Tomorrow at 8am, I begin my 2nd psychedelic plant dieta here in The Sacred Valley of Peru.
I’m never sure whether to talk about this kind of thing in this email newsletter because I wonder if people are going to think I’ve lost the plot. Talk of “intelligent plant spirits” and “vomitivos” is a very different world to the world most people live in.
And yet… the world of plant medicine has been a huuuuge part of my healing journey and so I feel it would be misleading NOT to talk about what I’m doing down here in Peru.
I also know psychedelic medicine is becoming more popular and that people are hungry for information about it.
So as Richard Branson says:
Screw it, let’s do it 💪
- Day 1: The psychedelic plant dieta begins (bubbles!)
- Day 2: 36 hours without food or water…
- Day 3: Fasting, #BEASTMODE & the body is the key
- Day 4: The mind that loves to suffer
- Day 7: I’m alive 🥳
- Day 8: Alcohol and weed vs ayahuasca and plant medicine
- Day 9: Congrats! EPIC vomit 🤮
- Day 11: How to stop worrying
- Day 14: The most terrifying night of my life
- Finished: Bad jokes, dark chocolate and Jedi mind tricks
- 2 Days Later: The best bender of your life
- 1 Week Later: Assaulted in the dark
What’s a “psychedelic plant dieta”?
Maybe you’ve heard of psychedelic plants like Ayahuasca, San Pedro and magic mushrooms?
These plants produce a hallucinogenic state that can be quite useful for working through various issues people might have (anxiety, depression, a racing mind, insomnia, digestive problems and more).
Here in Peru, there are various centres that offer retreats to work with these plants in this way.
Instead of tripping while hanging out with your friends at a party or field somewhere, with the only real intention being to “have a good time”, you do it in a ceremonial context where the goal is to work through some issue you’re dealing with.
It’s a bit like therapy because you don’t go to therapy to have fun, you go to therapy to heal…
…except in the case of psychedelics (we call it “plant medicine” here in the valley), the primary therapist is the plant itself.
That’s why I hesitate to share some of this stuff… because the idea that a plant can operate as a “therapist” or “healer” is pretty far outside the Western paradigm that sees psychedelics as dangerous at worst and simply a matter of active ingredients and brain chemistry at best.
I know that there’s a variety of scientific studies underway in the Western world on the therapeutic value of psychedelics… but to my knowledge, these studies all look at the plants mechanically, the same way they look at pharmaceuticals.
Like I said, to them… it’s all about active ingredients and brain chemistry.
However, the perspective that has developed in me over the last few years from working directly with these plants (not simply reading about them) is that there’s no way it’s only about active ingredients and brain chemistry.
I’ve come to believe that there is a lot more going on here, a lot that I don’t understand, a lot that doesn’t fit into a logical scientific paradigm…
…and that these plants, far from being simply active ingredients, are intelligent, sentient and conscious, almost in the same way that humans are 🤯
I know how bizarre that might sound to the average Westerner because a few years ago, it sounded absolutely bat shit insane to me.
I’d hear people talking about “plant spirits” and think they’ve either misunderstood things, they’re using words in a very loose way and they’ve just taken too many “drugs”.
Surely they can’t mean that Ayahuasca, San Pedro, Magic Mushrooms and the rest are actually alive, sentient and intelligent?
No fucking way.
It’s all just brain chemistry and active ingredients and that kind of thing.
5 years after my journey with these plants began in earnest, I find myself with exactly the same perspective.
I say all of this because it frames up the dieta I begin tomorrow.
For example, one way of working with Ayahuasca is to simply get the brew and drink it, either alone or in a group (I’d recommend a group for your first time – but check the legality in your location first).
However, there’s another way to work with Ayahuasca and it’s one I only really discovered once I moved to Peru.
This is the plant medicine dieta.
It works like this:
You take a non-psychedelic plant like Lemon Balm or Lavender and make a connection with the spirit of it days or weeks before you drink Ayahuasca in ceremony.
I’m still not clear on the details of exactly how this “connection with the spirit” happens… but it involves putting a lot of prayer and intention into a plant mixture (water and the leaves of the plant)… and then you drink the mixture, 3 days in a row.
Sounds weird, right?
Prayer and intention?
Does that stuff actually work?
I never used to believe in any of this stuff… but then, in the days after I drank the plant mixture, my dreams would take on a whole new intensity… I’d start getting tested with sex and food, old traumas would surface and I’d wake up with my heart racing thinking “WTF WAS THAT!?!????”.
Then days later when I drank Ayahuasca, I’d discover that instead of simply being with Ayahuasca, the “spirit” of this new plant was also active in the ceremony.
This is despite the fact that Lemon Balm or Lavender are NOT psychedelic plants.
So something indeed is going on… and it all seems to come back to medicine and healing, because the more I work with these “plant spirits”, the happier, healthier and more fulfilled I become.
This is what I start tomorrow.
My 2nd dieta with Felix and Safa, my maestros here in Peru.
I’m allowed to work during the dieta so I’m going to share updates along the way. What it’s all about. What I’m going through. How it’s helping me AND how it’s challenging me.
Speaking of challenges, let’s talk about the monkey mind.
As with life, the monkey mind can be a formidable obstacle during dieta.
As the plants move through the nervous system, stirring old wounds up before they clean them out, there is a tendency for the mind to make stories up about it…
Oh I know what this is! This is about that time when…
Or if it’s not making stories up about what’s happening, the mind tries to distract us from what we’re feeling because it’s painful and uncomfortable…
Just think about that donut we’re going to eat after dieta… It’s going to be so good. How about 3 donuts? FOUR?
Hang on, why would you be thinking about a donut?
Because the first 3-5 days is a fast. No food, and ideally, no water. This creates space for the connection with the plant to go even deeper.
So when it comes to distractions, thinking about food (or water, for that matter 💦) is a common distraction the mind uses. Sex is another common distraction 🥵
The problem with all this thinking is that it tends to block the process. The more I get caught up in the mind, thinking about this, that or whatever, the more I block the stress as it tries to come up and out. On the other hand, the more I feel the raw sensations moving through my body, the more it flows up and out.
Rageheart works like this too.
It’s about feeling the raw sensations of our experience… not making up stories about what it all means.
Thinking can be useful, but ultimately, we have to learn to feel deeply if we want to liberate ourselves from the past. When it comes to releasing old survival stress, thinking usually just gets in the way.
That’s why a big part of Rageheart is learning to get OUT of your head and into your body… out of thinking and into feeling.
It’s also why the skills you learn in Rageheart work incredibly well with psychedelics and plant medicines like Ayahuasca, San Pedro and Magic Mushrooms (but as I mentioned before, check the legality of these plants where you are before you do it).
Anyway, that’s enough for today…
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the very first step of the plant medicine dieta… the vomitivo (yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like) 🤮
If you’re not ready (or unable due to legal issues) to work with psychedelics but you love the idea of stirring up old wounds so you can finally let them go, sign up for a FREE trial to Rageheart here:
Already a member and feeling the impulse to Rage?
Hit the “Sign In” link on that page and get after it.
DAY 1: The psychedelic plant dieta begins (bubbles!)
It began at 8am this morning with a vomitivo.
Whaaaaaat? A vomitivo?
In case you’re wondering, it’s exactly what it sounds like 🤮
Amidst the magical Andean mountains and a light drizzle in the air, I drank a concoction of basil and lemon grass with the sole intention of making myself vomit.
Every retreat with Body of Prana begins this way.
Instead of a morning coffee, you get to have a morning vomit.
Why in the world would we do that?
My teachers here tell me it’s a way to clear and clean the system. It’s a way to clear out the old stuff and make way for the new, far better stuff. It usually leads to a smoother dieta and easier ceremonies.
Here’s how it works:
Felix or Safa hands you half a litre (16 oz) of the tea and you drink it – ideally as quickly as possible.
Sometimes that brings the vomit on immediately… but sometimes they’ll give you another jug of water to pound down as quickly as possible.
Either way… sooner or later, it all comes back out again.
Today was my quickest vomitivo yet.
I think I purged (another word for “vomit” that gets used a lot in the plant medicine and psychedelic scene) within seconds after finishing my tea…
…before I drank the second jug.
And to make matters more, shall we say, interesting…
Felix stood next to me the entire time egging me on.
Yeah, that’s it!
Oh that was a nice one!
Niiiiiiice. Look at those bubbles!
I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to that 🤦♂️
Where else in the world could you get cheered on for vomiting?
