Psilocybin and Grief with Taylor Selé

Taylor Selé is an actor and former NFL athlete born in Monrovia, Liberia and raised in Queens, New York. He shares his story and experience at Eleusinia Retreat. In this episode Taylor shares personal reflections on moving through grief, expanding well being and living with a rediscovered sense of joy with the help of psilocybin. Listen here or on Apple Podcasts.

Tawnya: You have made it to The Psilocybin Podcast brought to you by Eleusinia Retreat.

Jessica: Eleusinia is a unique psilocybin retreat based in Mexico with a focus on meditation, neuroscience, and brain health.

Tawnya: We are your hosts. I’m Tawnya, the medical coordinator, and Jessica is the founder of this amazing experience. Join us as we break down, practical psychedelic techniques, research and share personal stories of transformation.

I am so excited to introduce to you this next guest. Today we have Taylor Selé who is an actor and former NFL athlete born in Monrovia, Liberia, and raised in Queens, New York. Today he shares his personal story and his experience at Eleusinia retreat. As he dives into a complex and long life dealing with grief. This is so beautiful. You’ll love it. Enjoy.

Taylor, it is such an honor to have you on the show. I am so grateful and excited to have the opportunity to interview you. Can you tell the audience a little bit about who you are and the work that you do?

Taylor: Wonderful. My name is Taylor Selé. And Tawnya it’s great to be on this podcast with you. It’s good to see your face again.

And I’m a Liberian born American man. I grew up in Liberia, moved to the United States when I was four years old. I’m an artist, former football player, a former athlete. Played at Boston college, had a short stint with Indianapolis Colts and then transitioned to my love, my passion, which is acting and currently fortunate to be a working actor. Yes currently. I had a TV show called Queens on ABC. I’m currently working on Law and Order, which is New Yorker’s dream.

Tawnya: Amazing. And can you tell us a little bit about how you found your way to Eleusinia?

Taylor: Ooh. I think my journey towards finding an alleviation. The complex feelings I was having started a year prior to the retreat. I lost my father two years ago around this time. 20 years ago, I previously lost my brother to a very violent, random road rage death, and just experiencing the highs and lows of life and soldiering through it. I think over time, I lost my center of self. I couldn’t, find a way to stabilize my life and my feelings.

And so I was really in search of something that could aid me and started therapy seven months ago, watched a documentary, “How to Change Your Mind,” started doing research on psilocybin, which blew my mind. And during a search, a random search. I said, I need to find a retreat or a place I can go that I feel like I can trust to partake in psilocybin and the universe conspired in our favor.

And one of the first links I ran into was Eleusinia. There were a few others I looked through, and with what you guys offered and what your primary objective was, for me was a no-brainer to reach out and make the decision to join your retreat.

Tawnya: And what was your previous experience with psilocybin had you ever tried it before?

Taylor: No. Zero experience with psilocybin.

I mean marijuana in my life was the only thing I had been exposed to and that was even later on in life. Something I would do at nighttime to try to calm myself, especially when I found my anxiety raising, but no, I had no previous experience with psilocybin. I only knew of mushrooms from a distance.

And this thing, people talk about the bad shrooms man. And I thought of it as being this good time, good feeling, recreational drug that people would take. So that was my perception prior to watching “How to Change your Mind” and really understanding wait a minute, this mushroom stuff, isn’t just some party drug. This is something special that nature has provided us.

Tawnya: Did you have any particular reservations or concerns or fears that came up as you prepared for the trip and upon your arrival?

Taylor: Oh yeah. I mean prior to the interview with Jess and having a breakdown of the team and speaking to her and her philosophy, yeah. You’re going to a different place. And especially for me, like I mentioned before, had no experience, prior experience with psilocybin. So this one part to worry about the trepidation about the trip itself, you know, and then there’s the actual, psilocybin. What will it do to me? If I lose myself and I’ll be around these strangers, what’s going to happen?

