The Science of Fulfillment: Psychedelics & Mental Health


Episode 187

Anna Yusim, M.D.

Anna Yusim, M.D., author of Fulfilled, joins Paul F. Austin for a conversation on the intersection of science, spirituality, and psychedelics.

Dr. Anna Yusim is a Board-Certified, Stanford- and Yale-educated Psychiatrist & Executive Coach with a private practice in New York City and Connecticut.  She is the best-selling author of Fulfilled: How the Science of Spirituality Can Help You Live a Happier, More Meaningful Life.  On the clinical faculty at Yale Medical School, Dr. Yusim is presently creating a Spirituality & Mental Health Center there.  With clients including Forbes 500 CEOs, Olympic athletes, A-list actors and actresses, and the Chairs of academic departments at top universities, Dr. Anna Yusim has helped over 2,000 people in 60 countries achieve greater impact, purpose, and joy in their life and work.

As a highly sought-after speaker, Dr. Yusim gives keynotes for physicians and professionals worldwide on topics related to mental health and spirituality, thriving post-COVID, preventing burnout, meaning-making, and resilience.  For healthcare professionals, corporate leaders, and community members, she also conducts workshops to empower individuals to sharpen their intuition, cultivate authenticity, awaken self-compassion, enhance their capacity for empathy, and improve their ability to connect with others.

Connect with Dr. Yusim at or at @annayusim on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Podcast Highlights

  • Dr. Yusim’s research on stress with Dr. Robert Sapolsky at Stanford.
  • How Dr. Yusim’s relationship to stress has shifted throughout her life and career.
  • Dr. Yusim’s path to founding the Spirituality & Mental Health Center at Yale.
  • Does psychedelic therapy always need to have a spiritual component?
  • Dr. Yusim explains her book, Fulfilled.
  • Psychic vs. psychotic: schizophrenia, channeling, and shamanism.
  • Dr. Yusim’s forthcoming book on the science of miracles.
  • Making your unconscious conscious to find freedom, choice, and healing.
  • Dr. Yusim’s executive coaching work.

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Podcast Transcript

0:00:00.0 Paul Austin: Hey, listeners. Welcome back to the Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave. Today, I am speaking with Dr. Anna Yusim, an internationally recognized and award-winning board-certified psychiatrist and executive coach.


0:00:15.7 Anna Yusim: Spirituality entered my life, so then I became a psychiatrist doing spirituality and ended up writing this book on spirituality and mental health. I became very interested in it, learned somewhere along the lines about psychedelics through my patients and also academically they were coming into prominence, and realized that, wow, psychedelics are offering something completely novel in the world of psychiatry. And this is what we're creating now is a spirituality and mental health center at Yale to study psychedelics, but many other places also where spirituality and mental health overlap.

0:00:54.2 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.


0:01:30.1 PA: Hey, listeners. I am so excited to have Anna Yusim on the podcast today. Anna is the author of, Fulfilled: How the Science of Spirituality Can Help You Live a Happier and More Meaningful Life. And in this conversation today, we talk about Robert Sapolsky, her mentor at Stanford, who's one of the leading researchers on evolutionary neurobiology. We go deep into Anna's personal search for fulfillment. We talk about her extensive travels for studying the Kabbalah. We talk about Buddhist meditation. We talk about the efficacy of psychedelics from a psychiatric perspective to help people live more meaningful lives. And finally, we also talk about Anna's role as an executive coach. Over the last few years, she's been doing a lot more coaching rather than just private practice, and she also has found a lot of meaning and fulfillment in this. You really will enjoy this episode today with Anna. She is engaging, she is radiant, she is ebullient, and all of that chimes through in this fantastic episode.

0:02:31.6 PA: Dr. Anna Yusim is a board-certified Stanford and Yale-educated psychiatrist, and executive coach with private practices in both, New York City and Connecticut. She is also the best-selling author of, Fulfilled: How the Science of Spirituality Can Help You Live a Happier, More Meaningful Life, and a clinical faculty member at Yale Medical School, where she is currently working to establish a spirituality and mental health center. Dr. Yusim has helped over 2,000 people in 60 countries, including many high-profile clients, achieve greater impact, purpose, and joy in their lives and work. She is a highly sought-after speaker who gives talks and conducts workshops on topics such as mental health, spirituality, post-COVID resilience, and more, to healthcare professionals, corporate leaders, and community members.