I remember the last dieta I did, back in August last year, I purged loudly in the middle of a ceremony.
Safa (one of the maestros) immediately yelled…
“YOU GO GIRL!”
…and the whole room cracks up.
It’s kinda bizarre, I know 🤷♂️
Perhaps you’re wondering…
What’s the point of all this John? Why bother? This sounds odd at best… delusional or dangerous at worst.
It’s a fair point, and understandable for someone who’s never worked with plant medicines like Ayahuasca.
A no less important question and concern that someone asked me privately yesterday is…
Why do you keep doing it? If it works so well, why do you keep going back?
To both of these questions, my response is rather simple:
Would you say no to more joy? More happiness? What about more peace and contentment? What about less fear, shame, doubt and imposter syndrome?
Or to make it more tangible…
Would you say no to making more of your potential in your life?
To creating the career or life of your dreams?
To sleeping better than you’ve ever slept in your entire life?
Or to finding a community of likeminded people that gives you dreams at night where you weep with joy and gratitude? (this has happened to me multiple times in the last few months 🙏)
Because all these things are what keep happening to me as I work with these beautiful plants and people (alongside the tools and techniques I teach people inside Rageheart).
Each time, I leave with less fear and more joy, less angst and more peace and contentment.
Life just gets better and better and better… in more ways than I can even begin to describe.
That’s why I keep going back.
And it’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m still here in a few years… or even 10 years.
If I had to sum it all up in one word, I’d simply say that it’s MAGIC.
(This song elegantly captures what I’m trying to say.)
I mean, seriously, like I said yesterday…
Plant spirits that can talk to us? Teach us things, including songs?
Plant spirits that can literally come into our bodies and clean out all kinds of things from emotions like fear and shame…
…to things we’ve seen, such as all the images from porn or violent movies we’ve watched…
…to all kinds of other incredible, mind-blowing things that I’ll talk about another time.
If that doesn’t seem like “magic” to you, I don’t know what will ✨
That’s not say that it’s easy.
Far from it.
Just like with Rageheart, I’d say the plant medicine and psychedelic path is absolutely not for the faint of heart.
Because just like with Rageheart, it means facing and feeling all the stuff inside us that we’ve spent our lives trying not to feel.
But hey, on the other side of the pain is more beauty, joy and love than we can imagine.
That’s a little taste of what’s on my mind today as I begin my 2nd dieta here in the Sacred Valley of Peru 🤘
This is also why I’m so into Rageheart and getting it into the hands of as many people as possible.
Because Rageheart does a very similar thing to psychedelics and plant medicine, only at a somewhat slower pace:
No, it won’t make you hallucinate… but it will stir things up in you that are holding you back – emotions, thoughts, sensations, beliefs – and help you to let them go.
Same deal – different techniques 🤝
And to think I’ve been dry fasting since 10pm last night 😮
The first 5 days of this dieta are intended to be a dry fast.
No food. No water.
For 5 days straight.
I did it last time and managed fine… but I wasn’t working during that one.
This time I’m making rages for Rageheart and writing emails… as well as dieting 2 plants instead of just 1 (which is harder on the body) so it might be a little bit more challenging.
We’ll see 💪
I actually thought this email would be a struggle since I’ve had no food or water all day… but it’s actually flown out of me with little effort.
Fingers crossed that this flow continues over the coming days 😎
Anyhow, I know that psychedelics are illegal in many places so don’t take this as an encouragement to go and break the law because that’s not my intention with this email and these stories. Do your own research and if you decide to take the psychedelic path, do it safely and legally… and get some solid tools before you dive into the psychedelic rabbit hole (like the nervous system tools in Rageheart).
Speaking of Rageheart, if you’d like to test out the nervous system tools for yourself, sign up for a FREE trial here:
Already a member and feeling the impulse to feel some shit (instead of just thinking about shit)? Hit the “Sign In” link on that page and get after it.
Oh, and if you want something free to listen to – all about the role of nervous system tools in the context of psychedelics – check out this brand new podcast interview I did with Paul Austin at The Third Wave, one of the biggest websites on microdosing:
DAY 2: 36 hours without food or water…
As expected, everything is slowwwwwweeeddddd down 🥱
I think slower…
…and talk slower.
Sooooo… I’m not sure how this email’s gonna go 🤷♂️
It’s day 2 of the psychedelic plant medicine dieta I’ve been talking about over my last few emails (you might want to read those if you haven’t already before you read this email).
4pm yesterday, we met up at the retreat house to “plant” the plants in our system.
Yes, as weird as that sounds, the way they think about dietas in the Shipibo tradition is that you’re planting a plant spirit inside your system.
I’ll be honest:
I don’t really understand how it works.
I don’t know if that’s just a loose, imprecise usage of language… or if they mean it literally.
Either way, I know that it works.
Whatever they do when they sing and pray into the ceremonial tobacco, Rao Ninti and plant tea leads to all kinds of interesting things throughout the dieta and afterwards… long before I ever actually take any psychedelics (like Ayahuasca).
For example, dreams.
Last night, I dreamed non-stop.
And you know what I dreamed about?
Steak with cheese drizzled over it at Nik’s place.
Cool, refreshing water (last time I dreamt about swimming in waterfalls… but not yet this time 🤣).
Lemon slice from my Dad.
You might say I’m just hungry or thirsty and that’s definitely part of it…
…but another aspect of it is that the plants like to tempt you in your dreams during dieta.
Food, sex and (when I’m dry fasting) water.
If I partake, I fail the test.
If I refuse because I remember I’m on dieta and not meant to eat or have sex or drink water, I pass.
And if I pass, that’s when things get really interesting…
…but that’s a story for another day 😇
What’s with the temptations from the plants?
My maestros tell me it’s a way they test for my commitment, integrity and self-control.
Am I ready for the deeper teaching and healing that these plants offer?
It seems I first need to prove I have mastery over my more “base” urges – hunger, thirst and sex.
I’m told the trick is to avoid thinking about food, water or sex during the day… and this is where we come to the monkey mind… YET AGAIN.
During the day, when a thought related to food, sex or water appears, if I go into it and start fantasising about it, then it’s likely I’ll fail the test during my nightly dreams.
So you see, it’s really a test of mental control… and I guess based on my dreams, I need to improve 😂
It sounds simple – just don’t eat the food or have sex – but in your dreams, it’s much trickier. I feel like I’m pretty good during the day at not thinking about food or sex… but clearly, I have some work to do 💪
Anyway, all this is to say that this is why I find the plants and psychedelics so similar to the work I do with people inside Rageheart… though I probably wouldn’t refer to it as “mental control”.
At the end of the day, a huuuuuuge piece of the “life puzzle” – being happy, making the most of our potential, unleashing the beast inside us – is learning to get out of the mind and into the body. Out of thinking and into feeling. That’s where all the magic is.
This is the path of Rageheart… the path of unleashing the beast…
…and in my experience, it’s also the path that the plants teach. Less thinking… more feeling.
Drink enough plant medicine and they’ll teach you how to do it… how to get out of your head… but far better in my opinion to get some solid tools on board first, before you go down the psychedelic rabbit hole. I’ve witnessed first-hand what happens when someone drinks Ayahuasca or takes psychedelics when they’re not prepared… and it’s not an experience I would wish on anyone 😬
That’s where Rageheart comes in.
It’s essentially a collection of the best tools I’ve ever found for getting out of my head and into my body… and I’ve tried a LOT of tools.
Meditation, journaling, gratitude lists, life coaching, therapy and so much more.
There are good things in these approaches but in my experience, nothing comes close to the tools and techniques inside Rageheart, developed by the lovely people in the wonderful world of nervous system healing.
So if meditation isn’t doing it for you…
…if journaling ain’t working…
…and if you’re still unhappy despite smashing those gratitude lists HARD…
…and if you STILL want to get out of your head and into your body, out of thinking and into feeling, whether or not you ever plan to do psychedelics, sign up for a FREE 14-day trial at Rageheart today.
Here’s the link to join:
Already a member and feeling the impulse to feeeeeeeeeeeel? Hit the “Sign In” link on the page above and get rocking.
DAY 3: Fasting, #BEASTMODE & the body is the key
60 hours with no food and (almost) no water is no joke.
I look a bit like a saltana (or a raisin, for the Americans among us). Wrinkly. Dry. Hard. Kinda like a desert.
But GOOD NEWS!
I’ve only got another 2.5 days to go 🥳 🥳 🥳 🥳 🥳 🥳
I mean, how much drier can I get?
