My Psilocybin Journey

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I don’t remember the last time I cried.

 

I shed a couple of tears when Hayden (our previous dog) was diagnosed with a terminal liver tumor 2 summers ago.

 

After a conversation Mike and I had about a year and a half ago when I didn’t see how our relationship was going to last, I kinda cried myself to sleep. I say “kinda” because I think I only had 2 or 3 tears roll down my face but I felt sad, frustrated, and upset. 

 

I cried a bit more when my Grandmother passed away, 5, maybe 6, years ago. 

 

I actually never realized that I didn’t cry until I became a coach and developed a knack for making other people cry. Then I started on a mission to figure out why I couldn’t cry. 

 

Through self-development, I came to realize that, as a child, my family never really discussed emotions or feelings. I also realized that I didn’t remember much about my childhood. I had vague memories of my childhood, but nothing really specific. I could tell when my parents were mad at me, I just never really knew when I was. I knew my family had a lot of fun, we laughed, and we played games…but did we cry? I can’t remember. It wasn’t until recently that I wondered if the two were connected.

 

Then I had this opportunity present itself to me. 

 

I was able to get the days off work. The price was right. The location was great. So I did it. I signed up for Journey 4: Awaken with Ceremonia. 

 

And, oh boy, did my life change. 

 

Not only did I meet some of the most amazing people that I will have lifelong bonds with. I learned skills and tools to help me process my emotions. 

 

We ate some of the most delicious meals, from Buddha bowls to fresh squeezed OJ to some amazing savory porridge! Yes, you heard me right, porridge. Oh! We even had freshly baked cookies with fresh raspberries and basil! 

 

We took an ice plunge and then sat around in a steam room while we talked about our fears. Each night we sang songs together around candlelight. 

 

And most importantly, I cried. I cried each day. I cried happy tears, I cried sad tears. My body taught me what it felt like to be angry. My body showed me some of the emotions I have been stifling down. My body showed me I can trust her. 

 

It was so amazing! I was so happy! 

 

I have so many stories. Let me tell you some of my highlights. 

 

As my journey began and I waited for the medicine to start working, I had so many self-doubts. I wondered if I made the right decision to join this journey. Then, out of nowhere, I heard myself say, “Steph, you are holding yourself back.”  The next thing I knew I saw what appeared to be two doors open as I was thrust back into my childhood with a memory that I hadn’t thought about in years. It was the night my grandfather, who lived with us, passed away while being taken care of by his two sons. As this memory replayed in my mind and the tears flowed down my face, I was filled with such joy and peace. I didn’t feel sad as my Grandpa came to me the night before he died in my dreams and I knew he was better off (another memory I had forgotten about). 

 

I continued my journey, I had different memories come back up for me until I had another one about my grandparents living with us. This one wasn’t as happy as my previous ones. This one made me feel uncomfortable. This memory caused me pain, and I felt, for the first time, that I was also angry at my grandparents for changing the dynamics of our family by living with us.

 

Initially, that anger made me feel upset and disappointed in myself. How dare I take something that I considered a truly special memory and ruin it by being mad? Until I remembered that anger is an emotion that I have always ignored and run from. For once, I was acknowledging and accepting that I am not a bad person for feeling this way and that my feelings are normal, even the ones that are not happy feelings. 

 

So then I cried some more. I cried for finally allowing that little girl to feel pain and be upset. I was so happy to be able to put a name to the feelings I was having.  

