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132. Creating New Patterns of Pleasure: Sex, Relationships, and Psychedelics with Juliana Rose

Nicole: The first question I like to ask each guest is how would you introduce yourself to the listeners?

Juliana: So I'm Juliana Rose. I'm a mother on top of all of my identities. You know, mother is a big one. I'm a sex educator. I'm a psychedelic explorer. I'm just really like fascinated in embodiment. You know, my practice is called boldly embodied. So it's like how through all the tools and modalities that we have, like, how do we just fucking live in these bodies?

So that's, yeah, that's a good question.

Nicole: That's a great question. Maybe take me through a little bit of how you got to this space where that is the question you're even asking.

Juliana: Yeah. So, you know, I'd say as a child I was a pretty embodied person, you know, I was always like climbing things and, you know, getting like, if I could get my body, I always had this fascination with like, can I get my body in that or around that?

Or, you know, there's a small space. I'd like crawl inside of it. And I would say, you know, Sexuality has been probably the main container that I've explored embodiment like truly as a adult, you know, now, and I started sort of on my medicine path as a pretty young person. Okay. And what is young for you?

Yeah. I mean, I started doing pretty high dose, um, medicine, you know, mushroom journeys when I was a teenager. So like 14, 15, 16, you know, in, in the ways that teenagers do, and then didn't really have a sense of like what I was doing or why I was doing it. I just was like, wow, that was a interesting experience in my body and socially.

And, you know, and so. When my, my first, I would say like my first deep medicine experience came after I had moved to Peru, I had moved to Peru as an at 18. Well, I didn't know I was moving to her at 18. I went there to travel and never came home. Let's put it that way. Um, and some years after that, I was in a ayahuasca journey.

And, you know, at that time, this was probably 15 years ago. And yeah, You know, it wasn't quite the scene that it is now. And so I was in this medicine journey and what came to me very, very clearly at this time, I was kind of in a transition in some of my relationships and, um, what came to me really, really clearly was the medicine really showed me without, you know, any shadow of a doubt that I was.

Tangled in this web of relationship confusion that really stemmed from early sort of childhood, uh, patterning, but I wasn't aware of, um, and, you know, in medicine space, there's sort of this way of maybe seeing things that you already know, but in ways that you can't really, I know them, you know, or unsee them.

Um, so this became really, really, you know, apparent to me in this medicine journey was like, okay, I was able to connect the dots between the relationship choices that I was making at that time. I had, I was kind of coming out of a relationship with, um, my older son's father and sort of into another sort of confusing relationship with, uh, with my younger son's father.

And so it was kind of in this crossroads of like, okay, Juliana, what are you doing and why are you doing it? And what's kind of. What's, what are the patterns here? And I really was able to track it back to some very like deep unmet wounds from my, my relationship with my father and just the way that he was, you know, emotionally unavailable for most of my time growing up.

So I saw these patterns in this medicine journey. And then the question became, okay, how does one work with the like deeper patternings of our sexuality and why we make the choices we make? Um, because up until that point. I didn't really see it as like something to look at or something to even be aware of in that way, you know, they're sort of like, well, I'm just me and I make the choices I make.

Um, and so I came out of that ceremony really feeling like, okay, I would like to focus. my time and my attention and my intention on my sexuality because this is obviously like, it was so integrated and tangled up in the way that I was moving through the world. I didn't even see it as something to look at.

Um, something about that journey zoomed me out so I could really see it and start to see it. So that's how I came to. Study somatic sex education, you know, that somatic sex education, sexological body work, because I was interested in the embodied experience of sexuality. I think there's lots of different sort of lineages of sex education, you know, where it's some, it's like, here are these techniques and here, you know, here, let me teach you, you know, about the names of sex toys.

And there's no, no shade on any of those things. But for me, it was really like, okay, what is the. Okay. Sort of embodied like underpinnings and the somatics of, you know, the choices that we make and sort of the identities that we choose. And, you know, not only how that affects our relationships, but how it really affects our entire lives.

Nicole: Yeah, absolutely. Yes. Thank you for sharing your story and your journey and the ways that, yeah, the medicines help to give you that perspective and really examine some of these things. I think that. I'd be curious even to take it a little bit further back if you'd be willing to share like that relationship with your father that was more distant, like, how did you see that showing up in your relationships?

Because I wonder what people might be in that same space of not knowing that and could benefit from just like hearing some of the fleshed out ways. You kind of started to notice that.

Juliana: Sure. Yeah. So. My parents divorced when I was 14, which was a really interesting time to sort of, you know, looking back at it now, that was really when I was kind of coming into my own sexuality, you know, and I would, I'd probably just started menstruating around that time.

Like my body was changing. I was starting to really, yeah, see and feel the world so differently. And then there was this split. And, you know, my phone had been around and, and available more so up until that time. He traveled a lot. He, you know, would come home after a week or two on the road and just be exhausted.

He was a traveling instrument salesman, like, you know, uh, the music man, you know, a musician and he would travel and he'd be on the road a lot. And so we'd come home and, you know, there was always this feeling of like being so excited to see him and, but he was often exhausted and unavailable. But I remember just having this very clear sense as a little person, like, okay, if I could be more interesting or if I could like shape myself to be, you know, if it like somehow it became about me, you know, I was like, okay, if I could.

Somehow like be interesting enough that he'll like stick around instead of going to work, you know, in this little, my, my little person's mind of sort of trying to, to figure out how to have more of my, you know, more of my dad. And so I think that really laid the groundwork for like later, um, sort of relational dynamics around, you know, Shaping myself to be, um, available and to be later on, you know, attractive to partners.

Um, and that's, that was the piece that became really, really clear during the medicine journey. There was a moment where, you know, and this was an ayahuasca journey in the, in the jungle of Peru. And there was a moment where I was just like, the medicine had just flattened me on the ground. I was just like.

I felt like she had turned into this mama jaguar and she like, had me by the scruff of the neck. And I, she was just like, on the ground. I was like, okay, I'm, I'm down. I'm listening. And so in that sort of feeling of like being immobilized, um, and just kind of surrendering in this way and like feeling all the ways that my body wanted to move and just needed to like, listen.