Fortunately enough. I’ve traveled with my girlfriend. But after that interview and just really leaning into the breakdown of what the retreat was about and how it would run and how prepped we were going into it, that really calmed any reservations that I had. But of course the mind would wander and say, am I, is this, am I gonna be part of like a horror film or like “Hostel” the movie?

That’s just the mind, you know, wandering and thinking about all the things that could happen on a retreat like this and we’ll get into it later, but it couldn’t have been anymore of a blessing of an experience.

Tawnya: Do you mind going in a little bit to what it was like to live day to day with the grief that you were experiencing and how it manifested in your life and just motivated you to make a change?

Taylor: Yeah. You know, I lost my brother just as I was heading into college. It’d always been my dream to play college football. My brother was a muse and a great supporter of mine. And literally a month before I started at Boston college, before I was to arrive there for my freshman football camp, he was shot and killed in the streets of Queens after a road rage altercation. Literally there was not a physical altercation. Words were exchanged and the person unfortunately pulled the gun and took his life.

That was a shocker. You know, you, you never expect something like that to happen. We know death is inevitable, but homicide in that way just really catches you off guard. And I wasn’t a stranger to grief of course. I’m from Liberia, a nation that has gone through so much civil war, but this just moving past it being thrust right into college, and then just kinda moving on. I never had a chance to truly assess what it did to me and the heartache that I was carrying.

Fast forward through college, and all this is hindsight now, but looking back, I wasn’t able to process, and I didn’t know I was carrying such a heavy burden of pain and I guess you could say survivor’s guilt. But we have football breaking down in college, literally my body and my feelings getting hurt, being knocked out of the NFL.

And then as I mentioned, two years ago, my father passing for me was a breaking point. And it wasn’t initial. About two, three months after he passed all of the feelings from losing my brother in 2002 came back and hit me in a way, I was like, oh shit, I never dealt with this. It’s just like a siege of emotions and I guess you can call it anxiety, but confusion.

And this dread. I guess, dread and fear for me became things that would control my life. Anytime something would happen, you’d be waiting for that blow to come. Something to knock you down. And I guess that became my relationship with life.

I’d work hard. I thought I was optimistic, but deep down subconsciously, you’re bracing for that heavy blow in life to happen again. And it just got to a point I realized, you know, I didn’t like what the option was of continuing on that route. It scared me the thoughts I started to have. So I opened my mind. Of course, I’m a spiritual person. I’ve prayed on things, tried to bring calm to myself, but I started to think I either need a community or something that will actually assist me along this journey, you know, of wanting to feel different from how I was feeling. Although I was functioning, work was going well, but at the height, I guess of, you know, your work as an actor to get to a certain place. I was there, I enter the doorway and I was feeling as low as you could possibly feel, which is a scary thing, because you’re getting what you want. But now that you have it, you still don’t feel well. And I realized I need to change some things and reach out.

Tawnya: So, how would you like to go into your experience? I guess we can start with, what was it like for you to arrive and how did your experience begin to unfold?

Taylor: Well, it’s my first time in Mexico City and you know, meeting Jay at the airport getting picked up. It’s just the energy. The initial energy, welcoming energy of the person picking you up. And as I mentioned, we already had the introduction via the video. So I had a really good feeling inside. There was this anticipation, little trepidation, and then you get picked up and there’s this concern about you and there’s this nurture and you’re taking the long drive from Mexico City out to Valle de Bravo and the scenery is changing. I don’t know, I felt this tingling all over this anticipation. I was very excited. Very, very excited. As I mentioned, I had my partner with me and was ready for this unique experience.

The closer we got, the butterflies came and you realize what you’re actually doing. And then, you know, the first day’s orientation getting to meet everyone. It wasn’t forced, it was natural. You know, the people that were there, we had a small intimate group moving about, everyone bringing their own unique attributes and personalities, but we all know we’re there for something similar. And that was a cool experience to say, oh, I see the similarities in myself, like why they came here, but yet they’re all so different. That made it very, very unique. To have a personal experience, but have this mirror of humanity around you. It’s a similar thing we’re going through, which is kind of a microcosm of what this world, this life is. You know, we’re all human beings, we’re individual, but we’re taking this journey. So it was magical from the get-go.

