I am reading this and crying - this is so powerful! Thank you for pouring your heart into this book!!! OMG! I can't stop reading! This book is phenomenal ! It is so emotional, it gets you down to the core, and at the same time is full of evidence based information and very deep research. You will change so many lives! Thank you for sharing your book with me, it is definitely changing my course of action...
I first connected with Gerardo Urias on the international Wim Hof Method Facebook page. He was interested to see if there was anyone in the group who would be willing to share their story overcoming adversity with the WHM for his upcoming book, so I decided to share this healing journey I have been on for several years now. Mental disorders, in my case bi-polar disorder, carry a heavy stigma in modern society. I want to give hope to people suffering with mental disorders, as well as attempt to reduce the use of such commonly used words as "mental illness" and "disorders" in general.
By incorporating this method into my life, I have been able to break free from isolation, depression, pain, and fears that I have suffered with for over thirty years. Through breathing exercises and cold exposure, I have created space between depression and mania, and that space has given me the time to find myself. Exterior triggers and negativity have no permanent hold over me anymore because I am more in control of my emotions. Step by step, in collaboration with my doctors, I have removed almost all of the medication I have been dependent on for most of my life. I am learning to become my own healer by being more open and conscious in life; looking less for outside help, and rather trusting myself more.
~ Andreas ~ Wim Hof Method Instructor
I witnessed my negative thoughts and how these were keeping me down. I can change it now. This feels like oxygen for the soul. I can breathe again.
I saw myself through the eyes of love. I needed that.
I laughed so much I will forever be reminded not to take life so seriously.
I felt I was loved and I am here to love in return.
I kept convincing myself that I was so small and unimportant. No more. I’ve seen it.
The minute I heard that the Wim Hof Method was a topic in Gerardo Urias' book, I was sold. Since being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 5 years ago, the Wim Hof Method has assisted me immensely. The simple, yet profound aspect of deep deliberate breaths, in combination with cold exposure has eradicated my pains, and has been an absolute game changer.
This book has really changed my thought process and made me want to change my life. The authors descriptions and use of words brought my wife to tears. As someone who has struggled with depression in the past, I believe it will help a lot of people with depression! Thank you so much for writing this book!
Everything you see happening is the consequence of that which you are.
~ David R. Hawkins
Taking Back My Mind details my journey overcoming severe clinical depression with the use of psilocybin mushrooms, commonly known as "magic mushrooms." My story begins in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, where divorce, my dad's death, and several major health issues plunged me down the dark rabbit hole of depression. After ten months of intense suffering, and falling victim to pharmaceutical drugs, I reached the brink of suicide. Then, on December 22, 2017, I ate a small handful of mushrooms, and took a walk on the beach with my brother. This journey jolted me out of my deadly downward spiral, literally overnight, and sparked a magical and transformative journey that eventually led me back to Mexico, this time to the mountains of southern Oaxaca, to shoot a documentary, a concurrent side project, about my experience with the local indigenous Mazatec who continue to use these plant medicines for their own mental, emotional, and spiritual well being, as they have done for thousands of years.
During my psilocybin journey that beautiful December day, a veil had been lifted. The next day I still felt great, and I knew it was real. I immediately began weaning off the antidepressants I had become dependent on. I had also coincidentally just stumbled across a breathing technique a few weeks before my psilocybin journey, called the Wim Hof Method, that contributed heavily to my rapid and dramatic recovery. I have not missed one day of the practice in over two years. I also have not gotten sick in two years, and my overall health is the best it has ever been. And yet another coincidence immediately following my psychedelic journey was my introduction to Stoic Philosophy, an ancient Greek philosophy about how to live life. With a fresh pair of lenses from which to peer out at the world, Stoicism immediately resonated with me. I decided to apply its principles to my life, as I felt I had a clean slate before me. I had been rebooted.
The synergy that was created from the consistent practice of these three extremely powerful tools; psychedelics, the Wim Hof Method, and Stoic philosophy; completely transformed my life. In this book, I attempt to explain how each of these practices, individually and collectively, continue elevating my well being to heights I could have never imagined. We are the alchemists of our bodies and minds. We have the power to create the feelings we want, on demand. I have never been happier nor healthier than I am now.
Depression is not a disease like most people think. It is a symptom of very complex and multifaceted biological, psychological, nutritional, environmental, and societal factors, among many others, and taking harmful, addictive pharmaceutical drugs to try to suppress natural and necessary human emotions is not the answer. It is time to change this paradigm.
During this difficult time due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to remain as healthy as possible, to cultivate a calm and resilient mind, to stay present, and to raise our awareness and collective consciousness, so we may overcome, learn from, and transcend the current crisis of consciousness threatening our very existence. In this book, I share the tools, tactics, and routines that I have used, and continue using, to achieve this goal.
These are tough times and we all can use a little help. A looming mental health crisis will very likely follow this pandemic. We all know people currently struggling or suffering from depression. Let's give them the tools they need, and the gift of hope.
Help support psychedelic research. 5% of all author royalties will be donated to psychedelic research, including psychedelic therapy facilities.
