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139. The Sensual and Mindfulness Practice of Kink and Psychedelics with Leia Friedwoman

Nicole: Welcome to Modern Anarchy, the podcast featuring real conversations with conscious objectors to the status quo. I'm your host, Nicole. On today's episode, we have Leia Friedwoman join us for a conversation exploring the crossover of kink and psychedelic practices. Together, we talk about learning to surrender, big questions with no answers, and freeing the queef. Hello, dear listener, and welcome back to Modern Anarchy. I'm delighted that you are tuning in to another episode, and the last episode of 2023.

Wow, dear listener, what a year. It has been with you in this space. I was taking some time before recording this intro to look back on all the podcast episodes that we have had in the last year. All the pleasure, conversations we have explored, intimacy, connection, activism. I mean, I am just so thankful for all of the guests that have co created this magical space with me and for all of you dear listeners that continue to tune in each week and are sharing this podcast with your friends, with your community, because I wouldn't be here without you.

We would not have grown so much in this last year without you. And so I am thrilled with all the content that I have prepared for you for 2024. So much juicy content that I am looking forward to sharing with you as we continue to grow in this space together. Now, yeah, this conversation, big questions with no answers.

I hope you continue to hear as I explore topics like sex, relationships, psychedelics, power, just the nuance. Of these conversations, I want to invite you to pause throughout the episode and notice how the statements that we explore in today's episode may or may not relate to your practices with these things.

There's no right or wrong answers to it. And so I really appreciate this space where we can explore that nuance and have a. discussion about the various ways that these practices can intersect and be absolutely separate experiences and phenomenons. And so I hope you just enjoy and come away percolating with some different thoughts, perspectives, frames for your practices around this.

And yeah, one of the biggest things that I can hope in this space with you, dear listener, is that we can let go of shame. Right? Let go of shame around pleasure. Pleasure with kink, pleasure with psychedelics, pleasure with drugs in general, right? All the different ways that we can connect to pleasure. I truly believe that there is a political movement to be had for freeing up the amount of cognitive space we spend in deep shame cycles about something that is as normal as the human condition, right?

sex. God, the amount of time we have all spent up in there wondering about shame for these things. Imagine what we could use all that time and energy for if we let go of that shame and we're able to have that space to focus on our activism or showing up in our communities. I, deeply believe in the political movement of that liberation of shame.

And I know you, dear listener, as a pleasure activist are with me in that journey. So Thank you for tuning in, thank you for co creating this space with me, and for, yeah, spending the last year with me here, and 2024, we'll look forward to all that we are gonna explore together in this space. I do take off next week.

each year to not put out an episode and take a break, relax a little bit. It will feel weird when Wednesday comes around and I don't have an episode, but it's helpful to take this time to rest, right? Because rest is also revolutionary. And I hope that you can have that over this holiday season, wherever you're at.

Dear listener, I know that. Holidays can be a really tough time to go back to families, again, if you're not accepted for parts of your identities and the ways that you show up in the world, that can add an extra layer to this, and I am just holding you in my heart. Please know that you are a part of the modern anarchy community, you are welcome here, and that I will be thinking of all of you, dear listeners, during this time.

And with that, this is the last intro of 2023, so I will be seeing you again, dear listener, in 2024. I am sending you so much love, happy new year, and I will talk to you soon. All right, let's tune into today's episode.

So then the first question I like to ask each guest is, how would you introduce yourself to the listeners?

Leia: Oh, going right for the jugular, huh?

Nicole: Yeah. Being easy.

Leia: Who am I? It's such a basic question in some senses, and then it's the unanswerable, right? Is anyone knowable by the words that describe them, but I would say I'm on unseated Pocomtuck land in Western Massachusetts. I am white, Jewish, witchy, queer, poly, able bodied, middle class, psychedologist.

Nicole: I'm excited to chat about all things kink and psychedelics today.

Leia: Yeah, I would not say I'm an expert on either of those things. I think that even the term expert is a bit alienating to me, and even, like, makes me skeptical of someone who would call themselves an expert. At the same time, I think that of all the things that I know, I feel I'm grateful for the broad awareness that I have of psychedelics through the Western medical model that I've been like indoctrinated into as growing up in the United States and going to clinical psychology school, which I had to unlearn so much from still unlearning, but that being said, I, I like to talk about psychedelics a lot and, um, a number of my clients.

have, you know, practice with entheogens and in some way it's in relationship in their life. Um, but kink is a much newer technology practice, sacred endeavor in my I am very new to learning about this, but it feels as revolutionary as, as potent and deep and relational and powerful as psychedelics did when they came into my life 10 years ago.

It's, there's just so much there. And I think there's a lot of parallel in like the ritual that can be involved in both psychedelics and kink, the recreational aspect, like pleasure is healing. There's like physiological and neurological responses to both of these activities. They're countercultural in some ways, but also super trendy in others and there's like a market for them and probably corporate interest and, and yet maybe they are inherently subversive.

Maybe, I don't know. We'll see what happens with psychedelics. They're certainly, the forces that be are trying to own them. So, yeah.

Nicole: Right. Ooh, juicy, juicy combo of the two. I'm curious then, Where would you want to start? A little bit more about psychedelics or kink? I mean, my draw is to, like, hop straight into the kink exploration, but I also want to hold space if you feel like you want to talk more about, like, your psychedelic journey and how you got to that space, too.

Leia: Well, I don't want to make this episode be redundant for your listeners, but would you be willing to share just a few moments about your kink journey? Because I don't, I don't know. I just know I've heard you speak about it.