Let’s find out!
Regarding water, it’s honestly not completely dry.
I forgot to mention that for the first 3 days, we meet at the retreat house to drink our plants.
That drink is roughly 1 cup of water along with the plants we’re dieting (lavender and lemon balm in my case).
That means I’ve had no food for 60 hours… and only 1 cup of water a day for the first 3 days (2 cups total so far… I get one more at 4pm today).
So yeah… it’s not completely dry 🤷♂️
And no, I’m not dying 🙃
However, if my body holds up, I’ll continue to fast into day 4 and 5 and I won’t be drinking no water nor eating any food.
I made it to 5 days last time… and unless my body starts to throw out warning signs (blue lips, blacking out, etc), I’ll go for 5 days again this time.
Before I continue, I must add a warning and necessary legal disclaimer that I haven’t mentioned so far:
Do NOT try anything like this – whether fasting or psychedelics – without checking with your doctor or medical professional, and ensuring that it’s all legal where you are (or wherever you plan to do it).
Now, back to business…
Why put myself through this discomfort, pain and raisin-experience?
Because the longer I fast, the deeper the plants clean and heal ❤️🩹
I know it might sound strange… but I’ve seen it work like this before so I trust the process (and the maestros/teachers I’m working with).
How does it feel, fasting like this for 2.5 days so far?
I’m tired. Exhausted really. Thoughts of food and water pop into my head and I do my best to remind myself that “no, I’m on dieta and I’m fasting – so no food, sex or water”.
My mouth is gradually drying out… though it’s not yet at the level it was last time where my saliva was more like “paste” than saliva.
My body hurts. The right side of my back aches. My legs aren’t happy. Walking is a challenge. Going up stairs is like climbing a mountain. And walking from the living room to the kitchen is sometimes as much as I can manage in one trip. I remember yesterday on the way from the living room to my bedroom, I had to stop in the kitchen to catch my breath before continuing. JUST LIKE AN OLD OLD MAN 😪
Good times 🤣
So yeah. It’s uncomfortable.
But rather than seeing discomfort as a problem, I see it as an opportunity. If I can endure this with gratitude, then what else can I accomplish?
It’s like going to the gym and lifting weights. A heavy set of squats is NOT comfortable. Very often it’s downright painful. But I know that if I do it at least once a week, I get stronger across the board. My body gets stronger, sure, but so does my mind. By refusing to avoid pain and discomfort, I build character. Heart. SOUL.
This is all part of the healing and teaching.
It’s just like Rocky says in Rocky Balboa:
Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.
You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.
But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!
Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!
Put another way…
By facing discomfort in the form of no food and very little water for 5 days… weird and uncomfortable dreams… and ceremonies that sometimes feel like the plants are shoving my face in my fear, doubt and shame…
…I come out the other side stronger, more fearless and far more ready to live the life I want to live in the face of whatever life throws at me.
I become, in a word, a BEAST.
Or another favorite word of mine…
That’s why I LOVE these beautiful plants… and it’s why I’m so into Rageheart and all the tools it teaches.
Speaking of Rageheart and dreams, I woke up last night after a crazy dream about a childhood friend with a simple phrase in my head…
The body is the KEY to the mind.
That right there sums up the Rageheart approach to personal development (and the plants too, in my experience).
Most solutions to the “problem” of the mind – negative thoughts, imposter syndrome, doubt, fear, limiting beliefs, etc – are based in the mind:
Meditation (to a large degree).
I’m not saying that these tools have no value… I’m just saying that it’s hard to beat the mind at its own game. But bring the body into the picture and everything changes.
Like that line above says…
The body is the KEY to the mind.
In other words…
The more you get into the body… the more you learn to feel everything that’s happening throughout your body, no matter how shocking, painful or uncomfortable, the more you gain mastery over your mind.
It’s the strangest thing.
We can beat the mind at its own game by ignoring its games completely.
It’s Ju Jitsu… applied to the mind 💪
If that resonates with you… if that sounds like it might just work… if you’re interested enough to try it out for yourself…
…I’ve got 2 things for you to try today.
First, listen to my first #BEASTMODE podcast I did with my sister over at the Sex Money Rage podcast.
We talk about a bunch of strange stuff, including gorillas, cross-dressing and women earning more than men…
…and we also talk about Rageheart, getting into the body and being an absolute beast in your life.
Check it out here:
It’s also on Spotify, iTunes, etc. Just search for “Sex, Money & Rage”.
Second, if you want to discover for yourself how the body is the KEY to the mind, sign up for a FREE trial to Rageheart here.
You can get a 7 or 14 day FREE trial depending on whether you sign up for a year, a quarter or a month.
Grab the FREE trial and take the tools for a spin. See if they work for YOU. Make sure this is something you actually want to do… before you risk a cent.
And if it doesn’t work? Or if you hate it (or me, for that matter 😂), simply cancel your account before the first payment rolls through. You’ll have spent nothing and yet discovered that you can safely put me out of your mind.
But if it does click for you… just think about the upside.
FINALLY! Something that actually works. Or that works better than anything else you’ve tried for dealing with your shit. Better than meditation, gratitude, journaling and all that good stuff.
Here’s the link to join:
Already a member and feeling the impulse to use your body to dominate your mind? Hit the “Sign In” link on the page below and get after it.
Now… it’s time for me to lie on the grass and stare at the clouds while avoiding all thoughts of food, sex and water. Wish me luck.
John “Turning into a raisin here” Wood
Day 4: The mind that loves to suffer
It’s day 4 of the 5 day “Ayuno” (fast) for this psychedelic plant medicine dieta.
I’ve had no food since Monday night…
…and 1 cup of water (with Melissa and Lavender) on Day 1, 2 and 3.
Day 4 and 5 (today and tomorrow) don’t come with a cup of water… so I’m 100% dry fasting now… hopefully until Sunday morning (5.5 days total fasting time).
That’s my goal.
I’m watching carefully for danger signs like blue lips and black outs… that kind of thing.
So far, the primary symptom is a dry mouth, body aches and random fantasies of food, sex and water that pop into my head…
…but the body aches are likely the result of Lavender and Melissa cleaning my body… and the fantasies are easy to deal with… so the only real issue at the moment is a very dry mouth… but that’s not really that big of a deal (to me, anyway).
So for the time being, it’s onwards with the fast!
Today’s email is proving to be the hardest one I’ve written this week. Perhaps we can add that to the list of fasting symptoms – reduced brain power and listlessness.
Where to begin?
Doing a fast and dieta like this is sort of like doing a meditation retreat… except instead of meditating, you’re working with plant spirits.
With that in mind, it’s the kind of thing where you want silence. Quiet. No music, no construction sounds and no traffic.
That would be in an ideal world.
In my world however, someone’s building a house across the dirt road outside my gate… and right this very second, I’m listening to a collection of beautiful, relaxing sounds such as:
- The sound of someone cutting wood and metal (eeeeehehhhheeeeeeeeeeeeee 😩)
- The peaceful, sharp, staccato sounds of someone smashing a hammer into a metal door 🔨
- The lovely combination of thumping techno, Western pop, otherworldly Peruvian folk music and the occasional song that actually sounds quite beautiful (I remember hearing one yesterday but they are few and far between) 🕺
- The delicious rumble of trucks coming to and fro with bricks, steel beams and more subwoofers for the concert they seem to be having while they’re building 🤦♂️
Like I said, it’s the most beautiful, relaxing combination of sounds… and it fits perfectly with the sound of the breeze in the trees, the birds in the flowers and the sound of Kano barking at you until your ears ring and you detach yourself from the couch to throw him his frisbee (hopefully without falling over due to being so lightheaded).
Put those sounds together with the body aches, dry mouth and various negative thoughts that the plants excel at stirring up and what do you have?
HEAVEN 😍 I mean… if that’s not heaven to you, I don’t know what is 🤷♂️🤣
Seriously though, I could sit around all day and wish for it to be quiet… just the way I like it…
…but that would be a waste of energy and I’d feel pretty damn miserable.
Such is the way of the mind.
Have you ever noticed that? How the mind is unhappy no matter what you do?
My mind will say something like…
Hey John! Let’s read a book. I’m bored.
So I’ll read a book.
But then once I’m reading the book, the mind will say…
Hey John! We really shouldn’t be reading this book. We should be productive instead. Let’s work…
So I’ll stop reading the book and start working.
Then the mind says again…
Hey John! You’re working too much. You need to take a break.
And so the cycle continues 😵💫
The mind is weird like that. It has an uncanny ability to find what’s wrong in every situation.
