Journey Into Psychedelics with Expert Psychedelic Guide Brenna GebauerJul 31, 2023
Have you ever wondered about the therapeutic use of psychedelic plant medicines? I had SO many questions like, "what happens during the 'journey' ?", "does anyone ever see anything scary?", "is this safe?", "who should consider a psychedelic journey?" This week I have the honor of asking all of these things and so much more in this mind expanding, heart opening conversation with Expert Psychedelic Guide Brenna Gebauer.
About our guest, Brenna Gebauer
Founder of Journey Into Psychedelics
Co-Founder of EPIC: Ethical Psychedelics International Community
Brenna is a Southern California based Transformational Coach and Psychedelic Guide with a degree in psychology. Prior to this she spent decades building the ideal career based on society's standards. It left the external boxes checked, but her soul felt empty.
Psychedelics found her when she needed them most. It was through a 5 year personal journey, developing a relationship with multiple tools to become more aligned with herself, that she surrendered to the path unfolding for her.
After a 10 day silent meditation retreat she followed her inner wisdom to support making psychedelics available for more to utilize for healing and growth. As I result, she have witnessed countless individuals change the course of their life through facilitating experiences so they can become more authentic and loving versions of themselves.
Her work is centered around creating a sacred container for the soul nourished by compassion and love. Her focus is on tapping into inner wisdom and cultivating self love as a means of supporting healing and creating deep connection.
Outside of 1 on 1 facilitation, Brenna is a co-founder of EPIC (Ethical Psychedelics International Communities) as well as work alongside leaders in the field in developing a code of ethics for Psychedelic Assisted Therapists in the above ground space.
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Hey, beautiful soul welcome into the Spirit Speakeasy, whether you are a returning friend of a podcast or listening for the first time this conversation has so much today we're going to be talking with Brenna Gebauer, who is a transformational coach and psychedelic guide, who also has a degree in psychology. Now, I don't believe in coincidences, those of you that know me know this about me. And over the past, I don't know year or two, I've had so many clients asking me about the use of psychedelics in a therapeutic way, whether they're wanting to get in touch with their spiritual gifts, or have a spiritual experience or move through their grieving process. I've just had so many people bring this up and ask me questions recently. And as I would happen, serendipitously, I just so happened to have a client that I've been working with, and they share that they have been working with a facilitator to do psychedelic journeys in a therapeutic way. And of course, I had so many questions, and they graciously agreed to share her name and contact information and allow me to let Brenda know that we have this mutual client and would she be willing to chat with us? And you know, I had so many questions, I really tried to ask all the questions about psychedelics about what that journey is like about how the facilitation works, and what can happen and if it's scary and all the things, and Brennan graciously in this conversation, shares about her own journey shares lots of examples with us and really answers my questions in such a profound and beautiful way. So with all of the information that's been coming our way lately, through media, there are so many documentaries, lots of celebrities are sharing stories about journeys on different psychedelics, I really wanted to have someone trustworthy and experienced and who is in integrity and practicing in an ethical way. And Spirit brought her to us so how amazing is this? So without further ado, let's just get right into this conversation with incredible soul Branagh about her.
Hey beautiful souls welcome into Spirit Speakeasy, grab your cup of something and get cozy. This is not a conversation to be missed. I'm just going to launch into the bio of the beautiful Brenna Gebauer. Brenna is a Southern California based transformational coach and psychedelic guide with a degree in psychology. Prior to this, she spent decades building the ideal career based on society standards and sound familiar to any of you. It left those external boxes checked, but her soul was still feeling empty and psychedelics found her when she needed them the most. It was through a five year personal journey developing a relationship with multiple tools to become more aligned with herself that she surrendered to the path unfolding for her. After a 10 day silent meditation retreat. She followed her inner wisdom to support making psychedelics available for more people to utilize for healing and growth. And as a result, she has witnessed countless individuals change the course of their lives through facilitating experiences so they can become more authentic and loving versions of themselves. Her work is centered around creating a sacred container for the soul nourished by compassion and love. Her focuses on tapping into inner wisdom and cultivating self love as a means of supporting healing and creating deep connection. Outside of the one on one facilitation. Brenda is co founder of epic, which is the ethical, psychedelic international communities as well as work alongside leaders in the field developing a code of ethics for psychedelic assisted therapy in the above grounded spaces, and she is the founder of Journey Into psychedelics helped me welcome Brenna Gebauer, thanks for being here with us. Yeah, thank you. It was really nourishing just to hear you read that. So I'm grateful to be here. Yeah, well, and I love that. I mean, there's so much springing up around psychedelics. I mean, I think we all have access to
And many of us have seen like the documentaries and the info things, and we hear about people going to other countries to experience plant medicine and psychedelics, but the way that you're practicing and facilitating just seems so grounded in science and the therapeutic process. So I'm so excited to share your work and your perspective. Yeah, I'm excited to share with you and your audience. And I think that's the most important thing right now is having conversations about this that are outside, necessarily the research and the media to really understand what this is all about. Do you feel like I mean, lodging, right in a lot of my clients have been asking about psychedelics for therapeutic use recently. And so it's, you know, as most things are perfectly like serendipitous timing for us to be chatting, do you feel like there's a time in someone's life when this is best apply? Do you feel like it's case by case? Yeah, that's a great question.
