The TRIP of a Lifetime – The Journey to Lucidity Part 2


The day had finally arrived.  I jumped out of bed to shove some last minute essentials in my bag before heading to the festival, and felt a sense of pride to have been able to cram so much in one suitcase. After patiently waiting for Marissa to get up and ready, she made her way through the front door with a Bob Marley blanket draped over her shoulder. Looking cute in our festival attire, but in an “I woke up like this” kind of way, we crammed our bags in the trunk.

We arrived and I was happy to be there, but with the directions Darrin gave us to find his campsite, I was feeling like I was playing where’s Waldo, but was never told what Waldo was wearing. After walking back and forth under the blazing sun, we serendipitously came across a man who looked like a hybrid of a lumberjack and a backpacker. He introduced himself as Roman, and gave us both a big hug which would have been weird in the real world, but anything goes at festivals like these. After telling him our situation, he generously invited us to stay with him in his pimped out tent, and I accepted faster than I drive when I know I’m about to eat as soon as I get home. Before we headed out, he offered us some drugs. Having had no experience with them, and just publishing an article titled “Why I Go To Festivals Sober” I passed.

Though the fear of relapsing and the constant obsession over food was real, we had a great day full of music, laughter, dancing, exploring and naked photoshoots. The idea of doing shrooms danced around in my head, but I kept telling myself I wasn’t ready, which is what I had been telling myself for years. I realized there would never be a time where I felt ready. New experiences often come with uncertainty, and the time was now. I mentioned that to the girl next to me as we put our clothes back on after our naked photoshoot.

Next thing you know I’m back at her campsite, with Marissa, holding a warm cup of mushroom tea between my two hands. “Heal me, heal me, heal me.” I replayed that mantra in my mind and set that intention as I lifted the cup to meet my lips.

Having felt nothing after about 30 minutes, we decided to get up and walk around. Not long after, I felt like a hopeless romantic who is single on Valentines day. With fists clenched, and heavy steps, I felt like punching just about everyone in the face who was within arms reach. I glanced over at Marissa and her smile was as big as the hand that I wanted to smack her with. With wide eyes and a pep in her step, she requested to head over to a band and dance. I took a deep breath and told her I felt this energy in my chest and felt like it was about to explode. I said I was going back to the tent to cry, and she could meet me there in 20 minutes. Holding back my tears, I raced to the tent like I just heard someone yell “Free food!” which is too say I looked like a professional power walker.

I bolted inside the tent, lied down, and continued to feel the expansion of this energy in my chest grow. As it grew, so did the distain towards myself. “I can’t believe I’ve never been in love. Do I like not have a heart or something? I’m broken. I just don’t work like other people. Ugh, I’m so annoying. How do people stand me? I talk way too much. I’m so fat. Why can’t I eat like a normal person. I still don’t have my shit figured out. I can’t do anything on my own. I’m so stupid.” When I say I bawled my eyes out, thats an understatement. Well, I guess not considering my eyes didn’t actually come out, but you get the point.

Those 10 minutes felt like an eternity. Suddenly, I brought my awareness back to my body. I took a deep breath and began to say “This is okay, this is okay, I am okay.” I acknowledged that those were my thoughts, not me, and there was this larger part of me that wanted me to accept me and my thoughts as they are. It’s not like that was new news to me, but I was, for the first time, given such a profound opportunity to heal.

You see, there is this misconception that by focusing on the positive, and looking on the bright side, everything with get better. Though there is some truth to that, those results are short lived. Life gets better when your perception gets better, but you don’t heal unprocessed limiting beliefs that way. By truly feeling, acknowledging, and accepting my biggest limiting beliefs, the process of healing can begin.

I didn’t leave Lucidity feeling like a new person. In fact, I was pissed that I didn’t feel the “one love” or whatever the hell they say, but that’s not what I asked for. I wanted to heal, and that’s what I got. For those following this blog/my story, it should be no surprise that the following month I met Allie, and also signed up for Yoga Training. I believe that incident allowed me to let go of enough resistance for me to be more receptive to what is in my best interest. Now, I’m not saying go and do shrooms, but I am saying don’t be afraid to feel the pain, for it’s through the pain where you can find your way to peace.

The Journey to Lucidity

calvin-chou-189026Walking past giant stone mansions covered in ivy, that looked like they came straight out of a fairy tale, I thought to myself, “If we turned around and got back in the car before getting to the bonfire, this night would still feel complete to me.” My friends and I got to a huge iron gate, and I was the first to hurl myself over, so they would stop talking like the Scooby Doo crew about how we could get through or around it. Using our flashlight apps on our phones, we made our way down a sandy path to the beach. A bonfire was made, and flamethrowers started to put on a show with the twinkling night sky and ocean waves as their backdrop.

I sat by the fire next to a guy named Darrin who seemed as straight as a rainbow, and we talked for hours about philosophy and life. Thrilled to have a new gay bff, I was excited when he started talking about hanging out in the future. He asked me if I would be going to Lucidity, a festival near Santa Barbara. When I said I wanted to, but didn’t have plans to go, he wasn’t having any of it. He insisted I go and stay with him at his campsite which took away a lot of the stress of having to get, and lug, all of that camping shit around, and put a campsite together. Though I still didn’t know if I’d pull the trigger and buy the ticket, the seed was planted.

The next day, I convinced my neighbor Marissa, who also happened to be my best friend In Santa Barbara, to come along with me. I was shocked when she enthusiastically agreed considering she probably had only a few hundred dollars more than the homeless man, or as I prefer to say, street dweller, that walks up and down State Street talking to himself. Not long after we bought the tickets, an indecent occurred which made me question how the festival experience would go.

I received a text from Darrin saying he’d like to take me to the movies or see a concert. Regina Spector, a singer whose work I admire, was performing in town that weekend and he got us tickets. The jew in me was thrilled to attend without having to pay, and excited to join. A few days later, I go outside of my little yellow cottage to meet him, where he was finishing up painting his last few fingernails hot pink. In no time, his arm was around me, and from the sounds of what he was saying to me, I could tell my gaydar had been way off.

After a great show, he walked me back home and I felt like a fortune teller because I could sense what was coming next. He put his hands on my face, leaned in, and kissed me. I gave him my best attempt in letting him know I was not interested, but he grabbed my hands and responded with “Let’s just go with the flow” as he continued to hold my hands and sway his arms back and forth. He left and I immediately called Marissa to freak out and fill her in  as I tried to get his hot pink nail polish out of my hair. Thinking that I was about to be sharing a tent with this guy that I had as much interest in dating as an old man who loves talking about politics, sports, and beer, I still decided to go with the flow in terms of going to Lucidity. Thank goodness I did because what happened next I will never forget…


Stay tuned to see what happens!