Mitchell Wilson is a writer at seekyourflow.com . Mitchell is the creator of Psychedelic Grad, a networking community for up-and-coming psychedelic professionals. With a degree in neuroscience, over 300 skydiving jumps, experiencing operating large cannabis stores, and now working in natural burials, Mitchell's life experiences are gems for anyone's own self-reflection. Enjoy this discussion on life, death, and natural burials. Follow Mitchell Wilson on Twitter at @mitchelldwilson, his website Mitchellwilson.co, and his newsletter seekyourflow.com
The GodXP Spiritual Fitness Podcast: Level up your spirit, realize more power. Join us as we talk consciousness, spirituality, mental health, psychedelics, psychotherapy, self-realization, and personal development to inspire advancement in our lives. This is the #1 consciousness expansion show. Together we share stories and seek to discover applicable truth and wisdom for life. With your host Anthony Polanco: Music artist, depression recovery author, and former Christian missionary-turned-meditation coach. Follow us on Social Media: @wearegodxp on Twitter, IG, Facebook and https://www.godxp.com
Hey everybody. Welcome back to the God XP Spiritual Fitness podcast. I am your host and p we're lucky to be joined today by my buddy Mitchell Wilson. You can follow him on Twitter at Mitchell d Wilson. He's got an amazing newsletter called seek Your Flow. You can go to seek your flow.com to subscribe to that. Definitely recommend. This guy's amazing. He's done over 300 skydive jumps in his life. He's got a degree in neuroscience. Worked in cannabis for a while. And yeah, he's got this amazing newsletter. We got together to talk about kind of like just a bunch of different stuff, but wanted to talk to him about natural burials. I read a story that he posted about. Doing, helping with some natural burial stuff and just fascinated by his perspective on life. And yeah, just great to connect with you, man. How you doing? Doing great. Yeah, it's overdue. Been talking about this for a while, and so I'm glad we're making it happen now. Yeah. So, I first found you on the internet because of your writing. You've just got a really great voice in your writing really interesting perspective on life and stuff. And what got you into, what got you into publishing your writing online? Yeah. It was something I always wanted to do since like college or so, and I remember sitting down in college and, I had been reading all these books, reading all these articles, and I sat down to like write my own article and I had like zero. Approach to it other than just staring at a blank page. And it was just so daunting. And, you're reading stuff all the time out there on the internet and it looks so easy. But it's way, way harder than I would've ever imagined. And so I didn't really do any writing and just pretty much left that page at that time, blank. And it wasn't until I started learning about David Perel and his Rite of Passage course. And he has like this free ultimate guide about writing, and I write it probably like 50 times over again. And then, yeah, he had this course and some, somehow or another I found out there was like this scholarship to the course. It's a little spendy and I would never pay for it. Straight out, at least anytime soon. And I applied to the scholarship. I was like, what the hell? Let's do it. Worst case, I say, no, they say no, and I'm already living that life. So, I applied, took like five minutes and then I got the scholarship, took the course. It was super amazing as far as or at least my main takeaway was getting rid of all the psychological excuses and friction and that sort of thing, and just like hitting send on it and getting better over time. And so that really is what kicked it off. And yeah, now I've written maybe like 40, 50 articles since last fall. And yeah it's been a blast and helped my thinking. And, you write too, so you know how it goes. But yeah it's been a great pleasure and finally getting to do something I've always wanted to do. Yeah, that's sick, man. Yeah, definitely. I took the course probably, I think it was right after you. And I had the same experience. I'd written a lot of stuff and just didn't know what to do with it really. Undisciplined about, like, an approach to publishing my writing. I didn't see have like an end goal or a vision, I guess for like, what I would benefit from publishing my writing and finding David's essays. I just saw like, man, there's a whole class of writers who are just constantly putting out excellent, like their best work, and that, that really inspired me. It makes sense, like, thinking about publishing music and always trying to put out like the best music I can. I didn't think about writers doing the same thing, but the internet's like open for that, and it always has been, the internet's been like a big, blogging's, been a big factor and component in the internet forever, but . Yeah. There's just so many more mediums now. Like with the newsletter, like you got with Twitter and the, I mean, you can do eBooks. There's a ton of stuff you can do, but yeah I've, I found a love for writing as well. So what are some things that you've noticed that you've gained from keeping a consistent newsletter publishing habit? Oh, man. I mean, even on like a soulful level, it just feels good to create stuff. Up until I had the newsletter going, just constantly consuming information and just getting so backed up on knowledge which isn't worth much if you can't turn it into something or make use of it. And so it's just helped me kind of put together ideas. And formulate new ideas on different things. And then now that I've written about'em, it's just reduced all this fog and yeah, it just gave me massive clarity around what I actually believe, and until you like actually write stuff out, it's, you think you know what you think, but you don't know what you think until you Yeah. You put out, put it out in front of you. And then maybe along with that too, even just hitting sand on it before anyone's Reddit is just immense relief. And if I don't do it or if I'm de backed up a day or two before I hit publish it just drives me crazy. It just, It doesn't sit right, but once I hit published, it's like big relief. And I literally feel like, ha, like I weigh half as much. And the whole day is just so smooth for a few days actually. And then, anytime, once someone reads it or responds to it or says they liked it or, whatever that's just all bonus. But it's more of a inner game for me, for sure. Yeah. How about the essays? Same thing? Oh yeah. They're both the same thing. The newsletter is the article. That's where you're hosting. Okay, I see. Yeah. And then, so, so you had you had like a project going called psychedelic grad that's like, you went from your degree in neuroscience to running a some weed stores. Are you still, like, are you publishing content through that or what's your, like what's your plan with that? It's still going. I connected with this lady Gabby. I don't know, maybe two years ago. Started that in February, 2020 and then she joined second of the grad in fall of 2020. And then in the last few months I'll just like pass it off all to her. Totally hands off on the whole thing, but it has like a thousand members or more. Basically the whole goal there is help people that want a career in the psychedelic space. Connect to each other, connect to the right resources, which master's program do I take, like all that kind of stuff. And find jobs and all that. So that's all happening. I just personally lost interest in me doing that myself. And so I had like major imposter syndrome. Pretending or, like leading the way when I don't want to go that way. But I still think it's a really awesome thing and I want, wanted it to keep going. So I just got out of the way of it and is still thriving and growing and all that. And then, yeah my relationship to psychedelic medicine and all that is just way more personal and a whole different direction. And I'm not as evangelical about it, trying to go out and change the world. I'm just worried about my world first. So that's where I'm at