Are you ready to take back control of your life and your personal journey? Are you prepared to learn to release control of your journey to your higher self?
You may not control the destination, but you control the steps on the journey. Why not choose an intention or destination that you can be proud to share with others? Something that resonates within you. Something selfless and greater than yourself. Then, go look for it. You might not find what you thought you were looking for, but you will find something of value. You may just find yourself.
It is important to know ourselves. However, all too often, we simply don’t know what we don’t know. This is the reason that self-exploration is so important: It helps us to see the wonderful gifts and tools that we have been blessed with, which help us through the uncertain times.
There is no need to worry about what’s to come when you have the right state of mind to begin the journey while acting with purposeful intention along the way. Don’t forget to take inventory of your gifts and unique skills acquired so far in your life and remember the journey is yours to love and behold in every precious moment.
Your mushroom journey, like any good journey, starts by defining a goal and setting out to reach it. For instance, imagine you are an explorer setting out to find the Northwest Passage. Along the way you will come across countless trails with countless adventures at the end of them. This might come in the form of a civilization new to you, beautiful scenic views, or new people to help and learn from. Maybe you take one of the side trails here and there. But you can't take them all, or else you will never reach the goal you set out to achieve. If you deviate too much, your purpose changes to “Side Trail Exploration” rather than the original goal.
Maybe that’s okay if your goal is a fun recreational weekend. But maybe that's not so good if this is your career or life goal and you want to honor the commitments you made to others when setting that goal (i.e., employer, spouse, parent, friend, etc.). Maybe when you are done, you can still loop back around to that side rabbit trial and go live with the beautiful civilization there. Who knows?
Or to switch to a war metaphor, no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy. (Barron Von Clausewitz, the Elder). Or to paraphrase President Eisenhower: Battle plans are useless, but battle planning is invaluable. Set your plan, your goal, your intention, and then figure things out as you go. Life is meant to be lived in the present - right now in this moment.
As you explore reality (which includes the material world as well as your mind or consciousness), you add to your map and extend the distance you can comfortably travel. You keep track of what you learn (your past) so you can better find out where you are and where you are going (your future).
This knowledge will help you find your way back to safety or a comfortable place should you make a wrong turn along the way. Your map will be covered with dead-ends and U-turns, but that's what makes your life's journey a one-of-a-kind cartographic masterpiece. There will be lots of those wrong turns but that’s what makes a map full, complete and beautiful.
As your map grows in size and detail, so grows your courage to step off the path before you and to forge new ones of your own design. The moment you diverge from the existing path, your life will change forever, for this is the moment you begin to understand the importance of perspective.
A single step to the left or the right can open your vision to a new angle from which to view your surroundings and your place within them. If you see an obstacle, climb it and enjoy the view. This newfound perspective may lead you to question what you thought you knew or to realize that your view is simply not the only one to be considered when dealing with others who are not standing in your shoes. Empathy and compassion are a product of imaginative visionary thinking.
You climb a hill here and there slightly off the beaten path. And from that changed perspective, you see something right in front of you that is better than your original destination. Maybe you even see yourself in a different light from that higher ground. Now you set off in that direction if your values allow for it. Or, maybe your values change.
That’s a lot like life. Often, we get caught up in “this goal or bust,” and we forget to live in the moment. This moment. The only moment.
Yes, have goals. Yes, set intentions. But experience each step of the journey to its fullest. This moment is the only moment that ever exists, and it keeps on providing more and more to you as you more fully immerse yourself in it.
That is our goal - our intention - at Silo Wellness. You already have a destination. You already have a map. You might be an athlete, or practice yoga, or be deeply spiritual or religious in your beliefs. You may be a hiker and lover of nature. You might be a gardener. All these things serve as a foundation to build upon. Introspective retreats are not a one-size-fits all framework that some sort of guru tells you is the only way to experience psychedelics. That might be their framework, or their foundation. But we are individuals.
Mushrooms are a very democratic thought inspirer. They are very individual in nature. But as strongly introspective and internal that they are due to user mindset and personal experience, they are also very community oriented as well. You learn from the experiences of others, hence coming to a guided retreat and being in groups.
Learn from the words and voices of others in real life in real time. At a place where you get all the data. The facial expressions. The body language. The emotion. The thoughts. You learn this not by staring at a computer screen or reading a book. There is something deeply personal about human contact and conversation that supplements the research that you read about with your eyes. Humans evolved to understand the world in an interactive person-to-nature and person-to-person manner.