I, from my personal framework, I do find it important that someone is grounded in themselves, in starting this meaning that I personally don't choose to work with people that are under a certain age of brain development, often, like 23, 24 25. Yeah, and then it's a case by case basis for the individual. For me when, in, in my experience, it found me when the time was right, and when I have conversations with people who are in that curious state of exploration, I often encourage them to trust their intuition that they'll know, right, it's almost like there's this seed that gets planted in someone and it's watered through different articles they find or different conversations they have with other people who have experience in this. And at that point, I trust that the right doors open for you to find the right facilitator or the right circle to sit with. So I think it's a combination of things. But really, for me, this is very intuitive work. And to use this as a catalyst to trust you'll know when it's your time to be with different medicines and different expanded states. I love that I know you said that. I mean, it in your bio, the way that it found you really was a bridge into you ultimately deciding to facilitate this work. Are you open to sharing a little bit about your journey with it? Yeah, absolutely. For me, I, I've always been connected to plants. So when I was growing up, I was in a rural area. So I have cookbooks of the women in my family using plants as healing agents. So I've always seen plants as medicine. It's just because of my upbringing, and being very religious, and society. And all that jazz kind of took me away from that idea. And there was a point in my life where I talked about it in my bio, where it was just like the soul yearning for more. And at that point, I started really sitting with myself through meditation and exploring different frameworks of spirituality. And it was an intentional invitation, I think, at a soul level to invite in a willingness to look deeper and myself and mushroom showed up, I there was no part of me that was looking for it. But it was just like, Okay, I've set this intention, and this thing is present. And honestly, I had had, you know, recreational use of psychedelics decades before and concert scenarios. And so I just started trusting myself and sitting with that medicine primarily, initially, and then other medicines, as I started wanting to explore in different ways, and it was just almost like,
it met me when I was ready to meet it. And I find psychedelics are a wonderful tool, as we have many around us, it's just being able to open yourself to what that tool can offer for you in your own unfolding. But I love that you bring up the distinction between recreational use and therapeutic use. Would you just for people that are totally new to this, would you just kind of touch into like the difference? Yeah, knows. Yeah. And I love this question. And I do want to just start by saying, I believe that both are very powerful experiences, especially when you are in the right set and setting which we can talk about if it feels right, yeah. And intention. So even if you break down the word, recreation, its recreation. So one of the things about more therapeutic use, and the way that I work is the container of which we're doing this work is often much more intimate. So how I look at psychedelics, there's the psychedelics that you use when you're using your five senses and going outward. And all of the senses that we have at our disposal are these wonderful gifts to be able to experience the world. It's very vibrant. It's
very loud, there's a lot going on. And sometimes it keeps us from really looking inward. Yeah. And so the container of more therapeutic use is using these as a tool to go inside of yourself. So within that, you're often turning down the senses. So that's why when you will look at some of the publications, you'll see people in eyeshades wearing headphones, like the ones that you were having, and those are utilized to, to really diminish the senses and use these as a tool to access the things that you may not have access to just because of everything that's going on around you. So that's, I think one of the biggest delineations between the therapeutic container and in there is also all of the intentions going into a you know, if you're using it as a means of connecting with nature. That's one thing, but the way that I tend to focus on this is using as as a means to connect with yourself. And I think that can be so powerful if supported, you know, in the best way for the individual. Let's just, if you don't mind, let's just mention the psychedelics that you're talking about. So people know exactly kind of the bucket of what are the options in there? Yeah. Okay, so I'm primarily going to be talking about MDMA and classic tryptamines, which are psilocybin and LSD. There are many other psychedelics that are out there, and they're getting a lot of publications. Ayahuasca is one Yeah, many people have probably heard of DMT is another, happy to if it feels right touch on them, but primarily what we're seeing right now, in what's being legalized, and what is most commonly used in therapeutic purposes. It's currently MDMA and psilocybin. Okay. And psilocybin is like the chemical that is in plant mushrooms, right? Yeah. So psilocybin is what is considered magic mushrooms, there's tons of mushrooms out there, we're seeing all the adaptogens. But psilocybin, psilocybin is what breaks down inside psilocybin that creates the compound, that is what makes the magic happen. So it's very scientific and technical, but psilocybin is what's considered to be magic mushrooms, or what is used for psychedelic therapy. And it is what I love about your work that you have this beautiful blend of, you know, wanting to be ethical and therapeutic and, and have the scientific understanding and the, you know, health based and then also, using this intuitive I love the way you say it, the container to help people move into self love and self understanding. So it's, it's an incredible balance. So if someone is like, Okay, I'm interested in potentially looking into this as an option, will you just give me a little bit of a run through, like when a client comes to you? I mean, obviously, you've said that it's not maybe for every client at every time, how do you how do you know, a conversation and intuition. So when someone finds me, the first thing that happens is, I like to jump on a call just so that we can get acquainted with each other because one of the things I advocate for more than anything is finding the right fit. When it comes to doing soul work, I think that is so important. And so it's not just, I think one of the things that's outside a traditional therapeutic model is, I want them to know my story. And my path that led me here so that if there is a connection, they know that I'm walking alongside them, it's not outside of my scope, to understand their journey, and to hear what they're bringing, and what they're coming forward with and really, to share some of the things that I hold very dearly for myself in this work. You know, I'm a nurturer, for example, so like, I prepare food for people while we're in the container together, because most of the people that find me are the natural caretakers in their life for the people that hold a lot. So just to be able to receive from someone could be a very loving thing. Whereas for other people, they might want a more traditional scientific container or a more traditional therapeutic container. So finding a facilitator or a guide that feels like it's matching, what will create safety and security for you. And trust, I think is foundational. So really having that conversation to see if there's the alignment there. There's other things that are really important, like, are you on specific medication? Do you have any diagnosis or family diagnosis of borderline personality disorders, those are things that are really important to know, moving into it, just because that kind of sets the framework of possibility whether this is the right fit, or the timeline. That being said, if I'm not the right fit for somebody, I'll do everything I can to find the right fit. Because I truly believe that we heal together and if someone's committed to this and they just say, I want to do this