Yeah, wait, the shaman saw me and just kind of came and like sat next to me. He was an older man, very paternal feeling in many ways. And there was a way in which he sat next to me. He didn't touch me. And he started to sing this really beautiful, it got all this very beautiful like lullaby. It felt like I was unable to like.

Move my body. I just had to receive that moment. This internal struggle arose around. I want to, like, somehow signal to him that I am enjoying the intention that I want him to stay that I, you know, all the, all these little tiny sort of micro movements that I, you know. trained my body into, um, to sort of communicate to men like, like, yes, stay like, yes, I like what you're doing.

You know, I couldn't, I just was immobilized and he stayed and he stayed and he sang and I cried and it was like this moment of realizing there was such a deep longing in me for That kind of just paternal attention that didn't need anything from me in return that just wanted to stay with me and sing with me as long as I wanted him to.

And it didn't require any work from me. It didn't require anything from me. It was just something I could receive. So that was the moment that You know, in the medicine space that I became so aware of my sort of shape shifting chameleon way, you know, in relationship, like, sure, I'll be that. Sure. I'll be that.

You know, how can I be what you want? How can I be what you want? So, just to kind of put the timeline, that journey came sort of in between my 2, I would say my 2 Big relationships in between my two sons. Fathers. Yeah. It gave me perspective on my first son's father was he was a very, I would say, how would I describe him?

Very sort of like macho Peruvian man who was often very jealous, but he was also like very protective. And so I realized there's this part of me that was like trying to, you know, meet this unmet need for protection from my father. Um, it was also. You know, physically and emotionally abusive, but there was this, this desire that I had for like this fierceness, you know, that I, it's like fierce, masculine, like I got you, I'm going to protect you, but also you're not allowed to be yourself.

Sure. I was able to see through that medicine journey why I had made that choice, you know, it's like, I, why did I choose to be with that person for so long? It's like, Oh, it was really that, you know, that unmet, that unmet desire, um, for sort of paternal, like fierce protection. So then fast forward, you know, some years and in another relationship that was, you know, my second son's father who was the opposite side, like, you know, super polyamorous anarchist, like, like, so we went from like total control to like no structure whatsoever, the swing, the pendulum and, and, you know, no, Sort of nervous system, like ability to, to regulate my nervous system with, you know, a secure attachment kind of thing.

It was just like wind through the sand, you know, um, even though we had a child together. So it was somewhere between those two relationships that this journey happened. And I was like, wow, that's a pretty, you know, pretty drastic. pendulum swing. And in that I started to become, you know, it was a couple of years later that I dove into somatic sex education, which is really like, it's a somatic experiencing of sex.

It's like slowing everything way down and seeing like, Why do I, you know, why do I tend towards these desires? What's behind that? You know, how much does my nervous system have capacity for sensation or pleasure? How easy is it for me to communicate a desire? You know, it was later within my somatic sex educator training.

I was actually having a session with somebody. Um, I was receiving, you know, a sexological body work session. From someone who was an older man was, um, you know, holding in some ways that same like paternal space. I recognized in my body that same exact, like what I was trying to do in the medicine space.

So kind of accommodating and like moving towards him and, and sort of trying to like communicate with my body that I. Like didn't want this attention to stop. I was like, Oh, I recognize, I recognize those feelings. I recognize those shapes that my body wants to take. So all of that is to say like medicine, space, and the sort of unwinding of nervous system patterns and, you know, attachment patterns that happened within sexological body work has been like, those are the two.

Those are the two rivers to come back to your question, you know, that inform like what it means to be embodied and kind of the, the lenses that I hold up, you know, to connect with that part of myself. Yeah.

Nicole: And what a powerful journey to unpack all of that. Right. And, and I'm going. Yeah, exactly. That's also what I was thinking about.

I was like, man, I'm unpacking this stuff too. And it's like, I don't know if there ever will be an end to the unpacking of that, you know, beautiful journey that it is. But yeah, I think it makes so much sense given what you had said, how you would get to this space. Right. And, and I assume that through this journey, there's been a deeper connection to pleasure.

I don't know. But I would like to make that assumption. And yeah, I think that it's, it's so fascinating to me, like the psychology of attraction and desire and attachment and all these things where sometimes we're like, Oh, this is just what I am. This is just who I am and how I move out through the world.

And like when you start to get deeper into the, maybe the patterns, the social conditioning of what you were taught, right? Like there is so. Much under the surface that could be examined and the when you were talking about, um, how your dad wasn't really there and then taking that then perspective of like, what's wrong with me?

One of the theoretical lenses. I always. work through is relational cultural theory, which is this like feminist take on psychology. And it always talks about how, yeah, in different ways in life, we're always trying to be in connection. We want to be in connection. We need connection. We're social beings.

Right. And when that connection is severed or we have the threat of disconnection, the next immediate step is what's wrong with me. Something's wrong with me. I need to change how I'm showing up in this space to keep the connection. And so like what you're saying on, it's just like right there. And I think that if more people like.

We're able to, like, have the space to be able to process how some of these early relationships, whether it's parents, friends, lovers, right, like create these sort of dynamics where like, yeah, then we go in to question ourselves or get smaller, um, and all these different ways. I mean, it is juicy, juicy content.

Juliana: Yeah. Yeah. And I feel like there's this piece I've been exploring recently that kind of ties into what you just said about as children, we. We had to have to take it on as something to do with us, because if we didn't, that would mean like something is wrong with our caregivers and we need them to be infallible in a way, you know, so that we have the protection and the safety that we need.

So I, you know, in a lot of the somatic sex ed work that I do with people, it's, it's definitely unwinding that piece to, you know, what was wrong with me. You know, what, what did, what did I need to do differently to like, oh, you know, they were human also with their own, you know, their own traumas and their own patternings and even, you know, parents who do the best that they can do there's, they're going to fall short in some way.

And so I feel like there's kind of this reparenting process that can happen, you know, later on where we get to say like, oh. It wasn't me. I used to love them and it, you know, they were, they were imperfect and incomplete and it's okay. Um, so, you know, I can look back at my father now and see like, Oh, he was really doing the best he could do, you know, and he, you know, he gave of himself in ways that he could give.

And You know, the, the trauma that he had, like, He was just trying to get by. He didn't have a lot of extra. And so I can, yeah, I can appreciate that. And just really love him there now, um, with, you know, being on the other side as well, being a mother and being like, wow, in what ways am I not showing up for my children in the way they need and that there's a.

