Here is a sample of my first therapeutic experience taken from my book, How I Changed My Mind.
Sweet Spot No 1 – Guilt, Shame and Closure
We feel guilty for what we do. We feel shame for what we are.
Lewis B. Smedes
Since completing these last thirty days, I have read XXX excellent book XXX, which has helped me to consider new avenues of thinking, as well as understanding better the trials and tribulations psychedelics has gone through since the 1960s. But it was his very last chapter that answered one question I hadn’t been able to find an answer to. And that was what the maximum amount of psilocybin required to have the ultimate and safe trip – to reach that Sweet Spot or therapeutic/spiritual experience before stepping over that second threshold into the heroic dosing level.
My Sweet Spot
So, with a little help from a calculator, I determine what the ideal amount of my dried and ground psilocybe cubensis mushrooms. They say a dose of 20mg of psilocybin per Xkg bodyweight is required for reaching the Sweet Spot. On average, we can say there is about Xmg of psilocybin per gram of most dried psilocybin mushrooms and the ones I have fit this perfectly. This calculation gives a value of Xg of dried mushrooms with a content of nearly Xmg of psilocybin for my body weight. I weigh it out and add it to my scrambled eggs. This combination gives the eggs a slightly bitter mushroomy flavour and is okay to eat. There’s no way I could have eaten that amount of dried mushroom on its own as I have slowly grown to dislike the taste.
I decide to do this session alone without a sitter due to my knowledge as an experienced NLP coach and I should be able to stay grounded throughout. I do have my mobile next to me should I lose the plot at any time. Being alone guarantees no disturbances, no external questions or comments coming at me, etc. and I can let my sub-conscious drive me the way it needs so it can give me my inner exploratory freedom.
I have some pre-prepared questions which I am hoping to find a solution to during this session. The one person I still miss the most in my life is my mum who died several years ago. Mum had to endure the crippling effects of MS (multiple sclerosis) in the last years of her life and her personal battle against that disease over the last fourteen years was immense. Her suffering tore me apart and I still have a lot of problems dealing with it. I have always felt I had never supported her the way I should have done, especially when I consider the turmoil she went through in her early years from the abuse she suffered in the hands of her violent husband in trying to protect me when I was a baby and small child. If it wasn’t for my sister, other family members and family friends, I don’t even want to think about how I would not have dealt with it. It was all too much for me and I mentally shut as much out as I could. So, from this session, I don’t need forgiveness and I don’t need pity. What I do need though, is closure.
About fifteen minutes after eating, it gradually pulls me in and I quickly start to realise those just ‘over-the-threshold’ experiences I had taken through the 30-Day experiment were something light, gentle, playful and was nothing more than a little escapism from the real world. The sensation I now have is a full body and mind experience and I am already in awe of its first effects on me. To begin with, I am on a smooth and enjoyable kaleidoscopic journey as I notice my muscles and mind begin to relax. I decide to go to the safety of my bed and experience whatever is to happen to me from there.
Now, in my psychedelic state, I find myself slowly and gradually ‘linking up’ to this cancer within my stomach. I am witnessing scenes inside my belly as I visit various places one after another where I had endured horrible things as a child. There is a snippet of the living-room, my bedroom, my parent’s bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen, the back garden and the front garden. I hear the fights, slaps, punches, shouting, breaking of bones, pleading and crying in these scenes as they were really happening that cover the first seven years of my life. Strong feelings of guilt and shame that engulf me by destroying any remaining hope I have left within me. Then, I revisit these scenes, such that each of those painful experiences is reworked and processed and twisted and pulled apart. Then I try to put them back together differently, but it makes no difference. My guilt and shame remain as they were before.
The next stage is where the scenery changes entirely in an instant. I meet someone whom I know and highly respect personally in the real world and go through a type of spiritual bonding with them for several minutes. We are linking up with each other, a bit like two parts of a lock fitting together and become one. And all of a sudden, I realise that this person’s role is the Gatekeeper to the other side. I hear and feel a ‘click’ and another world opens up to me.
I enter the Universe.
And as I am floating in the Universe, those past problems, the abuse, the torment, the guilt and the shame dissolve within an instant. Parts of my life suddenly starts to make sense to me. Here, I realise how inadequate our language can be to describe such experiences as this. Some of my life’s problems float around me and I see (not feel) the emotions because they are disconnected from me. It doesn’t make sense, I know, but that’s the best way I can describe it. In an instant, all those negative sensations disappear that leaves me with a sense of tranquillity.
