Plant medicine helped me release everything that does not serve me

Photo: Eric Chan/Flickr

I’ve been a walking fist lately. I’m struggling to really feel much of anything at all and then resisting what I can feel because it’s so unpleasant. It’s creating an untenable level of discord inside me, the sensation of being burned alive from within and seeping out as insufferable petulance toward the people around me. A few nights ago, I picked up a Sharpie in desperation and started to draw, which often seems to be what my body knows how to do when under duress. …


Photo by Daniel Carl Fox

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of participating in an indigenous tonawari ceremony, also known as bufo alvarius, 5-me0-DMT or toad. I sought this medicine because I wanted to mark a shift in my life as I move out of New York City after 12 years and enter a period where I will have no permanent home for an undetermined amount of time. I’m 30, I have very few physical assets, I’m carrying debt, and I’m quadrupling down on making things people don’t currently pay me for. I wanted to remind myself why I am choosing this magical…


There are two practices that have saved my life: running and psychedelics. In that order. I could write a book about psychedelics, and might. This essay is a love letter to running. It is a prayer of gratitude.

My early twenties were captive to a quiet desperation that took the form of compulsive, destructive relationships with alcohol and food. For years I couldn’t socialize without drinking, and I couldn’t drink without blacking out, awakening to the grim reality of the previous night’s horrors as related by my boyfriend through a light sheen of humor over deep disappointment.

Binge eating happened…


I spent the eve of my 30th birthday in Detroit, in the living room of new friends, floating on cannabis and kratom, and surrounded by mounds of luminous crystals. I had a rose quartz nugget in my hand over my heart, and two huge pieces of something beautiful planted in my lap. And despite being sure that I would never ever find myself indulging in such nonsense, I was talking to them. No, I was praying to them. And they were reaching from the portal of my 31st year on earth, and pulling me through.

A month earlier, just before…

Maura McNamara

Artist and seeker. Host of The Unbroken Chain podcast. www.maurajames.com

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