What’s wrong with me (I’m not smart enough. Not good enough. Not productive enough. Not happy enough. Not sad enough.).
What’s wrong with the people around me (They’re not working hard enough. They’re working too much. They don’t understand me. They need to get a job.)
What’s wrong with the weather (I wish it was raining. I wish it wasn’t raining.)
On and on it goes… ad infinitum.
It hurts like hell if you’re stuck in the endless mind loop…
…but it’s hilarious once you get some distance on the damn thing 🤣
The question is…
How the hell do you get out the mind?
How do you stop thinking so freaking much?
How do you get some distance on this hilariously inconsistent negative Nelly of a narrative-maker?
That’s where the psychedelic plant medicine dieta comes in.
See, part of the magic of these plants is that work a bit like a magnifying glass.
Oh, what’s that? You’re afraid of everyone finding out you’re a fraud? Let’s magnify that 100-fold, shove it in your face so you can no longer pretend it’s not there and see how you feel then.
It sounds horrible… and it absolutely can be if you get caught up in it…
…but the intention behind it is beautiful:
By showing you where you’re holding onto negative patterns, you can finally let them go.
For example, once you see just how damn painful it is to feel like a fraud as well as how it’s messing up your life, you might be a little bit more willing to look at that belief or feeling… and hopefully even let it go.
It’s a trial by fire of sorts… just like Rageheart.
Instead of avoiding the things inside you that make you mad and sad and afraid… instead of stuffing them down as deep as possible so you never have to think about them or feel what’s under them ever again…
…you bring it all up into the light so it can be seen, sorted through and let go.
It’s a wonderful thing… at least once you get to the other side… but going through it can be like going through your worst nightmare.
True statement – that last one.
In my last dieta, I had a dream where I was more scared than I’d ever been in my ENTIRE life. I felt absolutely terrified… to the point where my body was shaking so much I thought I was going to vibrate through the bed and into the floor.
I woke up thinking…
What the absolute fuck was that? I need to call someone. Something’s wrong. That was insane. Am I losing my mind? Am I being tracked by the government? Shiiiiiiiiiiit.
I’ve never felt that afraid in my life… either before or since.
Sounds terrible, right?
Except… by going through that in the dream… by having that energy move up and out of me… there’s far less fear in my day-to-day life now.
That’s what I’m talking about.
This stuff needs to come up before it can come out.
In my experience, that’s what psychedelic plants like Ayahuasca absolutely excel at.
But just like with Rageheart, it’s not for the faint of heart.
To be fair, meditation and talk therapy aim to do this too… but at a much slower place. You’ll get there… in 10 years maybe. Or 20.
Then there’s the plants at the other end of the spectrum, which can be like a rocket into your shit. They’re wonderful tools and they work fast… but I wouldn’t recommend them to someone who’s just beginning to look for answers as to why they’re unhappy.
Then there’s Rageheart – sitting somewhere in the middle.
In my experience, working with your nervous system (using the tools in Rageheart) is far more effective than meditation, talk therapy, journaling and all the other common stuff people do… which I why I say it’s not for the faint of heart…
…but it’s also not as intense as psychedelics and plant medicines like Ayahuasca, San Pedro, Magic Mushrooms, etc.
It’s a good middle ground 😎
If the idea of facing all the stuff inside you resonates with you, my advice is this:
Get something like Rageheart and learn how to work with your nervous system and body INSTEAD of your mind.
Get that piece relatively locked in FIRST… and then, if you still feel the need, consider exploring psychedelics (with someone safe and somewhere where they’re legal).
On the other hand… if you go straight into a psychedelic healing ceremony with no tools for navigating the intense energies and emotions that start to move… it could make things quite difficult for a long time afterwards 😬
But that’s me.
That’s what I would do.
You need to figure out what works for you.
If you’d like some proven tools to get out of the indecisive, inconsistent, miserable mind and get into the body, where all the magic is…
…sign up for a 7 or 14-day FREE trial to Rageheart here:
Already a member and feeling the beastly impulse to move and feel instead of think? Hit the “Sign In” link on that page above and get after it.
P.S. As I’ve said before, it goes without saying that you should not attempt a fast (or psychedelics) for that matter without talking to your doctor or health practitioner first and making sure it’s legal to work with psychedelics wherever you plan to take them.
DAY 7: I’m alive 🥳
5.5 days with no food.
1 cup of water for the first 3 days… then 2 days with no water.
Hell of a way to spend your time 🤣
By Saturday night, I was basically a shrivelled up raisin.
Take a raisin, put two funny little eyes on it and a goofy smile and yeah, that was me
But hey, as you can see… I’m alive.
I didn’t die.
I’m not sick.
I didn’t lose my mind.
In fact, I actually feel pretty damn good 💪
I’m getting vivid, intense dreams non-stop all night…
…I feel like I’m being scrubbed from the inside out…
…and I’m not yet ready to bang out a heavy set of squats (nor am I allowed to do anything like that while on dieta)…
…but mentally and emotionally, I feel pretty good.
Solid. Clear. Grounded.
I drank my first cup of water on Saturday night (aside from the 3 I mentioned), 5 days after beginning the dieta… and ate my first meal at 10am on Sunday.
The meal was delicious – boiled potatoes and lentils with roasted potatoes. No salt, herbs or seasoning. Just potatoes, lentils and potatoes.
I think it was the best meal I’ve ever had in my entire life.
SO MUCH FLAVOR!!!!!!!
That’s the thing with dieta food… it’s painfully basic.
Rice, potatoes, grains, egg whites and the occasional piece of chicken.
No seasonings. No salt. No sauce. Nada.
Hence the food dreams 😋
When you fast or eat simple like this, the mind does weird things like reminding you of all the various delicious food you’ve eaten throughout your life… such as the Pepperoni Pizza you used to get a Pizza Hut or the long thin frozen ice blocks you used to eat while playing Sunny Garcia Surfing on PlayStation 2.
That’s where the mental discipline comes in.
Since Day 1 of the dieta, as soon as a food (or sex) thought pops into my head, I’ve made it a habit to remind myself “no, I’m on diet”.
It didn’t work for the first few days – I still ended up eating in my dreams, failing the various “tests”…
…but more recently, I’ve noticed myself remembering.
How about a date with Scarlett Johansson?
“No thanks, I’m on diet.”
What about aged cheddar cheese drizzled over diced rib eye steak just the way you like it?
“No thanks, I’m on diet.”
How about a free ice-cold Margarita while walking through a night club with thumping techno?
That was last night.
I’d been so focused on food and sex that I’d forgotten all about alcohol (another prohibited food on diet – in dreams or awake)… and when it came up in my dream, I’m pretty sure I took a sip or two.
It’s an interesting challenge – the challenge with food.
I realised yesterday that if I can get in the habit of saying “no, I’m on diet” every time I think of food or sex, I can do it with anything and everything.
Worried about how to make rent next month?
“No, I’m not thinking about that.”
It’s 3am and you can’t sleep?
“No, I’m not thinking about that.”
Is 7-year old Sara driving you crazy?
“No, I’m not thinking about that.
I’ve found this “mental” approach only somewhat helpful on this diet.
It didn’t really start to work until I paired it with the various techniques for getting into the body that I teach people inside Rageheart.
Here’s how it works:
Right when a food thought appears (or sex or alcohol), I both think the sentence “no, I’m on diet” while also orienting to the environment around me, feeling the ground and noticing my breath.
When I pair the thought “no, I’m on diet” with these techniques for getting into the body, it works so much better.
These techniques are really damn simple and I’ll even teach you how to do it right now:
Look around the room you’re in. Feel the ground (or surface) beneath you. Notice your breath. All at the same time.
Notice I said “simple” but not “easy”.
When I first began playing with this technique, it would silence my mind immediately… but it would only last a few moments. I couldn’t hold onto the silence.
But over time and after a lot of practice, it became far more instinctive and automatic.
If you find it difficult to use this technique for any length of time, know that it’s ok and perfectly normal.
Most people don’t nail it on the first try. Silencing the mind and getting into the body takes time, practice and dedication.
That’s where Rageheart comes in.
Over the course of 60 “rages”, you cultivate your ability to use this technique (that is, to be in your body instead of your head, feeling all that’s there – not just anger and rage but fear, shame, joy, beauty and gratitude).
It’s a huge part of what happens inside Rageheart.