But maybe the way that you do this work doesn't feel aligned for me, then all I need to hear is, this is what would feel, you know, more aligned for my journey, for example, whether it's working with someone that's in a male bodied or identifies with a different orientation. So those things to me are part of what makes this space really beautiful, is it really is a mycelial network, of finding the ways that we can connect each other because to me, this is all about fostering more connection within ourselves and in the world around us. Well, that's such a great point that I maybe hadn't even considered that based on someone's life and trauma and experiences, they might feel comfortable with one version of a facilitator versus another. I love that you call yourself a guide, because I think that's just, I mean, I do think there has to be maybe it doesn't have to be, but it feels good that there would be this relationship with you and your I don't do home a patient or client. I call them journeyers. How have your journeyers I like that even more? Because you have to there has to be a level of trust for them to let go fully, I would assume is that right? Oh, yeah, that was in percent. And that's why my process leading up to this is, it's not what I would consider slow. But we're not jumping right into the medicine work. Because if there is not trust, then it's really hard to you'll hear words like surrender, like what is surrender even mean for some people. And I tend to find a lot of people want to hold on to control more than we like to admit, or that we are fully aware of. So to let go of control for a period of time, especially when we're talking about at the brain level can be very foreign. So I think if you feel safe, and you trust that you are with someone that is going to tend to and take care of whatever shows up for you. It enables that to be something that is more easily accessible. And that's a huge part of why building that cornerstone that foundation prior to the medicine work to me is it's crucial, not just for the journey I'm working with but for myself, you know, to know that we are going to be in this very intimate place, and that there is a trust there that I'm going to be safe to. Yeah, because at the end of the day, someone is going into a very expanded state. So mutual trust, to me is what builds safety. Well, and I love the way that you said it too, because it's I think that can be a scary part is like, Okay, I don't know this person at all. And now I'm going to just go into this expanded state or altered state, and it just feels that feels like a fast jump. So I love that you're sharing that? No, like, there's a process here. And there's, you know, relationship building and exchange and lots of talking, it sounds like that happens to you know, before you're moving to that next phase of experience, right? Yeah, there's, if we, after the initial phone call, decide that this feels good, this feels right, then we'll set a timeline for how it's going to unfold. And prior to the medicine work, there'll be a minimum of three times that we connect, one of which is what I call an intake, even though I prefer the term constellation of life. And it's all the things that are woven to really bring us to this moment now where you've decided this is someplace that you'd like to explore. And it's really to set the foundation of awareness of what can come up. But it's more than just, you know, the trauma history or familial background. It's also lifestyle. Because I believe that this is holistic work. There's a lot we can learn from, for example, gut health, or sleep patterns that are often overlooked in our traditional medical model. So it's really weaving all of those things together and getting curious about how they tie into one another. And then from there, it's really having conversations leading up to set intentions to talk about the things that are arising because one of the most interesting things that I have learned in this process is that when someone makes the decision to do this, it is inevitable that the process of preparation, things are going to come to the surface that are truly unexpected. And it's almost like the subconscious has been given this invitation that there's a willingness to see it. And life just happens and unfolds in ways I can't tell you how many different circumstances have arisen where something has been so surprising for someone that it would start showing itself and like the weeks before our journey, and it's wonderful to be able to say okay, like this thing is happening right now, whether it's, you know, an ex that they haven't talked to in so long reaching out to them, and like I haven't talked to this person for four years. Why are they calling me right now? And then it's like, let's get cute.
Arias, what emotions is this bringing up for you, there may be something that is unfinished with that relationship, and it's showing up for a reason. And looking at it from that perspective is often a very powerful lens for learning from it. And then the medicine is just this awesome springboard to be able to deepen whatever was showing up and why. I don't necessarily believe in quick coincidences, even though I think from sometimes the more scientific mind that can be frustrating for people. And I work with a lot of scientists. And it's fascinating when I'll say I don't believe in coincidences, and they hesitate until they do this work. And they're just like, Okay, right, that can't be a coincidence. It's too it's too real for it to be anything other than that. So that, to me makes this. To me, it makes it very powerful, because it takes the medicine out of being the agent of transformation. And it really supports allowing the individual doing this work to understand that this is an empowerment tool for them to transform themselves. And what are you mentioned, the things that can come up, I am a reforming control freak. So
it's one of my like, I haven't experienced this yet. And it is one of my hesitations sometimes, like, I know that sometimes. It can feel like anxiety producing to, you know, think of like you said, surrendering or releasing control or going into this altered state, what are some of the like types of things that can come up for people? Yeah. So it really varies from person to person. But one of the things that I tend to find is whatever the the part of you that doesn't get as much attention
can often become the focus of the medicine bringing you into yourself. So I'll give you an example. Okay, often the most talkative people that come to me in preparation, are the most silent during their journey, it's almost like that verbal part of themselves goes offline, or I've worked with many people who identify as super strong and just very capable and able bodied, and they have that, like strength is their armor. And they'll go into I've seen people go into childlike states of being very weak and very timid. And they need that armor to almost tone down or give space for the other parts of oneself to emerge. And so for people, for example, who like to control things, then sometimes there will need to be a little bit of
strength from the medicine to get you to relinquish control in whatever way that may show up, just so that that part of yourself that is protecting you. And often these are protectors, right? Yeah, these are, these are adaptations we have, so that you can be able to go into the more tender delicate parts of yourself that have been hiding underneath it. And that's really where the magic lies, because you never know what's going to be there. As much as I've, I've seen so much during this work, even in myself, I have stopped trying to predict what's going to show up, whether it's right past life regression, or whether it's facing your deepest fear or understanding that is an example for me is I was always told I had asthma. And I did have breathing challenges. And in one of my journeys, I came to this awareness that being an athlete and my dad being my coach, I developed something that resembled asthma as a coping technique so that he wouldn't push me to go farther than my body wanted to go. Wow. So it was my body just protecting itself in a way that would be responded to by the outside world. Couldn't have seen that coming, never would have thought it around. So then as a result of that did something shift in the way that asthma like condition manifests in you? It, it had been something that I had subdued after I stopped being around, for example, you know, competitive athletics. Yeah. And I would still identify as someone who had asthma, like if a doctor asked me about my medical history, and now it's it's not a problem. It's never been an issue since and it really was, it was just one of those aha moments where I was like, Oh, it makes so much sense. Yeah, but I had just developed this idea of who I was based on the circumstances and now I see it through a very different lens. And that's really profound because I think it applies to all of us in some area of our life where we, you know, get this pattern or program or beliefs of others or our own system trying to protect us or
To help us in some way that might not be, you know who we truly are or something we need to identify with. So I think it's a beautiful kind of result that can happen from this is putting those dots together. And and these are the types of epiphanies, I guess that can come through the work that you do. Yeah, I think those are actually some of the most common is, I often invite people to get out of their minds and into their hearts, and talk to that space. But also really to start getting curious about what's actually yours, like what's true to your natural state, and what has been conditioned into you for your life. And I don't think any of us have come into this world without some level of conditioning starting from, you know, the name we're given, or to the language we're taught, we don't necessarily have choices about these things. But when you can start getting curious about how they have impacted how you show up in this world, then it gives you more power of choice, if that really is in alignment with how you want to continue, because, you know, it feels at times, for me, anxiety is like a big thing that I hear people