I mean, it’s hard to explain the grounds and where you’re located. You realize right away… okay. I’m far removed from the Upper West side of Manhattan and the honking, the noise. And the fast pace, “got to go, got to go,” and you don’t know why you have to go, have to go, but you’re going.” There’s instant, instant calm. And at that point, you can hear yourself think, and then you realize, oh, I’m not breathing. They’re instructing me to breathe and makes me realize how much I hold my breath. And it’s almost initial as soon as you, walk into the retreat and the space, the process starts of you acknowledging yourself and how you’re feeling at that moment. I think that’s a very big thing. Having an assessment of where you are walking into that space and start being introduced to what’s going to happen.

Tawnya: Yeah. You mentioned feeling your body and being aware of how you feel. And I remember you speaking more about your breath. Can you tell us a little bit about what that was like? Because it seems like in some ways it could have been related to the feeling of just waiting for the shoe to drop….

Taylor: Yes.

Tawnya: For your joy to be smashed.

Taylor: Absolutely. You know, in recent years I’ve been having issues with, even prior to COVID, having issues with the sensation of getting a sufficient breath or an oxygen-rich breath, and I’ve gone into pulmonologist. And there are some physical issues and of course I’ve sustained some injuries from football.

But I started reading a book several months ago, prior to traveling called “The Body Keep The Score.” And the main objective of this book is to make you realize how much the body is a living organism, you know? It feels everything you feel. I mean, it receives the input from your environment, from your emotions, the mental, the metaphysical.

And I think from my center, from my throat down to my thoracic, my core, my abdomen, just this tension of holding the breath. I didn’t realize I was living like that. And until we got there and focused on breathwork… I had been introduced to breathwork before. You go to Yoga classes here and there, but it was something different about it. It wasn’t about keeping score of it or comparing yourself to whoever’s in your Yoga class. It wasn’t here’s the objective and it’s win or loss.

It was a, here’s what you can do to help yourself, but don’t judge yourself if you think you’re not doing it right. That aspect of removing negative self talk, which was something that was brought up throughout the retreat, I think was a missing element that I hadn’t had in my life.

I didn’t realize how much negative self talk is there. And even as we speak now, my ability to pace myself, to take a breath. Even if there may be a physical explanation for what’s going on, I’m in a better place now using my breathing to my advantage. Having calm, not being rushed or being okay with not feeling so great. That alone removes the pressure of the self judgment of where you think you should be physically. And so, yeah, right away there was a shift in the physical sensation of tightness that I was having in my chest.

And prior to actually taking the macro dose, of course we had leisure conversations. I think the preparation and the orientation prior to taking the dose… going into and being reminded of why you’re doing it. We talk about things like “yeeting,” giving us a game plan. For those of us who have zero experience with this to remove the anxiety and knowing that we had the support there, that was major. Major. And of course we had consults before actually taking the psilocybin. Breathwork calming ourself, and then you take the actual mushroom.

And how do I put this into words? I feel like everyone who’s gone through this experience will then understand what people who’ve taken it before them mean when they say “I can’t fully explain in words… this feeling.” But there’s elation. For me, there was an inner, how could I explain? Inner, core, abdomen, like glow, understanding, or just a being present in my body. And that is what I will say really, really hit me knowing that I was fully inhabiting myself, which is something I quite wasn’t feeling. The past two years, you feel like life’s happening to you and you’re not an active participant in it. You’re always in reactive, but psilocybin just gave me this sensation of feeling every aspect of myself, my physical form and body, and my relation to my environment and the people around me.

My words will not suffice, but spiritual, magical. I know people mention it being hallucinogenic, but I don’t want that word to cheapen the feeling. It’s not like, oh, I’m outta my mind. And this is just, you know, same thing that can happen when I smoke weed or taking any other drug. It’s not that sensation. It’s a, it’s a being present in your physical form to a degree that’s so… it’s like watching HDTV or 4k TV. You know, you didn’t realize you had reception or antenna issues before you, feel that 4k, that clear crisp, “oh, this is what it feels to be present.”

