As I think back and reflect on what these past five years have brought me, the first word that comes to mind is gratitude. It's funny looking back. I remember I started my first company peace love EDM because I was pissed. I was pissed with how the media was portraying the Dance Music community. The death of a 15-year-old girl the year before was the story they loved to talk about. While it was terrible what happened, the fact that she died of a drug overdose gave the media something to hold onto. There was such a dark light where they would show us as the "drug abusing youth" rather than the truth of what was really happening at these festivals and events. Yes, I am not going to deny that there was recreational drug use happening at these events. There was something much greater happening, unity. People from all backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, you name it; we came together to celebrate life. Whatever society has stamped us with to classify and separate us in various groups, all of those barriers were broken. We danced together as One. There was one heart, beating and grooving to the music. I remember being moved to such a level, I often found myself crying tears of joy as I myself was able to overcome my depression. I went to these parties to escape everything I was going through, and I came out stronger than ever before.
Then came the riots in Downtown LA. A free block party was happening to promote the premiere of The Electric Daisy Carnival Experience Movie, highlighting the beauty of one of the world's largest festivals. I remember being 22 and pissed that I was with my family on vacation, missing my favorite DJ, Kaskade. As thousands of people went out to support their favorite DJ, a riot broke out leading to arrests, bean bags being shot into the crowd, and vandalized police vehicles. This isn’t what EDM or the Dance Community represents, but in fact, it is quite the opposite. Because of a few disrespectful people, the EDM scene is AGAIN getting negative publicity to the public. I was trying to figure out everything in my power to come home a day earlier so that I could attend the block party. That never happened, but what did happen was something far greater. I was here watching CNN and all the news shining this dark light on my community that we were violent, drug addicts who loved to cause havoc because we didn't fall in line.
I was on a mission.
I wanted to highlight the people and what it was that was happening. People were healing. People were coming together. People were instilling love. The whole movement was about peace. love. unity. and respect. The music was the blood and the values were what we lived by. The three years I had in that industry was the greatest blessing of my life thus far. In the beginning I enjoyed the perks of being in the industry- meeting and interviewing internationally known DJs, invitations to album release parties and festivals. Overtime, I was evolving. I knew there was something much bigger in store going on in my life. The activist in me was ready to thrive.
The only problem... I was a hot mess.
I was partying every weekend and giving a big middle finger to any responsibilities. I had a difficult LSD experience that showed me the areas I needed to focus and gain a new sense of awareness in my life. I felt Gaia crying and the pain humanity was facing if I didn't change my lifestyle. By that point I was abusing MDMA. Every weekend I would go out and roll because it was always around. It got to the point where I didn't allow my brain to regenerate enough serotonin, but I loved the feeling I would have for that night. At the time I believed that MDMA would answer all my problems. I didn't think I needed to take action and use MDMA as a tool to breakthrough my barriers and walls. Rather than respecting the medicine she provides, I was abusing marijuana. Simply put, I was abusing these medicines just to feel high and check out.
I knew I could make an impact in the world because I saw my power first hand. I was young and my ego was in the driver seat. I thought I could solve all of the world's problems. I was still angry with God at that time, so while I was diving into my spirituality, all of my insecurities and pain were loud and pissed. I felt extremely isolated, feeling like people wanted something from me when I did my best to just be. As much as I wanted, I couldn't provide them with what they wanted because it was the first time in my life that I saw I needed to take care of my health and well-being first. I felt trapped in a psychic war. I was extremely vulnerable and didn't have to tools I needed to go out there and enjoy life. I found myself in various scary situations. While I knew and I found myself grateful for my angels and guides who were helping and protecting me along the way, some of the experiences I faced during that time haunted me for years.
Because I was so caught up in this crazy story I created in my head, I ended up with debilitating paranoia, where I couldn't go anywhere without living in fear. God wanted me to have a reality check and my dog Bud and I were struck by lightning as I was driving, chasing a pipe dream. I lived with a dark cloud and saw that the life I was chasing wasn't bringing me genuine happiness. I was looking for life outside of myself to fill the void only doing the work could fill. Four years later, I can honestly say that experience completely changed my life.
EMBARKING ON THE SPIRITUAL PATH
I remember meeting Marianne Williamson right around the big event of THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR OF 2012 (dun dun dun!!) at my local Center for Spiritual Living church in Palm Desert. I told her bits and pieces of my story (that same story I told for years) and she reassured me that everything was going to be fine. She advised that I read her book A Return to Love and that if that moves me to start reading A Course in Miracles.
By January 2013, I was at my rock bottom. I moved back home, went back to visit my college therapist on the regular, and stopped partying as often as I was. I chose to stop drinking and smoking. I needed to get clean in all areas in my life. I was driven to clean my body, mind, and spirit. I got to the point where I would rather be dead than living the life that no longer brought me happiness. If I didn't take back control of my life, I wouldn't be where I am today.
By this time, I was ready to take back my life, ready to find myself in alignment with my truth. I found myself interested in Yoga again and I was reading self-help book after self-help book. I read over 100 self-help books over the course of a year. I was determined to change my life and to find genuine and authentic happiness.
I found clarity, took the initiative to take back my life and my health, and did my own research as to how these medicines I believed in were tools to help.
I was finally able to be honest with myself and my journey up until that point. For years I was afraid of admitting that I abused these drugs and Gaia's medicines. I was so afraid of being in trouble because of the "war on drugs." But as I look back on it all, I see how grateful I was to see that this was the experience I needed to expand my consciousness and to see how connected we are to everything around us.
... to be continued.
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