***Please note that I am not a professional counselor. I am just a girl on the spiritual path that finally got her shit together, and this is what worked for me. If you are feeling you want to commit self harm or are experiencing thoughts of suicide, please reach out to a professional in your area, or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline here: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
I am available for personalized, one-on-one psychedelic, self love, and self care integration consultations via video and email. It is my highest honor to share what I know with others, and to guide people toward practicing compassion and loving kindness toward themselves. You can reach me here: https://wearestandingontheedge.com/contact/
So, if you’re reading this, you’ve left the safe little bubble of your psychedelic exploration journey (perhaps with us here at Gaia Sagrada in Ecuador) and are back in the Matrix, wondering how in the hell you’re going to take everything you’ve learned and experienced and integrate it into you actual daily life. Returning home from a big connective experience like a plant medicine retreat can be scary, isolating and difficult. For many people, your regular life is not a place full of support, love, and piles of babes giving you hugs on demand. You may feel as if you are wearing the mask of your old self to the people who know you best. Perhaps you feel like you are hiding from your true self. Maybe you just don’t know what happened or how to understand it. This is normal and okay. Let’s talk about it!
It can feel like an insurmountable mountain to climb, trying to explain to the people in your life what happened, how you healed, or what you uncovered that you still need to spend more time on, what you need, and how to ask for support in making the changes you want to make. The longer you are away from the medicine experience, the more closed off you may feel from the openness you felt within yourself and with others on a similar journey. You may even feel like nothing is different, and that you can’t possibly integrate these lessons into your life. You may not feel you have the support you need, and you may feel lost and alone, like you woke up from a dream you can’t remember. You are no longer physically surrounded by the warm love of your spiritual family. You may start to close, to isolate, or to return to previous coping mechanisms just to get through the day.
Fear not, my friend. You are not alone. And you CAN reconnect to your experience, with some simple, committed practices. Notice I said simple, not easy. Integration is not easy. The medicines give you a preview of what is possible for you in your life, but you have to do the hard work making these healing revelations manifest into this reality. This post is the first of many to come that will be focused on the subject of how to integrate your connection with your authentic self into your life, where you can see it, feel it, touch it, smell it, and BE it. You are the rainbow, after all.
The key to integration is developing daily practices focused on moving into self love, self acceptance, and self compassion. This will look different for everyone, because we are all individuals with different needs and different issues we chose for ourselves in this life. I deeply believe that the universal way to integrating psychedelic healing is through self love and self compassion. I begin with this one, because without a strong, unshakeable foundation of self love, you can’t continue on the spiral of ascension to accessing the higher consciousness within yourself.
When to call in a Professional: Now. Knowing when to ask for outside help and taking the initiative to do so is nothing to be ashamed of whatsoever. In fact, finding a kick ass therapist to be on your healing team is a beautiful, smart act of self care. I personally did six years of intensive talk therapy (Thank you, Howard, love you brother.) that enabled me to release and heal enough so that when I found these plant medicines, I was truly ready to go in and get the rest of the emotional baggage that was weighing me down inside. Therapy – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, talk therapy, regression therapy, EMDR, hypnosis, sleep specialists, or therapy using MDMA, LSD, peyote, psylocibin, miccrodosing – or any other myriad of professionally guided methods can be vital in the success of your integration plan. Finding someone who supports you fully in your goals, who you can confide in without judgement in a safe space is crucial for many people seeking lasting healing. Do it now. You deserve it. You can find more information about therapeutic studies using psychedelics through MAPS – Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.
The path is a spiral, we continue reaching inward, finding new perspectives on our old wounds. We shed, release, and bloom, and look at our issues again from a higher plane. In Shamanism, there are Seven Sacred Directions: North, South, East, West, Upwards (The Heavens), Downwards (The Earth and Physical Plane), and Inwards. This is the infinite consciousness. Many of us have searched our entire lives outside of ourselves to find answers, to find love and connection, and to feel a true purpose for being here. There is nothing outside you. You have everything, literally EVERYTHING, if you look inside.
How do you look inside? Well, this is another simple one, but it is not easy. If you do ONE thing for yourself, as an act toward finding self love, make it this:
Once a day. Every day.
Begin a daily meditation practice of a minimum of 10 minutes per day. It is best to do this in the morning, right when you wake up, that way you are not worrying about getting it in throughout the day, and you have all day to bask in the glory of your zen. The best way to start a meditation practice as a beginner is by using a guided meditation app. My personal favorite is Headspace, but you can also try one of these.
Meditation is not about sitting in silence thinking of nothing. It is not a practice with a goal of perfection in mind. It is a tool to practice calming and directing the mind. Many of these apps can help you learn different techniques such as noting, visualization, breathwork, and other methods to separate yourself from your thoughts as an observer. When you realize that you are not your thoughts, and that you have control over what you give your attention to, it becomes easier to allow negative thoughts to arise and pass by rather than giving them full reign over your consciousness. In this way, you become the master of your mind. It takes daily practice, but meditation is by far the best way to begin to integrate your experiences of self love and healing into your daily life. It is a powerful tool to connect to the Source, to your highest self. Every single one of my ayahuasca ceremonies showed me this power, the power of intention, of breath, and of surrender to the way things are. It is an ancient mystical tool that costs nothing but time. And over time, you will be able to go much further with meditation than with any medicine.
Practicing this one thing can revolutionize the way you think about yourself, the way you present yourself in the world, and the way you show up for yourself – full authenticity.
Once you’ve chosen a method of meditation, you just need to find a nice spot to do it – this can be in your bed, sitting comfortably on the floor or in a chair, or in a spot in your home or space that is designated just for this purpose. Get a yummy cushion you look forward to sitting on, and create a beautiful space that you look forward to using every day. However, none of these bells and whistles are necessary. All you need is yourself and a commitment to spend just ten minutes a day with yourself. I know this can feel like an eternity, but you will find a world of peace and ease unlocked for you when you begin to practice meditation.
Here is a short ritual you can use to begin your meditation practice each day: To begin, light a candle or a few, and prepare your app if you are using one. Guided meditations are the preferred port of entry into meditation, as silence is more well suited to those who have been practicing a while.
Light some sage or palo santo, and give yourself a little cleanse with the smoke over your entire body. Then, choose an essential oil and add a few drops to your palms, and rub them together, making a little cave with your hands. Start to take some deep breaths with your hands over your nose and mouth, inhaling the scent and clearing your mind. Focus on your breath, taking about 10 – 15 deep, slow breaths to relax. Then, begin your practice. Once you have completed the meditation, take a few moments to journal about how you felt before you started, and how you feel now. Throughout the day, try to reconnect to this feeling of weightlessness. Or, if you felt distracted that day, allow and hold space for that. Meditation is not about being or doing it perfectly. It is about learning how our minds run amok and how we can become the masters of our own reality. When you begin to listen to yourself, you can then identify the recurring negative thought patterns and begin to rewire your brain using positive affirmations.
These centering exercises are optional, but can be used any time to calm, ground, and center yourself at anytime during the day, particularly as part of your meditation or bedtime ritual. Creating a ritual around your self care time is a great act of self love!
In my next post about how to integrate your psychedelic journeys into your own life, I will share more of my Rituals of Abundance and share more tools on how to make every day healthy, joyful, abundant, and full of love.