There's some perfection in the bigger picture of like what we get to work out as adults, you know, that our parents lay down for us.

Nicole: Absolutely. Absolutely. And so then, yeah, taking that lens to know that you're doing the same thing now, hopefully with continued improvement, right? In our, in our evolution of our family lines, right?

Like the people who are those disruptors who are changing the narrative, right? And writing a new one. I mean, there's so much power in that and. I'm curious, have you ever talked to him about this, like, and your experience of that? Or is that maybe too difficult to kind of go into depending on where he's at?

Juliana: Yeah, you know, it's, it's an interesting, I've really been on a journey. It's so funny that we're talking about this because he actually was supposed to come visit at the beginning of this month and I saw him last year. You know, he came and stayed with us for a night and it was probably the first time in at least five years, maybe, maybe more that I had seen him.

And so, you know, last year, there was this whole emotional process about it for me, just like having him around and what that, you know, what that was and sort of this pedestal that I'd put him on, you know, around like being my father. And then the, the reality of like what it felt like to actually, you know, Be in space with my father.

I'm like, oh, okay. Like it's, you know, this, this sort of disconnect is in some ways it's too, it's a two way street as well. You know, he's just not a, a human that I connect with a lot as an adult. So he was supposed to come and it ended up getting, you know, he ended up needing to cancel for very good reasons.

Um, and I noticed like there was a settling in my system. You know, there was like, I was okay with it in a different way than I would have been. I feel like last year before I had this sort of realization of like, Oh, he's just a man. And like, to be honest, I'd love him, but I don't particularly like, like him.

Yeah. You know, like it's not necessarily somebody I would choose to, to spend time with, even though I, you know, he's my father and I love him. So it was sort of this interesting, yeah, just kind of tracking my nervous system. And honestly, I've thought about, you know, do I want to talk to him? What would it provide, you know, other than, you know, You did the best you could and it wasn't enough and it's okay, you know, there's.

So, yeah, that's a question that I'm in, you know, if it's a conversation to have, um, with him at some point or whether it's, you know, just a conversation and a, a internal sort of reclamation and reconciliation process with my own internal father, you know, how have I, how have I learned to father myself? Um, yeah.

Which has been a journey for me, you know, I've been a single parent of two boys, um, you know, for 15 years. And so there's been definitely moments, many moments where I've had to sort of step into my own intermasculine, you know, and, and like hold that space. So I feel like that's all connected to like kind of learning to, you know, be my own father in some ways.

Nicole: Sure. Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, so many people I work with are having like that same question of, is it an internal reclamation, you know, to know and understand this process versus wanting to talk about it with the person, you know, whether it's our parents or not, and have that moment, but like holding the nuance of like, how far will that land with the person?

Am I putting myself in danger by even going into that conversation? Right. Versus that internal process. So, I mean, it's, it's a difficult thing to navigate and it sounds like in many ways. You're then seeing that through the relationships to your sons.

Juliana: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Nicole: You know, like you had mentioned, the practice of tuning into the body is so, so important to then be in deeper relationship with one another.

And that's always something I'm talking about, but I'm curious if you could speak to how maybe that's an important piece in terms of connection and intimacy.

Juliana: I I mean, it's the piece, right? It's the piece. And I feel like I've really centered my practice, you know, when I work one on one with people, it's like finding, like, where are they connected to their bodies?

Sometimes, Nowhere. Sometimes it's like the closest I can get to my body is, you know, 20 miles out in space. And, you know, it's like, okay, well, let's start there. And that's okay. There's not sort of this. I've learned in my practice of, like, years and years of working with, you know, probably thousands of people at this point that there's not necessarily a.

A hierarchy of, oh, this person's embodied and this person's not like, just stay curious about, you know, why, why aren't they in their body? You know, maybe there's a very good reason and maybe they have, you know, tools that are just working just fine for them. You know, so there's, there's this curiosity that I'm beginning to develop, um, that it's not necessarily about like pulling somebody into their body, unless that's a place where they can be.

But, yeah, I think that's it. You know, for, for me in my practice as a somatic sex educator and, you know, as a sexological body worker, meaning that I, you know, do hands on sometimes hands in pelvic work where it's like, okay, can we create that map between my. idea of this part of my body and what it actually feels like, you know, from the inside out.

And am I actually connected to it? And do I actually, you know, is there even pleasure there? Have I been sort of performing, uh, an act of what I think, you know, pleasure should look like or sound like, or so. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, embodiment is the piece and it's about really starting with like, well, okay, where can I feel like, where can I feel my body?

And can I like open up this very honest dialogue from that place? And then from there start to be able to kind of unfold into partner connection, but it comes, it starts with connection with self. And this is why, you know, I always sort of. Start working with people with self pleasure practices and sometimes self pleasure practice doesn't even look like touching the body at all.

Sometimes it looks like, okay, when I, you know, sat down in my favorite chair with my favorite slippers and my, you know, like dark roasted coffee. There was pleasure in that moment. And so we start to just kind of expand the idea and the, and the sense of what pleasure is. And then from there, you know, safely and slowly in a very titrated way, we can kind of start to translate that into the body.

And then from there, it's like, okay, can we translate that into partner? Dynamic, but it's, you know, I think many of us jump right into partner dynamic sort of without having any sense of the territory at all. There's sort of this, we see what it's supposed to look like. We see a performance of, you know, maybe we've seen porn or we've seen any, you know, movie or story of like what pleasure and sex looks like.

And we jump into that and, you know. Fast forward 30 years and we're like, oh, none of that actually, like, I didn't even feel any of that.

Nicole: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. I was trying to think about like some of the reasons why people wouldn't want to be in the body or couldn't come into the body. And like some of the different things I was thinking about was like one, like, right.

Traumas. That have made it unsafe to be in the body pain if someone has like chronic pain, right? Like it's hard to tune in and that's way or or even just like our general day to day functioning under this system Right, which has us like running to survive all the time slash like even even like the enjoyment spaces of things like social media right where like Quite literally, it's like one thing, the next thing, the next thing, the next thing, the next thing.

And I don't know about you, but when I'm scrolling, I'm not in my body. You know what I mean? So I think like there's so many different ways that like there's just layers, you know, and then you have the person who has all of that, right? And so then there's so many different layers here that we're unpacking to come back to sensuality and pleasure.