It can be a little overwhelming. Not in a negative way, but it’s like, if you leave this city and go somewhere that has fresh air, when you take your initial few breaths, you know, you’ve taken back by that. And that’s what it felt like. All this information coming in. And of course we had the, the guidance of you all over there to help us process it and pace ourselves throughout the process.

But it’s an otherworldly experience. I smile often when I speak on it, because I remember how I felt when you’re always saying, we can’t quite put it into words, it’s such an individual experience. I know that statement now. I know exactly what you mean.

Tawnya: And did you have thoughts about the grief that you’ve been living within the burden that you’ve been carrying?

Taylor: Oh yeah. I mean, prior to the psilocybin, I expected to have a lot of dark thoughts come up. A lot of. You know, for acting, I do shadow work. And I had this perception of myself, of a person, you know, I know there’s gonna be a lot of darkness inside, a lot of crying. Things are going to come up and with this loss that I’ve experience through years.

And to tell you the truth, the only kind of explicit acknowledgement of those two very important people that I lost, my father and my brother, was a sensation of them being with me by way of a hummingbird, which was the animal, the bird that I saw the day my father passed away, and the moon. In a very odd way they aligned with each other. And in my perception, the way I perceived it was them saying to me, ” we’re not hearing the same form, but we’re here with you.”

And I remember just smiling, smiling, and laughing about that. I was like, oh, foolish. They’ve been with you. They’re not here in the physical form, but you didn’t lose them. You have to shift the way you think of that. By saying you lose them is almost insulting to people who invested so much love in you. People you care about so much. They’re with you and just in a different way. And I didn’t have the gut-wrenching tears, the pain, the anguish that I thought I would have, and almost reinforced me that my base is a hell of a lot more joyous than I had imagined.

And I remember, you know, I’ve had intimate talks with my mom when I got back. They had a sense of what I was going to do, but my mom was the first person who acknowledged that something was a little different about me. And I think that’s just me embracing the hint that I got from that experience of you’re a joyful person. And if you lean more into that, you’re living according to who you are, which ties you to those who you physically have lost. They want you to be, they want you to be happy. And that’s how I interpreted it. And I think that has been the biggest shift in me. I came there to change my relationship with grief and loss.

And as I was told in my, spiritual consult, focusing on self love not just this catch phrase, what, what does that even mean? You know, for me it meant forgiveness of self. Acceptance. And once I can love and embrace myself, I can present the best form of Taylor to the world. You know, do right by myself, you can do right by others.

That has been the biggest shift. Not waiting for something bad to happen. I know it’s not a magic wand, you know, but I think it’s a pathway for me o to see life in a new way. And that has taken off certain pressures or heaviness that I felt.

And, unfortunately, while I was there, the second day of the retreat, I lost a brother. My brother passed away. He’d been fighting kidney failure for the past two years. And prior to the retreat, he had a stroke because of complications due to his treatment. But we did not expect him to pass away.

And the irony of having to deal with that when that was one of the main primary reasons I went there just blows my mind because the way I was able to handle it. In the past situations I was overwhelmed, I felt picked on by life. I felt like, okay, here it is. Once again, I knew it. Life is all about loss and how it beats you down. But I was able to accept that I couldn’t do anything about the loss and focus on the gratitude of having had this brother for 43 years.

And still processing it. But even, as I mentioned to you before, I’m embracing this new way of dealing with it. Of course still the loss is there and you feel sadness, but I’m also focusing on the gratitude of having the person. And that’s a different approach that I’ve had in previous years to loss.

Tawnya: And this week you’re planning on going to the services in Liberia, right?

Taylor: Yes. Yes. It’s going to be a test. We’re flying to Liberia. I’m gonna have the funeral. It’s going to be my first time, obviously seeing his body since we were together about seven months ago.