with that. Nice man. Yeah. That's really cool. That's awesome that that was able to continue and that you were able to step back. I think that's like a tremendous., that's a tremendous win for a creator because like that's our greatest fear is getting like, kind of stuck with one thing.. And so to be able to create something and then just kind of give it wings and let it like fly off, that's like ideal, right? Yeah. Well, and I had like this huge desire to do all these other things, create all these other things, focus on the riot and whatnot. And I didn't want to just like keep that on the back burner. So, but I also didn't want this, want the psychedelic grad project to end so somehow finally made it work to where both get to happen. So what's the, like origin story of psychedelic grad, how did you first start it? Where'd you get, where'd you get the idea and like, what was like your first move? Yeah. So, all through college I was diving hardcore into the psychedelic space and how there's this renaissance and all these things happening. And my degree was largely focused around psychedelics. Going to conferences like the Horizons Conference in New York City. Of course have my own experiences. And so I was just kind of staying in tune with all the information, all the different groups and resources out there. And then around beginning of 2020 I kept up, since college I kept up with this email listserv from, it's, it was Maps grad student listserv. So MAPS is like the biggest, or like, I guess one of the more popular organizations of the psychedelic Renaissance led by Rick Doublin. And yeah, there's this email listserv, it's not maintained or ran by maps, but it's kind of like the, maybe one of the first places for people wanting that kind of career to gather. And I don't know if you've ever been a part of a email listserv. It's pretty terrible. It's just so hard to keep up with the organization of it and it's just terrible ui. But the, it was the right idea, like the topics being talked about and the people in it were exactly what I was wanting to be a part of. It was just interacting with that kind of community through email listserv was not ideal. And so I was like, oh man, I know I, there's bound to be a way I can like help and do the same thing, but in a better way. And so that was the origin of psychedelic grad and it took on many different shapes and forms that first year. But by fall of 2020 we had gotten to pretty close to what it is now as far as like how we're all the tools we're using and that kind of thing. And from the get go, especially Gabby was the first person that No, she wasn't the first person, but the first person with the new tools that really grabbed on and like, ran with it. And what felt like a equally as energized way as I was putting in. And then, yeah, since then, there's been a podcast added and the newsletter added among other things. And the whole time the principle I wanted to like maintain was like, let's only do stuff that's sustainable as far as like what we can actually put into it. Like, let's not bite off more than we can chew. Let's only do what we can do like still be doing in a decade from now. And, which made things go a lot slower at first than I sometimes may have wanted them to, but I think it paid off and kind of shows now that it's still running, still operating still growing steadily. And it's making the difference for people, which is the whole point. So, That's sick. So people can listen to a podcast, they can check it out themselves. Newsletter that's still going on. West Psych Degra. Yeah. Yep. Every Thursday. Nice. Sweet man. That's interesting. And the podcast. And the podcast that people are into that it's called Curious to Sirius and Curious to Serious. Yep. They bring on different people in the psychedelic space that are already working in the space. And then yeah, just kind of the whole niche there is to unpack how they got to where they have a career in the psychedelic space and advice for people trying to figure it out. So like, what was, what were like some of the first people that started subscribing when you first started it? And like how did you find, how did they find, how did they find you? How did they find the newsletter? Yeah. Initially I just put, like, once I built it I think I used like Wix, which is just so embarrassing to think back on, but used Wix at first. And I just put out a link with a, a little paragraph call to action in that email lister and that got a few hundred people, Oh wow. To join. And then since then it's been just kind of, I don't do it anymore cuz I'm not as involved. But the first, yeah, two years I was just networking like crazy. On LinkedIn. LinkedIn surprising is a surprisingly is a, since I wasn't trying to go find like your tie, tie dye d m t folks in the forum somewhere else I went to LinkedIn for the people that are a little more serious about it in a more of a professional way. And that was kind of like the target folks to. bring to the community and yeah, just go on LinkedIn and just direct messaging people and telling them about it. And it was in 2021, April, 2021 I just called, emailed Rick Doublin of Maps and that led to a sponsorship at the community to pay for. Up until then, it was all out of pocket for me. Which, I wanted to keep going forever and so I didn't, but I also didn't want to pay outta pocket forever either. And so, yeah, we got it sponsored by Maps to help it run and help it keep going. And that was a big win. And I probably wouldn't have wanted to be hands off had we not gotten to that point. And maybe it wouldn't even, it wouldn't have worked otherwise. Cause maybe no one would've wanted to pay for all that themselves. Yeah, but that was a huge moment to Be legitimized by sponsorship from such a, such an important and big organization in the space. Yeah. That's huge. That's huge. Do a lot of people, do people like come to psychedelic grad because of that sponsorship and that relationship? Or is it not so much like, marketed? Oh, yeah. I mean, we probably don't even market it that well or for that reason. I haven't really thought about that. But maybe, or maybe once they do find it some other way and then they see that, they're like, oh, okay, this is a real deal. And maybe I didn't answer your question too, like what kind of people were coming. So the people that were showing up were all these. Mainly in college undergrad or graduate school, trying to figure out, which major to take or who's offering a class that's related to psychedelics or what school has a professor that's open to this. Because as you can imagine, most places aren't more so now than they were back then. Right. And yeah, so it was mainly college students and then yeah, they would just come together. And really, up until then, from all my research at that time, there was like one very popular article called, so You Wanna Be a Psychedelic Researcher that Maps had on their website and I don't know how many years ago that was written. But pretty much the goal of the community was to like, update that in real time all the time. I see. And like, here's the latest information on, this and this. And it was real tricky because if someone's about to go spend like thousands of dollars on training and a degree and all this stuff or something that might not even be legal yet, that's a lot of that's a lot of risk to take. And yeah, a, it's a guessing game. And so it was important to get the resources together for like, the most sure path. Like let's say you wanted to become a firefighter or nurse, like that's super well paved path and you can find all sorts of resources on that all day long and meet people. But for something like this psychedelic space that's totally blurry, totally gray. That was kinda the idea is just to bring everyone together that's pursuing that and find anybody that has already done that and kind of unpack it. And with the podcast, the whole goal there was, there's plenty of podcasts about psychedelic stuff and psychedelic people but not very many where they're honing in specifically on how they got to where they are work-wise. Yeah. That's