(Transcript from an interview on the QuantumSHIFT podcast. Pardon typos... AI is not the same as having an actual person doing the work of a typist ;)
I was thinking man, oh man, especially in 2020 2021. It's like, we need to really reach down into our inner soul right and really get connected with who we are and what our purpose is on this earth. And I love your intention for the episode because that's exactly sort of my main focus, especially this year in finding my why and in really getting some awareness around my my reason for being here, you know, what's my why on this earth? So I'm really happy to be here and happy to share,
I guess a little bit more about me. I'm originally from Massachusetts, just south of Boston. I know not not far from where you are at. And right now I'm living in New York City. I guess I could officially call myself a New Yorker because I've been here 13 years now. It's Yeah, it's I can't believe it. Time flies. But I live here with my husband. We've been married for next month will be four years and we've been together for 13. So we've been together for a long time. And I'm an actor and a podcast host love fitness all things fitness. And because of my autoimmune disease have been loving everything, you know, health conscious clean eating that whole world. So yeah, as you mentioned, in my bio, I pretty much graduated from high school decided to go to school for musical theater, to be a theatre actor. I graduated from college and my parents said, Oh, we have saved up a little bit of money to celebrate you and your graduation. We could go on a trip to Italy. I said, I just want to move to New York City. Not sure if that was the best choice, but that's the one I took. And yeah, so I packed my bags and I ended up here and I've been on a national tour that was on the national tour feeding the beast for two years and performed regionally. And just in the past few years. I've decided to focus more on TV, film, and commercial so I've been doing that Then this podcast came about. So all things creative, and you know, fun. And I love connecting with people.
Oh, I love that. I like connecting with people too. But I really love your background. Because twofold. One, when I listened to your episode of your podcast, I listened to you too, and some of who you interviewed. But when you said that you're from Massachusetts, I'm like, Oh, she feels like a kindred spirit. Yes. And then also, I am not in musical theater. But one of my stepsons who's older, went to school for theater, and he's in musical theater and has performed nationally as well in his tour on hold because of the pandemic. She sounds so interesting and fun. And yeah, so I love musical theater. And
that's amazing. Yeah, it's one of those things that I'm sure he feels the same way. It's like you have to be 100%. In You know, there has to really be nothing else pulling at your heartstrings. But because it's a hard, it's a hard, hard road, but it's worth it. And you get to you know, I mean, that feeling when you step out on the stage, or even now, I felt when you step in front of a camera, you know, there's just really nothing like it. So
that's awesome. And you can touch lives with that and make people smile and feel good. And it's just, ah, it looks so rewarding. And so I don't know enough about that. And then you moved into podcasting, which is cool and adventuring in to feed in after years of delay. So I'm just excited for you and your journey, and, you know, is really interested in the autoimmune piece and like, What got you? What got you to be brave enough to share your story on the podcast, you know, your journey of wanting to be a mom, and this, you know, delaying it for you. So I don't know if you can share a little bit more about that with our
Yeah, absolutely. Um, well, to answer your question about why I shared it. And then I'll kind of go backwards. I shared it because the whole reason why I started the podcast was because of my autoimmune disease preventing me from diving into motherhood right away. And I didn't feel like you know, first of all, I already was starting a podcast about something I didn't know anything about, you know, which people are like, what the heck, why are you doing that? Usually you have, you know, thought leaders you have, you know, professional, whatever doctors who are leading something that they're, they're speaking about in their podcast. But like I said, Before, I am a connector, I love collaborating, I love. I love listening to other people. And I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for me to learn. And I figured my audience is not going to come along this journey with me, or understand me and my intention, unless I'm vulnerable with them. And unless I start sharing my story, and so many people were asking me about it that I said, You know what, I just, I have to put this out there. And once I started doing that, it was like, the floodgates opened and I, you know, people want to, I don't want to say buy in because I'm not looking to sell something, but people want to buy into the person, you know, not necessarily the product. And that's that's what happened. Once I started sharing my story, people were more apt to recommend the podcast to keep listening because they want to know what's going on with my journey. So anyway, to back up a little bit. So when I was on that tour that I was mentioning, out of nowhere, I ended up experiencing basically first it was my skin, I started noticing some spots around my skin. And at first Honestly, I thought it was bedbugs. And like, yeah, and And fortunately, you're unfortunately I'm not sure which I feel like I kind of wish that they were bedbugs now, but I'm skipping through a year later into it, I was completely covered head to toe, psoriasis. I mean, you absolutely would not recognize me, I always say that I looked like a monster truly. And it was interesting because I was blessed because I was on the road traveling with an unbelievable cast that supported me more than anything. And I was doing the thing that I loved the most I was performing. And I truly don't know if I had been doing the quote unquote grind of auditioning in New York City while experiencing the start of this illness. I don't know how it would have turned out but luckily I was in a very positive space even though my body was going through something very negative. So anyway, to skip through and I won't go into the whole barrage of it and anyone can listen to Episode 20 and hear more about my story. But basically, I ended up also starting to develop pain, and then developed arthritis. So my full diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis, and the pain was so bad that I had to buy by a cane. I couldn't Wow. Yeah. And after my tour ended, I had to actually move home back to Massachusetts and live with my parents for about six months or so, because I just couldn't manage the streets in New York City, you know, wow. So anyway, because of all of that, now I'm on a medication or two medications, and both of them prevent me from becoming a mom, whenever I want to be, I have to wean myself off of my medication. And so last Was it 2019, September 2019, I decided to really take control of my health and my, my illness. And I just started, I started a clean eating, basically regimen, I went down on an elimination diet and really honed in on my mental state. And my intention was to heal my body from the inside out. And so I did that, yeah. And then last January, I started lowering my medication. And I'm happy to say that I'm basically down to from about 100%, to one 5%, maybe I basically went from five pills a week down to one a week, for my other medication, thank you, my other medications down from every other day to twice a week. So
what the reason why I say my why in healing and autoimmune diseases, because I do truly feel like when you're in the middle of something that's really challenging, you're not going to be able to drastically change your diet, drastically, drastically change your lifestyle, do anything that's drastic, without knowing what your y is. And for me, my y was a baby, my y was a family. And so I know it sounds petty, but it's like, any time I was going to want to do really go grab that cookie. You know, it was like, because I'm gluten free, dairy free, and I only have certain types of sugar. You know, the thought went through my head, like, Is it worth it to grab this, this treat? When that could delay getting off your medication and starting family? So it made it like a no brainer? No, I think that's kind of the missing piece for a lot of people when they're trying to make, you know, these quantum shifts, if they don't have their why, then the shift isn't going to happen.
No, I can appreciate that. And I'd love I wrote something down that you said just about that from your podcast. And I agree. Like if we don't know our why, it's, it's really hard to stick with something. You know? Absolutely. It really is. And, and that why like the work that I do, and have uncovered like for myself, personally, it's a really deep, like, sometimes soul searching personal decision, like you have to block out what everybody else thinks, or their opinions and hone in is like, what do you want for you? And that's what you said, and I had written down that I love you share the do I? And I'm paraphrasing, do I want that sugar? Like right now? Cuz we bought it? And sometimes I do too? Or do I really want to have that baby? Like, what's your big picture? What's your wine, and that's all about focus and mindset, and like, you know, reframing and staying on it, you know, and so you can have an occasional piece of candy. But when, when you're so committed to your why whatever it is, it's much easier to forego or make that choice. And I don't know how it is for you, maybe you can speak to this. But every time when I'm trying to make a change or something like a regular change and stick with it, I have to stop and pause. And this is what I work with my clients and ask that question to myself or ask those filtering questions. And so I don't think it's silly at all what you said. I mean, I think that's powerful. So I appreciate you sharing that.
Yeah, and I think I want to share too, it's not I'm not just talking about of course my situation was specifically food but it's not just that, you know, it could be that you need to make sure you're getting eight hours of sleep so instead of watching that second episode of Netflix, you you close it, turn it off and go to bed because you know your body needs that time to regenerate. Or it could be like I just put up a reel today about saying no, no, no is a complete sentence you know, and so it could be saying no to something and your why to say no is because you want to spend more time with your family or because you want to you know invest more in yourself. You Want to practice some meditation? Whatever it is. So it doesn't just have to be about food and sugar and gluten free, dairy free, there's all these things around it these days, you know, right. But for you, if that's
decreasing the inflammation until you get to your goal, then it's important, you know, there's a time and a place for that. I agree. And, you know, when I was listening to your story about it, you're there now at a place where you're choosing to eliminate these things, but you weren't always because maybe you can share more, you had first been on a medication? Is it okay? Tomorrow, I'll tell everybody don't go on it. But you developed other symptoms. And what I got out of that is that you believe that the symptoms were basically to me side effects from the medication and medical and personal beefs with that as well, because I feel there are a lot, not all, but a lot of medical providers who prescribe medication don't acknowledge the side effects. And I'm not saying we shouldn't have medication, there's a time and a place for some people, but really, to be aware that that can happen and that listening to your body, and to see what showing up as important. So I mean, maybe you can share more about your experience with that, and how you shifted to a different medication?