That’s why our retreats focus on lifestyle areas in a group setting. If you have a strong foundation in fitness, use that as your foundation. Focus inwardly on the biomechanics of the elaborate organic machine that your supercomputer brain controls.
If you have a religious background, turn your mind inward to prayer and speak the words aloud externally while contemplating the mysteries of your faith.
If you are a veteran, fall back on that disciplined training and the group or team dynamic.
These are your strong foundations. Or, to go back to the exploration metaphor: These are the little avatars you choose before playing the retro Oregon Trail game. If you are a farmer or hunter, you play on those strengths and gifts, and then start the journey. If you decide to pivot along the way to Oregon because you see something more interesting, then by all means change directions!
There doesn’t need to be anything “New Age” about a psychedelic mushroom experience. You don’t necessarily have to build a completely new foundation. Maybe just reinforce it a bit and fill in the cracks in the concrete, or perhaps dig a little of the quicksand out from underneath it and backfill it with solid stone.
It all depends on your background and how you got here. Your experiences are uniquely beautiful. Value them; don’t fear them.
But here’s the catch: oftentimes with that strong foundation, you may have a building on it that either doesn’t suit the foundation (i.e., too heavy, wrong footprint, etc.) or is a weather-worn shack of questionable structural integrity. Do you spend the time and effort renovating? Or do you tear it down or move it to back lot on the property to be dealt with later. That is a deeply personal and spiritual question and depends a lot on where you are on your very personal spiritual journey.
Whether you are a beginner or expert in spiritual exploration or introspection, you are welcome. We all have the work to do and sometimes we need a safe place with a new perspective to catalyze our growth or to give us a new perspective. It’s amazing how much the master can learn from the apprentice and how much we can learn about ourselves and our craft by sharing knowledge with others. Humans were meant to work together in a community.
From your own personal foundation, you first build a single room. That’s your command center or control room. This serves as the fortress for your supercomputer server for your life. This is where the battle plans live. This is where the new and improved operating system resides with all the rogue programming deleted. Don’t build it out of a single substance. Use aggregate. Reinforce the concrete with rebar. Use all the resources at hand.
For life, you need the mind, body and spirit as your foundation AND as your building materials. They all need to be strong. And the good news is by reinforcing one, the others strengthen. In other words, along a journey, you stop and build a fortress or a base camp every now and then and replenish supplies and plan the next section of the journey. It’s okay to pause and be patient along the way.
So, what is your personal foundation? Is it fitness? For instance, fitness is about the body, right? Not quite. The body is the piece of the material world that your mind controls. Fitness is really about mental discipline and habit formation. And your spirit, in part, is what inspires your mind along with the external data hitting you every moment. By focusing on the biomechanics of your body, you are training your brain to focus on the moment.
But what is training the mind? Now add mushrooms into the equation to maximize the brain processing power devoted to this intense focus on your body and then test the results.
However, set your intention first. Why are your focused on fitness? Is it ego based? Or is it because you were given one life and you and those that you help deserve you to live as long as possible while maximizing your full potential.
Before booking a retreat or while preparing for it, do a self-inventory of what your foundation is. Don’t look first to what you want to destroy and rebuild, but look to what you have. Your experience and the skills that experience generated. And be grateful for those experiences.
Did you grow up playing chess? Team sports? A dedicated worker? Are you compassionate? Kind? A strategic thinker? Do you love to learn? What are your skills? Are you a communicator? Are you strong?
Don't get discouraged if you are not at a place to be grateful for your strengths. They are there but you might be in a personal place where you are not yet ready or willing to love yourself and acknowledge them.
So....let's start here: Do you know how to make your bed? Wake up and mindfully stretch the sheets over the four corners. Watch the cotton fibers stretch. Be grateful to the manufacturer of that piece of material and ponder the supply chain that it took to get it to you. Be grateful to your ancestors who figured out the power of fibrous plants. Take each action with intention. Do not let your subconscious mind make your bed rotely. Intentionally ponder your hand movements. Look at the finger dexterity required to handle the corners of the form-fitting sheet. Then when you are done, know that you accomplished something already. Be grateful to that and look forward to rewarding yourself at the end of the day with a comfortable place to close your eyes.