December 21, 2020: The winter equinox; the longest night and shortest day of the year…
August 15, 2017: Six months into my depression:
Nancy: “When you have a thought, it sends out a vibration. That vibration then turns into energy, and that energy then constructs the manifestations of those thoughts back to its source: You. It is impossible for us to see the whole picture, but there is most definitely a big picture. Trust that your thoughts are creating a funnel of existence and their manifestations are in that funnel heading back your way…”
I knew I had to do something. I had been suffering sleepless, nightmare filled nights, anxiety attacks, and an unrelenting depression after my divorce and dad’s death. I was on a train headed straight to the Morgue. If I didn’t do something, I wasn’t going to make it.
I had started meditating a year prior but stopped after March 2, 2017, the fateful day it all fell apart. I had experienced benefit, however, so I reached out to a Meetup meditation group. This is what the Meetup organizer told me after explaining my situation. She seemed sure of it.
“C’mon”, I thought, I can’t just think my life back to normal. That would be too easy.
The sequence of events that followed this day over the next few months were so coincidental and magical that I still can’t believe it to this day. The details of these events are described in my recently published book, “Taking Back My Mind,” named so because it is exactly what happened over the course of this journey.
Fast forward to the present: I have written and published my first book and it is hitting bookstores across the country as shown in the picture above.
Many people have asked me how I did it. What was the writing process like? What was the most difficult part? How did I achieve something so monumental from such a place of loss?
On December 22, 2017 my life changed forever, once again, but this time in the opposite direction. By eating psilocybin mushrooms with my brother on this day and taking a walk on the beach, I inadvertently reversed the direction of the freight train that was my life out of control. On this day, I saw a glimpse of a different future, the future that has manifested itself to my doorstep.
The most difficult part of writing this book? By far it has been maintaining the vision.
Two weeks after I had been liberated from the torment of my mind, I was so ecstatic, I felt so good, that I knew something big was happening. I wanted to document this transformation as it unfolded. But how could I do this? After reading an article about Stoic philosophy, I decided to start journaling. It seemed like an easy way to record the miracle that was unfolding every day. Quickly I realized that I could turn these journal entries into a book eventually. But where do I start? I had no idea how to write a book, I knew no authors, and it seemed like too large of a task to complete realistically. I had seen the vision though, and I knew it was real, if I made it so.
I began practicing breath work and meditating again in addition to micro dosing psilocybin mushrooms and taking larger doses of the mushrooms sporadically over the next two years (it has now been three years) as I worked on this project. Every time I was in a deep meditative state or in the midst of a psychedelic experience, I saw and felt the vision clearly, as though it was exactly what was in store for my future. All along the journey the pieces were falling into place; pieces I had visualized in my mind, like the completion of the manuscript, the connections made along the way, the flood of epiphanies that fed this vision as downloads into my consciousness. It was, and continues to be, as if my visualizations were coming true as long as I stayed present and aware of the opportunities before me that helped me inch closer to my goal. Visualizations like my book sitting on a bookshelf as in the picture above. I have seen this image countless times throughout this journey and a few days ago, I took this picture. The physical manifestation of my dreams. The power of visualization has proven itself in my life.
This has been an extremely difficult journey as well, however. After the divorce and ten months of suffering, my bank account suffered catastrophically. I also had no home as I was living in Mexico before the divorce and had to move back to California when the business fell apart. Luckily I had family I could stay with until I sorted out my life. As many people may have experienced in their lives however, staying on someone’s couch, family or not, is a temporary solution. The feeling of uncertainty has weighed heavy on my mind. Feeling positive and hopeful after my meditations and psychedelic sessions, however, I announced, first on Facebook, then to my family and friends, that I was writing a book. I remember the first immediate response, as if a knee jerk reaction, from a very good friend, “A book? You’re not a doctor!” And so began the waves of limiting beliefs surrounding me everywhere I went, with everyone I talked to. Some family was supportive, but always eluded to what my “long term plan” was? A.K.A. “When am I going to get a real job?” Each time I was met with this subtle, if not outright blatant, opposition. I felt the vision literally fading with each of these conversations. Then I would retreat into my mind and meditate, do some breath work, do some yoga, jump in an ice bath (the Wim Hof Method), and/or eat a few mushrooms, and the vision would return, filling itself in pixel by pixel until it was back.
I quickly realized what was going on. I was having a battle with myself, with my ego. While my innate, true self believed in this mission more than anything, my ego would remind me, “How are you going to survive?” I saw that who was in control was completely dependent on who I was around. I was absorbing the energies and visions of the people around me. This was no new thought for me. I have been a big believer in Jim Rohn’s idea that “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” and have experienced this throughout my life. Trusting this idea I quickly decided that I had to eliminate all self limiting beliefs, which meant limiting self limiting people. This included family members and friends. I realized that if I wanted this vision to turn into reality, I had to have anyone around me see this reality and believe in it as well. Otherwise, their reality would fill in the picture. In other words, my environment was creating my reality. Some people were bringing out my ego (not intentionally of course, they were honestly worried about my survival, a legitimate concern) and others were nurturing my vision. It is extremely hard to write about self actualization, which resides at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, when you are living at the bottom.