Yeah, 100%. I mean, look, this 2021 the world that we're living in, it's built off of my, my descriptions, my medications and prescriptions, it's built off of that, that's how our providers make money. You know, they get every time that they recommend a medication and you take it, they get paid for that, right. And I'm not gonna sit here and knock it because listen, you look at me, here, my skin is clear, I have knock on wood not had any pain. And a majority of that is because of the medications that some have, not the humera. But the other medications that I had been on, which can also cause a lot of drama, like, not having a baby, you know. So there is 100% a time and place for it. And when you're in that place that nothing, nothing is working. I mean, I tried everything. At first, I went on, like an apple cleanse diet for four days where I only ate apples. I mean, I was doing everything on godly thing under the sun. And I needed that, that, that life that life. What's it called the little tube that they throw you in? It's a very ocean lifesaver. Yeah, I needed that lifesaver to be thrown out to me. Because if it had never been thrown out to me, I don't know if I would have been able to take those steps and change the way that I ate and then hopefully change the inside from the inside out. But yeah, I mean, basically, the way that it happened for me, I got to a place where my skin was so bad. And I was in so much pain from my skin. This is not the Arthritis yet that my doctor had, yeah, prescribed humera, which is a biological medication. And you see all of them on TV nowadays. And you see all of the commercials, and all of the side effects that they run through at a million miles a minute, those voiceover artists are just fascinating with this speaker, hopefully so that they can get it all in and not have you hear half of it. Right. And it was literally cat a year to the day after I started taking humera that I couldn't walk. That's, I mean, there, that is not a coincidence in my mind. Right. And I mean, what I have changed anything. I don't know, because at the end of the day, I needed that I needed to see the lever moving, you know, I needed to see my skin clearing up before I could do anything. But the pain that I was in was excruciating, and I have a really high pain tolerance. And then the second that I started having that pain, my rheumatologist said, Oh, we got to take you off of that Humira white right away. Why? Why do you have to take me off that right away? You know, it's like, if that was your initial response, wouldn't you have thought that from the beginning like that I should never be be put on it. And now the way that it sort of panned out after that, and when I was talking to him about, you know, will in the future, I want to have a family. And his method was well, what we'll do is we'll titrate off of the medication that you're currently on. It's called methotrexate and daps on there, like steroidal prescriptions, basically, we'll titrate off of that. But if you start to notice any pain or inflammation or swelling, we'll have to put you on another medication and that's when I said nothing like that I will, I will do whatever I can to not have that happen, because you can tell me that these other medications are safe for pregnancy. But how much do I really believe you at this point, you know, right. So, I mean, I could I could talk about all of this forever. But I think the most important thing, in the lesson that people can take away from this at any age, with any sort of illness that you might be experiencing.
The doctors are 100%, you know, qualified, and they do their work and their their job, there's a time and place for them. But they are not, God, they are not the high and mighty. And you don't have to do exactly what they say or what they prescribe. And if there's something in your heart, that's telling you that you're not comfortable taking something or whatnot, do your research, take a little bit of time to mentally here, heal yourself, and do what's right for you. And just know that if you decide to take a medication like this, you should also balance it out with instead of you know, feeding your body, the junk, feed your body, some healthy, healthy, you know, foods so that it can work in congruency with this, you know, just because you're putting, you know, old gas like McDonald's or something into your gas tank, your car is not going to run on McDonald's gas, you know, you have to put decent certified gas into your car for it to run well. And it's the same thing with your body.
But sounds like all of this experience was a huge catalyst for you to really take care of your body in a way that you haven't.
percent. I said I was never one to like, you know, go to all of the fast food restaurants. And I was never one to do that. But I also didn't consider what I was eating.
Yeah, at all our bodies are different when you don't need to all be on the same diet or seamers. But, you know, we have to figure out what works best for our own body. And sounds like you were doing that had another question that came to mind. And I lost it because we're Oh, so with your autoimmune disease? Have you ever gotten to the root cause of what? what is causing it? Do the doctors have any insight to that? Or any you don't have to share? If you're not comfortable? I'm just curious if they even go down that route?
No, I mean, I'm, I'm 100% comfortable. Um, you know, that's kind of the thing, especially with autoimmune diseases. It's also up in the air. And they will say, Well, first of all, they'll say that it doesn't have anything to do with anything else. Because also, when the time came that I had the psoriasis and then I had the arthritis, I had something else called vasculitis, which was the swelling of my blood vessels. And it was excruciating ly painful. My doctor actually said that those were not related. How are those things not related? They're all happening together at the same time in the same area of my body? I don't believe you. So as far as you know,
you don't know what what brings this stuff on stress. People say a lot of times the primary root that I've discovered is your gut. And so much can be held in your gut. So many toxins can be released out of your gut. And so that's the assumption that I'm going with. And that's how I've decided to treat it. So that's why I'm trying to clean my gut heal my gut. And the food that I'm putting in it is pro gut, you know, as opposed to certain foods that tend to cause something like leaky gut where the toxins can be released into your body. So that's my sort of assumption and conclusion from all of it. But will the doctors ever say anything like that?
Now? What likely are most Well, I've really had to shift my anger around doctors, because I feel like so many of them go in with good intention. Are healers in their own right as well. And then all these other illnesses conversation for another day, the political the economical, all these other factors overtake it. And I've had a lot of unpleasant experiences over the years with doctors not listening to me because I really feel and this is what you're saying, like we know our bodies best, and that it would be great to have practitioners that do listen, but on the flip side, as I've softened and know that there's a time and a place for allopathic medicine, and everything else under the sun down the rabbit hole, it sounds like you went that there are some amazing doctors out there doing functional medicine and integrative medicine and starting to listen to the whole person or listening to the patient when they come in, you know, and, and evaluating all of it like the symptomology the root cause that they can find it and what the patient has to say. So, I mean, I'm really hopeful that as we progress, and people like you share your stories about how you got there, that it inspires other people to look a little deeper or to look for the doctors that are listening to them, at least, you know, because there is sometimes times for medications. And your seemed like a great example of it and your skin is glowing, like audio for most people, but I can see you on the video and you vibrant and glowing. And you You're welcome. And it's also great to hear how much you've weaned off the medication. And that you still look like that, because of all the inside out changes you've made for yourself. And yeah,
I think I mean it. Thank you. It has to, for me, it has to equate, like, it has to. And I've noticed direct result. When I put something in my body, I noticed that I don't usually have I noticed directly that there's a shift and that there's a change. That's awesome. So yeah, it's just worth it to take the time.
I agree. I've had to make a lot of dietary changes over the years and a lot of health changes. And it's an interesting path. And but I found for myself, and that's why I asked you if they found the root cause it's not the only thing for me. And some people it may be the only thing like there's no one right way. Right. But um, you know, the work. And I know, some of what Shawna does as well is uncovering root causes to things, whether they're physical, emotional, spiritual 100%. And we didn't even get into all that. But that goes exactly hand in hand with all of it, right? And that it's all connected, at least for me, like I used to compartmentalize everything like our culture does. And it is so intricately connected. I know from my own healing journey and peep, you know, I've talked to so many people like you, not on podcast, but who've learned to trust themselves and are brave enough to share their stories. And a lot of it is connected. And it's cool how people connect the dots. And I hope that some of our listeners like are inspired to, you know, trust their own gut more, and ask other questions or look for different practitioners that the ones that they're listening to, if they don't feel listened to them, or, you know, really hearing what they need, because I think we are our best. Our best guide, if we if we allow him to grieve, and you have been in your like shining example of that I feel like so. And the other thing I want to say about your podcast I love because so I know you're not a mom yet. So I'm a mom of three who are less than four years apart into bonus children that are much older. I've known them for more than two decades. I didn't do any mama in training before I was a mom, like, you know, and so many of us in this culture don't for whatever reason, it's not a judgment, but in hindsight, looking back, because we have kids between 15 and 31. Um, I wish I'd had more training. So I feel like some of the gifts in your journey is giving you so much information and knowledge to assimilate with your own intuition that you're going to be a fabulous model.
