NVC and Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy

NVC and Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy
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Date Posted: December 10, 2018
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Part 2 - I Need You. 

In the context of a healing ceremony or therapy session, psychedelic journeys amplify the unresolved issues from childhood, although it can be hard to remember that and make sense of things during a psychedelic journey. Making the connections between what happened in a journey and your childhood is an important part of the integration of the experience. The day after my LSD journey, Bruce helped me sort through the session while Chris filmed. It was very helpful. I highly recommend following up a psychedelic journey or plant medicine ceremony with a therapist or guide knowledgeable in journey integration.

I need you has been a common theme in my recent journeys. It seems as though I'm getting to younger and younger memories of having to cut off from needing others. I don't usually have a visual memory; rather, I re-experience the sensations and emotions of the memory. In my LSD journey I felt very fragile in the memory of cutting off from needing others. Silence and loving presence were most helpful for me in those moments. To help my young parts complete an incomplete expression of I need you, I said the words out loud during those fragile moments. I said them several times. It's often hard for me to say anything on psychedelic journeys, let alone something so vulnerable as I need you. I even experimented with saying I need all of you. Bruce tried different responses until I made it clear that I just wanted silent, loving presence. 

My mother has told me that I was too sensitive/emotional/needy as a baby, which means to me that she didn't have the support mothers need for raising children, as so many mothers didn't and don't. And, I know that she was allowed very little needing of others as a baby and a child. In response to my mother's perception of me, and my father's, I believe I created the implicit (unconscious) beliefs I'm too much, My needs and emotions are too much very early in life. It is hard work to go back to those places and be in the intense vulnerability of needing others. I think I brought Bruce to his edges of staying present with my vulnerability, although I didn't check that out with him. 

Connecting to needs and expressing needs is the foundation of Nonviolent Communication. How comfortable and free you are with expressing your needs now - are they invitations or demands - and how comfortable you are with hearing the needs of others is directly linked to the typical response you had to your expression of our needs during childhood, right from birth. And changing your relationship to needs requires much more than an intellectual understanding.

I need to slow down was also a big theme for me in my journey, as well as We need to slow down. I'm sure this was related to my birth, which was very fast, and my loss of connection with my mother during my birth - she was doing the self-hypnosis technique she had learned in order to not feel pain. As Mia Kalef explained in my interview with her, our pre-birth and birth experiences are big influences on how we approach life, and I can certainly connect I need to slow down to many aspects of my life. 

 

I also feel strongly that we all need to slow down. We are going through a collective dying. On one level, we may be going extinct. On another level, our masculine-dominant conscious is dying. Either way, a good death requires slowing down. Hopefully, we are collectively birthing something - a new and balanced way to live together in harmony with the Earth and a new consciousness. A good birth also requires slowing down. 

At the risk of sounding flaky (and I usually have little tolerance for flaky), it didn't always feel like it was me speaking when I was saying We need to slow down during my LSD journey. Sometimes, I said We need to slow down; we don't know what we are doing. I felt like a portal or a window between worlds or dimensions. But, speaking while deep into a psychedelic journey is usually a wonky thing for me. (As I reflect on the wonkiness right now, it seems to me that speaking was more wonky on LSD than it has been on plant medicine, which may be something about the LSD or something about the fact that I had fasted for 24 hours prior to taking it and took a large dose, or both.) I wonder what it will look like on film... Promise me you'll laugh if it looks funny.

One more theme for now. Dying. Dying has been a theme in most of my plant medicine journeys. On this LSD journey, I was being asked to die so that I could advance to the edge of consciousness and do my part to evolve it. There were two choices. 1. Literally die and go help consciousness evolve, or 2. stay here on Earth and step all the way up to turn things around. It seemed as though Choice number one was the priority as if it were more urgent or important. Both choices felt like a burden of responsibility that I couldn't bear. It wasn't that I was being asked to take all of the responsibility for evolving consciousness or turning things around on Earth, but it was too much because I couldn't see others who had made the choice, which left me thinking that I might be alone with either. Everyone else was escaping the choices and hiding in the matrix. This was an extremely hard thing to be with because it seemed true; I had no sense of it representing something from my childhood. All I could manage was to admit that I was afraid to die and afraid to show up on Earth without others. The shame was intense. Bruce's help with connecting the dots the next day in our integration session was huge.

I almost didn't speak about the choices to die or live during my integration session with Bruce. I hadn't slept all night and was still feeling somewhat vulnerable. Furthermore, an important part of the narrative had been that if I didn't keep choice number one a secret, my opportunity to die and move forward to the edge of consciousness would be lost and I would be yet another one who had failed the test. How's that for pressure? Fortunately, I spilled the beans and Bruce helped me connect the dots to my childhood. His take on the choices dilemma of my journey was that most parents of his and my generation didn't have enough support, particularly emotional support (many still don't). They didn't know they needed it, or it was too shameful to need it, or it just wasn't available (all still true for many parents, though things are changing). Without realizing it, some parents turned to their children to work through their issues or they projected their issues onto their children, or both (the projection piece since hearing Bruce's thoughts). I think it's often both. My mother projected 'too sensitive' onto me (and probably my father, too) and I remember clearly how my mother would unwittingly lean on my siblings and me for emotional support. That left me as a child believing both that something in me was too much for me or anyone else (represented in my LSD journey as the current state of humanity and the Earth) and that I was being asked to care for something too big for me, my parents (represented in my LSD journey as the outer edge of conscious). 

My parents separated when I was ten. My 'world' came apart. I didn't receive the emotional help I needed to grieve that loss and to work through the projections I was still carrying. I escaped into a matrix of video games, TV and alcohol (starting to drink at age 14). My unconscious mind (my young parts) still believes that there is something broken in me, and that there is not enough support for the bigger problems in life, and that I am therefore not up to the task. Escape is the only option, albeit a very, lonely and lifeless option. But despair not, thanks to the incredible healing modalities I have access to, and thanks to my outstanding friends, these beliefs are losing ground. Something beautiful and precious beyond belief is being born. I'm doing my best to slow down and be present. It needs me. I think it needs all of us. 

I had some time with close friends on Vancouver Island before returning to Vancouver to guide a friend through his plant medicine journey. It was a deep dive for him. I played didgeridoo, I helped him move his body, I played guitar and sang, I helped him express things he needed to express, I played harmonium, I helped him feel his boundaries. And I helped him grieve. In between all of that, I sat with him in silence and let the medicine do its healing work. 

Time with close friends after a psychedelic healing journey is immensely helpful after such a journey. So is writing about it. Thank you very much for being here. For more of my articles (including part 1 of this article) as well my music, photography, and interviews, please go to www.patreon.com/thegoldenrepair.