Magical Deepening of Mystery and Awareness – aka MDMA

By Emma Pearson

July 16, 2024

Main image by Meritt Thomas on Unsplash

16th & 23rd February 2024

Two months ago, in mid-December 2023, I had my second psychedelic-induced non-ordinary experience. I wrote up a bit about the experience here – but always wanted to write more when I’d integrated, sensed into, and reflected upon things further. I’ve found that writing helps that process.

As with my first time, three months prior, I had a good experience. MDMA is an empathogen, and in my very laywoman’s terms, that means that it expands and fills the heart and the head – with their respective heart-brain and head-brain – with more compassion and tolerance, increasing capacity to encompass more and different truths, resulting in greater acceptance of what is, what has been and what will be. MDMA seems to help me reach and see what is behind my conscious awareness.

After my first experience, my guide and I agreed we would increase the dose – by about 10%. And then we would see if I wanted a “booster” to lengthen the process as and when that moment came.

As before, I was in a beautiful, calm and safe space, felt ready and well prepared, with some reflections and intentions. My hopes and notes for the session – written the night before, were:

  • Trust that my connection with Mike and Julia will endure while I still live.
  • Release the fear of losing another child – live fully, live now, without fear of another child’s death.
  • Honour my mum through the ages – past, present, future.
  • Honour myself through the ages.
  • Mother and nurture baby and young Emma.

As I reflect on that night before, and feel back into the space I was in, I know that I can be gripped by the icy hand of fear – fear of forgetting Mike and Julia, and fear of losing another child. It’s heart-stopping and asphyxiating. I have ways of loosening the fear, which I practise practise practise, AND….I wondered if other knowing or wisdom might support me more – whatever that might be. I also want to do whatever repair and soothing I can to the story line of “difficult relationships between mothers and daughters” that exists in my family. I wanted to see if greater heart-opening would help me better understand both my mother as a younger woman and mother, and myself as a young child, very much lost in the mix of a large busy family with many many many siblings. Well, four anyway. MDMA can help take a closer look at traumatic (whether little t or big T) experiences more deeply, with more curiosity, insight, perspective and tolerance. And – and this aspect I truly value – it can help us enquire into a story we cling on to, and consider if there might be an alternative version or versions. It’s an opportunity to revisit the past, with a view to retelling an old story, enquire into its veracity, and permit it to loosen its grip. We are story-making beings, and the stories we tell ourselves matter. I know that deeply.

I wrote more notes beforehand about hopes and intentions –

  • Sink into full trust that my connection, love and memories of Mike and Julia will remain strong and feel real, even as I continue choosing to live fully and love life in this realm, without them physically present.
  • Loosen my fear of losing another child. Fully embrace the love, life and time I have now with Megan and Ben – be loving, present, trusting and allowing of the flow of our lives together.
  • Release mum from my need for her to be different to how she is, and release myself from needing to be a different kind of daughter.
  • Honour both of us – today, and down the ages.
  • Honour my lineage of pacifist yet argumentative, strong-willed women.
  • Find ways to keep leaning into love, kindness and compassion for my mum as she ages.
  • Mother baby Emma and young Emma so that she is healed and whole, and no longer clamours for this mothering today.

That was my prep work, my intention setting.

Much much later, once home and in bed, I wrote up these notes…

With the bigger dose – and perhaps also feeling safer and more relaxed than at my first experience – I felt effects quite quickly – within 30 minutes, though there’s no knowing time with that kind of meditative state.

Delicious heaviness and relaxation in my body.

Allowing my mind to wander around, wherever it wanted to go, though I steered it initially to check in on Mike and Julia, followed by my mum.

As I got deeper, I had a wonderful sense of Mike and Julia accompanied by the Kemp parents/grandparents, Bruce and Grace. And there was my brother Ed too, with our maternal grandparents, May and Jim. Gently forming a semi-circle of now-dead loved-ones. I felt held. Embraced in a circle of love.

With Mike and Julia there was no great sadness – whether from me towards them and their absence, or from them towards me. I sensed that they were together and well, holding hands around me, my life, embracing me.

I received some clear words from Julia – “Mum – I love you, but I didn’t love life. I just couldn’t do it without dad”.

And Mike so positive and enthusiastic around what I am doing. I sensed him say, “Of course! You are SO allowed to be happy. You do realise I got Medjool all ready for you, don’t you? That was my doing. I chose him for you. Have Medjool. Be with Medjool. He is the gift I want you to have as I cannot be there with you. Really – just enjoy life. Full permission to live fully”.

