I designed and sewed this dress entirely from vintage, second hand and african mud cloth fabrics in the early 2000's. The intention was to create eco-conscious clothing that inspired the wearer to create their own colourful, inspired and creative reality that simultaneously respected Mother Earth by being entirely sustainable. I chose this photo to represent this month's blog post because there is a woman who is standing in the corner, slightly veiled, yet making her way into the light of day in full colour, full expression, much like the contents of this post. Enjoy. Xo
We are in a psychedelic renaissance. Psychedelics of all kinds are emerging into the collective consciousness, sweeping through our minds and across the globe. It’s almost as though the plants have a plan for the individual and collective healing that many of us and the planet need so much.
Plants, whether we realize it or not have an integral role in our very existence on Earth. Have you ever thought about how it’s not possible to live without plants? Our existence depends on them. And yet in our contemporary society, the psychedelic plants and fungi that have existed long before us and will exist long after us - the same ones that have their roots in ancient Shamanic cultures and modern-day anchor in the 1960’s - are illegal and just now being decriminalized and legalized in various cities, states, provinces and countries all over the world. Organizations, like the one I had the privilege to train with in California are lobbying governments to heed the clinical trials and legalize Plant Medicine and Fungi for therapeutic purposes. These therapeutic purposes include end of life care, therapy for terminally ill cancer patients, PTSD, chronic pain and more including small ’t’ trauma, depression, anxiety, exploration of consciousness, connection with others, self, divinity or whatever you’d like to call it - a higher self or power, nature and the list goes on.
In the United States, the War on Drugs started when the Nixon administration decided to ban them because of how these substances engaged people’s minds and hearts in unison against injustices and atrocities such as the Vietnam War. The government noticed that it was the hippies who were engaging with Psychedelic substances were protesting the war, and banning psychedelics was an easy solution to stop that from happening. Psychedelics were awakening a sense of connection within people and awakening their consciousness so much so that they were willing to stand up for their beliefs against war and for peace. You can read more about the War on Drugs and the Nixon administration here: drugpolicy.org/issues/brief-history-drug-war and make sure to watch the Jay Z video on the subject embedded in the same article but also here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSozqaVcOU8&t=7s
Psychedelics open us up to realities and insight and shadows that we often do not have access to in our regular conscious reality, in our defended selves. They have the potential and experientially have for many experiencers, even within contemporary clinical trials, proven to lead us to revelations that lead us to our own integrated selves, our own personal Enlightenment moments, one could say our own internal medicine that we can access when we plunge deep inside ourselves. To be clear, there are many ways to access this place or these places within us (yoga and meditation to name a couple of paths), and psychedelics are a bit of a superhighway to those places, which in part, is why they ought to be treated and imbibed with utmost respect for their potency and for what they are liable to unlock. It is not always pretty or easy, yet like any hero’s journey, it can be a revelatory pathway home to oneself.
I am not sitting in an anthropological arm chair sporting rose coloured glasses. And as such, I would certainly not advocate for the use of psychedelics for everyone. They are medicine and medicine that works for one person may be completely unfit for another and in the case of psychedelics cause psychosis and so forth; we must be judicious with our choices noting our mental health and predispositions (let alone legal, medical and pharmaceutical contraindications) and also ask ourselves if we are truly ready on all levels to unearth what may be buried beneath the floor boards of our own psyche. If we are ready, however, and we do heed the call, then there is much potential in such a journey. It is worth noting that while many people fear what they might find within themselves if they choose to participate in a psychedelic experience and, despite all precautions we need to take and the inherent difficulties that a journey may present, one of the things that we might find or experience is an unconditional sense of Love, a Love that is omnipresent.
And so with all this said, it is without further ado that I formally and officially step out of the Psychedelic Closet. It is a place that this psychedelic part of me - the part that has felt the lingering influence of the War on Drugs and the taboos and stigmas that subsequently surrounded the realm of psychedelics - has been hiding. Hiding is barely living. Hiding is out of fear - fear of being discovered, that I have done something against the code that issues societal acceptance. I have lived in this liminal place of the misunderstood and outcast, a place where the misfit mystic self is bound to silence and immobility. Of what service to myself and to others can I be if I merely exist in this space? What service can I offer myself and the world if I allow myself to surf the wave of what these plant and fungi medicines wish to share with us over thousands of years and across the entire world?
Mushrooms can clean up oil spills, compost plastic, give us focus, eat cancer cells and take us to the places in our minds, bodies and spirits that are in need of healing. Psychedelic medicines awaken us to the incredible beauty of nature, to the power and magic within ourselves and the universe and, I will go so far as to say, work to heal us so that we can return to our own sense of innate alignment, intelligence and a deep sense of our own knowing. One of the things that has struck me so much about psychedelic medicines is that they have led so many people to become conscious of the inner workings of their mind, which has turned them on to meditation, Buddhist dharma teachings, being in nature and so on. If you would like to have a read on this, the link to an insightful article from Lion’s Roar Magazine is here: www.lionsroar.com/psychedelic-insight/
What has been hiding with me in my Psychedelic Closet? A two hundred page manuscript about how Psychedelics have changed my life. I have been afraid to tell the world about it for fear of doing something ‘wrong.’ However, sharing my experience and professional training in this field feels like a worthy cause - especially during this time where our mental, emotional, spiritual and environmental health is demanding our attention and a new way of relating to ourselves, to each other, to the world around us. So, during this global Psychedelic Renaissance, I am rebirthing myself by opening the door of this closet where some of my deepest passions live, emerging from this place of hiding and gestating, and transforming that closed door into a portal through which I can share with you how these Plant and Fungi Medicines have worked their Magic not only within my life but also clinically through copious amounts of research-based studies. It is my wish that these gleanings may serve you and show you that in many cases Psychedelics are medicine and when treated as such, can offer us great healing, compassion, understanding and expansion.
Do you have a closet that part of you lives in?
Here are some questions for you to explore if you wish.
Questions for self-inquiry:
Is there a part of you is in “the closet”?
How long has it been there?
What factors/people contributed to this part of you retreating into the closet?
What kind of reassurance, environment or even occasion would make it safer to have this part come out?
What might your life be like if you accepted and integrated this part? What are the positives, the negatives, the consequences and the benefits?
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Psychotherapy, Spiritual Direction, Yoga, Buddhism, the Path of the Heart, and Surfing... Find my musings here...