Who would ever have thought it would take 38 years to get to this point of view!? Ah, I figure it's better now than never!
Ever since I can remember I've been really quite hard on myself. The goal setting. The critical way I'd speak to myself. You should be doing this, you shouldn't be doing that...basically I was never happy with where I was truly at, at any given point in my life, no matter where I was in the world or who I was with.
Finally it became painfully obvious. The overwhelming achievement-based thinking and overall negative self-talk (the programming) had to stop!
The mental state of satisfaction or contentment is the ultimate state of being.
This is quite opposite of the usual state of dissatisfaction going on in most people’s mind, where we always want things to be different than they are.
I quickly realized it was all part of the program - think of a computer program running in the background of everything you observed from others as a small child ... this realization shows one that they may choose their own thinking once and for all!
Not only for themselves but for how they show up for others! Our picky mind makes us have a strong opinion about everything. This causes us to say or do things that hurt or annoy other people or even that confuse others. These are what the Buddhists call worldly distractions. Thus, we need to look at how this is affecting the karma we create. For those who believe in rebirth, this means we look after how we may occur in our next life as well. Will we be reborn into a lower form such as that of an animal, or what kind of social - economic class will be in if we do in fact earn another human life?
We need to realize that things are okay as they are while finding a sense of gratitude for all we do have and all we have built for ourselves in this life so far.
By cultivating this state of being we free up much time. Time where we could perhaps give back… giving to others in any way we can. Even small acts of kindness generate much merit!
You can see that these are the kind of attitudes we want to develop so that our behaviors change for the better!
From the awareness alone came the healing - not the judgement of what the awareness had become aware of...
Allow me to explain... the healing came most easily when the awareness of the thought happened and that was it! If a judgement around how bad the thought was or how awful it was that the thought even arose in the first place, superseded the awareness itself, it seemed to defeat the purpose of the practice and only served to perpetuate the cause of the constant negativity.
So I let go once again of the judgements and just let things be. Something I do now when I notice this sort of thing is I say to myself, "I've dropped it". This allows me to move forward constructively rather than repeating the cycle once again.
So how did I get to this new, healthier place in the first place!?
I threw away all discipline that felt too harsh, too unloving, too perfectionist!!! I was ready to treat myself as if I was the most beautiful little child (inner child work) all the time! Allowing her to do whatever she pleased, with wisdom and reason of course, so to ensure I am also offering this little dear one protection, as any good parent does!
While I get that there is always going to be room for improvement and that I will continue looking for the lessons in every pitfall, failure or change of plans - and find this kind of self-reflecting beneficial, I have finally let go of the inner critic, once and for all!
I honestly can't believe how much pressure I used to put on myself.
If there's something I see that needs to get done, but it's not in my heart to do at that same very moment, I simply make a note about it. I know I will get to it when it feels best for me. And guess what!? I always do!
Life is peaceful now. There is much self-love and self-compassion. I can flow with how I feel in any moment and acknowledge and accept it as that moment's truth.
What feels good has taken precedence. This is new and exciting for me!
My actions come from a pure motivation of spirit. I do what feels good and not what doesn't (well whenever I have the freedom to do so)!
Of course there are times when we simply do things because we previously agreed or planned on doing them, such as going to a job regularly to earn a living. But this is done with the knowingness that this in itself is a privilege and that there is a certain joy that can be brought into the more mundane or routine events we find ourselves doing.
One of the things that really helped me discover this beautiful realization has been micro doing psilocybin mushrooms.
It all started on my visit to Costa Rica winter of 2019. I had known about the scientific studies that had been done with LSD in the 60s and 70s by Ram Dass and other pioneers as well as the more recent studies by Jordan Patterson from the University of Toronto (as outlined in one of his books) and I felt I ought to experiment myself! I had a history of addiction and extreme behaviors and emotions and while my healing journey thus far had helped immensely to heal physical ailmentsI was still suffering with mental afflictions. I decided what my protocol would be: taking the smallest amount of ground magik mushrooms twice a day, 3-4 times a week for a few months or so, to really give it a chance to help me.
Well, let me start of by saying, it truly was quite magical!
A properly executed micro-dose is when you have gone through you day, and half way through you suddenly notice that it's been a really nice day and only then to realize you did in fact take a micro-dose of psilocybin mushrooms that day!
That's not to say there isn't some real heavy work that is done during that time as well! There indeed was lots! The self-awareness that comes as a profound effect of the medicine supports one in their minute by minute decision making - resulting in an acute mirror like reflection from others onto you! Meaning you start to become more and more aware of your faults in others and I mean BIG TIME!
Aside from gauging how to respond authentically and with respect and gratitude for yourself and the person and the lesson within the triggering, life in and around the jungle ah-mazing! The entire experience was enhanced due to this very special medicine. I would wake up, take my dose, or not depending on the day (protocol previously discussed above) and just flow with wherever my heart and soul guided me.
This was the first time in my adult life, that I gave myself permission to simply BE.
I mostly hung around within the jungly part of Dominical CR, where there were many foreigners as they were called, from other more developed areas of the world. Most where American and had wanted relief from the stress-filled and chaotic lives they led back home. There was this 'finca' (farm) surrounded by jungle within a valley that I absolutely loved! Not many people from the community lived there as there were only a few lots that were well spread out, but that is where I discovered Somertime Inn! Somer had founded a beautiful hostel right there in the middle of the jungle! There were waterfalls and a natural pond right next door to the hostel. Many fruit trees and such wonderful souls who were attracted there from all over the world. Somer, being a fellow Vipassana student and as of recently a fellow alumni student of Dr Robert Morse, ND (the International School of Regenerative Detoxification or ISOD for short), felt like family! Her energy was so gentle and inclusive! I truly felt home. While she was busy traveling most of the time, so she couldn't be there physically, her spirit continued to draw in such incredible beings - I couldn't have been happier!
Most days I'd go to the beach on my own but I always shared some fruit with someone every day at the place I call home and made bon fires for us all in the evenings. Being under the stars and around the fire with different kinds of musicians and singers filled my heart with so much joy!
From the special flowers that surrounded the hostel, the singing frogs, to the sound of the nearby waterfalls, Somertime in was a waking dream.
When I returned from those 2 months abroad and came back to my home here in Toronto Canada, I could tell something about me was changed. My outlook on life improved greatly! Maybe even more so than a previous similar experience after enduring a near-death car accident. These kind of awakenings that you here of from others, I can attest to being a real thing!
Naturally I started back into the micro dosing as if nothing had changed.
The appreciation and gratitude I felt for everything I have built for myself initially came as surprise! I honestly had no idea this would happen. It actually took me many humbling experiences in Costa Rica to open my eyes! Just the realization of the privileges this life has afforded me alone has changed the entire trajectory of my life for the better!
My entire attitude was altered in a profound way!
Of course I should also mention I sat in 2 Ayahuasca ceremonies while there as well! So my experience is based on both of those experiments, keep in mind.
But yeah! It's been great!!! Life can be challenging sometimes - that's just life though! Part of it is being able to change our perspectives. The freedom to choose how we want to react to just about anything and everything, is true liberation!
Being able to identify a specific thought in its track, and saying to ourselves, okay I see that thought is there - it is NOT ME, and instead I CHOOSE to think of it differently.
This is consciousness!
The great mystery of this world! The seed of our very existence!