Unleash the Beast: The Role of Somatics in Psychedelic Experience


Episode 181

John Wood

John Wood, founder of Rageheart, joins Paul F. Austin to explore the nature of somatic release in psychedelic experiences.

John Wood is the founder of Rageheart, an edgy, new online school that teaches people how to navigate and integrate their psychedelic journeys without traditional tools like meditation, breathwork, or $49 Moleskin journals.

Wood started the company when he noticed how many people struggled with psychedelics. Whether it was staying calm during the experience or integrating lessons afterwards, Wood wanted to give people better tools because, in his opinion, the classic tools everyone recommends are disappointing at best and downright dangerous at worst.

Wood is an entrepreneur and long-term traveler, having lived, worked, and traveled through 20+ countries over the last 10 years. He’s currently based in the mountains of Peru, where he rides his motorbike, trains Jiu Jitsu, and eats way too many people-shaped rainbow donuts at his local café.

Podcast Highlights

  • John’s motorcycling and “hikeadelic” adventures while living in Thailand.
  • Early explorations of psychedelics, breathwork, and somatics.
  • John’s experiences with manipulative psychedelic guides.
  • John’s life-learned lessons on listening to gut feelings and making space for healthy aggression.
  • How John came to synthesize psychedelics with somatics.
  • How John sees the role of somatic release in plant-medicine experiences.
  • How to use somatic tools, like those taught at Rageheart, and integrate them into everyday life.

This episode is brought to you by Magi Ancestral Supplements! Among Magi’s beta-Carboline nootropics is my personal favorite minidose, Stard Deep Meditation Aid which has been shown by brain scans to help you achieve a deeper state of meditation.

Right now Magi Ancestral Supplements is offering 10% off for listeners of the Third Wave Podcast with coupon code paul10.  Visit ancestralmagi.com to learn more about Stard and their other cognitive-enhancing nootropics.

This episode is brought to you by Apollo Neuro, the first scientifically validated wearable that actively improves your body’s resilience to stress. Apollo engages with your sense of touch to deliver soothing vibrations that signal safety to the brain. Clinically proven to improve heart rate variability, it can actually enhance the outcomes of your other efforts like deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and plant medicine. Apollo was developed by a friend of Third Wave, Dr. David Rabin M.D Ph.D., a neuroscientist and board-certified psychiatrist who has been studying the impact of chronic stress in humans for nearly 15 years. Third Wave listeners get 15% off—just use this link.

Podcast Transcript

0:00:00.1 Paul Austin: Welcome back to The Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave. Today, I am speaking with John Wood, the founder of Rageheart.

0:00:07.6 John Wood: The autonomic nervous system, which is where all these is held, runs the skin, the breathing, all kinds of different important functions in the body, so if you jam that up with a bunch of stress from years, decades gone by, it doesn't work so well. So you have a racing mind, you start to have skin problems, digestive problems, autoimmune disorders, it causes all kinds of things, so it's really not just about the mind, there's a lot of physical stuff that happens too. So the way of working of say working, somatically, is we can start to work directly with the nervous system instead of journaling about it what happened to us or talking to a therapist about what happened to us, we'll just try not to think about it, which some meditation techniques teach. It's okay, how do we build capacity in the nervous system, so that these old charges, this old survival stress that's stuck and hidden, and I would say frozen can start to come up and release?

0:00:56.1 PA: Welcome to the Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave, audio mycelium, connecting you to the luminaries and thought leaders of the psychedelic renaissance. We bring you illuminating conversations with scientists, therapists, entrepreneurs, coaches, doctors, and shamanic practitioners, exploring how we can best use psychedelic medicine to accelerate personal healing, peak performance and collective transformation.


0:01:31.7 PA: Hey listeners, I'm so excited to have John Wood on the podcast today. I know John from my days back in Chiang Mai, Thailand many, many years ago. He's a copywriter, an internet marketer, and now a somatic healer. About a year or so ago, he moved to the Sacred Valley in Peru and started working extensively with plant medicine, Ayahuasca, Huachuma, and through his work with plant medicine and also his background in somatic experiencing. He has developed a novel way to unleash the beast, so to say, to tap into that wild side, to allow for it to unfold and to actually leverage the shadow that comes up for creativity, leadership, purpose, awareness, etcetera, etcetera. So we talk a lot about John's journey coming into this. We talk about how he was manipulated and brain-washed by a couple of healers in Thailand, which is going to be a really good sort of warning story for how we vet people who we're letting into our lives when we work with psychedelics.

0:02:36.7 PA: And then we talk about the process that he has created and that he's starting to amplify through an online course that he's put together. So key highlights and takeaways are going to be around what is the role of somatics when working with plant medicine? How do we allow for the deepest parts of ourselves to emerge without them overtaking our nervous system, we talk about vetting, guides, therapists. How do we cultivate trust, especially when we're working with boundary dissolving substances? All in all, a phenomenal conversation. John and I have had many, many, many conversations prior to this, and so this is just sort of another evolution of our relationship. I think you'll really, really enjoy this podcast. But before we dive into today's episode, a word from our sponsors.

0:03:27.5 PA: This episode is brought you by Magi Ancestral Supplements. Those of you who follow Third Wave know that I believe good sleep and meditation are core pillars of developing empathy and compassion with intention. And like many of you, I struggle with both. And that's why I love Magi, who's made the world's first beta-Carboline based supplement in support of healthy sleep and deep meditation. What are beta-Carbolines? They're an overlooked class of compounds in the world of psychedelics that are often overshadowed by tryptamines and phenethylamines. Usually they're thought of as just a component of ayahuasca that makes DMT orally active, but they're so much more than that. These have a rich plant medicine tradition for thousands of years in ancient Iran, where they were consumed in ritual ceremonies for meditative insights. They're produced endogenously in the brain, and beta-Carbolines possess a wealth of cognitive health benefits, ranging from anti-inflammatory and stress relief to neuro protection and neurogenesis.

0:04:24.5 PA: The team of chemists, pharmacologists and neuroscientists at Magi Ancestral Supplements have crafted a line of microdose and mini dose nootropics derived from beta-Carbolines using their patented plaque extraction technology. My favorite is their Stard deep meditation supplement, which I take 15 minutes before meditating, and it helps me to reach a deep trance state of meditation where an hour passes by like nothing, with none of the usual fidgeting anxious distractions or wandering that my monkey brain is prone to do. For me, I've even found supplementation with it to combine well with other traditional microdosing protocols like LSD or psilocybin. For a limited time Magi Ancestral Supplements is giving listeners of The Psychedelic Podcast a special 10% discount for any order on their website, visit ancestralmagi.com, one word that's ancestralmagi M-A-G-I dot com to view their product line and enter the coupon code PAUL10. PAUL10, to get a 10% off, they currently ship within both the US and Puerto Rico, and give these a try to take your meditation to the next level, that's ancestralmagi M-A-G-I dot com, coupon code PAUL10.

Hey, listeners. Today's podcast is brought to you by the Apollo wearable. I first started wearing the Apollo in the midst of the COVID quarantine over two years ago. It helped my body to regulate itself, to calm down, to stay more focused, and to meditate in the morning. And I use it to really regulate my nervous system in a time of incredible stress, and I've continued to use it on a day-to-day basis. It is indispensable in my daily routine. Here's the thing. The Apollo is a wearable that improves your body's resilience to stress by helping you to sleep better, stay calm, and stay more focused. Developed by neuroscientists and physicians, the Apollo wearable delivers gentle soothing vibrations that condition your nervous system to recover and rebalance after stress. I tell folks that it's like a microdose on your wrist that helps you to feel more present and connected, especially when in the midst of a psychedelic experience. It's a phenomenal compliment to any psychedelic experience.