Nicole: Oh, where do I start? Start, I guess, like, let's ask a bigger question. Like what is kink, right?

I think is an interesting question because some people, I mean, there's a lot of different definitions of it. Right. And I'm not going to claim to be an expert on anything, nor do I claim to claim the title of what a word means to all people. Right. Like that's problematic, I think. But from what I've looked and understood, like kink is a.

It's not just sex, right, because it's more expansive than that, but I think it's sometimes framed through this lens of non normative sexual interest and erotic interest, right? And so then we can ask a bigger question of what's non normative, right? So I think that, like, based on the BDSM test, it has a category of non monogamy.

Which is an interest. Yeah, right. Exactly. Which we look at today maybe and ask maybe a deeper question of like, Oh, is that should that even be on the kink, you know, BDSM test? Because maybe that's an identity piece, which makes me wonder if like back in the day would have queer been on the test because it's not normative.

Right? Like, so then I start to ask bigger questions. I'm like, well, what does kink mean? You know what I mean? So like, yeah. If we're talking about non monogamy and having sex with multiple people, that journey starts at a different point. If we're talking about, like, bondage and, like, my experiences with rope, that's more recent, right?

And, and, and, if we're really talking about power and that sort of, like, dom sub dynamic, then I would say, like, being socially conditioned as a woman and what I craved out of most men when I thought I was heterosexual was a dom. You know what I mean? Someone who would like lead the whole scene and like completely direct and all I had to do was receive, um, which is interesting, right?

So I don't know where I would even pinpoint that journey of beginning based on the definition. However, as like an identity piece that I have more proclaimed, I think it's been within the last, yeah, year, I think taking a bondage course in rope and getting really into that and like really enjoying that.

I was like, mm. I think this is an identity piece now.

Leia: Yeah, I appreciate you. Um, mentioning that it's not necessarily sexual. Yeah, that was something I didn't understand. And I'm coming to appreciate more, especially with rope that rope can be extremely empowering to work with with oneself, the compression.

Like, I sleep with a weighted blanket. I love the feeling of, yeah.

Nicole: I literally told someone that in class. They were like, I love a weighted blanket. I was like, you'd love shabari. And then they were like, what? And I was like, yeah.

Leia: Yeah. And the beauty of the knots, it's like a mindfulness activity. There's, there's just so much, so much there.

Nicole: Yeah. Yeah. Isn't that wild. I think there's so much there for people to expand into understanding that I, for me, it's a sensual practice, um, right? And an art and all these other pieces. But when I say kink, someone's like, Oh my God, they do what? mean? Like, it just brings up so much for so many people, depending on that word.

But once you get into the actual practices of it, and like you said, like the art of it and the sensual embodiment of it, it can mean so much more than I think what people originally start to like, see it as.

Leia: Yes. Yes. I have a podcast about consciousness and my dear friend Megara came on the show and she said something like BDSM doesn't have a very good like marketing packet.

You know, it's people think dungeons. Ooh, scary, like being beaten up. And it's If that's hot for you, yes. And a dungeon can look all kinds of ways, but this is something that, right, that you can do in the comfort of your own room with yourself. I'm also appreciating that, like, this is play that one can engage with a partner or a non romantic person, a friend.

Totally. Uh, a friend flogged me, you know, it was not sexual. It was very sweet. It was, it was entirely the same as what we had been doing a few minutes before, which was adjusting each other in yin yoga poses. Like it was just another way of deepening in the five senses, right? Like getting into the body in the present moment, that mindfulness aspect.

Yeah. But I mean, it's really, it can be really hot too. I'm not going to say it's not.

Nicole: Right. Exactly. Both are possible to happen. Right. But I think so many people think like, Oh, I'm not kinky or I never could be kinky because I don't look at latex and immediately have this sexual gratification or sexual and erotic feeling.

And it's like, I mean, personally, for me, I don't look at latex and, or feel that way, but when I embody it and put it on my skin, I feel that way. And I like enjoy the actual sensual experience of it. Like when I'm wearing latex and it has that tightness on the body and it. It's compresses and then someone comes to like touch my skin.

It feels different than a normal touch because of that compression, because of that texture and because of all of that. And it's like, can we hold space for the fact that that's like a sensual experience that feels good. And when we like. Decenter the orgasm as the like, peak of sexual experience, like, and come back to more like sensual embodiment and pleasure.

I mean, there's a lot of space to play with, like, just pure pleasure in the body and sensual experiences that I think kink has a really like unlocked for me. So maybe that's something that resonates for you too.

Leia: It does. I'm having so many associations come up. I think I'll make two different points. One, just to that centering orgasm.

I feel the parallel with that in psychedelics is, like, the, um, mystical experience being up on a pedestal. Sure.

Nicole: Yeah, I need to convene with God. I'm gonna get this lesson. And then that person, depending on the psychedelic, maybe relaxes for the first time in their life and doesn't have any transcendent Experience, which is maybe what they needed if they're super anxious, right?

Like, it's not, it's funny. Like part of my work is always like deconstructing with people expectations about the psychedelic experience before they go into it. Like, what are you expecting? Cause always you have this like high, high point and then they drop and they're like, Oh, it wasn't what I thought, you know?

Leia: So much. So much. Is it ever what we thought? I don't know. Whatever you think it will be, but all you can know is it won't be that. Okay, moving on. Yeah, exactly. Clear. Check. Yeah, I, I try to distinguish with clients between intentions and expectations because I think intentions are important to be an anchor and intention is also something that we can sort of like hold and then release giving over trust to whatever unfolds being what we need.

