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Kate Chiffey-Gray

Find your tribe and love them hard! 150 150 Kate Chiffey-Gray

Find your tribe and love them hard!

What’s on our hearts today is the notion of ‘Tribe’. Seth Godin describes a tribe as:

“A group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”

One of the underlying needs that we have as humans is a sense of ‘belonging’. And this is exactly what tribes give us. To share a mission, a vision, an ethos or a path. To share commonalities and likeness. It gives us a sense of wellbeing as the social animals that we are. And since the dawn of social media, the idea of tribes has now evolved and expanded from the physical to the virtual. They also facilitate further, more expansive interactions in the physical world and can keep a sense of connectedness, continuity, rhythm and direction during the times that interaction in the physical world is not possible. In the eye of our creative imaginations, we like to see this as a pod of whales, all moving and flowing through the ocean in the same direction. So elegant.

Facebook! 🙂

If you’re on Facebook, we’d absolutely LOVE to see you in our Ancient Awakening Worldwide Tribe. 🙂 One thing that we find extremely important with the notion of tribes – especially when it comes to online tribes that focus on spiritual and personal growth – is that there is a strong focus on the tribe coming together in person from time to time. When it comes to growing spiritually and personally, there really is nothing that works to the same extent as doing it in a sacred, safe group container. And this is exactly what we’ve created at Ancient Awakening. In the Facebook group, don’t expect to read words only referring to our retreats. Yes, there will be plenty of talk about the retreats and invitations to participate in them, but we also share a whole HEAP of other content, including Facebook live broadcasts and interviews with experts in different fields. The general content and ethos of the group is to impart knowledge, wisdom and experience that will help all members to thrive in a life of true connection, deep authenticity and FREEDOM.

Won’t Ayahuasca kill me? 150 150 Kate Chiffey-Gray

Won’t Ayahuasca kill me?

At Ancient Awakening, we really are all about busting myths and misconceptions around sacred entheogenic plant medicines. We’ve been using them for a long time in our retreats now and we have seen some truly incredible examples of deep-psyche healing and transformation! Take Peter, for example. We’ll let him do the talking; read below about the transformational experience he had after attending one of our retreats:

“In 2009, I was backpacking in South America and was kidnapped in Peru. When I arrived home months later, I was a very different person. What followed was almost 8 years of self-medication with alcohol and various drugs against the effects of PTSD. I saw several counsellors and psychiatrists but I had become very dependent on alcohol. My marriage failed, my performance at work was suffering and I had almost become a hermit.

In early 2018 I found an ad for the Ancient Awakening retreats and I applied. Soon after, I had an interview with Kate and learned more about the plant medicines. I had heard of Ayahuasca while travelling in South America and it gave me some hope that it may help with my addiction problems. What happened at the retreat is not really something that words could ever do justice.

I sat with Ayahuasca on the first night of the retreat and the experience changed me as a human being. Not only did it completely dissolve my addiction to alcohol, it healed me on the deepest levels of my being. I have had plenty of “drug” experiences in my life. Ayahuasca is as far from a drug as the earth is from the sun. I experienced wisdom, love and healing on an indescribable scale. We also sat with Huachuma (San Pedro) and psilocybin mushrooms on that retreat, both of which were special days that brought their own healing. But for me, Ayahuasca was deeply transformative.

Coming out of the retreat, I stopped drinking habitually. Much to my surprise, a few months later I realised that I could actually have alcohol socially without drinking excessively or waking up the next day and wanting to continue drinking again. I only drink in social situations now and there are often months between drinks. I healed my relationship with my brother with whom I hadn’t spoken to for 10 years. Whilst we did not get back together, my wife is still my closest friend and we are both in a great place. My performance at work improved exponentially, but I have now decided to quit the position I held for 28 years to pursue things that make me truly happy inside. I have not suffered a single day of depression since the Ancient Awakening retreat. The world didn’t change, but I did, and for that I will be forever grateful”.

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As Peter said, ‘Ayahuasca is as far from a drug as the Earth is from the Sun’. And this is exactly the understanding for which we seek to advocate. Many of these plants have a very long and extensive history of cultural use and healing applications throughout the Earth’s original populations. Every entheogenic plant medicine is exactly that – MEDICINE!

Relevant Studies

Recent studies carried out by the Beckley/Sant Pau Research Programme revealed that Ayahuasca use leads to an increase in several key neurological traits associated with mindfulness, such as ‘decentering’. What this means is the ability to observe one’s thoughts and feelings in an objective, non-judgmental way. This, in turn, has been shown to help sufferers of depression, anxiety, grief and PTSD to overcome their conditions.