In fact, Apollo is currently running an IRB-approved clinical trial in conjunction with MAPS to understand the long-term efficacy of the Apollo wearable with PTSD patients who have undergone MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. The Apollo wearable is the only technology with an issued patent to reduce unpleasant and undesirable experiences associated with medicine-assisted therapy, including psychedelics and traditional medicine. And you can save $50 on the Apollo wearable by visiting apolloneuro.com/thirdwave. That's apolloneuro.com/thirdwave.

Alright, that's it for now. Let's dive into this episode. I hope you enjoy my conversation with John Wood.

0:07:31.4 PA: We met, how many years ago now? Seven, eight? Almost eight years ago. Christmas in Pai, right? Christmas at Pai.

0:07:40.0 JW: It was Christmas in Pai the first time.

0:07:43.9 PA: 2014.

0:07:44.9 JW: 2014.

0:07:46.9 PA: We're now recording this December 14th, 2022.

0:07:51.4 JW: Eight years. Well, there we go. Yeah. Eight years. Right on eight years.

0:07:55.1 PA: Who was John Eight years ago? Bring us a little bit into why you found yourself in Chiang Mai, or what had brought you there, maybe what you found to be exciting and interesting at that point in your life, I think that would be a good context to start with.

0:08:12.3 JW: Yeah. Well, I was living... Well, originally from Sydney, Australia, read The 4-Hour Workweek somewhere along the way, and knew I didn't wanna go to college, or a university or have the normal, "normal life" and eventually found an internship in the Philippines working for a couple beach resorts there, a couple different resorts doing their marketing and in exchange for food and board and that kind of a thing. So I went there, I lived there for a year. Following that, I went to Thailand for a conference, DC Bangkok, which we've both been a part of, and then after that it was, where do I go next? Do I go back to Australia? Do I go somewhere? And a whole bunch of people were going up to Chiang Mai, which is an hour north of Bangkok on the plane. So I went to Chiang Mai, got a little studio apartment, settled in, and I spent most of the last 10 years there, and I was there for two or three years and 24. So that was 2012, I think was when that first DC Bangkok was. I was in Chiang Mai at the end of 2012. And then we met, I guess in Christmas 2014, so two years later.

0:09:20.7 JW: So as for what I was all about back then, man, it was all business. It was all, let's try and make money. Let's create freedom. Let's go in motorbike rides. One of the things that I loved about Chiang Mai was the motorbikes. So we'd go and get a bunch of big bikes, 500s, 700s, and just go off roaming around the mountains for a whole weekend doing some stupid things at times, seeing how fast we could go, just because why not? I remember one friend I was with, we both know him, I don't know if I should say his name on a big public podcast like this though, but he accidentally did a wheelie. You probably know who I'm talking about. He accidentally did a wheelie across an intersection, 'cause we were just sitting there being dicks, revving our motorbikes to see who has a loudest bike. So stupid. And then he happened to let the clutch out, I think, by accident. So he's front wheel pops up and he's up and down, up and down, up and down and he kind of curves away and goes into oncoming traffic and luckily ends up going between the median strip and a truck. And by this point, we've all got adrenaline pumping 'cause we thought he was about to die, and anyway, that was just one random thing that happened on our motorbike adventures. But Chiang Mai, you've got mountains, you got waterfalls and plenty of times relating to psychedelics, we would go and do a...

0:10:43.6 JW: We used to call them hikeadelics. Me and some friends we would go and meet up at 8:00 AM on a Saturday, get some LSD or some mushrooms and just go hiking up into the mountains. And the cool thing about Chiang Mai is you've got Doi Suthep as the main mountain, the mountain that the town is next to, and we just hike up. We would take our mushrooms or LSD, we would hike up and have some adventure, and then we'd come back whenever the sun started going down and it seemed like time to go home, we would start walking down. And sometimes that went smoothly, 'cause we found a trail and we got down before it was dark, and other times we would end up in the most random places, the back of someone's farm way on top of the mountain, and the sun's just dropped below the horizon and we still gotta go another few miles to get down to the town. So good times.

0:11:34.3 PA: Chiang Mai. What did you like in Chiang Mai?

0:11:39.2 JW: When I moved to Chiang Mai in 2014, I had just launched a teaching English business, like the website had just gotten up. I shot a lot of videos, I was teaching quite a bit and coaching people quite a bit. I loved how inexpensive it was, I think my apartment was $150 a month. And I could go across the street, and I think it was 30 Baht to get chicken curry and then each egg was five Baht. And I think at that point it was 30 Baht to a dollar, maybe something like that. So just like, you get lunch for a buck 50. CrossFit gym was right down the road, so this is also around the same time that I started microdosing LSD, so I would take a microdose, hop on the motorbike and go to CrossFit at the end of the day. And then the community of people, the group of folks that we ended up getting to know and hanging out with and spending time with, there were a lot of good folks there, and it was really the start of my entrepreneurial journey, and even around the time that I started to microdose and think about Third Wave and sort of it was at the genesis of all of that. It was never going to be a place...

0:12:52.3 JW: I know there are still friends of ours or people that we know who are still in Bangkok, or maybe still in Chiang Mai, it was never gonna be a place for the long term, it really just felt like a temporary launching pad. But I'm really grateful that I ended up spending time there, living there, it made it easy to be an entrepreneur and not have the overwhelming stress of finances knocking at my door, which then allowed me to do things and create things that weren't immediately driven by finances, but had a much more long-term vision of what it is that wanted to be created.

0:13:29.0 PA: When did you find yourself sort of wanting something else? So you're spending a lot of time in Asia and the Philippines and Chiang Mai. At that point in time, you were doing quite a bit of copy writing, email copy writing in particular, and now you live in the... Okay, so just as a contextual polarization, where do you live now? And what are you doing now in 2022? And kind of track for us how you went from being an email copy writer living on beach resorts in Asia to doing deep medicine work in the Sacred Valley in Peru.


0:14:09.4 PA: Pretty standard.

0:14:10.8 JW: So you gave it away, I'm in the Sacred Valley in Peru, about an hour and a half from Cusco. But there's actually some crazy protest going on at the moment. I'm meant to be flying on Saturday to the beach, but all the roads to Cusco are shut down.

0:14:25.5 PA: Yeah, the protests has been...

0:14:25.6 PA: Protests around because of the corruption, the government corruption recently.

0:14:30.7 JW: I don't really follow politics too much. I read a few articles and it's something to do with the old President was impeached.

0:14:34.4 PA: The Prime Minister.

0:14:35.3 JW: Tried some stuff, and then there's a new one in and this old supporters of the old one and blah, blah, blah. Good old politics. So, but anyway, what they do here is they put rocks and trees across the road to stop you driving, and if I go out on my motorbike to try and get to the airport, they'll probably throw rocks at me. [laughter] So that's what's going on in Peru right now. So I'm in the Sacred Valley living with... I'm actually with my sister, Ellie, and we live down the road from the retreat center where we've been drinking Ayahuasca, San Pedro as well around the corner. I've been doing Jujitsu while I've been here, but really it's been a... We came here, I came here to, like you said, to do some deep medicine, or to get further into psychedelics and plant medicine. But as for how that happened, how do you go from, like you said, living on the beach in Asia to living in Peru, drinking ayahuasca semi regularly. It depends how many details you want.