amazing. Yeah, I feel like it's just right at the it just right at the precipice of this becoming, culturally acceptable and lots of legal stuff being implemented as well is just the perfect timing for some, for something like that to just explode and even for maps to be ready to sponsor something like that, it's just like forward momentum in that direction. I've been, I've had. Several people, like in the psychedelic space in varying capacities on the podcast in the last year. And I'm constantly amazed at how many opportunities there are for people to excel in this space. Just that's so new. Like it just started happening.. So it's just so fascinating Yeah. To think about, the professional side of it and people wanting careers in the space so that they can make a difference in a field that's changed their lives so much. And how much professional compromise or risk to compromise, that there is. It's ex it's a, it's an exciting, it's just an exciting time for psychedelics, absolutely. Yeah. And I mean, it was like so much to keep up with. It's crazy. Like just all the news and all the new projects and all the new opportunities and research coming out and like all this stuff, it was just a fire hose to keep up with almost too much in a good way. Like that's a great problem. But I just had to turn my attention to like my own integration and how these things are directly impacted my life. Yeah, no, I get that. I definitely get that. And yeah, I've seen that as well. I think that's gonna be a, I think that's gonna be kind of, like a trait, a personality trait of the space because, with the, with a thing like psychedelics the. the reason why you wanna advocate for it is because of the transformation. That's why most people are gonna wanna be in this space, is for the transformation they experienced., through psychedelics. And there's, that, there's a, there's cycles to, to kind of like your I guess you, you don't, you wouldn't want to remain in that space of just wanting to be an advocate for the thing you'll probably want to like, continue to evolve. So I think that's going to, because it's so tied, so tied to your identity it's inevitably gonna be something that people evolve into, new careers after a certain amount of., . I know that when I experienced, a big transformation through psychedelics, I was really all about, publishing stuff about it and really wanting to be an advocate for it. And then a certain amount of time goes by and, you just realize like, the level of competency. I would have to invest my life into really being a responsible advocate for something like this. And so I think everyone has like a season in their life when they are called to give, called to serve in a certain field. And when it comes to something like, like psychedelics, which has such a healing impact on people I think that's gonna be indicative of the space, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, , the way I looked at it too was I would rather be an advocate or the advocacy come as a side effect of me leading by example.. And so yeah, I'm just, I'm interested in integration to like the fullest extent. I don't wanna keep having these experiences and only getting a little bit out of it, or it only making a little bit of difference in my life. I wanna see like what's possible with, like how much can I bring those insights and those lessons and that wisdom into every single day? Which is way harder than it, it way easier to say than do for sure. Right. No that's really interesting, man. That's like, that's like, a really, I see it as a very enlightened perspective. Like, the. The medicine is supposed to heal you. And this is kind of like a thought I've had, like medicine is supposed to heal you and then, if it works, then you're healthy and you can give back to, living life without it, you know how life was before it. And I feel like when I first found like, let's say self-help or, personal development I started reading a lot of literature. I spent like three or four years just constantly consuming personal development stuff. And I kind of reflected and realized, man, maybe I only needed like three months of this, just one new perspective would've just set me on the right path. But I just got hooked on the healing, I got hooked on the improvement and. After years had passed that I had already improved a long time ago. I just needed a change in perspective and I could have gotten back on with whatever it was playing music or whatever I loved at the time, right. That I'm coming back around to now. It's all good. It's all love, like life is all good either way, but I think we do kind of tend to get hooked on healing and what, whatever the medium of healing, there's lots of vehicles for healing, but healing feels good. And so I think, it's easy to get stuck in a space that you know, that instead of really using that, that inflection point in your life as a moment of evolution so that you can kind of get birthed into the next thing you know. Yeah. Yeah. Couldn't agree more. It's kind of like I have a habit of, and less so nowadays, but I used to have a habit of going to like, use bookstores and just like, getting a dozen books or so, just cause I'm so excited about the topic and, whatnot and it's like, oh, I can't wait to read all this stuff. And then I might read like half of one of them and then go back to the bookstore again a couple months later and do the same thing over and over. And so it's ki in a much deeper way, it was kind of like that where, you keep having all these experiences and stuff and it's all this new information and, but it takes a long time to unpack what happened in the span of a few hours. Yeah. And so I'm just trying to get the squeeze on it and I love that dude have to go back to the, have to go back to it as few times as possible. Yeah. I love that. Yeah. Kind of. I've totally shared that perspective of just wanting to integrate and spend more time integrating than, you trying to go back to the well And who knows how long that might be. The, I've had healing experiences where, I tell myself like, I will never need to come back to this again. Like, I got what I came to get and I don't know if that's true. Maybe I will go back to it, but I definitely feel like there's so much depth to life that you can just take years on one path just to really listen to yourself and just see slow down well enough that you can just experience a whole thread of life without having to be in self-analysis the whole time, . Exactly. So yeah, man, so LinkedIn is a huge component and huge, like for me. I've realized that you don't have to be like extremely popular or famous on LinkedIn to get a bunch of squeeze out of it. I've connected with so many people, even in the psychedelic space and a space I was never even a part of. And just by connecting with people, you connect with a handful of people in the space and then you have somebody on your podcast and you, it reaches another handful of people. I'm amazed at how powerful it's, you would just think that it's like oversaturated, but LinkedIn is still such a powerful networking tool. Exactly. And especially in this space there's just, it's, there's no other medium where you can just connect with someone who's actually trying to do business and make stuff happen for themselves. Twitter is kind of like that, but yeah, LinkedIn's a lot more , would you say that you've u that's been kind of like the biggest driver of your networking? It definitely used to be. Nowadays it's more Twitter for sure. But up until like a year ago it was definitely LinkedIn both in the cannabis space and psychedelic space, which is so weird., on LinkedIn. But yeah, that was the place to go. But now, yeah I'm way more on Twitter nowadays connecting folks. So like, how'd you get into the the cannabis scene? I remember you saying that you worked in the cannabis space, but like, what how did that come into the picture? Oh, that's a huge story. I'll keep it relatively short. So right after graduating college here in Tennessee I. I wanted to go, I wanted to adventure and do something adventurous. And I remember seeing, in high school and all this