How Getting High Helped Me Succeed In Life
The first time I ever got high was 14 years ago.
It was better than anything I had ever experienced. For an hour or more, I felt like I was flying on a rocketship to the moon. For the only time up until that point in my life, I felt connected to something bigger than myself.
It happened at a point when I really needed it. I had just started my own law practice, and I was terrified. I felt so alone.
To the outsider looking in, it probably appeared I had it all figured out. I was young, fun, wrinkle-free AND an up-and-coming lawyer. I exhibited several outward signs of success.
So, then…why did I make the choice to get high?
Inside, I was floundering. I was unhappy, disconnected, and unbalanced. I was out of sync with something, but I didn’t know what.
I tried to recalibrate on my own. The problem was, I didn’t know HOW to recalibrate. I didn’t understand what the issue was at that point, but even if I had, I wouldn’t have been able to Wikipedia it because Wikipedia didn’t exist.
So…I decided to try everything and anything.
I went to the big church near my house… the one I had been baptized in as an infant. I just knew that returning to this church would be like returning “home.” I hypothesized that going home would give me relief.
No one talked to me before, during or after the mass, including the priest. When I went to confession, he didn’t recognize the pain in my eyes. The only thing he told me at the end of it was that I needed to do one Act of Contrition, ten Hail Marys and an Our Father.
That was depressing.
I read astrology books. Palm reading books. Books about loneliness, unhappiness, and boredom. Relationship books. God books, universe books, books about succeeding in life, and books about living a happy life.
The books helped, but not really. After a while, I got sick of reading them. Then, I just had a lot of books.
I looked for answers in every person I encountered. I listened to my radio, hoping solutions would come blaring through the speakers. As I drove down the road, I read every billboard, praying for a perfectly spelled out and in-my-face message.
The self-help books I read told me daily affirmations would help. So I recited them every day in my head. Over and over and over.
Nothing happened. Nothing changed. I was starting to get really pissed, because I was doing everything right.
Why did I hurt so badly inside?
That’s when I ran into a guy while I was hiking Camelback Mountain. He told me to meet up with him the following day to experience the best thing I would ever feel. I was desperate, so I accepted his proposal.
I was excited at the thought of escaping from my life for a while. I was also nervous because it was going to be new.
I was clumsy. I got confused. My whole body was sweating.
I took a few inhales. Then exhales. Then…I was in heaven. And addicted.
For the next decade or so, I got high a few times every week. My life changed. Shockingly, it didn’t get worse. It got better.
My drug of choice?
You’re dying to know. Admit it. Here it is:
Because for the first time ever, it allowed me to experience being fully present. As I focused only on my breath, without even noticing, all my worries disappeared. My entire body felt like it was humming inside, and lemme tell you… it was waaaaaaaay better than lying on one of those Magic Fingers Vibrating Beds. My head was clear, and the answers I had been looking for were floating into my brain all at once, but in a perfect, unclouded way that made absolute sense.
I was alert. Aware. At peace. Understood. Supported.
Although I don’t do as much yoga now, I still practice my daily ritual of getting high.
Every morning, first thing before the sun rises or anyone in my house is up, I sit on the floor in my living room. I think about at least five things in my life I am grateful for in that moment. I inhale through my nose, and exhale through my nose. I observe how that pattern sounds like the waves of the ocean rolling in and out. And…I just listen to my breath.
Then, I become fully present. And centered. And I fly.
These minutes are the most important of my every day. These moments are when I feel the clearest, the most connected and the most powerful.
You can have this, too. You don’t really have to get high. You don’t have to do yoga, either.
You just have to take some time – at least 5 minutes – for yourself each day when no one is around, when there is no phone ringing, and when your computer is shut down. During this time, forget about your to-do list. Don’t think about your money worries. Put your relationship issues on hold.
During this time, the only thing you have to think about is listening to your breath. Notice your chest rising and falling with each inhale and exhale. Take your hand and feel your heart beating inside.
And as you listen to your breath and feel your heart beating, know from the deepest part of yourself that the force that keeps you alive is the same force that supports you every day. Even if you forget this sometimes. Know you can access this force anytime you want.
The only thing it requires is being present. In the moment. Right here, right now.
Sending you my wishes for a holiday week in which you give yourself and those in your life the gift of your presence.
All my best,