The Benefits of Preparation: Journaling for Intention Setting

USA Today Best Selling Author Kiki Howell shares her experience with at-home psychedelic ketamine-assisted therapy. Stayed tuned for future installments from Kiki, as she takes us through her ketamine therapy experiences. 

Journaling With Intention

When preparing myself for a ketamine experience at home, intention setting seemed key to my psychedelic therapy benefits. I’ve done some research on the subject, and basically the intention you set is your motivation for doing the ketamine treatment. Stating it in words that you can focus on as the pill dissolves under your tongue is the way that your brain communicates with the psychedelic as to what you want to achieve. 

Just Start Writing

Journaling can really help create your intention if you are struggling to do so, or to even flesh it out more if you already know what it is. Now, before you even go there, journaling has nothing to do with being a writer. It’s stream-of-consciousness writing that can be utterly senseless until it becomes meaningful. You can actually start journaling complaining about how much you hate journaling. That said, there will be a “but” moment where you switch up to, “but I need to set an intention for my ketamine therapy experience for anxiety”, and off you will go being all productive, writing words no one ever needs to read, so erase the concern that your intention needs to be a written in a particular manner. 

Here is where the preparation for your at home ketamine experience can get really juicy. I suggest you start by writing out an inventory of what you would like to change in your life. Again, I am not telling you to get all bogged down in the bad stuff, even though there can be some benefit to releasing the emotions associated with your life experiences. What you write is your personal choice based on what you know or feel to be best for you. 

For me, I had not only anxiety that made me feel like I'd drank too many cups of coffee when I had consumed no caffeine at all, but also anxiety that crippled my decision-making abilities as a mother and held me back from going places I wanted to go. To add insult to injury, my anxiety and depression combo had me overeating junk food and over-consuming alcoholic beverages to self-soothe when two high-risk pregnancies had already left me with diabetes. So, I chose to journal about these limiting behaviors, letting the emotions flow as needed. My choice. I’d learned long ago through studying the chemistry of essential oils for emotional release that stuffing my toxic emotions was a recipe for disaster in the name of depression. They just came back to haunt me later, and later, and well, later again! So, if tears flow or anger rears its ugly head while you’re journaling, let them, and just write them out. Again, you don’t need to go through this, but it can be a helpful addition to the process should you choose to do that kind of work in your ketamine experience. 

It’s All About Release

Tell yourself you will burn the pages later. And I mean, actually burn the pages later! It really silences the overly-intrusive ego who worries so that someone will read your words later and pass judgment upon you. So, if you want, write it all out, the awful, the bad, and the down-right nasty even if tears smear the ink. Then crumble the paper as you plan a bonfire later, or simply toss it in a fireproof bowl and torch it immediately in the driveway. You do you! Don’t worry about what the neighbors will think. 

Once that is done, or if you chose to skip that phase due to personal concerns, start to write about the life you dream of, your reason for choosing affordable at-home ketamine treatments in the first place. Let me give you another personal example: a few people in my life used to try to calm me down, especially my anxieties where my children were concerned, with the phrase, The Universe has your back. To that, my anxiety-riddled brain would scream, in my experience, it absolutely does not! So, one of my intentions for a ketamine experience included focusing on “The Universe has my back”. I journaled first to create what felt to me like a fictional story at the time about how my boys were safe, protected, happy, and healthy. I even went so far as to claim that the Universe had their backs too. Flipping the script this way let me envision a life as if that were true, a place where my anxiety was the fictional piece, the liar, the trickster. From that, I set my intention. 

Journaling Helps

Now, I know you’re wondering why all the journaling then? Why not just write the simple intention, it only needs to be a few words. That you have time for!

Well, for some it helps them get to the intention if they don’t already have one. For me, I already knew my intention, but journaling the story helped me have future moments to focus on as the ketamine took me into a dream-like state where I could envision it, feel it, and hope to come to actually believe it. After setting my intention while the pill dissolved, I would then fantasize how life could be as I drifted off after I spit the ketamine out. I can assure you, during that ketamine experience, I saw my two boys, happy and healthy, doing things they loved as they grew into old men who visited, in one scene, with their even older mother and shared their excitement for life. 

I have to share with you that after my fourth ketamine experience, I actually heard myself say one stress-filled day, The Universe has my back. I stopped, at first marveling at who had said that, only to be mystified that not only had it come from my head, but that I actually believed myself. Yes, tingles all up and down my body believed myself!

So, journal, even if you don’t like it. Give it a little go. For some, the scratch of the pencil along paper or the swirl of the pen along the straight lines is relaxing and therapeutic in and of itself. You just have to maneuver around the ego’s writing arguments. Everyone can write, string a line of words together. You can talk, you can write. You have something worthwhile to say about your life! Just bring up a topic you are passionate about to prove the theory true. Your mind got going producing those words, didn’t it? So, when you go to set pen to paper, remember these key truths. Your journal will not be published. No one needs to even know you wrote it. Lock yourself in a closet if need truly be. Make it fun. Journal with a crayon on construction paper. The burning will be more magickal later for the colors and wax. Just find a way to flesh out your future, to solidify your intention. Do the work beforehand. I truly believe it will make your psychedelic therapy so much more powerful.

Kirstein Howell is a USA Today Bestselling Author who writes fiction under the pen name of Kiki Howell. A life-long learner, she’s currently a CYT 200 Yoga Teacher with a collection of other certifications that include Reiki, Feng Shui, and Essential Oils. At this moment, she’s studying to be a shaman.

Experiences with ketamine are individual and vary by user.