0:15:36.4 JW: So in Thailand, I actually started dating a girl in Thailand around 2016.

0:15:38.3 PA: The more details, the better. I think at this point, the more details the better.

0:15:42.0 JW: More interesting that way. Yeah, yeah, so I think it was around 2016, I started dating this chick, we're no longer together, but a really amazing girl. And we started doing... We started smoking a lot of weed together, that was the one thing we did, MDMA, LSD doing different things like that, exploring these different things, and sort of while doing that, I'd be... I got into a book called I think The presence Process, which is just about breathing, staying very present with your breath and then allowing emotions to flow through you. And so and that opened up and things in me that I hadn't previously been aware of. It is a very complicated book to be honest, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone these days, but it kinda got me into this idea of there's things that we're carrying in our body, in our system that are holding us back, and it's not by thinking about it, it's by breathing and feeling that things start to shift. And so I started using some of these techniques with psychedelics somewhere along the way, I think it was 2018. I took a meditation technique, and we were in the place called the canyon, I think in Pai with my girlfriend at the time, it took a couple of tabs of acid and I started playing with this technique, and something like for the first time I've had what I would call a spiritual experience where it's like the mind just completely fell away.

0:16:58.5 JW: It was the first time I had had one of those openings, and it was... It's like I had some kind of Spidey sense that there was something there, that's why I was playing with that technique in the first place, but then to do it with a psychedelic was pretty, and to have that thing open up blew by mind at the time. And then it happened, I think, again, a month or two later with mushrooms. Similar, different, but similar at the same time too. A lot of it revolved around the mind falling away and then an experience of reality beyond concepts, which to someone who's never had that, it probably doesn't make any sense to someone who has, they're gonna get it straight away. But it's something that I think a very common, not a bad common, but it's certainly a thing that happens with people with psychedelics. So this started to happen and it's like I'm starting to become aware that there was a whole reality that I... Up until that point, I hadn't been aware of because my mind had gotten in the way. And I'd finish those experiences and come out of them, and the window would close up. I'd come back to my day-to-day normal reality, but what it did do was it showed me there was more out there than making money, having a business, traveling the world, going on dates, different things like that.

0:18:07.8 JW: And I think around that time, there was definitely a feeling of what's the point of all this? I've got a business, I've got more freedom than most people dream of. I can live anywhere in the world. I make great money. I can really just have this... I have this incredible life, and yet something's missing, something's not... And I didn't really know what it was, I couldn't put my finger on it. A lack of fulfillment or a lack of purpose maybe, but then as these experiences started coming through with psychedelics, it's like, okay, that I want more of that, whatever that is, whatever this sense of fulfillment that resides inside me, I don't have that all the time, but just these little glimpses were enough for me to go, okay, there's something here, there's something that I need to explore and figure out how to just to bring more of that into my life. And even more of that into the world, 'cause I could see that other people are doing the same thing, they're going and searching all the way outside them for all these different things, not realizing that what we really want is very often, it's so cheesy, is inside of us.

0:19:11.1 JW: So that was 2018 with the LSD and the mushrooms, and then went back to Australia or around that time drank Ayahuasca had another... Again somewhat a bit different, much more was the most intense experience of that dissolving kind of state, there's not really much I could say about it other than it's a very enjoyable place to be, but what was happening was this, I guess, trend as I started exploring the psychedelics in a more spiritual healing, personal development kind of way instead of just tripping, again I became... I wouldn't say happier at first, but what I had was hope, I suppose hope that there is more than what I've been sold as like, This is life they make you money. And you have your business and you do all the different things. So by that point, by the time what I did was coming to Australia and had that experience again, I think I was basically sold on it and I'm like...

0:20:04.2 JW: Whatever this is, I don't know where it's going. I don't really know what it's all about, but I'm in... I'm like 110% into whatever this part, this journey is, and from there, that was 2018, I think over the next few years, it was pretty rough man, 'cause as you start opening up, as I started opening up to some of these different aspects of reality, it sort of calls into question, called into question everything I was doing where it's like, What do I need to come back from some of those experiences and then go, Okay, I've gotta make money now and I've got to pay bills, and I'm gonna eat food and just live through normal life stuff, the mundane stuff of life, it was quite difficult for a long time of trying to...

0:20:46.2 JW: I felt so out of a line that I become aware of this beautiful part inside me, a beautiful aspect of life, and yet I was doing things, like my work wasn't really aligned with what I wanted to be doing, it wasn't what I was passionate about, it was just a way to make money. There was people that I had in my life, more so around 2019-2020, who ended up being very dangerous and manipulative... I wrote an article about it. We can go and do it if you want. I know you've read it, and so there was a lot... A few things are just happening that really... Like I wasn't happy as much as I'd had these beautiful things that had happened with psychedelics, I still wasn't happy or fulfilled, I was searching. And so I think it was around 2020, I drank Ayahuasca a few more times, I was taking LSD, I've done more psychedelics run. And then 2020, I've been working with these coaches the year before I signed up with them because I was helping them with some of their marketing, 'cause that's my background and expertise, I'd help them with their marketing.

0:21:45.3 JW: They had helped me with healing personal development, psychedelics, blah, blah, blah, and they showed me an ad one day, a Facebook ad that said, Get Unstuck and on purpose, and I'm like... Just something about it where I'm like, That's exactly what I want. I feel kind of stuck and I feel like I'm not doing what I wanna be doing, so I said that sold me... Even I was helping them with the marketing, I decided to sign up with them, and that led to a very... A few coaching calls which were not too much to talk about, there's not too much happened with them, some weird stuff, I suppose, and then we didn't mushrooms ceremony, and I don't know how deep you wanna get into the details, but they told me during this mushrooms ceremony where they were meant to be helping me, they told me that I had killed 20 million people in a past life that I had that... Therefore, I had, I think, 18 million locks on my power, 'cause 18 million of these dead people were innocent, 2 million of them deserved it, so 18 million locks on my power and the dude 'cause it's a married couple, the dude started to unlock me, and then these beings he is somehow talking to via psychedelic walkie-talkie, aliens. He is speaking in alien language.

0:22:52.6 JW: It's pretty trippy to have this happen on mushrooms, and you're starting to supposedly unlock me, and they tell him, No, he's too dangerous. He can unlock him. So this whole... They created this whole thing where it was like, John, you're a terrible, horrible person, you committed genocide in a past life, and you're way true dangerous for us to release you. And there was other stuff, and they told me I was arrogant. The whole, really... The whole thing in retrospect, I realized that it was basically trying to undermine who I was, which is a thing cults do and manipulative people do, they make you feel bad about who you are, so then you're more likely to trust them, 'cause they're like, We'll fix you. So that happened for a few months after that, I blame myself, I felt... I did that thing where I'm like, Oh, I'm just projecting. If I'm upset with them, it's my problem, I've got some issue that I need to work through. And then in 2020, my sister told me something, she just started seeing...

