There I was thinking….This is the point of no return. And this could go in any direction—heaven help us!

It was a perfect Costa Rican night, a slight breeze, and still quite warm — the recently set sun would offer us counted on relief from the day’s intense heat. My mother and I were waiting patiently near the temple, in a makeshift area just outside of where we would be embarking on a familial healing journey in a few short moments. I sensed that my mother was a bit nervous, I could feel her trepidation — she waited patiently like an anxious prisoner pending an execution, not fully knowing what was to come.

The day prior we picked up Nicole from the airport and would have the lengthly drive from San Jose to San Isidro where we would lodge for her short stay and visit, in her first trip to Costa Rica. Both my mother and Nicole arrived to Costa Rica around the same time, this made it convenient for us to ride share — Nicole returning to her homeland from a visit to see her aging mother in South Africa. It would be special opportunity for my mother to be acquainted with Nicole, the medicine woman and healer that has been so unbelievably instrumental in my personal transformation, the one whom would be facilitating our ceremony in the days to come. During the drive we all would chat and have further preliminary conversations about what to expect with our upcoming ayahuasca ceremony. In the course of a near 5 hour drive there would be time for organic interaction to happen between my mother and Nicole, they could get to know and become more comfortable with one another. All bases that could be covered, would be covered, I held this pending sacred appointment in the most highest of regards. I was insistent on making sure all of the “I’s” were dotted and “T’s” crossed.

My mother would ask many questions in hours leading up to this long anticipated evening. “What time is this going to start?” “Is she going to be here?” “Didn’t she say 7pm?” Her inquiry was to be expected. How was she to know how things operate in this exotic foreign land? Although not an island, many operate on island time, which is always a couple hours later that expected. You can blame this on the heat and the tropical weather or the fact that our “go-go-go!” Ideals are often incongruent those outside of the US.

“I really hope I don’t get sick, I hate throwing up!” I listened as if the parental roles had been reversed. “Throwing up is part of this experience, purging years of toxic build up. Build up that we often are unaware even exists. Not everyone does throw up so I wouldn’t give it any more worry at this point.” She listened and nodded, still not in agreement. Much silence and reflection would occupy this time. “Mom, remember your intention, why are you here? Why are you doing this?” You can’t be reminded enough of your “what” and “why’s” when drinking this medicine. I have noticed a significant discrepancy in the desired result being attained from those that hold sacred their intentions.

She had no idea what she was getting herself into. While I had explained and given the same instruction I would have given to anyone, this experience again, is one in which words do very little justice. Maybe she did her own research too, as I encouraged her to formulate and glean as much knowledge as she could, I am not really sure. I am sure, however, that there was a level of trust. She trusted me and knew that I had her best interests in mind and I would be there by her side to offer my full support.

Our waiting would end as Nicole showed up. She greeted us with a warm smile and loving embrace, happy to see us in strong spirits. Nicole was prepared and ready to be of service, she knew how important this night was to me and my mother and it would be a great honor for her. Nicole was concerned about my mother’s age and the fact that she had previously never done any drugs, not even the token puff of weed. We agreed that we would proceed with caution and monitor the dosage closely, with the “less is more” and “we can always have more” mindset. In her older age there were most apparent risks that we took into account, taking precaution, you can’t be too careful with this powerful healing medicine. I was grateful for the honest hesitation, and would discuss potential risks with my mother.

It was finally, now, time. I watched my mother hold up the small shot glass of ayahuasca. She was dressed in all white and ready for this bold leap into the unknown — into the deepest depths of her mind and psyche. We originally broached the subject of her drinking the sacred plant medicine, the summer prior while I returned from my first round of international travels. My mother whom has been a supportive advocate of my healing journey could not deny my transformation. My health, my disposition and attitude, my renewed zest and joy for life had been obvious and undeniable. As someone who has struggled her whole life, off and on with depression, the changes in my life had perked a sense of curiosity. I have held steadfast to an approach of attraction over promotion, that is the most prudent approach to being of service to others, by leading by example and having others make decisions on their own volition and free-will. On my journey, always steering clear of those that have a “salesy” orientation and disposition — those that insist that their way is “the way” have always put me on notice. This medicine and experience could be very dangerous for those that don’t have earnest intentions.

