Lesley MacCulloch
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#ThankYouPlantMedicine

24th February 2020

I entered this year with the vibration of truth resounding through me and deep inside me. I had joined the #ThankYouPlantMedicine movement in December 2019 because I needed a supportive outlet and a community through which I could share the truth. On Facebook last week I shared my coming out story with tens of thousands of others across the globe. Through my story, I share the truth. My truth, and a much bigger truth that people need to know so that they have more options and more choices available to them. Thank you plant medicine! Here is my story.

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Today is a big day in the land of plant and psychedelic medicine. 20 February 2020. Across the globe events are being held and people, tens of thousands of people, are sharing their stories about how plant and psychedelic medicines have healed them and transformed their lives.

And I’m joining them.

I am so utterly and deeply honoured to be a part of this global changing movement.

Unlike many who sought healing from plants, I wasn’t suffering physically or mentally, and although I was on an incredible energy healing journey I was, in hindsight, reasonably happy with my state and rate of healing and liberation from my energy blocks.

And then someone I know, knowing I was on that deep inner healing journey, and having themselves experienced deep emotional healing, suggested I might like to try a ceremony with MDMA. My initial reaction was definitely deeply rooted in fear. I hadn’t even ever heard of that. I had no strong argument against the invite, other than fear. Stigma. Misinformation. Limited information. Distortion of facts. Everything we’re told held me strong in my fear.

Yet, over some days, I really began to wonder. The person who had shared, I held this person in very high esteem. This person was a professional person, with their own business, indeed this person ran their own psychotherapy business. And I trusted this person with every inch of my being. Something wasn’t sitting right. My natural curiosity kicked back in and I began to wonder what I was missing.

A hundred questions and two nights of research later, I was absolutely converted and wanted to experience this state of expanded consciousness, this journey into the deeper part of me, this uncovering and unfolding of information about me and who I really was – am, who I really am – that was being described by a whole range of highly credible and knowledgeable beings online.

I watched numerous videos and read multiple articles all of which were delivered by physicians, ex-physicians, scientists, high-standing credible professional people who had clearly been doing their work for a lot of years, up against a system of legislation that I was beginning to see was as flimsy as a chiffon curtain in a gale-force wind. My eyes started to open wide and I booked in for my MDMA session. By this time, I’d done a complete turnaround and was disappointed I had to wait for over two months! I’d already set my intention for my ceremony. Having been an emotional eater for nearly all of my life, I wanted to break down the barriers I had to eating a healthy nutritious diet.

This session was held in an incredibly safe, nurturing and respectful environment, with a perfect playlist of the most beautiful and appropriate music, an alter and a therapist holding the space. It immediately felt safe, warm and attractive and the sort of place I could easily curl up in and spend time going into myself. What an honour and a gift to give yourself, that time, that space, that privilege, that luxurious element of completely and utterly ‘booking yourself out’ for the day.

I will never have the words for the experience I had that day. Never. It was surreal. It was utterly the most sacred and divinely beautiful place of pure love and acceptance I have ever experienced in my life before. I have heard people who have had near-death experiences describing a similarly indescribable type of feeling (Anita Moorjani comes to mind) and also, now, people who have experienced MDMA healing, as well as some plant medicines.

Because, of course, MDMA isn’t a plant medicine. But, it has incredible healing properties, and because of its beneficial nature when used considerately and correctly, like LSD and others, it is accepted by our Thank You Plant Medicine movement because true and powerful healing and transformation is more important than the substance that got you there. This is about being thankful and sharing stories that will help to reduce stigma and help people to realise there are other options, that they maybe don’t have to be on medications they’re on that, actually, aren’t healing them anyway and indeed are often creating debilitating side effects. There is the potential for true and proper healing if we open our minds and question everything that we’ve been told and why we’ve been told it.

MDMA, in four hours, changed my life. MDMA healed me of a life-time of emotional eating that was affecting my every day. MDMA showed me, with so much ease and love, things that had happened in my early years that accounted for issues I was living with 51 years later. And although MDMA helped change some of the patterns of my behaviour, by highlighting exactly what was going on and why, it allowed me the understanding so that I could get on with integrating my new knowledge into my every day.

Almost as a bonus, towards the end of the ceremony, I was given the loud and clear message that I now had to get my mask off, that it was time to tell this story and stand in my truth. Resounding, it was. So short, so sweet, so powerful, like the sky just opened and illuminated what my whole life was meant to be about. And then as I turned round, I opened my eyes and saw the spine of a book cover telling me “I Can Do It”.

