My #ThankYouPlantMedicine Story by Danny Panzella

Thankyouplantmedicine.com is organizing a global wave of gratitude, calling on people to “come out” with their stories of healing and transformation February 20, 2020, using the hashtag #ThankYouPlantMedicine. The #ThankYouPlantMedicine movement was born as a response to the stigma associated with the use of psychoactive plants and therapy-assisted psychedelics.

Here is MY #ThankYouPlantMedicine story…

#ThankYouPlantMedicine

Growing up I was vehemently anti-drug. Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” propaganda did a number on me in grammar school. I never touched drugs or nicotine. In my mid 20’s I began to go out and drink heavily on weekends. Never once did I question the health or safety of the amounts of alcohol I consumed, but don’t ask me to try “drugs” or I would preach at you until you were sorry you offered me that toke. I would get “righteously” angry when my friends would smoke cannabis around me.

In my early 30’s my mother was suffering through chemotherapy for breast cancer. I started researching nutrition and holistic medicine and stumbled across a study done in Spain where scientists were able to kill cancer cells with synthesized THC. My mother being a Born Again Christian rejected the “devils weed” as an alternative to Chemo. She passed on shortly after, which led to an existential crisis for me. I had an emotional breakdown and was put on SSRI drugs which I didn’t last long on. After one month I felt like a lifeless zombie and stopped taking them.

I started consuming all the research I could find on cannabis and its medical value. I was so blown away with the power of this plant! I decided to shoot a documentary about cannabis and cancer to educate people like my mother so they could understand the value of cannabis in hopes that they would surrender their biases and more lives could be saved. (I have just begun to edit my documentary: doespotcurecancer.com)

Since then the veil has been lifted from my eyes. For me, cannabis absolutely was a gateway plant to other healing plants. Next, I began to research psilocybin mushrooms (technically not a plant) and their fantastic therapeutic qualities. Since then, my wife has cured herself of chronic pain, insomnia and anxiety with cannabis and psilocybin. 

We have used psilocybin several times together in ceremony to discover truths about ourselves and the nature of reality. We have used MDMA as a tool for relationship therapy, and we attended our first life changing Ayahuasca retreat last year.

For me one of the most powerful aspects of psychedelic plant medicines has been its ability to temporarily lower the volume of my ego. My ego has been a bundle of self defense mechanisms that have built up blocks to my ability to be in touch with my emotions and intuition. I have indulged in self-limiting beliefs because of how I judge myself.

After sitting with Psilocybin I was able to see my self from an objective perspective. I could see how traumas I was subconsciously harboring were affecting my thoughts and behaviors. For the most part those traumas were negatively affecting my ability to love myself and others. Without that voice in my head constantly criticizing and judging me I have been able to see myself and others through the eyes of unconditional love. Over the past year my work with psilocybin and ayahuasca has helped me integrate several major life traumas, from childhood wounds to the loss of my mother.

What I have found fascinating is that each plant simultaneously offers a completely different experience while taking you on the same path to self-healing. Cannabis provides your physiology aid in achieving homeostasis, psilocybin seems to be more of an aid for dealing with emotional blockages, MDMA opens up the floodgate of empathy and allows you to experience unconditional love for yourself and others and ayahuasca for me was a journey inside and seemed to help unify my physical, emotional and spiritual selves.

I am a much kinder, more empathetic and more fully whole person since I have begun my plant medicine journey. My relationships with my wife and son have become much healthier. I have always had an emotionally distant relationship with my father and brother, but now I find it much easier to be vulnerable and honest about my emotions with them which has brought us closer. I care more about people and the state of the world and nature. I love more and more intensely. Plant medicines have changed my life and I am forever grateful.

For more information, to see more stories or to sign the pledge visit ThankYouPlantMedicine.com

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