Two weeks ago I published a piece subtitled The Only 3 Things You Need For Your Next Trip. I wanted to help explorers remove obstacles by identifying them, as I know how it is to be in the position of wanting to set up a session, but still somehow unable to make it happen.
I focused on the minimal logistics required, as those can often be the biggest barriers. I’ve since realised that I missed probably the most important thing. The thing without which nothing else matters:
I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that it takes no small amount of courage to put that dose in your mouth and embark on that journey into the unknown.
On a journey of psychedelic exploration, sooner or later, your ideas about the foundations of reality will be shaken. You will also have to face your shadow; the unknown dark side of your personality, the hidden parts that are deemed ‘unacceptable’, that bring rise to feelings of shame.
In those difficult moments, you will be forced to call upon all of your resources as a human being. It is truly challenging, but it is also extremely rewarding.
Nature loves courage, psychedelic bard Terence McKenna famously proclaimed in reference to psychedelic journey work. We might also say:
Life loves courage. The Universe loves courage.
In other words, we are rewarded by the universe when we face our fears, when we step into trust. It takes courage to hand over control, to let go, to face what emerges from the dark depths inside.
Embarking on your healing journey is no small undertaking. It takes greatness of heart to leave the known in search of something greater, and to willingly go towards those parts of yourself that you are most afraid of.
We must be brave, not only to face ourselves in psychedelic states, to really, honestly, look ourselves in the eye, but also to show up in the real world after the session has ended, to do the work the medicine has shown us we need to do. This is the challenge of integration.
But the effects of this work are not to be underestimated. When you heal yourself you heal a part of the larger whole. As you heal, and step out into the world, expressing who you are, the effects of your personal work ripple out to create wider social change.
“A sensitive and honest-minded man, if he’s concerned about evil and injustice in the world, will naturally begin his campaign against them by eliminating them at their nearest source: his own person.”
― Fernando Pessoa
If you have heard the psychedelic call, and it is not going away, the biggest obstacle between you and your experience could be the courage to take the plunge and commit to it. Once that commitment is made, there is no obstacle too great to overcome.
Maybe you have glimpsed the potential of psychedelics. Maybe you’ve had a casual trip with friends and got a taster of the mysteries they behold. Maybe you’ve already had powerful, even life-changing experiences, but they are long ago, now distant dreamlike memories. Though they are distant, somehow, some way, you know they are calling for a return, a revisit, a reunion. Maybe you know very well that you need to journey again, and life has been conveniently serving you all the excuses you need to justify your dance of avoidance. Maybe your reasons have been totally valid and your obstacles were legitimate, or your way was another for a while. Maybe your path was to step away, explore other modalities, tend to other responsibilities, integrate past experiences through other work and engagement in the world.
But if you are reading this, then I suspect something deep inside is calling you and telling you that the time is ripe.
If you are ready to step forward, be prepared to muster every ounce of courage you have. This path is not for the comfort seeker, it is not for the faint of heart. But if that call is there, persistently tugging at you, calling you again and again, you can only ignore it for so long. Sooner or later, you will have to answer it, and embark on the path you are here to take. I will be walking alongside you.
Summon your courage.
You are needed.