Episode 134 : Learning How to Elevate Your Quality of Life Using Plant Medicine

Jonathan de Potter is the founder and CEO of Behold Retreats, and advocates for self-improvement and elevating consciousness as the most meaningful way to better the world.

Jonathan’s priority is to raise education and awareness about plant medicines like Ayahuasca and Psilocybin, and guide others to maximize the potential benefits – ultimately leading him to launch Behold Retreats.

Questions

  • Could you share with us a little bit about what your company does, Behold Retreats and just a little bit about your journey? How is it that you got to where you are today? What were some of the things that may be catalyst that led you into the path that you’re currently on?
  • Plants in our introduction, Ayahuasca and Psilocybin, I’m sure like our listeners, I have no clue what it does and how it impacts your life. So could you just enlighten us on those two?
  • So as you know, this podcast is all about navigating your customers experience. So I would love to tie this into how is it that this particular approach or strategy in terms of integrating plant medicine into your life will allow individuals to improve on their customer experience? Could you maybe share one, two or three things that you’ve seen? Do you work with corporate entities; do you mostly work with individuals? How does this really tap back into the primary reason of our work show?
  • Maybe could you share with us maybe one or two things that from this type of strategy and approach on an individual level, the person was able to manifest better things in their lives, not just remove barriers, but there were results that were on a higher level, maybe with their business, whether it was a one man shop, or they were a manager in a business, or maybe even enhance the quality of their family, maybe they had better relationships or just to see what are some of the results that an individual can really supremely achieve if they really commit to this process?
  • Could you share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you? It could be a book that you read recently, or a book that you’ve read a very long time ago, but it still has had a great impact on?
  • Could you share with us maybe one thing that’s going on in your life right now, something that you’re really excited about – it could be something that you’re working on to develop yourself or your people.
  • Where can listeners find you online?
  • Do you have a quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge you’ll tend to revert to this quote? It kind of helps to refocus you or get you back on track if for whatever reason you get derailed. Do you have one of those?

Highlights

Jonathan’s Journey

Jonathan shared that it all started for him personally, about 5 years ago, when he was living in Hong Kong. He was working as a Strategy and Management Consultant for Accenture, one of the big, big giant consulting firms, there 5 years in Hong Kong and he was working really long hours, usually about 12 to 16 hours a day and chasing big deals and chasing new clients and he was on a bit of a treadmill, and chasing the next promotion.

And after about 5 years of that, he thought to himself, there must be more to life and he was an atheist at the time, and didn’t really believe in anything spiritual.

And so, he decided to take a year off and as part of that year, he travelled through South America and wound his way to a Ayahuasca retreat with two friends of his in Peru.

And fundamentally, that just opened the door to spirituality, taught him so many humbling lessons and over the past 5 years he kind of been learning about plant medicine and preparing for launching Behold Retreats, which is really focused on guiding people towards really high quality, psychedelic or plant medicine experiences, so that they can really get the most out of them and improve the quality of everyday life.

What is Ayahuasca and Psilocybin and the Impacts They Have?

Me: So I pronounced two mouthful of plants in our introduction, Ayahuasca and Psilocybin, could you share with us, I’m sure like our listeners, I have no clue what I just said and what it does, and how it impacts your life. So could you just enlighten us on those two?

Jonathan shared that Ayahuasca is a combination of two plants that are often found in Central and South America and brought together they combine in a powerful Ayahuasca brew that is very highly hallucinogenic.

And it can facilitate very powerful healing on the level of the mind, on the level of emotions and on the level of the spirit. And so, what we’re looking to achieve through this work is to harmonize the subconscious mind with the conscious mind.

And so, what these powerful medicines do, for example, Ayahuasca or Psilocybin, which is the active compound in magic mushrooms, or psilocybe mushrooms. So what these powerful medicines do is they amplify what’s happening in our subconscious mind and they give us greater access to what’s happening in our subconscious minds.

And so, through that we’re able to come face to face with some of the skeletons that you may say might be lying around in our closet and to begin to process the associated emotions in the approach associated limiting beliefs and limiting thought patterns that we have hanging out there in our subconscious minds. And as we do so then we can really make significant improvements to ourselves.