The associations that and projections of others around both of these practices. Sure. When I started working with and theogens and. Was pretty sure that no 1 in my family on either side had ever done that, though, in 1 of my 1st, I wasca ceremonies. I had this sense that maybe my check grandmother had. Sat with medicine.

Um, it was really weird. I'm not, I'm not psychic at all. I'm like anti psychic. Like if there's messages coming through, there's some sort of force field that they just bounce off. Like I want them. I know, right? Some would say that. That's so true. Well, but there was a knowing, and, and she did spend a lot of time in the Southwest, and I know she had connections to Indigenous peoples there, and she was a bit of a secretive, nature y woman.

She kind of, she grew up in the back country, in the Czech Republic, and she was, uh, super integrated with nature and the way that she lived. She would just, like, go live off grid for six months out of the year sometimes, just, like, run away. So, I'm like, maybe she tripped. Yeah, but apart from that, I didn't think anyone in my family would understand this experience and nor did I have any friends that that journeyed either.

I was, I was a basic bitch as they say, and it was really frightening to start talking about it. And I, I held in my body my expectation of the judgments. of other people. And even like their projections, like my mother was so upset and scared and she begged me not to take psychedelics. And I was like, this is helping me so much.

It was such a mind fuck for my mother to not want me to do something that was. Healing lifelong stuff that I had contended with, but then I would take that on and like, maybe I shouldn't be doing this. Like, maybe this is really weird. Yeah, but I spoke about it anyway. And and I feel like when I communicate about psychedelics now, there's really next to no shame.

And I, I can allow people to hold their projections and do whatever they do with their projections. I'm not going to take those on. But with, with kink, I don't feel like I have that muscle as developed and yet a lot of misunderstanding and, and fear. Yeah.

Nicole: Yeah. Yeah. And getting in trouble depending on the psych, the spaces that you talk about it in, right?

That's, that's, that's the tricky nature of all of it. I think at least my lived experience with all of it. Um,

Leia: that's making me think of which hunts.

Nicole: Oh totally I have told myself many a times down this path that I'm willing to be burned at the stake. And like, I guess, like, obviously that's a dramatic statement.

Like, I have a lot of privilege, et cetera, et cetera. Right? Like, that's probably not going to ever happen. But I guess I've. I think there's still a lot of ways in which witch hunting happens actively in the field of psychology and out, certainly outside the field of psychology. Right. But as someone who has always been like, Oh, I'm in this field, this is human nature.

We should be able to talk about the things of human nature. You would think that you could do that. However, it's still so present. So yes, like I feel that witch hunt, And I listened to songs about like, yeah, like going through that fire and doing that. And like, that has been my movement with this because you know, it pisses me off is like, look at all of that, like internal energy that you had to spend on, like, what happens if, what happens if, what happens if, and like, what if we let go of the shame enough that we had free space in our minds.

Do you know what I mean, to actually use that for other energy in our life rather than going around and like, Oh my God, what if someone finds out that I had this really intimate sensual experience with latex and whatever, you know, like, wow, like so much of our cognitive space is like so deep in shame about this stuff that are beautiful, intimate, romantic.

practices and psychedelics, deeply healing practice. Like I am so frustrated with the amount of like internalized shame we have because of the society. Like it's a whole part of why I do this, like put it out there. Let's talk about it because I know when we look at the research and it's like 80 percent of people have BDSM fantasies, there are millions of people holding the shame that they could not express this to someone without it being.

You know, life detrimental, all that sort of stuff. And again, it is given our society. That's accurate. But like, we got to change the narrative, right? Right. I just can't

Leia: yeah, I met this woman who said, you know, what do you think we were having sex on before there was furniture? Like. Hard rocks and spiky pine needles.

And so fortunately, I get free acupuncture with my state health insurance. There's this clinic downtown. So I just went down and got free acupuncture today on my ears. And I was like, this is this is kind of kinky in a sense, like activating those spots.

Nicole: Oh, totally. I mean, I think that's for me a huge piece of this is like once I started to deconstruct the idea that kink was purely sexual, right?

And like start to realize that like, Oh no, like it's a scent for me, right? Again, not for all people. For me, it is a sensual embodiment practice that sometimes goes to the erotic, sometimes does not. And it's sometimes deeply psychological. So yeah, when I go into Lake Michigan and I decide, Hey, I'm going to hop in that cold, cold, Ass water because you know what that pain feels good and it lights me up and I come out feeling alive as hell Yeah, I look at that these days and I'm like damn.

That's a little kinky. Yeah

Leia: Yeah, I love cold water dips. I'll get in cold water and need time. I will strip down. Let me get in that

Nicole: Yeah, what does it feel do you like, you know, like when we hop in that cold water?

Leia: I know what one of my partners like last because every time I get out, I always go. This is the best I've felt all day.

It's like my traditional thing. I say when I get out because I do. And even the, you know, taking off your clothes and 10 degree weather in the winter and walking into the ocean, it's every part is screaming like, no, no, please. I'm bargaining like, don't do it. And the wind is so cold and it just, it feels.

But then once. I get into the water. It feels much better and I get out and I'm not cold anymore and I, this, my body does amazing things.

Nicole: Totally. Totally. I've talked about, there was this Netflix show that was like, I think it was called the human playground. And one of the episodes specifically about like play and how humans play was the pain threshold barrier.