Right. And so. Like you said, it's so important then to start with that personal practice. And I'm curious, like, you know, not a lot of people or not, everyone will be able to work with you or work with me, but that's why I think this podcast base can be really powerful because, you know, the podcast isn't free per se, cause it takes a lot of labor on my part.

Right. But like, it's free to access. And so like, if we could talk about these things here, like maybe it could help someone who is really struggling with that. So I'm curious, like, where would you start that person? in terms of their like personal exploration.

Juliana: The first place that I often start is with a pleasure journal.

Just start noticing just, and I call it, you know, strengthening the pleasure muscle. Like just start noticing moments. You could call it, you know, sometimes some, some people call them glimmers, like moments when things are good, just start noticing that. And why, you know, what are the things that, you know, you might just kind of.

Bulldoze right through because they are not, maybe they're not loud. They're not scary. They don't, you know, catch your attention in the same way, but just starting to notice, you know, to ask people to write down three things a day at the end of the day, like what are three things that brought you joy or brought you pleasure.

Use the word joy. If pleasure is too loaded of a word for you, you know, there's, there's a way when we're children, sexual pleasure and our eroticism, like it really just it's, it's life. It's a, it's life force, right? It's just, it's enthusiasm. It's like, Ooh, I like this. I want to jump on that. I want to touch that.

I want to take this apart, you know, and that kind of, that enthusiasm like translates and kind of evolves into our adult eroticism and sexuality in many ways. But it's like, I don't know that it becomes so, so fraught, you know, the, as adults, it can become so fraught. So to sort of come back into, you know, pleasure, like what it, can you get back into that child, like part of yourself, you know, you watch a baby, like.

They don't, they don't give a fuck. They want, if they're interested in this thing, they crawl towards it. You know, if they like want to touch this or they want to like, you know, suck on a piece of something that they found on the floor, cause they're curious about it and they want to know what it tastes like and feels like it's, um, so, so kind of moving through the, the world with that same level of curiosity, like let yourself touch the soft thing.

If you curious what it feels like, you know? So that's kind of where I start. You know, just for a lot of people, journaling is pretty accessible and a pretty like safe practice in their nervous system to start to do. So once we even just have a broadened perspective of what pleasure can be, because you get people like, okay, go do a self pleasure practice for 10 minutes a day.

And they're like, what? I don't even know what that is. That looks like just, you know, genital touch, or that looks like just masturbation. And they could fall right into, you know, the same sort of well trodden pathway or rut, you know, that they've been doing for their entire lives. And it's like, what we're looking for is sort of more of an expanded and holistic sense of pleasure.

Nicole: Yeah. Yes. Yes. And I think that as you were talking about the pleasure journal, like what a great. Idea and I would love if more people would take that seriously because I feel like I talked to my clients about journaling and then like, it doesn't happen. Right? So it's like, like, what if there's actually so much power in this?

Right? It's like, what is, what is writing gonna do? You know what I mean? A lot. It's going to do a lot because when you're talking about having a journal practice where, yeah, you close out the day and you write three things that you, um, for me, I was thinking of gratitude. I tried to journal on that, like three things are grateful for three things that are bringing you pleasure and joy.

I mean, quite literally it is. Asking your brain to focus on those things, right? And when we're talking about neuronal pathways, if you've been in this like long trodden path, you know, thinking about the brain is like, maybe like an ecosystem, right? If you keep walking that same path, it like clears out the path and it makes it much easier to walk.

But maybe we want to get off that path, which is going to take a little bit of discomfort as you're pushing through the weeds and all of this. And also like, is this even good for the climate to make those sorts of paths? But that's a different side of the conversation.

Um, but in this metaphor, you know, like you're creating that new path.

And so like in the actual act of journaling, like I'm sure the first time you go to do it, like any sort of meditative practice, it's like, well, what do I have that was pleasurable? I don't think. Anything happened, right? And the more that you practice that asking yourself of what was something that, you know, brought me joy today, the more that frame, the more that pathway becomes more trodden and you start to see the world and your experience through that more, right?

So then you're looking for ways of like, Oh yeah, what could bring me pleasure? And then you're starting to tune in to maybe this is where the intuition and what you were talking about could come into conversation because you're building That pathway in your brain that kind of like we said earlier, because of all those things is frequently disconnected.

Juliana: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I think it's sort of like, yeah, like you said, once we sort of start to lay the scaffolding. for like, okay, there's even a place for pleasure to land, you know, then we can kind of start to do the deeper healing and excavation work around, you know, sexuality with self and sexuality with partner, but it has to have a place to land.

And it takes time to build that scaffolding and it takes time to, you know, make it even a safe place for, for pleasure to. To be, um, in your body and that takes, you know, that's a, that's a titrated slow approach for many people, um, because it's so easy to jump right. You know, right. I was talking to somebody earlier, like, to just jump right into the deep end of orgasm, but you're completely disembodied and maybe not feeling, you know, like, like what happens if you hang out.

On the beach for a little while, you know, happens if you're like, wait, what are the choice? Why am I even choosing to get into the water? Ooh, how do I feel like standing out here naked in my bathing suit for a little while before I get in the water? Like, you know, there's so if we, when we slow it down and we kind of track.

Your sort of arc, you know, from non aroused to, you know, to interested and curious all the way to orgasm. There's so much, there's so much there. And then beyond, you know, I think there's also this hierarchy of like, okay, sexuality or sexual exchange ends at orgasm. It doesn't .

Nicole: Yeah. We're both like, Nope,

Juliana: You know?

Then, okay, how do I track like that climax? Then what happens? You know, what are the stories? I know a lot of people that feel a lot of shame. After climax, you know, and so then can we stay with that? Like, why is that? Where does that come from? How does that land in your body? You know, is, are we sort of superimposing shame onto maybe just a, you know, dip in estrogen and testosterone that happens after, after orgasm?

Like, can we stay with that and kind of track it all the way back down? So the next sort of. layer deeper after the journaling practice is to start a self pleasure practice. The difference with sort of a mindful self pleasure practice is that the container is not climax. The container is not orgasm, right?