A lot of the details were already gone just hours later, but my sense is I bathed in Julia and Mike’s presence for a long time, really feeling it, feeling it lift me, buoy me, like warm water. I felt such peace and enormous gratitude that I had them for as long as I did. At some stage in the process, perhaps around the time I chose to have the booster, I asked the guide if he would play the piece of music that, my first time, had tipped me over into really feeling the pain of Julia’s loss and absence, followed by the support of her love. That piece of music pretty much ALWAYS makes me cry. It’s Annie Lennox’s “Into the West”. It’s a lost loved one song. It’s so hard. I am fine with it making me cry. That’s what music does for me. But during this second session – it was just beautiful music. A beautiful song. Beautiful and powerful lyrics and voice. I had wanted to hear it again to see if I wasn’t skipping over “Julia stuff”. It all felt too smooth, and my sceptical brain wanted to double check. Nope – no more work, that day at least, for me and Julia to do together. I could steer my attention somewhere else.

I started to sense into my mum at all ages… from now, today, where I sense her grief and loss over losing Edward, and anxiety around recent and ongoing health issues related to ageing. My Granny May, mum’s mother, was very present in the process, and there was a sense of the two of us joining forces, so that Granny could be a conduit for our love when mum and I couldn’t manage it well enough together. I had a sense of Granny strongly defending mum’s actions – being on her side. Not not being on my side, but simply allowing me to see my mum’s actions in a broader perspective.

For example, and oft-told “funny story” from when I was 4 months old, with full on projectile vomiting, and was left with her (Granny) as my parents went to my aunt and uncle’s wedding, became, “You were with me! That’s not being abandoned! Of course they went to your dad’s sister’s wedding!”

And as for being “packed up” at age 6 and dropped off at a holiday camp in a new country with a new language, as my parents moved to Brussels from Wales (again, a “funny story” in our family’s suite of stories), the reframe became, “It was what your parents had to do. They had five children aged 9 and under, and with the move, along with Edward aged 4 and Laura aged 2, it was simply what they had to do. Oh – and by the way – why no criticism of your dad in these decisions? He was part of the decision process, you know!”

My Granny May was full on, backing up my mum and their parenting decisions. She also conveyed to me that I could use her love – her love for me and her love for her daughter – if mine ever felt too frayed or delicate. I sensed a lot of love from Granny – to me, to my mum her daughter – and sensed that when I am with my mum, I can draw on Granny, channel Granny, and look at mum through the loving eyes I used to look at her with.

I sensed Edward strongly – his presence was palpable. Some gentle advice came that I might try to channel him more when with mum. I haven’t ever felt – as so many kids from large families can – that either parent had a favourite child. Mum was always too careful and wise for that, having felt herself as the not-favourite twin for most or all of her life. What a horror that must be. But since Ed died, I have felt that perhaps he might have been mum’s favourite after all, or at least her easiest, and that it is so hard for her without him. I do believe that Ed was the most patient and loving of all five of her kids, and of course the loss of that is enormous. So “be more Edward”, “channel Edward” came forward as a rich piece of advice.

My attention shifted to Ben and Megan, and my fear of losing one or both of them before I die, and I received the message, “No need to be scared. You will have them for as long as you have them. Be present. Be loving”. Some ideas of potentially interesting gifts for them came to me (this was pre-Christmas) which I acted on and were appreciated.

I checked in on professional projects I was and am still noodling – developing a suite of offerings called The Mortal Leader, and resources for Grief Coaching, and working with existing Grief and Loss in Organisations. I got a massive, “Yes! Experiment!”, which I am doing.

I felt into the prospect of both winning or not winning some work that was on the cards at the time – work that felt exciting and scary in equal measure. Both outcomes felt good – great if you get it, and no great harm if you don’t. I didn’t get it, and it has truly felt fine. Not being so busy has enabled an opening needed to develop other things. 

Four words kept cycling back around about my work, and what is at its core:

Connection – Belonging – Purpose – Legacy

Yes. That is my work. That is the heart of it. Paid or unpaid. Corporate or public sector or individual or pro-bono. That’s the red thread. Everything I do using my professional skills has these four themes woven into it.

I didn’t actively focus on my relationship with Medjool but he did figure, and I felt such powerful love and support – both from me to him and from him to me. I have full permission to utterly love him freely, and in so doing, honour and thank Mike for such a precious gift. Of course his presence in my life has made such a difference in my years since Julia died. I am forever grateful.

So, to summarise it all…

Sweet Julia – apparently content, at ease, with her decision not to be here. Clear that it was the right decision at the time for her. At peace.
Mike almost brushing me away – as if to say, “Aw lass, go enjoy life! It’ll be over soon enough.”
Peace and calm around Ben and Megan.
Conviction and enthusiasm around my work.
And deep love, tolerance, admiration and compassion for my mum who has always been, and still is, truly remarkable.

I am grateful for it all.

A good day.
A good experience.
A nurturing and nourishing gift to myself.

Image by Isaac Quesada on Unsplash

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