Right. Fascinating. As someone who's interested in kink, okay, let's, let's go there. Right. And psychedelics.

Leia: Right. Exactly. Physical and emotional. Spiritual.

Nicole: And so when I watch that episode and they're talking about like, yeah, cold plunges, like you're saying, or people running these marathons, and then I see people watch scary movies, and then I see people want to go on roller coasters, and blah, blah, blah.

But dare you put that in an erotic container. There you put that in an erotic container. That's forbidden. And like, for me, a lot of these practices are erotic because of the partnership and the intimacy that I feel when I do them with people. And like, the fact that that can't be, like, romanticized and seen as beautiful and intimate and erotic because of all the shame is heartbreaking to me.

Leia: Yeah, right. It's a reclaiming to do it. Reclaiming of that power that's been stripped. Yeah. Even just to refer back to the witch burning for a moment that those were healers that worked with plants. I feel that consent and agreement is another area here. When I hear people having difficult journeys, or they went to an ayahuasca ceremony and just roiled in pain the entire night, I wonder if there wouldn't be as many difficult experiences if people, there is a way for them to consent to the difficulty that they might experience.

It's like, even from an IFS framework, internal family systems, I'm not sure if any listeners are familiar with that, probably a few people, but just looking at the parts of ourselves and, you know, when I'm afraid, being afraid, it sucks. It's my stomach gets tight and I have these thoughts about what could happen.

But then there's this part of me that's like. Really upset that I'm afraid and that is almost what suffers more and this part starts to obsess and that that's where the suffering is. So I think in the difficult experience, if someone can consent, which you usually have to have been in a difficult experience before to know what it would be like to consent to do it again.

So there's always a 1st time, but just like in a scene, having agreement negotiation and arriving at, like, You know, will there be marks left on the skin from the scene? Um, how long will it go on? What's the aftercare? I think that kind of framework being brought to psychedelics, especially with people that are new to it, could be protective against some of the hard outcomes that, that can come to pass, which then, yeah, there's a lot of gold possible from integrating a difficult time.

Um, certainly my difficult journeys have. Arguably been the most fruitful ones, but, um, I had the privilege and resources to integrate to get them to that point and then to keep kind of coming back to, to continue the work.

Nicole: Yeah, I mean, there's so many different ways to understand the psychedelic frame, right?

Like, one of my supervisors would say it's a non specific amplifier, right? So, in that sort of sense, you might think you have more control over kind of where it goes. If we get into like a deeper mystical level, then it's like. No matter what, it might take you to somewhere that you don't even know. And there is no control over that, right?

There is no, like, coming out of that in that sort of way. But one thing we do typically tell people, um, is that it's a round trip. It is a round trip. It is a round trip. Do you know what I'm saying? Saying, like, at some point, like, for you, when you're thinking about, like, What it means to consent to where it's going to go, like, I feel like there is that ultimate consent of like, it's a round trip.

I'm going to get back no matter how dark, how scary all of that. I will come back. And if you could surrender to that during the entire experience, but it's like, I just, it's also hard. Cause I think that a lot of it is what you choose. Like at least, you know, there's just different theories about psychedelics.

And so I don't have the right, perfect theory, but like, when we talk about intention setting and you have an intention, like, Some people start to have other thoughts come up during psychedelics and you redirect it back to the intention. You know what I mean? So it's hard then when you have these experiences that take you to places where you didn't plan at all and it takes you to Something in a way that's like seems like it's maybe your inner healing wisdom Maybe God whoever you want to define that it takes you to somewhere that maybe you didn't want to go that you like it's taken You there so like I certainly don't have any of the answers of how psychedelics work, but it's complex.

Leia: Yeah, incredibly so. I'm going to chew on this idea of it as a round trip, because I know what you mean, and you explained what you mean, and I understand that. And I still have questions like

Nicole: maybe it's maybe it's not a round trip because you get to a different place. You know what I mean? Like you start here and you go to a different place no matter what, but you won't die.

Leia: Yeah, hopefully not. Parts of you may die. Yes. And certainly people have had near death experiences and people have died while on psychedelics.

Nicole: That's true. That's true. That's true. I guess I put that in the frame of like ketamine when I'm doing it in the clinic and ketamine, like we were doing it and it's such a controlled environment with such a low dose that it's impossible.

But yes, you're right. Like on some psychedelics, it's very possible. Um, and ego death. Being a good psychedelic experience. I've never had that. So I mean, uh, maybe not I mean, I've certainly had ego death but never maybe to the level that my supervisor was talking about like true ego death being like such a painful psychedelic experience that like only if you allow yourself to really go there can't go there and hit that point but Um, it's beyond my level of current heights that I've climbed on psychedelics.

I keep climbing higher, but you know what I mean? There's a, yeah, I haven't gone to that point where, um, I've, I think, what were they saying? Like, they felt like they were a rock that dropped to the bottom of an ocean and was just complete egoless and like, couldn't speak and all the things. I was like, fascinating.

There's a lot of heights to climb to in this, you know, space.

Leia: Depths to swim.

Nicole: Totally. Totally. And I think for me, one of the ones, when I think about like a crossover between kink and psychedelics is like the, uh, the power of the guru, the power of your first dom, like that first person that takes you into this world, which is different, right?

If you've come from a non kink practice, if you've never done psychedelics, like that person who takes you into that world. You know, like you'll fall in love with your first Dom, you will fall in love with your first Dom who takes you into that space, you know, and like the first psychedelic guru who guru is a problematic word, maybe, right.