It's like, okay, I'm going to be in pleasure with myself for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, half an hour. Orgasm might happen in the first five minutes. Or it might not happen at all. How do I stay in that conversation with myself and like, keep tracking and keep like moving myself towards pleasure, even in the spaces where we've kind of been conditioned to think that it's over.

Nicole: And then that's why I'm always talking about mindfulness in general, right? Like I'll teach a yoga class and start with like 10 minutes of on the. Floor in Shavasana meditation and trying to be in the body in that. But like, man, myself included in that, you know, you start to try and tune into the body for two seconds and the brain goes, well, yeah, but what about that assignment you have later?

And what about that hangout that you have planned? Like, did you do everything to prepare, you know, and it just starts running. And so it's like, even when we're trying to come back to the body, like the brain, that monkey brain, you know, can keep running and running and running. And so being able to actually like be in your body.

to notice these things is a mindfulness practice, right? To allow the brain to quiet so that we can feel and that as you were talking about, like getting comfortable on the beach before you go into the water, it was reminding me of kind of like the frameworks of working with clients with psychedelic medicines, right?

Of like you start with a handshake, people come in wanting that heroic. dose. And it's like, you know, or wanting that orgasm. And it's like, well, maybe the nervous system could benefit from starting with a gentle handshake and noticing how the handshake feels right before we're trying to jump into this deep, deep ocean.

You know, there's so much benefit to checking into the body and your nervous system so that you can actually be.

Juliana: Yeah. Yeah. And I, you know, I talk a lot about just preparing the garden bed, you know, preparing the space for when you do have this experience, like, is there a place for it to land and is there a place for it to thrive, you know, even more so than just land. We want it to thrive. We want it to take root. We want it to have what it needs.

So, so much of. You know, moving into now, maybe more psychedelic conversation, like so much of that, and it does crossover. Like, I think that there's so much crossover in what it takes to prepare for a psychedelic experience and how we can prepare ourselves for a sexual experience, the experience itself, and then, you know, integration slash aftercare slash all of that on the other side.

Like, these are what we're looking for. For me, these are like parallel maps. Um, so when I talk about one, I like automatically want to jump over to the other as well. You're in the right space.

Nicole: Cause then I also think about like kink, right? Like another altered state of consciousness. And then we're starting to like mix with all of these and get into the, to the ways that these are like beautiful healing practices and also deeply can be painful practices and like navigating the nuance of all of these.

things. I mean, yeah, for me, it's impossible to, they start to cross over really quickly.

Juliana: Absolutely. And I think we, we can translate so many of the skills, you know, there's a lot of what is, you know, the, the structure and the framework of, you know, set and setting of preparation of integration that I think is that framework in many ways, like, you know, folks in the kink space have been doing that, uh, for years, you know, there's sort of a lot that we're, A lot that we can learn from consent and from like setting good containers and from, you know, aftercare and integration on the other side from the sexuality spaces for sure.

And vice versa. I think there's also for someone coming from, um, you know, where the psychedelic space feels more like home and sort of starting to translate like, oh, how do I. Translate that same level of, of mindfulness and care into my sexuality as well. And into the, you know, the way that I want to like exchange and share myself with people can go both ways.

Nicole: Absolutely. I mean, creating the ritual, you know, as a therapist who does integration work with psychedelics, I'm like, where is my kink integration therapist? Because I have experiences that blow my mind. And I would like support in

integrating these. Radical experiences that changed my sense of identity as someone particularly that came from a Christian culture to step into things that I never thought I would have stepped into.

Yeah, we got to integrate those into our sense of self the next day, you know, and like, man, I'd love to have a kink integration psychologist, right? Oh, my God.

Juliana: They must exist.

Nicole: They do, but they're harder to find. Yeah. And when you, uh, don't have money there, it's harder to access. Again, free resource here.

Let's talk about it, right? Let's talk about it because yeah, all of these things are ways that we're making meaning of our experience too, right? Like kind of what we were talking about earlier, like the frame to these pieces are so, so powerful. And so being able to have relationship with other people who understand these practices and can.

speak to them helps us create our understanding of this world that we're moving through. And so when conversations about psychedelics and kink and sexuality, all the taboos we want to get into, like when those are suppressed and shamed, like we struggle internally because we feel unable to connect with other people because of this like thing that I did, you know?

In that creating pain and disconnection and psychological suffering, and so I think it's so important to bring these conversations out into the air out into the sunlight, even though I don't know about you, but it's always scary for me, at least navigating an academic space to have these conversations, but like, I think that the need ethically is huge.

And I'm sure you see that in your work, like you were saying the shame that people feel.

Juliana: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. You know, yeah, being at the sort of intersection of spaces, you know, and in some ways, like my intersection of spaces have always been sort of the underground, like, you know, and so I really have so much, I have so much respect and honor for, you know, the folks that are like choosing to have one foot.

In both worlds. Uh, it's a lot to hold. It's a lot to hold. I had a, I taught a workshop recently about, um, psychedelics and consent and, you know, with a, a clinician who, you know, works in a ketamine clinic sort of, she was lovely and, but also, you know, holds things in more of a sort of clinical. way. And so she sort of brought the clinical perspective of, of consent and I brought the kink perspective of consent.

And it was so cool to see like how much both of these models could, could learn from each other and how much the sort of medical clinical model was like, Whoa, there's a lot from, you know, these sort of underground spaces that we could really start to adopt. So that was, that's always really exciting for me.

Like when these seemingly separate. World start to intersect. Um, yeah, that's a very exciting moment. Absolutely.

Nicole: And the powerful work that you're doing then to bring that knowledge from the underground into a more clinical space. So that way, you know, the, the ripple effects of that, that therapist training with other people and the ways that that then shows up in the room and that's powerful work.

Juliana: Yeah.

Nicole: Yeah. And I think about in terms of like navigating, yeah, it can be scary to have one foot in one foot

out because you get judged for a million different reasons, but we don't have to go into that. But

I think that you also mentioned at the beginning, the fact that you're a mom and I'm curious too, because as a feminist, I'm like, okay, psychedelic mother, I can presume that there's maybe judgment in that, but I'm curious if you want to speak to what that's been like for you.

Juliana: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, thanks for that's such a great question and, and that has been a big part of my journey. Um, last fall, I let, so my, my cup here, which is entheo mama has a little picture of the womb with the mushrooms in it. Right? So, this is a program that I led for moms to sort of start to talk about. The stigma, you know, to sort of start to talk about actually the experience of mothering is so psychedelic in its own way, like birth, the tools that one needs to kind of like continue, like continuously have your own shadows thrown in your face.

