My Mushroom Journey to Healed Trauma, Less Shame, and More Love (Part 5: The Research is In: Mushrooms Work!)
In the growing body of research, it's becoming more and more evident that psilocybin is a powerful agent for all sorts of positive effects.
Before meeting Ryan, learning about his work with plant medicine, and embarking on my own journey,
my knowledge of magic mushrooms was fairly limited.
Here’s about as much as I knew.
A buddy of mine had been experimenting with microdosing the past couple years. Microdosing, for the uninitiated, is the concept of taking smaller amounts of a substance (ie, micro doses, usually around .25 gram) that—in the case of mushrooms—is not enough to fully alter your consciousness, but perhaps just enough to nudge your mind toward more openness and awareness. The research on microdosing is still fairly limited, and the results are often imperceptible, but for some people it is a helpful tool for enhancing their mood, creativity, and ability to empathize with others. (Such enhancements might be, however, more a result of the expectancy effect than from the psilocybin itself.)
Another friend of mine had fairly recently experimented with about a gram of mushrooms—higher than micro, but not quite a full trip-dosage (which usually requires north of two grams). He offered a glowing report of his afternoon being delighted by nature, enraptured by small children, and overall experiencing a feeling of spaciousness and love. Albeit anecdotal, it nonetheless provided a close-to-home account of someone I knew and trusted’s experience.
My most significant touchpoint to psychedelics, though, came through my years of listening to the Pete Holmes’ podcast, You Made it Weird. Pete is a comic who’s podcast has served as friendly guide for me for the past ten years. Mirroring a lot of my own experiences, Pete was raised in fundamental Christianity, went through a period of shifting faith, and came out on the other side with a more open and expansive view of spirituality. But to the point, Pete has also shared openly over the years about his experiences with psychedelics, and he’s often had guests on to talk about it as well. Even though I don’t know Pete, hearing these kinds of conversations over the years has had a kind of normalizing effect, serving to demystify a lot of the stigma around substances like mushrooms. Rather than being this scary, foreign drug that only hippies and addicts dabble in, I’ve come to understand that mushrooms can (and have) served as a helpful resource for many people for many years get more in touch with themselves and with the kind of Source that seems to be in all and through all. Because of how much I’d come to trust and respect Pete over the years, hearing him tell tale of how mushrooms expanded his mind and opened his heart provided me a safety net that would, as it turns out, keep me grounded and not-freak-out once my own Journey began.
In addition to my own results (which, in due time, I’ll obviously share more about), since my Journey I’ve had my eyes open to the mounds of research (and it’s only growing) on the positive effects of psilocybin.
Here’s just a sampling…
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