0:03:25.6 PA: Okay, before we dive into today's episode, a word from our sponsors.

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All right, that's it for now. Let's go ahead and dive into this episode with Dr. Anna Yusim.

0:05:10.7 PA: Hey, listeners. Welcome back to the Psychedelic Podcast. Today, we have Dr. Anna Yusim, who is joining us for the show. Anna, you are calling in from a really interesting place. I think you're in Cabo at the moment. It's really an honor to have you on the show. I did a little bit of background research before coming on. The range and the diversity of things that you've created and built and been a part of is quite impressive. I'm really excited to have you on the show today.

0:05:46.9 AY: Thank you so much, Paul. I feel the exact same way about you, and I'm thrilled to be here.

0:05:53.3 PA: Interesting first question that I have, and I've done this with a few of our other guests. As I was reading through your biography, I noticed there was a guy in your biography by the name of Dr. Robert Sapolsky. And I'd love if you could just tell us a little bit about who Dr. Robert Sapolsky was, and what your relationship to him was, and what you learned and really absorbed from that relationship?

0:06:22.6 AY: Yes, good, great question. So, Robert Sapolsky was a hugely influential person in my life, in my Stanford days. He was my research mentor at Stanford. For two years and a little bit afterwards, I worked in his lab throughout the year, meaning spending countless nights staying up all night with rat guillotines, chopping up rat brains, and then subjecting those rat brains to all sorts of different what they call ischemic or energetic insults. Basically, seeing how the brain responds to stress. That was my research at Stanford, the effects of stress on the brain.

0:06:54.0 AY: It was really, really fascinating. It foreshadowed all the work that I would do downstream as a psychiatrist, as a researcher, very different from the work I'm doing now with spirituality and mental health, except for the fact that stress is all-pervasive and all of us are impacted by it all the time. And so, to have had this time at Stanford for two years to study, to think, to research, to publish on the effects of stress on the brain and with Dr. Robert Sapolsky, who's the most inspiring, amazing research mentor ever, was such an honor and a privilege. So, that's who he was in my life. And a footnote on that is that my first book, Fulfilled, came out the same week as his last book, Behave. So, we were able to do some cross-promotion at the New York City YMCA. And that was just so special to have someone I admire so much endorsing my book and just supporting me and being able to connect with him again in that way.

0:07:50.3 PA: And what is the thing that he is best known for? 'Cause I heard about him through, I think, the Andrew Huberman podcast. I believe he's gone on there and talked about evolutionary biology, if I remember correctly. So what is his maybe core thesis or core assertion or what he really believes and has established from a research perspective at Stanford?

0:08:15.8 AY: Absolutely. So, there are many things, but really, it's what I was studying, the effects of stress on the brain and actually the effects of stress on the whole body. And the idea is that, so this is best encapsulated in one of his first books called, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers. And the idea is that...

0:08:30.2 PA: That is so awesome.

0:08:31.9 AY: Yes, that a little bit of stress for all of us is actually really good. It heightens our cognition. It makes us a little bit more alert, awake. It revs our organ systems to work a little bit better, makes our muscles work a little better to run away from hungry alligators and other threats and other predators. However, in the long term, chronic stress actually undermines all of our body systems. So, you have these two systems working in parallel. You have the sympathetic system, which is the stress response, and then you have your parasympathetic, which is the rest and digest. When you are under stress, your rest and digest and reproduce, those systems shut down and calm down, whereas the fight or flight system goes. The stress system is the one that gets revved up. To have that for a little bit enables you to solve problems, to be sharp for your exam, to be a little bit more on when you need to be on. But if you are constantly under stress, and that stress could be either a physical stressor, like starvation or actual being trapped or etc., or it could be a psychological stressor, that you are trapped in the prison of your own mind. And we certainly ourselves probably have been there or know plenty of people who have been. COVID, for many people, was a combination of both.

