Life goal: facilitating within myself and others a growth mindset of positive social change regarding nasty stigmas surrounding cannabis and mental health.
Approach: Mary Jane Mentality (ie. consistently working on my growth)
But, if I can be honest, it’s actually pretty overwhelming on a consistent basis. The world of cannabis is rocky, uncertain and questionable. These are not really adjectives we have evolved to chase after. But along with these negative aspects comes the potential to make a dent in how cannabis is perceived and consequently used in society. As cliche as it sounds, if we are going to make a positive impact within our community we have to start with ourselves. Harnessing our own vulnerabilities through our individual daily lives and stories can allow us to move forward together. But we are gonna need a game plan.
Our brains don’t come with an owner’s manual. So OBVIOUSLY, I’m creating one! 😉 Here are some cliff notes from my chapter on the Mary Jane Mentality. It’s a paradigm I created when I was in a rut causing major damage to my mental health. If you’re feeling a little more couchlock and not enough cannaBLISS, then oh baby, I’ve got a little intervention of sorts coming your way! It’s not always all rainbows and sunshine, but sometimes…it actually is.
I needed a way to come back to basics and center in on my goals and visions through a rough patch. Now I return to it again and again to cultivate my creativity, manage my mindset, and ultimately, design a lifted lifestyle I can be proud of.
Here’s what I’ve come up with:
Mary Jane Mentality = Growth Mindset
Change is the only constant in today’s world. We are all too familiar with this fun factoid in the ever-evolving climate of cannabis health and policy. To be able to learn and grow, we have to keep ourselves open and able to change. And wise enough to understand when everything stays the same, sometimes WE have to be the ones to make the change. Make the move. Tell the story. Take the trip. But this is scary to most people because of the ever elusive fear of the unknown.
So how can we eliminate that fear to be able to find our flow without losing our damn minds?
Well, half of the issue is that we must master our mindset (side note: the other half? productive planning). Or if master is too strong a word, let’s switch up the phrasing to “being mindful of our mentality (biases and all)”. In contrast, when we are in autopilot mode, the risk of apathy or burnout increases. Likewise, you’ll be at the mercy of the programming of your lizard brain only to GO.GO.GO. on autopilot for 40 years, get to retirement and start to wonder what you just spent your life actually doing and WHY.
Let me break my personal process of developing my Mary Jane Mentality into three actionable steps. A little POT never hurt anyone! Use it as an extension of the process we are going over here:
The Blazed and Amused Pot Paradigm
- P is for Personal Strengths. Learn more about your hidden capabilities and assets.
- O is for Observation of Shitholes. Discover personal hang ups and what triggers the overwhelm.
- T is for Tinker + Test. Get your mind (set) right and match your assets with the opportunities that face you.
—and the POT cycle repeats until the end of time. Except after you got the personal strengths down the P turns to practice ritual!
“Normal” people call it a growth mindset.
P is for Personal Strengths.
What are my hidden capabilities and assets?
First of all, can I just say that it’s astounding how many of us don’t have a clear perception on our personal strengths. We are too busy on autopilot to fully grasp how truly badass we really are most of the time. This is why I’m screaming self care and self expression from the mountain tops! Cannabis is a great mind opener and facilitator of these personal (re)discoveries.
Channel your younger self
Do you remember when you were a kid and you wanted to read encyclopedias in the woods, make tree houses with your pops that rivaled Swiss Family Robinson or create pottery in the backyard with something that was tottttally not clay? No? Just me?
Well, what got your younger self totally jazzed? Go do that thing. Or some variation of that thing that is more appropriate for your age and abilities. HA! When you follow little hints of your intuition in this way, it allows space for growth and enhanced creativity through valuable mindful reflective time.
The Mary Jane Mentality is like a portal to potential. Showing up for yourself helps improve confidence and allows you to build the growth mindset. Always return to your curiosities, even just for a moment at a time. Adopt the beginner’s mindset where everything is new and unfamiliar and that’s okay. We all know what a shitty first draft is like. None of us have it all figured out and that’s so fucking cool. Developing consistency with yourself will open new doors and form new neural pathways that you’ve never even imaged.
I don’t know why, but I just really want to say “there’s a strain for that!”
O is for Observation.
What are my personal hang ups? At what point does overwhelm happen and why?
This is the most uncomfortable part because it involves getting clear with where you aren’t doing so hot. Our brains are wired to focus on shame as a previously advantageous adaptive habit but with the fast pace of modern society, shame can quickly turn to catastrophizing followed by overwhelm. Notice this but be as gentle with yourself as you would with your best friend.
So why do we want to bring awareness to these negative thoughts?
Can’t I just go on ignoring them?
It has totally worked in the past!
Good and bad stress
We can’t change or produce positive momentum when feeling shame or disconnection. A little stress? Yes. Short term stress is shown to improve performance results. Note that this is only sustainable by taking sufficient restorative breaks. **can I get a lighter?*
Overwhelming stress? Well, that can get catastrophic internally in brain chemical land. These negative thoughts create negative feelings which basically turn into self loathing and learned helplessness. You know what happens when you’re in the zone of helplessness or hopelessness? A whole lotta nothin’.
Your thoughts create your reality because they’ll motivate you to take (or not take) different actions. So it’s best if we just sit with the feels, bad and all, to be able to really experience the full spectrum of what it means to be human. And like, do something about it.
T is for Tinker + Test.
In which activities do I find my flow? How can I use these to get out of a rut?
I’ve recently embarked on this journey of self expression. In absence of my mental illness symptoms, I’ve adopted this Mary Jane Mentality. It involves more intuition and less ego; more thriving and less striving. More creating and less confusion. Oh yeah, and a whole lotta starting over and sharing these pitfalls and passions on my virtual journal (i.e. Instagram). As a result, I’ve found freedom in vulnerability and it has saved my life.
Thus the Mary Jane Mentality was born! Now I’m creating each and every day in this space in hopes of starting a ripple effect. We have the frontal lobe for a reason- let’s exercise that baby!
effort and outlook > innate talent or ability
When you possess a Mary Jane Mentality/Growth Mindset, you believe in your ability to influence results, rather than just allowing life to happen to you. People that possess a growth mindset are more resilient, believe in themselves, and know they can be a force for positive change.
With a growth mindset your thoughts look a little like this:
- challenges make me stronger so I greet them with a smile (confession: sometimes I have to say this through gritted teeth)
- learning helps my brain ‘grow’ by forming new connections.
- I can always improve (NOTE: don’t use this against yourself! That defeats the purpose!)
- failures and mistakes are insanely useful learning lessons
- and finally, when I’m frustrated, I persevere because effort is more conducive to success than talent
Above all, we want to create consistency. Develop your growth mindset by consistently coming back to your own paradigm of a lifted lifestyle. You will be amazed at where it takes you. Until then, I’m feeling highly inspired and incredibly happy to share mine.
CANNABIS AND CONTEMPLATION ACTION ITEM:
If you are facilitating your own healing journey with cannabis and mental health, you have come to the right place! Break these three steps down and use them as post-toke intention setting journal prompts or reflect on them outloud during your next stoner sistersesh if you’re open to it. Cue the vulnerability!
Welcome! My name is Lindsey. Blazed + Amused is a space for personal growth, development and empathy with Mama Ganja as our intuitive healing tool. I serve those looking to change their story from burn out and apathy to Blazed and Amused, a lifted lifestyle from the inside out. By combining cannabis wellness, cognitive science and creative inspiration, I create tools of change + connection. My meaningful work is to help bring more mindfulness and fulfilment to your rituals around Mary Jane. Check out my weed blog or 420 Shop for more. Cheers!