The purpose of this treatment for me wasn’t to desensitize myself to the emotions and feelings of being a human being. I’m not saying, oh, I just don’t feel it. I’m just happy-go-lucky. I can ignore. I don’t have to have empathy of what’s going on. It’s the relief of knowing I don’t have to suffer through it.

You know, the loss is difficult enough. Everything else would pile on. Could I have done more? Could I have given more money? Could we have done something more for his treatment? And I’ve just been really inspired by my family’s response. And my mom in many ways has followed my lead and she’s just focused on, you know what, he’s not dealing with the struggles of dialysis and the lack of proper medical care in Liberia that he wasn’t able to receive.

But yet just focusing on the fact that he’s not going through that anymore. So I’m happy that I’m going into this experience of the ceremonies and saying goodbye to the mortal remains of my brother with this new perspective. So I can focus on saying the goodbyes in the physical form, as opposed to feeling this sense of dread.

Who else is it going to be? Or excessively feeling bad for myself because of the loss. I think that even going into it that way would take away from the experience of having your final physical goodbye with someone that you really, really care for and love.

Tawnya: Thank you. That description is so well said. I really appreciate it. I loved how you had said in your macro dose experience that it felt like there was a light in your abdomen, and then you compared that to just a phenomenal sense of presence.

Taylor: Mm-hmm.

Tawnya: That was beautiful. So in that way, you’re really saying you were able to let go of a clenching that you had carried and, and step into a more dynamic way of living.

Taylor: Oh yes. In a lot of my acting work, I use analogies to navigate the kind of emotional obstacles of what a character may be going through. And if you think to yourself, if you hold a cup in your hand, or if you hold objects in your hand and you just clench onto them, it’s hard to pick anything up. Even if the thing you want to pick up is good. You have to put down whatever it is you’re holding your hand to pick something else up. And I think being able or being encouraged to allow myself to, to give myself the permission to put down whatever burden I had and have open mind to a different feeling or sensation helped me a lot. And sometimes you don’t realize you need that permission and that support.

And I think that’s… you talked about the environment. What was the key word you guys used?  Container. The power of the container. And as I speak to my friends, I said, you know, I’m not telling you just to go pick up psilocybin and go somewhere and just take it and you have this magical feeling. That container made such a major difference, the information and the preparation and the trust that was established prior to even taking the mushroom, I think made a major difference in the mind and the soul and spirit’s ability to receive what was happening.

I didn’t have a sense of, I got to look over my shoulder while trying to have this experience. In fact, it’s just like, okay, I know I have a harness. I know I have a life raft. I know I have a parachute. I can just focus on this blissful free fall of emotions and experience I’ve never, never had before.

And I think that helped a lot. And I like how you explain, not clenching, just letting go, you know, and what may be possible in life when you’re not clenched and held then what can flow through you and what can you offer when you’re in a more relaxed state?

Tawnya: So with your understanding of what your practice could be, because I know you’re a really busy actor and you have all this stuff going on. Are those some of the personal cues that you would think to feel that clenching again or that feeling dread, as to when you would dose again, or have you had another dose?

Taylor:  You know, we spoke a little bit prior. We have the integration meetings and I wondered to myself, like, what is this all about integration? Integration. I think it’s a wonderful approach you guys have in terms of knowing we’re going back to these lives that aren’t necessarily tailored, no pun intended, to our objective of being our best self, not just in productivity, but the type of self that can have compassion for the self and for others. You know, especially living in New York it’s move, let’s be on the go. Let’s move. Let’s move. So this integration meeting and talking about how we want to implement it into our lives. Coming back home, I realized, oh, okay, that’s why we were having these talks. Because you had this magical experience. How do we translate it to the everyday real world?

Just really quickly. I always laugh sometimes when you’re in a yoga class and everyone is calm and, and om-img and it’s all nice. But then you see one of those practitioners at the Starbucks and someone cuts them in line and they go ape shit on the person.

And you think to yourself, wait, what happened to that calm in that room? I think the problem is it becomes just an activity that’s separate from who you are, a thing you do, as opposed to how you carry this within you and put it to use in your everyday life?