The next sensation I experience is that I am becoming a part of the Universe. When I look around into this vastness, I see the roots of the souls of all the living beings in the real world, but many of these roots are barely touching the Universe’s vast potential. Occasionally, I see a person’s root that has deeply bonded with the Universe, yet I don’t know who it is, and I can’t determine how they are being affected by it. Interestingly, I can see the roots of plants, birds and animals too, and most of these are connected to the Universe. Then I realise that my roots are now finally planted, and they start to grow and penetrate deeper into the Universe.
What I also feel around me is mum. I wanted to see her and to communicate with her in some way, but this experience is far different and more meaningful than how I imagined it could be. Her spirit is all around me, supporting me in love and understanding. I notice other spirits are flying around me the people who were once important to me that have died at some point in the past. Suddenly, those related past traumas and problems are gone. In my mind, I am far more relaxed and more confident.
I’ve led quite a lonely life in many respects, and I have tried to solve most of my problems alone. After fifty years of trying, it has finally become clear that this old way is not working. Yet, here I am in the Universe! Suddenly, I can breathe without restriction and discard some of my limiting and confusing perceptions I have of my self-identity. My loneliness has given way to feelings of great contentedness. There’s a unity that now holds me together with others a little more. This bonding is something my sister could always do that I have always struggled with. I am so grateful that she was able to give mum the love and support in her most difficult moments that I couldn’t give. At this moment, I understand them both much better and they’re not judging me. Nobody is and they never have. I only realise it at this moment. Their family love has always been unconditional. It’s now clear they’ve understood me better than I have ever understood myself over all these years.
This last part of the process has taken about an hour and I have the urge to shower. So far, I have completed around four hours of this Sweet Spot journey. Over the last couple of days, I have read about Wim Hof and his breathing techniques. One thing Wim says is that we all have a relationship with the cold and that it can help to heal us from the inside. I take a shower and enjoy the feeling of the hot water pouring over me. I swing the shower temperature lever to cold, manage about an uncontrolled second, scream out in shock and yank the lever back to hot. Wim talks about steady breathing, very much like Bastrika in Pranayama; the lungs are filled up and then quickly collapsed to force the stale air out. So, I breathe deeply into my lungs through my nose and allow the stale air to flow out of my mouth, nice and steady. It is a wonderful sensation and with the sound of water cascading over my head and it becomes suddenly amazing. After about thirty breaths or so, I swing the lever to cold and that icy water hits me from top to bottom. I carry on breathing steadily and slowly such that I recognise myself opening up from the inside. Then suddenly, I experience a massive emotional release inside me, and it is exhilarating. I carry on doing this for about fifteen minutes under the freezing water is invigorating. I now begin to understand why this is so important to our health and well-being. I switch off the ice-cold water and am feeling alive and free, truly free from those shackles I have carried for most of my life (I would like to add that I have tried that same cold shower several times since and to date I have managed no more than fifteen seconds).
It’s now six hours since I have taken the psilocybin. I settle down and drink a cup of tea, reflecting what I have just gone through. I think I will be contemplating this experience for the next few days, if not in the weeks to come. And I still sense this personal connection with the Universe. Maybe I still have some psilocybin flowing through my system. I don’t know. I reflect upon the difference I have experienced mentally between my NLP Breakthrough and this new experience with psilocybin. Both are fantastic and beneficial experiences. At this point, a question comes to mind: was what I have just experienced real or was it merely a collage of images and memories from my past?
The journey I have described above is similar to having many dreams packed together. I’m not quite sure of the exact sequence of events any more, nor how those life-long issues came to a closure, they just did. Many things were happening in my mind at lightning speed such that so much happened so quickly to remember any of the details. My challenge here is trying to put this experience into words.
I have reached a closure regarding my mum and I now notice her presence in a way I could never have anticipated. Her birthday is in a couple of weeks, which is always a hard time for me and I’ll know better when it has passed… Note: Mum’s birthday has since come and gone, and I felt fine and had tremendous amounts of love for her, reflecting on my memories of her. I am still sad she is no longer here, but for the first time, I am now free from that ever-growing feeling of guilt and shame which had burdened me for the last fifty years.
In XXX interesting book, XXX, he puts forward various theories as to what could be happening in these sessions. One of these is that we create our world in our mind, enabling us to encounter the Universe. When we do this, we are in effect using a personal gateway to access the Universe made possible through the use of specific plants we naturally find on our planet. Another point is that it seems like all those experiences from our forefathers we have gathered over time are stored within our memory banks and in our genes thus giving us a sizeable and generational history to reflect upon. But what about my experience of the Universe? Did I (and some of my forefathers) witness that? Does it really exist? And who does that make crazy, those that deny and disbelieve it or those that have experienced it? Real or not, it has had a profound effect on me and judging by the way I feel, probably a lasting one too.
