Journey work is any kind of intentional journey into non-ordinary states of consciousness to break through limiting belief patterns held within your subconscious and complete trauma cycles. There are many different “vehicles” that can take you into these altered states – your breath, plant and fungi medicines, psychedelic medicines, drumming, and even movement.
Here are four tips to consider before doing journey work:
- Replace expectations and resistance with CURIOSITY. Every journey is different, and there is no such thing as “normal” in any journey (or life in general). Moments of fear and discomfort are opportunities for energetic perception shifts to occur, so lean in and ask – what are you here to show me? Resistance only exacerbates the discomfort. The only way out is through the discomfort.
- Be open to receive insight through many different forms. Every person has a different set of skills and superpowers to perceive energetic information. Some might see visuals, while others might receive an intuitive knowing, hear sounds, smell fragrances, or feel sensations. Be open to all of your senses and the unique ways YOU receive information through non-ordinary states of consciousness.
- Be intentional and trust the process. Take some time before your journey to feel into what insight or wisdom you want to receive. What will you feel in receiving this insight or wisdom – freedom, love, joy, relief? Spend some time bringing this feeling into your body prior to your journey by visualizing a moment in your life when you felt this viscerally. The time you spend preparing your mindset by feeling into your intention will support the efficacy of your journey.
- What you FEEL is more important than what you think. Focus less on the storylines, and more on your embodied experience. Trauma is a normal part of life, and many of us have unresolved trauma where that energy is stuck within the body, waiting for the opportunity to complete its cycle of release from the body.
In these intentional non-ordinary states, we are able to access and FEEL the stuck trauma energy to begin the process of release. What you believe to be true of the traumatic experience is less helpful to resolve the trauma cycle than allowing yourself to safely feel the emotions and sensations associated with the trauma.
The integration post-journey is just as, if not more, important than the journey itself. Support yourself with spaciousness after each journey. Give yourself stillness for reflection. Nourish yourself with time to just sit with what you experienced, without the pressure of having to make intellectual sense of it. Work with an integration facilitator to guide you as you process your experience.