"And" is always more powerful than "Or"
Not too long ago I felt stuck- I felt like my career was pulling me in 2 different directions.
On the one hand was breathwork - specifically using breathwork to access expanded states of consciousness and connect to deep parts of yourself. The insights in these states can be really potent with many breathers reporting connecting to a sense of purpose that they had been searching for.
On the other hand was psychedelic integration coaching - specifically helping people create habits to create their ideal life by translating the sacred spaces and feelings they experienced in psychedelic journeys.
I couldn't figure out what to do because I felt so strongly about both paths and without irony the answer came to me during a breathwork journey - why was I looking at these interests as separate when the answer was actually to combine both approaches and embrace that this is my dharma, my purpose!
As soon as I had this realization everything began to make sense. The glue that held the combination together was nervous system regulation. Without a well-regulated nervous system you can only do so much in your life and will hit a lot of resistance when you try to change. It can also make the psychedelic experience unpredictable and draining as the nervous system can get overwhelmed for extended periods of time.
And...drumroll...there is no better tool for strengthening and regulating the nervous system than breathwork.
Recently I sat down and discussed the topic and my work with a couple different people, and I invite you to check them out and let me know what you think.
First is my appearance on Dr. Ryan Westrum's podcast The Psychedelic Psychologist. This is a short offering that you can finish it over your next cardio session at the gym. Dr. Ryan is the author of the incredible Psychedelic Integration Handbook which is a great resource for self-care as well psychedelic integration (one of the things we talked when he was on my podcast recently).
Second is the latest issue of the newsletter Tricycle Day where I did a quick Q&A about my experience and outlook on combining breathwork and psychedelics. It's said that you can tell how well you understand something by how well you can explain it and teach it to others, so this felt like a real full circle moment from my breathwork epiphany
Hope you enjoy!
About the Author
Jonathan's interest in the transformative power of the breath is driven by his own healing journey. After practicing meditation and mindfulness in the Zen and Tibetan Buddhist traditions for almost 20 years, he rediscovered breathwork during a dark night of the soul and was amazed at the impact the practice had on his life.
After exploring several types of breathwork and working to create his own system, he found Neurodynamic Breathwork and completed an extensive facilitator-training program that was equal parts breathwork, deep personal development, and training in how to hold space for expanded states of awareness and support others through authentic presence.
This training, combined with lessons learned integrating his own extensive experiences with plant medicine helped Jonathan launch his brand “Blue Magic Alchemy ” that provides 1:1 integration and transformation coaching, a podcast, breathwork and meditation circles, and information to support grounded exploration into altered states of consciousness.