0:23:50.2 JW: She'd been working through some stuff too, and she just started seeing a Somatic therapist, and I didn't really know much about it at the time, but she told me some of her experiences of going into the body and feeling things and what that had done for her, and something clicked, something sparked in me... I'm like, that's like in the presence process and the psychedelics and all the different books I've read, the surrender experiment, all this stuff about learning to feel, I felt like the somatic thing that she got into was all of that put together, times 100. So I started Googling what she told me about in relation to something, TRE that shaking thing where you learned to activate the body shaking response, that led me to a... You have not interrupted me at any time, I don't know, I see. I can just keep going.

0:24:35.9 PA: Well, we're reaching a transition point now, and so I think first to not even double back, which is a whole little space for what you went through with the couple, and I believe it was in Chiang Mai, in Thailand and we can link out to that story in the podcast notes, I think just to contextualize this, for everyone who's listening, there's certainly a dark side to psychedelic work in the psychedelic significantly enhance suggestibility, and so when you're under the influence of, let's say psychedelic mushrooms, there can be a propensity or a tendency to believe things that normally, you wouldn't believe in everyday waking consciousness, which it's basically, it's like a knife in that way... It's a double-edged sword because that can be really helpful 'cause it can help to clear limiting beliefs, but like you said, it can also be utilized for bad... For nefarious purposes, which based on your story and the context that you provided, it seems like that's what you unfortunately went through, and I think it speaks to...

0:25:43.6 JW: Not to be too abstract from the personal experience that you enter, but it speaks to the importance of really, really checking, especially if committing to doing a ceremony or a coaching container or anything like this, having some sort of accountability or trust that's established with anyone that you submit to in that way, I think is important, and it's part of what we're attempting to do with Third Wave and the discovery platform is how do we ensure that only ethical and well-meaning and skilled providers are amplified because the risk of amplifying unethical providers is significant. In fact, it can be re-traumatizing or even more traumatizing, I'm just curious from your lens, as you went into that process, and then as you came out of that process, what are some of the learnings that you had in terms of how to check providers, how to understand who you're working with, how to know what you're getting into it. It's sort of any words of wisdom for those who are listening, so they don't necessarily make the same mistake that you went through...

0:27:06.3 JW: What's interesting is I signed up with them, and I think it was October 20, 2019, and I'd been friends with him since. I think we met in February that year in Chiang Mai met through a business networking group, like we both taking like a coaching program together, so we met up, we found out we're in Chiang Mai and went after dinner. And they seem great. Had a great conversation. We seem to be interested in the same thing. Psychedelics, they knew the presents process, a lot of the same stuff that we were working on it just very, very similar, so very typical of friends, common interests, and then over the following... The rest of the year really, we would... Me and took my girlfriend at the time to meet them, and they became friends, so we'll go on to their house, we play with their kids, we got for dinner and lunch and... We'd spent quite a lot of time together talking quite a lot on WhatsApp. And what's funny is when I look back, I remember at the time when the whole thing blew up, when I looked back on how I felt about them in the time getting to know them, I had a funny feeling.

0:28:16.8 JW: And it wasn't much, it wasn't like verbalized, it never did anything explicit or outright to make me think that they are dangerous or they are manipulative, but there were little tells, little things that they would say, which would be a bit like... It's just like, Oh, that's how I describe it now, sometimes people say stuff and something give me is like... I don't know exactly what's wrong with that, but I can feel it, something in my body is like.


0:28:41.2 JW: It just doesn't land properly for me, and so there was that before I hire them, and because now, also in retrospect, looking back, I know it's because there's some stuff I went to as a kid. I wasn't, I didn't trust that. I overrode that and I was like, No, no, no. That's just my issue, I'm just projecting. And it's not that big of a deal, but like I rationalized my funny feeling away, a very common thing that people do for different reasons, and so what I would say is, and what do now as well, if I feel that feeling with someone, I'm like that to me is the sign to be absolutely on my God, to be paying attention 'cause something's probably happening and the body starts to notice it before the mind does, and so an example of how that's played out, I remember I was out...

0:29:32.0 JW: This is a year or two after this thing. And this whole thing happened with them is I'm out to dinner with some people, and one of the dudes at his dinner, he's telling the story about a monk in Thailand, and I found myself being drawn in... I was like, Well, tell me more like, what about this and what does he do? And blah... And the way the guy was playing it was the more I asked the questions, he'd be like, No, no, no, you're not ready for this, like this isn't really your thing, I think you need more practice or more like a sort of like a... I didn't realize it, but at some point I'm like, He's pissing me off, I'm getting angry, like I feel I'm getting fucking annoyed at this dude, and at first is that tenants to be like, Oh, now it's just me and me. He's just triggering me... And at some point I'm like, No, that's not... He's not triggering me, like some issue that I have from my past, this anger that I'm feeling. That's that funny feeling. Again, it's like my body is saying, Look, pay attention. The studs messing with you, and it may not be...

0:30:29.1 JW: In his case, it wasn't really that dangerous, we just had dinner, I'm not working with him, he doesn't have any power or the other than that conversation, but it's learning to... Like for me, it was learning to trust these signals if I start to feel that, whether it's fear or anger, some of these things are very powerful, very important signal for me to listen to, and sometimes it is, I'm being triggered from the past, something happened when I was a kid. And that got triggered. Absolutely, but I think culturally, it's like we've swung too far in that direction where people will say that like you get angry with something or like, No, you're just projecting. It's the way people Gaslight, that's what these people did to me, and if we're not careful, we start to distrust ourself and we trust this other person, and so that was one of the big lessons and this whole experience was trusting these feelings and no matter how subtle they are, no matter how much they don't make sense, to listen to them doesn't mean I get rid of the person entirely, but at the very least, I start to maybe pull back a little bit and I start to look very carefully, just watch. And just that alone can be enough to like... That's a huge protection just into that. So that's one thing I can share more...

[overlapping conversation]

0:31:34.6 PA: Well, it's a boundary right, anger at times can be a boundary... It's evolutionarily an important emotion, because it allows us to know when to say no and when to push back, and yet I think what I'm hearing in your story as well as then we'll probably get into this as the episode goes on is, there is a sense that you are... And I think this is true for a lot of Australians. There may be a sense of a lot of repressed anger inside of you... Right. And so contextualizing, it's interesting, I just read... One of my favorite books is a book called, A Little Book on the Human Shadow. It's by Robert Bly, who is sort of this hero, Iron John, he talks... It's kind of the forefather of modern male masculinity, one of the best poets in the last 50 years in the States, and he talks about how with anger, we can either repress it, the shadow of it, but we can also not let it completely overtake us because the re-wiring, if we just fully feel the anger and fully express it, that actually I can be just as detrimental or harmful as repressing...

0:32:51.8 PA: Fully repressing the anger, and so there's... What he talks about is the way to work with anger, the way that artists work with anger is they Alchemize anger into creation, they Alchemize anger into art, they alchemize anger into an expression that may be comical or that may be something that allows it to be played with, but not to overtake and overwhelm and sort of overcome our senses and emotions, and it feels like that's the balance that you're speaking to, and that's the listening process of when we are triggered or if anger is stirred up, it is that process of being with it, allowing it, but not necessarily kind of being mindful of how to work with it, and again, not repressing it, but also not just socking someone in the face if they end up pissing you off... [chuckle] Right, there's a sophistication, in a way, there's a classy way to work with anger, in other words...

