Updated: Jun 27
I'm just returning from the MAPS Psychedelic Conference 2023 in Denver.
What a gathering of 12,000 healers, psychonauts, scholars, educators and pioneers so eager and excited about psychedelic healing. There were elders and pioneers who started the movement, new millennial branches questioning the program of those who are trying to deprogram the program. Sacred whores talking about their healing work with medicines, Israelis and Palestinians clearing intergenerational trauma through plant medicines, neuroscientists breaking down the chemistry of peak performance and enhancement through micro-dosing, indigenous elders teaching us how to pray. There were performers embodying the liminal space of the trickster, the creative, the illogical and the absurd. Some clad in flashy feathers and psychedelic onesies and their liberated colors while others, having done the work for so long, just showing up in cargo shorts, with a big smile and an open heart, happy to see the youngsters carry the torch. I feel honored to be a part of this movement and grateful that I was able to be witness to history in the making.
At the center of it all is our passion to dig deep into connection. Connection with our unconscious and our healing intelligence, connection with our ancestors, connection with aliveness, connection with the divine. Connection with others who are radical thinkers, passionate about breaking down the walls of “Babylon”, the walls of oppression and the patriarchy, breaking down the limiting beliefs based in fear and shame that have raped us all of our own Self-Love, our own Self-Knowing, our own Self -Trust. We’ve given that away and lost our purpose and this movement strives to redirect towards our birthright. This movement is also a product of how lost we are and how eager humanity is with finding connection in a lonely world.
I was struck by moments of so many who paid so much money (including myself) to walk around the convention center longing for connection to their heart, while not paying attention to the Latina woman who was cleaning their bathroom. Or maybe the night that I had to stand in the rain and hail for an hour to get into a club, only to look for the next party and the next. I witnessed the ultimate drug we are all oppressed by: FOMO- getting in the way of the very thing we are all attempting to attain through these medicines: presence and fulfillment with what is.
I was also noticing how even in this world seeking to break down confinement and judgment, there was so much judgment of what the more “evolved '' medicines were like plant medicines vs ones like ketamine or street drugs that were deemed as less evolved. I appreciated the talks by BIPOC presenters discussing how that judgment itself holds the system of oppression and racism, since certain medicines can only be accessible to the elite while others that are available to the masses are deemed as lesser drugs. And yet, isn’t it true that all are ways that people attempt to attain non-ordinary states of consciousness?
So many inspirations and so many connections, so many fun events and so much potential. And then we return home, inspired and rejuvenated. For me I feel more present with inviting the sacred into my work. This conference was a reminder that though we use different medicines and vernaculars, what we are truly making room for is a more sacred connection to life and all beings. More awareness that we are already divinely healed, more honor and reverence for all beings and relations around us, more sacred love in every interaction. And more reminding of how when we focus on material things and capitalistic dangling carrots of success and status, we forget to look at how smiling at that cleaner and giving her a tip might be part of the sacred.
So then we came home. And as Jack Kornfield’s book title embodies: “After the ecstasy the laundry.” Can we bring joy and inspiration even into doing the laundry, or getting up for work each day or going grocery shopping and changing the kitty litter? Can all those peak experiences and inspirations hold true when you come back to your partner and practice presence, love, expanded consciousness in that moment? Can your life be enough and sacred in the mundane and the hard work of long term relationships?
Integration. We hear it all the time, but it doesn't look like a series of therapy sessions. It looks like the weaving of gratitude and the sacred in each breath. It’s a practice. It’s a boring, tedious practice of acceptance and love. And, at the end of the day, that’s what all of this hard work is for….right?
I am grateful to be working in private practice with Ketamine assisted Therapy. I bridge Internal Family Systems into psychedelic realms. I help facilitate connections and conversations between the Higher Self and wounded parts of the psyche. Ketamine can create a safe internal space to bolster your inner witness while also embodying you into your heart and love. It expands binary thinking and programmed ways of seeing yourself and the world and shows the infinite possibilities.
And hopefully, that connection to your Self can be integrated into the day to day, and into the mundane, and yes, maybe even into doing the dishes.