It starts with this exercise, and then over time, we layer in increasing levels of complexity…
…sort of like how if you’re learning to play the guitar 🎸, you learn some chords and scales before you start learning songs. This gradually increases your capacity over time and most people get caught in the mind less and less.
If that sounds good to you, sign up for a free trial to Rageheart here:
(Already a member and feeling the impulse to get into your body? Hit the “Sign In” link on that page and get after it.)
You can get a 7 or 14 day free trial depending on whether you sign up for a month, quarter or year… and whichever you choose, you can test out the techniques before you decide if it’s worth paying for them.
If you don’t like it, simply cancel your subscription before the first payment rolls through.
Since there’s no risk, why not give it a shot?
What if it actually DOES work?
What if this is exactly what you’ve been looking for?
There’s only one way to find out…
Here’s that link to sign up again:
DAY 8: Alcohol and weed vs ayahuasca and plant medicine
Dieta ceremony #1 last night.
Met at the retreat house a 530pm, 2 mins walk from where I live here in Peru.
Chatted for half an hour with the group.
Then we drank the brew… what has to be close to the worst-tasting thing on earth: Ayahuasca 🥴
Not so much because it’s “gross”…
…moreso the intensity.
Even thinking about it brings on the shivers in me (and plenty of other people too).
It tastes kind of like the worst coffee you’ve ever tasted, burnt to a crisp, mixed with Vegemite (an overwhelmingly strong-tasting Aussie spread for toast and bread) and a handful of mud to top it off.
There’s really nothing quite like it.
After that, we spent 4 hours on our mattresses by the fire while Felix and Safa sang their icaros (medicine songs) and helped to clean the various “things” that the diet plants (Lavender and Melissa) had stirred up. We smoked our pipes (filled with mapacho ceremonial tobacco) and covered ourselves in “rao ninti” – both used to clear negative energy that the plants were cleaning.
And of course, we purged.
I only purged once… but it was a big one 🥳
I remember sitting up in the relative darkness by the fire, feeling absolutely horrible and absolutely not wanting to smoke my pipe as they’d instructed us.
But I did it anyway, swallowing at least 10 mouthfuls of mapacho smoke, and then…
I know how weird all this can sound.
Psychedelic teas like ayahuasca.
Smoking tobacco (isn’t tobacco unhealthy?).
Negative “energy” – have you lost your mind?
Despite the weirdness (at least to the typical Western mind), it works.
It still blows my mind that it works…
…but it works 🤷♂️
For example, today I feel cleaner, clearer, more grounded and more connected to myself. Happier, more joyful and more excited about the future. Better about my business and far better in my relationships with friends and family.
It’s like I just went through a massive mental, emotional and physical detox.
Compare that to alcohol and weed – both “government approved” drugs that most people take for granted these days.
How do you feel the day after drinking too much wine, beer or absinthe?
What about the day after you smoke a joint? (if you’re into that)
I know exactly how I feel after alcohol and weed:
There is absolutely no question about it:
Drinking alcohol or smoking weed makes me worse across the board (and I imagine a lot of people react in the same way).
But ayahuasca? Mapacho tobacco, used with intent and maturity? Rao ninti? Clearing negative energy? Purging?
The day after, I (usually) feel like a million bucks.
Or if it’s not the day after, it’s 3 days after. Or 7.
Either way, I come out better, stronger and healthier… the same way I might after a healthy detox or juice cleanse.
And to think most psychedelics and plant medicines are illegal in the Western world
That’s not to say that everyone should rush out and drink ayahuasca.
In fact, I would encourage most people NOT to seek out psychedelic experiences unless they know exactly what they’re doing AND who they’re working with.
Partly because they’re illegal in most places…
…and partly because I’ve seen what goes wrong when someone drinks ayahuasca or trips on mushrooms without having a good handle on their nervous system, emotions and embodied awareness.
Psychedelic experiences can easily be one of the most intense experiences of your life…
…so it makes sense to prepare 💪
Or if you have no interest in actually taking psychedelics but still want to heal in the deepest way possible, then it makes sense to find non-psychoactive tools to help you work with your nervous system in the same way.
Clear negative energy from your nervous system – fear, doubt, shame, guilt and anger – to make space for all the good things you want to bring in.
That’s where Rageheart comes in.
Rageheart works similar to psychedelics.
No, it won’t make you see things that aren’t there.
Nor is it illegal.
Rageheart is similar to psychedelics in that it is a very powerful tool for getting out of your head and into your body. Out of thinking and into feeling.
Out of timid, shy, “the world is dangerous and I am unsafe” mode… and into confident, self-assured, “I’ve fucking got this” mode (aka. UNLEASHING THE BEAST).
But don’t take my word for it…
Test drive Rageheart without spending a cent – simply sign up for a 7-14 day free trial here:
Already a member and feeling the impulse to unleash the beast? Hit the “Sign In” link on the page above and get after it.
Ceremony #2 tonight (2.5 hours from now). I’ll be back tomorrow with more weirdness from the Sacred Valley of Peru… perhaps I’ll get around to talking about “imaginations” – a key to unraveling the mind (in ceremony and out).
DAY 9: Congrats! EPIC vomit 🤮
The Ayahuasca purge…
I love it and I hate it.
Right before it comes, I feel miserable. Hot. Sweaty. Uncomfortable. I think to myself… Why am I doing this again? I don’t like this. I’m NEVER doing this again.
I feel light. Clear. Sometimes more relaxed than I’ve ever felt in my entire life.
Here’s how last night’s purge (and ceremony) went:
All in all, it was rather chill for me.
No crazy visions.
Mostly mild sensations moving through my body.
The typical mind chatter that usually goes with ayahuasca ceremonies.
I thought it was going to be like that all night.
Then Felix (the maestro/shaman and my BJJ sparring partner) sat down in front of me, preparing to sing his icaros (medicine songs) 🎤
Maestros like Felix (and his partner Safa) use icaros to move “energy” in people.
It sounds bizarre and maybe even unbelievable… but I’ve seen (and felt) it work more times than I care to count.
They sing their medicine songs and I immediately start throwing up, crying or laughing with joy…
…or I might start yawning so hard that it feels like I’m going to break my jaw while also seeing pink and purple and yellow cartoon visions with my eyes shut…
…or maybe I’ll feel new aches and pains in my knees, back or neck while something else twitches and spasms.
Even as a musician, to this day, the idea that songs can do this still blows my mind (and that’s after quite a few ceremonies and years spent in this plant medicine world).
Songs? Medicine songs? That move energy and emotion and can actually fix things in my body and mind? Whaaaaaaaaaaat?
Like I said…
It’s bizarre 🤯
Felix started singing his otherworldly songs in the Shipibo language and I did my best to focus.
Hear the song. Feel the ground. Eyes shut. Notice my breath.
Nothing happened for at least a few minutes…
…but I soon started feeling hot, and not the kind of hot that we feel on a hot day 🥵
This was fever hot… and it came with prickly skin, intense body aches and an overwhelming desire to resist whatever was happening.
But instead, I focused on relaxing. Feeling into and around the discomfort (just like I teach people how to do in Rageheart). Into and around the pain. Into the resistance. All while keeping my body and mind as relaxed as possible.
Then all of a sudden…
A chunky, disgusting monster with 17 legs and 104 eyes clawed its way up and out of my throat 🕷️
You might think I’m joking when I use the word “monster” but I use that word on purpose.
Purging/vomiting on Ayahuasca (and San Pedro) is not like an ordinary vomit when we’re sick or drank one too many Vodka sodas on Saturday night at The Temple Bar in NYC.
It feels more like what I just described – as if there’s some type of alien being slowly being evicted from your stomach.
Hence “monster” 👹
So here I was, purging this monster from my belly on all fours, holding onto the floor for dear life while Felix belted his icaros at me and these magical plants cleaned me out.
Felix didn’t blink an eye when all of a sudden I’m on the floor with my bucket. He simply continued singing as if it was the most normal thing in the world 😮
Some unknown amount of time later, I was sitting upright again, covered in sweat and clutching my now empty-but-throbbing stomach, thinking “oh. my. god. where the f did that come from” while Felix completed his icaros.
When he finally finished, one of the first things he said is:
”Congrats dude! Nice purge.”
It never gets old – that.
Where else in the world are we congratulated for vomiting and purging?
Maybe you’re thinking:
John, why in the world would you EVER want to do something like that? It sounds horrible.
It’s a good question.
My answer is simply what I’ve said before:
Would you say no to more joy in your life? More strength? More passion and purpose?
Would you say no to being healthier, happier and more whole?