0:33:46.9 JW: You could call it that, yeah. I mean, in the somatic world, the nervous system world of working with this stuff, you could say someone who if it's completely suppressed, and this is probably more of what it was like for me when I was in Thailand, five years ago, I remember the girl I was dating... So say you have to get angry, you have the... Were you an angry person... I'm like, No, not really... No, I just, I don't really get angry. Sometimes I get annoyed at people when I'm driving, but it's pretty short lived like, I don't really... It's not a big deal. I just start, I am just not an angry person and we'd have a fight and she'd be angry with me about something, and I would just be taking deep breaths and I would just... I would think I'm just staying calm. Like, I'm just really Zen, I'm really good at just staying calm, and I realized around the time we broke up actually, which is when this whole thing went down in these coaches, I was... No, I had a lot of anger, I just didn't express it. I didn't tell people about it, and I didn't even feel it myself, so I couldn't tell them about it 'cause I didn't think I was angry in the first place, so that's one extreme of being suppressed, like you said, thinking that, Oh, I'm just not an angry person, well, there's just no anger at all, and the other extreme is what you're talking about, like the completely out of control, where they get angry and they break things...

0:35:00.5 JW: They break someone's face. They throw things at the wall. That's the other extreme. So it's kind of like the healthy place is somewhere in the middle where it's like it's not suppressed that we absolutely feel it and we express it, but where it's not out of control, we don't hurt people with it. Yeah, it's a classic way to use anger, as you said.

0:35:22.4 PA: So tell us a little bit then about the somatic stuff. We've had a few people on the podcast before talk about somatic experiencing a lot of what psychedelics teach, like you said, is that process of feeling feeling emotion in the body, feeling more anger arises or shame arises or guilt rises or sadness or whatever it is, and it sounds like in some of the conversations that we had leading up to this podcast, you've had an opportunity to kind of formulate your own framework around psychedelics for somatic experiencing, and I'd love to hear a little bit about that framework, maybe how you've seen it play out in real time. In your own Ayahuasca work, what that looks like, what that feels like. Yeah, I'll just open up that for our listeners, that's what sort of save me, I believe from these coaches, 'cause it was around that time, my sister told me about it, I looked it up, found a course and a couple of courses... I started working with these different techniques, which are really about... Some people might hear about the Go that just mindfulness. But to me, it's so much more than that.

0:36:29.3 JW: And the whole thing, part of it really rests on the foundation of the theory of the nervous system, so this idea of people talk about breathing and feeling stuff, and I was... Okay, I kinda get it. It sort of makes sense. But like why? Why is it even there in the first place? Why is this even a thing? Because if we can understand that, we can have a better understanding of how to move it, which is what my stress are doing in as mushrooms ceremony for example, but the whole thing is based on the idea that we have a stress response when there's a threat... Well, let's say we're all peaceful, we're comfortable with relaxing with friends, and then there's a noise, like a really big bang, we are... You always orienting in the nervous system think first thing we'll do is we oriented towards the sound. They always defensive-orienting. We're orienting towards it to find out if it's a threat, and if it's not, if it was just like a thunder in the distance, we might... Okay, just thunder and it's all very quickly. We're not necessarily thinking about it, the system relaxes. But if we determine that it's a bomb or it's a tiger or some form of a threat to our safety, we'll go into a flurry of flight, which means we don't wanna run away from the threat if we can to get back to safety, or we're gonna fight we gonna attack the threat to neutralize it. Either way...

0:37:45.0 JW: It's still about safety. If we run away, we're gonna run away to somewhere safe. If we attack the threat and neutralize it, we're doing that because once the threat's neutralized we're now safe again. If we can't execute either of those strategies, what's happening is, the body is generating, the nervous system's generating, for it to power, or for us to run away, or for us to fight someone off, what does that require? It requires energy. Alright, so we call this survival stress. It's adrenaline, it's cortisol, it's all the different things that happen in the body to mobilize that response.

0:38:16.2 JW: So if we're gonna run away, it's gonna take a lot of that energy, if we're gonna fight it off, it's gonna take that energy. If that process gets blocked, basically what's happening is the energy gets generated or released by the body, and if we don't run away, or if we do run away, the system is gonna go up and then it's gonna come down like a bell curve, really nice bell curve. It's going to go up as all the energy comes up, and then as we run away, it's gonna get discharged and the whole response is gonna come down. So we're gonna go from relaxed to stressed out, back to relaxed. But what often happens, especially in the western world, is that process doesn't complete, so you could imagine that happening with like a gazelle in the jungle, the gazelle gets chased by a cheater, it runs away, but the same process happens with parents and kids, where it's like... Let's say a parent yells at the kid, the kid gets upset, the kid wants to run away, problem is the kid is three years old, the kid is feeling very a strong fight or flight response. The energy is being released and it wants to do something, but it can't really run away, 'cause it's way too young, it can't survive on its own outside in the wild, the streets.

0:39:22.0 JW: It can't really fight its parents off 'cause the parents are bigger and stronger and the parents just yelled at the kid. So that's the threat to the safety is too great for the child to neutralize it through fighting, so it can't run away and can't fight them off. That energy, that bell curve it is going up, it kinda gets stuck, and it's almost like that energy doesn't just magically disappear if it's not expressed or discharged through movement, through action, it could be painting a picture, I suppose, it kinda get stuck in the nervous system.

0:39:49.3 JW: Alright, so we are talking about skin, the muscles, the fascia, and then it stays there and it kinda goes out of awareness. It can then start to live there or hide, and we forget about it, and then where... And this happens, it's layers and layers and layers, right? All the different times this happens, bullies at school, teachers, stress at work, financial problems, blah blah blah. It's really just the stress of life, it builds up, and the more stressed it's feeling in the nervous system, the less capacity it has for what's going on right now, 'cause if it's... Let's say it's the whole tank is filled up by 90% of stress from the past, it's only got a 10% capacity to deal with what's happening right now, which is not gonna work too well. So, to me, like this idea of... And then the idea of, to finish it off, I suppose we could say the autonomic nervous system, which is where all this is held, runs the skin, the breathing, all kinds of different important functions in the body. So if you jam that up with a bunch of stress from years, decades gone by, it doesn't work so well. So we have a racing mind, you start to have skin problems, digestive problems, autoimmune disorders, it causes all kinds of things.

0:40:55.0 JW: So, it's really not just about the mind. There's a lot of physical stuff that happens too. And so then, so the way of working of say, working somatically, is we can start to work directly with the nervous system instead of journaling about it, what happened to us, or talking to a therapist about what happened to us, we'll just try not to think about it which some meditation techniques teach. It's okay, how do we build capacity in the nervous system, so these old charges, these old survival stress that's stuck and hidden, and I would say frozen can start to come up and release? And to me, this is what the plants do if you go into an Ayahuasca ceremony, this is what an Icaro, this singing. And it's almost like going into the body into the system, finding these stuck charges, these stuck energies shaking it up, and then it starts to come up and if the person's ready for that it'll come up, they can express it, they can purge it out through a number of ways. So that to me, that piece of understanding the theory of it helps understand... Then leads to different techniques for how to work with it. So to go back to anger, for example, that's been a big thing for me, the healthy aggression, the idea is that anger is just the fight response, but it's not good, it's not bad.