Because there is quote unquote, “the life that we are living.” Things have to be done jobs. I have to go back to this creative world. People pass away. You have to function. And so for me, when I fear that sensation of dread or just on the pressures that I even have to face with acting. Am I good enough? You know, am I staying open in terms of my expression? That would be a cue for me.

Tawnya: Yeah, I remember you saying something Taylor. I remember you saying, you know, you were talking about the light in your stomach and letting go of that tension, but I remember you saying that you realized that you were actually tailored for joy.

Taylor: Yes.

Tawnya: Do you remember that?

Taylor: Yes, I am the youngest child in the family. And so when I think back to who I was, I was in my senior year of high school when 9-11 happened and the person who got me to play football, who was my mentor in Pop Warner Little League football, worked for Cantor Fitzgerald.

And although I left Liberia and there was civil war in Liberia, the first sensation of like this personal loss for me as an adult was losing my mentor and first football coach right before heading into college a few months before, you know, the beginning of the school year in September. And the real shift took place after losing my brother. And I look back on that time, as I said, that the colors of life felt dull. If I look back at who I was through the years, things got dull for me after losing my brother. No one anticipates something like that happening. But the violent nature of the death is something that just really bothered me, because he was such a light. He was a joyous person and to be shot and killed the way he was in the hot summer day in the street, it just felt like, okay, what is life about?

And yeah… Young child, youngest of six, who was a jokester who had to make his brothers and sisters laugh if he wanted an extra meal or who if he wanted some extra time out to play had to negotiate and figure out a way to do it. This sort of clown that I was in my family and this, my family would tell me all time, like you would force love on everyone. You were so active, you were so energetic. And I think, I know, I feel more of that person now.

You know, it’s like realizing, oh my God, I didn’t know I had such a departure away from that core and that base, of course I’ll feel pain. Everyone feels pain and sorrow. I’m not a robot, but I’m built I feel for joy. That’s what resonates most with me. And then I think that’s what will give me the fuel to be there for the people in my lives or whoever I have to be there for, even as an artist or talking about what matters most to me in life, oftentimes is like common humanity.

You know, it’s great to be an actor or win awards or to be on TV, but, you know, nowadays anyone can be on TV. What do you want to do with it, with being on TV? What message do you have as a human being? It’s got to be more than just, oh, I make money and I’m on TV, but you know, what does that do for those in your environment? What lessons are you teaching?

And hopefully I can take the appropriate steps to not protect this, but nurture it. I don’t want to think about it as I, oh, I have this, this precious, like Golum used to in Lord of rings, like “my precious.” More so nurturing, meaning I’m staying open. I’m looking at my environment, seeing what tools I can use to help this beautiful thing that I recognize that’s happening inside of me grow, and also not be judgemental about my environment.

My journey is different from other people’s journey. And compassion was a big thing that was preached there. And I think it really helps you kind of adjust when you come back to your life and realize, oh, I think I’m on a different pace than a lot of people around me, even people I care for, but it’s all right. I will try to lead by example, as opposed to being this judgemental person who cuts people off.

I may not connect and track with everyone, but that’s okay. You know, I’m not, you’re not meant to do that. You know, you find your tribe and you try to be the best form of yourself and then take it from there.

Tawnya: Oh, Taylor, thank you so much. That was so beautiful and inspiring and, and so relatable. I really appreciate it. And I just wish you so much on your journey to come and how you cultivate that love and cultivate your tribe and cultivate everywhere that you’re doing.

Taylor: Yes. And Tawnya you know, I’ve already told you what you specifically mean to me and just your colleagues, the entire staff. To work with people who have one objective and then objective is to be there to support you in your journey towards the self that has the most love, that feels good, that can be the unique person that you’re brought into this world to be. That’s a very rare thing, nowadays And so you’ve taken a very special position in my life.

And I hope, you know, I’m coming back to that retreat. This is, it’s not a one time thing for me. And also we have the, you know, lines of communication to communicate with you questions, and whatnot.

