Many of us are seeking opportunities to break out of our old ways, and to grow and develop into our best selves. Psychedelics can be a powerful catalyst to this change. Yet these medicines do not work alone, but rather take intention, practice, and support to reap the rewards. Learn from Barbara Sanders, LCSW about how to enhance your transformation through psychedelics.
What increases our chances of long-lasting, major life changes during our initiation into the realm of psychedelics? How do we form our intentions before our ceremonies and digest psychedelic teachings after we have tasted the sacred holy? Why use psychedelic support and integration services?
We human beings are certainly so diverse and variable that no one size fits all. What works for me may not work for you, so it is up to each of us to create our own design through which we can grow and develop into happier, more content and healthy people. Then, we can offer better and more authentic assistance to our world and all of its beings.
Each of us is unique unto ourselves. There is no one provider or guide or trainer that can tell us exactly how to best navigate these new waters of deep healing. Certainly experienced and trusted healers of all sorts can help us on our journeys, and we combine our intentions with the intentions of our masterful teachers: sacred plants and other psychedelics. With our experiences and journeys we hope to find our own paths toward wholeness and deeper compassion for ourselves and others. Then, we attempt to manifest these changes in the world full of people and so many other precious beings.
Why People Use Psychedelics
Some people use psychedelics for partying and enjoying themselves. Others, for help with difficult psychological or physical trauma and pain. Some, for addiction and/or grief recovery. Many people also use psychedelics to explore more deeply their private spiritual and transcendent journeys. No wonder a variety of supplemental services exists to help us move toward growth and healing!
At the very beginning of our transformations, we hopefully find ways to use psychedelics safely, with respect and with excellent guidance. Once we have found those resources, we ask ourselves, what else do we need? Do we need a teacher, a therapist, a healing professional to walk beside us, to enable our best journeys and best outcomes? What, in fact, are best practices for using psychedelics? Since these substances are illegal in many states, we don’t yet have regulatory bodies or licensing boards for such transformative services.
Wherever you find yourself in your exploration of psychedelics, I urge you to think carefully and logically about what seems to help you most in life. Do you gain insight and understanding through reading, through watching videos and movies, through listening to podcasts? Do you experience more depth of consciousness when you have an actual person sitting beside you, teaching and coaching you along the way? In these days of pandemic, can an online assistant help you explore steps and phases in this process of transformation?
Using Psychedelics as a Practice
After all, using psychedelics for healing and transformation is a practice, much like yoga, meditation or therapy, even if you choose to take just one single journey. A practice includes regular inner “work” within a plan for using ritualistic methods and guides for creating spiritual growth and better health and well-being. At the beginning of our experimentation with sacred plants and other psychedelics during sacramental ceremonies and rituals, we may hope that going on retreat for a few days will change our lives. And surely, retreats focused on transformation can begin that change. But, sometimes they are only first steps in a process toward achieving true wholeness, clearing away the film from our eyes, as we experience the miracles embedded in this work. The use of supplemental services can truly enhance the process and results of our work.
Transformation may not fully arrive during a first journey. As a practicing integration provider and psychotherapist, I have used all sorts of services throughout my life to create deep connections within myself, to transform, hoping to create vibrant and meaningful connections with people and other beings, with the Divine, and with our planet. My journey has included a range of experiences including breathwork, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, yoga, meditation, spiritual community practices, and creative activities like art, dancing, and writing. I have learned much with each modality and continue many of them today.
When I added the use of psychedelics to my own plan for growth and healing, I found myself catapulted safely toward another phase or level, increasing my experience within of more open space, freedom, and a sense of belovedness I had not felt before. Little had I known or understood this new depth of experience of love, life, death, and all its many gifts – as well as its shadows. My life has become so much more rewarding and less challenging than it has sometimes been. In the beginning, this process can be a very self-involved approach to healing.
Self and Other
I believe that first we need to focus on ourselves and our own health and well-being before we can move out into the world and help create lasting and needed changes in our cultures. Ingesting enlightenment is one step and the process continues as we learn how to deal with this new information, these new ways of being that we have experienced during our journeys. We can learn what psychedelic teachers offer us and then we can integrate these understandings into our lifestyles and daily practices. Some of us also want to spread that awareness, that compassion, toward others and our world.
Initially, we seek help, advice, and support from those more knowledgeable than we to assist us on this path of transformation. Finding people whom we can trust is highly important, so we spend time and energy on this search. Integration can keep us grounded and centered before, during and after we float around in that immense, spirit and grace-filled space, only to come back to our bodies and face again our daily issues, patterns and lifestyle choices.
Transformation is not a simple, easy or quick process. We may all wish for fast results, but transformation can be discovered in our dedication and commitment to the activities which can help us experience the miraculous and magical. With proper support and assistance, our lives can become not only more pleasant and enjoyable, but also much more meaningful than ever before! I hope to meet you in that mesmerizing, magnificent space.