Empowered Living

Article: Interview: Plant Medicine as a Spiritually Transformative Experience: Challenges to Integration in the Modern Context

ACISTE recently had an opportunity to interview Isa about her views on the use of psychotropic plant medicine for psychological and spiritual transformation. Given the recent resurgence of clinical interest in the use of psychedelics for treating mental health concerns, we hope this two-part (Feb/Mar) interview will encourage therapists and others to further educate themselves about the unique integration needs of those who choose to engage plant medicine for healing and guidance.

How Depth Hypnosis Helped Me Become A Better Parent

By Melanie Robins

When I put my infant daughter onto the bed, my hands could not bear to hold her for one more second. It was as if the hot, bubbling rage ripping through my veins had thrust her from my arms to protect her from getting burned. As she landed on the bed with a giggle, the spell broke and I was slammed back to consciousness. While she thought we were playing an exhilarating game, I knew I needed help.

Regretfully, the story does not end there. I did this more times than I can stomach. As her will came forward, there was more resistance around sleep and more frustration for us both. The constant need since birth for me to participate in her sleep process took its toll. While not every day was horrible, there were some difficult and shameful moments where I blew my top and yelled, slammed doors, and shook with rage.

Sacred Stream Listed as a Top Place to Try Shamanism on Head and Heart

We are thrilled that the Sacred Stream has been named one of the top places to explore Shamanic ceremonies in San Francisco by Head + Heart, an online platform that helps connect people with mindful events, experiences and community across the USA and Canada. The Sacred Stream offers classes and training programs in Applied Shamanism, including certification in Applied Shamanic Practice & Plant Medicine Integration. For more information about our classes and training programs, visit our Applied Shamanism website. Here you can find articles, videos, podcasts, and other resources to support you in your study of shamanism.

Encountering the Self: My Journey with Depth Hypnosis

By Denise Colby, Ph.D.

The most critical choices I have made in my life have rarely been the ones that were researched, well thought-out, and intentional. At best, I’ve stumbled into them, and many times I’ve been full of resistance and struggle. These have been the watershed moments that could only be seen and understood in retrospect. Only after I’ve witnessed how a single, hesitant “Yes” could totally change the course of my life. There have been a handful of these critical moments, but perhaps the most significant has been my encounter with Depth Hypnosis.

Creating A Value System For Your Child

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

When you are a parent, it’s necessary to understand your own value system. As a parent, your responsibility is to guide your child to the best of your ability. One way you can guide them is by knowing what your values are and teaching them to your child by example. If you don’t know what your values are and what values you want to impart to your child, it is important to sit down and figure them out.

Compassion, the US Open, and a Blueprint for Saving the World

By Laura Chandler

Something remarkable happened at the US Open this year when Naomi Osaka (currently ranked #1 in the world in women’s tennis) defeated 15-year-old tennis sensation, Coco Gauff in the third round. Naomi consoled a crying Coco on the sidelines. She told her it was alright to cry, then invited her to stay and join her for the post-match on court interview where she praised Coco for her talent. This display of sportsmanship was not only kind; it illustrated something even more significant about human nature and our ability to be strong and compassionate, simultaneously.

Overcoming Denial: Part 3

By Denise Colby

It goes without saying that what makes doubt and denial so good at keeping you shackled is that you don’t know what you don’t know. If you can’t see it, how on earth do you begin to heal? There are many ways that truth begins to surface within us, but this is one of the places where a consciousness practice can be quite helpful. In the first part of this article, we discuss some of the ways in which we become aware that things are not as they seem and all is not well. This section addresses what to do once you have made the commitment to move into the light and live in truth.

Overcoming Denial Part 2

By Denise Colby

If we have been in deep denial about some aspect of our experience, the revelation of truth will at first be a painful one. Truth will make its entrance in ways that will seem quite disturbing—intrusive thoughts, nightmares, innocuous interactions producing strong emotions, or a general feeling that one is “not OK.” It is at this juncture that we come to a choice: we can stay in denial and find external reasons to justify our internal experience, numbing and modulating using whatever coping mechanisms we have, or we can claim our internal experience as something uniquely personal and get very curious about it.

There are many roads out of denial, but at some point we will have to choose to validate what our body and reactivity is saying over the story we’ve been telling ourselves. This breaking down of an old story — the acknowledgement that we’ve been telling ourselves a false story our whole lives — provides the crack where the light of truth can finally break through to our awareness.

Overcoming Denial Part 1

By Denise Colby

Of all of the defense tactics and cycles of negativity that we get wrapped up in during our human experience, denial is perhaps the hardest to overcome. It’s insidious and manipulative, yet we cling to it fiercely.

We see denial everywhere we look. It is as rampant on the public and cultural scale as it is in our relationships. The external stage, as always, provides a mirror for our own inner relationship to truth. To live in truth, we must examine further the sources, motivations for, and consequences of denial on the inner stage, for it is only through the resolution of our own rejection of truth that we can begin to clearly see and resolve the external falsehoods that abound.

Mindfulness In Leadership

Work is a lot of things. It’s fun and rewarding, challenging and exciting. It’s also hard a lot of the time and for most of us it can be a place of real struggle.

In order to thrive, today’s leaders need to develop many different kinds of tools. Trainings around things like presentation skills and strategic planning are relatively accessible. The real differentiator though is less about these kinds of visible skills and more about something that might be described as invisible: Mindfulness.

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