But like sometimes people will manipulate that power and use it against you in a lot of different ways. So I think that's one important piece, especially given that both are very underground in a lot of ways to kind of like talk about, um, I think that's important.

Leia: Hmm. Hmm. Yeah. Thank you for bringing that up.

I too was thinking about, um, authorities and this crossover. I mean, I think the same could be said for like, you'll fall in love with your first sub and the experience that they take you through. Right. So, um, and I like this expression, who's holding the leash. Yeah.

Nicole: The sub, right?

Leia: Technically. Right, and it can be, yeah, I, I've read Topping and Bottoming by Dossie Eaton and Janet Hardy.

They're icons. Love them.

Nicole: We are the next generation of them, baby.

Leia: Oh, oh my goodness. I could only hope to be so impactful. But yeah, I'm thinking about The authorities and then in my own practice with the mushroom specifically, I feel that my relationship to the mushroom may be above any relationship to another human when it comes to like, what I should do and.

What I'm learning from that container. I definitely have teachers mentors support peer supervision. That's so, um, such a God send a goddess send and I wouldn't go without it. And, but what I really wouldn't go without is. It's my work with the mushroom myself. I would not be fit to support people on a psychedelic path if I was not in my own.

And I'm thinking about, so it's like my relationship to the mushroom and then thinking about kink. It's kind of, yes, there's the relationship to a dom or a sub, um, then there's the relationship to my body and parts of me that recognize that I've been exploited in the past and that Might have hard time discerning.

Am I subjecting myself to exploitation now, you know, is this actually a limit. Have I gone past my limit and I'm wanting to, you know, prove something or receive like a type of love that has nothing to do with this. So yeah, I'm thinking about relationship to my body and The authority of that and and like that teachers are so important and space holders.

Oh, my gosh, like blessings on all of the healers and space holders that companion people into these altered states of consciousness. And I will always say. To anyone, you are the best authority on your own path. Yeah.

Nicole: Yeah, absolutely. And anyone who says otherwise run, right? Run, run.

Leia: Yeah. That's their own power trip.

Nicole: Right. And being able to then like. But it's, it's hard to do that depending on the, the places you're in and when things like in the current environment where it's hard to get into access to these communities and you have limited access, right? This is the 1 place that teaches that kink practice. This is the 1 underground community that I know of that offers this retreat, you know, like the.

The power dynamics of that. So I think, yeah, it's so important to name that, like, our own inner, like, healing, our own wisdom, our own intuition, our own knowledge of ourself is, like, should be our guiding point always.

Leia: Yes, I agree. And the other side of that is I've seen some really red flag medicine. People say the medicine is my teacher.

I don't need I don't need a teacher. Um, that is concerning as well. Um, I don't think that the mushroom would teach me everything that I need to know about working with people. I think I need to learn. I need to continue learning and. Being an integrity and in that way of like, you know, IFS has been a huge game changer in my life as well in the last year and a half.

So I need teachers for that. Like, I'm not learning from mushroom space, but, but from direct experience with my parts, I am. I'm learning that too. So, so there's this kind of. Yeah. It's a mycelial web. We'll just call it that.

Nicole: Yeah. I remember specifically like an episode like way back early in the podcast when someone had said like the mushrooms healed her.

Um, and I kind of pushed her on that where I was like, what if it was you? Like I did mushrooms and it didn't heal my anxiety. You know what I mean? But it healed yours. Like that's an interesting, like why wasn't I chosen? Right. If that's like the second we start to put that into like some sort of like.

Like, the mushroom does the teaching the mushroom does that, but then I'm always trying to, like, honor the, the religious context of what it means to a person, right? That, like, if they start to see it as that, then, like, that's their religious framework. And, like, I'm not here to call who God is a name, whether the mushroom has this power or not, because I'm certainly not.

the truth teller of who God is. However, when we also look at the realities that like, people are taking shrooms and then getting excited about how to capitalize on this further. Like, I'm going to take shrooms so that I can go back to my capitalistic job and continue to work the system. So like at the end of the day, like the psychedelics are not inherently pulling us out.

teaching us all the things we need to learn, right? Because we see people who use it for like, destructive for their power. I think that like, idea of the like, 1970s thought of like, oh, we're just going to drop acid in the water and everyone's going to have this experience and everyone's going to be on the same page.

Uh, that is not happening. Not even close. Not even close.

Leia: That would be very non consensual.

Nicole: Totally, I know, totally. I mean, yes. But we could save the world. But that's the thing, even if someone did that horrific act of non consent, it would not change the world. The amount of clients that I've worked through that like, you just, you think that like, oh, just Give them some psychedelic and they're gonna have this great experience.

It's going to change everything. And it, it doesn't like it shakes up the space, it shakes up the snow globe. It brings a ton of content into the therapy room, but like, it does not like have this like radical magic bullet change the world sort of moment. It's hard.

Leia: Non specific amplifiers as you said, you know, that's why neo nazis and right wing people can like take psychedelics and love it There's an article in symposia about that Right.

Nicole: I'm feeling yes Yes, hence why yeah that idea of like it being the mushroom is an interesting thought because it takes someone there But it also takes like you said a right wing into another space too.

Leia: So right, right. I heard someone else say Psychedelics can make sociopaths better sociopaths Right, opening up the creativity to better manipulate and better, you know, I don't know, do whatever sociopathic things that the person wants to do and.