stuff, watching these shows on like the discovery channel of people working in the weed stores and just so like totally crazy that they got to do that. And this, all this stuff happened, but basically we went on a grand adventure, me and my partner and our six month old daughter at the time and drove across the country from Tennessee to Washington pretty much on a whim, just cuz we met this guy and these synchronicities happened. But we did it and got out there and when I, my intention going out there, I was like, all right, if I'm go driving all the way across the country, I'm not gonna go work at Home Depot or something I could do here. No offense if you work at Home Depot, but , I'm not gonna like do something that I could do in Tennessee. So I wanna do something. I can only do because of where I live. And so my full intention was to get into the weed world. And so I applied to probably like 50, well felt like 50 weed stores. And because I was the breadwinner and we only had like two months of cash on him before we're totally screwed. After moving across the country with a little baby I was trying to get a job anywhere at the same time until I've nailed down the weed one. And ended up getting a job getting a job at this psychology clinic. And I'll get back to the weed part in a sec, but. Got this job at the psychology clinic and I'd been working there for like a week or so, or I guess maybe like a trial period for like a week or so. And the whole intention of working there again because I wanted it to be like super interesting was to do neurofeedback at this place. And I had the machine and all this stuff set up and by the end of this trial period it was becoming super clear that not only was it gonna be like a year before I even got to learn on the neurofeedback machine the lady training me like hated her job. And I was seeing that this clinic was to like get the insurance money. They would diagnose anybody who walked through the door. Like everyone has a problem and everyone can qualify for anxiety, for example. And so I was like, oh shit, this isn't what I thought it was. And I definitely am not gonna wait a whole year to get to do what I want to do. And It was like the end of a end of like the first week or second week or something of the trial period, and they had negotiated with me. They're like, all right, so we'll give you a full-time job. How does $14 an hour sound? I was like, well, what about like 18 or 19? Which at the time that was plenty to survive on. And they came back and said like, yep, that'll work. And so like the same day or the next day, after getting that news, like, oh shit, I just moved to cross country and like, we're gonna be okay. We're gonna make it. I got a job. We're safe. Then I got a phone call from a weed store while I was on my lunch break at that place, and had like a quick 10 minute interview and killed it. It went great. Like, do you think, and this was on like a Thursday, they said, can you come in tomorrow at nine 30 for second interview? And I was supposed to be at that psychology place that I like, just secured a job with. And I was like, I just, based on how good it felt on that phone call, I was like, fuck it. And so I told the psychology place, I can't work there. And I went to do this weed store interview, did it, the second one killed it. And of course like the whole family back home was like, what the hell are you doing? And I was like, tr trust me, I'm onto something and I already risked it all to move out. Move out here. I'm just gonna keep going with it. Anyway, went through like three or four interviews, killed 'em all. They all felt so good. And I was like, hell yeah, this is working out. But then I got a phone call and said I hadn't been chosen for the job and I was just like, I mean, talk about the lowest low. I was so, because I had just passed up this like, secure thing. And I was just so, so down and out. For a couple days. And then me and my partner, we like brainstormed and I was like, well, actually, and the main reason I didn't get the job to be a bud tender selling the weed was cuz I hadn't worked at a cash register before. And so we like brainstormed and with her help came up with the idea of how that's actually a good thing that I haven't worked at a cash register before. Cause you could teach me, everything. I'm a blank slate. I won't do it wrong. I don't have to unlearn anything. And so sent that to the owner of the place and ended up getting a job and it worked out. Oh wow. Yeah. It was quite the rollercoaster at the time. So anyway, I got that job worked there for like 6, 6, 7 months before I moved across the, to a different place in Washington. And and then got into a different role and I stayed at that place, this other company for like four or five years. Worked my way up from. Selling the weed at the counter by tending to run the two stores. Wow. It was a crazy time. Wow. Okay. So this is after you finished college, right? Yep. Well, after couple months after, maybe like six months. You moved, couple months after. So this is in between, so you're running the stores. This is all before psychedelic grad. During, yeah, during. That's amazing, man. So, okay, so that's really sick. So you weren't gonna get the job, and then you guys are sitting there and you're like what if you send the guy an email and you tell him that it's actually a good thing, , that I don't know how to run the cash register? Exactly. I mean, I had like, we had like maybe like four, four or five or so weeks worth of money before we're like thousands of miles away from everyone we know without anything. and I had put it all on this, all on the line for this job, and then they said no. So I was like, once we had that idea, I was like, dude, send in an email. Like, hell yeah, I'm gonna send an email. Like, if they don't even open it, nothing has changed over here. If they do open it and they like it, everything changes. So, when you frame, when you reframe things like that, it's like, it's a no-brainer to do stuff. Yeah, for sure. No, for sure. I think a lot of people would kind of just give up right there and it just, it's just such a great example of how like, pe people might decide one thing one day, but like, a no one day doesn't mean no forever. You can always just keep that door open and it's also just like, it's really cool to see the painting come together of like how you. because you didn't have a reason really to market psychedelic grad or whatever. Like it didn't really fit your life story until, you kind of went through all of these changes in your life and working for, working, in the cannabis industry must have really felt, must have really added some validation to your idea to, to do the psychedelic grad thing, right? Yeah. When something to in, in the psychedelic space that doesn't really get talked about. And I didn't, it took me a while to like realize it, but once I had jumped into the cannabis world and everyone kind of associated that with my identity, it's not very much of a stretch to like get into the psyched or at least publicize the psychedelic aspect too. Cuz you're already in like the other people camp. And yeah. So I think that's a huge, whereas if I went from like nothing or normal world to the psychedelic space, that might be a little different. But again, weed is a gateway drug. So I think I think that's an underrated way that it happened. That's interesting. So, so did, do you feel like you kind of orchestrated that in your life? Like, did you see kind of a long-term vision for getting into the psychedelic space and kind of curating your experience resume so that you could make that kind of, escalate into that space in your life over time? Or was it just kind of serendipity, like happening in the moment and you kind of realized it as you went along? I mean, the psychedelic grad project was totally serendipity type of thing. I kind of, at the time wanted to Become a psychedelic therapist and looked into the schools and, all that kind of stuff. But whenever I really sat with that idea, it absolutely terrified me to be in a position like that and know, like, I can't imagine being there