Honoring My Inner Goddess: How Mushrooms Helped Me Love My Body

By Alyssa Gursky|January 18, 2017

I had been defined by the diagnoses and labels put on me, but in that moment, I was peeling back every layer of self-hatred, criticism, and trauma.

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Albert Einstein once said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

My journey of healing and reclaiming my inner goddess could not have taken place if it was not for this message. I needed to first see my own patterns and problems from an objective point of view before truly realizing how much they did not serve me.

Initially, I was inspired by MAPS’ research on the use of psychedelic substances to heal mental illness. I wanted to be a part of the movement to find a means of healing for souls that truly needed it―souls much like my own, who were diagnosed with PTSD and had lost touch with their own bodies. I wanted this healing. I wanted the feeling of connectedness with my body and to love every inch of it. I just didn’t know how to achieve it myself.

Opportunity knocked in the form of an eighth of mushrooms, or Psilocybe cubensis, a powerful entheogen. For those who are unfamiliar, entheogen translates to “generating God, the Divine, from within.” My inner goddess was waiting for me. It was time to stop looking out and start looking in.

I consumed all of the mushrooms at once, chewing as fast as I could and hoping that something was waiting for me on the other side. I decided to play with pastels while I waited for the mushrooms to kick in. My first clue that they were becoming active in my body was the immense pleasure that I felt from the texture of the pastels, the happiness that each individual color brought me. Following the appreciation for multiple shades of blue, my vision suddenly became high definition. I had to lie down because of the immense energy rushing through me. Every breath felt like it needed my full attention. Waves of deep pain, realization, then ecstasy rolled over me. I lay in my bed, sobbing. I cried until I couldn’t feel my face anymore―rubbing my arms and legs, begging for forgiveness for not being with my body sooner.

I have been overweight for the majority of my life and thought I had been experiencing rejection from the world because of the way my body looked. It wasn’t until my consciousness was altered by the mushrooms, and I felt what full presence feels like, that I realized I had been the cause of my own isolation. I had locked myself in a prison and projected judgment of myself onto others for as long as I could remember. I tried being someone else. I tried being someone else before I even knew who I was. I had been defined by the diagnoses and labels put on me, but in that moment, I was peeling back every layer of self-hatred, criticism, and trauma despite having no idea what I’d find underneath. With each layer lifted, I felt more and more forgiveness and freedom. I felt at home in my body for the first time. I don’t think I had ever felt self-love before that night.

After reaching this understanding with myself after hours of discomfort, the waves of love and tranquility became much more stable. Tears of pain became tears of joy. I was home. My body was my home. This body, no matter how jiggly it is, was mine to inhabit and to cherish. My inner goddess and I had become one. The constant voice of self-doubt no longer sat in the executive seat of my mental faculty. Instead, my inner goddess, my truth, had control over my thoughts and actions. This truth shows up in my life as a greater capacity to hold space for suffering and pain, giving nothing but compassion to myself and the world around me. I couldn’t believe the transition that happened within a few short hours. I simply did not feel like the same person anymore. Years of therapy could not equate to the healing and realizations I had in one eight-hour period.

I had spent my whole life living in my head and trying to ignore the fleshy meat sack that was below my chin. The mushrooms kindly redirected me to my body and connected me to my inner goddess. Instead of being an escape, I experienced a true awakening as I came face to face with my whole self; mind and body. I am in charge. This is my body. This tattoo-covered, love-filled body is mine. This is my life.

Benoit Mandelbrot, the father of fractal geometry, once said, “My life seemed to be a series of events and accidents. Yet when I look back I see a pattern.” I keep those words close to my heart as I reflect on this transformational journey. Now, I can see the beautiful, complex, and colorful patterns that are my life and how my body and my inner goddess are one.

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Alyssa Gursky

Alyssa lives in Boulder, Colorado, where she is a masters degree candidate in Transpersonal Art Therapy. She also works as a night attendant on MAPS' MDMA/PTSD research in both Boulder and Fort Collins. She is deeply passionate about healing and transformation through psychedelic medicines and the creative process.