You mentioned the giving the power over to the medicine, like, I want to save my life or getting disorder. I, I think that that can disempower our innate healing intelligence as well as, like, I said, the relationship to the medicine similar. Like, could someone could say, like, my job saved my life or whatever.

And that's that's beautiful. Like, that gratitude and devotion and reverence. Like, I, I love that. Um, and like. Yeah, don't forget you were there too. And the healing is in the container for me. The healing has been in the, in these containers and the relationship and, and the relationship can be tended like.

Like, I might tend to a partner in a certain way, and they may tend to me, and then we can tend to the relationship, and that's a completely other thing.

Nicole: Sure. Sure. And I think a lot of people do the same thing, too, and they're like, my therapist healed me, right? My therapist did this, my therapist did that, and it's like, no, y'all did that together.

Y'all did that together. And if anything, you did it yourself. Like you were the one bringing the content. You were the one bringing the energy. You were the one doing all of the work out of the sessions, right? Like it's not your therapist. I feel like that's another common one that like kind of happens as therapy is getting more like prominent with ads everywhere of like better help.

I should, I should probably not even say give them like any airtime. You know what I mean? All these big ads for all these big companies, um, that. Our, um, marketing therapy to the world too. I think that's another big one, but like, yeah, even in the Dom sub dynamic, like the sub inherently gives the energy that the Dom plays with.

And I know, you know, that as someone who's read the bottoming and topping book and like the framing of understanding the power, I know Dom sub are not equivalent to bottom topping. I'm starting to use that now, but like when the bottom brings that energy, the top is playing with that and the top can't play with no energy.

Like there is no way in which these aren't like. co created containers. And even the person who did the ayahuasca experience, like, they have a level of surrender. You know what I mean? Like, they came into that experience with surrender because there's also this other space that if you fight the, the psychedelic, like we've seen clients who, um, will take like different doses, right?

And like, you can take a much higher dose and have less of a psychedelic experience if, you know, from an IFS perspective, parts are holding on or someone's trying to control and like not trying to be in that altered state of consciousness. Like. There's a level of control some people can still like hold on to that prevents you from going to that.

So it's like, no matter what, like you said, these containers are co created. This conversation we're making is co created, right? Like all this stuff is never just like one thing. I mean, hasn't quantum mechanics taught us anything? You know, it's like Jesus, you know, it's like, we're always in like a solution of things going on and like, we're never just individuals.

So like to give any individual that power is like an interesting take, I think, but That's just my hot take.

Leia: Oh, very much. So, so, so many different trail heads in this. I'm thinking about it is. It really is. I'm thinking about the opportunity that both of these practices hold to move past. Resistance and that that is a double edged sword, you know, like, dissociation is a very adaptive response to stress, right?

And dissociation can neutralize a trip where people, no matter how much mushrooms they eat, they might have some visuals, but they won't really journey because the dissociation and the Kappa opioid system is like, popping off. So it's like, you just can't journey like that. On the other hand, without.

Dissociation, neutralizing the journey psychedelics can bring you past, you know, bring you to spaces that parts wouldn't let you get to because they would, you know, have you drink before you got to that level of stress or. Whatever, any, any, any different manner of coping and and I think in the kink space with, I'm thinking about impact play, maybe like, how we can go.

Over our limits and and that sometimes that can be used in a healing way. Other times it could, um, it can be like self harming. That was something in the bottoming book. I think that was just like, do not use your top to self harm. This is a really shitty, really shitty thing to do. I can appreciate and I honor the pain in a system that someone might want to, you know, to self harm via the support of someone else.

It's kind of like this would be a whole other episode in and of itself, but like, do people have the right to die? Sure. A partner of mine created an art piece, legalized suicide. And he thinks that suicide should be, you know, just like what we started off talking about the weirdness of words. And I think that answers is another weird.

Colonized topic. It's, I think, much more a fluid dance and, uh, like ethics. Ethics doesn't have any answers. It's a way of thinking about things. Right.

Nicole: But I mean, in terms of psychedelics, there's like a level of like consent, like we were talking about to the experience that could happen. And I think I'd love to someday get into more conversations on this podcast about what consent looks like in kink.

Leia: It's making me think about if there's any consent under capitalism.

Nicole: Yeah, let's go there, you know, like, yeah.

Leia: Yeah, I don't even know where to get it. Under patriarchy, under, you know, like as bell hooks would say this hetero capitalist colonized patriarchy. I think I, I added some, some of my own things in there.

Nicole: Sure. I had someone come on and talk about, we got to a point where we were talking about eco sexuality and then, um,

Leia: I'm eco sexual. I'm eco sensual. I'm eco sensual. I think more than eco sexual, but yeah.

Nicole: I would, okay, I would go with that too. So they had started to talk about making out with a rose and I had this immediate recoiling because I was like, Oh my God, I was like, did the Rose consent to that, which is an interesting question.

And then I sat for a couple of weeks thinking about that one where I was like, did the Rose consent to that? I was like, is our earth consenting to the ways that we are using it? You know, uh, I don't think so given how it's responding with climate change. I think we're hurting it and we did not ask for its consent.

Leia: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, great question. Great point. When I'm being the way I want to be in the world. I do ask permission of any plant before I harvest it and I do listen and. I would recommend to anyone to just experiment with this. Like, if you think that you're not going to hear an answer, just try it. Because sometimes I hear a yes and sometimes I hear a no.

I don't think it's coming from my own consciousness. But, like I said, I'm like, psychically impermeable. So, I don't know how that works.

Nicole: Yeah, that's what I was just about to ask. Yeah, I was like, how does that all add up then?

