For entrepreneurs and creatives working with psychedelics to enhance and expand their creative capacity, the question: “How do I know which psychedelic visions to follow through and act on?” opens up a fascinating conversation that I think is essential to address and discuss.
This particular question came up at my last AYA Visionary Plant Medicine Retreat. These retreats are for creatives and entrepreneurs who want to explore plant medicines as powerful visionary tools to transform their inner visions into reality.
Right now, with the state of the world and humanity facing crises on multiple fronts, plant medicines can be useful allies to help us discover new solutions to some of the most significant challenges we face, both individually and collectively. If we want to hold a vision for a new, more harmonious future, then we need to learn how to think more creatively and break out of the conventional molds of the past.
One of the most incredible benefits of psychedelics is that they allow us to think outside the box, enabling us to explore more radical and far-flung ideas. As a result, they can directly help us come up with ideas that are original, fresh, and new. After all, it is possible that we wouldn’t have iPhones without Steve Jobs tripping on LSD, or know as much as we do today about the double helix of DNA, if Watson didn’t have his psychedelic trip full of visionary insight.
Especially in this rapidly changing world we live in, many people now turn to psychedelics for clarity on the next steps to take, and guidance on major life decisions. We know that ayahuasca and other entheogens can offer us newfound clarity that can change our lives forever.
So for those of us working with psychedelics to create, vision big, explore new potential life paths, and push the boundaries of what we believe is possible, how do we know when an inner vision we see in our psychedelic space is too radical or right on target?
Within the context of today’s shifting reality, we need to foster the courage to take risks and leap into the unknown, but when is it too much of a leap? What if Steve Jobs would have come out of his psychedelic trip thinking that pursuing novel Apple products was a stupid idea rather than a radically brilliant one?
After all, we know there is a fine, unclear, and shifting line between creative genius and insanity. We know that psychedelics can plant some pretty lofty, even radical ideas in our minds; they are hallucinogens after all! How do you ensure that through the landscape of bizarre hallucinations, you pick the needle out of the haystack, and land on the genius idea, rather than the crazy one
When it comes to acting on inner visions you received during a psychedelic experience, how do you know which ideas to take seriously?
This is not a straightforward conversation, and there’s not a lot of easy answers. But some considerations can help you avoid making potentially catastrophic and costly decisions just because you thought you should “listen to ayahuasca” or because “LSD told you to do it.”
By no means do I feel like I have all the answers here, or am trying to tell you what you “should” or “shouldn’t” do; that’s for you to decide. I’m only going to share what I believe are some helpful tips for the entrepreneurs, visionaries, and creatives who are working with plant medicines for guidance, clarity, or creative inspiration, based on my experience.
I hope that you can find nuggets of wisdom that will benefit you on your path of psychedelic exploration.
All Visions Are A Gift, Regardless If You Act or Not
Just because you’ve had a very clear, vivid psychedelic vision, doesn’t mean that you need to feel compelled to act on it. Do you act on all the things you see or experience in your dream space?
All visions that you receive, regardless if it is through dreams or psychedelic journeys, are a gift of altered perspective. This is how a vision can benefit you in unseen ways, without needing to directly or outwardly act on it at all.
We often forget just how beneficial it can be to step outside of our very narrow view plane of reality. Simply shifting your vantage point and looking at reality through a different window can ignite new ideas and creative inspirations.
Visions offer content and material that can spark a new idea years later, directly supporting a unique perspective, without even knowing or remembering where that insight came from.
From this perspective, it takes the pressure off of needing to do anything at all with a vision you receive. Simply embrace and welcome all the visions you have; there’s a gift in every one of them, even if the gift is simply a chuckle at the absurdity of it.
If however, you feel inspired to make one of those visions a reality, here are a few considerations:
Look Again Through the Window of Waking Consciousness
Take that vision you experienced in an altered state of consciousness and look at it again through the window of waking consciousness, and then reassess.
Write down your vision in as much detail as possible after your psychedelic experience. Write down and explore how it would feel to make that vision a reality.
Then sit with it for at least a week or two. After being submerged back into this 3D reality, re-read what you wrote about your vision.
Close your eyes. Can you see that inner vision and connect to it again? Now, what does it feel like to go for it? How big of financial risk is it? What kind of time commitment? Do you have the bandwidth to start a new project? Do your skill sets match up with what this vision would require?