 

After a heavy day of learning how to deal with fear, anger, and grief, we had our second journey. This was probably my most challenging journey, and I feel it was exactly what I needed. At the beginning of this journey, I lay there with excitement and anticipation of what I would discover this time. Then, the uncomfortableness set in. I couldn’t find a comfortable spot on my mat and felt a sense of intense loneliness. Even though I was surrounded by my new friends, I felt alone. I felt alone in my relationship and in my life. I kept thinking to myself, how can I be this lonely when I have so many people in my life? Then the pains started kicking in. I had waves of nausea, and pains in my shoulder, head, neck, and back, all over my body at different times. I wanted to run to my room and curl up on the bed by myself. I craved ice cream so much. I had tears that would run down my face for reasons unbeknownst to me. I knew I could leave the room at any time, but I also felt like my body was trying to tell me something. As my journey continued, I realized the pains I was feeling were all the stored-up anger and other emotions that I have suppressed for so long. I noticed the feeling of wanting to run away was just that, my defense mechanism to avoid what I have been avoiding for years. The ice cream craving was my go-to escapism. Once I accepted this and stopped fighting these feelings and sensations, I just lay there and let them come. My tears became more purposeful and slowly I started to believe in my body and in myself. 

 

When we were coming out of this journey, we all sat around a candle and sang songs together. Initially, I was still very sad and felt emotionally drained. As the songs continued I started to feel the love and connection that I desperately was craving during this journey. It wasn’t until later in the night when I was talking with the others, that I realized I felt more confident than I was before. It was like I had to be alone to find the true belief in myself as I have always considered myself confident to begin with. That was so draining, and I slept so well that night! 

 

The next day we had our last journey. A daytime one. Before we did that, though, we had a couple more workshops. These were lighter than the day before. We ran around like kids and learned that play is still important, even as an adult. I felt so light and happy. 

 

When it was time for our journey, I chose a mat and prepped my space. I then realized I was in between the two people I connected most with and instantly felt so happy and safe. In the previous journeys, I wore an eye mask for most of them but for this one, I didn’t. As the medicine started to work, I sat with a smile on my face as I could watch the wind blow through the trees and the clouds pass through the skylights. Then my body became uncomfortable again. I had waves of nausea and a nagging pain in my left hip. I tried to ignore it but it wouldn’t go away. I wanted to get up and move around, I wanted to go outside. Initially, I was confused and thought maybe I was trying to run from something again. Then, I gave in and went outside as the sun was setting. As I stepped out into the crisp air, I looked over the house, and in the beautiful pink sky I saw a cloud that was shaped like a heart. Immediately, I felt relief and so happy that I listened to my body and came outside for this amazing moment. When I went back inside I saw a bowl of halos on the counter and thought to myself how delicious they looked. From the journey the night before, I was afraid that I was again trying to eat my feelings. After a few minutes, I figured I would just eat one as I felt like I was wasting my journey trying to convenience myself that I didn’t want a halo. I have to tell you that was one of the best halos I have had. It was so juicy and, even though it was sitting on the counter, it felt so cool and refreshing in my mouth. Then, it hit me: maybe my body is trying to tell me something. I went back into the main room with everyone and laid back down and started to listen to my body. I started by massaging the pain in my left hip area. I pressed and rubbed that spot until tears started to run down my cheeks. Not because it was painful but because it was my body releasing something. This journey now turned into me listening to the pains that came up and massaging and releasing those stored-up emotions. At the end of this journey, I felt so happy and light and trusted myself even more. 

 

Another highlight from my journey includes the sound baths. I have sat in just a couple previously and enjoyed them, but they didn’t have the power that the ones did during my journey. I am amazed at how some drums, chimes, and other instruments can bring up so many sensations in my body. 

 

Speaking of music, I do not consider myself musically inclined by any means. I have to watch the person next to me when we are at concerts and trying to clap in rhythm together. I am not a great dancer. At the end of this retreat, I found myself enjoying dancing and wanting to pick up a maraca or drum to play along to the music. I found myself finding joy and excitement in the feeling of letting loose and playing an instrument.

 

From the experience I had, I feel like everyone should do a psilocybin retreat with Ceremonia. The container they have created fosters a secure setting to learn deeply about yourself. They support you before, during, and after. Even to this day, I feel supported by the friends I have made during this experience. 

 

If you would like to know more about Ceremonia, you can check out their website at CeremoniaCircle.org. If you have any questions that I can answer, please reach out to me at Steph@KoruLifeCoaching.com.  

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