Since the last post, amongst my partner being struck by a serious bout of bronchtis, suffering allergies and bedding into life here in NYC, I’ve onboarded as a psychedelic integration guide at Mindbloom - supporting people through programs of ketamine therapy through preparation, navigation and integration of the psychedelic experience.
Everyone has a unique reason for committing to the program - whether long-term depression, anxiety, a deep sense of unworthiness and so on…the common, although at times underlying, sentiments are the wanting of growth, of change, to come unstuck and to be able to life fully with more intention and authenticity - we can all resonate.
One of the things I encourage clients to do in between the actual medicine sessions is to be attentive and curious in the seemingly 'ordinary' daily routine. It’s easy to fall into expectations of huge cataclysmic changes to occur overnight when we commit to wooking on ourselves, some flash of lightning to come along and cleanse everything and life is anew...
Anybody who has been on a journey of behaviour change or fought their way through a serious mental health challenge, knows there is no quick fix to deep rooted issues.
The shifts are often subtle, seemingly minor and without your attention and curiousity, would pass by quickly. Perhaps a slightly different energy in the morning or a positive thought in response to a negative pattern or less reactivity in the face of a familiar trigger.
Taking action, however small, in these moments, which will be uncomfortable to begin, supports the process of embedding a new behaviour and is a step towards our goals.
And you don’t need a psychedelic journey or a long meditation to begin this process - these opportunities are always presenting themselves each moment, giving us a choice, we simply need be willing to pay attention to here and now, instead of looking at some far away goal - it’s only ever happening now.
And earlier this week, I took the opportunity to take new action in a situation that I know a few years ago I’d have done the opposite.
Some context, I won’t name the comapny but the content manager from a well-established wellness brand here in NYC reached out about collaborating on creating some video content on meditation - of course, sounds perfect!
A call with the co-founder followed, brainstormed some ideas for a 5-part meditation video series, we discussed the partnership details, the logisitcs of the video shoot and so on…
Some days passed, so I reach out with some more ideas and to confirm everything - naturally I’m excited about the potential of this job, but the response I received was both saddening and disappointing.
That after meeting with the content team, the co-founder was advised on guidelines for the video - it's policy to only use close trimmed or no beards - would you be willing to adjust your facial style?
This brought up feelings of anger and discomfort. Firstly the thought of the wellness space, using primarly ancient and eastern philosophy, has been ‘washed’ and ‘glossed’ to the Western consumer - I could have written a chunky and agressive email back on this pretty sharp.
Then the smell of bullshit - how can the co-founder not be aware of these guidelines already, and surely the content manager would never have reached out in the first place, via Linkedin of all places showing a healthy beard on my profile picture!?
I took an hour or so to cool and politely declined…
I was happy in what I noticed…change and growth. A change in how I react to an old trigger. Growth in the form of greater self-respect.
Previously, I’d have immediately reacted and sent a passive agressive virtue signalling lecture over in email. And regretted it.
Previously, I certainly would have taken the opportunity for work, trimmed the beard and gone against what I feel inside to fit in somewhere I don’t belong due to lacking courage to be who I am for. For many years I lacked authenticity for fear of not being liked, to be accepted…
These things may seem minor, but for me serious markers of growth and change on the path of behaviour change…where do you notice growth, where do you notice change?