Especially once I take care of this stage of what’s coming up right now, these next two weeks. Just getting back to a place where I can make sure I focus on the objectives of what it is that I want.

And feeling pretty good right now. The experience is still with me and still very present, still vivid. But I know, you know, my approach is, it’s not a magic wand. There’s work that has to happen. And looking forward to, I think mapping out my own journey, you know, my own process to make sure I keep these feelings where they are.

Tawnya: Taylor, what you said was so relatable about, you know, being a joyous, loving, being full of energy, but the colors in your life really dulled. If there’s anybody out there listening who can relate with that, do you have a message for them?

Taylor: It does not have to be that way. That’s the number one sense that I got. When I felt life was piling up on me. You know, this sense of, okay, it’s inevitable. This is ultimately what happens. If death is your ultimate end, this feeling is inevitable. You have to just grind through it as opposed to experiencing life and being open to, being optimistic about the unknown and the possibilities.

And to anyone that’s listening. I know, sometimes we’re in a culture where there’s Instagram. It’s instant oatmeal, it’s the lottery, you know, so swing the magic wand and something will happen. And I just want to impress upon you, I’m not saying that this is the instant fix. You know, this is that magic pill you take, that it’ll just instantly change your life. I think that kind of approach takes away the person, your objective. I just want to let whoever’s struggling out there, know that from this retreat and my experience with psilocybin, I was encouraged to be front and centered throughout this whole process.

And I say process and not the end result. And I think that’s what grounds it. It is a process that you can take with you. Just like scientists have the scientific method. That’s what they rely on. I can look back and say, oh my God, here are the breadcrumbs and the examples and the guidance to who I want to be in a direction I want to go in.

And that’s what I think is different about this. You can be an active participant in your own healing. In your own shift of mindset. In the shift of perspective. You don’t have to wait for a magic wand or you don’t have to feel like this thing is outsourced. This whole process very much starts with you and is maintained by you.

And I think that’s what I find to have been different about this experience. Knowing, okay. That I do have a say. The powers in your hands and… yeah, no one’s alone. No one’s alone in this world. And at that retreat, I saw seven other people who I could relate to. And that’s a very important and magical thing to realize, that you’re not alone and that there are wonderful options that could help you shift in a significant way. Not a topical way or just a good feeling, but a deep, deep sense of fulfillment. That is what I have right now. A deep, deep sense of fulfillment. It is not a topical sensation that I’m speaking of.

Tawnya: Thank you so much, Taylor, for everything that you shared. Is there anything else that you forgot to mention?

Taylor: No. I feel like I could have gone in more on into just, there’s so many adjectives I can use to describe the feeling. And I in no way want people to think that that’s only what it’s about – this awesome feeling that you have. It’s a very important part of it though. And embracing that and saying, you know what, it’s okay to say I felt great during it, you know? But it’s so much more than just a feeling. Feelings can be ephemeral. They can change. Situations can change.

I was talking to my girlfriend. I had a moment to reflect. I cried and laughed about it. I said, while I was there, I lost his brother of mine. You know, I went there to kind of remedy these overwhelming feelings and this sense of constantly battling with loss and not knowing how to shift my mindset. And it was a painful loss. It was a lesson.

And I think I’m equipped in a way to transition that lesson into a blessing. Finding a healthy way to see that and function and move forward on with the love of my loved one in my heart, but also keep myself and not feel like I only have to focus on death because you know, my mom always says, life is for the living. You got to live. That’s the best way to honor your ancestors and those who are part of you, is to live your best life.

Tawnya: Thank you so much, Taylor.

Taylor: Thank you. Of course, Tawnya, of course. So great to connect with you! So great.

Tawnya: Thank you all so much for listening. You can find all the information that you need to learn everything about this retreat at

We are a retreat that offers ongoing integration support, breathwork classes, and cultivation support after you have attended this retreat. It’s an amazing experience that’s one of its kind. If you’re looking for a science based retreat, something out of the box, something to change your life, something to add to your practice, this is where you really need to start:

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