coming to this work from. And I'm not saying this as a blanket statement. But I think a large percentage of the time anxiety is a byproduct of your inner landscape and your outer landscape not being in alignment. Yeah. And when you can start bringing those in closer alignment, I have seen time and time again, that anxiety starts to diminish in very natural, organic ways without much effort, but it's just bringing that harmony into your way of showing up in this world. I love that. I also think it's really cool that you like you said you you set the timeline together with your journeyer. For what feels, you know, comfortable and and a good timeline for both of you. Once someone has like moved through that timeline, you've done the initial talks and set the intentions what is the actual like, say it's going to be the day of the journey? What does that look like? So for me and my work, I do what I consider to be roughly a 40 hour ceremony. And that is different than a lot of different guides. But I really want to support people looking at this as a life event, not just a therapy appointment for one. And also unplugging from the outside world, I it's probably a byproduct of my own nature. But it's like when you go on vacation, it takes a little bit of time to settle into being on vacation. And so we spend the first evening together, we connect and oftentimes we haven't met in person, we've just been on Zoom calls. And I'm sure you feel the same way that when you're in someone's physical energy, it can be very different. And so settling in energetically cleaning, cleansing the energy of the space, I'll cook a meal to nourish them through the next day. And then we'll start going over their intentions, and really looking at what is present today.
And weaving how to bring those into the medicine work. And after that we're going to have a deep discussion about what can show up and tools and resources to be able to utilize during the journey itself. And this is really for the mind. Because after this conversation, the goal is to answer all the questions that the mind probably has, and a whole lot more that it didn't know what needed to ask so that it can go on vacation, because there's literally an invitation for the brain to take a day off knowing that it's going to be able to come back and we can even decide where it's going to go or it can have a choice so that the next day can really be about embodiment and being in the soul and being in the heart space. So when we wake up the next morning, often the invitation is to move the body a little bit whether that's through yoga, stretching, taking a walk, potentially letting go of things that are apparent that are ready to be released. And I'm a big advocate of using nature as a catalyst to do that, because Mother Earth can hold a whole lot more than I can. And so the intentionality of giving it in a way that you know it's going to be held can often just give space for that top level to make room for the deeper stuff to arise. And so when it comes time to do the medicine work itself, we'll do the eyeshades and the headphones.
And we've built what I call a nest wherever we're working. It's funny because there's this idea of like maybe being on a couch or a bed. Usually we ended up like building a fort with pillows and a mattress off of bed in the middle of a large space somewhere. So it's kind of very childlike and playful, but it's really to give a spaciousness
and room to expand. And after you the medicine has been consumed, it's like whatever is going to show up is going to show up. And we're there for it. You know, we're I'm there to hold, but I'm also
I trust the medicine and the inner intelligence of the individual I'm working with. So often I'll do my best to hold at a minimal and not try and get in and force things or pretend I know what's more going on in this scenario than another person. And this is all discussed the evening before.
And usually the journeys are between four and six hours. So there are chapters that often show up throughout. And at the end of it, it's about grounding and coming back into presence, eating some really like yummy nourishing food just to get back into this being and then tending to whatever shows up. And that's different for everybody. And some people are very animated and lively and want to turn on music and dance. Some people want to go out and be in nature, some just want to be with their journal and quiet. So honoring what that feels like. And typically, it's an early night, to go to bed and just be able to rest into things. But what is talked about prior is that we don't need to figure anything out afterwards. It's just being with it. Because when the brain comes back on there can be that like, wow, what just happened? How do I put the pieces back together. And so that's why the next morning is dedicated specifically to integration. Because the preparation, the journey, and the integration, to me are all very important chapters to be honored independently and not get ahead of oneself. So the next morning, the integration is really taking the experience that the individual had, and then the experience I had because I'll be taking notes, somatic energetic, verbal for the individual throughout, and then we'll weave it together. And
that that is for I try and make it pragmatic and workable, you know, because we are living in this world. So I want to give a few paths forward if they feel very organic and, and there. Because there is what they call the window of neuroplasticity, the highest is usually about two weeks after the journey. So if there are obvious things that are ready to be changed, you know, like from being more in the body, and then starting a new habit of exercising, walking, going to dance classes, whatever that may be starting it sooner rather than later is going to give you a higher chance of making new grooves in the brain. And then also knowing what can show up afterwards, because after you've been in an expanded state, you're still expanded and things are going to continue to show up in your life in ways that you can't even imagine. So I worked with somebody, for example, that identified as a huge coffee drinker of love coffee, tapering off coffee was the hardest part of the preparation. And then after their, their ceremony, when they would walk out the house with their coffee going to work their entire soul, like their being would just feel disgusting. And they were devastated because they identified as someone who loved coffee. And then they tried to drink coffee on the weekend when they would make a nice cup and sit and watch their dog play in the yard. And it was totally okay. So it wasn't about the coffee, it was about the speed of consumption and like just putting something in the body without thinking about it or turning it into a ritual. So then it became this lesson in how to create these small rituals in life in which that felt more nourishing, rather than just going through life in an unconscious way. Yeah, couldn't have known that was gonna show up. So it's getting really curious about how you feel doing the day to day things in life and using that as another part of the unfolding to make the adjustments that feel like for you. I love that cuz I think I mean, you have so many questions now you've said so many things. But thank you for sharing all that. Because I do think that that's the part that maybe we don't hear as much about in these documentaries and stuff is these these other shifts and awarenesses. And like you said, even just with the coffee realizing like oh, okay, it's about the way I'm treating myself as part of this consumption and not maybe about the coffee itself. What just to go back a little bit when you're in that evening before period and you're setting the intentions, what are some of the types of intentions that people might have or choose? Yeah, so prior, we have been in conversations about this. So it really depends on the individual. I have somebody that I'm going to be working with very soon and the initial desire to come
do this was to process trauma that has happened and really work through these incidents in their life. But through the preparation process, we've learned that and they have done therapy for years to try and understand it and re cycle all of the experiences. And what we've come to is the intention is to
find out what authenticity means for this person, how to be more authentic within themselves, because so much of the experiences they've had were a byproduct of not being authentic for themselves. And part of that was because of what we talked about before, for example, the conditioning of how you're supposed to show up in this world. And those things kept the authenticity from being a focus, and it's okay not to know, you know, it's okay to say I don't even know who my authentic self is. And so then it becomes a really like rich area of exploration to go in with an intention of I want to know my authenticity. So that would be one example.