with someone who's experiencing something I haven't experienced yet in those states, and being the one responsible for it. And I was like, all right. Once I really like sat with that, I was like, all right, there's no way I could do this. And maybe that's a flawed way to think, but yeah that's what mainly talked me outta that path. But as far as creating the project, there wasn't any very long-term vision other than like, this would be a fun way to take what I know and apply it and actually solve a problem. And I had no idea where it would go. And I if I could show the Mitchell back then what it is now, he'd be like, holy shit. That's crazy. Yeah. That's sick. Yeah. And then as far as cannabis and like getting to the cannabis space and all this stuff, in hindsight I think I'm just really attracted to the frontier of anything a place where like not as many people are and there's still room to be a pioneer of sorts, or at least there's no experts because it's so young. And so, yeah, I'm really into that kind of thing. Not saying that I'm a pioneer of anything, but I like the fields and the energy and that kind of, Yeah, I get that. I get that. And I think a lot of people, they probably are, even for me, for a long time, I had a hard time committing to, like, talking about cannabis online or psychedelics online. And I'm sure a lot of people are just fascinated and kind of, there's this like, polarizing thing about like someone who's willing to kind of, throw themselves into the, that category professionally. Because, I mean, I don't, I personally don't think it will take anything away from a career that you wanted to have outside of this space. But a lot of people's impression might be that it does, that it excludes you from ever. Having a traditional working in a traditional career field, in the future. And so I think that's what a lot of people's fear is when it comes to like, advocating for the space or working in the space, adding that to their professional resume. Anyway, so I think it's like this like really cool thing that that the people who are in psychedelics are, they're either they like, kind of just graduated from their career through experience, or they're just those trailblazing type of people who just don't give a fuck and they just, they wanna be in this space that resonates with them and it doesn't matter what other people yeah. No, I think it's just who I am. And so if the truth of who I am isn't gonna work at this place, as a job, then I probably shouldn't be working there anyway. And it's probably not gonna work out very long either. But if you can accept me for who I am, then you know, it's gonna be a much better situation. Yeah. Yeah. I think it took me a while to get that that it's just better off to, to be yourself and let the chips fall, let the chips fall where they're going to, exactly. There's no facade to keep up or anything. Yeah. You can still take an l pretend you're to, pretending to be someone else. If you're gonna take LS in life, you might as well just do it on your own terms, play your own game. Yeah, exactly. That's huge. So, death, where did you, where did, where does your interest in death come from? Yeah, I think, I mean, I guess I've always been fascinated by it especially doing psychedelics and eco deaths and all that kind of stuff. But it didn't become a primary interest in a deeper way until. I guess it was last summer my grandmother passed away and I've been, I've had people in my life die and all that kind of stuff and been to funerals and all of that, but I haven't been as aware and as curious as I am nowadays. And so when she passed going through the whole funeral process with my family, I was just like, eyes wide open. I wanna like, how's this shit work and what's going on here? And so, we went to like a normal, I wasn't gonna like influence the whole thing, but went to like a normal funeral place locally here with my family and just kind of was like a fly on the wall. And it was so strange to be sitting in basically like a funeral store. There's like price tags and buy this fingerprint necklace and shit. And . So weird. So strange. And just hearing the lady talk, God bless her doing, just being totally normal, but kind of me zooming out and saying, just like realizing like this is just like the strangest thing that people just go right into without questioning it. And my grandmother, she chose to be cremated, which is like the first person in my immediately immediate family to choose that. And so I asked the funeral people if I could like go watch or like go like, see this and they let me. There wasn't really all that much to watch though, the cremation things like this big oven and once a body goes in there, you can't really see anything. It's just loud. But that kicked off like a whole bunch of stuff where I was like really curious and wanted to learn more. And so I was starting to look up stuff like natural burial and it wasn't maybe like a week or two after my grandmother passing and having that experience. That I was driving somewhere and I looked up on I was on the podcast and I was hoping to find one about natural burial, just kind of really dig into it while I was driving. And I found one and I started listening to it. And maybe like five, 10 minutes in the guy, the guest on the show mentioned he has this natural burial ground in Tennessee. And he's from a place that's right next to my hometown. And I was like, this is crazy. This is like so crazy. And so I pull off the road, like right then, I like look up their website and I called the number on the website and I talked to him right then the guests on this podcast. And I joined their volunteer list, explain, you know why I'm calling out the blue and I'm so excited on the phone. But I get on the volunteer list and that was probably, that was in like August, September of last year. And then in January got invited to go volunteer at a burial with them. And yeah, that was just totally wild. Even getting there was like synchronistic, but the night experience, if you want me to go into it which is probably what you read that you mentioned earlier. Yeah, so for people who don't know Mi Mitchell's written about this natural burial experience that he is about to tell us posted it you have posts like on your social media about it and that are like, so well written it in such a short piece. Struck a huge chord with me. So you're back in Tennessee and volunteering with these, this natural burial, company. And so. You guys go out to the place someone calls and then they say like, Hey, we wanna have a natural burial at our place. And then is that where you do it or how does it work? Yes. So the whole process of how people end up there, so it's like this nonprofit called Larksburg Conservation. You can look it up. It's Nate Tennessee's First Nature Preserve for Conservation burials. Okay. Nature Preserve. Yep. And so basically someone, if you, if they die and they want this, then they get in touch with the funeral home and the funeral place picks 'em up and cleans 'em up. and the folks I work with they go and put 'em in the shroud or whatever the person chose, that's natural. But essentially they get buried at this conservation ground. It's a few hundred acres just outside of Nashville. And it's basically like a prote, it's a protected chunk of land that hasn't been touched or messed with in a long time, and it won't be ever messed with. Now that it's protected and it's just this wilderness, pristine wilderness spot and it's just totally natural. Nothing artificial goes in the ground. And yeah, if you want me to get into it, that experience a little bit yeah. Simple. So now you're at the place. So simple. You go out there you meet them out there, basically you're volunteering, so they tell you what time to be there.. And so this is your first time going. You go out there, what are like, what are you feeling in the moment? And then like, just kind of talk us through the experience. Yeah. Didn't really know what to expect beyond, reading a couple things, but when you're there it's way different and it's all real. And yeah, heart was racing and just, yeah, it