0:42:01.8 JW: It's just one of the ways we will try and get to safety. So if someone's threatening us, we might get angry as a way to fight the attacker off or to assert a boundaries to do different things with the idea that hopefully we get back to safety. But if this energy gets stuck in the system, like it did with me, you can end up being a person where just like me, I'm like, "Oh, I'm just not an angry person, but then what happens is then I get into trouble with those coaches in Thailand, because I'm not trusting that anger, I'm not feeling it, it makes me very vulnerable because that's a protective instinct. And so I traced it back from there, and I was like, "Why did I get caught up with them? What was so... In retrospect, I was like, It was so obvious that these people were not to be trusted, but yet I fell for it. And so then I traced it back, obviously it went back to childhood, to someone a figure in my childhood who would do something very similar, not with psychedelics, but this gas lighting, guilt tripping, minimization, various manipulative strategies. And so over time, I learned to shut that anger down and to hold it in, which is why then I get older in life, I find myself in a situation like that where I can't protect myself.

0:43:15.6 JW: So how this worked out, how this played out somatically, was one day, I had just done a San Pedro weekend, and I remember walking away from that, someone did like a Chakra thing, or maybe you throw Chakras all messed up. And then I thought of, I sort of, I guess thought about that, or I worked with that. I had thought there was things I wasn't saying to this person in my life, a family member, that I was not saying, that I was holding in. Hence the tension in the throat, I suppose. So I took this to a guy I was working with at the time, a one-on-one somatic dude. And the other sensation I remember having was this, it felt like there was a belt wrapped or a rope wrapped around my solar plexus, and really, really tied to my entire body instead of being as wide as the solar plexus, as wide as the body, it's like the whole thing had been sucked in, so it was about as wide as a fist. I told him about this, and his way of working with it, this is something I teach people in Rageheart, is well, first we did...

0:44:10.8 JW: He's like, okay, do a karate sound, like a, "huh" into that spot, almost like it's the same thing, the same idea as like an Icaro from a maestro and ayahuasca, it's using sounds to dislodge something that's stuck. So we did that five or 10 times. And then after that, it's just like, just track it, just put your awareness on the spot and just watch what happens, just... And don't take a deep breath. I guess that's another thing, taking a deep breath can shut things down. So don't take a deep breath, don't try and control it, just feel. As soon as I felt into it, it starts moving up, alright, it starts moving into the chest, and it starts moving up into the throat, and as it gets to the bottom of the throat, my breathing, my breathing has been increasing. So this is something that happens as we move from, as charges can start to come up, sometimes our breathing will increase in its pace, and this is why taking a deep breath can be counterproductive because we'll shut down the release. The breathing starts increasing, so it's...


0:45:06.4 JW: Right? In the same way that if I was about to get into a fight with someone, my breathing would probably increase, and then as it gets into the throat, I start to growl or it starts being like...


0:45:21.5 JW: And it was quite a spontaneous thing, it's not something I was trying to do at the time, it just started happening, and the further up it got through throat eventually into the mouth and the face, it became very like... I wanna show it, just 'cause it's like, it's so... It can be hard to imagine, but it was like...


0:45:42.3 JW: I didn't even know a human could do that kind of a thing, but this started happening. And as it gets into the face, I started feeling like tingling right around the eyebrows and the cheeks and the lips. And I've done some training by this point. I knew that I had no idea of what was happening, that the way it had been explained to me is that when humans get angry, we're mammals, we're like dogs, we're like cats. You watch cats and dogs get angry, they don't just, they don't write about it, they don't talk about it, they growl. Their eyes are gonna narrow to focus on the threat, and they'll...


0:46:13.0 JW: They do something, it's a physical embodiment of the anger, a physical expression with their body of the aggression. And so that's what I've been taught is okay, when this starts to come up, you actually wanna narrow your eyes like you're focusing on a threat, you wanna start to growl, allow yourself to growl, start to snowl, raise you're upper lip. And so it is really start to embody anger and aggression the way an animal does and it sounds silly. I have explained this to people before and they laugh at me. But having gone through it, it really... There is this very strong sense that this energy, it's literally coming out of me, like it's not just a theater type of thing, a fun thing to do, I can feel it leaving the system. And when I just keep doing that enough, like the growling and all the different things. Eventually, it's like it burns itself out, and I don't have to stop breath... I don't have to calm myself down. If I just keep going and going eventually, it's like...


0:47:12.5 JW: The breathing will start to slow down a little bit, it's like the energy, the charge, whatever it was starts to run out. The system will then start to reset itself. So that's anger, that's one way to work with aggression. I've had this happen here in the Valley during a San Pedro ceremony. I was drinking with his dude Chase, [laughter] he's so funny, when I told me about the somatic stuff. He's so cynical, you could just tell he's like, "This is bullshit, this is absolute bullshit." 'Cause he's...

0:47:38.6 JW: I think he's had people come in talking about somatics in these ceremonies before, and he's like, "They just... They don't get it, they're not that solid in what they're doing with this work." So he didn't really believe in the somatic stuff. And then we did a retreat together, he was running it, and this aggression thing came through sometime during the ceremony. And so I went into it, it was the same kind of thing that I was doing talking about he... But that time I was in the garden somewhere, and so I added in some elements. One of it was a very loud growling.

0:48:06.1 JW: I had a towel or a blanket that I was trying to rip in half, the idea is that this aggression, this energy it's not something to just watch. It's like it wants to kill. That's what it feels like. It's the kind of energy, if I was gonna kill someone, this is the kind of energy that will be flowing through my system. And so it needs an out... It's like it needs an outlet. It needs something to go into. So the way I was taught is get a blanket, or get a towel and twist it up, try and rip it in half, you could do a baseball battle, something like that, but that's very quick. Like it is sort of like once it's done, you're relaxing again.

0:48:40.9 JW: So even if you keep going and going and going, It's very staccato, once you get a blanket, you can just squeeze and rip that and put all the energy into that blanket. And Chase comes up afterwards when it's all done. At some point, he's watching me, I'm thinking I look around in the middle of... He's standing over there smoking a mapacho. I felt like I was like an animal in Africa or something, and he's David Attenborough narrating some documentary. [chuckle] But afterwards he comes over to me, he's like, "What the hell was that, man?" And as I explain it to him, well, I've told you guys here about the somatics and the aggression and stuff like that. And he's like, "Oh, that was cool, man. Like I could see." He said he could see the energy as I was doing it. 'Cause it kinda comes in waves where it's like...


0:49:29.9 JW: And then I'd rest for however, like a few seconds and then it would come again. And he said as this was happening, he could literally see as far as this, the maestros, he could see the energy leaving the body. So he's like he actually observed the whole, the technique actually doing purging from the system. He's like, "What does that look like?" I'm like, "Well I don't know, man. Energy." He's not really a guy with words, but after that, he's like, "Oh, it's a somatic thing, like, oh, it actually... It's a thing. It actually works. But that's the idea. Energy from the past, stuck in the body, stuck in the Nervous System, and then different techniques for getting it out, which are very different to what most people are used to when it comes to this kind of stuff.

0:50:09.5 PA: And so why is it that... Let's talk about the medicines in particular, why is it that Ayahuasca in particular can be very catalytic for somatic work, for this primal, animalistic allowance of the shadow?