Often common examples would be something like, diminishing anxiety, for example.
And often, those sorts of experiences need to be more filtered, like getting specific with your intention is like, what are the catalysts for me experiencing anxiety in this world, and often the specificity to that can allow the medicine to meet you wherever you're at. And often the answers you get are very unexpected from what you would have thought they would be. So with the intentions, it, it really is part of the preparation process to hone in through the conversations to what would be the best intentions to start with. And the other that I always invite for people is to trust that the medicine will help whatever is ready to be seen to show up. And so that's part of, you know, yes, I have it feeling like I have a little bit of control by having my intentions and also to surrender to the fact that I don't know what I don't know. And I'm curious to get to know that too. Well, and I mean, it sounds like you and I talked previously about like how much overlap there isn't our work. But sometimes, with my work, sometimes what we think we want or need is not actually the thing, you know, it's something that our ego or our conscious mind is creating. But what we actually need or want, or the best and highest for us is something totally different. Maybe adjacent and maybe not. So I love that you have that space in there for that. Yeah, yeah, it's I think it's more common than not the, if we knew what we needed, we would do it to be able to offer it to ourselves. And one of the ways that I describe this work, especially using the therapeutic context as another framework is you go to therapy, and you think you know what the problem is, so you turn the flashlight on that. And it can often shed some light into a specific area of focus, but maybe you're shedding a light on the wrong place. And there's so much more that may be around that that we're not looking at. And so I tend to find psychedelics are like turning on the all the lights in the garage, right, or all the lights in the attic, where you're able to sift through the stuff that you haven't been looking at, and see how interconnected maybe the thing is, to the light that you've been shining, but you were just outside the scope. And so what is really neat to witness is that often the answers are so clear and simple, and you knew them somewhere inside of yourself. It's just there was something that got in the way of you trusting that you had that, you know, that inner wisdom to tap into. makes so much sense. I feel like one of the questions I need to ask you just because I think this is the thing a lot of people are curious about is when they're in the process of like they've taken the medicine and then they're, you know, they're their bodies processing the medicine and they're going to enter into the journey. Part of it, like the actual experience when they're on the psychedelics. I don't know, the best way to say it, but you know,
what are some of the ways like what are some of the things that can happen in there? What are some of the ways that looks for different people? Great question. I don't, I guess maybe I'll try and bucket this. Okay. Okay. So there are the still people who are just almost in a cocoon with themself and they will be there for as long as they need to. I've had people just be in their own inner landscape for six to eight hours. There are the somatic journeys, which can be really powerful because of how much we hold in our nervous system.
where you're literally moving energy through your body, or you're tapping into a part of yourself meaning like, sometimes people can have like handshake or leg shake. And that's just energy moving at times that can correlate to a memory coming up that you had unprocessed trauma from, and being able to move that through your nervous system can also show up, you know, by way of being able to stretch and move and find out where you're holding different things in your body.
For other people, they can have very verbal journeys, where they're just in this state of communicating what they're experiencing. And it's sometimes in the nature of talking through it with, with me in the space, or at times, just talking it out loud. And then there can be the very, like spiritual journeys, the we're outside of ourself, you know, we have tapped into another planar dimension. And those I would say, are four of the very common how they show up is different for everybody, you know, there, but those are, and they can oscillate between the two, there can literally be chapters of silence, and then chapters of talking and chapters of movement. But those are often the ways that you'll flow in and out of the medicine work. And most of what I'm saying here is orienting to
psilocybin, but MDMA tends to be more verbal, and also really supportive of moving energy through the nervous system. So it's kind of bucketing them into two different types of journeys. And honestly, if you think you know, what kind of journey you're gonna have, chances are, it's kind of like thinking we know what we need that it might be very different from that.
And do you find that like, if someone? Well, first, I guess I should ask, Do people have more than one journey? Like, is it common for people to come back and read journey? Yeah. It's, it is not uncommon at all. And it's often a conversation, it's almost like you, you have this new awareness, and you work through this layer of what showed up. And each journey often starts off where the last one ended. And you can go deeper and deeper, and I really encourage people to build a toolkit for themselves have different ways of expanding their state of consciousness, plant medicines, and psychedelics happen to be one fasttrack way.
Meditation is a wonderful way to stay in connection. For other people it is, you know, working with being in nature, you know, just going and being in nature can be very expansive. So it's, it's building a toolkit and trusting yourself to know what's right, and then having, having people in your life that can help guide you. So I'll use myself as an example for this.
