064: Matthew Simpson – Spirituality, Psychedelic Medicines, and Overcoming Trauma

An Author’s Fight for Internal Peace

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Matthew Simpson is the author of the book, Worth The Fight: Acting for a Better World, A Guide to Spirituality, Psychedelic Medicines, and Overcoming Trauma. It’s a memoir with the hope of inspiring people to take action.

Matt generously shares his transformation and awakening to spiritual principles in hopes of inspiring others to look within to find their truest purpose and calling.

Today, Matthew talks about the challenges in writing his book, the message behind his memoir, helping veterans overcome trauma, and finding flow into your life.

What We Discuss with Matthew Simpson:

  • Why he decided to write a memoir of his struggles and challenges
  • Selling his business and attending the Ayahuasca retreat in Costa Rica
  • Healing our war veterans and helping them find peace and awareness
  • How to identify what to include in your book
  • Challenges in writing the book
  • Finding flow into your life

[01:00] On Matt’s Book About Psychedelics and Overcoming Trauma

Worth the Fight is a memoir where he shares his story to the Creator which becomes a larger narrative about what’s possible on an individual level and a collective level if we embraced a more sane way of looking at mental health.

Matt shares his vulnerability in his healing journey overcoming depression and childhood sexual trauma. He also talks about his business struggles and success while still finding himself miserable. The more he attained, the more miserable he became.

Eventually, he stepped outside of the Western medical paradigm and found deep healing in Central and South America with the plant medicine, Ayahuasca. In the U.S., we have a mental crisis where depression is off the charts as well as suicidal ideation, anxiety, and PTSD. Matt traveled with his backpack for 18 months and lived great experiences that ultimately led him to a path of service.

He came across an organization that works with war veterans that hope to find relief from war trauma with psychedelic and Ayahuasca therapy. Alarmingly, there are 22 veterans that die by their own hand every single day. This number excludes those stuck in self-abuse, homelessness, and other unfortunate situations.

[04:00] Feeling Emptiness Amidst His Success

On his 35th birthday, Matt sold his business. Two months later, he traveled to Costa Rica and went through his first Ayahuasca ceremony.

He started his healing journey back in his late 20s and early 30s. He started meditating and having those uncomfortable conversations.

[06:00] What is the Ayahuasca Ceremony?

Ayahuasca is a kind of tea that people have been drinking in indigenous healing ceremonies and rituals for thousands of years now. Its lineage is traced back to Peru. Made from Ayahuasca vine and leaves boiled down, the active ingredient is Dimethyltryptamine DMT, also known as the spirit molecule. 

The Ayahuasca ceremony takes you through a deep, spiritual experience. Matt had found relief from Psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. He then dove in and took a week of this healing retreat.

Matt’s health improved since then and he started treating his body and mind with love and respect. This eventually led to his circle of influence and his book.

[10:10] Do Your Research!

It’s important that you first do extensive research on plant medicine as if this were brain surgery – only that that this is a “spiritual brain surgery”.

However, this scene has already exploded today. There are now a lot of people who are unqualified to hold space for others. When considering this kind of therapy, be sure to find first-hand recommendations from somebody who has gone through this experience and somebody you trust.

Matt had this experience back in 2014. And there has been a huge difference between then and now that science has become so profound. Top-tier universities are now continuously studying these psychedelic medicines.

[12:55] The Need to Share His Story to the World

Matt felt the moral duty to share his story knowing that 1 in 5 people are subjected to childhood sexual trauma in the early years of childhood development.

Seeing the disproportionate amount of war veterans, they found that it all came back to childhood sexual trauma.

Research suggests it’s what’s driving soldiers to war in the first place. In fact, the war veterans in Afghanistan were two times more likely to report sexual trauma in their early years of childhood development than those that fought in Vietnam at random.

These are big conversations we should be having.

[17:22] The Book Writing Process

Matt had to make sure everything he was saying was aligned with his values. A lot of the stuff may have been a cathartic release for him but it wouldn’t be important for the purpose of the book and why he wrote the book.

The book is written to help people find their truth, their calling, and be the best versions of themselves. It’s not really about the book, but the conversations that the book pushes forward.

There are uncomfortable truths that have been brought up with his veteran work. One in five veterans is subjected to child sex abuse. Research seems to suggest the involvement of the church in perpetuating war as well as the role of big pharmaceutical companies in the increase of suicide rates.

One of the biggest challenges Matt had was finding his flow. The key to overcoming it was to just show up everyday!

Episode Resources:

Worth The Fight: Acting for a Better World, A Guide to Spirituality, Psychedelic Medicines, and Overcoming Trauma

Born to Write Episode 24: Writing a Memoir to Heal From the Past with Larry Ruhl

Book Mentions:

The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler

Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Connect with Matthew on Facebook and check out his website.

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