Five years ago I was at a music festival and an acquaintance had given me an unknown amount of a psychedelic. This clearly wasn’t the responsible approach, nor the appropriate set and setting, but that is another topic I’m always eager to dive into. It was a beautiful day shared with friends, but as night came I started to experience unsettling thoughts that had been buried away. Dark secrets of mine were being so uncomfortably dragged to the surface of my awareness and dishonest moments of my past were slowly taking shape in front of me.
The reality around me, the people, the conversations, it all felt like everyone knew about what I’d been hiding and they were trying to give me opportunities to finally speak my truth, but it was so uncomfortable. I knew that if I told the truth, my whole life would change in ways I had no control over and the consequences playing out in my head freaked me out. At the time though, it seemed like the only way to end these constant hints at the skeletons in my closet was to just rip the door wide open and finally fess up about things. After several hours of internal deliberation I decided to surrender to what was being shown to me and come clean to the people that were affected - people I cared about, and after everything was said I felt so free, so fresh, ready to begin again. I thought it was just going to bring the immediate suffering of my trip to an end, but I had no idea how much weight I’d been carrying around for so long in that bag of secrets.
If I’d known how much relief and freedom were possible through this intense level of honesty, I’d have come clean a lot sooner. In retrospect it was as though my life had been on autopilot up until this point and I had allowed way too many things to build up subconsciously. After this experience, I started making better decisions for myself and the more my mind got into shape, my body followed. It was clear that carrying around the negative energy of my lies and deceit had manifested itself in the form of bad habits, poor self-discipline, and a general carelessness in my behaviour.
This whole process led me to believe that there’s way more going on with respect to my internal and external environments than I could have ever previously imagined and it kicked off a journey of seeking knowledge, experiences, and ultimately wisdom that has shaped my beliefs and outlook on life in rewarding ways.
When I was 16 yrs old I was suicidal, hating myself and not knowing why. My lifestyle was filled with unsafe and high risk activities that would make sure I felt numb and could hide the truth from myself. Like drinking and drugs and sex. My parents got me into therapy and it started me on the road to self discovery and knowledge seeking. It was about a year before I started to unlock the truth that I was sexually abused as a child, so how could I be honest with the world when I was keeping those dark secrets from myself? I will not lie, it was a very rough and bumpy couple of years until I gained the tools and support I needed to be able to look into the darkness and always know I have a flashlight to see.
Since then I have become a knowledge seeker and find great joy, pleasure, and excitement in my personal growth and development. With self awareness and knowledge comes empowerment. With empowerment we can make choices in our lives instead of reacting and feeling like life is just happening to us.
When we fight and avoid change, growth, and knowledge at all costs, we are choosing a slow painful death. I am so filled with life, joy, wealth, pleasure, and gratitude because change and transformation means sexiness now. I get excited about change and, I will be honest, also turned on! I remember what it was like being numb and how much energy it took to stay numb. I will always choose change and growth, even the uncomfortable parts, because I know with every cell of my being that wonderment and freedom is on the other side.
Many of us are living on autopilot, sticking to our routines, and not wandering too far out of our comfort zones. It’s our survival instinct that prevents us from carrying out stressful, risky, or unfamiliar activity in order to create a predictable environment. So we just stay where we are by avoiding change, usually because we don’t think it’s necessary. As a result, we’re really avoiding personal growth and making things better for ourselves. Lee’s desire to change, face his issues, and ultimately grow was kicked into gear through the recreational use of a classical psychedelic.
Gaia’s desire to change was life or death through therapy. However there are so many other ways to shift your perspective and identify things that could change your life for the better. When we step away from the daily grind and introduce a mindful activity that is new to us, whether it be meditation, going for a walk, or even stepping into a float tank, it can be somewhat uncomfortable to be with our thoughts but we allow the opportunity to check in with ourselves and become aware of what might not be sitting well with us or identify something that we could be doing differently.
Once we’ve identified what we’d like to change, there is a seemingly limitless amount of related information available to us in the form of books, online articles, and podcasts, along with ways to connect, discuss, and learn with others through local community events, Facebook groups, and online courses. The human soul craves diversity so the best thing we can do is allow ourselves exposure to new information and experiences. Personal insight and self-realization can come about in any new activity, so I encourage you to find something novel to try and begin exploring.
Here are the steps to exploring and becoming a knowledge seeker:
Become a non judgemental observer and record all the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that you experienced during your new adventure. Determine whether those thoughts or feelings are serving you or your life. If not, then reach out to a professional to get support on how to change them.
We obviously want to make a change when the discomfort of being where we are becomes greater than the discomfort of confronting our issues, but sometimes the source of our distress has been buried so deep in our subconscious that it’s not clear what we need to lean into in the first place.
In our upcoming online men’s course, Dawn of a New Man - Mastery of Your Life, you will experience many insightful moments and be provided with powerful catalysts for change. Gaia and I will be there to guide and support you in becoming more aware of what’s really holding you back from living your life to the fullest.
Until next time, happy knowledge seeking!
Coauthored by: Lee Watson - Male Empowerment coach