Approach or Strategy in Terms of Integrating Plant Medicine to Improve Customer Experience

Me: So as you know, this podcast is all about navigating your customer’s experience. So I would love to tie this into how is it that this particular approach or strategy in terms of integrating plant medicine into your life will allow individuals to improve on their customer experience? Could you maybe share one, two or three things that you’ve seen? Do you work with corporate entities; do you mostly work with individuals? How does this really tap back into the primary reason of our show?

Jonathan shared that there’s probably a couple of layers to this that we could explore. So he’ll share a few thoughts, and then you can guide the conversation and the direction that you think your audience will find most helpful.

He shared that the first is really in relation to our experience, so any customer experience that we might imagine, or design or develop, is a function of our own thinking. And so, these powerful medicines have highly creative potential to them because they really remove constraints from the way that we think, often we’ve been so programmed, or we’ve been so conditioned through our parents, through society, culture, etc. to think in a very particular way.

And so, when we think about and speak about things like customer experience, then those influences do find their way into the ways that we define design, any set of customer experiences. So he thinks as and when we peel away those layers of programming, then there’s an opportunity there to enhance our creativity and be able to see significantly new ways to think about customer and think about design and think about the customer experience. So he thinks that’s one.

And then the second that he would mention would be, he thinks honestly speaking, it’s a little bit early for the B2B aspect of this work, he thinks it’s still rapidly gaining in popularity on the level of the individual. And so, they always say about their clients that the soul needs to be calling this is very deep and can be quite challenging work.

And so it’s important that people individually feel ready to do the work. But there are certainly companies that are taking that next step and leadership teams coming together to try to re envisage their own strategy, their own vision for the company to really kind of set a very bold 10x or 100x vision for what the customer experience might be or what the outcomes that they’re looking for, for the organization, and then using the plant medicine as a bit of an accelerator to just to removing the barriers to thinking, changing the paradigm to removing the ego, as often a limiter in terms of what’s stopping a leadership team from working most efficiently together to achieve the vision that they’re passionate about achieving together.

Using this Strategy or Approach to Manifest Better Things

Me: So, a few things popped in my mind just know when you were sharing those two points. One was, because I’m sure you have clients already that you’ve worked with, I’m sure there are some success stories out there. Maybe could you share with us maybe one or two things that from this type of strategy and approach on an individual level, the person was able to manifest better things in their lives, not just remove barriers, but there were results that were on a higher level, maybe with their business, whether it was a one man shop, or they were a manager in a business, or maybe even enhance the quality of their family life, maybe they had better relationships or just to see what are some of the results that an individual can really supremely achieve if they really commit to this process?

Jonathan stated that he should probably caveat his answer here by stating that plant medicine is a very powerful tool. So, a powerful tool can help you achieve the thing that you’re trying to achieve but in of itself, it’s not necessarily the answer, if that makes sense.

So, it’s the person that builds the house, the hammer just helps us get it done is an analogy that comes to mind. And so, what he might share here, he believes that everything that’s possible with plant medicine is otherwise possible say through meditation and through other means. So, he just wants to caveat that, he’s not saying this is some sort of a silver bullet in any way, shape, or form, it’s a powerful tool. So yes, as Yanique alluded to, step one, he guesses, in relation to this work is often removing those limiting beliefs, kind of letting go of the past.

But step two, and kind of much more interesting and exciting than that is, “Okay, great, fantastic. But what are we bringing into our world?” And so, what is possible in relation to this is really up to the individual in terms of what they are? What is in alignment with what they can manifest it into the world?

There’s is a very interesting paper that he came across about six months ago which is by the American CIA and what the paper describes is that the nature of the universe is a hologram of consciousness or a matrix of consciousness. And so, when we hear about books like The Secret, or when we hear about things like The Law of Attraction, the reason that that stuff works is that the nature of the universe is consciousness and so obviously, we are highly conscious beings. And so there’s a relationship between the nature of the universe itself, and this very powerful tool that we have which is our consciousness and our imagination. And so, when you speak about what we’re able to manifest, what we’re able to attract into our lives, then virtually, he doesn’t think that there’s any limitation for anyone in terms of what they can manifest and attract into their lives.

Now, of course, there’s a part of our brain, there’s a part of our rational mind that immediately thinks, “Well, hang on. Well, that’s not my experience of the world, I’ve got this 3D existence, and I’ve got taxes, and I’ve got people who depend upon me and a job and these other things. And so, I’d love to just be able to manifest whatever I want into my experience.” But it doesn’t quite work like that.

