Purging, fasting, and binging
One of the definitive experiences in a plant medicine experience is the purge. La Purga. In particular, Ayahuasca and Kambo have strong purgative effects. It is physical, but it is also energetic. There is a sense of dark energy also being ejected from our energy fields. I personally rarely vomit with Ayahuasca, but I definitely have purged. Lots.
There is research that shows that plant medicines and psychedelics with proper “contextual manipulation” (shamanism) can have lasting effects on our neurotransmitter receptors and serotonin/dopamine systems.
Within the last 12 years, a growing body of evidence, albeit from mostly small scale pilot studies, has suggested that psychedelics, combined with contextual manipulation (such as music listening and psychological support), can offer a safe and effective treatment for a range of different psychiatric disorders. Where successful, the treatment effect appears to be rapid and enduring. Moreover, promising outcomes have not just been seen in depression, but in addiction and other disorders as well. That just one or two treatment sessions can yield therapeutic effects lasting for several months is unprecedented in modern psychiatry. Of course, incredible claims require credible evidence but, with large randomized controlled trials beginning with psilocybin for depression, the required roads are being laid.
Integration is a gradual process. I’ve needed to slowly adjust my habits and systems to change my reality. After my 2015 Ayahuasca ceremonies in Peru, I went on a 4 day trek where we walked, mountain biked, and ziplined our way from Cusco to Macchu Picchu. Every morning, we would wake up early, often before sunrise, and set out towards our destination. At many points during this journey, I’d look back at the valleys and mountains and marvel how far we were able to travel, one step at a time.
Life feels like this.
One of the trends I’ve been seeing on YouTube is the idea of a Dopamine Detox. The Algorithm has gotten so good at knowing me that it’s telling me to stop using it. The idea is to set aside a day to break the cycle of dependency on stimulating activities and embrace boredom. No Internet, no phone, no games, no stimulating foods.
Mainstream psychology is debunking this practice as a maladaptive fad, but I believe there is something to it. Fasting in the desert is an archetypal story from the Bible and other myths and legends.
The phrase Dopamine Detox is obviously a massive oversimplification of the complexity of the human neurological system that drives our behavior. Ultimately, it is a practice in getting comfortable with being uncomfortable (hungry, horny, bored, etc.) and observing the urges rather than being hijacked by them.
We are taught that everything we want is outside of your comfort zone. Everything that we want is on the other side of fear. The Dopamine Detox is a good tool for observation and paradigm shifting, but it can also be taken too far and become maladaptive fads. NoFap, MGTOW and other trends feel out of balance.
Repression is the enemy of wholeness.
Emotional pressure that isn’t released will eventually begin to leak. It’s always about finding the right balance. The Dopamine Detox is a useful tool to “trick your brain into doing hard things” and develop systems for goals.
Mindful cheating is a useful pressure release valve. Even the Rock indulges in his Epic Cheat Meals and shares them on Instagram. The entertainment industry and modern culture has created so much epic binge-worthy content. Films, television, games are amazing in 2020. Life is too short to not eat cupcakes every once in a while. Because cupcakes are dope.
Day 17: The Cupcake Girls #GivingChristmas