There, there's almost like a drum in my body that starts beating when it's time for me to do a journey. And I sit with that, and I really inquire what kind of journey is going to be nourishing for where I'm at in my life. And from there, then I see what doors open. So for some people, it's working with the same facilitator over and over again, for me, it's often like, what is what is the full? Yes, that has presented itself because we're presented with so many options and opportunities that it can get diluted by trying to rationally think what's the right one? And for me, it's like, okay, this is just a full yes, there's no hesitation, there's no question the time is right, and then moving forward in that direction. And I feel like you and I probably both believe that, you know, when the student is ready, the different versions of teachers, whether it's a person or an experience, or you know, will rise up and present themselves for us.
You mentioned that part of what you do in the pre processing is, let them know, you know, some potential things that can happen and some tools, can you talk that kind of like stuck out for me? Can you talk a little bit more about that? Yeah, for sure.
Part of it is really helping them understand what can happen.
I'll back up a little bit. For one, we're humans that have expectations. And even if one says, I don't have expectations, I think we know what our core that's not true. And so especially if someone does not have experience with this, I will say it's normal to have expectations. But one of the most common things I hear after people have these journeys is that's not what I expected. In fact, the most common thing that I hear, and so it's just a funny reminder that we can't know what to expect. So the more you can surrender to whatever shows up, then that's going to be very liberating for you to just be with whatever it is, and then the next
next tool that I encourage people to really use as an ally is curiosity. That's one of the most wonderful things you can bring into these journeys, no matter what shows up, just get curious about it, and get curious about why it's showing up and what you can learn from it. And I think that's applicable in life, in general, but in particular, in this sort of work, because things can show up that can sometimes be out of left field for what you thought might show up. And there's a lesson there maybe a lesson for how it has impacted who you are today, and just really approaching whatever it may be, but that state of curiosity and openness to receive.
And another that I tend to find people find surprising is that you can have conversations with whatever consciousness is present, you know, whether you want to call it the mushrooms or soul or whatever, you can ask it questions. And you might not get the answer in the form that you want. But it can be really amusing to have this experience where you ask a question, you receive an answer. And so an example would be
one of the most famous researchers rolling Griffith, who has pioneered a lot of what you're seeing now in research studies was recently diagnosed with stage four cancer. And he had never previously talked about doing any psychedelics. And because he's now in a terminal state, he has been open talking about his own personal use. And he mentioned in particular, one journey that he went into, because we're now using this for terminal diagnosis and palliative care is an area of study is he went in, he asked, Is this how I'm going to die? Oh, wow. And he got an answer that allowed him to live his life in a more peaceful way. And so it's questions like that, that you can have is maybe a specific intention for certain journeys, you're not always guaranteed to get the answer that you think you're gonna get. But you can ask. So that I think is another thing that is a wonderful tool to know you can take into this. Yeah, I think that's an amazing tool, I wouldn't have considered that. I have to ask, I feel like this is maybe a juvenile question. But is it ever scary in there? Yes.
I would be absolutely lying. If I said that it is it isn't at times terrifying.
But there is often the most rich experience at the end of quote, unquote, difficult journeys for people because they are working through some of the things that have held them back in life in ways that they weren't even aware were working. So an example would be I recently worked with somebody, and they literally spent their entire journey with their fear. Like their fear, the entire journey was about facing their fear. And what was interesting is that was one of their intentions, it was specific, and they couldn't have realized that they were going to go into six hours of sitting with fear. Yeah, but they got an opportunity to see how fear was showing up in their relationships in their creativity and their desire to move forward and different business ventures. And so now fear, and they literally were able to feel how fear was wrapped around their entire nervous system, and start to unwind that experience for themselves. So yeah, not only can it be scary, it can be sitting with challenging emotions. And that's often what we're here to do. Yeah. I mean, that's a good point. On the other side of it with that example that you just gave with the fear. Is it something where now this this person is more conscious as they move through their life? And can I don't know, make friends with their fear and and see it as a support or inhibitor or whatever it might be in that case? Yeah, I know, for them, it's really become a place where they can see when it starts showing up in life more clearly and understand that it is a function of things that have they have experienced at different times the fear is not present day. That fear is a mechanism of often things that happened in their childhood that show up in certain situations, and they go into a fear response, which for them is avoidance. And so to be able to understand that this avoidant personality is showing up as a byproduct of fear, that is from a younger time, they can now face it and see it as a learning tool. Like how do I want to show up as myself now? And it's also given them tremendous liberation to start building a toolkit of things that help them to navigate their nervous system like they are now a student of their nervous system. And so as much as it was something that was terrifying, and this is would be an example of someone that has done
Are several journeys and like they were they've gone from their first to where they've gone from their third and how they navigate in the life, they would never have thought when they first started this, this is where they would be or this is what they would be doing. But it was because all of these portals within themselves have opened up. So it's not that fear goes away. It's not that anxiety goes away. That's something I think I really want to make clear for people coming into this is like, I have seen so many people say, if you can just make my depression go away, I would cut off a finger if I never felt depression again. And that's not realistic, because these are all parts of ourselves. So how can we orient to being a more whole version instead of having these parts that are being shunned? Often, like I don't, your bad, I don't want to feel you. And then really welcoming them in such a way where they don't need to lash out and and be seen, and then form a new relationship with it, where it's not as scary, you know, how, how do you befriend fear, so that it can be an ally instead of an adversary. And the container of these spaces is a place that is often very supportive to create that new relationship. I love that. I mean, I feel like there's so much in what you said, if someone is I know that you support them and keep an eye on them and facilitate and are taking copious notes. If you recognize that they're in a fear based experience, is there something that they can do inside the experience? And is there something you can do from outside the experience? Yeah, so
there, there are many breathing techniques that you can do, that can help. But whether you're able to tap into that, in that state is a different story. We do talk about those beforehand. And another thing that we talked about in the evening before is if it ever gets too hard, we can get you out, okay, all you have to do is let me know, we can get you out. So it's a reminder that we came here to do this work, but it doesn't have to stay hard, it doesn't have to stay heavy, you know, it can be as simple as changing the environment that you're in, you know, taking off the eyeshades changing the music and engaging with me for a little while. And grounding, putting your feet on the ground. There's lots of ways that you can come in and out of the challenging experiences. And so that is part of the preparation in the evening before so that people know that. Like, if it gets hard and it gets scary. That's okay. That's why I'm here. And I got you, you know, there's lots of ways that we can change that. And also, if it is getting hard and scary.