This same research programme also discovered something extremely powerful. In its search for answers to ayahuasca’s potent therapeutic power, its studies revealed that certain compounds in the brew stimulate the birth of new neurons from stem cells in a petri dish. This opens the door to the possibility of using ayahuasca to regenerate damaged brain cells, potentially paving the way to groundbreaking new treatments for Alzheimer’s and dementia!

Despite the glaring evidence provided to the world by way of research programmes such as the above-mentioned, ayahuasca and other entheogens remain, for the most part, illegal all over the world. This is mainly due to the fact that they contain Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). But extensive studies on ayahuasca have been carried out by multidisciplinary groups in several countries and it has been shown that in reasonable doses in a careful context, it presents no negative cognitive, psychiatric or physical consequences (Callaway, 1994. Callaway et al, 1996. Callaway et al, 1998. Grob et al, 1996.). There has been minimal research into vaporized DMT, but there seems to be no sign that it is more physically dangerous than other methods of administration. There are no reported deaths from vaporizing DMT.

When we take into consideration the modern world of marketing and advertising, and the substances that are constantly marketed to us – painted in a fashionable and ‘desirable’ light – something begins to feel ‘not quite right’ to us. Why is it that substances that are proven to do way more harm to our human bodies than entheogenic plant medicines, such as commercial tobacco and alcohol, are sold to us in a way that makes them acceptable and, moreover, desirable?

LD50’s: what they tell us about legal drugs vs entheogens

One of the types of study that were developed to measure the overall toxicity of substances is the LD50, or ‘Lethal Dose, 50%’. This test was developed by British pharmacologist, J W Trevan, in 1927. What the test shows is dose of any substance tested required to kill half the number (50%) of test animals. Essentially, the test shows how much of a substance must be taken before it becomes deadly. It is measured by the unit quantity of the researched substance in comparison to the unit quantity of bodyweight of the animal (or human) being tested on. For example, a rat must be fed 50mg of nicotine per kilogram of bodyweight before it dies.

Every substance on Earth – water included – can be toxic, depending on how much we ingest. For this reason, it becomes even more relevant to compare the toxicity levels of legal drugs, such as commercial alcohol and tobacco, with the predominantly illegal entheogens of our world. It is widely demonstrated by LD50’s, and other types of toxicity test, that every single plant medicine we use at Ancient Awakening Retreats is significantly less toxic than both alcohol and the commercial tobacco that we may find in high street shops. And what’s more, the positive health and medicinal benefits of the plant medicines on the human body and psyche are MUCH higher than those of alcohol or processed tobacco. What’s quite shocking to consider here is that commercialised tobacco and alcohol are only TWO of a whole myriad of substances that are actively marketed and sold to us nowadays for regular consumption. There are MANY more toxic substances out there that people are buying on the daily without questioning just how harmful their consumption may be for our health.

This is one of the main reasons Kate created Ancient Awakening in the first place. To create a sacred, clean, healthy, invigorating and EMPOWERING SANCTUARY in which people can escape from the noisy toxicity of the modern world to reconnect to their deepest, most authentic selves. When we reconnect with our deepest, most authentic selves, we may live free from suffering. This truly can be your reality too.

5 key benefits of Psilocybin Mushrooms 150 150 Kate Chiffey-Gray

5 key benefits of Psilocybin Mushrooms

You may or may not know that psilocybin is one of our favourite plant medicines here at Ancient Awakening. In some way, psilocybin mushroom ceremonies form a bit of a backbone to our offerings. It is one of the very first plant medicines that our founder, Kate, experienced. And it continues to contribute significant amounts to her envisionments in life and business, as well as instructing a whole lot of pressing questions she has in her life. With this in mind, we wanted to share with you five of the key benefits that this miraculous little mushroom gifts to us humans who choose to receive their blessing. Are you ready? Here you go:

1) Reduces The Pain Associated With Social Rejection

A study published in 2016 by Swiss Neurobiologists demonstrated that our little friends of the mushroom kingdom help to reduce pain from such social rejection and marginalisation.

This is a key one for our tribe of game-changers! We all go through social rejection at some point, right!? Some of us experience this LOTS as we go about our world-changing missions and endeavours!

2) Stimulates Neuroplasticity

South Florida University conducted a study that was published in 2013. It examined the effects of psilocybin mushrooms on fear-conditioned mice, and yielded pretty astonishing results.The main ingredient of the mushrooms, psilocybin, was shown to empower mice and help them overcome fear by promoting the growth of new neuro-pathways.