was just all new and I was totally present and just ready to soak it all in. And I get there and it's just this guy who's probably 60 or something and he is there to bury his son, who's maybe like 30 something. And it was just him. And I was like, holy shit, that's, it's already heavy to be burying someone. But in that particular situation, I can't imagine. And so I was like, before I figured out that it was just him attending the funeral I was kind of wondering where everyone else was, all the other family, but they were on FaceTime and I guess they live outta state or something. Anyways, just to speed it up. We get up, we do a walk up the hike hiking trail up to the grave site. And imagine any place you go hike, it's just all woods and a meadow and that sort of thing. And this guy was having his burial at the edge of the meadow next to the woods. And they had already prepared the whole grave site. There's no tools inside. There's no there's no equipment or anything like that. It's just a pile of dirt hole in the ground. And then the sky and a shroud, like a cloth sitting on a bench decorated with flowers. The bottom of the graves decorated with flowers and moss and like greenery like cedar and stuff. We had even where we had to bring the body up in the. Like the UTV thing covered up all the tracks to make it all back to all, back to normal, like just something quiet and peaceful is happening in the woods. Around the dirt pile is all these pine needles circle in the dirt pile and underneath the pine needles is all the tools, the shovels and stuff for later. But it's outta sight, outta mind and kind of the focus of the whole thing is the person who's died. And yeah, if the guy gets up there and I'm just kind of volunteers and people just kind of stand back and the cool thing about it is there's zero agenda. There's no like pamphlet with like, we're gonna sing this song at nine 15 and then we're gonna say this prayer, and then this person, none of that is just standing out in the field next to this person who's died. And so there's no boundaries. The guy can just soak it in and go through it as he needs to. And he did. And, talked with his family on the phone there and of course was mourning and all of that. And after he kind of reached his own point of moving forward with the process it was time to lower the body into the grave. And so we helped do that part with these ropes. And that's pretty powerful to like set someone down into the bottom of a grave and witness all these emotions, wash over this guy. And, I don't know who these people are at all, but to to meet a stranger in that way is really interesting through what his dad said about him. And then the next part is to hand the guy a shovel so he can start shoveling dirt more symbolically than like, as a chore, but, to see someone. get to do that. And I've been to all these other funerals and there's so much stuff in between the person and the what's actually happening, the direct experience. You don't get to do that, like anywhere else. And yeah, seeing this guy like shovel dirt and like hearing the dirt and like all that stuff, well, I'll never forget any of that. And it was just so powerful and to see it, it just seemed like a, such a important part of this guy's grieving process to really just, there's direct connection to like, my son died and I'm here for all of it. Why died? And after a minute we, we started help shoveling and participating, helping them out doing that. And the part that really, like it was already all, all like, holy shit, this is so much different than anything I've ever done. But the part that was like, all right, this is the way, was when Seeing this guy shoveling the dirt. And then he asked to have some music played that him and his son used to listen to all the time. And it was like BB King classic rock kind of stuff. And so that music's playing. And then the dad is telling all these funny stories and going over these memories of him and his son and while we're shoveling dirt onto his son. And it was just like the most genuine normal, no fluff kind of way of doing it. And it was just like, dude, this is the most beautiful, sad shit I've ever been a part of. But like, can't imagine this going any other way. And that just really stuck with me. And I was like, all right, there, there's something here. This is like, this needs to be more of a thing. And that kind of kicked it all off and kept going to volunteer, do volunteer burials all throughout the year and just started working at this place in September. But it was a really powerful experience and yeah, I wrote it down and nothing like it, that's for sure. It just makes you question, once you see that, then you turn back to the normal and you're like, whoa, that, how did we get from this to that? Right. Wow. Yeah. Like you prefaced in the beginning of the story, how, walking into the funeral place for your grandma's funeral, like just. That's the, kinda like the beginning of the movie, the first movie scene, and just realizing kind of how off things have become, but not knowing what exactly is off, what exactly happened. And then to just see that natural, the natural experience after that and realized like, whoa, this is how far we've gone. And yeah. That's amazing. I've never seen it. I've never seen that before. I've never heard of it except for through you. And I guess I can imagine that, that people do that in places around the world. And it's just so uncommon now that you don't even think about it as an option. And it's probably not an option for a lot of people, like around the world. Like I can't imagine. that there's many places like that. Yeah, there's only like a dozen or so in the United States, That do that, like specifically I think there's some funeral places that, have a little bitty chunk in their cemetery that they deem natural. But yeah, there's just so much that it's, when you go through that and nothing artificial going in the ground and it's just the most real thing you can do. And then you think about like a normal funeral, these people's, a normal funeral in a messed up way. A messed up way to think about it. But it's sound. I'm thinking about nowadays a normal funeral where there's like, 15 grand or whatever on the casket and all this stuff and the bombing fluid and all that. It's like their final scene of their movie is this grand littering event. Yeah. And That's not cool. That's not we can do better than that. I learned that there's so much like steel and concrete buried every year just from conventional funeral industry that we could rebuild the Golden Gate Bridge every year. Oh wow. I think it's like 300,000 gallons of embalming fluid going the ground. And then, a lot of people, up until I worked there, I would've if I died or, someone close to me died, the right thing to do. Or like the most common thing to think is like, oh, I wanna be cremated with the tree or spread my ashes here, or whatever. Cremation is like the fossil fuels and like all that stuff that go into cremation is like driving across the country. And then on top of that, when you get the, what people call ashes back if you were to plant that with a tree or a plant, the. The plant and the tree is not gonna like it. It's like so acidic. It'll like kill it or make it run away. So now there's like a company, places that make this special soil that you mix with it that kind of even sings out and you can actually plant it with stuff. But the most natural thing to do is just like, go back into the earth, just go a hole, touch the dirt, skin the dirt, and get outta the way. Yeah. Wow. I mean, listening to the story makes me want to, have that natural burial experience and I'm sure a lot of people who were to be put onto it or at least just to hear about it, would want themselves to be buried that way. I can't imagine why you'd want That would be my number one. My number one objection to a traditional burial is, or however we do it now, conventional burial, I should say is the littering. That's like a huge component for me. It's like, I've always thought about like, man, that's a humongous, not only financial expense, but now