My mother would drink and choke down the bitter, molasses like healing potion. For the first hour or so we would listen to Nicole play music and sing angelic tunes for us both. This was the first time I had been in a small ceremony, it was just the three of us that would be embarking on this journey together.

It was time for the second cup, my mother would drink and I was half way thinking that this may be an uneventful night, where nothing out of the ordinary may occur. Sometimes, with all the build up and anticipation, nothing happens which usually means a night of deep sleep. The medicine does its work whether awake or asleep.

Then, like the flip of switch, we were fully in a deep psychedelic journey, our minds manifesting and traveling through our unconscious like colonial explorers setting out to disprove the world was flat. Psychedelic which means “mind manifesting” was just that this particular eventing. I had been here many times before and was adept at the almost always inevitable “shock and awe” storm that hits early and often. A storm that is always filled with deep doubt and insecurity, an objective lens to see yourself, from outside of yourself. This night wasn’t about me, it was about my mother and after a short while I would properly orientate my attention in her direction.

Seeing my mother go into a state of shock and then bewilderment would awaken every ounce of focus. Shit just go real! I thought, as my fight or flight response was activated and I become hyper aware — it became very clear that this night was about my mom and giving her all the attention and love I could. Not long after the second cup she would be engulfed in her first psychedelic experience and witness the full spectrum of vibrant color in her mind’s eye and imagination. She was broadcasting her experience like a sportscaster would, not adhering to the typical rules of ceremony, which would be no talking and everyone keeping to themselves to allow for each to do his or her own healing. There was nothing typical about this night, I knew that from the get go, we would have to adjust to ensure a safe return back to our space and time-bound bodies.

In an ordinary ceremony I would have focused on my intention, paying little attention to what others are going through with the knowing, that there are guides in place and proper planning and safety measure in place. This is what makes the experience so different from other psychedelic experiences, you have the space and container to go within, only concerning yourself with your intention and healing work. You can break completely with a knowing that tomorrow the pieces can be put back together, as you see fit.

My mother was stationed about ten feet from me, we both had our separate spaces to do our own work. Once the medicine came on, my mother got really sick — she would violently purge for what felt like nearly an hour, it wasn’t a pretty sight to see, but was honest. She was unburdening herself of a lifetime of toxic build up, heavy energies: physical, emotional and psychic energies would be releases and let go. This was to be expected, I can sense all of the heavy emotions that she carries, this would be an extremely cathartic evening of healing.

After settling in to this reality, I couldn’t help but comfort her. Watching her flail in a fearful state all alone, completely disorientated was not in the cards for this night. With any other person struggling, I would say that they needed to go through and experience whatever they are experiencing. No one ever said this holistic way of healing was supposed to be pretty. Often, it can be quite ugly as it bring forth all of the repressed, dirty, and ugly emotions that underly our addictions and malaise for life.

I would hold her close with assurance, “This will pass mother, breathe, remember to breathe.” She would nod, and ask repeatedly, “where are we, what is happening?” In a calm and completely non-reactive manner I would respond, “We are in Costa Rica, we are healing, the medicine is strong, you are safe. We are healing…. Breathe” This was super intense for me and all of my mind training over these past few years would be challenged and put to the test, with the stakes being as high as they could be.

At one point she appeared to be completely dissociated, as if in a catatonic state. This was scary and would test my resolve, how much did I believe in this healing medicine? Can you hold space for you mother? I had been here many times before, this was the time to wait it out, trusting that the medicine was doing its work. Trusting that the sun would rise and all would be better for this tomorrow, and the days and months to come.

We came through and were supported by the medicine and the loving supportive hands of Nicole, who took care of my mother as if she were her own mom.

Once the storm had passed, we would laugh about the experience and feel a deep sense of relief. While still on the medicine my mother would give Nicole and I a play by play of exactly what she had just experienced. We assured her, that everything that happened was part of this process and that she was loved and supported.

My mother was done and exhausted, she would go to sleep. At that moment, I would ask for a third cup and take time to ponder the most beautiful of night skies in solitude. Florestral, which means “Astral-Forest,” was in full effect; stars bursting with vibrancy with my elevated sensory and sight—staring out in infinite—with enormous gratitude for such this special night. I would take a couple of hours for myself, to look with. Florestral was a magical place, that once I departed from, I would not know when I would return again. I felt such a strong calling back to the US, to get back to work, to put into action all of the insight and growth from this long break on my life’s journey. Not knowing how these experiences would fit into my life after my travels. During 2016 and the first half of 2017 I would go deep into my mind, I had the space, time, security to do this.