After that ceremony, while I walked in awe around supermarkets like I had the thinking mind of a different person, while I ate differently, while I clearly had changed my whole belief system around food, I also realised the loudness of a new and very deep knowing. One that was telling me I had to be at the front of something, leading the way on something, standing up for something instead of coming on board with something years after everybody else had been doing it, like I normally do.

I had to get my mask off and tell my story.

I also knew, I could feel deeply and significantly, that my energy changed that day. I moved to a different frequency and have felt so much lighter, so much freer, so much more confident and so much more ME since then.

At first I thought I had an avenue to tell my story, but it got closed down. I was wondering where, how and in what form I ‘told this story’. In the meantime, I was so in awe of the experience that had been so much bigger than me but was so all about me that it had affected me right down to the root of my being, I accepted an invitation to ceremony with ayahuasca.

Well! Same again, safe ceremonial space with controlled dosages and pure substance, this time held by a shaman practitioner. It was like the spirit of these healing plants and substances were conspiring to make sure I was in no doubt about what I was supposed to be doing in this life, and where I was going. Ayahuasca showed me why I have such an issue with noise and that actually, metaphorically, all the noise was/is my own. While I’d always thought I was quite a tolerant and positive person, ayahuasca showed me that the noise that irritated me so much was my own intolerance and negativity. That everything was ‘all my noise’ – and let me tell you, over the next week she shouted that over my left shoulder into my left ear almost continually, as soon as I was about to open my mouth. The funny thing was, also towards the end of that ceremony, like another bonus track, ayahuasca told me resoundingly that I was here for truth. That my purpose here on this earth is to stand up for the truth. To stop trying to label myself as an author, editor, coach, mentor, whatever, to just get out there and seek the truth and share it with others. And to rise up for truth.

The plants and entheogens left me in no doubt coming into this new decade about what I’m here to do.

Somewhere in the meantime, while I was telling my mum about how MDMA has been healing war veterans from PTSD, I got really passionate and teary. I realised that there was something much deeper going on than me just telling Mum a story, and I went home that night to research plants and psychedelics some more. As I was googling all over the place, something appeared in front of my eyes. A fresh green leaf in the shape of a love heart and a hug all at the same time, it was speaking to me. “Have you got a story to tell?” it said. “Y-E-E-S-S-S!” I almost exploded. And so my totally synchronistic and deeply right step into the core of the Thank You Plant Medicine movement came about.

All the personal development, the energy releasing, the spiritual enlightenment and the massive expansion of consciousness that happens when using these medicines with care, respect, honour and grace in a safe and well-constructed and planned ceremonial space, using clean, well-balanced, pure products and a correct well-informed dosage, with time to integrate the experience, can be absolutely incredible. We really don’t have the words in the English language – which makes sense really, since plant medicines have probably been being used for a long time before English language was created. I have met people who have rediscovered their senses – sight, smell – they’ve rediscovered childhood language, musical abilities. I’ve met a girl called Lisa Ward (honoured, Lisa) who was wheelchair-bound and healed from fibromyalgia and a cyst in her brain, numerous people who have healed from decades of various forms of addiction, people who have healed from treatment-resistant depression and I have connected with an amazing mother just twenty miles from me (I honour you too Lisa Quarrell) who smuggled cannabis into the country so she could help her beautiful son escape some of the claws of epilepsy, and she continues to self-fund his treatment every single month.

These people should not be judged, condemned or criticized. Indeed, they should be commended and congratulated for having the courage and the strength to stand up for their own healing. The funny thing is, I can’t speak on behalf of others, but there’s something about taking responsibility for your own healing that doesn’t actually feel courageous. It’s just doing what needs to be done when our health system fails. It’s just people doing what they need to do in order to live – literally! – in these times. And yes, it’s made us finally, as a people, start listening to our indigenous cultures, the elders, the natives, the tribes who have known for a l-o-n-g time what was right while having to watch us in the west assume we know better, and had to suffer the consequences of that.

But we don’t know better. And with the state of the mental and physical health of our populations, and indeed our world, we’ve proven that. And so we return, tail between our legs, as we begin to stand up for ourselves, take back responsibility for ourselves, to find healing and therefore life that we otherwise wouldn’t have had, had we relied on our systems of care to give it to us.

I haven’t even mentioned the next part of my healing which came through psilocybin, but I think that’s enough of an introduction for today. And as I finish this long but brief summary that really only scratches the surface, I realise that this story isn’t just for today. It’s the foundation and starting point for the whole of the rest of my life, as I create and generate a life, environment and network grounded in truth.

#ThankYouPlantMedicine
#ThankYouMDMA
#ThankYouAyahuasca

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