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My most recent mushroom trip

I travel often.

I love to see and learn new things. Especially on my own. I love to get lost while traveling.

My favorite places to travel, for various reasons, have been:

  • Colombia
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • Ghana

All of these places make me feel a bit at home to some degree but the trip I’m reflecting on below started on my chocolate brown micro-fiber couch in my Mission Hill apartment, on a Saturday afternoon after my morning shift working at my Kush Groove shop.

I had my mind set on taking some mushrooms this afternoon.

I brought some back from my most recent trip to Montreal last week.

My life is really good at this point and I’m in a really happy place career wise.

I have however been experiencing some disappointments with pursuing romantic relationships, so I figured, what better circumstances to get clarity on things than with an afternoon mushroom trip.

This isn’t my first time taking mushrooms.

I’ve taken mushrooms and other hallucinogens in the past. One of my favorites was a mushroom trip in Sweden during Swedish national day.

That was amazing.

Either way, here’s what happened during my most recent trip.

…..

Before I got started, I set aside some water, tea and a bucket for puking.

I also turned up the thermostat to the highest heat possible and put on a space heater. My living room was filled with sun light after I opened the curtains. I was home alone but I felt safe, I’ve tripped here in this same spot before.

I took two mushroom infused chocolates at about 3pm Saturday afternoon.

This is when the trip commenced.

I smoked a bit of weed right after, sipped some tea and put on a movie.

The movie was Book of Eli, with Denzel Washington.

I figured I couldn’t go wrong with Denzel. He’s safe for a trip.

I didn’t start to feel the effects until about and hour or so in.

What struck accord and anchored me in the beginning of my trip was a moment in the movie when Denzel’s character reflected on what life was like before the post war setting that sustained much of the movies backdrop.

Water was scare so he had to clean him self with a KFC branded moist towelette.

We typically reserve these small things to cleaning our fingers after eating BBQ flavored foods.

I couldn’t imagine the KFC moist towelette as my only means of cleaning myself.

But that was the point, however I interpreted it.

This is when I started to go deeper…

The movie ended and I recognized I needed different stimulation so I put on the “nature sounds” station on Pandora.

The music played, I wrapped myself in a fluffy terry cloth blanket and closed my eyes.

I experienced some profound emotions while the music played, here are some of them:

  • The sounds of each track were different: some had oceanic sounds, some of the sounds were natural to jungle environments, others had a classical, pre colonial vibe to it.
  • I felt “one” with each place my mind had connected these sounds to
  • The water sounds made me think about the animals, the entire earth, her heartbeat. I decided to go back to veganism again, 100%
  • I didn’t see people but I felt people, the energy of people alive during those times I could connect the music with
  • I did communicate with someone else who was on a trip somewhere, I don’t know who or where. It was brief
  • I felt I could understand the language that was spoken during that time in history of the sounds, even though no one was there to speak to me
  • I was transported back in time, thousands and thousands and thousands of years
  • I felt apart of a spiritual world of loving entities that were around me, communicating to me, through me, but not in words, telling me to breathe
  • Then another voice, my rational mind, was reinforcing me to breathe, just breathe, just keep breathing. I thought about all the years of yoga I’ve taken and how I learned to breathe consciously from the practice of yoga. This helped tremendously
  • I was in control of my thinking but I was free from thinking, my rational mind and subconscious mind were both present but the subconscious mind was detached from my body, moving with the particles of thoughts and thinking that went through me and around me
  • When thoughts about money, people, my work I do, passed through me, it made me feel very cold. It gave me uncomfortable chills.
  • When thoughts about money crossed by, I didn’t want to think about it. Each time the thoughts came I tried to deflect it mentally, but physically push it away, if that makes sense. It made me realize money is only important in this realm, and there are so many realms of existence. Money is actually not THAT important, but unfortunately we live, thrive and survive in a realm where it is and that makes me feel sad, and cold.
  • When I had these thoughts, it gave me a physical feeling of coldness, a chill on my body that was really really uncomfortable: this is all while the heat is on blast, I’m wrapped up in thick wool sweatpants, a thermal shirt, a black bathrobe and a terrycloth blanket: I couldn’t have been any warmer.
  • I felt a bit sad how people perceive me as being overly serious. I’m serious about life, the way a master teacher is serious about teaching. Not serious like a prison warden. People perceive me as more serious than I think I’d like them to perceive me. I’m actually alot more happier on the inside than I think the average person is. I do have resting bitch face, that doesn’t help. But I also have a great smile, which I should show more to diffuse that perception, but I can’t fake it. The duality of life lol.
  • I’m serious about being an entrepreneur, my current work now, but I don’t want the characteristics of entrepreneurship to define my entire being. I’ve built a shell, almost like a turtle, that doesn’t allow my natural, true being to shine all the time, especially in romantic settings. My work and the people I deal with made me build a shell. It’s been healthy for me in the human realm of entrepreneurship, not so healthy for allowing love into my full being. It’s something I need to work on.
  • I later puked out all the negative energy that passed through me feeling relieved.
  • My roommate came in and made me more tea.