I mean, that's the thing. It's like, I was just speaking to someone about this the other day and saying, I, this podcast, let me just say has given me so much life, and especially throughout the 2020 pandemic. I mean, it truly kept me going. Because everything in my world really stopped and came to a halt. And it kept me going. But I would have never started it. Had I not, you know, had this autoimmune disease had I not go on that on that medication had. So, you know, our journeys lead us to where we are meant to be. But yeah, it is so fascinating. And people always ask me, you know, so why did you decide to start a podcast about moms and motherhood when you're not yet a mom? And there's many aspects to that story. Number one is I just, I love the idea of motherhood. I love it for myself in the future. And I love it for everybody else. I'm a I'm a you know, birth story junkie, I love that stuff. But when I was sort of, well, well, two things happened. So I was in a place where you know, as an actor, your your career sort of ebbs and flows a little bit, not a little bit, a lot of it a lot. And I was I was definitely an AB right. And I was looking for something creative and also as an actor, you can't really control A lot of what is happening, because you do your best work, and you just hope for the best. And if it works, it works. So anyway, I was looking for something creative looking for something that I could control all of my mom's friends or my friends in general, were becoming moms. And I was speaking with one of them. And I just sort of got this idea. Well, what if I interview moms about their journey and, and then it sort of just, you know, tumbled into this thing. And I just this past April, January through April did a rebrand and relaunch because it was originally called the pumping podcast. But I really wanted to hone back into like we were talking about at the beginning of this episode, like, Where am I in this, you know, where's my story? And I kept introducing myself as a mama in training. And I thought, well, that's what this is about, you know, this, I'm loving sharing. So originally, as the pumping podcast, I was sharing journeys into motherhood. So talking from before pregnancy, pregnancy, and then birth, essentially your birth story. But I was feeling lost in that. And so I was saying, Well, what if I rebranded this, make some shifts, and it's called Mama's in training, I get to learn about motherhood and make this kind of crappy situation that I'm going through positive, you know, focus on the message that I want to deliver, and learn about motherhood before I actually am one, because who the heck does that, like you mentioned cat, you know, we study everything else, but we don't really take the time to study motherhood. And then I can support other aspiring moms and pregnant women on their journey. And we can, you know, I can be their cheerleader. And so that's what I'm doing. And it's just, you know, like I said, a couple of times, I'm a connector, I'm a collaborator. So having, you know, women come to me and saying, Oh, I'm 25 weeks, and I'm curious about this. Do I know the answer? No. Will I pretend to know the answer? Absolutely. Not. Because I haven't been there. And I'm not a pro. But I can guarantee you that I can probably direct you to somebody that I've interviewed. And if I can't, I'll find somebody for you. I'll make that connection. And that's really what I'm trying to build. Yeah,
trying to build that community. And I think that community is so important, because community, and that's like, one of Sean's things community, you know, it's so important for healing. And, you know, when we feel like, we're not alone, in those meetings, and those Aha, it's like, that in itself can begin the healing journey or feel so healing, and then it gives us the courage to, you know, take some steps to make the changes for ourselves, or look at maybe just explore when we can play with it. So, I love that you do that. And I think, you know, when I was a new mom, I was in a moms Club, which was great, it was a lifesaver for me. But especially after I had my third and I had a lot of postpartum issues that were misdiagnosed, and to your story, issues with medications and doctors, and that led me on my, my own journey of by angsting questioning of medicine. So I think what you're doing is beautiful. And there is a lack of understanding. And two of the episodes that I gravitated towards, were about postpartum. And I loved how you talk more about postpartum health, not just how what we hear in the media is all about depression, or the devastating parts after and when we as women take care of our bodies, you know, and before the pregnancy and during the pregnancy, it can be more joyful, postpartum, choose to get the right support, and you know, that you are normalizing a lot of that I think, is really awesome. And so needed in a sculpture. So thank you.
Of course. Yeah, Episode 65 was the first episode that I released after this rebrand and it was all it is not was it is all about those expectations and the way that you can really prepare yourself mentally, and physically, personally relationally. It's all of these areas, these these things, it's not just about losing weight, postpartum, or you know, postpartum depression, and those things are 100% real, but it's like, how are you relating to your family and your friends? How are you relating to your partner? You know, all these different things that you can kind of talk about before you're even there, and really set up a good support system. No, it's great.
I love it. What are aside from that episode and that thing, do you have any like key takeaways or favorite bits of information you've learned from your guests about being a mother,
for sure. I mean, I could be here for hours, everything, but I think the top things are advocate for yourself. And that goes for any person, actually any female, advocate for yourself in many different ways, do the research so that you can advocate for yourself. Because like, we've been talking about medicine and doctors, it's the same thing when you end up in that delivery room, you know, you don't have to do everything that that nurse is telling you, you have to do. If you don't want to push a certain way, if you don't want to be in a certain position, you don't have to be that way. And I think that's one thing that women especially who are pregnant, they don't realize that and they just turned to these people who are supposed to be knowing what's best. And it might not be best for you and for your body. So doing the research, advocating for yourself. And lastly, I would say setting up the support and community and setting that up before baby comes. So whether that's, you know, I'm I'm creating an online support group. So I think there's many aspects to the community you need to set up, maybe it's an online support group of strangers, maybe it's a group of close mama friends that maybe you know, and then maybe it's friends and family that can help immediately after, in addition to if you financially Can, can support it, lactation counselor, doula or postpartum doula house cleaner, you know, at least for that first month, like there are all these things that I think can be looked at as lofty. And of course, for some people it is and they can't financially swing it. But maybe instead of asking for that baby, bouncy chair, ask for a month of of housecleaning, as a gift. fabulous idea? No. And I think even those who are listening who are not pregnant, or are out of that phase, you're going to have women in your life who are going to become pregnant. And why don't you offer or ask them, Hey, I want to get you something for your baby shower. But instead of like this, whatever it is, of course, if it's something they really need, but instead of this random thing that you just threw up on your registry, because you wanted to fill it out? How about I send you a two months subscription to a meal service?
Hmm, you think that woman's gonna say no, no way.
That's Can I just speak to that that is invaluable. When I was in law school, we had something called moms in need. And we would make a schedule, like a meal train that exists now. But back in the day, it was just like an old school schedule of taking turns making meals for new moms. And you know what, after I had my third child, and I had a lot of postpartum issues, a few moms came and cleaned my house, you know, for me, so creating that network. So to your, to your point, what struck me is we don't have to use lack of finances or funding as limitations to get the support that we need. And I know I did that some but like, in hindsight, seeing how like this group of moms, and none of us, like I didn't know any of them before I joined that club, like, can really bond you. I mean, it can also there's a lot of Yeah, pettiness that could possibly exist, depending but I think if we set our mindset up to find, like our intent is to find support and resources, they don't all have to cost a lot of money and right doing it, first of all, women. I'm forever grateful to have them for my life. And I used to get really excited to make dinner for another mom. And like, you know, I would just make like double or bigger and like, drive it over. And, and it was fun. And I remember dragging my two little toddlers. So you know, it can be a really great way to give back, you know, into the old community without having no, I think to your point like we started this giving yourself permission to start looking like outside the box and open to opportunities and how can I support How can I share and I love that you're doing that. So even before you have before you have children because it's it's such an exciting time in your life. And if you can make it less stress free and feel supported is better for you. But it's also better for your baby and your family. Yeah, absolutely. And that's such a gift you're gonna give to your child and your family. I just like I want to acknowledge and honor you for that because it's it's really amazing.
Thank you. I also think I might end up driving my husband a little crazy with all the things I'm like, I know this the sweater pot, I did research.
You can find the balance and it for yourself. Exactly. dusted and glowing already and loving. But I think that's exciting. And I think it's really a great service that you provide to moms not just on the pre motherhood but you know, to circle back, you've been through some hard challenges and you've chosen to, you know, probably in your own way, work with it or grieve it, but find some of the gifts in it and support other people with it. And that's just a lovely, lovely service. You know,
It really is. Um, before we wrap up, I have one more question for you. But is there anything else you might want to share to the listeners about your health journey, or your podcast or insights that you've gotten?
I'll just share something that I'm working on, if there is anybody who's listening, who is an aspiring mom, or is a pregnant woman, or if there's somebody who's listening, who knows someone I'm working on, like I said, a community that in the future, probably the end of the summer, will be a little bit bigger and more publicly announced. But right now I'm trying to keep it really intimate. And so it's basically going to be a premium membership of my podcast. But I'm working out a beta version of it right now. So I'm looking for, it's only going to be about 20 members, I have a few slots left. And it's really going to be a group of women who are going to help me create what these women need the most, you know, and the way that we can formulate it and the way that we can develop it from from the ground up. But I I'm not there, I'm not pregnant. So I need the support of women like that. So if anybody either is listening in is in that position, or know somebody reach out to me and send me a message, you can especially in the message, just say beta. And I'd love to see if there's a slot for you to join me and help me with that, because I need help in creating it. And I can't do it on my own. So
we're all in this together kind of thing where we need help and support for many things in life. So that's great. hearing that. So I have a closing question for you. What would you say to someone who found themselves at a crossroads?