Use Flow As An Indication
Over the years, psychedelics have taught me the delicate balance between making things happen, with allowing things to happen, and how to dance between those two forces gracefully.
I continue to witness how powerful focusing my prayers and intentions can be. We don’t have to do all the heavy lifting, especially when we learn how to tap flow.
Pay attention to flow, the frequency of inspiration, and grace. Pay attention to the signs and signals. Right after we saw the land that would eventually become our retreat center “Sacred Source Springs” in Hawaii, I received a clear sign in my dream space. I dreamt I was driving down an empty street, and each light I came upon turned green. It was a stream of one green light after another. I woke up with this gut feeling that we were going to make this happen. That day we miraculously landed a private mortgage loan to go ahead with that project–a project that would shape the woman I am today.
When a vision comes through in the realms of consciousness, and things effortlessly start to unfold in the weeks following that vision, pay attention. When things begin synchronistically clicking into place, take note, and listen. In a sense, this vision is speaking for itself; it wants to become manifest and may be working with you as a vehicle for creation.
When something is effortless, it’s a huge sign and indication to go for it, because going for it doesn’t require that much effort. It feels good, inspired, like Spirit is moving through you and compelling you to act. This is a rare and priceless experience; take advantage of it!
If, on the other hand, every time you take action around your vision, and it feels like a struggle, like an uphill battle, and like nothing is clicking into place, pay close attention to those signs too. That could be a good time to pause, step back, look at the bigger picture and reflect. Ask yourself: “How does it feel?” Ask yourself why you want to get involved in something that seems so unnecessarily difficult?
Getting big visions off the ground is certainly not always easy, and will be full of obstacles. But there is a big difference between when something is a challenge and when something is a struggle. When you have flow on your side, you can leap over challenges and transmute them into stepping stones of opportunity. Without flow, it’s more of a struggle that can feel like an energetically dense blanket weighing you down, which feels impossible to get out from under.
Psychedelics have this incredible capacity to open up channels of creative life-force within us. When you experience getting into that channel of energy, often referred to as flow, you’re not trying to figure it all out, whatever you’re creating just pours through you. Of course, this doesn’t always happen, actually, rarely does this happen. But when it does, do everything in your power to take advantage of it.
Take Time to Pause & Reflect
After a psychedelic journey, give yourself time to avoid making any big life-changing decisions for at least 2-3 weeks. I mention the necessity of this in my comprehensive guide for psychedelic integration for entrepreneurs, visionaries, and creatives.
If you had insight into a significant, life-changing decision, like getting a divorce or moving to another country, or launching a new business, or investing all your money into Bitcoin, use your integration time to reflect on this decision without acting on it.
Be Mindful of Impulsive Tendencies
Entrepreneurs and visionaries already tend to have an impulsive, risk-taking personality type. Psychedelics have the propensity to push people even further in that direction, which is why entrepreneurs need to be especially mindful of these tendencies.
Over the years of working with ayahuasca, I’ve seen this happen many times. A person sits with ayahuasca for the first time, has a euphoric experience and then immediately launches an entire ayahuasca retreat business without really understanding how to do that responsibly, or the broader implications of what they are doing.
As an impulsive, risk-taking creative visionary entrepreneur who’s also been working with psychedelics for over two decades, I understand the level of nuanced ramifications that bare considering.
It’s all about finding that delicate balance. Sometimes you need the momentum of your psychedelic experience to launch a big vision and move it forward. Sometimes it’s better to jump without looking because it’s easy to overthink things. Sometimes it’s better to go for it without knowing how challenging it will be because otherwise, you might never go for it in the first place.
Listen to your gut and intuition, literally. Take the time every day to tune into your internal guidance system. Most of the time, we already have the answers we are looking for, it’s just a matter of being willing to pay attention to them.
Bounce Your Visions off of a Close Friend
Who’s that person in your life that you fully trust, and whose opinion you value and hold in high regard? Someone that loves and supports you, wants the best for you, and also believes in you and what you’re capable of. Bounce your idea, vision, or insight off of this person. Take their viewpoints and opinions into consideration, but also remember that it’s only their perspective.
If you don’t have a trusted ally, then consider working with someone like myself as a visionary coach. I can help you sift through the content of your experience and hone in on which visions it makes sense to manifest into reality, given your strengths, weaknesses, financial resources, and unique circumstances.