And, you know, I have to look at yourself in the mirror, like psychedelics have been a huge resource and teacher for me and sort of how to. Walk the path of mothering as a path of transformation. You know, it's, it's yeah, the tools that I've gained from psychedelic work come in useful for me every single day with parenting, you know, like taking that step back.

Okay. What's happening in my body right now? When my child says this thing to me or, you know, that he wants to do something that I'm like, let me, you know, Sort of reexamine all of my inner biases and is there actually a problem here? And so, yeah, the flexibility, like the neuroplasticity of the psychedelics have taught me.

I mean, it's, yeah, I can't imagine. I can't imagine parenting without that lens to hold up every once in a while. You know, I think that there are so many mothers who are, you know, either curious or turning to medicines and I'm just like all for it. I love working with mothers who are curious. I have a microdosing, an online microdosing course, you know, that's self paced and there's a lot of moms in there who are sort of like, what is like, the best practice, you know, for incorporating this medicine into like the chaos of everyday life.

Um, and it's, yeah, I think it's a really powerful practice and I love, you know, the being able to within that container, like being able to just support moms to follow their intuition. I mean, you need to come back to your own body and your own intuition. Whether it's around micro dosing, whether it's around macro dosing, whether it's around parenting, whether it's around sexuality, it's like, how do we learn to, you know, come up with our own practices and our own protocols that like reflect who we are and the intern, you know, the changing and changing internal environment.

It's like master love, mastery level tracking to be able to track your nervous system and your intuition. So finally to move through. Such a noisy world. Yeah. You know, where there's many do it this way, do it that way. Follow this protocol, you know, do this parenting technique. There's like to just still the noise and come back into your, to your center.

It's a full time job.

Nicole: Yeah, it's a find the practice that works for you. Cause I'm even trying to look at like the, the research on microdosing and it is across the board. Like some people are like pretty placebo and then we get into the dosing and all of the things and a lot of other people see the benefit and like the research like contradiction itself in that.

And then you just like sit and look at it and you're like, okay, so maybe we got to determine what works for you on your own individual Level. Okay. Maybe we start there. Right. And I'm, I'm thankful that you talked about the ways that like psychedelic experiences happen on and off the medicine, right? Like becoming a mother in and of itself.

Your whole reality is shifted. Absolutely. Right. And integrating that new identity into your sense of self, like powerful stuff. And, and the ways that, yeah. The experiences on the medicine can become templates for experiences in our everyday consciousness. I try not to use sober consciousness because I'm like, are you on coffee?

Are you on an SSRI? Or what are you on? What are you on? You know, it's like whatever your everyday consciousness is that like, you can then use that of like, Oh yeah, when I'm on the medicine, maybe. You know, I've had an experience where, you know, some sort of stimulus comes into my focus and my heart rate starts to race and run.

And then I have to remember, okay, I can take a deep breath. I'm on a substance right now. I'm okay. Right. And then that then becomes at least for me, like a template right afterwards of being able to use that, uh, experience to navigate the day to days and the day to days then feel a little bit easier in my opinion, in some ways, once I've tackled that sort of intense experience on a non smoking.

Specific amplifier that really like brought it all up. And so like, these are such powerful templates, like reflection practices, right? Of the ways that these experiences, these drugs, these medicines can be so powerful, but then the like archetypes, right? Like the stereotypes of what it means to be a mom, right?

And what it means to be a. Good mom and what it means to be a mom after their education, right? On drugs, which would say, say no to everything, right? So then like, here we are saying that this drug benefited me and the ways that I show up with my children. That is writing a new narrative and that's hard.

Juliana: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And you know, I had the privilege of Becoming a mom, you know, I, I was young, I was 21 when I gave birth to my first son in Peru, I was living in Peru. And so my sort of cultural narrative of what You know, the narrative of medicine work there is very different than it is here, you know, it was, it was really integrated into, you know, mothers did this work, mothers held the space, mothers had babies on their breasts while they were in medicine space, you know, there was, and there was like, you know, ayahuasca, you know, paintings and, and like stories being told all the time.

In the family like dynamic and so this for me to sort of come into both mothering and both like my sort of beginning of stepping onto my medicine path in a way with the two weren't separate where it was like, and even just. Learning about birth in a culture that sort of was entheogenically open and informed.

And, you know, the, the conversations that I would have about birth and what it was going to be like with mothers who, you know, were new medicine work and new psychedelic work. Like, it was very different. It was a very different conversation than, you know, it was. Sort of the framework of birth is going to be like one of the biggest, you know, journeys that you'll ever go on one of the biggest second journeys that you'll ever go on as opposed to birth is going to be this medical emergency.

That's going to need to be like managed. Um, so get ready for that. You know, just just the different. Lenses that were held up for me. I was very, very fortunate to get to have that experience of like that being the blueprint for birth. And, you know, then that being the blueprint for, for mothering later,

Nicole: yeah, which I'm sure produced a such a stark contrast to like, are more puritanical.


Juliana: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Coming back here. I've always said, you know, the culture shock for me is coming from there to here has always been more challenging for me. Yes.

Nicole: Yes. Which is why I mean, I know maybe in that context, it's not something to be applauded for. But like. Taking a moment just to honor the fact that you're like naming your mother identity and your identity as someone who partakes in psychedelics, right?

That is a hard narrative to walk in our society. And so just taking a moment to honor the fact that like your work hopefully will inspire many more mothers to write that narrative of finding their own connection to these medicines and their own practices and the ways that it's going to bring healing and expansion and deeper connection for them.

Juliana: And I think there's a really important point you made around, you know, psychedelic experiences as being the blueprint. Right for how we live off of the medicine, you know, I think there's often this idea like, oh, you're a mom who works with psychedelics. Like, you're tripping around your kids all the time.

It's unsafe, but it's like, no, the amount of time, you know, that that 1 might actually be in medicine space, you know, is over here. And then you have all this integration time. You know, what is that? What I learned over here, how do I kind of like translate that and pull that thread through into my mothering and into my parenting?