Well, I'm I'm brought back to my word for 2020. So in January, I don't really like to do resolutions, but I like to choose a word. And this year after reading the greatest secret, which is an addition to the secret if you haven't read it, you definitely should. Rhonda Byrne wrote the secret. And then she just last year came out with the greatest secret. And basically the I'll spoil the book for you. But still, it's still worth it to read, let me tell you, the greatest secret is awareness. And so my word for 2021 is awareness. And I think when we we find ourselves at a crossroads, if we take the time, to intentionally connect to our awareness with everything, whether that's that you're on a on a walk, and you're aware of the birds, and you're aware of the sun shining on your face, if it's you know, you're in the middle of a fight, and you're aware of how your energy is rising, and you're not connected to your heart anymore. You know, whatever the situation is. If you're at a crossroads, and you bring yourself back to awareness. And you slow down a little bit, I think it'll really help, you know, in your heart will sort of tell you what, what way to go, you know, what is, is the next thing. And when I started listening to my awareness and becoming more aware, I noticed that my curiosity was really piqued. And I think that's a huge key. Because when you're curious about everything, then doors start to open for you. And so I think first if someone just settles down into awareness, and they become curious about what's coming across their table, what's in front of them, it might open some doors for you.
Unknown Speaker 44:03
I think you're right. I think you're onto something. I totally aligned with that. And I love that you spoke about awareness and like, slowing down. listening, and curiosity.
that's awesome. I believe it does open doors when we get curious. I yeah, I've seen it and felt it. So I totally agree. And I think the key to that is like when those doors open, have the courage to step into them. Yes. Don't dismiss those thoughts that we get that we're trained to do culturally like you're interested in, right, like you trusted yourself about. And that's, you know, one of the beautiful things about this conversation, you trusted yourself enough with that first medication with the Humira a year later and you couldn't walk like it's this medication. You know, you could have listened to a doctor or someone else tell you no, it's not in state on that and had a totally different outcome. Right. Thanks. Instead of being creative, these great doors for yourself, and you're helping other people in the process, and it's very exciting, I'm so glad to have you here. I love that, you know, some of the other takeaways I've had from the conversations, like, ask questions, get curious, you know, trust your gut, or these are the things I wrote down, but we just send them in. Well, I really appreciate you being here and sharing your wisdom. And I love your background in musical theater, and
you know, channel that creativity in this podcast, and I can't wait to see how it continues to grow and, you know, support other moms and unsure to blossom even more. And when you do have a baby, where you continue the podcast, where you
I mean, I would love to I mean, that would ideally be amazing, because then, you know, my whole, my whole, I'll probably have to go through a new shift, you know, I probably won't rebrand again, but I'll probably go through a whole new shift. And the beauty of it is my listeners will be able to go on the journey with me, you know. So right now at the mamas training podcast, you can find someone who doesn't know what, what motherhood is yet, but then you'll be able to go through it with me when I do become pregnant. And then on the other side of it, and it'll shift, my mindset will shift, but it'll just be a different perspective. So yeah, I'm along the journey with me.
Well, that's what this podcast is all about the shift app. So thank you. Where can our listeners find you Jessica? I know you're excited to share them.
Absolutely. Well, you can find me in the podcast anywhere pretty much that you might listen to podcasts on at Mama's in training, Apple podcast, Spotify, overcast everywhere. And if you want an easy access just to go to Mama's in training.com. Also on Instagram and social on Instagram, it's Mama's and training pod pod. And we also have a Facebook group for moms in training. And you can just search Mama's in training. And then for me, as an actor, and all the other stuff that I do, you can find me at Jessica lorien, calm, but ultimately, it's me everywhere. So just send me a message. Reach out, I love to connect with people and support people any way that I can. And I love to hear from anybody who's listening.
Oh, perfect that I've loved connecting with you today. And for our listeners know, we'll have all the places you can find Jessica in the show notes. So Jessica, thank you for being here today. And if you liked what you heard today, and you've gotten something out of this beautiful conversation with Jessica, you can show some love for our guests by following their social media page, tag them in a quote that stood out for you or whatever feels best to you. The links will, as I said will all be in the show notes. And to support this podcast, you can leave a rating and review us on iTunes. share this with your friends or find us on Instagram at Quantum shift.us. Or if you're curious about how to navigate a difficult road as your own personal journey unfolds. You can join us at the Quantum shift.us or.us and reach out to me or Shawna for a free conversation about what your options are. Brain cat transformational guy walking you on your journey of self actualization.
Until next time, you live fully in love like never before, and I'm so glad and honored that you spend some time with us today.Thanks, everyone for listening.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
(The following transcription came from the QuantumSHIFT podcast interview #45. Pardon e-typos)
Shawna Pelton 1:08
Today, I am joined by Leah Friedman, the psychologist, a teacher, a writer, a psychedelic integration facilitator and a permaculturist. Born and raised in Lowell mass. Leah obtained her master's degree in clinical psychology from revere University and worked as an in home therapist before psychedelics turned her world inside out. Now a student in psychedelic somatic interactional psychotherapy, p sip for short, a trainee in restorative and transformative approaches to conflict, a budding herbalist and the host of a podcast called the psychologists, conscious positive radio. So our intention for today is to D. stigmatize psychedelic therapy. I am so excited to have this conversation with with Leah today because of course, it is what I believe to be. It's going to be the new normal for trauma therapy moving forward. And so she and I are colleagues together with our P sip training, and we are interested in really bringing this subject to the mainstream so people can, you know, just have a more educated understanding of all the things associated the good, then, I guess the bad news, bad shadow. Absolutely. And so with that said, I'm excited to, to, to like dive right in and layout. Welcome. I'm so happy to have you here today. Thank you, Shauna, it's great to join you. So the very first thing I think we should talk about is the question on everyone's mind. What's a psychologist?
You know, I'm still learning what one is, but I'll tell you what it means to me now. After I got my master's degree, I was hoping to become a PhD candidate, and I wanted to get my PhD with a stipend, not have to pay for school anymore. But, you know, go through that sort of rat race and struggle of being a doctoral student and teaching and, and getting my my PhD because I wanted to be able to be involved in academia, as well as therapy. And so that was a good route. In preparing to be a good PhD candidate, I worked in a residential treatment center associated with a really powerful and well known mental hospital. And it was just not a great fit at all. So I diverged from that psychedelics came into my life shortly after, and I was very, like, closed to the idea actually, I didn't even recognize the difference between psychedelics and like cocaine, or meth or heroin. Like I just was like, all drugs are bad, you know, dare generation. So she's making a knowing face. Yes, China. You've been through that to some drugs. You're bad today. Yeah. Just say no. So I did a little traveling at that time. And I, you know, it always kind of pissed me off that you can't call yourself a psychologist. Unless you do some certain things. And even state to state it can vary, who's a psychologist, like one of my teachers, she's like, when I'm in New Hampshire, I can say I'm a psychologist, but when I'm in California, I can't be as like just these funny human rules. So psychedelics were so profoundly impacting me and and it was like influencing my lens on the world. And so when I thought about, like, what is this perspective I'm writing from that I'm speaking from, like, it's like a blend of psychedelics and psychology. It's like psychedelic psychology. And there's like, psychic dolla, G. psychologist, I'm a psychologist. And by no means am I the only one. Like, I invite anybody to identify as a psychologist. Yeah, cuz I'm totally
Unknown Speaker 5:22
like a biologist. Now that I know that it's what I am. Yay, oh my gosh, I love that story. Thank you. And you know what, I appreciate you sharing that whole like, perspective on seeing all drugs as one way I actually had a very similar I was very ashamed of my past, I was an abuser of drugs. And so I went from being, you know, very much in a state of out of control with with self self medicating, and self abuse with substances to being absolutely clean and pure, like zero, like even attempting not to do even much like Advil, or Tylenol, right, like I went, like real hardcore. And so I went very rigid on the other side. And so when I came back into this world through again, it was like, through this healing and trying to try to work on on resolving some very serious conflict within myself and and change patterns in my life. I was also introduced to psychedelic therapy and in a different way than what we're doing today. But it was what opened the door and, and so I had to come to a new relationship with the use of these really good medicines that have when you use them, Well, of course, have their place. So thank you for sharing that. What was your first, I guess? introduction? What medicine Did you get turned on to and the psychedelic arena.