The Next Day
By the evening on the same day I carried out this Sweet Spot experiment, I was tired and was more than happy to go to bed early. This tiredness is more than I imagined and that I would not be ready for sleep until late in the night or early the next morning. When I did go to bed, I slept like a contented baby through the night. I remember dreaming, yet the dreams were so light and free such that I can’t remember what they were about in any detail. I had no Dark Thoughts through the night whatsoever. When I woke up this morning, I felt light and refreshed, and I just wanted to get up and get on with the day.
And as I sit here typing this, I notice a tension that has been in my chest for several years has gone completely. I feel I can breathe with ease for the first time in a long time. What I do notice is that I still have that knotted ‘cancerous’ sensation in my stomach. It’s not as tense as before this session. There’s a great weight on my shoulders that has eased up, although something is still there and is still weighing me down slightly. My mind is clear, I can see what I have to achieve today and it’s progressing well.
Regarding the connection to the Universe, I notice it is still there and it feels almost as strong as during my Sweet Spot experience yesterday. No, I don’t think I’m going to turn into a new-age hippy or some kind of spiritual guru. I do believe, however, that I have the potential to change into the person I was born to be. Better late than never, as the old saying goes. When I think about it, I think I have worked through the last key remaining issues I had regarding my father, his damaging attitude to his family and the violent abuse we suffered under. I think I can now let go of this part of my past.
Regarding my mum, the most important part for me is that I have released all that guilt and shame as I was feeling her presence surround me. It was her wish for me to be free from all that punishment and torture I have put myself under all these years. I willingly accepted her offer as this release is something I desperately need. My love, admiration and respect for my mum are as large and buoyant as they always were and she has given me the sensation that I am more free and open to the world around me.
One Month Later…
I don’t think my clarity of thought has ever been this good. I regularly see my past life thoughts flying around me and a lot of that life-long fog has lifted. Being around people is also somewhat different; I am more relaxed in their company and able to behave more naturally. Occasionally, I still feel a little unsure of what to say or do, yet I am more aware of how to think in a more relaxed manner and how to approach some situations differently. This new openness in me is a great step in the right direction.
I love playing chess, although I don’t get the chance to play as often or as well as I would like to. I’ve noticed that since experiencing this Sweet Spot followed by my micro-dosing routine, my game has improved immensely and am winning more often against the same opponents I regularly play. I can see the board clearer and the way the pieces interrelate with each other.
Since completing this Sweet Spot experiment, I have not had one Dark Thought. My dreams are more interesting and ‘fun’. I’ve had a couple of weird ones which I haven’t been able to understand, but we’ll put that down to having too much food and wine on the odd occasion.
Eating is still a bit of a mish-mash. For several days I have had reasonable control over my diet. Then my wife and I went to Prague for a small holiday and I regressed. What chance did I have faced with all those delicious dumplings and traditional Czech food and beer? Since coming back, I haven’t noticed any improvement in my eating habits and have poor control over my diet again. Still a way to go on this one, unfortunately.
I have noticed since around the age of forty-eight that I am ageing physically and that there is a little stiffness creeping in here and there. Maybe that’s also linked with my poor diet and a lack of fitness too. Since using psilocybin, however, some of the aches and pains have reduced a little. My leg still gives me jip, yet even that seems a little less severe than before.
Finally, I seem to be more balanced emotionally. If someone flips out or annoys me, I tend to keep my emotions more under control and react more appropriately and I haven’t lost my temper so often.
To repeat an old cliché, it really is like having a massive weight lifted off my shoulders. Once those restrictive bonds have been broken, it can suddenly feel like there is an entirely different world out there before us and it’s not as bad as we make it out to be. For someone who hasn’t experienced this, it may be very hard or impossible to understand what I mean by this. Now my shoulders feel lighter and I stand taller. When I meet someone I don’t know, I sometimes smile at them and some smile back. I hope that helps them for at least a second to forget their burden they are carrying on their shoulders.
What a release.
My plan was to stop this experiment here, but I felt compelled to take this further and carry out another Sweet Spot session…
Thank you for reading this chapter and thank you for your understanding that I have removed a couple of bits of information. They can be found in the book. If you wish to buy this for further reading, it can be found at most Amazon sites, however, it is cheaper here.