I mean, I'm still like that journey that I spoke about at the beginning, you know, that was 15 years ago. Like I'm still pulling threads of that through into my everyday life with my kids. Powerful. So yeah, I just want to like. You know, challenge that narrative that like psychedelic mothering is, you know, tripping around your kids all the time.

It's not, um, for me, I'll speak for myself, you know, that there's, yeah, it's, it's really about like using these, these, um, psychedelic experiences as the framework, you know,

Nicole: and maybe a nuanced. Hot take that shouldn't be a hot take at all is it also can be right, depending on how we define tripping, right?

Because if someone's talking about micro dosing, right? Like that sub per perceptual level, right? I mean, I think that you could have that experience around your children and like, that is the intentional space of it being sub perceptual, right? And I think maybe then we can even start to take a deeper look at it to the ways we look at other substances, right?

Like, yeah. Does a mother have a glass of wine around her children, right? I mean, we don't bat an eye and, and, and obviously there is a context at which we've passed a line which you are no longer available to your children in a healthy way because of substances. So it's not like we're just being like, yeah, go for it.

But like, I do think there. In the future development of the way that we look at these things, there will be a much more nuanced understanding of our relationships to these substances and how they affect our day to day consciousness for better, worse or otherwise. Right? And like, if we just are like, never, never, never, like, we're not taking that nuance context to like how these medicines and these drugs actually affect our body.

I will get up in rage for the person who says alcohol isn't a drug, but you know, I, I assume you're with me and my listeners at this point are with me, but you know, that's still even a conversation I have to have with people at some point, but yeah,

Juliana: well, and I think that's something that comes up in the microdosing course a lot, you know, as, as I'm kind of walking people through, like, this isn't an escape, you know, we don't come to microdosing.

We don't come to this medicine necessarily for like an easy way out or a, you know, a clear, like, this isn't, this isn't gonna. Replace your glass of wine, you know, at the end of the day where you just want to like escape your life. Like this, this medicine brings you like closer to yourself. And sometimes that's hard.

You know, there's, um, a lot of what I do is reframing when someone, you know, is having a bad experience, the medicine isn't working. It's like, Ooh, is that true? Or is it that you're actually being shown how your mind works? And that's hard to see, you know, and this is why, you know, the, the course, the protocol is a three month protocol.

And only the first month is physical calibration with the medicine. Then the second month is energetic work. It's like, okay, how do you take all of what you learned? That was a dense little, you know, 30 days of, of data collection. How do you take all that that you learned? Like we were saying, and use that as a template for how you're going to be.

off the medicine for a month. Can you sort of pull those threads through? And then the third month is intuitive practice, you know, coming back into sovereignty of like, okay, all that I learned in the first month about physical calibration, all that I learned in the second month about energetic practice.

And now how do I like tie this all together to be my own practice that works for me, you know, with all that I carry in my life and all the intersections of my identities and changing? You know, um, life circumstances, because like, sure, you can, you know, follow the Fadiman protocol. You can follow the Stamets protocol, but like, is it actually working or are you just sort of, you know, switching out psychedelics for whatever other.

pills or supplements you take without actually co creating with the medicine.

Nicole: Right. Which takes time, right? Give it a month, a journal, notice how you're showing up, right? Like all those different pieces, right? Cause it's going to be nuanced to each person, other substances that they take on the day to day.

I mean, it's so much. So I'm, I'm glad you're in that space, supporting people and that we're able to like, have more nuanced conversations about this. And I think that kind of what you had said about like, you know, is it the medicine or is it, Your, you know, brain and tuning into your thoughts and that being difficult.

I think that's where I like the framing of psychedelics as non specific amplifiers can be really helpful, right? Like if your normal day to day thought pattern is this, you know, like imagine turning up volume on it and then really hearing that that's going to be hard. And I think it's tricky then though.

Cause like, where is that through that frame of psychedelics? Like where's the nuanced take to the reality that like your ayahuasca experience or the experiences I've had where you have these downloads, these very clear messages of like, do you see what's happening right now? Right. And like feeling that, cause then that's not a nonspecific amplifier, I guess, unless, and this is where, you know, we can get into deeper, like spirituality context.

Some people will say it's coming from the medicine and maybe my take is that it's coming from our own inner healing wisdom, right? Like in the same way. That our bodies know how to heal from a cut, right? Like, you don't have to do anything to make your body start to, start to clot and form that scar over there to protect yourself.

Like, maybe in the same way when we have these not, these experiences on the psychedelics, like, it's bringing up what needs to be healed. Towards the surface, which is your own inner healing wisdom, right? At least that's, you know, kind of where I sit at it now. And I certainly don't have all the answers, but like, it's interesting to try and like, get some sort of like theoretical frameworks to how these experiences are unfolding.

Juliana: Absolutely. I think, you know, there's a way in which working with these medicines are, are non specific amplifiers. And there's also a way in which. They become specific amplifiers through the, you know, where we shine the light of our attention and our intention. You know, I really feel like when I'm working with people in the preparation space, especially and in the integration space, it's like having a really clear intention, not just because.

And an intention is different than expectation, right? Intention is I'm going to hold this lens up when the psychedelic experience gets weird. And I don't know what's happening or why I'm here or what this means. Okay. Where's your intention? Like, hold up that lens. Look through it. Ah, I see. Okay. The sensation I'm having in my body as it relates to.

Healing childhood trauma. I see now what, what this is trying to tell me. And, you know, on the other side of, of when we're talking about integration as well, um, when we can kind of come back around to the psychedelic experience, holding that lens up. Okay. What the hell did, you know, penguins marching through my mind have to do with my dad?

Yeah. Okay. Oh, I see. I see, you know, where, where that connection is coming in. Uh, because there is a way like we can get really nonspecific and it's kind of more like, it's like, Ooh, wow, that was cool. That was different, you know, but there's a way in which I believe we do actually need to get a little bit more specific and a little bit more focused in what we're doing and tell ourselves the stories about the experience that actually really help us.

Like this is the co creation piece. You know, where it's a relationship when we step into medicine space, it's a relationship or co creating with this medicine. And it's, um, we're so used to, you know, there being sort of a, a PA being sort of a passive experience where like we just lay back and stuff happens to us.

But it's like, no, it's actually, it works. If you work it, it works. If you get up and have a relationship with it and then tell yourself the story on the other side of it helps you. You know, it's very different if you get up out of a, out of a psychedelic session and you're like, Oh, I think I made most of that up.