Leia: I don't know. I don't know. But, just the awareness to pause. I've heard When harvesting from the wild to not harvest, like the grandmother bloom, like just the biggest one coming out or, you know, never take more than 10 percent these kind of guidelines rules or, you know, in listening for like, what is.

What's a yes or a no, I think that we might become more attuned to just like, what is appropriate. So, and then we can ask better questions or like the permission that we ask for can be be more, um, less harmful or more in right relationship, but yeah, that that rose thing that's. That's hot.

Nicole: Yeah. It brings me back to a scarier thought though, too.

Like, right. Like, cause I was like, I'm hearing you and I'm like, yeah, like listen to your inner wisdom. Listen to your connections. Like, yes, do that. And then I'm also imagining like, and I shouldn't the business tech. Power module sort of person who I'd be like, yeah, listen to your intuition. Ask before you do these things and check in with the right way.

And they'd still be like, yeah, this is how you capitalize on a recession. This is how we, um, buy all the stocks and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So then it's really interesting. Cause like you always want to like tune people in to listen to their gut more, listen to all of that. But like, because of the systems that we're in, like some people's guts and myself included are, you know, probably.

Not probably, are seeped in problematic views. So then it's like such a name, like scary thing, like at times on this podcast, I've been like, yeah, listen to yourself and listen to that. And then I'm also like, how is that also not accurate? You know what I mean?

Leia: Totally, totally. I mean, and the, I'm thinking about echo chambers and like, right, your listeners probably, you know, I would trust a lot of them can listen to themselves and it's not infiltrated by like.

Latent entitlement that some, you know, venture capitalist podcast audience might, you know, like,

Nicole: yeah, it's impossible though. We're always going to have that. Right? Like, that's the scary part of all of it. Is that like, I'm what I just can't see my own shit. You know what I mean? That's a scary part. What's scary about that?

Um, that I'm going to, I'm enacting harm in the ways that I go out through the world because of my lens of existence. Right? Like, yeah. There's just so many ways that because of our existential limitations, like, we don't fully understand all of the ways that we, like, like, in the same way that you're never going to reach cultural competence.

If anyone comes out here as a therapist and tells me that they're reaching cultural, they have reached cultural competence. I'm gonna ask some deeper questions and be like, what do you mean? Because I think that is a practice of cultural humility to continue to go towards. So, like, at some point, it's scary to know that, like.

As we're going through this world, like, we're always going to be like causing harm in some way based on our lack of understanding and whether that is climate change, right? Whether that is the ways that I, I do all this, these things, like, it's inevitable that we're going to cause harm in that process. So that, that does scare me, but I guess we just like get over it.

Leia: I relate to that. I think that I felt a lot more peace and alignment when I. Recognized and accepted that I would cause harm no matter how hard I tried not to, but I do, you know, I participate in systems that are harmful and oppressive every day and. And then honed my ability to recognize and own it and repair and be accountable and that that is a dance and that there's no answers to that.

That's a relationship. Yeah. Totally.

Nicole: One that's probably ever evolving. Cause yeah, when I'm, when I'm buying my stuff that's pre packaged and packet in, in plastic, right? Like. The more we have, like, cultural awareness of the ways that, like, yeah, we're harming the world with a lot of this stuff, like, how could we ever fully, you know, like, that's when you come back to that, there's no ethical consumption under capitalism, right, which is kind of like that free for all of, like, fuck it, like, whatever, but it's, like, what is the, like, more nuanced answer of some sort of relationship to all of these practices of giving back in some way so that you can feel more peace, right, with the ways that we are complicit in all of these problematic systems?

Beyond my pay grade for understanding. What did you, like you said, it's a, it's, you said a dance, a relationship, right?

Leia: Big questions, Nicole. Big questions.

Nicole: You wanted to come on the podcast. This is the energy. Ha ha ha. Yeah. But, I mean, hopefully conversations, yeah, right? That's what I hope.

Leia: I think so.

Conversations, conversations with ourselves and our parts, slowing it down. A recent guest on my podcast, Spirit Traveler, said, get the message, give thanks, and keep it moving. Like. You know, not getting stuck. I think for some people, there might be a tendency to internalize like, I caused harm. I'm so bad.

I'm, you know, I should be punished blah, blah. And then there's the end of that. Like, well, if you hadn't externalizing the harm. And then there's like, there can be accountability abuse where someone, you know, someone does need to be accountable, but then who they're being accountable to can, can actually be like, their intention can be to hurt and punish the person.

Nicole: Yeah. And I think that, like, at the heart of what we're talking about then is like all the different ways that we play with power, right? Consensually, non consensually, awareness. Right? Like maybe we're not even aware of the ways that our society and other ways that we're playing with power. But like all of it is like right here, whether it's psychedelics, climate change, like all of these things are inherent plays with power, which is like super erotic in the right context.

Right? So like, I think that like, it's all on brand, you know what I mean?

Leia: Yes. Yes. I'll just mention one quick thing from one of my teachers, Starhawk. Super radical, amazing, which permaculturist activist, um, she's getting into her late 80s. Now she speaks in, I think it's in dreaming the dark, maybe the empowerment manual as well, about the different types of power, power over, right?

Like that's what we're very familiar with in, in this like Western colonized society power with. Um, is, you know, even like, transcending this idea of allies, right? It's like, no, we're not allies. We're co conspirators. Your struggle is the same as mine, you know, there, there are differences and also none of us are free until we all are Audre Lorde.

