These past few months I've been feeling like a mouse, trapped in a maze that has no exit. Caught up in the mundane day to day, going with the flow, seeking new motivation and rarely finding satisfaction, I was at a crossroads.
I've tried things like taking a new dance class, going to new hang-out spots with old friends, even switching up my morning routines to ones I'd hear that work for other successful people on podcast interviews. Sometimes, all we need to do is to take a step outside of the spectrum.
In January, I started my year off having taken a trip to Bali, Indonesia as solo traveler. That trip was so fulfilling, it kept me charged up for half of the year. Now it's August, and I've done so many of the things I set out to do (launching this website, organizing shoots for a 2020 calendar, redefining who I believe myself to be) I found myself in a stagnant state of seeking and searching. Much like the state I was in before I met the girl who introduced me to porn, my life was forever changed just by being open to it.
My desire now is to be open and receptive in that same way, ready for a course-altering journey but wanting it to be the right one. I've put most of my focus into growing as a mainstream actor, nevertheless, I have other desires that run much deeper.
How do we find out what we really want? I have found that retreats are just the ticket. I separate myself from my normal environment, from everyone I know and see what I can discover.
Since a journey to Bali, Phuket or Negril is not ideal for a last-minute emergency retreat, I found a secluded cabin in North Georgia. It was a cabin in its own pocket of town, with no TV and plenty of space but not too much.
I packed everything I'd need to connect: journals, incense, candles, a paint set, easel, tarp, tarot cards, fresh fruit, snacks, and lots of water. I'd call this retreat an intensive, since it only lasted one day. On this special day, however, I decided to go all in and incorporate the transformational use of magic mushrooms.
Experienced retreaters know how including mushrooms on a path to enlightenment can indeed have beautiful benefits. I've learned over the years how to do it in a way that generates positive results every time. I start by fasting for six hours before my journey.
As I got settled into the cabin space, I made sure the areas where clean, candles were lit and my intentions were clear. During the fasting time, I like to meditate, write concerning thoughts in my journal and lay down the foundations of my paintings with layered background colors.
I wrote a couple lists during this preparation period: A list of things I want to release from my life (old habits, limiting mindsets) and a list of things I want to manifest. At the first sign of sunset, while the sun was still bright, I ate the shrooms.
I saw, on an episode of Broad City, how the girls ate mushrooms with yogurt to keep the stomach settled. Ever since, I adopted that technique and it's been smooth sailing. I'm not even sure if it's chemically accurate, but I love it. I prepared my mushroom bowl with a tiramisu-flavored greek yogurt and chopped mangoes.
After eating, I went out to the patio, lit a joint and waited. While seated in a comfy rocking chair, I stared out into the vastness of the forest going over the encouraging notes I'd written during the Girlboss Rally. It's important to keep your thoughts positive before the trip to set the tone. I also had my Beats Pill bluetooth speaker playing soothing instrumentals on a low volume to guide my thoughts along the way.
I'm very comfortable tripping alone, maybe because I am comfortable alone on a regular day. I enjoy gazing at the vibrant colors and light that's formed before my eyes. I embrace the images and voices that penetrate my mind while the mushrooms take full effect. You'd be surprised by the thoughts that arise when no one is around to influence them. During this time, it's always good to write down the realizations that come, and to draw the figures that appear, otherwise they'd be lost.
I took my time, no pressure, as I walked very slowly around the cabin site, stopping every so often to admire the tiny details glimpsed along the way. At the fire pit, I tossed the paper with all the traits I wanted to release into the flames. As the list turned to ash, so did my hindrances.
At night, the space became very dark and the fireflies shined bright. Being so far away from the city, I was could see waves of glistening stars in the sky and hear the night songs of all the forest creatures, and I was not afraid. It was everything I'd hoped it would be.
I feel very blessed to be able to take a step back in such a major way. I'd want to find ways to make retreats a part of my life at least twice a year, somehow, every year of my life. Maybe not to the extreme of mushroom fairy trips every time, but being able to gain unadulterated enlightenment when life gets tough. It's a gift I wish everyone could have.
Not everyone is able to be with themselves, however. To face yourself is a scary thing to do, but once it's done you feel stronger, wiser, braver, more confident. I am very happy that I took the time to go away and hold up that mirror. Retreats have the mysterious power to fuel the soul and heal the mind. Now, I'm equipped to handle just about anything.