But actually, it does and so what becomes very exciting is that as we begin to remove these limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns and dot, dot, dot, and I’m not good enough, and all of that, that we really can manifest whatever it is that we want in our life. So whether that means a new job, whether that means improvements of the quality of our health, whether that means great relationships, a loved one, more free time, whatever it is that we’d like to manifest into our experience, if we’re very clear on that and we’re very determined in the way that we approach that then his genuine, honest opinion is that we can manifest virtually anything into our experience.

Books That Have Had the Greatest Impact on Jonathan

When asked about books that have had the biggest impact, Jonathan stated that he’ll share two books. The first is Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender by Dr. David Hawkins. And that’s a very simple book but it’s such a powerful book and so what he teaches is the various levels of consciousness. So, from the lowest level emotions like shame, guilt, fear, apathy, grief, and then up to the higher level, but still negative emotions like desire, anger, pride, etc, up into the very higher states of consciousness, like peace, love, and joy. And so, he’s mapped out these various stages of consciousness and also provides tools for people to, number one, understand where they are in relation to these levels of consciousness. But number two, also to begin to make steps towards letting go which is the key to being able to move to higher levels of consciousness. So, that’s number one.

And then number two is very much in relation to what they were just talking about, which is manifestation. And it’s a wonderful book by Kidest OM, she’s a great author. She’s got a bunch of books out there and as you might imagine, the book is about how to manifest Anything You Want.

What Jonathan is Really Excited About Now!

Jonathan shared that the first one that he’s excited about is they’ve just adopted two stray cats. And their existing cat is not particularly happy about that. So there’s energetic dynamics in the house, as everything kind of evens out. But more broadly than that, there’s two things that they’re involved in that he’s super excited about.

The first is bringing more spiritual knowledge into some of the psychedelic science. So they’ve got some really impressive science that’s happening at Johns Hopkins University, at NYU, at Harvard, Yale, Imperial College in London, some of the leading academic institutions out there. But they’re taking a very deterministic and science based approach to this work.

And so, some of the spiritual mentors that exists within Behold Retreats are bringing some more of this knowledge into the scientific world, which he thinks is very exciting and will prove its value and its ability to accelerate some of the scientific understanding. So, that’s one piece that he’s very excited about besides the cats.

And then the second is, he’s just speaking to a couple of governments in the region, he’s based in Thailand. And they’re trying to establish the first legal option for plant medicine in the region, because, as you may be aware that this work is illegal in the overwhelming majority of countries, which is why they do a lot of this work in Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Netherlands, and in soon Jamaica.

Me: Yes, I’m sure you’ll get good support from Jamaica, because we do believe in natural approaches to dealing with our health in Jamaica, that’s part of our culture and our history. So, I think once you can provide justification as to how this will help you, if it’s going to renew cells, cause rejuvenation, as I was mentioning earlier in the conversation, show results, people will definitely embrace it because it’s a way better option than swallowing pills on a daily basis, which can’t be helpful for you.

Jonathan agreed and shared that what’s interesting about this medicine compared to our Western paradigm, in our Western understanding of medicine, is that this medicine really requires a very highly capable practitioner alongside it, it’s not that you can just take a couple of mushrooms or take some Ayahuasca and that your life improves, that’s really not it, these, these plant medicines, or these psychedelics, in of themselves are not necessarily positive, it’s how we use them and who were guided by that makes fundamentally the difference between a very high quality healing or growth experience and just, honestly, just taking some psychedelics, taking some drugs, if that makes sense.

Where Can We Find Jonathan Online

Instagram – @behold_retreats

Website – www.behold-retreats.com

Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Jonathan Uses

When asked about a quote or saying that he tends to revert to, Jonathan stated that he does, a quote he really loves is “A ship is safe in harbour but that’s not what ships are for.”

He applied to both the context of the individual as well as what a group of individuals may be achieved, trying to achieve together.

And so, in relation to that, we are all here individually to evolve ourselves and so it’s very easy to stay at home and watch Netflix on a Friday night, but there’s much more interesting and better things that we might be doing with our time and with our energy. And so, the way that he always interpreted that quote is, yeah, you can stay at home or you can limit yourself or there’s many ways to be comfortable in life. But when you put yourself out there as a ship out of harbour then good things happen.

And yes, there are challenges but that’s what this life is all about. It’s about facing those challenges that we may encounter and seeing if we have it within ourselves to meet those challenges and potentially even to overcome those challenges.

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