Today was the day I was supposed to be heading off to a much anticipated transformative weekend of healing and letting go. I was slated to be on my way to my very first ceremonial Ayahuasca experience. For reasons beyond my control, the weekend was cancelled. When I read the email a huge wave of sadness came over me as I was ready to do the work and explore the hidden or shadow parts in me. Whatever came up for me, I was ready to surrender to it, to burn it all down and let the phoenix rise from the ashes, a new version of myself. Most of my adult life I have been on a quest of self actualization, to be the best version of me that I possibly can be for myself, my loved ones and the world around me. Plant medicines are one of many paths to self actualization, higher consciousness and healing. Psilocybin (aka magic mushrooms) and DMT (Dimethyltryptamine aka the spirit molecule) are 2 of Mother Nature’s healing modalities I have worked with in the past. When you are working with any kind of psychedelic, set and setting are of the utmost importance for a safe healing session. The indigenous people who have been working with ayahuasca (aka The Grandmother Vine) for thousands of years say that she calls you and the stronger the call the more ready you are for the experience. I trust the intelligence of nature and I am confident the universe had it’s reasons for postponing my ayahuasca experience, after all, timing is everything.
The golden age of psychedelic research began in the 1950’s when researchers and psychologists began studying and administering these drugs to patients. As the use of these substances moved increasing outside of the laboratory and into cultural society a sort of fear and hysteria about them took over and in 1970 President Nixon signed the Controlled Substance Act which grouped marijuana, psilocybin, LSD and MDMA in with Schedule 1 drugs like heroin. Just to be clear here, a Schedule 1 drug is considered to be a drug with no accepted medical use and high potential for abuse. With this, psychedelic research came to a screeching halt and was mostly pushed underground. A select few academic institutions were allowed to continue their field of medicinal study.
Today psychedelic research and exploration is on the rise in the the US at a very exciting and promising rate. We are experiencing a psychedelic renaissance in the study of these mind expanding medicines and their powerful therapeutic properties. In 2019 Johns Hopkins University unveiled its Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research. Scientists are evaluating psilocybin as a possible treatment for opioid addiction, Lyme disease, PTSD, nicotine and alcohol dependency and many other conditions. I find it fascinating how history has reveled this paradoxical scenario between psilocybin once begin classified as a Schedule 1 drug and now begin studied as one that may be a treatment for opioid addiction.
We have created a stress bubble that we endure constantly in our daily lives between things like the healthcare crisis and pharma phenomenon, politics, social injustice, racism, gender inequality, global warming, a global pandemic and the list goes on from micro to macro issues. Depression is on the rise and it is being caused by things some of us don’t even stop to consider like the constant bombardment of technology on our senses, social media, our diets and environmental pollutants. A fundamental truth that cannot and should not be ignored is that people just want to feel better, and be happy. They are looking for a paradigm shift in consciousness, they want to heal past traumas or let go of baggage they have been carrying around for years, heal their depression, addiction or PTSD and make living in the stress bubble at least more manageable and hopefully a lot more joyful…I can relate! Psychedelics, when explored responsibly and under the guidance of shamans or licensed therapists, offer this sort of life changing shift. Research is showing that these medicines can access areas of the brain and unlock buried trauma or disruptive patterns that can lead to a shift in perception and the person feeling better, having a more positive outlook on life after the experience. These medicines can produce a feeling of deep interconnection that stays with the person post experience. People report gaining insight on their PTSD or depression and having an awareness of what they want to change in their lives to help them move forward. Psychedelics are acting as a catalyst for positive change to help people live happier and mentally healthier lives and I think this is a huge step in the global healing our planet needs. Heal the people, heal the planet.
Psychedelic research and plant medicines are areas I am super passionate about. I am personally very thankful for the healing they have already so profoundly offered in my life. I look forward to digging in deeper on my quest for self actualization, awakening and higher consciousness. I will continue to share my experiences and inspiring research I find on the subject. So please stay tuned for more useful information and stories from me and my community on the fascinating subject of psychedelics! Who knows, we could even start a group to chat more in depth. Who would join our circle if we made space for it?