Would you turn down the opportunity to make more of your potential?
To put that into practical terms…
Imagine finding work you adore and believe in with all your heart… beautiful friendships that don’t have the toxic negativity that so many friendships have… better sleep than you could dream of… wonderful dreams that open you to the most profound gratitude you’ve ever felt…
…you get the idea, right?
Because that’s why I do this work – both with psychedelic plant medicines like Ayahuasca and Rageheart.
It might be uncomfortable to go through these things…
…to feel the gut-wrenching emotions of the past that hide in our nervous system…
…to confront our “demons”…
…to stop avoiding what’s happening inside our bodies and minds and start paying attention to it.
But to me, it’s undeniably worth it.
That’s where Rageheart comes in.
Like psychedelic plant medicine, Rageheart is designed to stir up the past in you – all the stuff that’s holding you back from being a beast in your day-to-day life 😎
Fear, doubt, shame, guilt and anger. Old memories that hold you back. Limiting patterns, triggers and beliefs. ALL of it.
It does this by teaching you how to work directly with your nervous system and fight-or-flight response… and it’s all geared to helping you unleash the beast inside you and remember who you are – before all the bullshit of the past.
It’s challenging at times but also magical beyond what words can express… and it doesn’t require you to drink ayahuasca, hallucinate or vomit up alien monsters in the dark 🥳
The best part?
You can test it out without risking a cent.
Simply sign up for a free 7-14 day trial here:
If you don’t like it, simply cancel your membership before the first payment rolls through – no questions asked 💪
Already a member and feeling the impulse to unleash the beast inside you? Hit the “Sign In” link on the page above and get beastly.
P.S. No ceremonies now until Sunday.
It’s just me, my thoughts, my body, my DELICIOUS daily potatoes/lentil/chicken soup (with absolutely no salt or seasoning), Kano the dog and Storm and Zeus the kittens.
Who knows what tonight or tomorrow will bring?
More dreams I’m sure 😴
I’ll let you know what I discover.
DAY 11: How to stop worrying
day 11 of 14 of the psychedelic plant medicine dieta and like I’ve mentioned before, I’m eating a diet that would probably drive most people crazy:
Lentils, rice, potatoes (boiled and roasted) and chicken every 2nd day with no salt or seasoning whatsoever.
With food like this, it’s easy to get lost in food fantasies…
Nutella donuts at Alto Cafe down the street.
Medium-cooked steak in Urabamba.
Oven-roasted potatoes at home with olive oil and rosemary while watching Star Wars: A New Hope.
The problem is:
If I get caught up in food fantasies during the day, the more likely it is that I’ll eat food in my dreams… and if I eat food in my dreams, I fail the tests the plants throw at me (even writing that list of delicious foods above was a bit of a curve ball 🤤).
That’s what happens in dreams during a plant medicine dieta like this.
One of the ways the “plant spirits” start to connect with you is in your dreams… and to test your commitment to the process, they try to tempt you with food, sex and $18 nightclub Margaritas.
If you eat the food, you fail the test.
That’s why one of the tricks is not thinking about food during the day. Or sex. Or anything else that I’m not meant to be eating or doing (like what I’m going to do after I’m done).
The goal is to stay present for all of it… without getting caught up in what we might call “imaginations”.
To experience it all without escaping into a fantasy or mind-created world.
All the beauty.
All the babbling of the mind.
All the boredom.
As I mentioned in a recent email, my maestro’s trick for making this happen is to simply get in the habit of saying “no, I’m on diet” whenever thoughts about food or sex appear…
…but as I’ve played with it, I’ve realised I can use it for everything – not just food and sex… both in and out of the dieta space.
That’s the beautiful thing about dieting with the plants.
It’s like a crash course or boot camp on how to work with your mind. It’s more intense than normal life but if I can get comfortable with that intensity, if I can master it, whatever happens outside will be like water off a duck’s back.
Worried about money?
“No, I’m on diet.”
Worried about whether I’m doing good or bad on the diet?
“No, I’m on diet.”
Worried about doing the dishes?
“No, I’m on diet.”
The idea is…
I’m not thinking about that right now. Not food. Not sex. Not money or my progress on the dieta or the dirty dishes.
The thoughts still come… but I don’t go into it. I don’t get caught up in it. In the “imagination” of it.
I like that word for what these things are.
It fits perfectly.
Think about it…
What is worrying about money but simply imagining things unfolding in some way where you run out of money?
Or if I’m worried about what someone thinks about me, I’m usually just imagining they don’t like me without actually knowing if it’s true.
Or if I’m thinking about the past or the future, I’m literally only ever imagining it. The past and future do not exist. The only thing that exists of the past and future is my imagined version of it.
To make it real simple…
The only thing that’s not an imagination is right now… everything else is a story or an idea.
The problem with stories and ideas is… they create a lot of unnecessary pain, suffering and heartache.
It’s just like Mark Twain said:
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
The question is…
How do you stop imagining things?
How do you get out of your head?
How do you cease believing all the limiting stories you tell yourself?
Well, you can start with the technique in this email except instead of saying “no, I’m on diet” you might say “no, I’m not thinking about that”. Do it enough and it eventually becomes a habit.
Next, you could sign up for a psychedelic plant medicine dieta and have the plants take things to the next level for you… though I wouldn’t recommend this option unless you’ve drank Ayahuasca 20+ times and know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
Or you could sign up for a free trial at Rageheart and discover how to use your body, nervous system and the beast that’s inside you to stop your mind in its tracks:
Already a member and feeling the impulse to imagine less and hang out in reality more? Hit the “Sign In” link on that page and get into your beautiful body.
DAY 14: The most terrifying night of my life
I was in a shopping mall after closing time, desperately searching for the exit 🏪
I ran down the deserted halls looking left and right, heart thumping like a techno song and breathing hard.
Where is the way out dammit?
All the shops were closed.
It was empty.
When I paused by the railing to catch my ragged breath, I heard a voice.
Not a voice over the loudspeaker…
…a disembodied voice.
It was as if someone was right next to me, whispering into my ear…
…except no one was there.
But it wasn’t any voice.
It was an evil voice.
It felt like evil.
I know how weird that sounds but I don’t know how else to describe it 😮
As soon as I heard that voice, terror FLOODED my system and I felt myself vibrate and shake like a rag doll.
Then a man in a dark suit appeared.
Somehow I knew he was hunting me like a Siberian Tiger hunts deer.
I started running again.
YES! An elevator! Go go go go go!
I jumped in, smashed the button for the bottom floor and off I went.
The man in the suit made it to elevator just as the doors closed so I thought I was safe… but then when I got out at the bottom, there was a whole legion of guards waiting for me.
I jumped on the hand railing on the stairs and slid down, knocking guards down like dominos as I went.
Whew! Looks like I’ve made it.
Then I see him.
The man in the dark suit.
Chasing me in a train (of course 🤷♂️).
He looks at me.
That evil villain smile.
He knows he’s close now.
I run for my life while sobbing and screaming noooooo…
…but I’m not fast enough.
He grabs me, puts me into the lumbering metal train and says icily that he’s taking me to a Government research facility.
Uh oh 😳
And then I wake up.
But even awake from the nightmare – by far the most terrified I’ve ever been in my entire life (awake or dreaming) – I’m still scared.
What the fuck was that?
Is the Government tracking me somehow?
Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. I need to call someone. Anyone. HELP!
Then I remember:
If I call Felix and Safa, the two maestros who are running the dieta, they’ll first ask me if I’ve smoked my pipe, used my Rao Ninti and had a flower bath.
So I do that.
Lo and behold, the fear and paranoia dissolves, the dream fades gently into a distant memory and the level of fear in my life drops massively from that point forward.
Welcome to psychedelic plant medicine dieta dreams 👻
This dream was from my dieta last August – not this one I’m doing currently – but I thought it would illustrate the “nature” of dieta dreams.
Most of them are nowhere near as intense as this one was – I mean it when I say it was the single most terrifying night of my life – but almost all of them relate to emotions and stories and things that hold us back.
In the case of this dream with the man in the dark suit, the way I understand it is this:
The plant spirit (Melissa / Lemon Balm) was scrubbing out my body and psyche and found some buried fear that I’d forgotten about…
…then she helped me process, feel and release it through my dreams.
I have no idea if the fear I processed was specifically about the Government or if it was just general fear that got turned into a compelling narrative for the sake of the dream though I tend to think it was the latter.
Pretty cool, right?
