I set up a call with her.
I didn't want to just eat mushrooms for the hell of it. I'd done that in my past. I wanted the full therapeutic experience. I wanted to know what was different about doing a journey for the purposes of healing or expansion, as opposed to recreational use? I wanted to see what new doors would open if I ate mushrooms with intentions rather than just casually.
The guide was knowledgable, wise, funny and spoke about the mushrooms as guides with inherent wisdom. I liked her take on the journey, and her process. I also liked that she was a woman. And so I said yes. Let's do this.
We set a date, picked a place, and now it was time to do the pre-work to my journey where I would macro-dose with magic mushrooms for an afternoon.
We met four to five times pre-journey to get clear on my intentions and so she could understand who I was, and what I was hoping for. And she shared techniques to use during the actual journey should I find myself in a dark spot.
Now it was time for the journey.
Tripping or "journeying" as medicine guides call it, felt familiar. But what was different about this experience, was that my guide stayed with me the entire time. She had food, curated playlists based on my liking, essential oils, art activities, journals, and different spots to spend time. She knew what I was there to explore, my strengths and weaknesses by my account, and a bit about my history.
I can describe it in no other way than to say it's like having a birth doula there to take total care of you, and remind you of what you came to explore, heal and uncover.
It felt like a rite of passage in a transitional period of my life. The breakthroughs I came away with were significant.
To name a few, (which can in no way be aptly captured in words)
I was exposed to my pattern of over-giving throughout the entire journey.
I saw more clearly the nature of one of my brothers, and felt pulled to acknowledge and connect more deeply with him.
I was reminded of the importance of FUN in everything I do, as a leading value of my life, and how far from this I'd strayed.
I came away with a new relationship with my body and a new guiding north star of embodiment.
There were more, but writing about them here feels trite and underwhelming as compared to the impressions they left on me.
Of course, just like breakthroughs we come away with from retreating, the real import of the journey came in what actions I would take afterwards. They mean very little if we just conceptualize them, leaving them in our heads. It's about living them.
I am in the process of unpacking that all now -- what these new understandings will mean for my life, my future and my relationship with myself, and others.
I am no a doctor, and certainly wouldn't suggest this to anyone who doesn't feel pulled to it on their own.
But I do think when we're seeking new depths, or, I imagine, when we're feeling like we've bottomed out, plant medicine has a special new take on life with very little draw backs that to me, is worth exploring.
To your transformations, in every form they come.