What this means is that the memory of something being ‘scary’ is replaced by the new notion that it is indeed not scary anymore. Essentially, a ‘relearning’ is taking place. Memory, learning, and relearning all require the alteration in brain connections, i.e. neuroplasticity. And this is exactly what psilocybin appears to enhance.

3) Soothes Anxiety, even in potentially critical situations

In 2011, a study by the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center discovered that patients with advanced-stage cancer saw their levels of anxiety reduced drastically after being  administered psilocybin mushrooms. If anxiety levels can be reduced even in such serious life situations, imagine what psilocybin may achieve for people experiencing anxiety in mere everyday life settings! Phenomenal, right!?

4) Reduces Depression

Studying the same type of demographic – people with life-threatening cancer – the John Hopkins University released a small, double-blind study that demonstrated relief of depressive symptoms for up to six months from a single large dose of psilocybin.

The implications that this holds for our modern world, fast-paced, ‘get it, get it’ struggles and emotional rollercoasters is – literally – HUGE! We are in LOVE with this finding! 🙂

5) Induces BADASS cognition

If you’re an entrepreneur or a game-changer with a big mission at this time, you_will_LOVE_this! 🙂

A study led by Paul Expert of King’s College London analysed functional MRI scans of the brains of 15 people whilst they were under the influence of psilocybin. The scans, when compared to scans of the people’s normal brain activity, showed rather prolific increases in brain activity. Parts of the brain that are not normally connected all of a sudden began to become connected.

What this is essentially saying is that psilocybin awakens all sorts of areas in our brain that we don’t normally use. We wake up to all new levels of intelligence and cognitive abilities. Imagine that, right!? Just think about our levels of creativity and productive output after an intake of psilocybin! Rocket fuel for our entrepreneurial endeavours! 🙂

These reasons and SO many more are why we are in LOVE with our little brothers from the mushroom kingdom. 🙂 Our founder, Kate, has used them quasi-religiously over the years and they have helped her pull through some of the toughest times of her life!

My Debaucherous Past! 150 150 Kate Chiffey-Gray

My Debaucherous Past!

 

Wow, I am a little chuffed with myself for attempting to write this blog.  This is the first of many! I hope that it isn’t filled with too many spelling or grammatical errors or it doesn’t put you to sleep!

So why has it taken me so long to do this?  Well, to be honest I have kind of been half in this game for a while, sure I am still doing ok, but all the cylinders have not been firing!

For many years I was holding back from “going all in” on this mission to liberate as many beings as possible from suffering for many reasons and stories.  Today I want to share one of those BS narratives with you!

I was connected to the truth from a young age through my beautiful Uncle Harisharan (his Sanyasi name). As many of you know from me sharing before he was a dedicated disciple of OSHO’s and shared the wisdom of oneness, freedom and living a life without suffering with me though his many letters he sent from when I was 6 years old.  Sadly when I was in my teens he passed away from AIDS as many of OSHO’s followers did at the time. I still have his letters to this day.

These seeds of freedom were planted early and that still didn’t stop me from following totally  debaucherous path from 16-22 years old. Like ‘train spotting to van wilder’ to ‘girl interrupted’ style of a life.

Within those colourful years there was a 3 year marriage within a cult, a addiction to meth, homelessness, drug induced psychosis, a stint working reception at a brothel, stealing, lying, cheating and pretty much anything dark you can think of.

My past kept me hiding for a long time, the calling to be of service to liberate others that was planted in my heart at such a young age was strong for a long time after I finally cleaned myself up.  I would follow th call some times and step into the role briefly and then run away.

It was the voice of  shame and guilt of my past that stopped me, it  would tap me on the shoulder and say “hey, i don’t care how many hours of meditation you have done, or how healed you are, or how much wisdom you hold, if people knew about your past they would shun you.”

So, I would run away back to the shadows until another situation would unfold and I would find myself back into the being of service role and this cycle repeated for many years.

A few years ago now I decided to own my past, own all of the bad things I did. I even reached out to some people I had hurt and apologised for any suffering I caused them.  The truth is we can do nothing about our past, if people choose to judge us by it in this present moment it says more about them then us.

The only thing we can do anything about is the here and now. We can choose regardless of our past to be as present as possible, as kind as possible and as loving as possible.  How we choose to be in this moment can heal years of suffering we have caused ourselves and others as everything is connected.

And even though I owned it all a few years ago, I am only just starting this blog – do not be like me! Step out now and follow the calling for you whatever it is!

Choose now, be here and do what you can with all we have, this ONE BREATH.

Big Love to you brothers and sisters XoXo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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