Unknown Speaker 6:59
And also, I just want to honor your your sharing of your story there. And thank you for, for coming out. It's a beautiful journey. My first experience was with a low dose of mushrooms by myself. The context of that was the person who introduced me to psychedelics was a boyfriend, who I was very smitten with. He was a Vipassana meditator still is, and, and he, you know, part of his spiritual practice was taking high doses of mushrooms. And so it wasn't actually till we split up that I became interested in using them, and I will confess it was to impress him and show him what he was missing. I was like, I'm gonna take psychedelics and impress you now. And that actually, which, if you knew me in my earlier life, this would not be surprising at all, like, oh, I've never done that, Leah. No, not even our listeners have done that. Yep, yeah. And and I'm fortunate that trying to impress guys has led me to some really great things that now it's just part of my own life. So thank you guys. I guess. Everything's a mirror. But yeah, so I had a low dose mushroom experience that was positive. And then I was like, I'm signing up for Iosco. Here I go, I'm going to go to Costa Rica and drink I Alaska. And I didn't really have connection to anyone who did that sort of thing. But one friend learned I was doing that. And she said, You know, I think you should have a deeper trip before you go do that could be really intense. I scored you a hit of acid, here you go. I've never done it. I can't advise you. But like, here's a hit of acid. Okay. So like, one month before I was going to go drink I Alaska, I made a little ceremony which I had never done any of these things at all. And I took this hit of LSD and I had a really profound experience, I still come back to it like it was so predictive of the trajectory of my life. My plants were growing and dying right before my eyes, there's just watching this cycle of their life. And it led me to reflect on how I used to be so in connection with nature, in relationship with nature when I was growing up. And ironically, I diverged from that when I got into boys and I was dating and I just kind of like didn't go to the woods anymore. So that experience kind of brought me back and I felt like this inner knowing that my disconnection with nature was part of my disconnection from myself. I had like, yeah, I had over 10 years of time being riddled with eating disorders at that point, like since I mean even early I, if I could have started having disordered eating sooner I would have I just couldn't figure it out as a kid and then I like figured it out when I got to age 11 or 12. And then I was down this track. Have I really like hurting my body trying to make it be acceptable to other people. So so that trip was really profound and it led me to drink Ayahuasca in Costa Rica, I ended up volunteering at the Iowa hospice center and helping support people in the ceremony. It yeah touched me very deeply. And when I came home, I was forever changed. And I started going to psychedelics conferences and reading all of the classic books, you know, Huxley and meeting more people that led me to helping to start Boston entheogenic network, which is a Boston based group center that I'm
Shawna Pelton 10:37
now going to ask is that Boston entheogenic network just for guides? Or is it for anyone who's curious?
Yeah, it's for anybody in in the Boston area, who and and people from other states are in the group, too. It's on Facebook, anyone can join. But yeah, it's not a place to score substances. It's a place to kind of connect our mycelial threads with each other and, and find community of others who have been impacted by these altered states of consciousness.
so after Ben had been running for over a year, and during that time I also did psychedelic harm reduction, which it goes by many names. But in short, what I did is I would go to music festivals or gatherings where people were, you know, likely to be altering their consciousness with substances, or you know, ecstatic dance, all their artwork, all these things alter the consciousness. And so there's a space that's like a quiet, grounded space where peers who are sober can help support people who have gotten, you know, into a difficult place in their journey. And so holding space for folks as they, as they were in hell that they wanted to have fun at the festival, and suddenly there's like, their big shadow is right there. So, so being with that was really powerful. And I was also helping facilitate integration circles in Boston entheogenic network, which is a space to process and, and just figure out how to take the messages, the insights, the visions, whatever happened in the psychedelic journey, how to understand that on a deeper level, and then weave it into our lives, you know, the fabric of each day and who we are. It's like, it's like a process of distillation, like, you have this whole big trip. So okay, now, what are you going to do? So,
Shawna Pelton 13:23
through, that's so powerful, that's an important step for this app for what people are going through. To be able to is,
Unknown Speaker 13:31
yeah, and you mentioned in the beginning like psychedelic therapy, D stigmatizing psychedelic therapy and something so critical for people for I hope people can recognize is that it is a lot of work to trip like it could be the whole day could feel like a lot of heavy lifting. But really, the the work or the play that's done afterward, is what makes the healing lasting.
Shawna Pelton 13:56
Hmm, yes, yes. Yes. Okay. There's so much goodness there. Okay, let's dive into let's talk about the psychedelic therapy itself, because I think that people are actually confused when they hear psychedelics. First of all, they have a very specific type of drug in mind. Usually, like people will be like, Oh, yeah, I know. I've done psychedelics before. And so then we have, it opens up the conversation, but there's usually one way of seeing it. So let's talk about if it's okay, can we discuss the three tiers of psychedelics and why this matters to the work that people are doing for healing?
Yeah, no, that sounds great. Um, do you want to talk about the Tier One, two and three, or we can just riff on it? Okay, go for it. Yeah.
Shawna Pelton 14:49
All right. So, most people are familiar with tier three. So we'll start there and go backwards. So the tier three is the universal mind It's the unity consciousness. It's a transpersonal experience that people would have with certain types of substances like psilocybin from mushrooms, for example, is LSD. A tier three? Do you know? I can't remember. kind of seems like Yeah.
I think so. And and I even think that the, the tear NIS can it's like less rigid and like, because yeah, it's not. Yeah. and with a high dose of ketamine, which we have for tier one with psi looks at ketamine as tier one, but you can have a tier three experience on ketamine with room, you know, that altered like that a ego death or K hole experience.
Shawna Pelton 15:43
Yeah, I've even had tier three experiences on cannabis. Exactly. Yeah. So a tier three is when you open up that to to that higher, I call it the higher mind, right. And that means all of it, it's the collective, it's your own higher mind, your higher self, it's the collective higher mind. And it's also the higher mind of the one, right? So whatever someone refers to the one God, universe, nature, all of that, I believe, is what falls into that category. And so people think that when they go into a psychedelic experience, just having that's that that spiritual experience is what they need. So can we talk about like, the the pros and the cons of just that particular type?
Yeah, definitely. It's true what you say that people, a lot of people who are seeking psychedelic healing, have expectations of maybe ego death, which is like a dissolution of the self and oneness with everything. And I like to specify the ego death can also feel like aloneness and being just, yeah.
Shawna Pelton 16:55
Just further even dissociated, I think sometimes. Absolutely. Absolutely. So maybe, yeah, maybe what we should do is probably before we go into the really powerful talk about it, let's let's define this the other two then because I feel like maybe I can get lost in the subject and forget to introduce the, the other two. So tier two is about the identity consciousness. It's like who you are your self identity, that kind of thing, right? The way you see yourself and the way you relate to all of your life experiences, your your view, is it fair to say worldview is also in there? Do you think,
guys I think so. Yeah, I think so. I should have brushed up on the tiers before this, but
Shawna Pelton 17:38
and then tier one is primary consciousness, it's the body, it's the memory of, of your physicality, first and foremost, but like, what that entails and that is the nervous system. And and the fight, you know, the the fight or flight response, or even like that, like, you know, rest and digest response as well. Those are in primary consciousness. And so those are the three different tiers that different medicines can help access during a psychedelic experience. Okay, so now those that now that we have that out of the way, and everybody's kind of like, oh, okay, so now let's go into what people most assume is like the best place to start and why it's not exactly the best place to start. But it's that tier three experience. So
yes, yes, definitely. And I think that worldview is a tier two, right? So like, if, if tier one is the body and the nervous system, and then tier two would be the mind and my identity and how I think of myself and you and you know, that self and other and then tier three transcends the personal and it's the collective kind of consciousness, Stan grof sort of thing. Yeah. So a lot of people do have these tier three type experiences in psychedelic healing. And I also see people chasing that kind of experience, which can be disappointing for them if they aren't accessing it. But in any case, to have that unity consciousness experience. A lot of being human involves physical traumas and, and physical memory, physical experiences that get written into ourselves in the way that we relate to our environment. The the body is so wise, it's taking in all of this sensory information all the time, and it's, it's not all going to our consciousness. So it's like kind of you can, I always say like, when you walk into the ski lodge or a really smelly bathroom and you smell Oh, feet are like, ooh, like, smelly bathroom. But if you you know, unfortunately, if you have to stay in there, it's the smells not going to be so strong after a while because we actually have a processing part of our mind that then is like in the, like blogs that out? Yeah, just like some kind of turns down the intensity because it's not new anymore. Okay, got it got the message. And people with sensory processing issues, don't they actually might not have that decrease. So this isn't our brains and bodies? That's a really good point. Yeah, so anyway, so that's just the body alone, and our nervous systems are wired to help us survive. So when we, when we go through something that's stressful, the nervous system wants to remember what happened and even tries to reenact it to complete what we didn't get to complete when the when the trauma happened, whether it was holding, you know, pushing someone off of us or, you know, holding our breath like and anything like that, that the shock of, of a stressful or traumatic experience kind of still lives in the body. So that's tier one, right? If we're having a psychedelic experience and having like a tier three meeting with God, or, or ourself dissolving the bodily trauma and dissociation with, you know, the smell of gas of exclusion or being for me, it was like I had a car accident on the highway. So being on the highway, meeting, God isn't going to help me not be triggered when I'm on the highway, because it's my, it's like the body level remembering of that incident. And so therefore, to treat. Yeah, so to work on that trauma, we have to directly engage the body and the nervous system, which is what piece of does,