After A Psychedelic Trip, Remember You Are More Easily Influenced
One of the remarkable things about psychedelic experiences is that they can open your heart and mind in new ways you have yet to experience. During this time, you may feel more vulnerable, tender, and more emotionally sensitive. This can be such a powerful experience, especially because we all have habitual tendencies (whether we are aware of it or not) to erect barriers around our hearts that prevent us from feeling this kind of tenderness.
What comes with this open, tenderness is the possibility of being more easily influenced during this time. I know some unethical shamans who directly take advantage of the days right after a ceremony by creating elaborate heart-wrenching stories to scam people out of more money.
But you can learn to navigate through life by keeping both an open heart and a clear mind while still expressing and reinforcing your boundaries from a place of kindness. You can still be generous but also aware of what is within or beyond your means of giving or investing in for that matter.
Just becoming aware that you may be easier to influence during the days and weeks following a psychedelic experience can be super helpful. This can be a valuable reminder in any questionable moment you may find yourself in. In moments like this, step back and look at the big picture without making any big commitments, financially or otherwise.
Assess Your Financial Risk Level
How much is it going to cost you to make your vision a reality, or act on the insights you’re contemplating? And what percentage of your net worth is that?
If you’re a multi-millionaire starting to work with ayahuasca and you discover a burning desire to take up painting, and want to invest $5,000 into a painting retreat with Autumn Sky Morrison, go for it. It’s not going to ruin you financially.
If on the other hand, you want to go to that same retreat yet only have a little money in your bank account, think twice before overleveraging yourself with credit. Instead, consider investing $50 in some art supplies and see where you go from there.
Do not spend more than you have available to you, or put yourself in a financially compromising situation that will add more stress into your life. Avoid opening up substantial lines of debt in the months following a significant psychedelic trip to pursue an inner vision. Don’t invest large chunks of money into a new project, or into someone else’s project for that matter, for at least a month after a big trip.
As I mentioned in my introduction to psychedelic integration, press pause on the impulsive channel. It sounds obvious, but you would be surprised. I know of someone who lent out his entire life savings the day after he drank ayahuasca for the first time. Not a good idea!
As I mention in my integration guide, avoid all major spending (besides the necessities) for at least a week after a big psychedelic trip. Use the time after your journey to integrate your experience, not for shopping.
Double Check Your Intentions
The American dream. We’ve been taught this is what we should pursue in life. Especially as entrepreneurs, it can be easy to get caught in this trap. Most people are willing to spend a lot of money and go to great lengths in the pursuit of happiness, especially to avoid any level of discomfort.
After a psychedelic trip, if you feel inspired to ignite change through acting in your inner visions, I encourage you to pause and reflect on your intentions. Check yourself and your ego. When you dig deep underneath the layers, you may discover that you’re just chasing freedom and happiness when they are already right here, available to you right at this moment. You may find that you are already free, and you are already whole, without needing to chase anything at all.
Before you embark on a new big creative project, move to a different city, or leave your partner, ask yourself why you want to do it? What’s your motivation?
Move down the “chain of why’s”:
- Why do I want to launch this business/vision/way of life?
- Because I want to feel successful.
- Why do I want to feel successful?
- So I can buy the house I want / Feel happy / Feel seen.
- Why do you want to buy that house? Feel happy? Feel seen?
When you answer at one level of the question, use that as another opportunity to go deeper and ask “why?” one more time. Keep going until you get to the very core of your intentions. Usually, our core intentions are a desire to feel a certain way. We want to feel love, contentment, successful, free to make choices, etc.
You actually have a lot more influence over how you feel than you give yourself credit for. This is what it means to be a visionary. It means creating your reality from the inside out by consciously summoning up the emotions you want to feel more of in your life. You don’t have to let your outside reality dictate how you feel. You can consciously choose to reach for whatever it is you want to feel, right now at this moment.
If It’s Meant to Be, It Will Be
Psychedelics and sacred plant medicines are such powerful visionary tools to explore new ideas and can help you consciously create new blueprints for what you want your life to look like.
It takes practice to gracefully traverse the hallucinatory landscape, a skill that you can develop over time. Take your time. Use these powerful medicines responsibly, and with respect, and humility.
Above all, cultivate the Bodhisattva spirit and intentionally work with them as powerful tools to help find solutions to some of the most significant challenges we collectively face, for the benefit of all beings, so we can live more harmoniously on this planet.
If a vision is meant to be, it will be. Trust that, and then find that delicate balance between making it happen and allowing it to happen.
Live Free, Laura D