There is a biological basis for this. Our brains developed over millions of years to identify threats for self preservation. It is very good at what it does. It doesn’t take much to convince the mind that it is in danger. One conversation with someone who lives from a place of fear, as many people do, is all it takes for self doubt to creep in. This means there is increased activity in the Default Mode Network and the prefrontal cortex, our analytical thinking brain. When immersed in a physical activity, meditation, yoga, breath work, or a psychedelic experience, activity in these regions of the brain is reduced, bringing us into the present moment, where creativity and possibility lies. We always have the choice to begin and set in motion the necessary steps to achieve our goals in the present moment. Self doubt gets in the way and prevents us from doing so. This is why I would have the clear vision return when I quieted the noise in my head that was influenced by my environment.
So I cut some ties and limited my exposure to these self limiting environments.
I soon found myself alone! But hopeful, confident, and a fire burning inside of me that no one could quench. I kept writing and researching how to write a book. I tried to convince family members for financial help through this mission with no success. At the end of the day, they viewed it as a financial loss. I tried to start a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to no avail. I then discovered that I could self publish for free. I went for it and, finally after two years of struggling financially, moving from place to place in order to keep the dream alive, published my first book detailing my magical journey out of depression which I hope will motivate others who are suffering as I was to know there is another way and help themselves out of depression using the tools I have learned.
I am a believer in science. The “Laws of Attraction” and power of “visualization” sounded woowoo to me before December 22, 2017, the day I ate the mushrooms. I have been studying this phenomenon ever since and my outlook towards these ideas have completely changed, thanks to the science corroborating these ideas.
As Dr. Joe Dispenza, international lecturer, researcher, corporate consultant, author, and educator says, “We have been told that our brains are largely hardwired with unchangeable circuitry— that we are possessed by a kind of neuro-rigidity that is reflected in the type of inflexible & habitual behavior we often see. The truth is that we are marvels of flexibility, adaptability, & neuroplasticity that allows us to reformulate our neural connections to produce the behaviors we want. We have far more power to alter our own brains, behaviors, personalities, & ultimately our reality than previously realized.”
“If thoughts are the electrical charge that send signals out into the quantum field, then heart-centered emotions act as the magnetic charge that draw events back to us in our three-dimensional life. By consciously and intentionally creating a new potential reality with your mind and brain, you are sending a signal out into the quantum field,” says Dr. Dispenza.
“By the same means, by embracing the elevated emotions of your future creation before the experience happens, your heart will produce a strong magnetic field that will draw your future to you. When you learn how to open your heart and tune in to the feelings of your future, the longer you stay in heart coherence, the more you draw your new future to you. So when there’s a vibrational match between your energy and that future potential, you are synchronizing your energy to a new experience created from the field. Instead of dragging your body through space to get your new experiences (and that takes time), those new experiences should “come to you” as new opportunities in the form of coincidences and synchronicities in your life.” Dr. Dispenza uses the Civil Rights Movement as an example of what can be achieved by the power of visualization and belief. Dr. Martin Luther King believed in his vision so much that he caused the world around him to believe in it as well, ultimately manifesting this reality.
This process could not be more accurate in describing exactly what I have witnessed over the last three years.
Conversely, when I was surrounded by people or an environment that did not see my vision, that reality would take over.
As Dr. Dispenza explains, “When we experience traumatic incidents in our lives (or an accumulation of repeated similar incidents) such as pain, loss, abuse, & so on, the strength of the corresponding emotional quotient turns on a survival center in our brains. That center is called the amygdala. Because the experience was painful, the activation of the amygdala serves to protect us from the situation happening again. It’s an unconscious response to an external situation designed for self-preservation.”
”The more times you experience the trauma or revisit on a daily basis the emotions of the suffering caused by it, it’s as if your brain continuously sets itself to a new baseline—a baseline that is based in the hormones of stress. If your senses are always sweeping the environment to determine what is safe and/or what is not, if something in your environment triggers an association to the memory of that trauma, as the amygdala switches on, you’re back to living in your past & anticipating that future event happening again.”
That “future event” that is pervasive in the environment in which I grew up is failure, judgement, and limited beliefs. It is not achieving the goals that we truly wish for and falling in line with whatever will make money.
As this journey has progressed, I have gotten quite good at surrounding myself with a positive, uplifting environment in which my dreams have a possibility of becoming reality. If there is one certainty that has come out of this whole experience, it is that our thoughts literally and scientifically create out reality and this is the most powerful idea we can have when harnessed.
So what’s next? What is the vision now? The truth is I have only begun. I am exactly where I want to be in exactly the position most likely to deliver success. But the ultimate goal, the ultimate vision is helping millions of people relieve their depression, relieve their pain, and wake up to the beautiful existence surrounding us that is so effectively blinded by our ego. The goal is to help millions so that they in turn can help millions more and systematically make the world a better place. Just as one snowflake after another can ultimately cause a devastating avalanche, improving one person’s life can have a ripple effect on their surroundings that can ultimately change the world.