0:50:30.2 JW: Oh, in my experience, this is what a big part of what the plants are doing, is cleaning, and the way they're cleaning is they're doing the same thing, they're finding this energy, the stuff from the past that's hiding in different places in the body and bringing it up. The challenge though with it, with Ayahuasca and San Pedro, I mean of them really. I haven't had the aggression come through with Ayahuasca, it seems to work in a slightly different way. But the basic thing is they're finding stuff in the body and trying to get it out. The challenge I think that a lot of people have or run into is they get in the way of that process, they end up thinking a lot, and I've done this plenty of times. But they think about what's going on because usually this is what I notice, is as the energy comes up, it can sometimes start to spin around in the mind and then someone can spend hours thinking about what's happening instead of feeling it and often the thinking just blocks the whole process from happening. Same thing with somatics, it's not about thinking about what's happening in the body, it's about literally just feeling it, noticing what the raw sensation is, right?

0:51:30.7 JW: So with Ayahuasca, I remember the first time, I think I drank it home one day, and shortly after I had started playing with the somatic stuff, and I started to play with a technique called the Voo, where you go Voo. And I'd start to go like...


0:51:53.2 JW: So just playing with different sounds. And the idea is with the somatics, you can use sound to drop from sympathetic fight or fight down into parasympathetic, and so I don't know what made me do it, but I started playing with that sound during Ayahuasca and it was like a holy shit moment. It's like, "Oh my God, this... " I can send this sound all over my body, so if there's a tension somewhere, I can vibrate this sound into that spot, and it starts to loosen it up. It's almost like the plants you are bringing things up and trying to release them, but if I'm all tense and in my head, it sort of blocks the whole process, and then I think it can make it a lot harder for the person, a lot more, a lot scarier. 'Cause if we have different techniques for knowing how, "Oh, okay, if anger is coming up, well, this is how to work with it, this is one way to get it out of the body."

0:52:40.4 JW: And then instead of it building up and it's almost like a dam, the pressure builds and builds and builds it has an outlet. And sometimes the plants will do stuff, or Ayahuasca will do stuff, where it's just so intense it's gonna force its way out no matter what. But sometimes it's a bit subtler than that, and it's like having a tool. Okay. If it's anger, this is one way to work with it, if it's fear, this is another way. There's different techniques for, "Okay, how do we move energy in the body?" So they're very synergistic. Ayahuasca is doing it anyway, and I think people who work with the plants a lot, they learn some very similar, not everything is the same, but a lot of it's very similar. It's like the plants teach people the same stuff among other things, and so they're fantastic on their own, but to me, you put them together, you give people these tools for navigating how to work with energy in themselves, and to me it makes me really excited 'cause I think you can give people. People are gonna get so much more out of psychedelics if they have these tools.

0:53:33.3 PA: Have you done this with psilocybin or MDMA, or has it only been with Ayahuasca, and Huachuma?

0:53:42.1 JW: Yeah, I've just been with MDMA, Iboga. I haven't done a flood dose of Iboga, but a microdose to... I think the most I've taken is three grams. Mushrooms, Chaga. Yeah, I've done it with most of them except for the probably the really obscure ones.

0:54:00.4 PA: Do you find there was an ideal... How would you rank them in terms of ideal for somatic work and maybe not as ideal for somatic work?

0:54:08.8 JW: I don't know. I don't know if I can. Yeah, I don't know if I could rank them. To me, I think I see it like there's a real need for these kind of tools. I came into the valley thinking, Oh, this is like psychedelic wonderland, everyone's gonna get this stuff already, they're just gonna know it 'cause they're drinking plant medicine all the time, and all this stuff's gonna be really basic to them. And I get over here, I'm like, No, there's plenty of people here who are still very stuck in their head, very mental. And so I think whether it's MDMA or mushrooms or Ayahuasca or San Pedro, they're all different plants, and I think different people are gonna resonate with different plants. Some do really well with San Pedro, some do better with Ayahuasca, and some love mushrooms. I can't do MDMA anymore, 'cause I have started dining with the plants. MDMA is just not gonna vibe really well with that stuff. So there's... I think they all work. It's about finding the plant that probably works best for an individual, which is gonna be them, they have to probably just explore on their own. But as far as the tools go, the somatic tools, I think it's gonna help people across the board, whatever they do.

0:55:14.0 PA: Have you tried this with 5-MeO-DMT?

0:55:16.4 JW: I haven't had 5-MeO yet. That's one thing I have not tried.

0:55:21.4 PA: Alright. Because I know when a lot of folks, especially their first couple of times, they'll have... Like when I had a 5-MeO experience about a year ago, I did about 10 milligrams initially of the Toad, which is a nice lighter dose, very euphoric, and then I did about 80 milligrams of the toad right after that, and I had this experience where I started to lay back and then the energy of the medicine just literally pulled me on my feet and stuck up my chest and basically had to roar, a lion roar, like a deep sort of...


0:55:53.0 PA: Oh yeah, it was intense for like 10 to 15 seconds. So there was something in my root chakra, deep, deep, deep anger repression, that was just stuck there that the 5-MeO went into, pulled out and that energy pulled me up, and then after the anchor came out, I just sort of like was Jujitsu down by the facilitator and then all of this sadness came out, basically. I just cried for the next 15 to 20 minutes, and there was no capacity to navigate through it necessarily, there was no capacity, as you are saying, to be intentional about sort of the... Having the blanket, right? When you're on 5-MeO, it's just full on. And so it almost makes me think there could be a really... I see it as almost like a continuum where it's like you could do a little psychedelic and a lot of somatic work, a lot of intention behind the somatic work, you could do a little bit more psychedelic, it'll sort of intuitively develop your capacity for more somatic work, you can do even more psychedelic and that will just naturally continue to come out.

0:56:53.7 PA: And so there's gotta be a way for even people who are listening to this to think about what is that combination between a microdose of or a mini dose of psilocybin and TRE or a microdose or mini dose of psilocybin, and it could be even body work, restructure integration, something that allows for a release of the energetics and wherever that's experiencing with an understanding that through that, the release of that emotion, there will be healing of whatever was stuck there, whatever trauma was stuck there, whatever story was stuck there, or whatever else.

0:57:37.0 JW: Yeah. Well, there's definitely an element of building capacity, like you go into 5-MeO and you've never done any of this stuff before, it's just gonna be whatever it is, but even learning a little bit about somatics then going and say drinking as ayahuasca might... Ayahuasca can be very intense. And so remembering how to do different things, use certain techniques, especially with zero conscious level may not work so well. So the idea is, the way I would encourage people, if they were wanting to work in this way, it's really spending time practicing stuff when shit's not hitting the fan, it's like learning the techniques, learning how to feel the ground, learning what safety looks like, learning how to be embodied, when shit's easy, when you're not stressed, when you're not on psychedelics and building that muscle. 'Cause there's something like... There's an element of like, especially at first, it requires a conscious intention to do it, it's consciously competent, right? You're intending to do it, but over time, I mean, I do feel like a lot of this stuff is very instinctual over time. And so as the more it's practiced, the more it just becomes a natural way of being, it's not really a technique, it's more just you.

0:58:50.7 JW: It's how you're meant to be, is feeling, not thinking all the time. So the more someone gets to that level where it's just integrated into, it's just who they are. Then they go in and take mushrooms or ayahuasca, or even 5-MeO, I wonder, and some of these things are just gonna kick in automatically, it's just like an automatic instinct. That to me, is like that's the goal, that's with all of this work, you have an ayahuasca ceremony, the goal isn't to be consciously trying to think about that thing or work with that thing all the time, eventually, you want it to just... It's just done, it's you, it's who you are.

0:59:25.7 PA: It's integrated.

0:59:26.0 JW: It's integrated.