The next morning we awoke, as expected, we made it through the ceremony. I was very impressed with the resiliency of my mother. She did it. She went two full rounds with “Mother Ayahuasca”, toe to toe, with no fear she stepped into the fire of life. To look within after all these years required a great deal of courage. Her childhood was challenged with two alcoholic parents that used to beat the shit out of each other, and at times would lash out at the children. While my mother was never beaten, her older sister couldn’t avoid the heavy hand of their ofter drunk and unstable father. On multiple occasions my mother having to call the police on her own dad for fear that the beating would turn deadly. This most certainly was a heavy weight that my mother has carried her entire life, and part of the karma that I have inherited. My grandpa, whom had long past by the time I was born was indeed a very loving man when sober. Likely he suffered from bipolar — who knows what demons he was fighting and hiding from? My grandfather’s underlying trauma that would serve as an unruly puppeteer, causing uncontrolled bouts of mania and rage on himself and all those that he loved so dear.

Our pasts can be healed, anything can be let go, so we can experience wholeness. A sense of peace and closure would be made available to my mother, honest perspective as to her role in the childhood abuse evil that would pervade and poison her home. This night was about letting go, clearing space for anew to come forth.

I’ll be forever grateful for the unconditional love and care that Nicole showed us both that evening. In the many years as a facilitator she has seen it all, there wasn’t one flinch of doubt the entire evening. All she knows how to do is love and serve, I am continually inspired by Nicole and her devotion to making our world a better place. Doing the dirty work, cleaning up after and providing healing refuge for those looking to heal from our overly judgmental and sick western ways and broken mental health paradigm.

Nicole gave much care and attention for my dear old mother who had what was likely the most challenging night of her life. Never wincing, for a second when offering care that left us both maintaining our human dignity in an experience that could have been scarring and traumatic. A means of healing that seems unconventional, but it is natural and honest once you move past our cultural biases and conditioning and the nonsense societal program that has too many duped into the “take daily pills” marketing scheme.

While SSRI’s do work for some people. The reality is they barely beat the placebo and come with it a whole host of awful side effects. And when people stop their regiment, they go back to where they were when they began treatment: classic bandaid approach for PROZAC Nation.

Having an evening with “The Mother” and my mother, was one of the more meaningful experiences of my life. Healing and forgiveness, sharing a special gift of insight, a sneak peak into all that is possible when traveling with a lighter load.

Will my mother ever drink ayahuasca again? Probably not, I don’t see it. It was a rough night and I would doubt that she would willingly subject herself to that again. Like motherly love, the medicine doesn’t give you what you but always gives you what you need. She has no regrets and insists that she feels lighter and more in touch with her intuition after our healing ceremony. The familial healing experience has brought us closer by healing old wounds all of this about a year before Michael Pollan released HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. The smash hit NY Times Bestseller that has every 50s/60s something white person in America rethinking psychedelics as viable medicine to our broken mental health paradigm.

Thank you for reading this account of my mother’s showdown with “Mother Ayahuasca.” This is the most important chapter that didn’t make it into WORTH THE FIGHT: Acting for a Better World, A Guide to Spirituality, Psychedelic Medicines, and Overcoming Trauma. I condensed this 5-7 pager into a few paragraphs but feel these important details ought to be shared.

If anyone is looking to heal with the sacred plant medicine ayahuasca I highly recommend Flostral. The work that Nicole and Vismay and family are doing is the perfect antidote for one overfed on the gospel of Bullshit, Inc.

With a grateful heart,

Image used belongs to Ann Winn


Worth The Fight

So, It has been sometime since I last posted here. I’ve been engulfed in my work; fully immersed now in a book that I have been writing since February, or well, actually, since last Summer(2017). This process has been a daily wrestling match for me, but most certainly a labor of love and worthwhile struggle. Finally this creative project is starting to come alive, to take form, enough for me to press send on this long overdue blog post.

