A few months after the pandemic began to spread across the US, Dominic found himself struggling. On the surface, life was good. The child of poor immigrants, he had worked his way up to a great job with a tech startup in San Francisco. The transition to working from home in his cozy apartment was as smooth as could be. He was healthy and well-adjusted, respected by colleagues and friends.
But the social isolation began to wear on him. The confinement disrupted the habits and routines that kept him active and engaged. Before he knew it, he found himself in a downward spiral.
“Every day was like Groundhog Day. I was in a pretty dark place with a lot of anxiety and depression. I didn’t even notice it at first. It just kind of crept up on me,“ he says.
When the panic attacks started, Dominic knew something had to change.
Why Structure and Connection Matter When Microdosing
Online articles with personal stories of microdosing introduced him to the idea of using psychedelics as a tool for growth and performance. He even experimented with it on his own for a while, but his experience didn’t seem to match up with the results he read about in the scientific literature.
For him, the science was definitive––he was certain psychedelics could help him work through his challenges. His problem, he felt, was structural. He needed a framework to help integrate and build from the experience. He needed guidance and support to navigate this smoothly.
That’s when he discovered the Microdosing Experience, a six-week in-depth group program to use microdosing as a tool for healing and personal growth. Besides a research-based structure, the program offered a space to connect with others on a similar journey––a welcome break from his pervasive sense of social disconnection. It was a chance to go beyond theory and haphazard self-experiments and really dig deep into the healing potential he saw in microdosing.
“There is a huge difference between reading a book versus being able to connect with another human,“ he admits.
At first, he was shocked by the group’s diversity––most people were very different than himself. There were people from around the world, at different stages of life, each working with their own unique challenges. But there was something powerful about so many different types of people all coming together for a shared purpose.
“I really think of microdosing as a way to improve knowledge of our own consciousness. To uncover all those things that we haven’t resolved yet––the stories, beliefs, and preconceived notions that limit us. To me, that’s 100% what all this work is about,” he stresses.
The Journey to Emotional Awareness
Bit by bit, Dominic began to peel back layers. As he reconnected with his body through biking and long walks in nature, something in his mind opened. Everything he hadn’t allowed himself to feel since the lockdown came rushing through in a wave of grief.
Grief for his future plans washed away. Grief for his withered relationships. Grief for the loss of a way of life he loved… and all glazed over for months with a superficial smile saying “everything’s fine.”
Instead of judging, and repressing his emotions, like he so often did, he let them through. He felt them. “Intellectually understanding your problems doesn’t change anything,” he explains. “You have to feel the change at the emotional level for healing, and microdosing actually opens the door for that. I’m finally able to acknowledge those trapped emotions and let go of all these burdens.”
An Unexpected Side Effect
Then something strange happened. By doing the inner work, other areas of Dominic’s life began to shift and open up. Especially with his parents. “I always had a pretty strained relationship with my parents. There was a ton of shame, trauma, and anger. It was really tough to manage. I often avoided interactions whenever I could,” he reflected.
But now, it’s different. Instead of reacting to old triggers, he gets curious. He sees both his parents––and himself––with more compassion.
“Microdosing pulls back the ego structure, the default mode network. There’s more space between awareness and my feelings. Within that gap, I can observe my emotions and reactions with more curiosity. It makes forgiveness easier because I’m able to let those feelings towards my past and to other people go.”
That tiny gap between emotion and reaction has made all the difference for Dominic. Because it’s not just about difficult emotions or relationships. It’s about cultivating the freedom to fully engage with life. In Dominic’s view, freedom in life comes down to the stories we tell ourselves. We make up stories about our experiences, about our emotions, about who we are, about what we “have” to do and why. These stories define our choices and limitations.
“Microdosing just allows me to take a step back from every story––stories I’m telling myself about my career, or my life, or my personal identity––and see myself in a more resilient way,” he notes.
How Small Shifts Can Create Big Transformations
Breakthroughs in life often don’t come with fireworks. Sometimes the smallest sub-perceptual shifts transform our lives in powerful ways. For Dominic, all it took was a little gap.
In that space, he released emotional patterns of anxiety and depression, healed damaged relationships with his family, and opened to a renewed sense of energy and resilience.
While microdosing played an important part, Dominic emphasizes that it’s your own participation and engagement with the process that creates real healing and growth. “Microdosing doesn’t do the work for you. It’s up to us to adapt, to create new boundaries and new intentions for ourselves.”
If you want to go deeper into the transformational potential of microdosing through a structured immersion program, click here to learn more about The Microdosing Experience.