Can you be with it, and be curious about it for a little while and just breathe through it and see what it has to teach you. So those are it's it's really an end? Yes, sometimes it can get really challenging. And I can honestly say that people that have had some of the most challenging journeys have also had some of the biggest transformations because of that, to be accents. I mean, just because all growth happens outside the comfort zone. And that seems like it'd be very outside the comfort zone. But I love I thank you so much for sharing and accepting that is so comforting, you know, thinking about going into a journey like this. I'm like, okay, yes, all these tools, yes, you know, we can ask questions and be curious. But also side note, like, you could just leave if you'd like there is an exit strategy here. And that's what makes it so profound.
to have you as a supporter through the journey, because I feel like that's, I don't know, for me personally, I think that's the thing that's always made me a little hesitant about
experience and things in a non therapeutic setting is like, no, I need a person who
can be like, hold the staff and be the guide here. You know, in case something goes awry, or in case the human in me starts panicking about what I'm experiencing that can maybe Usher me through some tools or an exit. You know what I mean? Oh, yeah, yeah, it makes all the sense in the world that we want to feel safe. We want to feel like we're going to be taken care of. And there's plenty of reasons why. There's a lot of stigma around this work. And I think we're in the process of working through a lot of stigmas in general. So just to know, I feel as though for me, I feel like I can face a whole lot more if I feel like I'm in the presence of somebody that can at least be with me in that moment without judging me and just giving me love and compassion and support. That's that that goes a long ways. So that's part of what I hope to provide for anyone that feels that this is a path that's calling to them. When it's I guess full circle back to the way that you describe the work is creating this container for more self love, more self compassion, more understanding of
The core of us without all of the complications that we experienced in our journey in the world, right? Yeah, and I left. And the other thing I want to impart is I, I want to make this a very co creative process. Yeah. And that's part of what makes it liberating, you know, is to really encourage someone to tap into what's going to be supportive for them throughout this and use that as part of the empowerment of it, and say, I want to create with what I know, and I want to co create with someone based on what they know about themselves. And that, to me, makes it really interesting to participate in what is so fascinating, too, is I feel like So of the people that I have
had inquiries recently about the type of work that you do, because it's not uncommon for people to just assume that I would know things about this evening.
I feel like the two I don't know, buckets that are rising up as like primary are people either wanting to have the spiritual experience, you know, chapter that you described, or people who are in grief wanting some? I don't even if it's comfort, or clarity, or understanding or healing or a little bit of all of that. Do you? I don't know, how have you worked with people who are in grief from loss of a loved one, or or huge life transition? And and what do you see on the other side for them? Yeah, it's a beautiful question.
I have recently been in my own grief of losing a pet and make grief. Thank you. Yeah, it's I totally grief is such a deep emotion. And I think it's a wonderful portal. And I have worked with several people who have navigated.
I think that transition of losing happens in a lot of different ways, whether it is losing a loved one,
a professional transition, empty nesting. And one of the things that I find, is there is this wanting to come to terms with it, and then also identifying with Who am I now? Yeah, because there's often part of yourself that has identified with whatever you're losing. And so I think it's using it as multifold is like this thing happened? And how, what ways can one come to peace with that, and I've seen that show up in journeys where they have been visited by loved ones, or have been able to really have a new way of looking at that loss, with a different level of compassion and understanding that allows for more freedom of not moving away from it, but just being with it kind of like being with other challenging emotions, how can I be with my grief in a way that makes it something that is more of an ally. And so there is that piece, and then often, when that relationship is there, where you can be with the grief in a different way, then it also opens up the exploring what the next chapter is, like, without that part of your life that is in the same physical presence as it was before. And so I think those two work hand in hand in this work is, is really processing that emotion in a way that is supportive, and also using it as a portal to moving through life in a new in a new way. I think that's so profound what you said, Because kind of similar to what you said earlier about the person who said, If you could just take my depression away, you know, these emotions will be part of us and part of the fiber of who we are going forward. Because like you said, it's something that did happen. It was real experience, and how do we, I noticed that especially with people who are grieving the loss of a loved one, many people seem to struggle or there's a lot of resistant feelings around the term moving forward. So I've kind of learned I don't love that term, because it's just like continuing on, right? It's not necessarily moving forward somehow, I don't know gives the feeling that like, we're gonna have to, like leave this person behind or this relationship behind. But it sounds like the way you're saying it, it really is a way of integrating all of these things that are happening and potentially having new ways of understanding, you know, either the connection or the emotions or, or what can be as a next chapter or next phase. Yeah, yeah. And just even hearing you use the word integrating. I think that's why it's such a common term in this is like, here's the experience that you had, how do we integrate it into our life and make it transformational? So I really appreciate you and the language you use and that I think grief applies very deeply to it, and I know that you
I work with a lot of people in navigating that. So
I think it's really beautiful to be able to bring awareness to the fact that the idea of grief going away is actually not necessarily honoring how beautiful and emotion it is. Because grief is, at least in my experience, and I love when I hear other people reflect is like grief really is an emotion that shows us what's a deeply of value to us. And if there's a capacity to be with it, and again, see like, what is this teaching me like? What am I what am I really like grieving at a deep level, and then being able to honor those things within and not move forward, but move with? Yeah, I love that. That's so beautiful. If someone I'm of course, gonna link your website, and all the things in the show notes, but if someone is feeling
maybe more safe and more interested in this journey, after our conversation, what would be the best next steps for someone to either get in contact with you or to find a facilitator? That would be the best for them? Yeah. So
if they want to get in contact with me, my website is journey into psychedelics.com. And that is going to be a place where they can schedule to just have a conversation. I'm happy to support people if they would like support finding another individual. I'm trying to put together actually a YouTube video now about how to find a facilitator because I think now that's like a big question. It's not done yet, but I'm happy to share it when when it is. Yeah. And for people who are curious, I would say find your local psychedelic society. That's a wonderful way. Ask people who, you know, that have worked with a facilitator, if you know anyone, that can be a lovely source of referrals. And there are now websites that can support it. So there's things like cyclable, or psychedelic passages, or mushroom Tao, and those are places that actually have facilitator listings, okay, and they're often by states. So there are now you have the ability to be able to find folks in that way, which I think is really wonderful. And then from there, I would just encourage those that are seeking to really look for resonance with a facilitator and not necessarily use geography as a barrier, but really look for the right fit. You read my mind, that was gonna be my next question you, like me are local here in San Diego. So I know a lot of our listenership is is based here. But if someone lived somewhere else, and they really just felt drawn to you, as a facilitator, do you ever have people that will do the initial like you said, Zoom conversations and preparation and then come to town for that 40 hour experience? Yeah, it's not uncommon at all. And we talk about how that can look and how I can support I commit myself to, I work with no more than three people a month, because it allows me to fully commit to those three individuals and their schedules and their needs. So it is really curated in such a way where there isn't going to be a barrier between me being able to support the journey in whatever ways necessary. I love that I cannot believe we've already been talking for an hour, I've talked to you for 10 hours. And I, I really will be hoping and bugging you to come back and chat with us again. Are you gonna transition now?
