Coming out of the ayahuasca closetThe moment I heard that Michael Pollen was coming out with a book about psychedelics, I knew it was the time to make my move, go public and come out of the ayahuasca closet. I had been patiently waiting, listening and praying for a sign to let me know the time was right and I knew this was exactly it. 

The release of “How to Change Your Mind What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence speaks volumes to a newfound cultural openness to psychedelic research that is too valuable to continue to be ignored. 

We will look back on this moment at some point in the future and recognize the magnitude of importance it has, marking a distinct moment in time within the larger framework of this cultural psychedelic renaissance that is currently underfoot, and now moving above ground at a much swifter pace. 

Psychedelics are finally no longer taboo and the propaganda campaigns advocating the “war on drugs” from the 60’s are finally fading in the distant past. 

Massive and growing subsets of the population are highly interested in the science and the research behind psychedelics and their use to help treat a wide range of pathologies plaguing our culture, as well as exploring their use as incredibly valuable tools to explore the dimensions of our consciousness. 

The people who work closely with psychedelics understand just how important these tools are to help us understand our psyche, our subconscious mind, and our consciousness. It’s no small statement when Stanislav Grof, M.D, who’s lead over 4000 LSD psychotherapy assisted sessions wrote in his book LSD psychotherapy:

“…it does not seem to be an exaggeration to say that psychedelics, used responsibly and with proper caution, would be for psychiatry what the microscope is for biology and medicine or the telescope is for astronomy.” 

Underneath the Public Persona

I’ve been a public figure in the health and wellness field for many years with my online brand and retreat business Happy & Raw. 

Michael Pollen and I share somewhat of an interesting parallel. He’d previously been known as a food journalist and has written many books on the topic of food. I’ve also written two published books, one on food addiction and one on mindful eating. His foray into psychedelic research has caught some people by surprise, but considering what’s unfolding in the world today, including the overwhelmingly positive research surrounding psychedelics, it’s is less surprising than it might seem at first glance.

Underneath my public persona, I’ve also been working with psychedelics and plant medicines, exploring their healing potential in my own life for about 20 years at this point. I’ve always been a strong advocate for the use of plant medicines, but because of my more public profile in the health industry, it never felt quite right for me to be stating my position publicly. 

Nevertheless, I had a very strong desire to want to share the immense amount of transformational healing, insights and teachings I’ve received from my plant allies in a more public way, especially how ayahuasca was helping heal depression as well as addiction in my life. 

I’ve been repeatedly asking myself how I could be integrating what I’m learning on the medicine path with my professional career, but have honestly feared my personal safety (and for good reason) due to the legal status of plant medicines in the US. (And basing myself outside of the US makes me feel much safer to come out about my relationship with plant medicines, particularly ayahuasca.) 

Catastrophe Leads to Divine Alignments 

The lava flow on the Big Island of Hawaii that had forced us to evacuate the Volcanic Hot Spring Retreat Center we built from scratch has also played a major role in encouraging me to fully embody my heart-path. Before the lava started flowing I had made a very clear agreement with Spirit one night in ceremony that I was ready for whatever needed to unfold in my life to align me more fully with my purpose on this planet. I knew something major was going to happen, I just didn’t know what it was going to be. But I can see clearly now, that my soul signed up for this very specific path, and has brought me to exactly where I need to be, perfectly positioned to do this really important, much-needed work in the psychedelic community that also makes my heart feel so fulfilled. This is what Divine Alignment feels like. 

Ayahuasca has been encouraging me to come out of the closet. To write about my experiences, as I’ve started doing in my Ayahuasca Diaries article series and share this story with the world, or at least anyone who’s interested. This is the time to fearlessly own it. Own every fucking inch of it. It took lava flowing a mile from our land to strip away every possible thing in my life that prevented me from fully walking this path. 

Now, I fully and completely lay my life down on the alter of Spirit… and Hallelujah for that! 

In Service 

What is unfolding in the psychedelic arena both culturally as well as within the very personal realms of my own life are just too valuable and important to not share it more openly. I feel like I would be dong a dis-service to my life path and to humanity to not speak up about the wisdom of these sacred plant medicines, encouraging us to remember our inherent interconnectedness to each other and to this planet and embody the highest version of ourselves we’re willing to dream up and manifest. 

My heartfelt intention is to dedicate my life to the awakening of this planet. I’m offering my life to help to usher in the continued, more widespread use of psychedelics, teaching people how to align with these sacred medicines in a mindful and intentional way.

It is my absolute joy to teach people how to harness the power of these sacred medicines to manifest soul centered success, as well as teaching people how to integrate the teachings and downloads they receive in journey-space and effectively translate that into the every day reality of their lives. 

Live Free, Laura D

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