Shawna Pelton 21:36
absolutely, you know, about 10 years ago, when I did that was when I was first introduced to psychedelic medicine. But I was also like, I was on my journey of seeking, I was already kind of like, in my path of purpose. But to the degree that I could be not really knowing who I was, like I was, I was still lost, but yet I was on the path. I don't know if that makes sense. It does. Yeah. And so when I would get these clear, like I would have these waves of insights, not just it wasn't about the medicine, it was just about me doing my personal work and actually being open to understanding that which I didn't know. And something that I saw very clearly, because I'm a visual, like, as an intuitive, I end up seeing pictures to help me make sense of things. So I saw a picture of how, like this, there's this rarefied frequency of light that is the highest, like potential of our beingness, right? And it's this refined light that's so potent, that's so powerful. But if our bodies on the physical level aren't capable of actually trans medic transducing, that light, think about a transducer, what does a transducer do? It sends and receives information, every one of our DNA, like our DNA strands, our cells, ourselves, and our whole beingness we are transducers of light. What is light light is just information it is data. Okay. So if we can't actually transmute that transduce, that highest rarest form of light, it's short circuits, our nervous system, that was the visual I had, it was as if the motherboard shut down because it couldn't process it. It's similar to what happens if like, if anyone here in the US has ever gone abroad with their hairdryer, guilty, I plugged it in, in Italy, and I literally shorted the whole apartment, trying to plug my equipment into an outlet that didn't have the capacity to handle the power that was surging through it. And so we have to think in the same way, our electrical bodies, the nervous system that works in Pro, you know, works with the physical body can't handle all of the power of supreme consciousness, if it's still dissociated from these past traumas, whether they're our own traumas, or lineage based traumas that are still within us that cause us to be separate from our wholeness. That's how I saw it. And our job is to literally upgrade our software, if you would, or upgrade the the hardware. The capacity. Oh, right, yeah, true. upgrade the capacity to be able to translate perfect light, and to express that light through us as our unique nature. That's the visual that I had 10 years ago, but I had no idea how to even achieve that. So I was like on this quest of figuring that out. So here I am. 10 years later. Wow, brilliant, right where you need to be right where I need to be. Yeah. So the piece of therapy works. You know, I haven't thought of it on the tier three model yet. I've been focused on the level one with it. So if you want to talk about your perspective, how do you use it? And what do you see the benefits? And
I think that pcep can help with tier one and tier two, sort of figuring out healing, etc. I want to say something about dissociation. So you said, you mentioned dissociation. And this is so related to pcep. So I'm going to start with that. and nervous system states, I guess it's going to, that's how we'll talk about dissociation. Great. So in in the teachings of our instructor, Sasha Razvi, who has been practicing this technique for like two decades about, and then before that the the technique was invented by Eric wolterstorff. But it's only you know, in the last six years that it's been used with ketamine or cannabis or psychedelics to, like lubricate, and expedite the process of the nervous system. But essentially, we, when we're calm and relaxed and receptive, then that's like called state zero. And this is like when the antelope are grazing, and they're by the Oasis and everything's beautiful, everyone's happy and no one's there's really no risk right now. So calm. And then you know, let's say there's a lion is spotted a couple of miles off in the distance, so everybody's ears perked up. There's a lion walking over here. No one's panicking yet. But everyone's on alert. And this is state one. This is the state in which a lot of people are walking around living all the time. It's a state of anxiety. But it's not panic, right?
Unknown Speaker 26:37
We've normalized it.
Yep. Exactly. And people can, you know, I personally channel my state one into being, you know, a high achieving person and having a lot of podcast episodes. I was gonna say, things I've written. Yeah. So it's, you know, it's, it just is. State two is something that we can't sustain for long periods of time. But it's a state of full on panic. And that's when the lion breaks into a run. And he's chasing the herd. Or she because right. Usually the female lions are the ones Yanks usually the lion. Yeah. So So yeah, she's, you know, say, say we are the antelope, we're running away, and there's a lion hot on our tail. So it's like, oh, my gosh, survive, survive, survive. And that state to now, you can't always get away. So that lion catches us. And we're, we're struggling, kicking, fighting. But you know, she's latched on so we can't get away, then we dropped down into dissociation. So the first two states I talked about state one and state two are hot states. That sympathetic nervous system states, dropping down into dissociation, we go into this. It's a state of hopelessness, there's no solution. We tried. Like, if only there had been a solution, if only we could have gotten away, but we couldn't. And so this is where maybe a bit of a floatiness or disconnection starts to come in. And it's our own why's bodies having this response that's supposed to protect us by making what's happening less intense. So that state three, and state four is just an even greater expression of that this is when we're being eaten. And we don't even really know that that's what's happening because we're floating. You know, someone who watches themselves from another place in the room might be in this state four out of body experience. sleepiness, just that endogenous opioid response, which is when our body releases our own opioids to help us not feel the pain of what's going on. So especially if someone was in a trauma, and they went into dissociation, you know, their their nervous system sent them there as a protective mechanism. They are going to have that dissociation afterward, especially if they see the trigger, they might go into that dissociative response. So pcep is a includes a technique for pressurizing the nervous system to notice our dissociation and then move up out of dissociation into a wave what's called a waves changing state state for to stay three or three to state to where suddenly the dissociation cracks and outcomes panic and the emotions that want it to be felt the physical sensations, the even the incomplete autonomic responses or physical movements that didn't get to happen, which could look like running or trying to hit somebody or anything really, it could be anything. When I went into a state to in a session, I re experienced my car accident and I was on the phone in my hand went up to hold the phone to my head. I didn't even know it was happening. I was like, oh, like my I'm on the phone and then my hand just smashed into my face because that was what happened in in the accident. And I had The process does. Yeah. And I was like, I wasn't trying to touch on that memory. It was just what, what my nervous system needs.
Shawna Pelton 30:07
Yeah, I remember having moments where my legs were running, it's like what's going on? I don't know, I'm running. My body just needed to run, run, run, run, run, run, or kick or punch. And I would have those feelings. Yeah, so that's similar. Yeah, interesting.
And let me say one more thing I wanted to touch on how this can be tier two. So I was just talking about very physical level stuff. But let's talk about neglect. Developmental trauma, relational trauma, tional. So if if someone well as infants, it really doesn't make sense for us to be able to regulate ourselves survival wise, like, we can't communicate. And so if, if there's something that we need, we cry, and, and when we get picked up, and nurtured and given attention, it helps us regulate our system. So if we could regulate our systems on our own, it just would not be conducive to survival necessarily, and we're relational creatures, we need that connection that holding. So if that wasn't present for a person in their early childhood, or if there was abuse, or any sort of trauma that has the system, not trusting other people, then PSAP can work on that too. And so rather than a wave of a physical motion coming up, it would, it might be a wave of, of a feeling, or a thought or an emotion. And transference is when the therapist begins to symbolize another person in our life or another group of people. And so we may transfer our feelings or our fears onto them. This comes up for me when I think my therapist is bored. They don't want to be here. They're looking at me as just annoying a burden. So but I have no reason to think that they're looking at me that way. It's what's arising our feelings that I've had about others thinking that others were not indeed interested in me are there to support me. So so that can also come up as a wave be felt processed, and then not not be so stuck? powerful? Yeah.
Shawna Pelton 32:14
And that's important also to recognize like that doesn't have to be even a conscious like, sometimes people don't even know why they're thinking that they assume it's because of what's in front of them what their physic like they're going through in the moment. But oftentimes, it's tapping into those, I call them decision points, when we make a decision to believe a certain thing. From an event that happened that we, at a young age, let's face it, we're innocent as non especially in the nonverbal states. And when we experience something that the nervous system goes through, as you just described, all of those ranges of nervous system states that can be very uncomfortable, and very scary and very, like, let's face it, you don't know what it is. So you don't know how to respond to it. And you make up stories about it. And so these are when our belief systems develop about ourself or about our about others. And then we end up behaving in a way that reflects our belief throughout life. And we repeat these these behaviors. And we don't even realize we've built up this, this way of being this identity and these protective parts, because of an interpretation of of an event. Sometimes it's not even the event itself, it was our interpretation of the event. And that's also important to recognize is there is a difference, but it doesn't matter. Either way, it's just needs to be discussed. When we get destabilized through this process, it kind of is a breaking down of those patterns of those beliefs of those. Those moments when we made decisions about who we are about who others are to us in relation to us.
I'd like to say that I this is so great, what you're saying, and the moment of the trauma, sometimes it's not like a what looks really big from the outside, but it's what it means to the person when it happens. And I like a lot of my clients, I think they they don't go into the depth of their trauma because they're like, it's not that bad. People go through a lot worse. I think this is this is like an escape because you can just okay, that way you can take the off ramp and not feel the extent of your pain, because it's real. And it's this is some Well, actually no sorry, rewind. trauma is anything that's too much too fast, not enough. And it does not have to be something that like maybe people think someone in a war zone or sexual assault or severe neglect, you know, it could be that the teacher said something, you know, in an off way, and so what on that day, that meant Something so much to the person.