That’s a huge part of what plant medicine work is about:
Stirring up long forgotten emotions, sensations, stories and beliefs that hold us back and make us miserable…
…and letting them go.
The challenge is:
We’ve usually blocked these things out for a reason – because they’re terrifying, painful, uncomfortable or worse.
That’s why it’s important to have tools.
In the case of a psychedelic plant medicine dieta, 3 essential tools are:
- your pipe (for smoking ceremonial mapacho tobacco)
- your Rao Ninti (flower perfume)
- your daily flower bath (plants dissolved in water)
These tools help to cleanse the body and mind after bad dreams (and throughout the day too). They’re excellent at clearing the negative energy or emotion once it’s surfaced and at bringing you back into balance.
But what do you do if you have a dream like this and either don’t have these tools or you’re not on a psychedelic plant medicine dieta?
How do you come back to yourself after a terrifying nightmare?
Or a huuuuuge breakup that makes you feel like your heart shattered?
Or a fight with someone you love that ends with your not talking for years?
How do you manage stress day-to-day?
What about the accumulated stress of the past?
Yes, psychedelics and plant medicine can help with these… but I wouldn’t recommend them to someone unless they know exactly what they’re getting themselves into.
Common tools like meditation, journaling, gratitude lists and breathwork can also help calm things down.
However, in my experience, nothing beats learning to work directly with your nervous system and fight-or-flight response.
That’s all emotions (and most thoughts) really are – the fuel and manifestation of the fight-or-flight response.
Fear is about running away.
Anger is about attacking someone.
Shame is about hiding.
Therefore, the key to all of these emotions and feelings is the nervous system, survival energy and the fight-or-flight response… not the mind.
If you can learn to regulate your fight-or-flight response, you won’t have to be afraid of these feelings and emotions (or the thoughts they generate).
That doesn’t mean you never feel fear or anger or shame.
It simply means that you have the skills and tools to ride the tsunami wave of emotion, sensation, memory and thought instead of being wiped out by it.
That’s where Rageheart comes in.
It’s a set of tools for dealing with and managing emotions, thoughts and feelings… and in my experience, it works better than just about anything else out there.
It’s a big part of why I can have dreams like the one I just described without freaking out for more than a few minutes after I wake up.
If you want the same mental and emotional resiliency for yourself, sign up for a free trial of Rageheart today:
Already a member and feeling the impulse to balance out your nervous system? Hit the “Sign In” link on that page and get regulating.
FINISHED: Bad jokes, dark chocolate and Jedi mind tricks
The psychedelic plant medicine dieta finished at approximately 3:47am last night after much Peruvian dark chocolate, Egyptian Licorice Tea and ridiculous jokes about the different shapes we could see in the fire…
Is that a pig’s foot?
NO! It looks more like boat.
No guys, you’ve got it all wrong. It’s John Wood and he’s ON FIRE!
I am continually amazed by these beautiful plants and this path.
It is magic.
If you ever get the chance to try Ayahuasca (or dieting), provided it’s safe, legal and with someone you trust completely (and you’ve prepared yourself with something like Rageheart), I say do it.
Today, I’ll keep it quick so I can get back to stuffing my face with SALT, avocado and chocolate (#priorities).
One lesson that I continue learning over and over again is that all my ideas get in the way of the path.
So many times I’ve been in ceremony where I’ll think I’m having some massive insight or “aha” and it’ll go on for hours until eventually I realise…
Oh. That’s just my mind 🤦♂️
I remember on the first dieta I did (back in August last year), I spent an entire day making this huuuuuge narrative about some issue I’d been working on.
It felt good to believe it because I thought I’d finally figured out what was going on… but later that night during ceremony, I saw (YET AGAIN 🤣) that it was actually just one big story and I had no idea if it was actually true.
Sounds harmless enough, right?
Except in ceremony, the medicine will be trying to do something with me and if I sit there thinking about it, or thinking about some other thing, it blocks the whole process.
It’s just like with Rageheart.
Thinking blocks the release of stored survival stress. If I think, I hold onto it. But if I feel…
Our stories and ideas and even memories about what happened to us or what’s happening now aren’t all that important (as far as the healing goes).
The only thing that really matters deep down is that we feel it. The raw sensation or charge.
When I had someone teaching me how to do this 1-on-1, I remember going to him and telling him about some issue I was having. I’d spin some story about how it’s from when I was 7 years old or 12 years old or because Mum or Dad or some bully at school said this or that thing.
He’d nod along patiently… and then when I ran out of steam, he’d simply ask:
Ok, are you to go into the body and feel?
He didn’t discuss the story. He didn’t disagree with me or tell me how it is. He didn’t analyse the past with me and feed me even MORE stories about why I was the way that I was (a big problem with talk therapy IMO).
He simply asked if I was ready to start feeling what was happening in the body.
It’s so simple when it clicks… but MAN, we can drive ourselves crazy with our mind before we get to the simplicity.
It happens with plant medicine like I mentioned…
…and it happens in the day-to-day world.
We think and think and think we’re getting somewhere…
…but really we’re just spinning around in circles in our head.
That’s why I created Rageheart.
Because I tried all the other stuff people do – meditation, journaling, gratitude lists, breath work and shiny crystal yoga beads.
Did it work?
It helped (actually, maybe not the yoga beads 🤷♂️).
But it was more akin to a bandaid than an actual solution:
It stopped the bleeding but it didn’t fix the root cause.
Then I discovered the world of nervous system healing and that’s when everything changed.
All of a sudden, I could get out of my head.
Not every time.
But a hell of a lot more than anything else ever did. And not by a little bit… by a huuuuuge amount.
That’s why I’m so passionate about it. About Rageheart. About the tools it teaches. About the nervous system and fight-or-flight model.
Because it crushed everything single other thing I’d tried – and I’d tried a LOT of things.
Learning to work directly with your nervous system is not the only puzzle piece in life… but for me at least, it’s been one of the biggest (and most helpful).
Anyway, that’s enough from me today.
Back to chocolate and avocado (NO, not together! Or maybe 🤔) and something hilarious on Netflix (send me your recommendations – I need ideas for comedies and epic fantasy).
If you want to check Rageheart out while I’m busy filling myself with dark chocolate (and maybe croissants too), hit the link below and sign up for a free trial:
You can test it out without paying a cent… and if it doesn’t work for you, simply cancel before your first payment rolls through. Easy.
Already a member and feeling the impulse to get out of your head? To clear the air? Hit the “Sign In” link on that page and get after it.
2 DAYS AFTER: The best bender of your life
Now I can eat salt.
And CHOCOLATE 🤤
I can also listen to music (while dancing with Kano in the kitchen).
Oh music. How I love you.
I can’t remember what song I listened to first (this, this or this) but let me tell you, after 2 weeks with no music, it was almost as good as an orgasm with all that bass.
You know that feeling you get when a good song hits the spot? Shivers down the spine? Shudders? NO!?!???? Ok then, maybe it’s just me…
Speaking of orgasms, I’m still on the orgasm diet – no sex for a week after the plant medicine dieta – so I’ll have to focus on my “musicgasms” 🤷♂️
Hmm. What else?
Nature is as magical as ever. The mountains. Trees. Water. Kittens! These plants only seem to deepen that connection as time goes on. It’s pretty special 😍
How do I feel?
After 5 days fasting…
…eating only rice, potatoes, lentils and chicken with no salt or seasoning for the following 9 days…
…4 ayahuasca ceremonies…
…and Lavender and Lemon Balm making my body vibrate and spasm during the day and giving me insane dreams at night of haunted shopping malls, houses under construction and car rides down mountain cliffs…
People usually ask that.
They want to know WHY?
WHY do I put my body through this?
WHY go to all the effort?
WHY can’t I just be normal?
Some of my friends just think it’s a bender. A drug high. A trip.
That’s fine. They can think that.
But to me, it’s not that at all.
Alcohol gives you a headache and a bucketload of negativity in the days and weeks after… and it destroys your body and mind.
Most “drugs” do the same.
But this? Plant medicine? Ayahuasca? Lavender and Lemon Balm? Fasting? Simple food? Lots of time among the mountains, trees and waterfalls?
I honestly feel better than I probably ever have – right now.
Clearer. Calmer. More peaceful. More joyful. Happier.
Like a huge weight has been lifted off me.
You know that feeling right?
You feel light. Free. Easy. Relaxed.
As if everything is going to be totally and utterly ok.
Whatever you were holding onto a moment before is gone… replaced with a deep and abiding trust in the goodness of the universe and the people around you.
