Psychedelic Integration Workbook: Your Next Journey Must-Have
By Edan Armas
Wakeful Travel started off as a brand committed to inspiring transformation through local and world travel. After working for two and a half years in the retreat industry and exploring different plant medicines, founder, Jenalle Dion, felt the calling to create the Mindful Travel Journal, a guided journal that helps travelers transmute their wanderlust into meaningful transformation. The journal was all set to launch on Kickstarter in early 2020, but then, of course, the Universe had other plans.
COVID hit, Jenalle lost her job, and the Mindful Travel Journal's Kickstarter campaign ended before it could even begin—what was the point of a travel journal when the world was shut down?
However, for Jenalle, this was an empowering question. What other kinds of journals could she create that inspired transformation through travel? The answer was found in plant medicines: Reflecting on her first ayahuasca experience in Costa Rica, she realized that transformative travel didn't have to be external. It could be internal, exploring the terrain of the heart and soul vs. mountains and oceans.
Sitting with different medicines through her own journeys and working in her new role at Third Wave, the world's largest psychedelic education platform, she was constantly hearing the same thing. Whether it be after a ceremony in the Amazon jungle, underground with a local guide, journaling is the number one tool that people are using to integrate life-changing psychedelic experiences. But while a blank notebook can be great for expressing emotion or recording earth-shattering realizations, the lack of structure makes this kind of notebook an ineffective tool for proper integration.
Enter: The Wakeful Integration Journal.
The Psychedelic Industry is Expanding—Quickly
On May 30th, 1966, LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) became the first psychedelic to be outlawed in the United States, kicking off a psychedelic Prohibition and degrading possibly transformative medicines into insanity-inducing drugs. On November 3rd, 2020, psilocybin mushrooms (magic mushrooms) were legalized in Oregon, becoming the first psychedelic substance to be legally recognized for its health benefits in more than 50 years.
Following a similar trend to cannabis, psychedelics today are being viewed in a totally new light. The old narrative is being uprooted and replaced with the seeds of incontrovertible scientific evidence that psychedelics can completely change how we treat mental health problems. MDMA, the key chemical in the drug Ecstasy, is on its way to becoming a federally legal treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by as early as 2023. LSD has been shown to decrease dying-related anxiety in terminally ill people, and psilocybin is being used to treat depression and break addiction. Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy clinics are popping up all over from Toronto to New York, and the research surrounding microdosing psychedelics for elevated mood, creativity, and productivity is multiplying exponentially each year.
But one could argue that the mental health benefits are just the beginning. When psychedelic researchers and psychonauts alike claim that psychedelics can revolutionize psychiatry and psychotherapy, they are alluding to the fact that these substances fundamentally shift our understanding of the relationship between the inner self and the outer world.
In contrast to the zealous proselytizing of Timothy Leary in the 1960s, neuroscientist Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris' entropic brain hypothesis and flow expert Jamie Wheal's Alchemist's Cookbook offer more serious analyses of why psychedelics are so transformative. They point out how the tenants of a steady human life—control, organization, structure—can trap people in their own heads. The hallucinogenic and mind-expanding states of the psychedelic experience can liberate consciousness to a deeper awareness and appreciation of inner and outer beauty, gifting people the ability to see all elements of their lives in a colorful new light.
This is especially true for those who experience mystical, "God-encounter" states of consciousness. A Johns Hopkins University study found that a single mystical experience on a classic psychedelic like LSD, psilocybin, DMT, or ayahuasca caused positive changes such as increased life satisfaction and increased purpose and meaning that lasted decades later.
Even "bad trips," which in the past were sensationalized by the media to be people jumping out of windows or going insane, hold deep transformative potential. The emerging field of psychedelic therapy expects difficult material to arise in a journey and encourages patients to surrender to these experiences, trusting the body's natural intelligence to move towards healing. This work changes the relationship to internal negativity from something to avoid or fix to something to accept and express.
Psychedelics Are Not a Panaceas
The point is, people see the world and their role in it in a completely new way after safe, conscious psychedelic use. In the current "sick-care" system of symptom-based medicine and Big Pharma, no other drug can do that. However, psychedelics are not panaceas. If the failures of the current system have taught us anything, deep healing doesn't happen by giving someone a drug and sending them home. Integration is key. Integration discussion groups, a contemplative practice, or working with an integration coach are all tools that can weave the lessons of a psychedelic experience into the tapestry of daily life.
But integration coaches can be expensive, and even with social media connecting like-minded people, it can be difficult to find the right kind of folks to form an integration group. If you're a retreat organization, it can be time-consuming to create in-house integration strategies and expensive to hire integration experts.
In the midst of such rapid expansion, the field needs an affordable, equal-access integration tool to maximize the benefits of psychedelics for journeyers and practitioners alike. Something like a guided journal. With beautiful colour-me-in illustrations. Made by Wakeful Travel.
The Psychedelic Integration Workbook, Integration Journal or “Trip Journal”
Trying to process a psychedelic experience in a blank notebook is akin to splattering paint onto an empty canvas. It might feel really good, but unless you're a master at interpreting abstract art, it can be very unclear as to what you're supposed to take away from the final result. In addition, the other half of proper integration is proper preparation. Instead of spending hours writing down advice from the internet, wouldn't it be easier to simply fill out some prompts and questions?
Doing Your Research
The Psychedelic Integration Journal is designed to help you make the most of transformative inner travel. It begins with core questions to ask the facilitators of a psychedelic retreat or an underground guide. This is a vital step for ensuring that the people guiding you through what can be one of the most vulnerable states of your life are trustworthy and in resonance with your intentions— especially if it's your first time.
Setting an intention is the most significant step in preparing for a psychedelic journey, because it focuses your consciousness on a specific desire and communicates to the medicine what you want it to help you work on. The Integration Journal asks leading questions to help you formulate a strong intention, and it provides a contemplative practice tracker to keep yourself accountable for grounding yourself in that intention before the journey.
Navigation and Integration
Following some pages to write down thoughts or draw visions during the experience itself, the journal unscrolls into the integration phase. You are guided to freely write about your experience before being asked key reflection questions that tease out the significance of the journey. However, integration doesn't just occur in the days or weeks following the experience. People don't fully integrate for months and sometimes years later, and the Integration Journal has pages dedicated for those moments.
Scattered throughout are gorgeous color therapy pages that function both as a contemplative practice and a way to express the rush of creativity that often follows psychedelic experiences. Taken together, the pages of words and color create a textured psychedelic journey, something that, when reviewed in the months following, can more deeply submerge someone in the memory of the experience than with the jumbled contents of a blank notebook.
The Integration Workbook is the First Step to Having Lasting Transformation
Our goal at Wakeful Travel is to inspire transformation, and we know that travel itself, whether traversing the inner planes or the outer, is not where transformation happens. Transformation is tucked away in the little moments of everyday life, the points of time where you choose a different response to life based on the lessons and insights gained from a journey.
But self-improvement isn't the only goal. One of the most magical paradoxes of travel is that you go somewhere else to appreciate where you already are. With psychedelics, you may travel to otherworldly realms, past lives, or a state of oneness with the entire universe. Wherever you go, each return home invites a more loving and compassionate relationship with your traumas, your idiosyncrasies, and your doubts.
The Psychedelic Integration Journal provides a channel for this process. It guides you to your ultimate destination, the place we try to find with psychedelic medicines only to realize it's been here the whole time: Right here, right now, the You that is perfect exactly the way You are.