Unknown Speaker 35:01
Yeah, absolutely. And it can also be just simply a pro longed stress state where someone just can't like, for example, like there are a lot of people who have caregivers who are less than nurturing, they might not be abusive. And so they'll say, like, Oh, my mother wasn't bad, but right, they always preface it, or my father wasn't a bad guy. But he yelled a lot, or my mother really didn't tell me she loved me or pick me up when I cried or comfort me when I, you know, when I was afraid, but she wasn't a bad person. He they weren't bad people, right. So like, all of a sudden, we're making up these like trying to protect the people we love. But the truth is, is that we went with needs that were unmet. So we had unmet needs as a development thing, as a person going through developmental stages. And because it's like this, you know, decades, a couple of decades length of time that we have needs that we need to work through developing with our caregivers, or immediate you know, the people that are influential in our life, even that can contribute to trauma, like a complex, PTSD type of symptom, severe psychological distress. Symptoms tied to those just simply chronic, unmet needs.
Yeah. And I think that any conversation about pieces needs to include a piece about resourcing.
So, to bring up these traumas, and to actually allow the emotions, the physical actions, or whatever to complete, our nervous system needs to believe that it's going to be okay to actually do that. So even if mentally we're like, Yes, I want to clear out this trauma, here we go, I'm going to hit it hard, like I'll do whatever it takes, the nervous systems don't really even know you don't know what you're talking about, like, we're not going to go there. This is to protect you. So the nervous system is not going to allow us access to that unless we resource the system. And what that means is having practices and practices or, or strategies written into our life, that that brings on a parasympathetic state or a rest and digest state. So this is the state where cortisol lowers, you know, muscle tension relaxes, the organs go back to doing their thing of digesting and the heart rate slows down. So parasympathetic, sympathetic, parasympathetic states are like states of calm. And so we have to be able to regulate ourselves to some degree, and even to regulate ourselves with the help of somebody that's called co regulation, that's I experienced this, the presence of a trusted person will help me get regulated, you know, in like, like nothing else, although I think I'm making awesome progress on being able to self regulate. But in any case, the nervous system won't let us Yea, the nervous system won't let us go there unless the system is resourced. And so people who are enthusiastic about doing psi p need to be engaging in their own resourcing resourcing schedule,
Shawna Pelton 38:43
right? Yeah, that's really important. And so what are some resources that you like to use that help you?
I really like to do watercolor painting and paint. Yeah, like, just paint some colors together of what I'm feeling or a vision that I had in a dream or in a psychedelic state, or just to sit and paint and play with with color and shape. I really get resourced when I connect my mind and body. So going for a run, going for a mindful walk, doing some mindful yoga. And because Yoga is not always like resourcing for me, I could do yoga as like a workout and be like the goal be flexibility and strength building. But if I want to if the goal is resourcing the middle be a slow mindful yoga, where I'm intentionally relaxing the muscles that are supposed to relax, tightening or stretching the muscles that are supposed to be stretched, so I kind of drop into that hypnotic state and like I said, another resourcing thing for me is having a close person hold my hand or hold me.
Shawna Pelton 39:54
Yeah, that's powerful. I also like nature You know, I like to be out in nature. hiking with my dog is a resource for me and I really resets my nervous system when I'm out in nature. But same like yoga, it's intentionally stretching certain areas that that need to be like, you know, I need to talk to those, especially my hips, like go hips, you can let go whenever you're ready. Um, and I also love to dance as a resource, and also love to color all our paint. But I haven't done that in so long. But I've been thinking about bringing it back into my life, because I think it's such a powerful way to get out of my head and just into my heart and be creative. But you know, food and, and even drinking water and tea, those are resources as well. And I always tell people, like after a session, there's no shame in those resources, whatever you think you had to, like, hold yourself back from because you know, maybe you're restricting yourself on a diet or some sort. This is more important to resource yourself with what you know, is like the thing that brings you comfort. So I tell people with mindful boundaries around it, right, don't binge but like, Don't Don't feel bad having an ice cream. You know, yeah, I have a client who was who's been like not drinking alcohol, not because she had an addiction to it, but because she just wanted to reduce inflammation. And she had not drank alcohol for a really long time. But after we talked about resourcing, she went out and had a martini, and she's like, I felt so good. I'm like, Yeah, great. She's like, that's what I decided I wanted for that night for every source. Yeah, no coincidence that came following our process, where we access her 22 year old self, who, that's what she used to do for fun at that stage. So it was funny how she recognized she was like, I felt like I was acting like my 22 year old self. Probably were. So yeah, that reminds me of a good. I was just saying funny Association. Yeah.
It reminds me of a colleague of mine who has developmental trauma. And so what she does to kind of resource and feel whole and safe is she'll put on fancy socks that she used to like when she was a kid. Just like that's what that that part that's upset me. It's just like, put on some colorful socks or snuggle with a blanket.
Nice. Ah, that's great. Alright, so resourcing is important. You know, let's talk about like, who this is, you know, what the, the actual therapy itself is really freakin powerful. All right. It's so powerful and we know it has the potential to truly help people create positive personal change. But who is it not for? We need to really make sure that people are aware of the Contra indications.
Yeah, definitely. So psychedelic work as a whole is destabilizing, right? It literally like taking a psychedelic increases entropy in the brain. The default mode network goes offline. This is with serotonergic psychedelics like magic mushrooms, LSD, Ayahuasca, Ibogaine, mescaline, you know, San Pedro, cactus, etc. So and that's what how we're allowed to, or where we have access to creating new pathways in the mind, because the, the old pathways suddenly don't become so readily traveled during that experience. But anyway, so just the nature of them is destabilizing and PSAP is, you know, it's, it's changing our pathways of safety that our body has evolved based on all of our life experiences, I just can't emphasize enough how wise the nervous system is. So we are deliberately tinkering with that, it's very important to be responsible, and not to engage like not to do a PSAP therapy session or sequence of sessions, if becoming destabilized is going to like wreck your life. So if you're balancing a lot of different things, and, and, and then ending up getting into a really emotional place where the things that usually help you relax, are not going to work for some time. That's it might not be a good idea. So it's good to really have the space to do a lot of resourcing around this. So that's in general for anyone, and then people with a family history of bipolar or personal diagnosis of bipolar. And this could be a whole podcast episode about like, Is it really bipolar? Either way, proceed with caution talk to your therapist ahead of time. So because this kind of work could trigger a mania or a manic flip, and that might just might not be a good idea. Anyone with a family history or personal history of psychosis, schizophrenia and other disorders like that, again, could be another podcast episode, spiritual emergency versus psychosis, etc. But at any rate, proceed with caution because the brain is already The very entropic in in that kind of individual. So
So what I liked is about how you said proceed with caution. And I appreciate that because it's not to say that someone with certain conditions, like you described is a totally like off the table, if someone has the right support system, the right like plan and, and going into it knows all of the possible scenarios that might or at least can be like accepting of all the possible scenarios that might arise. The temporary destabilization? If it can be, if it can be like, if you can be nurtured through it, when you're in that state, then I would, I would say that that's an individual choice, but going into it know very well that it's not like, Oh, I'm just gonna go repattern repattern My pathways? And like, no big deal. Yeah, nope, your your life might come on done, so that it can be rebuilt up again. And so that's really hard, even for the most resourced amongst us. But for someone who does have, like, you know, their life is not necessarily in like in a stable place to begin with, it just might be a lot more scary and uncomfortable.
So yeah, exactly. And for that very reason. Psi p also is not indicated for anyone who's acutely suicidal, or who has had a suicide attempt in the last couple, you know, 30 days or so. Also somebody with substance abuse or dependency, if they're less than six months of sobriety, it just really, that's a time to focus on whatever is working for sobriety. Because in destabilization, there could be a relapse, and that just might not be what the person wants. And cardiovascular risk is also a contraindication. Due to both the processing that happens in in psi P, and also that the medicines can increase blood pressure. So a person should be able to tolerate light to moderate exercise, like, you know, going up a couple flights of stairs, or that that kind of thing. And this is something to talk about with one's doctor, if you do have cardiovascular issues, to ask them like, would it be contraindicated with your physical health to, to do a therapy that might raise the heart rate and raise the blood pressure,
right. And with that said, speaking about communicating this with a practitioner, not all doctors even are educated on what psychedelic therapy is all about. So making sure that the person that you are talking to is, is perhaps educated and knows about it, because I think that sometimes others who don't know about it might turn away. I remember when I went for my medical card. for cannabis, the you know, the doctor that I went to what my primary care who was just honestly, where I went for, like emergency type stuff, I didn't have a relationship with them. But the he was like cannabis, I don't agree with that. And I'm like, Huh, then that tells me you don't know, the updated research and the science behind it. And so it just is it's the way the way of the world right now we're in a, an emerging new modality that has enough what I believe is enough data to back this, this modalities effectiveness, the efficacy, as well as the safety to a degree, you know, like anything, there's always risks, but to a very strong level of safety involved with it, and anyone who has yet to access that data, meaning if they just haven't educated themselves on it, and they have an opinion that, to me is close minded. And so I'm more cautious of the closed minded people that I end up have the open minded people but I'm also in the middle ground where it's like, don't just believe everything, because you're excited about something like do your your due diligence and, and make sure that you discern truth for yourself in an educated way.