I listened to music for I don’t even know how long.

Now that I think about it, maybe 3-4 hours.

It felt like forever.

A forever my rational mind didn’t want to really commit to.

So I called my lady friend in Montreal who I got my mushroom candies from. I love her and trust her. She’s so sweet.

Me: Hey, I’m tripping really deep right now, I’m fine but I’m ready for this to end, I want to get back to reality. Is there any sort of tea you can recommend to accelerate this so I can come back to earth? I actually went on a tea shopping expedition while I was there last week.

Her: Hi dear. There are some teas (she mentioned some certain types of teas I can’t recall) but I have them here with me. They are special blends and you can’t really find them commercially.

Me: Oh dear, I giggled. OK. I’m fine. I just want to get this over with.

Her: You’re fine. You’re going to be fine. Let nature take its time. Just embrace the moment and be in the present. You’ll be find. You’re on a magical journey.

Me: Thank you so much. I love you. I’ll let you know if I have any questions.

I later sent her a text saying here words were EVERYTHING I needed to hear at the moment.

…..

My experiences were intense to say the least as I recall a day later.

I wished I wrote them all down as they came.

But in all honesty, I was in no capacity to hold a pen (number one) nor could I write down the amazing thoughts and experiences during my trip.

I felt like I needed to let them come and they’d download at the right time, in the right medium. And here we are…in a blog post lol

Because I had my eyes closed, my mind and thoughts led the journey.

The music was the soundtrack to the ride.

I definitely peaked during the music portion of my trip.

After I recognized my peak, the night started to fall and my living room got darker so I closed the curtains, and put on the movie “half baked” starting Dave Chapelle.

I knew I wanted a different stimulation.

I needed to see light & watching comedy during mushroom trips are always fun and safe.

That’s where I needed to go as I was coming down and that’s where I went.

I laughed my ass off for the last hour or so while I was on my come down.

I settled back into reality comfortably and I was happy this was how I spent the day, equally happy it was over as well.

I didn’t expect to go this deep but my mind was prepared for it. The universe was definitely on my side for this ride.

My big takeaways from my trip were:

  • I have to find a more harmonious medium to thinking about and participating in business activity and doing something else, other than business: my subconscious mind is telling me it makes me feel cold and I don’t like the cold, in this realm or others
  • The past is the past: keep living, breathing and growing
  • Money has a devilishly interesting energy to it
  • I love my “tribe” and I want to share my insights, and the path towards my insights with all of them, hoping then can find deeper insights for themselves.
  • My spirit has lived thousands of lives, all beings, all languages
  • Keep a cautious eye out for women peddling wild herbs or cat people (whatever this means)

Ever tripped on shrooms? Remember your experience? Comment below.

Boston’s Own Independent Cannabis Culture

Originally appeared on leafly.com

Boston’s cannabis culture has operated underground for more than half a century. In coming weeks, with the opening of the first legal state-licensed retail stores, it will finally emerge into the open light.

Ultimately, Boston needs a cannabis culture of its own that’s unique to the people here and reflects who we are. We don’t need to be East Coast Colorado or California-on-the-Charles. Those are fun things to say, and it makes for a tight soundbite, but as a roadmap to regional identity, I’m against it. We’re not Colorado. We’re not California. We’re Boston. And I dare you to try to find someone who doesn’t hear that and beam with pride.

The potential here is vast.

In Boston proper, as well as in Dorchester, Roxbury, and the surrounding townships, you have creative, artsy groups meshing the gothic and alternative stoner cultures together in fun and colorful ways. I love these folks.