That’s how I feel right now.
That’s not to say I didn’t already feel good before I started this… but I feel even better now. It just keeps going. I don’t think it ever ends. That’s why I keep going back.
I’m sleeping better.
And I’m beyond excited about the future.
I regularly find myself wondering… if this is how good life is NOW, what’s it going to be like in a year? 2 years? 5?
Is this what you call a bender?
If so, it’s the best damn bender of my life 🤣
All the benefits… with none of the drawbacks.
I’ve never once had alcohol and felt like this.
Usually it’s the opposite.
Anyway, that’s a little dieta update.
One reason I love the plant medicine world is it’s basically the same thing I do with Rageheart:
Help people to feel and connect. To themselves. To nature. To open up and let go of fear, doubt, shame, guilt and anger. To remember who they are. To unleash the beast inside them. To wake themselves up and feel more alive than ever before. To get rid of all the bullshit and blame of the past and be whoever the fuck they want to be (instead of who they think they SHOULD be).
And to do it with by working with survival stress, the fight-or-flight response and the nervous system.
This is exactly what Rageheart does…
…and it’s what plant medicines like ayahuasca do…
…though before you try ayahuasca, I tell people it’s a good idea to get some solid tools on board first. Tools for managing your emotions and nervous system. Tools for staying connected to your body and getting out of your head.
The tools in Rageheart will help you move old stuck energy and emotion as well as stay in your body… and if you ever decide to pair them with psychedelics and plant medicine, you’ll find it easier to navigate the psychedelic experience, you’ll get bigger insights and better breakthroughs and integration will be faster and smoother.
Grab a free trial to Rageheart and you’ll see what I mean.
Here’s the link to sign up:
Already a member and feeling the impulse to practice the tools? Hit the “Sign In” link on that page and get after it.
1 WEEK LATER: Assaulted in the dark
Undisclosed, somewhere in The Sacred Valley of the Incas, 1.5 hours from Cusco, Peru.
My eyes were slammed shut while Felix (the ayahuasca maestro) sung his icaros to someone else.
It was the final ceremony of the dieta and I was deep in the medicine… barely aware of what was happening in the room.
That’s when I felt it:
An itch on my leg.
At first, I thought it was a fly or an ant… something harmless.
I’ll deal with it later… I remember thinking.
I thought it would go away on its own…
…except it didn’t.
Eventually I sat up to take a look at this “itch” on my leg.
That’s when I saw it.
The itch that was absolutely NOT an itch.
The itch was in fact a dude named Joe, crawling up my leg, and this dude was in fact no dude but a scorpion.
“SHIIIIIIIT”, I hissed as I flicked Joe away.
It was a shock, that. To be so deep in the medicine that I was barely aware of the room… and then to all of a sudden have a motherfucking scorpion crawling up my leg.
Flicking him away was a good move… except that it meant I’d lost him.
He could be anywhere.
On the floor.
On my mattress.
Hell… ON ME 😳
Like I said, this was the last ayahuasca ceremony of the dieta… and that meant I was well and truly tripping on ayahuasca by this point, making me wonder if the scorpion was actually a scorpion… or just my mind playing tricks on me.
I carefully looked through my clothes and blankets.
Scott came over with a red headlamp and we had a closer look. Under the mattress. In the corner. Behind my bag.
Then Safa – Felix’s wife and also a maestro/shaman – came over and told me…
It’s your “jungle test”. This happens all the time in the jungle. So just go with it.
“OUCH”, I yelped suddenly, furiously rubbing my chin where it felt like I’d just been stabbed with a giant needle.
He got me.
Little, sweet, innocent Joe.
He’d somehow made it from my ankle to my neck without me seeing (or feeling!) him… and then stung me right when Safa was telling me how it was my jungle test.
I looked again for the scorpion but couldn’t find it anywhere… so I gave up and laid down on my mattress, throat throbbing painfully, hoping that Joe had finally fucked off somewhere else and doing my best to relax and not get too paranoid.
Up until that point, the entire time in Peru, I’ve been somewhat afraid of these scorpions. I’d never been stung before… and I didn’t know how bad it would be.
Then it happened that night, mid-ceremony, after drinking a cup of ayahuasca, and the whole thing got reframed.
Yes, it hurt. Like a motherfucker.
But in the end, it became just another uncomfortable thing to feel… and now there’s far less fear about scorpions. I don’t want to get stung again… but I also know it’s really no big deal.
Ayahuasca is like that.
There can be a lot of uncomfortable sensations that move through the body over the course of a ceremony. Stabbing pains. Aching. Vomiting that makes you feel like you’re about to die. On and on it goes.
The scorpion sting sucked… probably most similar to a wasp… but like I said, in the end, it became just another uncomfortable sensation among other uncomfortable sensations.
This is one of the beautiful benefits of learning to work with my nervous system. Often feelings just wanna be felt. Not thought about. Not analysed. Not talked about. Certainly not complained about.
The question is…
How the hell do you do that?
Maybe it’s obvious to you… but a few years ago, I had no idea what that meant. Or if I did, I was completely wrong. I thought I was feeling my emotions if I was writing about them or talking about them… but that’s not feeling emotions. That’s writing or talking about them.
What does it mean to actually feel your shit? Your emotions and sensations and whatever you’re going through?
That’s where Rageheart comes in.
It’s a step-by-step system for learning how to feel… and it’s this system that made the scorpion sting seem ultimately like it was no big deal.
But I’m getting ahead of myself…
The question is:
What happened to the scorpion?
Did he turn up again?
Or did he disappear?
Well, maybe 1 hour after the scorpion got me on the throat, Felix sat down in front of me to sing his icaros (medicine songs).
I sat up, crossed my legs and waited.
Felix smoked his mapacho and looked at me, perhaps seeing things that I couldn’t see, figuring out where to sing.
I simply relaxed. I watched my breath while feeling the ground and kept my eyes shut, trying not to think about scorpions because hey, that scorpion was long gone by now. LONG GONE! Or so I hoped.
That’s when I felt it.
It was like a feather… softly moving up my neck.
My first instinct was to immediately flick it away but I remembered what I happened the first time and how my immediate fear-based reaction ended with the scorpion getting lost among my blankets and mattress.
I grabbed the roll of toilet paper in front of me instead, took a wad of it and then carefully reached up behind my head to my neck and grabbed little Joe.
Was it Joe?
Did I get him?
I remember not being sure… but when I looked in the wad of toilet paper, I saw him. Joe and his not-so-friendly scorpion tail, waving around, seeking more skin to pierce.
NOT THIS TIME YOU LITTLE MOTHE…!
The sauna (aka. The fireplace)
(I hear Joe likes the sauna 🔥)
So yeah, it was a surprisingly eventful end to the dieta 🤷♂️
I couldn’t help but laugh by the time I caught little Joe.
Of all the things to happen on the last ceremony of the dieta, I get stung by a scorpion on my throat (2 inches from my mouth ).
Anyway, like I said, it wasn’t a huge deal. Maybe like a wasp sting but ultimately just another uncomfortable sensation to feel in the ocean of discomfort that sometimes comes with ayahuasca…
…though I suppose without the tools inside Rageheart, it could’ve been a lot worse.
That’s one thing that the nervous system stuff (and plant medicine) teaches you.
Resist and you perish 💀
Well, you won’t literally perish… but in my experience, if you resist what’s happening, it could feel like hell.
If I stop resisting the feeling (which means being willing to actually feel it), it flows through me much quicker.
It’s incredibly simple… and yet learning how to do it isn’t always so simple, especially for the average Westerner. We’ve been raised in the West to think, not feel, and so we resist without even realizing we’re resisting. That’s why we need to shop and work and achieve and watch porn and drink alcohol to manage our stress levels. All because we don’t know how to move feelings through our nervous system.
That’s why I created Rageheart.
Because more than anything else, these tools taught me how to feel into and through all kinds of things… discomfort, pain, grief, shame and so much more.
That’s what saved me with the scorpion bite…
…and it’s what I use every day to make sure negativity doesn’t stick to me.
Wanna try it out for yourself?
Grab a 14-day free trial here and test it out for yourself without risking a cent:
Already a member and feeling the impulse to FEEL instead of think? Hit the “Sign In” link on that page and drop in.
P.S. Know anyone who needs to get better at feeling into things and through them – instead of always thinking about them?
Refer them to Rageheart and help them learn how to, well, feel…
Remember to use your personal referral link (included below) to win beastly prizes (like your own billboard with a quote of your choice on it 🤯).