My journey with the Elephant in the Room

My journey with the Elephant in the Room


Psilocybin therapy is completely legal in Jamaica. The retreat was structured with qualified and experienced therapists who supervised at all times. My personal experience was supported by 12 years (on and off) of cognitive behavioral therapy which I feel helped to contribute to my success.

Please do not try this on your own and without the guidance and support of a qualified expert.

Now, a little less serious...

flight to jamaica

Last week I had the most incredible opportunity to join Rise Collective for a psilocybin retreat in Treasure Beach – Jamaica’s best kept secret (until this blog post). I felt guilty leaving my family. We all deserve a vacation – especially my husband. And I haven’t flown in 5 years. My anxiety was through the roof. I don’t remember it ever being this bad.

My anxiety got so bad I considered canceling. Where did this fear come from? I worried I’d have a panic attack on the runway. It’s happened before and now it’s ingrained in me.  But as always, my fears were unfounded. I wished I could tell my brain this important message.  

Meeting Jamaica

When I arrived in Jamaica, I was met by 3 other guests for the week. We bonded over incredible conversations on the 2.5-hour ride from the airport to the south side of the island. I and another guest haven’t tried this before. As we listened to stories about everyone else’s past journeys, I couldn’t help but grow more and more excited. I wanted to clear up some unfinished business and I was ready to move on.

I had some concerns:

  • Getting naked and screaming down the beach
  • Crying, raging or anything else "Linda Blair"
  • Saying stupid things (more than normal)
  • Giving up all my secrets (more than normal)

Rise Collective Treasure Bay Pool

The week ahead of me was designed for only self-care. That felt so strange to me. It included healthy eating, movement, stretching, breathing, releasing and no alcohol. I felt guilty not taking my plate from the table and offering to help clean up. I’m naturally chatty when there’s a lull so I make up for it by talking a lot. But this time I felt relaxed. There's no need to fill this peaceful space.

I’m with women who want the same things. I’m with women who are prioritizing self-care. Some for them, some for their families, some for their futures. I fall into all 3 camps.  

I met with a therapist to determine my mental health status and my intentions for the treatment. It’s a green light! With my incredible team of therapists and guests who I will introduce later, I completely unwound with yoga, shiatsu, meditation, clean and vegetarian meals, and the ocean in advance of my 'ceremony'. As I mentioned, this was the idyllic setting for the journey I was about to go on but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen anywhere else with the optimal environment and preparation.

 Rise Collective breakfast menu 

Inflammation is real.  

The past few months have wielded a ton of stress. Finances, my business, my daughter’s own personal issues and just life. I felt myself giving up:

  • Eating whatever I wanted - so...many...carbs!
  • Numbing with too much wine.
  • Going out to run away from my issues at home that I felt were beyond my control. I wasn’t sleeping without sleep aids (cannabis, melatonin, magnesium) which were all natural, but it spoke to my state of mind.

On day 3 before I even began my treatment, I was surprised by a very noticeable change in my body shape. I had lost weight and some bulge. I am so guilty of constantly preaching but not doing. Monika Tupholme talks to me all the time about inflammation, and I share what she teaches me, but do I ever take steps for myself? Nope. I lost about 4lbs from the loss of inflammation, clean eating and tons of water and fresh fruit. Once I saw the difference, I knew I wouldn’t go back to my old, on-the-go eating habits. It feels great to feel great.

Wait up, Alice! I'm joining you down the rabbit hole!

Click here to see the video of my set up

My treatment day was beautiful. It began with a double rainbow and a caterpillar. That must be a good sign, right? We began the day with light yoga and stretching, a light breakfast and then to our tea and psilocybin pills. In this case, the other guests and I chose to do our treatments in our own rooms. What lied ahead was an almost 6-hour journey into my mind with the quiet and supportive comfort of two therapists who sat quietly by, ready to help me with anything I might need – Kleenex, my note book, water, etc.

When it started to take hold of me, it was very psychedelic. Nothing seemed to stick in my mind. As time went on, I could feel a shift. This isn’t a journey you can really explain to anyone. For me it felt very cognitive and cathartic. There was so much clarity. I could have written a novel that day. I didn't want to forget a single thing.

I lied with my eye mask on and surrendered to it all. The first part of my journey was where all the hard work really happened. The sadness, the realizations, and the feeling of loss. However, there was no anger that I could feel. I was being shown everything in a completely non-judgmental light so I could make sense of it all.

So many insights

The last half of my journey was full of incredible insights and, not to sound corny but so…much…. love. I really understood myself. I forgave myself. I empathized with myself. Following that, I was able to do that with people who have had a big impact in my life. I let it all go. It is still gone. I have never felt this peace, happiness, or calm. Ever.

Changing your brain with neuroplasticity

“Neuroplasticity refers to the lifelong capacity of the brain to change and rewire itself in response to the stimulation of learning and experience. Neurogenesis is the ability to create new neurons and connections between neurons throughout a lifetime.” (Pysio-Pedia)

It’s important to note that this works with our brain chemistry and channels and are purported to provide long-term improvements because psychedelics such as psilocybin rapidly and lastingly stimulate neuroplasticity. Psychedelics promote neuroplasticity and since they are plant-based, I felt very comfortable trying this treatment. Think of a ski trail that you constantly ski down and deepen. This therapy helps to create ‘new tracks’ that are more positive and healthier. Eventually the old tracks fill in if you do the work.

Post therapy, there is a two-week transition period. This is when my brain is susceptible to new learning and reinforcing the ‘grooves’ the mushrooms have created. I have to be careful to promote that and support it with healthy thoughts, healthy people and staying off (non-work related) social media until this two-week window of opportunity closes.

My takeaway?

It was like 20 years of therapy in just over 5 hours. I’m officially one week past my treatment and I am still learning more and more every day. I am journaling it all as I go. My responses to situations have changed and most of my ‘triggers’ seem to have disappeared. Maybe I only needed this one treatment, but I would do this again – no questions asked. But at this point -I will only trust my neurons with Irie and her fabulous team at Rise Collective.

Is it right for you?

That’s a great question. To find out, you can contact Irie at Rise Collective or visit their site. There are some great resources out there as well. This is a very personal journey so it’s important to prepare and do your research. If you would like more information, email me and I’ll help you out!

I wish this peace for everyone.

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