"The day before my psilocybin journey was the last day I ever broke down about my life situation. Life was beautiful again, and best of all, it made perfect sense. So strong was the relief from my depression that I immediately began weaning off the antidepressants I had become dependent on. As discussed earlier, the following night after my last dose was the first night I slept a full eight hours in ten months, revealing the damage the antidepressants had been doing to my sleep. This would make sense, given the manipulation antidepressants (SSRI's) have on serotonin levels. Serotonin produces melatonin which is vital for our circadian rhythm which regulates sleep cycles. My sleep has improved dramatically ever since, contributing to my rapidly improving physical, emotional, and mental health."
"On May 7, 2019, Denver became first city in the United States to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms, a landmark victory in a decades long battle against prohibition. Oakland and Santa Cruz quickly followed with the decriminalization of all entheogens, and many other cities are following closely behind. At the time of writing, Berkeley, Chicago, Portland, and Port Townsend, Washington have introduced City Council resolutions, or are in the process of getting such measures on legislative agendas for the 2020 elections. At the state level, Decriminalize California, which just partnered with the Beckley Foundation, is looking to decriminalize psilocybin, and Oregon is hoping to put a measure to legalize psilocybin for therapeutic purposes on Oregon’s ballot for 2020. At the federal level, U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Democrat - NY) introduced an amendment to a spending bill that would have removed a budget rider that inhibits research into the potential medical benefits of psychedelics. The proposal was rejected by the House in a floor vote, however. Ocasio-Cortez also called for the decriminalizing of psychedelics for personal use and later broadened that to include all illicit drugs."
"...perhaps the most powerful of these addiction deterrents lies in the Wim Hof Method (WHM) alone. In only thirty breaths and about thirty seconds, we have the ability to activate our endogenous feel good hormones and molecules. During a recent study, it was found that the breathing cycles activate our cannabinoid and opioid systems (the natural, necessary, non addictive kind) as well dymethyltryptamine (DMT), dopamine, serotonin, nor-epinephrine, adrenaline, and nor-adrenaline. We truly are our own alchemists, fully equipped to "get high on our own supply," as Wim Hof says, while boosting our immune system in the process, instead of seeking exogenous, many times harmful substances to provide relief. In fact, I have not gotten sick since I started the Wim Hof Method over two years ago and feel better than I ever have."
"Life is a delicate dance between the present moment, the future, and history, intrinsically tied together, and all happening, quite literally, at the same time. Our reactions to the present moment dictate the flow of the dance. The truth is that we don’t actually make anything happen, we react to things already happening around us. Unless we actively lead this dance, our emotions lead, and emotions have had their dancing shoes on for millennia. Let’s just say they are better dancers. In the words of Marcus Aurelius, “The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing, in so far as it stands ready against the accidental and the unforeseen, and is not apt to fall.” To lead this dance requires acute awareness and acceptance of the present moment and a cultivated control of our mind, which fuels our emotions, which determines our reactions."
“The evolution of mankind is paralleled by the increase and expansion of consciousness”
~ Albert Hoffman
The California Psilocybin Decriminalization Initiative 2020.
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies: Expanding Psychedelic Research: Evidence Based Treatments for Mental Health Conditions.
Pioneers in psychedelic research to drive evidence based drug policy reform.
Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research with a focus on how psychedelics affect behavior, mood, cognition, brain function, and biological markers of health.
Centre for Psychedelic Research with a particular focus on researching the treatment of depression.
Advancing studies on psilocybin for treatment of addictions and other mental disorders, with the highest standards of scientific research.
Improving human health and well-being by decriminalizing and expanding access to entheogenic plants and fungi through political and community organizing, education and advocacy.
Provide a safe set & setting with professional, compassionate therapists for a positive psychedelic experience in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Transformational psychedelic experiences in a safe and serene setting in Amsterdam, Netherlands, guided by compassionate professional facilitators.
Intended for experts and enthusiasts in psychedelic research to share knowledge and ideas and collaborate with the purpose of raising awareness for the application of psychedelics for the treatment of clinical depression, addiction, PTSD, anxiety, and mental disorders. Through collaboration, we hope to ultimately save lives and relieve suffering in a time when the mental health crisis is a worldwide epidemic.
~ Wim Hof
A powerful form of meditation for health and wellness.
Meet, motivate, and learn with other gladiators who take life by the horns and live their best lives, no matter the circumstances.
Stressed? Watch this video.
"You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think."
~ Marcus Aurelius
Self improvement philosophy for mental well being.
Apply Stoicism to your life.
Master Your Psychology
Gerardo Urias lives in Southern California, where he continues working to raise awareness for alternative therapies for mental and physical health, and optimization of self. Through doing so, Gerardo wishes to help others self actualize, which he believes is the first step to contributing to positive world change. His vision is to help advance psychedelic research, and create wellness retreats around the world consisting of the practices he writes about. While Gerardo is not writing, he is surfing, skiing, rock climbing, traveling, spending time with friends and family, and reading.
San Diego, California, United States