Dr Darragh Stewart (Phd) is the co-founder of Inwardbound. In his early-twenties, Darragh reached a turning point in his life. He suffered from bouts of depression, anxiety, and a general dissatisfaction with how he was living his life. These problems sent him on a quest to find inner healing, truth, and a new way of being in the world.

During the rest of his twenties, Darragh had a life-changing break-through both mentally and spiritually, with the aid of psychedelic medicines, breathwork, and the power of holistic healing. Having found the power of bodywork for emotional release during this time, he was awarded his VTCT diploma in Holistic massage therapy.

As a scientist, Darragh is keen to cut through faux spirituality and is interested in bridging the gap between science and spirituality. Having had such a positive journey with Psychedelics he is now passionate about helping others who may also benefit from the emerging science of psychedelics by holding the retreats and collecting scientific data. He has worked with over 100 people through their psilocybin sessions and is currently writing a paper on the effects of Psilocybin on mental health.

He has also been on trips to India immersing himself in different trauma release modalities such as somatic bodywork, breathwork, embodiment dance practices, and yoga. He is also a keen meditator having sat at the Tushita Meditation center Dharamsala, and the S.N. Goenka Vipassana Center, Bodh Gaya.

He is also passionate about working with Men through times of struggle and change. He facilitates men’s online workshops, events, and a men’s group for psychedelic integration in Ireland.

Darragh Stewart Retreat
Darragh, what is your ethos?

My ethos is to connect to my intuition, to my heart, to what is right for me. To work with integrity, to value each human being as a unique individual with their own challenges, their own biases, prejudices, but ultimately see them as just like me and from that place we can be really compassionate with one another.

What brings energy into your day?

Being out in nature; silence, stillness, nature connection, space to reflect and recharge my batteries by being by myself.

What is the biggest challenge in your life right now?

My biggest challenge is believing in the work that I do and what I have to offer the world. So, working with my belief systems, trying to keep the inner critic at bay, the perfectionist at bay, and not worrying about what other people think of me because ultimately I know that I’m following my heart and being authentic to what I want to do in the world. So really, it’s being able to connect with my own truth and not care what anybody else thinks of that.

Do you have a ritual you practice for achieving a positive mental state?

Yes, mindfulness. Whether it’s making some food, pouring a cup of tea or a cup of coffee I always like to try and stop for a second and reflect a little bit. So definitely a bit of gratitude practice, and I find it’s always good to just stop and acknowledge where I am and what I have around me.

Where are you most at peace or in flow?

Definitely on the dance floor! I’m a big sober dancer and I’ve gone to lots of ecstatic dances in India and in Ireland. There’s nothing like being in full expression and moving the way my body wants to move, connecting with other people, listening to good music, enjoying that collective energy of people enjoying and expressing life.

Are you a spiritual person? Have you a take on life’s meaning?

Yes, I would absolutely say I am a spiritual person. I think I always was but spirituality has definitely started to take on it’s own meaning for me. I think it’s such a loaded word out there. But for me, it’s about connecting to your own essence, your own authenticity, who you are in the world connecting to your passions, your purpose, and seeing yourself not separated from nature or other people, but in essence, being a part of it all. I think for me at the moment life’s meaning always changes but it’s to love unconditionally and to really spread as much goodness, positivity, happiness into the world and also to acknowledge, allow, accept and hold space for people when they’re not in a space of being totally in love. Being aware of the full human condition and meeting people where they’re at and trying to be not judgmental and trying to be open and compassionate with those people.

Are you a happy person?

I would definitely say I’m a happy person, although I wasn’t always a happy person and I think I was looking for happiness outside of myself a lot at the start of my journey. I was looking for happiness in material possessions, status, publishing science papers when I was a scientist, buying new clothes or nights out. But in essence I really find that happiness is within and it’s something that you can cultivate on a moment to moment basis, just understanding that you’re alive in the world. And it’s such a gift to be able to have a life and to connect with other people and the natural world.

Is your life controlled or affected by fear in any way?

Yeah, last year I was definitely operating out of places of fear, in scarcity mindset, poverty consciousness and fear of not having enough or not being enough and that definitely did rule some of my decisions. Looking back I can forgive myself for where I was because it was very challenging times. But now I try and always look to see if I am operating out of fear, and if I am, I ask how do I operate out of a space of love? I try to focus on love over fear and try to be easy on myself, have self compassion and to be gentle with my self talk and not be so hard on myself.

What do you love about yourself?

I love that I have a lust for life. I feel that I’ve connected to my passion. I feel like I’ve connected to my purpose and that really drives me. I didn’t always have that. I thought I had other passions in my life but at the moment I feel that I’m really true to my purpose, I have a goal, I have many goals, I have a mission and I have a collective and shared vision with the work that I do at the Inwardbound retreats and with the connection retreat here in Ireland. I’m in love with how I speak to myself. I try and speak to myself as my own best friend through positive self talk and having a good perspective on life. I really love that about myself. I also love my mustache!

Darragh Stewart Retreat
What are you most proud of?

I’m definitely proud of my resilience and perseverance. I was in a really dark place in my early 20s and had a dark night of the soul and was able to find my way out of it when I was bottling up emotions, bottling up my experiences, my feelings. I am proud that I was able to navigate that and overcome it. I’m proud of getting my Ph.D., proud of my retreat company, I am proud of being able to be in a space where I watch people have transformational experiences and change lives and I’m so humbled and really profoundly grateful by that work.

Knowing what you know now, what would you tell a young Darragh?

I really wish I had met myself now when I was younger. I think I would tell myself connect to your intuition, connect what is right for you. Don’t listen to what other people tell you you should be doing or what who you should be in the world or what where you should be going. Ignore all the ‘shoulds’ that people try and put onto you and get clarity, get space, get silence, get solitude. I think these are really profoundly beneficial for anybody. The work that I do now with the men’s rites of passage retreat is allowing the space for men to go on that journey of connecting to themselves by going into silence, going into solitude, being able to find their own wisdom, intuition, gifts, gut feeling, and be able to operate, operate out of a place that is authentic to them

Who have you learned most from in your life?

I have many teachers in my life. I think my parents are the biggest teachers in my life. I always feel their unconditional love for me and their unconditional positive regard, security, safety and care. I also look to all the great teachers in the world, the spiritual and philosophical teachers who have shared amazing messages with people for example Thich Nhat Hanh, Dalai Lama, Anthony DeMello, Alan Watts, Terence McKenna and Stanislav Grof. There are some amazing teachers out there. Also all the men that come to the men’s circle are amazing teachers because we all just mirror each other in the end.

What’s the next challenge in life that excites you?

The next challenge that excites me is our introduction to psychedelic therapy training program that we’ve just launched for this coming September. It’s going to be an 11 week course bringing in some of the best people from Ireland and abroad who are involved in working with altered states of consciousness, shamanism, psychedelics, psychology and science. It’s going to be really epic. It’s proving to be a lot of work, but we know it’s going to really pay off. We’re really trying to step into a role now educating people so that if they’re thinking about working with psychedelics or want to pursue a career in it, that they get all the necessary education information and have a solid framework and base to be able to work with psychedelics and pursue a career in it.

If you’re interested in Darragh’s online Introduction to Psychedelic Therapy Course visit inwardbound.nl today.

#myethos is a series where we meet with creatives, pioneers and social-change makers who either have a unique connection to nature that has fuelled their life ethos, or who are using their talent as a medium for creating positive social impact by empowering others. Follow us on Instagram to hear about more upcoming features. 


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