And then lastly, um. Power from within is another type of power that she talks about. Yeah. And that's like your spirituality or connection to earth. For me, I get so much power in myself from connection to the planet and my, my connection to that, both like my sovereignty as a being, as well as my interconnectedness, like indivisibleness from all that is.

Nicole: Sure, absolutely. I mean, at least for me, like, nature is like my source of self. I don't even self care is not the right way. Like, these days, like, it's, it's what keeps me grounded. Like, I can be having any sort of horrific day looking at the systems that, like, are coming into my therapy room or other sorts of spaces, right?

And like, seeing that pain and I can at least look at a cloud and be like, Okay, nature, like, you're good. Like, nature's got, nature, you're beautiful. Like, you're, you're great. Like, you're great. The humans are complicated, but you're great. Um, but I think also another piece, um, because I think another big thing that I've seen in comparison to Psychedelics and kink is like the rebound effect, at least for me.

And in psychedelic spaces, we often talk about how, like, again, from a parts framework, right? If there's parts of ourselves that have been really clamped down and suppressed to go into that psychedelic space and then to play and cross that, at least for me coming from a very like Christian shame based background of sexuality.

There's so much play that I've done in this space that has been really intense and like joyous. And then I have had reactions. Like afterwards of being like, okay, wow, what did I just do? Who am I now? And like, how do I integrate this like radical erotic experience into my sense of self? And that can be really destabilizing when you've been in this like shame, patriarchal, you know, sort of clamped down sexuality space in the same way.

That's like psychedelics when you open up that stuff and then you come back and you're like, what just happened? You know?

Leia: Yes, this is another great parallel between the 2 engagements of psychedelics or kink. I've come to ask myself, and I think I'll be encouraging my clients in this as well. Do any parts have any concerns or resistance or any, like, I can't think of the word, but like, does anyone object objections?

That's it. Yeah, I have any objections to this, like, and and other parts might want to mute the objections because, like, I really want to trip. Like, I need this ceremony. Like, I, you know, they've attached expectation. And so that could drown out the voice of a part. That's like. Might just have a need about the ceremony that some something happens before or after or maybe that yeah, the ceremony doesn't happen right now.

And it has to wait to be as 1 of my teacher says, like, be Oprah Winfrey at the head of the table. Everybody gets to speak. Like, we're going to the way that works for everyone. I think that can mitigate some of the, what did you call it? Blowback or rebounds rebound fallout at the end. Yeah. I've, I've seen people who have.

You know, dissociation from memories of their childhood, you know, particularly abuse episodes and and then that gets revealed in the journey. And then there's like, you can't, you can't cover that up. But then it's so the parts will do everything like, well, you just made that up or to invalidate it. So I think it's good to try to that's part of the consent to journey is, um.

Knowing all the things that could happen and then hearing from all the parts that have concerns about that and then you can address them through, you know, aftercare, etc. Totally.

Nicole: Totally. Yeah. Giving voice to all the different parts at the table. I love that analogy.

Leia: Yeah. All right. So what's your closing question?

I'm going to I'm going to do it quick.

Nicole: Yes. The closing question I ask all guests on the podcast is what is one thing that you wish other people knew was more normal?

Leia: A part of me goes farting.

Nicole: I love the authenticity here. I know.

Leia: I think that's, I think that. Ultimately, we know that it's normal because we all do it. But when I took my permaculture design course with Starhawk, you know, and there was like 40 something of us in there and she would fart all the time. And then, like, other people farted and then it was just like a fart friendly space.

And it was like, wow, there is just so much gastric release that. Didn't need to be held in yoga. I think you could probably appreciate that as a yoga teacher too.

Nicole: Sure. Yep. It happens. It certainly happens. The human condition.

Leia: And I think that's making me think of one thing I wished I mentioned about consent to journeying is like, yeah, you could like.

You could pee your pants or like poop your pants, or you could be vomiting and kink as well. Like all these like sex, right? Like, anytime I have sex, like, I know I might probably queef, like, and it's going to sound like a lion. Like, it's like, I don't want to have sex with someone who's going to get freaked out by that.

Like, it's just my body is just doing what a body does. And now all the people that listen to this know that I might queef if I have sex and, Well, I'll just have to live with that.

Nicole: And I will join you in that, right? Like, Jesus, like, how can we normalize that so that, because like, God forbid, in my past experiences, I would queef, right?

And then I'd be like, oh my. God. Oh my God. Oh my God. What just happened? You know, it's like, that's a normal human experience, right? Like how, if, if you have that conversation, I join you in that. Someone listening to this, you know, like if we could just free up that headspace. To do other things.

Leia: Free the queef.

Nicole: Free the queef. Yeah. All bodily sensations, right? All bodily sounds. All bodily experiences. Like, let's just create some more space for the humanness that it is to be in this body. Wild.

Leia:May it be so.

Nicole: Yeah, exactly. That's what I say. May it be so. I want to hold space to, um, for you to plug all of your connections where people can find you and connect with your work.

Leia: Oh, yes. Um, if you'd like to check out my podcast, it's on anywhere podcasts are hosted as The Psychedologist. Consciousness positive radio and, uh, thepsychedologist. com, thepsychedologist on Instagram. I am not taking new clients for clinical work right now, but you could reach out to me through my website if you wanted to get on a waiting list.

Nicole: Great. Thank you for coming on the podcast and creating this conversation with me. Thank you. If you enjoyed today's episode, then leave us a five star review wherever you listen to your podcast and head on over to 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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