I am hopefully a few months away(who knows though) from the likely self-publishing that I am leaning towards. I am now working with professional editors, hoping to finish yesterday. 🙂

If tomorrow, a title were demanded from me it would be:

Worth The Fight: Action For A Better World — My Tug-A-War With Trauma, Psychedelics, Fear and Karma

The title may change, although it may stick too: its got potential.

So what is the book about?

It is a memoir; essentially, my “Tug-A-War” with life, overcoming childhood sexual trauma to find peace in service to my fellow man with hopefully a bunch of really good(juicy) travel stories that I lacked courage to share fully when I set out with a backpack years back, having left my career in favor of travel journey; deeper cuts and insights of how I came to live by design the life of my dreams.

Why am I writing a book?

-for the 40 million adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse suffering in silence.
-for our 1.5 million US veterans that needlessly struggle with PTSD, depression: And the far more than 22 that fall to suicide each day.
-because I believe we all can do better(myself included), especially with our failing mental healthcare paradigm(our sick care) in dire need of a makeover.

In WORTH THE FIGHT, I will be bringing the reader into the shamanic healing experiences in Central/South America, a trip(pun intended) down Esoteria Lane.

But really, this is a love book, about what I see for the world on an individual and collective level: Matt’s Manifesto. Shared with no expectation but to deliver the/my TRUTH.

Many friends have been so generous with their time, helping me push this project forward. I am thankful for all those that have leant a listening ear as I test out ideas/concepts—I am truly grateful. Some early editor observations: “You are girl crazy, tone it down a bit Matt,” “You are writing and pushing against many edges; but what you are writing about needs to be shared and talked about.”

This has been an incredibly humbling but equally rewarding process; testing grounds of sorts, as to just how serious I am about my path.

I am so looking forwarding to sharing with everyone. Thank you for the love and support these past years, I often reflect on my journey and know that I would have never made it home safely without my incredible network of family and friends, lovers of life that inspire me to reach higher every day—inspiring me to keep my eye on the prize, peace.

Thank you for reading, please stay tuned for more updates — I am digging in!

With a grateful heart,



That is not my problem!  

“That is not my problem!  Who gives a shit?” I would have never spoken those words but surely would have thought and maybe uttered them under my breath. Who really cares? They don’t know what I’ve been through, its a doggy dog world — would have been running through my mind. 

Everyday 22 US veterans die by their own hand. No one gets a pass on this one. This epidemic effects us all.
It makes sense how the US veteran suicide tragedy could fly under our collective radar. We are all super busy and distracted in our modern world. That busyness often leaves no room for important matters of the heart. And the very notion that we can make a difference often scares peoples involvement. Someone else will take care of it. It’s much easier to look the other way and pretend we don’t notice others in need.  So we simply choose to Ignore the interconnectivity, the fact that we are truly all in this together. That is right, we have gotten really good at ignoring our place in relation to our fellow human, especially our US veterans who fight wars that preserve our freedoms and liberties. 
Because of the pain in my heart resulting from childhood trauma I would have stayed on the sidelines in years prior, head in the sand, choosing not to donate or even investigate how I could possibly help stem the tide of our veterans that die by their own hand at far too high of a rate. What is your excuse? Every dollar counts, if our mission and cause to end US veteran suicide resonates with you please consider donating and further acquainting yourself with our message of hope for our US veterans suffering from PTSD and suicidality.

Thank you for reading.

Love it truth. Truth is love.


Static Space Lovers

What a challenging year this has been for me! The most challenging year thus far, I think. I am hopeful to say the same thing 365 days from now. If you don’t see a note like this next year you’ll know that I phoned it in. Not likely, I feel I am just warming up to what lies ahead on my path, post travels.    

Adversarial growth is a buzzy positive psychology term and notion that I have come to appreciate. Growing from adversity. How else would one grow? I mean real growth, not the kind that our society encourages and values. You know the kind – Putting your head down and dealing with, ignoring your feelings and emotions, working towards goals that have no relation to your evolutionary drivers. My growth I knew pre travels was a form of self abuse, following the herd, unaware of what held me in place. Unaware and mostly ignorant of what was the impetus of my actions and behavior. Adversarial growth comes when we confront our truth by challenge comfort zones and embracing the relentless uncertainty that life brings. Best done with a half-smile or better.