You also have upscale, on-demand, custom-service operations that host private parties in residential homes, creating infused dinners and personalized events for adults of every stripe, career, sexual persuasion, political ranking, and celebrity status. You’d be surprised.

And yes, the parties are as fun as you’d imagine.

Until now, most of Boston’s public cannabis events have been focused on education and advocacy—the important stuff that moves agendas. The Boston Freedom Rally, a multiday extravaganza of cannabis education, outreach, activism, and celebration, is nearing its third decade.

Even giving those events their proper due, it’s clear that Boston lacks the visible, open cannabis scene that exist in other 420-friendly municipalities, like LA, San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, and Portland. But it doesn’t have to.

The potential here is vast. In the coming weeks and months, Boston can carve out its own robust cannabis identity. We have a culture of excellence here in Massachusetts. We value science, medicine, and education. We’re a technology hub that cultivates talent at the highest levels. We also value hard work, grit, and determination. Our sports culture is founded on a tradition of resilience and excellence. Our heroes are tough, show-up-to-work types: Dustin Pedroia, Big Papi, Joan Benoit, Robert Parish, Bobby Orr.

Read original article on leafly.com here

Tools You Need To Grow Real Leads On Facebook & LinkedIn

I’ll keep it brief and get to the tools. If you’re looking to grown online this year, you NEED to be using these tools. They’ve helped my grow my mailing lists to the 10’s of 1,000’s and increase customer conversions ten fold.

Take a look, research more, download and utilize these tools ASAP for your marketing activities.

Don’t forget, without a strategy, this won’t go too far…

 5 Tools You Need To Grow Real Leads On Facebook & LinkedIn

There are many tools on the market that marketers will debate over. The online marketing environment changes daily so it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of information and software options that’s out there on the market. What’s works well for me is focusing on a core of key platforms, activities and principals (yes, values and principals matter) that generate results and can work on autopilot to scale conversations with real people.

Here’s are some of the platforms and tools I’ve use.

1. Facebook: for Ads, Posts & Connecting w/People

Why? We all know what Facebook is. But few actually understand the power of Facebook for businesses and fewer know how to use the platform to find success as a business. I use Facebook, the platform, for one simple reason: generate conversations with real people. This is how real business is done, when real people talk to each other. Facebook and LinkedIn are great platforms for this. For businesses, a Facebook Page is key.

Link: www.facebook.com

 

2. LinkedIn: for Posts, Articles & Connecting w/People

Why? Similar to the power of Facebook, LinkedIn has an incredible amount of power to help real people facilitate real conversations. The great thing about LinkedIn is the platform is tailored for professionals to have real conversations. My LinkedIn posts and articles have brought over 10,000+ views.

Link: www.Linkedin.com

3. LinkedIn Helper: for Connecting w/2rd & 3rd Tier Connections

Why? The great thing about LinkedIn is you can see your tiers of connections with others on the platform. LinkedIn Helper is a chrome browser plugin that allows you to do a ton of amazing automated marketing features on the LinkedIn platform. I’ll talk about this platform in more detail below.

Link: www.linkedinhelper.com

4. AnyLeads: for Group Scraping & List Cleaning

Why? AnyLeads is a great growth marketing tool that allows marketers to do a ton of amazing marketing activities at scale that really opens the door to growth marketing at the next level. One of the key features I personally love is the email verification tool that allows you to verify cold emails if you’re considering cold lead marketing email campaigns.

Link: www.anyleads.com

5. Grouply: for Group Scraping

Why? Grouply is a great growth marketing tool specifically for the Facebook platform. Functioning the same way as LinkedIn Helper, Grouply is a chrome browser extension that allows marketers to extract key demo info from Facebook Group Members.

Link: www.grouply.com

Hopefully these tools can help with your marketing goals. They’re used by some of the best in marketing today.

Have any questions about how to implement these tools into your marketing strategy?

Send us a message here

In Massachusetts, ‘Local Buy-In’ Leaves Equity Candidates Outside, Waiting

Originally appeared on leafly.com

I‘ve never been arrested for cannabis, but it was common in the neighborhood where I grew up. A handful of my childhood friends have been arrested on petty cannabis charges, putting them in the embrace of our criminal justice system. Some of them were taken in so often that they came to anticipate each nuance of the criminal justice system—at age 13. They seemed to navigate the system with a patience and understanding I could never comprehend.