Around which I feel like I just have so many more questions and want to know so much more about this. But I do think it's maybe one of those things that also needs to be experienced to, to like, make the answers make sense. Like mediumship. Right. Tell people like I totally explain it to you. But until you had an experience that's, you know, similar to what you said, it's probably different than what you might think it's going to be based on what you've seen in movies. Totally. Yeah, it's what makes it magical. And the the word that's used is ineffable. Like there isn't necessarily the language to be able to describe it that does justice for the experienced girl I complain about that constantly hear like, language is not exactly close, but not it is not a Oh, so yeah, well, I am going to shift gears in a very awkward fashion as is me. So here are the spirit speed round for question. And I use the word speed loosely so
don't feel pressured to answer them quickly.
I would love it if you would share one thing that really shocked you or was unexpected about your journey is with a medicine.
That was never a point in my life where I thought that I would be having a conversation like this did when I was growing up. There was no like, I'm going to be a psychedelic guide. So I think that was probably
The biggest thing is like, oh my gosh, this is my life, no pinch meat. So
I mean that Yeah, that's probably pretty shocking. If you got to spend a day in the spirit world, you got the full tour, you got to spend time with everyone that you've ever known who's now crossed over. And it's almost time to return to your life. And your guide tells you, you have one hour left, and you can spend it with anyone who's on the other side, who do you choose and why
it would be my grandma. She is the person I called my angel and I did not have the chance to say goodbye in the physical form. So it's not that I have not done that in the spiritual realm. But I would that would be my that would be the our, I love that. I want that for you. Even though we have spiritual gifts, we have very human lives. What's one quirky thing about you that people might be surprised to learn? Ooh, quirky thing about, so I love sitting in the middle seat on airplanes.
I call it middle seating. It's like a life thing that I love to do is like, I don't mind sitting there, I don't take up much space. And I know that it makes other people happy not to have to sit there. And then it gives me the opportunity to meet two new people instead of just one. So it's just kind of become a life thing that brings me joy. I love that is maybe one of the most unique answers I've ever heard I love
I'm gonna have to, I'm gonna have to consider that.
Leave us with a pearl of wisdom. What's one piece of advice that you wish that you had? Early on in your understanding of the way this medicine works? Or what it can do for people?
The I can feel myself activating just with this question. To me, this all comes down to self love. And we have looked at love as this conditional external relationship. And when you can cultivate a relationship with love within oneself, just like genuine,
unconditional love, it changes everything about the way that you show up in the world and the way the world shows up for you.
That's beautiful. And I do feel like I haven't really looked into tons of facilitators. But with all the nerdy research that I have done, I don't feel like that's everyone's approach. So I think it is really special and unique to you. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for sharing your light with us today. Thank you for having me, this has been a real joy. And I'm grateful for you being in the capacity to make space for this. Well, we will hold you to another conversation, then I look forward to it.
Wow, what a conversation that was. So I don't know touching. So deep, so much information that Brenna was able to share with us. If you are curious about her work, her website has a lot of information on it. I will link it in the show notes. But you can find her www. journey into psychedelics.com. Again, I'll link it in the show notes along with her name, so you can find her work. Hopefully, this answered lots of the basic questions that you have. It certainly answered a lot of questions for me about what can happen and the experiences. I mean, I know we see what we see in movies, and we hear people share stories. But really to get the true answers from such an experienced facilitator. I feel so grateful and lucky that Brenda was willing able to share all of this information with us today. Hopefully, you learned a little something. And maybe it opened your mind just a little bit to what is possible. And even if this doesn't feel like the right thing for you on your journey. At this point. I think it's fascinating to get to ask questions from an actual facilitator, rather than I don't know maybe the sensationalized view that we get just to have a different perspective of how profound it could be when it's used in a therapeutic way. And I have to say I just love that she has also is also co founder of epic, which is the ethical psychedelics international community, because I feel like you know if this is going to be a true medicine, and it is helping people to process and come to all of these recognitions and come to self love, like she was saying, I think it's great to have standards, right. And it's one of my favorite things about getting to chat with Brenna is that she comes from such a place of integrity and compassion and like she said, she's a nurturer and sees herself as a guide in this facilitation. So thanks for being here with me today. I am always grateful to have you with me inside the Spirit Speakeasy and hopefully you have learned a little something and
are feeling like you know a little bit more about psychedelics in a therapeutic way and I'm grateful to have you with me as always so big hugs bye for now from inside Spirit Speakeasy