LOVE this powerful except from Getting Grit,(the evidence based approach to cultivating passion, perseverance and purpose), by Caroline Adams Miller. “We don’t become happy after we succeed at something, but rather we succeed precisely because we are happy first. Their(positive psychologist research) comprehensive overview of longitudinal, qualitative, correlational and causal studies on friendship, health, finances, work, and all other aspects of life helped me understand why achieving certain external goals when I was younger had never made me happy for long, and had instead left me emptier than before.” I couldn’t have worded it any better myself. No matter what I accomplished years prior, graduating college, running a successful business, abundant relationships, buying a home, whatever it was the happiness was always fleeting and superficial and short-lived.
Before all else, the past 2 years I have been diligently training myself diligently to be happy. With the hope and knowing that a happy Matt will be able to attain the highest level of success. Success is relative of course and I like Brene Brown’s definition the best. “Success, just make sure that you ladder is against the right building.” For too long my ladder was against the wrong building.

In 2017 my 18 month travel journey ended. Leaving an important and relevant question, what next? This past summer I started to put my actions into a structured and more contained motion. It has been a blessing to engage in meaningful work in service to something bigger than myself. For so long, I was devoid of anything closely resembling contribution to our collective good. Just selfish me, hurting with unresolved trauma and pain in my heart. Ignorant to how my broken heart influenced my behavior and actions. Comparing myself to others, ignoring what I felt inside.  

In 2017, I felt the deepest most sensational feeling of LOVE which gives me great hope for what lies ahead in my life’s journey. The knowing that love is here, always, and its our job to do the groundwork that will pave the way for love’s realization. That burst of love was merely a reflection of the truth, my truth, a reflection of what is most inherent and fundamentally a part of my essence, and the essence of all men and women alike. Love is our most natural state of being. In our modern world that notion almost seems absurd but it indeed is our truth.  

So many good times with friends and family locally and in Colorado, California and Costa Rica. I am so thankful for everything life has brought me. What would life look like without challenges? Stagnation. Wouldn’t our hearts wither a way and break with out using them?  

I wish a most happy of New Year’s for everyone! Got a good feelin’ for 2018. Big year for team Earth. Likely, more bumps and bruises to come but its all worth it.  

Static space lover?  A song I was listening to when I pressed send. My original title was “Thank you 2017!” Which would have only attracted 5 readers.   

I am so grateful for all of it, all of this. Thank you for reading these words and impacting my life in whichever way you have. I am truly thankful.   

Love is truth. Truth is love. 



Evolving Virtue

Passing on the almost sure potential of kinky sex with a near stranger was my latest sign of growth and maturity. A sign that I don’t give a shit about having a story to tell. I just want the kind of lovin’ that will elevate my soul and propel me forward, the kind that knows no limits. Well, Matt, your telling a story right now? Yes, for context of this post, not the shallow locker room talk I would have engaged in years back.  

A couple months back I went to a Tantra work shop here in Chicago. Lots of pretty girls were there. We were all gathering mostly out of curiosity, what is this tantric talk about anyways? It ended up being a worthwhile evening that encouraged a lot of personal boundaries being tested. Some touch and much awkward staring into the eyes of strangers. A safe space and container to exercise social comfortability. I thought it worth exploring as I continually hear over and over the value and importance and the benefits that come from testing the unknown and comfort levels. Tim Ferriss and many other recent reads talk about the benefits of practicing discomfort. And how this practice helps one find peace of mind and improved self confidence. 

At this evening gathering there were lots of pretty and fit girls, you know the yoga type, the ones that like to talk about feelings? The ones that will speak up and call you on your bullshit. Some of the women in that room were stunning. I mean, can’t take your eyes off stunning. I didn’t have the courage to ask anyone out, those strong feminine types still intimidate me a bit and I wasn’t prepared for or on my game. I was approached by another, she, unlike myself she wasn’t lacking courage and ended up asking me out. A most flattering gesture. Her hands shaking while we exchanged numbers. It was cute. I was impressed by her bold move as she was clearly nervous but the moment of discomfort wasn’t going to stop her from making a move.  

