Several years ago I was standing in front of the stove, cooking mac and cheese for my little girl, and staring off into space. I was daydreaming about the building I had designed to support our Conscious Cannabis Circles and my daughter walked up to me and showed me her doll.,
“Daddy, my baby’s name is Heartship,” she said.
I looked at her, misunderstanding, and replied, “Hardship? Why would you name your baby Hardship?”
And she looked at me and said, “No, Daddy, Heartship. My baby’s name is Heartship.”
She was maybe three at the time.
“Heartship,” I said, repeating it, staring back into that space I was in, and saw my event building and realized the shape of it was two hearts superimposed on each other, facing opposite directions. I had already used the analogy of the ship for years by then, so there it was, “Heartship,” named by my three year old in a very odd and synchronistically timed exchange.
I got online later and googled it and found an Urban Dictionary definition of “heartship” and I was sold: Pure love, deep from the “heart” – an untainted friend – “ship” that fuses together becoming a wonderful “heartship.”
Over the years the image of the Heartship has evolved into a creating a space for deep healing that is accessible to all people.
The image below is based on our yoga studio, but 8 sided instead of 6, and is for 25, 50 and 100 person groups.
The largest group we have facilitated is a 108-person Breathwork Experience at the Boulder Theater in 2017.
The largest Conscious Cannabis Circle we have facilitated was at our PSS1 training retreat in September 2019 with about 65 people attending.
We’ve been limited by available spaces to hold larger events, hence the need for a specifically-designed space, but theoretically, this model could be safely expanded to fill hotel conference rooms and even stadiums. Imagine a future where a thousand people gather together for deep trauma healing and soul work? I’d like that future.
Everything changed with Covid-19, and bigger was no longer assumed to be better. Now we live in a world of social distancing and limits to the sizes of gatherings. What if instead we focus on a small group model, one that can be taught and replicated by a large number of facilitators? Theoretically, we could reach more people than if we facilitated much larger events, because they would be ongoing all over the country.
This image has since evolved into the small group setup pictured below, and ideally with six to eight participants, a co-facilitator team and an assistant. Due to the Coronavirus, it could be spread out even more in our studio space, with heads on the outside, to allow for greater social distancing. We also have a space in our yard, under canopies, to create even greater social distancing and safety through outside sessions, and this event is now available online as well.
The Heartship has transformed from a group space, a physical location, into a group experience, a journey of self discovery that is within a container of peers doing the same discovery as well. This collaborative approach not only makes the therapeutic process financially accessible to a larger number of people, it actually expedites the healing process for all participants. It’s as if we’re all going on the same journey together, in our co-created ship of transformational healing, and just our presence within the group, supports the process of everyone else.
The primary dual purpose of The Heartships Experience is therapeutic healing and creative problem-solving.
We don’t heal in a vacuum, and the resolution of trauma only goes so far unless systemic factors in our lives are also addressed simultaneously. The Heartship in a sense is a strange and invisible technology, an engine, a crucible of transmutation, allowing us to repeatedly emerge from a trauma to a gift, from a problem to a solution. If we engage this process over and over, again and again, the underlying process of self-actualization becomes something that is actually achievable in our lifetime, not just some grandiose ideal. What does it even mean to finally become oneself? We find out who we truly are in the reflections of our community. This community is the Heartship.
Step 1: Registration Application – Initial Acceptance into the program requires an initial consult, filling out the appropriate paperwork, and having a medical evaluation. Scholarships are readily available similar to the ones in our training program (https://psychedelicsittersschool.org/scholarships/)
Step 2: Orientation – A short series of training videos prepare you for your experience by sharing additional information about the experiences and by providing simple mindfulness practices that are used in the Heartship experience.
Step 3: Join an Expedition – Just as we don’t live in a vacuum, neither do Heartship experiences. They are part of an overall journey experience that includes certain intentions and themes, as well as different series of either Psychedelic Cannabis, Ketamine, or alternating between the two, supported by an appropriate number of preparation and integration sessions. Expeditions are tailored to the interests and needs of the participants and their facilitators. They have specific time and dates, or embark once full. A Psychedelic Sitters School training intensive is an example of a Heartship Expedition. An ongoing group for trauma resolution in veterans would be another example of an expedition.
Step 4: Integration and Migration – Bring what you learn from your expedition into your life with the community support of our ongoing Integration Circle. Psychedelics sometimes elicit difficult changes in our lives for our greater good. Or sometimes making big things happen in the world is just as difficult as primary healing processes.
How to Enroll
The first open enrollment of these groups will begin later this year. Sign up for our newsletter or visit psychedelicsittersschool.org for additional information on transformational group experiences.