By Ryan Humphries
Co-Owner: Axistence Athletics
Amid the chaos of the second decade of the 21st century, a renaissance is upon us... Several cities (and the entire state of Oregon) have recently changed the laws when it comes to how they prosecute things like mushrooms, peyote, and other psychedelics. But don’t dust off your Pink Floyd albums just yet.
This post isn’t necessarily about indulging in plant medicine (although to be clear, I am not opposed to a journey into the deep...) Instead, I’d like to share why I think there’s been a resurgence of psychedelics, as well as how we may be able to tap into a very similar consciousness by making just a few tweaks to our daily lives.
Ready for a little trip? Let’s roll...
When it comes to achieving your goals, it’s mindset before muscles. Of course you have to put in the work, there’s no getting around that. But if you don’t have your mind right, good luck getting shredded. Having a mindset where you BELIEVE you can achieve your goals is the first step. Plenty of people set goals, but if they don’t actually BELIEVE they can achieve them, they often quit. Or worse yet, some never even start!
So what does achieving your goals have to do with mushrooms? Great question :)
The reason that these plant medicines (or drugs, as some unenlightened people still call them) are being decriminalized is due in part to their massive impact on the treatment of depression, addiction, anxiety, PTSD and a host of other mental afflictions. The research is so promising that Johns Hopkins has launched a dedicated center for psychedelic studies.
When under the influence of one of these substances, the brain functions a little differently. On a “good trip” the user may experience a thought pattern they never considered before. They might have a realization that what they thought was holding them back from achieving a dream, in fact wasn’t real. Another way to say this is that they might come face to face with their self-limiting beliefs. Combine that with feelings of love, euphoria, and a deeper connection to the universe, and you've got yourself a recipe for a life changing experience!
On the flip side, you’ve probably heard of the proverbial “bad trip”. This is where a user might experience less than optimal thoughts... some people might think they’re dying, some think everyone is laughing at them, and some are too scared to move or even speak.
The difference between a good trip and a bad trip? Your environment.
For those “in the know” the environment in which psychedelics are administered is called the “Set & Setting”. If you take the exact same dose of the exact same substance in two different environments, your experience (and your takeaways) could be night and day. The Set & Setting could be the determining factor for whether or not you have an amazing breakthrough, or feel like you’re going to die. Want to dive a little deeper here? Check out Michael Pollan’s book “How to Change Your Mind”.
So if our environment is so critical for a substance that helps us release our own self-limiting beliefs, and expand our consciousness, might that environment also be affecting us when we’re stone cold sober? Methinks the answer is abso-f*cking-lutely.
Like it or not, our daily Set & Setting are contributing to either a bad trip or a good trip... The people we hang around with, the situations we put ourselves in, the thoughts that we choose to put into our heads.... These are all up to us.
So many of us are looking for answers from an external source. A pill, a plant, or anything else that doesn't involve working hard. And while I am indeed an advocate of the intelligent use of plant medicine (for some populations), I also believe that those interested in psychedelics should perhaps step back and examine their own Sets & Settings first.
You wanna eat peyote? Drink some mushroom tea? Smoke DMT and see why Joe Rogan has it tattooed on his arm? That’s all fine and dandy, but let’s take a look at where your life is right now.
What does your bedroom or kitchen look like? Your workspace? Are you organized or a little chaotic? Might that be playing over into other parts of your life?
Who are you spending the most time with? Are they leveling you up or bringing you down? Do you spend time talking about other people, or discussing possibilities for the future?
Where are you spending your time? Learning, meditating, laughing and listening, or drinking, smoking, and playing video games?
These questions aren’t necessarily meant as judgements (ok maybe a little), but really they’re meant to get you thinking about the Set & Setting you’re already creating on a daily basis. While it’s true that psychedelics can absolutely change the way you view the world, ultimately they’re just unlocking something that you already possessed. YOU have the ability to make these changes, not the plants. In essence, YOU are the most potent psychedelic, and it's your Set & Setting (your mental and physical environment) that is either setting you up for success or failure.
Ready to blast off on the best trip ever?
Maybe start by setting an intention for the day, the week, the month, or even the year. Make your bed. Cook a nutritious breakfast and clean the dishes. Surround yourself with people who make you want to be a better human. Catch yourself when you’re getting into a negative headspace and knock that shit off.
You ALWAYS have a Set & Setting…and most of the time, you have the power to change it. The question my friends, is what kind of trip do you want to have?
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