[overlapping conversation]

0:59:28.4 PA: Yeah, it's not a part of yourself that's outside of your conscious awareness, right? And through the somatic work, right? 'Cause one could say that in the body below the neck is for a lot of people, where the subconscious or the unconscious lies, so when we start to open up that element then these aspects of selves that have been sort of tucked away or traumatized or whatever can come to the surface and be integrated as a full sense of self.

0:59:52.3 JW: Absolutely. I mean that was what, like with those coaches, Like what happened with them? It was around January 2020, I started doing some of the somatic stuff, and I remember it was too like... Right before I started doing it, I don't remember feeling that much other than just a bit out of sorts, started doing the somatic stuff, and I felt two things. One of 'em was just grief, 'cause I realized, the girl I was dating at the time they'd gotten in her head, it was very messy, and I realized it was too late. They'd done too much to her with her where she's just gonna think I'm paranoid, so I was heart broken really, because that that was... That was probably when I realized this was probably the end of the relationship, four years, and rage was the other thing I felt, just absolute rage as I started to realize, I put the dots together at what had happened with these people, and all of that came from just... It was really just feeling the ground and looking around, like learning what it felt like to be in my body, and once I did that, whatever was right, that stuff was right at the surface.

1:00:54.3 JW: It's like, Oh, hello. Here's your rage. Here's some grief. I spent one Sunday afternoon crying for hours after not having any of that for ages, so yeah, all this stuff is in the body, this is why I... Like up until that point, I meditated, I journaled heaps, I had done... I had read plenty of self-help books. I'd had therapy coaching, all kinds of different things, but I think in one or two weeks of doing the somatic stuff, the really simple techniques, it changed everything, whereas I'd be meditating for 10 years and I was like, I hadn't... I felt like I couldn't go this deep just with meditation, ever.

1:01:36.9 PA: So here we are. So tell us a little bit... So those who are listening at home, if they wanna learn more about this, if they wanna get a sense of the intersection and overlap of psychedelics and somatics, start to look into some practice, what's sort of your recommendation in terms of further steps to take from here, actionable, practical steps for them to take?

1:01:56.7 JW: Actionable, practical steps. Well, off the back of all this, I've started a program called Rageheart where you can learn about how to do all this. There's other people, there's not really many people teaching it, that's partly why I'm doing it. I'm trying to do it in a very different way. I find this whole spiritual healing space is it's very light and airy and touchy-feely. What I've tried to do with Rageheart is really put a different spin on it, where it's gonna be hard work. And I tell people, it's not for the faint of heart. You can go and meditate, you can do lots of things, that aren't gonna take you into your body, into really the demons of the past, this somatic stuff will, and it's very, very good at it. And in the long run, it's incredible, it's one of the coolest things I feel like I've found in life, but the path there is, it can be a roller coaster. But if you wanna learn more about that and how I work, that's it, Rageheart, kinda like Braveheart, but rage, rageheart.co. And you can check out the home page has some more information about how it works and there's a daily rage, I call like a daily email newsletter. But if people could check that out... If that doesn't resonate...

1:03:07.1 PA: John's great at writing the daily email newsletter. I'd say it's worth signing up just for that to get a beautiful disguise writing capacity.

1:03:16.6 JW: I've done it for a long time, this kind of thing.

1:03:17.8 PA: Yeah, exactly, exactly.

1:03:20.1 JW: But if I don't resonate, there's plenty of books. Peter Levine is a fantastic guy to check out if you prefer to start with a book, the stuff on YouTube, I'll be launching a podcast soon for Rageheart. The whole way I'm sort of putting Rageheart together instead of it being like a batch format or focusing on the problem is, at least right now, I don't think it's gonna change any time soon, is the whole framing is unleash the beast, the idea that being whoever we are, it's not about making money or being anything specific, but about getting out of our own way and getting rid of all the bullshit, and it's the same thing that plants to do. It is just framed in a different way, but this is about being the very best version of you, whoever the hell that is. That's what the whole thing is about. It's not about getting rid of stress, that's how we get there, it's really about being, remembering who you are, that's been what the plants have been about to me, is that's to me where it always comes back to is remembering who we are, that's Rageheart.

1:04:14.7 PA: Rageheart.co.

1:04:18.3 JW: Rageheart.co. No, I haven't got the dot com yet.

1:04:21.9 PA: Alright. Daily email newsletter?

1:04:24.7 JW: Monday to Friday at the moment. Yeah, it's a Monday to Friday. So that will explain a bit more about how it works, there's some tips in there about how to do it and then... Yeah, that's the best place to begin.

1:04:34.9 PA: And then any books by Peter Levine, I know, I forget what's his most...

1:04:39.5 JW: Waking the Tiger is probably the main one.

1:04:41.8 PA: Waking the Tiger.

1:04:42.2 JW: Really cool idea, same like unleashing the beast. The idea is that animals in the wild don't get PTSD, at least at the same rates that humans do, even though they're in the... Well, yeah, they shake it off. They're just better at being stress-free, maybe it's with shaking or running, or they're not also not... If they get angry, they express it. They're people please, you don't see a Tiger in the jungle people pleasing, or if they're scared, they run away. Whereas humans we're like, No, no, I can't say that. No, no, no, no, we hold it all in without even realizing it.

1:05:10.5 PA: We're too civilized.

1:05:13.4 JW: Exactly, way too civilized. So this is about...

1:05:13.5 PA: Too domesticated. Too domesticated.

1:05:13.4 JW: Sure. You know, it was one time... we can finish on this maybe, but one time when the rage came up, I've had... There's been a ton of it. I was with my dad in Australia. Dad's got a farm, we went out to the farm and I could feel this thing moving I'm like, Oh shit, I need to have a session, have a moment. So dad goes off to the house and I'm walking through the farm, get him to drop me off at the gates, I'm on my own, long grass. And this thing starts coming on and for some reason, I don't know what made me do it, I started doing the growling like...


1:05:44.0 JW: I didn't have a blanket. So I couldn't rip anything in half, but I started crouching and almost for some reason, started beating my chest, like a gorilla. I'm like...


1:05:49.1 JW: As I'm beating my chest, I'm also growling with this very primal thing, and then crawling through the grass as though I were hunting some animal. It was fucking great. And then I remember I got home, and I was describing it to someone, I'm like... Some of those moments have been... I've never felt so spiritual and yet so animalistic at the same time, there's something about the way someone described it once to me was like, instead of going up to reach spiritual souls, or whatever you wanna call it, we're going down, going down into the body, down into the earth, and there's so much magic in that. So be a gorilla or a beast.

1:06:32.3 PA: Be a gorilla. I love it. Alright, rageheart.co John.

1:06:36.6 JW: Rageheart.co.

1:06:37.2 PA: Thanks for joining us.

1:06:38.1 JW: Thanks, Paul.

1:06:38.9 PA: For the podcast. It's been a pleasure.

1:06:41.0 JW: Thank you.


1:07:05.5 PA: This conversation is bigger than you or me, so please leave a review or comment so others can find the podcast. This small action matters more than you know. You can find show notes and transcripts to this podcast on our blog at thethirdwave.co/blog. To get weekly updates from the leading edge of the psychedelic renaissance, you can sign up for our newsletter frequency at thethirdwave.co/newsletter, and you can also find us on Instagram at @ThirdWaveishere or subscribe to our YouTube channel at youtube.com/Thethirdwave.

Related Podcasts