I agree with that. And I'm a fan of healing in community and having people surrounding yourself with people who you can be honest with them, and you know that they're going to be honest with you, and that they can call you on your bullshit and like it might suck, but you can still trust that they love you and they're doing it because they love you. I think that that's really important. And, of course, practitioners need to fall under that as well that that, that they will get informed and be able to know if their biases are informing the advice that they're giving. Yeah, I mean, I could just go I have lots of stories on that. But I think are we are we reaching wrap up, we didn't even tell you how people use psychedelics and psi P. But basically, Cannabis, or ketamine, and a low dose can facilitate this process happening faster, right.
And the practitioner is not administering it, because it's illegal in the states where it is offered. The client is responsible for arranging for their medicine with a prescribing whether it's a physician or a place where they can purchase,
right? Or if it's a state where recreational cannabis is legal then so they just have their own already.
Yeah, exactly. So awesome. I mean, look, we definitely could talk about this for hours, clearly, and there's so much more to it. But I think this is a really great place. And as we do continue to see I think well meaning like more and more psychedelic therapeutics offered in our society, there's going to be more people who are interested in exploring it and it's important for them to know all of the, the, you know, the pros and cons. So we just went through a list of cons is, is there a pros list that you want to make sure you cover?
pros of psychedelic therapy? Yeah. I mean, all anybody has to do is read any of the psychedelics magazines, or you know, even New York Times articles about psychedelic therapy, and you'll hear about all of the benefits. I will just say from I'm a fan of using personal experience, I was just gonna ask what did you get out of, um, I used to hate my body hate being in my body, and the medicines very gently and in a in a, in a both complex and like hyper simple way showed me that like, this is actually home like this is this is the first home and then any place that I feel at home is another home, but like this is the number one and that I learned to hate my body from messaging from my surroundings, and also also from sensory needs that I had that I just wasn't validating. So psychedelics helped me come home to my body, they have helped me to process things that happened in my past, they've helped me set a course for the future of what I want to feel like and the ways that I want to share my gifts with the world and, and help catalyze healing for other people. And and psychedelics have, they've helped me not fear death, it's so it was never an intention, like, but through all of this I've come to, I've come to really enjoy being alive now and also to sort of await the moment when I bid farewell to this reality in this consciousness and rejoin the whole. So I had no spiritual or religious beliefs my entire life. And now I kind of do and that was totally unexpected, and it enriches my experience so much.
Ah, I love that. Yeah, thanks for sharing. I had such severe self esteem issues, like so low in thinking about myself, which meant the way that I let people treat me and what my boundaries were, were like, what boundaries?
yeah. And so as a result, I was either always being taken advantage of giving my power away feeling abused and used and neglected and abandoned, and just just self fulfilling prophecies, you know, I believe a certain thing, I acted a certain way I got that thing. And it was like, see, I really helped me to develop my sense of self and be able to uphold my boundaries better and in a way that I didn't even it wasn't like I had to learn a new skill. It was just like, I made a new decision about who I really am. And I also believe that my experience has helped me to open up my heart to trust again, because I had lost trust. I had lost my connection to life in general, like I didn't have joy in life and I didn't feel like no, you know, like the connections with people were superficial. I didn't feel like I had intimacy really and like so is able to open up my heart to trust again. And also what I say is see the truth in all things. And when you can see the truth in things that doesn't mean that Everything's rosy, it just means when it's not rosy, you're okay with it, because you see it for what it is. And you know that, you know, you kind of have a new way of responding to the things that you see as well. Um, so those are the positives for me. But also, most recently, there was a block that I had, this was, so all of those things that I just described, were my tier three revelations. But I, even though like are tier two, because it was about the self and the identity. But my tier one revelation came after piece of therapy. And I didn't even know that it was going to help this going in. But I have this block, in, in my life that was affecting the way that like I was in business, like, I think that anyone who's an entrepreneur printer knows how important it is to like, have sustainability in business and be able to like, you know, there's there's ups and downs of the influx of different clients. But like, I would have droughts, and then floods and droughts and floods. And it was really uncomfortable for me to live in those that place as a business owner. In it, it literally just wiped out whatever block that made that happen. When I tell you it's just been a consistent steady stream, since since doing that first session, every block related to my business has gone even to the degree where it was like, you know, questioning like, Alright, well, how do I want to represent myself? And how do I want to talk about what I do and, and like, I got so crystal clear and felt very grounded and anchored in this, this role of what I do. And then everybody who I worked with, was having profound transformation within a short time. And I was like, Whoa, something happened. So Wow. Yeah, yeah. So that was good. And it and I also just felt that there was a different, like, I felt different on a cellular level. And I couldn't explain how I knew that something changed in me, and it was just never coming back. Like whatever changed was a permanent change, and I just know it. And then come to find out, it's the most common thing that I'm hearing from the people that I'm working with. That's what they that's like, within their own way of phrasing it. That's what they're saying is happening. So that's really cool. Yeah,
yeah. And I always remind people, like, it's people say, Oh, I (aya) saved my life, or, you know, if it wasn't for LSD, I'd never be where I am. And I always like to empower people that it's like, it's the relationship with the medicine that gets you there. It's your own healing, inner healing wisdom. So like, these experiences can be so many different things. It's really like each, each trip is different. Because every brain is different. And every moment is different for each brain. So people can get like these expectations about what psychedelics will be for them. And if they're like, if what they want to treat, like their depression doesn't go away, when they take psychedelics, it can feel like wow, I'm really broken, even psychedelics, which everybody is raving about didn't help. And so just encourage people. Yeah, that it's, it's, it really can be an upward spiral kind of journey. Yeah, psychedelics aren't for everybody. Right does not mean there's anything wrong with you, if this doesn't work for you. And also like, it could be that trying it in a different mindset next time or trying in a different setting next time, or both, or with a loved person being there, or a professional like, just in or in nature. Yeah.
Well said, I also think that what matters to the experience isn't just like the event itself, having the psychedelic experience is one thing, but like you pointed out the distillation process, like when you gain new insights, there's an integration that happens. And so there is a way to support and nurture that integration. And I think that that's a missing piece. For a lot of people. They think like, Oh, I have the session. I'm good. It's like, let's work with what comes up through that session. And help us to make sense of the experience in a way from an anchoring it in right, so to embody that new newness. That comes comes up for people. Hmm,
That first time that I was in Costa Rica, I like I was in conscious community. I was outside all the time. Just everything. And when I got home, I felt so stunted. Like I just it was March in New England it was and I had just been in Costa Rica for months. And what I realized was that the medicine work was like planted or it germinated, some seeds that were within me, you know, some some dormancy within me, they germinated. And then just literally the sunlight in the water in Costa Rica and everything there, the plants were like, poof, they were going off growing so big, these new parts of myself were, were thriving. And then I came back to the US, I was not in community, I was down in the basement, you know, the sun wasn't out. And so my plants were like, they had grown so robust, and now they were withering, and they didn't have the nourishment. So it was, I had to find a source of light for these plants and a source of water and nourishment and the right temperature. And so that's really like tending our own process is very much like having a garden and pulling out the weeds and giving the plant you know, looking at the plant and the health of it. This is like our development what what, how much more can we nurture our growth? Hmm.
I love that analogy. What a visual as you were talking, I was seeing parts of you weathering and growing in relation to where you're at with it. So I'm a visual storyteller. I love that. Ah, well, thank you, Leah, for you know, talking about this with me and sharing your wisdom with our community. I would love to, you know, perhaps think about what we can continue this conversation with perhaps so like another time with with going deeper into it? Or even How about this, I'm going to invite people who are listening and who do have questions, if they want to reach out with those questions. And then maybe we can come back and like just basically have a q&a. Would that be Oh, I
love that idea. Yeah. And I really love you Shawna. Love your words. So feeling's mutual.
Sweet. That's an invitation to anyone who's listening. What are your questions? What would you like for us to talk about art to go deeper into and let us know. And we'll set a time up to do that q&a. All right. Well, this has been a treat. Thank you so much for for joining me, Leah with this, this talk and then also for the listeners for spending time with us today.
I really am grateful for your presence.
And with that said, I hope that you enjoyed this episode as much as I did, and I look forward to the continuation
an observer of natural laws and patterns,a lover of learning, a proud mother, adoring grandmother, redeeming daughter (sorry for causing you trouble grwoing up, mom & dad) and passionate about serving YOU! <3