We went out for pizza a week later and swapped personal stories and I just wasn’t feeling it in spite of her beauty. It was an odd realization that I’d never had before. I have no interest in breeding with this woman I thought to myself. She was lovely but the polarity that is necessary for sexual attraction just wasn’t there. My evolutionary drive to procreate was out-dueled by my conscious thought. Grateful for meditation and being able cultivate that awareness and to draw that conclusion from within. Years past I would have surely gone for it, all in! Possibly, well probably making a 3 year wrong turn that would have been painful for all parties involved. How did I surmise kinky sex? Her hungry eyes gave it away.  

Before my travels, I was a follower who let others think for me. It was easier that way with the level of pain I carried in my heart. When reflecting back, I sometimes think it was more about the story than actually being present and engaging with romantic interests. Always so concerned with what others thought, fearful of being honest and being myself. In constant need of new material to talk about with my friends. Shallow locker room nonsense was an integral part of my identity as a business man bachelor. Boasting and blowing to feel good about myself. Pretty pathetic, I know, but sadly its true. I was missing the point of all of this.  

Who knows? Life

Thank you for reading. Love is truth, Truth is love.  



Shame, Shame!   

Shame, Shame….

For the way that I have lived most of my life. It really hit me hard many months back before I joined forces as the program manager of Veterans for Entheogenic Therapy(VET). Taking a couple deep breaths and thinking of my life in relation to our active military and those veterans that have bravely served our country was real.  Seeing how I, like many of us was hiding from the reality that we are all in this together and to deny our veteran suffering would be to deny that my actions could possibly make a difference. I felt immense shame for the many ways that I haven’t taken advantage of this most incredible human experience that I’ve been graced with. Our soldiers and veterans have volunteered to be a part of something bigger that actually stands for something. What did I stand for before? Nothing. Maybe an expert fully certified in self-indulgance and Egomania? My heart was in shambles and I was mired in self-abuse, confused as to what the heck I was supposed to be doing with this precious human life. A product of a time when the collective orientation towards material has gained heavy favor over that of the spirit of man.

Designer hand bag,  3-4 veteran lives,

Fancy Watch, 7-8 veteran lives,

First class airplane ticket, 20-25 veteran lives,

Gym membership that won’t be used, 1-2 veteran lives,

I like nice shit too. Just sayin’! We find our time where the collective definition of what it means to succeed has never been more conflicted in relation to our DNA and evolutionary impulses and drivers. 

Every day 22 of our veteran’s die by their own hand.  WE HAVE A WAR AT HOME. Personally, I believe that number closer to 50 per day, and possibly as high as 18,000 per year based upon a 2012 VA suicide report and the many ambiguous technicalities on what actually gets reported. 

The shame I felt has mostly been reconciled by engaging the problem that gravely effects us all. You can help too, and I am not talking about buying a veteran a cheeseburger or saying thank you for your service at the airport. You can really help provide much needed transformational therapy. For $600 you can sponsor healing and transformation for one veteran through our program. You can be part of our efforts to shift the tide and offer relief to those that are suffering deeply with PTSD and suicidality.

THANK YOU for reading. 

Love is truth. Truth is love. 


Love Drunk!  

Oxytocin, “the love hormone.” You get it by hugging, kissing, snuggling and by having an orgasm.  
Definitely not to be confused with OxyContin. “The prescription drug is widely blamed for setting off the nation’s prescription opioid epidemic, which has claimed more than 190,000 lives from overdoses involving OxyContin and other painkillers since 1999 as of May 5, 2016”
Drug overdose every 5 minutes in America. Its amazing the shit that we tolerate and accept as a country. Just amazing, every 5 minutes a daughter or son is lost. I digress.

Please don’t get the two mixed up. You want as much of one but none of the other.  This oxytocin is tricky however. It comes with conditions if your are really intent with saturating your neurochemistry with this love hormone. You have to love the other party that you are hugging kissing, cuddling or having an orgasm with for optimum effect. That can be a challenge for some of us when we look at our partners with indifference. Solo stimulation doesn’t have the same effect either, otherwise I would have been the happiest being ever in my teenage years and subsequent twenties. 😉 

You can also find this oxytocin in RAW ORGANIC CACAO too. My morning love high from this drink is evidence and taste so good it has partially nudged out my coffee routine.  Yum, yum – Love my cup of cacao!    

Thank you for reading. The world needs more oxytocin and more love – Please go hug someone! 

Love is truth. Truth is love. 
Much love,


“I think it’s beautiful the way you sparkle when you talk about the things you love.” -Atticus