One of my friends navigated the system so well that he represented himself in a lawsuit against a local municipality for false imprisonment—and won.

I consider myself a pretty square guy. I went to college in Boston. Went to grad school in Boston. Got a job in corporate Boston after college, and held a few other quasi-corporate positions before going out on my own and becoming an entrepreneur.

My experience has allowed me to understand corporate culture. I know how to navigate a conference room conversation with the same ease that my friends, who were arrested in their teens, exhibited while surviving the criminal justice system.

Today, I’m an equity candidate in Massachusetts’ grand experiment in cannabis economic participation. I’m actively navigating the cannabis licensing space. My corporate training has given me and my business partner somewhat of a leg up when it comes to the strange dynamics and nuances of the process.

Most groups looking to enter the industry hire law firms to help them navigate the painstaking license application process. (Those who can afford it, that is.) My team consist of just two guys, a handful of resources, and information. I imagine other equity applicants are approaching the process with similar limitations.

Read original article on leafly.com

Website Redesign Tips

Experiencing a season of poor sales is definitely a good reason to consider a website redesign. If you’ve hired a new team or if you’re looking to shake things up with a new look, these are also good reasons to consider a website redesign.

A good place to start with your website redesign is to consider designing around your business goals and the goals of your customers. Good website design requires good strategy. You’ll want to plan your content, navigation, colors and key words accordingly so these assets support your business outcomes and best leverage your website as an ongoing marketing tool.

Before you begin your website redesign project, it’s important to clarify why you are considering a website redesign.

You’ll want to be clear on your “why” so you can produce the best outcome/s.

Consider these reasons why you might need a new website:

  • Your business sales are in a slump
  • You hired a new team; you’re looking to go in a new direction
  • You’re brand is old and stale; you’re looking to give things a new look

Let’s start with determining if your the reason for redesigning your website has to do with a slump in sales.

Business Sales Are in a Slump

Answer these questions when deciding whether or not to redesign a website:

  1. Are you an e-commerce business seeing a decline in business?
  2. Are your sales in decline and your website is your main marketing tool?
  3. Have you received complaints about user experience from customers?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, it’s best that you prioritize your website redesign sooner rather than later.

If you’re in an e-commerce business, your website is your primary marketing tool and point-of-sale for your customers. Unless you’re using integrated e-commerce tools like Shopify’s Instagram button, you’re likely missing out on business because of a poorly designed website.

For businesses who utilize their website as their main marketing tool (i.e. marketing activities are limited to just a stand alone website) it may also be in your best interest to prioritize a website redesign.

Why?

Because the speed of technology and design move at alarming rates. The trends in website design best practices change based on enhancements in hardware and software.

For example, take the trend of artificial intelligence. AI website integrations weren’t a popular, widely accessible feature on websites a few years ago. Today, AI tools and features help enhance a company’s ability to communicate in real time with customers for customer service related issues. Platforms such as Facebook Messenger and Manychat provide easy-to-use, low fee options to automate outreach and communication with customers on the Facebook platform and on the website.

As far as advances in hardware, more websites are designed around mobile friendly devices because users are more and more shifting towards experiencing websites and website properties on their mobile devices.

If you’ve received feedback from customers directly about how hard it might be to navigate your website, or on the data analytics side of things, if you see major increases in your bounce rate or a decrease in the number of website visitors coming to your site, these are all valid signs pointing to why you might want to consider a website redesign as a priority.

New Hires. New Direction.

Your company is going in a new direction and has hired new staff. Leadership has a vision for the future that’s different from the past. This is a good time to consider a website redesign.

If you’re looking to redesign your website because of an internal change of staff and leadership, here’s a few things to consider as you being:

  1. Website redesign reflects existing mission of organization
  2. Pivot from messaging; only if necessary
  3. Don’t divorce from core messaging

A change in website design direction for the purposes of a leadership or team change is different from a change in website design for the purposes of an overall brand redesign. These two motivations shouldn’t be confused.

If a change in website design direction is motivated by a change in team or leadership, it is important to maintain how the values and principles are communicated on the website. Team members come and go but the mission of the organization, which has given the organization a foundation to thrive on, must not change due to these motivations.

