There is an old adage, often attributed to Confucius, that goes ‘Wherever you go, there you are.’ Though a deceptively simple phrase, it can stop you in your tracks when you actually stop and ponder its deeper meanings. Meanings that in today’s life-hacked, rise’n’grind, optimisation-obsessed world are more pertinent than ever. 

The phrase summarizes the idea that your internal state of mind, emotions, and personal issues will always go with you, regardless of your physical location. It suggests that changing your external environment may not necessarily improve your internal experiences or personal issues. Basically, you cannot run from your problems if they come from within

Exploring the Problem

We all know someone who is never content. They complain about their city, their job, the weather, their relationship. So they move cities, start a new job, break up with their partner, but still they are not happy, forever pointing out what is wrong with each new thing. 

Sometimes what’s getting us down truly is an external issue. A toxic workplace environment can make your life hell. Quitting that job can make a world of difference. Hating living in the city? Moving to a place with more nature can actually work wonders. It is important to implement these changes (where possible) to see if you feel happier. 

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However, if there is always something wrong, always changes to be made, always an idea that other people, places, and things are better, then you must stop and wonder if you, yourself are the problem, rather than the external elements that are getting them blame.

Many people tend to focus on what they want, what they will have soon, what they will be soon if they could just….etc! It is a symptom of today’s optimisation culture. We seem to be working towards being as machine-like as possible — tireless, needless, and forever marching towards the future. However, this way of living often only heightens our discontent. Sure, we may be achieving — but why do we feel so empty? 

How Our Inner World Affects Everything

Again, it comes down to our inner world. Having ambition is a positive thing. Making the changes you believe will improve your life is important. However, we must take care of our present selves too. Because, when all is said and done, that is who we really are — not the imaginary version of yourself in a new city, with new shoes, and a whole new personality to match.  

When we can just stop — and sit with ourselves — we become reacquainted with the person we are right now. Who are they? What do they want? What do they need? 

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How Psychedelics Can Help Us Find the ‘Present’

Sometimes this is a difficult task. Our brains are primed to always be thinking of the next thing! And! The! Next! Thing! Practicing mindfulness is key to pulling us back into the present and checking in with ourselves. Psychedelics, such as magic mushrooms, can also help us to strip away the layers and reach our honest core. By temporarily quieting our ego we are able to see past the anxieties and expectations that keep us locked in the hamster-wheel of discontent. 

You Cannot Run Away From What’s In Your Head

In fact, those who are familiar with the psychedelic experience are well versed when it comes to checking in with the ‘self’. Tripping can be transformative, exciting, funny, beautiful. It can also be challenging. Sometimes difficult emotions or deep-seated issues can emerge. It is truly in these moments, that the ability to connect with your ‘self’ in the present becomes essential. As any psychonaut knows, you cannot run away from what is in your head. You must sit with it, and ride it out. This is the way to growth and understanding. There are many instances, in both scientific and anecdotal realms, that have shown so-called ‘bad trips’ to have significant healing properties. By facing our ‘fears’ we are able to come through brighter. 

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In a more general sense, magic mushrooms can also help us to be in the present moment. Those who microdose psilocybin prize it for its ability to help them refocus, to get in the ‘flow state’, and connect with their body. Those who take stronger doses appreciate the psychic ‘reset’ that occurs, reacquainting them with their true self, their priorities, and deepening their connection to the world around them. A moment to stop and smell the spiritual daisies…

How to Center Your ‘Self’ in the Moment

Both psilocybin and mindfulness practices can help us to find ourselves where we are. Introducing them into your self-care routine is a positive way to encourage you to treat yourself with grace and kindness. There are also many thought exercises and ways of thinking you can introduce into your routine. Here are some key ideas to center when reconnecting with your present self.  

Stop, you are right here

You might be living your life in a state of go-go-go. Many people only stop when they’re forced to — due to a burnout, or a health issue, after stern words from their doctor. As soon as you stop rushing around you can find yourself here, in the present moment. It’s the first step towards returning to yourself. 

Over ‘there’ is just another ‘here’

Know that even when you get to where you strived to go, you will still be ‘here’. In many ways this is liberating — life is not a problem to be solved, or a game to win — you will always come back to yourself. 

Learn to love and work with what you already have

Learning new skills and working towards self-improvement is a truly worthwhile goal. However, we often forget to appreciate the skills and specialities we already have. Take a minute to list all the things you are good at. Would you enjoy using these skills more? Or sharing them with others?

Acknowledge that now is now

Mindfulness is not about trying to change how you are feeling, or what is happening to you. It is about acknowledging your present moment. Sit with your feelings, wait, watch, and feel yourself become aware. This is actually quite a difficult thing for many people to do. It is tempting to fight your feelings, or attempt to reshape them into something you think they ‘should’ be. Resist these urges. You are an observer, finding yourself in the present moment. And this moment is exactly where you want to be. 

This moment is already complete

Nothing else needs to happen for this moment to be complete. Without adding or taking anything away the moment is ‘perfect’. Even difficult moments are perfect. Immersion in the moment leads to inner peace. 

Storms don’t last forever

None of our problems are permanent. As they say, ‘this too shall pass’. As storms blow themselves out, new trials and joys will present themselves 

You are not ruled by your impulses

We have many thoughts. Serious thoughts, silly thoughts, reactionary thoughts, angry thoughts. We do not have to grab onto, and act on, all of them. Being able to check in with yourself, in the moment means you can filter the thoughts and impulses for the ones that are useful to you. This way you can shape your present. 

You are already complete

Just as the moment does not need anything added or taken away to be ‘perfect’ and complete, neither do you. You are you, and that is enough. Whether you change, or stay the same you are still ‘here’.