Across the dozens of psychadelic journeys that I’ve experienced, one friend of mine shared me this framework that incapsulates the key components of a success journey.
Whenever you go on a trip, your experience will be a result of these three factors:
- Your intention
- Your state
- Your enviroment
Let me explain.
#1 Set Your Intention
What is your intention for taking a substance?
If you set an intention before your trip, you will be more likely to be guided into the right direction. Personally, I love setting intentions before my trip. This is not only a thought exercise: it’s about understand deep down why you are excited about taking the substance and how it could serve you best.
I love to start every journey with an intention, either about myself - such as solving a specific problem, for example “learn how to experience more presence” or “better understand my own limitations” - or with others - such as “be present with my friends” or “bring out the best out of each other”.
A fun intention is also to set a collective goal for the journey, such as “hike that mountain” or “go to the end of that beach”. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether you reach the goal (as it’s truly all about the journey), but at least you have a collective vision that guides you and your group.
#2 Know Your State
Anything you take will bring out what you already are. This is why knowing your state is important: if you’re already in a bad state, for example you are in a very doubtful phase of your life or just came out from a deep breakup that still shadows over you, there are higher chances that your trip will amplify already existing emotions such as fear, sadness or grief.
It is okay to enter a psychadelic journey while being in an emotionally more challenging state, yet be aware of it and ideally communicate it with others. If it is the case, make sure you know your own boundaries and community them to others. For example, I tend to communciate that “I might need some solo time somwhere in this trip, and will let you know when that’s the case”.
You can also influence your state - by doing cvertain activities beofre starting the trip - or even cancel the trip if you believe that you’re currently not comfortable with your own emotional state.
#3 Set Your Environment
Finally, the final element you have control about is your environment. Generally, you have less chances of a bad trip if you are in a supportive environment that makes you feels safe and connected.
This is mostly when you are around people you care about, in a space without intrusion (at home) or in nature with privacy (whether in a park, forest, etc). Of course, you can seek environments that are challenging - for example with people, noises, and continuous decision-making. Personally, I choose more relaxing environments with friends and nature to make sure that we can be in more of explorative, childish state than having to obey to societal behavior. Moreover, the less you are strong in the first two principles (your intention and own state), the more you should set the rightly supportive environment.
Pro tip: music is key. Bring a speaker with you and play music during the trip, as sound is a big factor for emotional development and influences the journey a lot.
Before every trip, ask yourself these three questions:
- What is my intention?
- How is my state?
- Which environment do I want to create for myself?
Of course, these questions also apply in daily life: we are always influenced by our vision, our physiological state, and the environment we interact with. Psychadelics are just an enhancer of these elements that influence us, and hence we should put even more important on the intentionality of psychadelic journey.