you're just putting me in a spot that will never be usable again. It's like, I guess in, in a selfish or like, narcissistic way. It'd be like, yeah, like I, I'll have that spot for . My body will have that spot, claimed forever, but I can't see any other rationalizing that decision to, most people don't make the decision. They just kind of die and then it's made for them. But Exactly. I don't think given the choice people would choose that if this, if a natural burial option was available, I think everyone would prefer to know that their body is going down with the least amount of waste. Yeah. One possible. It kind of comes down to two. Two core problems. One is most people try not to think about death ever. And then because of that, this whole, there's this whole industry that's built on the back of that denial and blind eye kind of thing to where then once you die, then you just go along with what's normal. And there's a whole processing conveyor built for that. The other problem is the embalming and like all that kind of stuff is all to not let go of the person and not just accept that someone died. Like you need to just accept someone died. That's just how life works. It's part of it. It's hard. It sucks. It's terrible, it's tragic and that's okay. And we don't gotta sugarcoat that and that I think those two things are relationship to death and thinking about it more. Can really do a lot of good and change a lot of things, but not e not easy to do. That's for sure. For sure. Definitely. Yeah. It's, that's my, one of my biggest messages I preach is just, our relationship to death. It's kind of like one of my biggest kind of peeves and I don't say anything because I have respect for people and the way that they, internalize their experience, but, When the fact that there's no good way to die. Like if someone's lived a long life and they ha they died with a happy, loving family and wealth and fortune that they amassed, that they g donate to charity, for the rest of time. And large con contributions to society, even that person we mourn when they die and we just grieve. And, all these celebrities that like lived a hundred times contribution than most of us will ever experience giving to the world. Even they, when they die, we still grieve. You know how I can't believe they're gone. Why did they , why did God have to take them? It's like, dude, you should be celebrating their death. Like they got to live the best life ever. Like they had gray hair. Yeah, they got gray hair, like they made it to the end. That's a celebration at cer at a certain point, we have to accept that there is a good way to die. There's a way to succeed at life. And there's many ways, and everyone's kind of, we experience many victories in life, even just to live, even just to live on is a victory. And so I think, so, so many cultures, ages passed and even to this day, have a positive relationship with death. And I just really, I'm passionate about, that I really wish we had that in our society, a western society, because death to the person who doesn't identify solely as a body, death is a victory. Moving on to the next phase of death is just moving on to the next phase of life, . And so I think there's a lot of enlightenment to that in, in the individual realization and also for society to, to realize, yeah. And getting to go to all these burials keeps my perspective so sharp. Seeing the final scenes of these people's movies makes you think about your own final scene. And seeing people that, family members who you can just feel it and see it if they like lost touch with this person and then they never got to really reconnect. And all the, all that kind of stuff, just playing out. And so it makes you consider your own final scene of your own movie and the people that'll be at your funeral and what they'll say about you, and then reverse engineer that to right now. To where you live in accordance to whatever you want that scene to be, and those people to say and I wrote about this a little bit, but there's one I went to and that was the one that I really, it really stuck with me that, meeting these people, these strangers through what people say. A really interesting thought experiment is to consider if someone met you through what people said at your funeral, what would they, what would that person think about you? And yeah, I, it just, it's such a good, healthy thing to be around. As weird as my Absolutely. No, absolutely, man. And I think those kind of experiences that we get small glimpses of death really do cause so much reflection in people and even people who are afraid of death and don't want to face it. We eventually have to face it a few times in our life, losing loved ones. I had a best friend, one of my best buddies from when I was from preschool on throughout high school. He died in a car crash when we were about 24, 25, and the whole city turned out for him because he was so involved in the town with teaching coaching kids sports. And he was a, just a really solid good dude that rubbed everyone had a rub on everyone, you and to hear, to see the whole town turn out for him and to hear the things people, nothing but positive things. Really inspired me to like, make sure I had that in, in my life when I, or in at my funeral, . Just the magnitude of impact that someone can have and you don't even realize, but the thing that you give while you're here, that kind of thing echoes it, it changed that perspective. Hearing other people's perspective changed my paradigm about who I should be and how I should live, I never wanted to be like Andrew until he passed, and then I realized that he had, what he had been giving all this time was like so much more than I could have realized, for my, more than I feel felt like I was giving, or that I had given. If it was me who died, I think half the people would've showed up, , so, . It just goes like, it just it's huge perspective shift. And I've had psychedelic experiences where, watch myself die and go through the process of hearing people talk about me, hearing people say like, oh man he died so young, and things like that. And that perspective really also was another one of those was just like, I gotta get myself straight because I could die tomorrow. So like, if I had to make it all right today, like what would I do? And that's kind of how I've been living my life more or less. Just trying to make sure that if I do die today, that I've set the records straight with people and with, with my own self. Because you don't meet death until that moment. And when you do, like, the conversation you are able to have with death is, what d might be, what determines next in the next life, and so preparing to meet death, preparing to have that conversation with death is is what we're doing here really, yeah. That makes you makes you soak it up a lot more, even the mundane stuff. And yeah, I too have had, had psychedelic experiences and actually I had one, I usually have an experience from my birthday each year in January and I think it was like two days after that first volunteer experience that was my birthday and had a trip and it was super intense in the very beginning of it. It started with me like feet and feet under dirt at my own funeral. Seeing all the souls of my grandkids and like the whole family up top on the ground. And just really feeling that whole experience out vividly. And yeah, just, it just, you come back to this, a whole new perspective and fresh eyes on how to behave and yeah, you kind of wanna just go out clean, where people are just so glad they got to meet you and like you said, the impact. Yeah, man, that's amazing. It's extremely inspiring. So you're working with the company now, you said? Like at what capacity? How involved are you? Like half the time working there part-time. And what are you doing The same thing. What's that? What is like your kind of role there? Like are you doing the same thing, just helping with the burials? Doing that, mainly doing a lot of business infrastructure stuff, essentially just making sure all the tools and software and all that kind of stuff plays nicely and isn't unnecessary.. And so getting all that stuff straightened out and smooth. But it's important for me to go to the burials from time to just say connected to like the whole point of it. And I'm excited cause the current burial ground is a little far from me, a little bit of a drive, but there's more, they've been gifted more land and stuff closer to where I live, and I'm excited to, and the guy running the place he's amazing and a pioneer in his own way. And he has an insanely long-term vision. And so it's just cool to be next to that. Like I said, the frontier kind of mentality that I like getting into. I would never expect this one, but I'm really happy to be a part of it. Nah, it sounds awesome. It's a, it sounds awesome and inspiring. I mean, it's awesome for someone who also has a fascination with death and like, and death and God, just to like, think about working in a space where you're constantly, you're around death and all the time it, it sounds like a, almost like a super, it's a, it's kind of like a, an enlightment hack. It's like a superpower to be able to always be reminded of our mortality, , that's a good situation to put yourself in. Because it'll always keep you sober, yeah. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. That's sick, man. That's freaking awesome. So what is your what have been some of the impacts to the rest of your life since working there? I know it's only been a few months since you've been like, kind of solid on, but your writing how has it, IM been impacted. And where do you see kind of like your, the rest of your work, your creative work going in relation to working here? Oh, man. I think in a lot of ways well, all good impacts. It makes me, like I said, wanna soak it all up almost to a fault where like, I just don't want to go to sleep. I just wanna keep going and going and going. Not in a bad way, in a great way. Yeah, I just love life so much. And on top of. To know that here in this world that after you die, it all kind of washes away. And heard it somewhere, but like, even the most famous people, like you're only aware, like they die. And then people talk about it for like a week and then onto the next thing. And that's where like crazy famous people, . And already, and not that I'm a bad person, but already sometimes I forget, like my grandmother who I was mentioning, I forget that she passed away and, it could be a day or two before I remember. And I'm like, oh yeah, that's, I, forgot. And I know that's gonna happen with me too. And you know what? There'll be memories of me and whatever, but what that means to me now is like, why hold back? Why not be honest and like, live in truth and all that., like, there's nothing to lose. Like you, there's nothing to lose because you're gonna lose all of it. And so you might as well, play the game, like all out. And so I already felt that way before this thing happened. Like played the game all out. But now I'm like, no, like for real. Play the game all out. Now you know what, you know now you know even more vividly what's gonna happen when it ends. And it's just a, it's a good gamble. Yeah. There's something like really it's it's interesting how when you're constantly thinking about, or not thinking about, but when you're constantly aware of kind of like the uncertainty of how long, how much time you have, you kind of realize like by living today, right, as best you can each day. Like, you don't have to worry about your future. You don't have to worry about like the overall How much time you have left or the overall impact of your long-term trajectory? Because we can go at any moment and just to live like this day. Right. I think when I think about death, knowing that it can come at any moment and it'll come when I least expect it, it kind of frees me up from the worrying about, my long-term strategy and just like, how long am I gonna be alive, . And and also by, by keeping that in mind, you live in a way that will benefit you. And if you do live a long time, just by, by doing today as if it's gonna be your last, doing that forever would be the perfect way to live. And if you live to be a hundred, you would have no regrets having lived each day as if it was your last, and so, . That's the superpower I keep coming back to. Love that. Just knowing death, yeah. I think my main, the number one takeaway that I'm really hooked on lately is just living as deeply as possible. Like going super deep. Cuz it is fine out, but you might as well let go as deep as you can while it's happening. And you're asking about the writing and stuff. And so that's kind of my approach to that is, so since I'm trying to live deep and go deep as possible along the way, whatever I'm learning or figuring out that's what I'm publishing, that's what I'm putting out there. And, if it relates and it resonates, cool. If not happy that it clicked for me. Nice. So what, with your writing, do you feel like you Like how, like what, what would be like the range of time that you spend reflecting on a lesson or an experience before you finally publish? Like how intermittent would you say that you're publishing your experiences? Is it like you're publishing something that happened last week, this week, or is it something that you chew on for a few months? Or is it kind of like a day-to-day thing? I think it's weekly. I just kind of, kind of using that as my prompt to where I'm like digging deep, throughout the whole week I'm just paying immense attention to the inside and how that's playing out and what I'm going through and experiencing and something. So mostly it's like a week to week thing that I'm doing, but sometimes some of the things that pop up, they might have been like in the background. For a little while. I haven't spent too much time thinking about, but usually it's all, it's crazy. But I wanted to make it again, like sustainable and like built on something that's forever gonna be true in the case. And that's me having insights and paying attention and learning stuff. And so yeah, in a weird way, like risk it all with my writing by, depending on something showing up during the week for me to write about. I see. But always, there's always, it's always different, but there's always some sort of dream or some sort of conversation or a one line in a song or, whatever it is that like, sticks out in the week that just like unlocks something. And that's what I write about. That's sick. Yeah. I need to get on that train because I, I do a lot of. Private writing, like morning pages and stuff and , I need to get on the on track with like, publishing and then kind of like keeping a running habit of publishing my reflections. Something I'm inspired to do and man, you're, your writing is so good. I love how you're able to just like, hone down and get so much meaning out of like, succinct in like one sentence and three sentences. They just mean so much and you get so much so much meaning condensed in smaller phrases. And that's something I wanna work on. I love your writing. What is like, kind of like your message to people, to whoever's listening just about like, living life, like head on and truly like deepening their experience. Yeah. It's a perception problem. It's meaning and magic and all of that is you're just drenched in it like all the time. It's just that you forgot or you're blind to it and don't see it. And so the way I found it is awareness whatever you gotta do to boost your awareness. But the more awareness you have, the more you'll see it and feel it and experience it and yeah it's everywhere all the time and yeah, it's just, you don't know that until you remember. And it's not until you remember that you realize that you had forgotten in the first place. That's huge. Amen to that. All right, man, everyone, this is Mitchell Wilson. You have to follow him on Twitter, Mitchell d Wilson. Done ton of mindful, enlightening stuff there. And seeker flow.com for the newsletter. Let's do this again, man. Let's do it. Let's check in soon and dive deeper on some more things. Absolutely. Appreciate you so much everyone. This has been the God XP Spiritual Fitness Podcast. We'll see you next time. Thanks for having me.