You’ll only want to pivot from existing messaging if it is clear that need is there. A good example of pivoting from messaging might be if you no longer sell a certain item, or are looking to introduce a new service offering. This is a good place to consider pivoting from your message. What you don’t want to do is run the risk of alienating your customers who already patron your business, especially if your existing message is clear and resonates with them.

Don’t divorce from core messaging unless your committing to a complete brand refresh or branding redesign.

Which leads to the next section.

Brand Refresh

Your brand is old and stale and in need of updating. You’re looking to step into a 21st century look, but your still tied to trends of the past. This is one more good reason to consider a website redesign.

A brand refresh usually starts with an update of a logo, an update of a brands’ messaging and social graphics. It can also include an update/redesign of a brands website. Doing these activities at the same time will help with keeping messaging tight, consistent. However, they can be done separately with the right care and considerations for quality.

As you’re redesigning or refreshing your brand beyond the logo on the website, here’s a few tidbits to consider for your brand redesign:

  1. Design for user experience
  2. Design for device
  3. Design to be discovered (SEO)

What are you selling? What are you offering? What do your customers need? What do they NEED to see?

These are the questions you’ll want to ask yourself (or your website designer) as you’re thinking about how your website visitors will experience your website. Your website needs to be intuitive and adaptable for your users needs. Whether it be a mobile phone, a laptop or desktop computer, or a tablet, you need to consider how one might want to navigate your site by anticipating their needs.

Mobile usage currently account for over 52% of global traffic in 2018. This trend has increased to 50% in 2017 from 43.6% in 2016 and 35.1% in 2015.

Make sure all pages are mobile first!

Doing this ensures your website is optimized for google search index, one of the key features responsible for your website ranking on the google search platform.

Which leads to the next recommendation around designing to be discovered.

One of the great functions your website can serve beyond showcasing to potential customers what you offer and/or what you sell, is to bring in new customers who are searching for your products or serves. This practice is referred to as search engine optimization (SEO). Good SEO practices on your website, such as key words in your content meta data, help to rank your website higher on the Google search platform.

See more about SEO best practices here.

7 Steps to Launch Your Website Redesign

Now that you’ve gotten clear on your “why” about redesigning your website, here are some tips to consider.

1. Analyze old website

Review your old website to determine what is working already and what isn’t. You know the saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.” This goes the same with website redesign. If something is working well with your website already, study why it’s working and try to replicate it across your website where applicable. If certain elements on a blog post are working well on some blog posts and not on others, adapt those that work well to the ones that don’t work well.

2. ID your priorities

Is your website purely for lead generation? Is it a front facing site to showcase your business services? Do you sell items on your website? Be clear on what your priorities are for your website redesign. Knowing your goals up front allows you to focus on achieving results with your website redesign.

3. Define website target audience

Your audience is going to evolve over time, please consider this. As you add new products or services over time, you should update your messaging to the customers most able and willing to buy from you.

4. ID what’s already working

I mentioned this above, “if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.” Once you identify what’s working well on your site, refine and replicate across as many components of your site as applicable.

5. Create list of desired design changes

As you go through the process of analyzing your old website and identifying what does and doesn’t work well, start to make a list of desired changes you want to see on the site. Think of this as a website redesign wish list of some sorts. Things like menu items, URL extensions, or home page photos are good items to add to a list such as this.

6. Define new goals

Do you want people to stay on your home page longer than they are today? Do you want to see higher conversions on certain items on your e-commerce website? Consider the list of desired changes you just outlined and how those changes may help to advance your goals. A compelling home page slider gallery, or a video, may help you achieve your goal of keeping people on your home page longer.

7. Build a website redesign plan

After analysis, ID’ing what’s working and what isn’t, defining your goals and ID’ing your priorities, you’re ready to make a plan. Whether you’re doing the website redesign yourself or you’re hiring a team of professionals to do so, you need a timeline. If you are working with an outside team, appoint one person (more than one will create confusion and miscommunication) to approve all changes and updates. Spell out costs, timeline, ownership of digital assets and other pertinent considerations in your agreement.

A good website redesign takes planning, focused design and testing. While an increase in revenue is the most likely end goal of any website redesign, improving user experience and flow will keep customers coming back, which is always a good thing.

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Hope you enjoyed this post. For more marketing notes, check out my blog: http://clearwaterbranding.com/marketing-blog/