As I mentioned in my previous blog post, in November 2022, I felt the inspiration to step outside of my cottage retreat, a place I had been since the beginning of the pandemic, and go out into the world with the intention of connecting with community, the community that I lacked in my own neck of the woods. It just so happened that the hunch I followed to take the Psychedelic Assisted Therapy training took me to California - Topanga is so cool - and introduced me to teachers of high calibre with excellent space holding capabilities. As we explored Holotropic breath work in the mountains of Topanga, I learned on a personal level about vulnerability and the gift of being held by a kind, compassionate and non-judgemental community. This in itself was incredibly renewing. Between classes I dappled in record stores, vintage shops, and spontaneous rounds of ping pong (my favourite), not to mention fairy-light imbued landscapes with Persian rugs for lounging.
Upon returning to Canada I was thirsty to continue to deepen my knowledge of psychedelics and I did a quick search to see if there was a Masters program in Psychedelics anywhere out there in the world. It just so turned out that yes, there were Masters level courses in Psychedelic Studies offered at the University of Ottawa and in fact one of my professors from Concordia University whom I admire and respect is the chair of these microprograms that were being offered. I decided to apply and after waiting a couple of months learned of my acceptance into the program. It started this past month and I am taking two courses: Psychedelics and harm-reduction as well as a Multi-disciplinary course on Psychedelics. My knowledge and understanding of psychedelics is broadening and deepening, and it is fun to have even more questions about psychedelics than even before I started, and equally fun and rewarding to explore some of the questions that I have via academic assignments, papers, and presentations. It feels good to be in school and deepening my understanding of plant medicines and other psychedelic substances that could potentially benefit people tremendously in various aspects of their lives if we individually and collectively have the wisdom with which to wield this powerful vehicle of healing and transformation.
Starting MA level courses after years away from official academia has taught me:
1- Things start with an idea; if you follow that idea through with action, you get real world results.
2- Follow the guidelines and work really hard and you can do really well.
3- There are all kinds of happy surprises: enjoy them! Let the other stuff go.
4- If you don't know where to start just start and keep going and all of the sudden you will be done!
5- There are people in your life who celebrate your successes. Isn't that incredible?! If you don't have those people, keep going.
Well, that's my September Full Moon update.
Lots of Love,
Psychotherapy, Spiritual Direction, Yoga, Buddhism, the Path of the Heart, and Surfing... Find my musings here...