216: Transformation Through Plant Medicine


“It takes courage to be able to do plant medicine.”
Nick Onken

Welcome back for another episode of ONKEN RADIO (previously NION Radio), folks! Our purpose is simple: to help you explore the world from creativity, consciousness, and everything else in between to help you optimize your life to its fullest expression. 

I am grateful to have you here to learn from yet another crazy experience in my journey.

Today, I want to share about the plant medicine retreat that we recently concluded in Tulum, Mexico, called the Metamorph. It was the first time I ever co-hosted a retreat, which I did with my cosmic counterpart, E11even, while also experiencing a personal metamorphosis through the guided use of plant medicine. It was such a thrilling and surreal experience at the same time!

This short retreat helped attendees transform who they were into the next version of themselves, which is the identity alchemy that I talk about a lot — connecting people with yourself by telling your story. The inner alchemy,  and the identity alchemy piece of it, is really who are you on the inside, and all these things, including plant medicine, are mere tools to help you go through that process of finding yourself.

The metamorph plant medicine retreat we just did was a process to help us actualize more of who we were, and unleash who we’re supposed to be in this world. The impact we’re meant to create sometimes gets hindered by all the negative stories we tell ourselves, so if we can free ourselves, that will make the most significant impact.

Now that you have a little brief about today’s topic, I can’t wait to share my beautiful spiritual experience with you all. Plant medicine is a fantastic tool that helps us identify ourselves by working through past trauma if done under the watchful eyes of the right mentors and with the right intention. I hope this inspires you to get one step closer to transforming yourself into the best YOU!

My Private Session: An Eye Opener

Before the retreat began, I got a chance to do a private session that lasted for about 5 hours and was truly eye-opening. It started with a micro dosage of peyote, which helped me drop into my body, opening up the way for energy work. 

One of the mentors has extraordinary power to see this energy field and identify where trauma is blocking your myofascial tissues.

She started by moving through my body, finding the blocks, and pushing that energy out, and was also able to tap into my guides and see who they are, which too was a unique experience. In the middle of it, she pulled me back, and we started talking about the things she found and asked me about what I had gone through in life. 

Then she connected me to my guides: a white male puma, a female black hawk, a peacock, a female dragon, and a monk!

It was crazy to have them articulated because I’ve definitely felt them come through in my life in the form of interactions or personality and character traits. So it was really resonant for me.

We then did some more bodywork and finished with some Rapé, a tobacco-based shamanic snuff that is forcefully blown through the subject’s nose. In most cases, including mine, it causes the users to purge and helps release the toxins and dark energies that don’t serve you.

It Takes Courage to Trigger Your Transformation

Bravery is a tool to take you to your own place of self-expression on plant medicine journeys. We have all these traumas, and the dark and negative energy loops around us, the weight of which leads us into self-doubt, paving the way for fear and trauma. 

Spiritual journeys like these are about breaking free from those constructs, but facing your demons is not easy.

Only 5% of our brain is conscious, while 95% of our brain remains untapped, which immediately reflects the enormous potential that we possess but hardly realize. It’s essential to understand our thoughts and patterns and be conscious of the stories we live in and how those stories run our life. 

What we think about is the world we create.

To start identifying and breaking through the negative patterns that don’t serve us, you sometimes need the help of tools like plant medicine for a breakthrough. These negative loops won’t vanish entirely, but as you learn to recognize them, you will be able to use such tools to detach from the narrative. 

Plant medicine like mushrooms and ayahuasca have been the biggest tools for me, and now this retreat helped me see beyond. By the end of the retreat, not just me but everyone collectively felt the weight being lifted off their shoulders, and everyone was brighter and smiling by the end. 

The group’s energy had shifted and transformed through their bravery and willingness to be open with themselves.

Plant Medicines: The Greater Impact

Plant medicine is such a beautiful tool to work through things because you can learn to guide it with intention. It works with your subconscious, goes deep into the roots of your body and the subconscious mind, and starts to elevate your spirit. Some say it’s like 30 years of therapy in two nights, and I genuinely believe it has helped me tremendously.

It’s aided me in my personal and spiritual development, along with breath work, meditation, and all these different things that help drop us into a deeper space. I feel if we could all actualize our highest self daily, really get to the core of who we are, and live with the vision of giving service to the world, we would make it a better place.

During this metamorph experience, everyone who came for healing and even we as facilitators learned daily from each other. Because of the positions we put ourselves in and opening ourselves to the experience, we developed a deeper understanding of ourselves and each other, making unimaginable connections. And I’m delighted to be able to share that with you guys. 

We want to create more of these experiences so that we can share more with you. Everyone who came had such a beautiful time because they all underwent their own beautiful transformations and self-renewals.

As more people become self-actualized and get out of the victim mentality, we will be able to create a much better and sustainable way of life. 

We will be more fully expressed and will not be living under constructs of the matrix and of what we’ve been told regarding who we have to be and how we should feel and live our lives. Once we are past that, we can access love and live in a higher state of love and light.

For this, we need to choose love over fear. Fear is just a dark emotion that eventually turns into disease and paranoia; it’s like the root of where everything negative comes from. So let go of that fear because who doesn’t want to live a happier, healthier, joyful, and a more self-expressed life that is free of all the constructs that have been created?

Never Stop Reinventing Yourself!

Part of the medicine journey involves working with the medicine to purge the toxins and the negative energies out of the body so that you can be free of them. It’s such a wild experience, and I am elated that I could share my experience with you. I hope this helps you realize your creative potential and unlock your Identity Alchemy.

Alchemy is defined as the process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, sometimes in ways that are unexplainable.

With that being said, I define Identity Alchemy as the process of deconstructing who you don’t want to be in order to realize who you want to become. 

Through it, you’ll be able to identify your shadows or the things you don’t want to be true about you and shed them slowly. I believe that the deconstruction process of life and your inner world is such a massive piece of understanding who you are so that you can curate who you want to become. In general, I noticed for myself that the more inner work that I do — the deeper shadow work that I do to understand myself — the better life becomes towards the path of wholeness.

If you, too, feel that you have been stuck in a rut for far too long and are seeking a transformation, then plant medicine retreats such as this could pave the way for you to break free. The beauty of such guided practices is that such environments make you feel safe in letting yourself flow while allowing experienced hands to guide the process. A little faith, the right intent, and ideal mentors could help you see the world from a broader and more inclusive perspective.

If you loved what you read in this post, then I would highly recommend that you check out the rest of the episode here to uncover the parts that I could not add here. Once you are done, don’t forget to leave a review and a comment on ApplePodcasts. I would also appreciate it if you could post a screenshot of this episode on Instagram and tag me @nickonken.

Now go out and create your life by living through every small moment without fear!

Thanks, everyone. I’ll catch you next time.

Nick Onken

You can Subscribe and Listen to the Podcast on Apple Podcasts. And please leave me a Rating and Review!


“The more you can surrender to the medicine the deeper the healing.”
Nick Onken

Some things we learn in this podcast:

  • Recent experiences with plants as medicine [0:47]
  • Accepting discomfort [3:49]
  • Plant medicine as a tool [4:30]
  • Tools to work through trauma [6:11]
  • What is the purpose of shadow work [11:40]
  • The impact of plant medicines [17:26]

Links Mentioned:

Connect with Nick Onken on Instagram | TikTok

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