The Pregnant Integration Caterpillar

Heading down the rabbit hole of pregnancy and my upcoming role as a mother, I am finding myself drawn away from the exterior interpersonal landscape and into cavernous introspection, revisiting the roads that led me to this formative moment. The last few years in which I’ve committed to the path of consciousness expansion and psychedelic psycho-spiritual growth and healing have amounted to the most eventful period of my life thus far. 3+ years on a divine rollercoaster which granted the personal development I was seeking through nothing short of exhilarating miracles alongside frightening dips into the gates of psyche hell. Years in which the seemingly endless conflict between resistance and surrender has been served up in the shape of my juicy ass and a thick slice of humble pie. A welcomed raised awareness to the endless potential, possibilities and colossal powers that I am, but mostly to everything that I am not.

 

External reactions from my closest relationships in the medicine community, shot at me like arrows from all directions and dimensions, were so varied in their levels of validation that I ended up choosing the idea that I have no solid Self, so deeply devaluing myself to give room to idolization of others with better presentation skills. In the depth of this existential mindwarp I went so far as to explore my display of symptoms of various mental health disorders, examining, doubting and requestioning my sanity. When there is no one left around you to take responsibility for their own accounts, the only thing left is to take account of your own responsibility. For me, it was found in the warzone of the unconscious. Armed with the weapons that got me there in the first place - those medicines that shed blinding spotlights on the darker nooks in the soul - I went in. And I went deep. And just when I pushed myself over the edge and past my own limitations and to the unknown point of no return, the divine order intervened with an epic blessing: a new spirit was planted in my belly. The sheer definition of meaning shifted. Suddenly, taking the time to endlessly dwell in the shadows seemed self-absorbing, perhaps a cop-out; it was time to climb out, and the only way out was through.

 

 Art by Yoko D'Holbachi

Art by Yoko D'Holbachi

So for the last 6 months I’ve created a conscious container to drain the unconscious pool. And the bombdrops to the subtleties delivered were so incredibly rich, raindrops were dissected to the various degrees of “little bitty stingin' rain, and big ol' fat rain, rain that flew in sideways, and sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath”, as Forrest Gump would depict the stormy battlefield he was thrown into. It was beautiful and lonely and simultaneously, a being was somehow magically and growing on its own in my body vessel. I vowed to not pass down any of the monstrous residents of my underworld - any and all destructive behavioral patterns graciously gifted by factors such as my Jewish heritage, Israeli culture, Iranian ancestors, family at large that carry a sack load of intergenerational trauma, a turbulent childhood, ill relationships and what not - the buck stops here. I’m taking responsibility for my own account, all so my child can be free. I just want her to be her.

 

One big lesson that came and I am still learning to navigate is understanding the medicine community as an operating collective. Taking active part in community organizing for the last 3 years, first as a committed volunteer with Aware Project, then as a co-founder of InnerSpace Integration, then as a leader of PsychedeLiA Psychedelic Experience Integration, meant being committed to a grander ‘mission’ of ushering in the global psychedelic renaissance than just dealing with my own minute issues. But the inner work continues in every context, and perhaps is accelerated when fully immersed in a counterculture that hinges on the virtue of individual and collective healing. And so partially consciously and mostly not, my personal work continued and expanded at such a rapid rate beyond my abilities to contain it, eventually leaking across the many precious connections and bonds I have formed. And it was not pretty, I definitely needed support. Reaching out to confidants in hopes of intentionally working through the triggers provided through the ‘the mission’ and the community itself was discouraging to say the least. Cold shoulders among local mavericks that I respect both personally and professionally subjectively felt all too common. Initially, my low confidence levels assisted my taking the blame on myself, clearly understanding my role in creating distrust and separation. Dancing alone in the dark, my own shadow then invited me to assume a new stance and rightfully own my faults, while understanding other people’s roles in the dynamic and waking up to the fact that there is more to this than narcissistic self-blame. Part of my integration work on this was to be in vulnerable, self-revealing and apologetic conversations with people that I felt I’ve faulted through my loud, pompous coming of age. Some were earnestly present and reciprocated by revealing their own matrix; and others, particularly those that appear to be manning ‘the mission’, didn’t. Rather quickly, it became inherently clear that medicine community or not, people will be people... And I was a part of the problem by not taking ownership just of my darkness, but also of my light. By idolizing the community as an evolved people and ‘the mission’ so much, I have devalued myself. By devaluing myself, I inflicted more damage on that mission simply by not being able to model the light I was preaching. I’ve created many spaces and opportunities that I ultimately couldn’t fulfill myself, leaving room for those cold shoulders to pervade in instead; it took a long time to let this one go. And my guiding light was my baby, a constant reminder that forgiveness, compassion and acceptance will soon be demanded gratuitously, so why don’t I just get a head start by practicing on myself. There came the coveted psycho-spiritual healing that is, in my opinion, the quintessential core beauty and potential of the psychedelic experience.

 

The interesting thing is that aside from witnessing others in their process and occasional microdosing psychedelics have not taken an active role in this pregnancy so far. Pre-pregnancy, I was convinced that plant medicines such as ayahuasca would be an auspicious part of the prenatal ride, and in the past 6 months I examined this notion daily in attempt to bring myself to live up to my past expectations. But moment to moment, leaning outward for additional teachings and medicating affirmation didn’t feel like a right move. I stayed put with my integration process and kept chipping away at the calcification remaining from my few years of consistent medicine work. With all due respect to the psychedelic integration therapy master’s degree and other pro certifications I obtained to boost my career confidence, this real-life integration bootcamp has been the true teaching in the meaning, gravity and worth of psychedelic integration. With the embodiment of integration becoming clearer, that same divine order involved with the timely baby delivery has reciprocated with immediate professional reward. At the point in the pregnancy when I was beginning to struggle with the weight of PsychedeLiA community offerings, my private integration coaching practice load multiplied overnight, inviting me to stay put and conserve my energy through more focused work which allowed me to continue engaging with the medicine spirits and teachings vicariously. Nestled safely in the womb, the baby medicine has actively ushered energetic healing of tremendous trauma release alongside heart-blasting moments of deep love and self realization. The more focus shifted inward, the more abundant, organic and profound was the healing service directed outward.

 

Also, the more I cleaned house, the more room my baby could take up (my belly is huuuge by the way); absolutely nothing has yet to be set up in our home for the arrival of this child, but the emotional nesting department was aced. And there I am, a clumsy caterpillar struggling to assume its identity, putting its fate in *something* as its stripped to reveal its true colors. To retain some sort of personal agency in this trying process there were points when I intentionally worked my booty off, as it afforded me some sense of control in the chaos. Now marching into my final trimester with ~80 days to go, I am slowing down, and still somehow witnessing the blooming and growth of seeds sewed. PsychedeLiA is expanding its integration circles in the safe and caring hands of dear community brothers Greg Lawrence and Joel Brierre. Many of the teaching relationships from the last few years are no longer, yet I’m feeling more loved and trusted than ever before. Choosing to minimize my presence in social media and the psychedelic community at large, I am feeling more content in my little corner knowing there is nothing for me to chase out there, having everything I could ever want and need in the here and now. Attuning to the overtaking miracle that is Baby M, it is now even more my duty to let go of everything I thought a moment ago to be truth and surrender to the higher intelligence of the divine order to accept what is shown and asked of me without attachment. All that has come before was preparation for this moment of dawning transformation into motherhood. With full trust, I consciously and humbly step into the next stage of my psychedelic resolution - evolution - revolution. Thank you for witnessing me.

 

Pregnant Psychedelic Integration Caterpillar