I don't know. That seems sort of random. That's a story you can tell yourself, but there's a choice there. There's a choice. Am I going to tell myself a story that is actually going to, you know, help me move in the direction where I want to go or not.

Nicole: And intention in that is super, super powerful. So powerful.

Um, and, and again, like we could compare this to like. Everyday consciousness, right? Like having an intention. And typically we talk about that as like values work like, right? Like, what are your values? What are your intention in this process? What's your intention in this date? What's your intention in this embodiment connection?

You're about to explore with people, right? Like that intentional frame is so, so, so powerful. And at least for me and my own experiences, like, yeah, like I can spend a whole medicine experience really in the cognitive and allow, like, seeing where the brain goes and seeing what it takes me to write in some sort of way of having the intention, but also surrendering to the experience, but coming back to the intention and navigating that dance.

And or I can have an experience where I feel my body and I stopped the cognitive and I actually focus on. Feeling and just feeling, right? Like, and that is even a different intention, right? Like, let's get out of the cognitive and how can I just feel right now? And that has led to profound experiences, right?

So like, there's so much power up in here. And like you said, it being a relationship where you're co creating this experience, right? Yeah.

Juliana: Yeah.

Nicole: I know there's so much here we could theorize for days and we probably will and we'll have a long career learning and unlearning and learning and unlearning again, right?

Juliana: That's it. That's it. Learning and unlearning. Yeah, there's, there's so many, I think of it as, you know, life is this like great kaleidoscope and there's so many little eye holes into it. You know, whether we're looking through the eye hole of psychedelics or sex or embodiment, but like, it's really, you know, we're all looking at the same.

It's like, how do we human, how do we human,

Nicole: yes, with love and pleasure. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And honor the pain.

Juliana: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Nicole: Well, I want to hold a little bit of space as we come towards the end of our time to check in to see if there's anything you wanted to share with the listeners that maybe we didn't get to otherwise, I do have a closing question and then I'll invite you to plug all of your resources at the end as well.

Juliana: Great. Great. I guess the last thing I would just share is, you know, today, like shine your light of awareness, your, your light of intention towards pleasure and see what happens, you know, see what happens.

That yes, the pain, yes, the struggle. Yes. You know, the, the reality of being human, but like, what happens if you sort of shine your attention and your intention towards pleasure, and maybe sort of start to notice more of those glimmers as they come through. See how it shifts your, your experience of yourself today.

Hell yeah.

Nicole: Dear listeners, you take that and you see what happens. Yeah. Well, then I will ask you the one question I ask every guest on the podcast, and that is, what is one thing that you wish other people knew was more normal?

Juliana: Gosh, what a great question. One thing I wish other people knew was more normal is that there's no normal. You've passed the anarchist test. That's the anarchy. There's no normal. And when it comes to, you know, I think that we're often trying to. Shape ourselves into some idea or ideal of normal, whether it's being a good mom or being a good partner or being a good, you know, sex educator that uses all the right terminology, you know, there's so many ways that we try to sort of shape ourselves into normal.

But when it, you know. When it really comes down to it, it's like following that thread of, of truth within yourself, which for me comes back to embodiment. You know, it comes back to, does this feel right in my body? That's what I would say. There is no normal, except what feels right and true to you. And that is less of a process of taking in more and more of a process of taking in less.

Nicole: I'm going to take that one to heart because I typically ask them more and I'm like, everyone give me an opinion so I can know where to go. Right. Which is helpful to a degree, but also like can take you away from your own voice.

Juliana: Right. I find in these times of polarization, there's a lot of, um, you know, the victim stories, the polarization, it's sexy in a way because it holds charge, but it's like, I think that the, one of the, you know, Main tools are or skills of our time is quieting and listening to our own, you know, channel and our own internal wisdom.

Um, and medicines space helps me. And I think helps many to start to listen a little bit differently.

Nicole: Yeah. Yeah. And as you were speaking, I was just thinking about like, all of the cognitive energy. soul energy that we spend trying to fit into those boxes of normal, trying to fit into that so much energy, so much time, so much pain that could be liberated, right?

If we let go of that expectation and stepped into our authenticity, right? Our embodiment, like, Oh, like that gets me excited thinking about the amount of like, Pleasure and embodied souls. We would have if we could let that go.

Juliana: Yeah.

Nicole: And thank you for being a part of that movement, right. For coming onto the podcast and for being very vulnerable to share about your own experiences in your family as a mother, your personal experiences, as well as the work that you're doing.

And thank you for being a part of the movement.

Juliana: Thank you for the invitation.

Nicole: Yeah. Where do you want to plug so that people can find you, your work, all your courses, and connect with everything?

Juliana: Yeah. Yeah. Thank you so much for the invitation to do that. So, you know, my home online where you can find me is boldly embodied.

com could also, you know, follow me on Instagram at boldly embodied something. Maybe I can share the link with you. I actually have a free 28 day pleasure journaling practice. That I like to share with people. So if you really were excited about the idea of doing some writing and tuning into pleasure with a prompt every day, um, I have something that I could share with you and your listeners, if you'd like that,

Nicole: yeah, we can have that in the show notes below so people can go directly to it.

Juliana: Awesome. Awesome. And then the last thing I'll say is, you know, I sort of, we tuned in a little bit about the microdosing practice, but it's there. It's beautiful. It's robust. It's, you know, one of the ways that people have a lot of access to me and it's, yeah, it's teaching me so much. I really love supporting people through finding their own intuitive microdosing practice.

you know, again, within all the noise of do this protocol, do that protocol, you know, this strain, that strain, it's like, okay, how do we just simplify and come into an embodied practice that can grow and shape and morph with you as you grow and shape and morph as well. So just an invitation, if that's something that is, you know, on your radar.

Um, it's there for you. Yeah.

Nicole: Yeah. Very, very powerful work. And yeah. Thank you again for sharing those resources and then yeah, joining the community here on the podcast.

Juliana: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me. It's been great. Yeah. Of course. Of course.

Nicole: If you enjoyed today's episode, then leave us a five star review podcast.

And head on over to ModernAnarchyPodcast. com to get resources and learn more about all the things we talked about on today's episode. I want to thank you for tuning in and I will see you all next week.


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