0:09:47.9 AY: It was this chronic stress for years on end, both in the physical reality because people's safety was in danger, but also in our minds because we literally, figuratively and literally were trapped. When that happens, you have all sorts of dysfunction in the body and the systems that are supposed to function, stop. And you have problems with reproduction, problems with digestion, problems with ulcers, problems with your brain. My research specifically was how the part of your brain responsible for learning and memory, the hippocampus, actually can get smaller and you can have neuronal death in that area due to chronic stress. And it was the mechanism through which that happens. That was the research that I did in his lab. And so that's... But Dr. Sapolsky has many different theses, but that's one of the important ones.

0:10:35.5 PA: That's fascinating. I want to come back to that because I imagine that has significant relevance to even the work you're doing today, what you're finding out about the relationship between mental health and spirituality, what role psychedelics could play in that. We've talked about this a few times on the podcast, what is the role of, for example, a mystical experience in shifting the autonomic nervous system to spend more time in a parasympathetic state, et cetera, et cetera. However, what I would love to hear you talk a little bit more about is, as I was reading through your bio, it's really incredible. You're a board certified Stanford and Yale educated psychiatrist. You're an executive coach. You wrote a book in 2017. You're currently working on a second book. You're on the clinical faculty at Yale Medical. You've had clients, including Forbes 500 CEOs, Olympic athletes, I could go on and on. What I would love to hear you talk a little bit about is, just what has your own relationship to stress been like? As someone who is a high achiever, as someone who is really creating and building the world, how have you found that relationship to stress sort of shift and morph over time as you become more aware of the power of a spiritual practice and the importance of mental health?

0:11:59.2 AY: It's such a great question. You're asking such interesting questions, Paul, that no one's asked me on podcasts before, I love that. So, it's interesting because I just was writing this article for MindBodyGreen on sleep. They wanted to know my sleep schedule. They were looking for a number of experts to share their sleep regimen. The way that I started it was, way back in the day, I went to this high school called the Illinois Math and Science Academy, which was this public math and science magnet school, residential. Everybody there slept about four hours per night. I would say that that was where I first learned the meaning of stress, and that was where stress began. And I really feel like it was an experience, which was also one of the most incredible experiences in my life, to be among the most brilliant people, to be thinking, to be doing, to have my heart and mind opened in ways they never had been before with these incredible people, many of whom are still my friends 20 years later. But that was also where I learned about the effects of sleep deprivation, of stress, of being tired all of the time. And what I wrote about in this article was, for years afterwards, I was constantly tired and constantly fighting this sleep debt, because really, I just was exhausted.

0:13:08.7 AY: And that was where I first knew stress. And to overcome that, to get to the place, I think even when I started medical school, I took two years off to be a management consult. No... Yeah, two years off to be, went to Stanford. At Stanford, I started sleeping a little bit more. Then a few years off, it was in medical school that I think things finally stabilized, and I ceased to be tired. [chuckle] But the stress began early on. And because of that, my relationship to stress has been something that I have had to modulate and has been a really important part of my everyday life. Somehow, over time, a number of things happened. Number one, I develop much better coping mechanisms. Number two, as I've gotten older, I've started to need less sleep. Those two things together, I don't feel ever tired anymore. Whereas way back in the day, I was constantly struggling with sleep debt on weekends and always tired. And I'm somebody who loves to do a lot of things, as you said, who loves to have a lot of things going on, loves to be busy, thrives in stressful situations, but not too much. And I love the stress of being busy stress and having to have a lot of energy.

0:14:17.0 AY: I don't like the stress of interpersonal conflict or the stress of other type of stuff. So I guess we all have to choose our stress, and that's the difference between eustress, which is the positive stress, versus distress, which is the not so positive stress. But, yeah, this is something that I have, throughout my life, modulated and with different coping strategies and also just getting more mature, more grounded, more stable in my own life. I don't think that stress is as huge of a part in my life in a way that's at all debilitating, but it's more something that is motivating now.

0:14:53.8 PA: And this goes back to even what you were exploring. You were mentioning... You didn't mentioned this explicitly, but the concept of hormesis, that some stress can be beneficial, whereas chronic stress, or spending too much time in a sympathetic state, has these degenerative effects on the hippocampus and the immune system and all these other aspects in part. So the final question, and this will act as a good transition for the book that you wrote in 2017, is what is that relationship from your perspective between stress and fulfillment?

0:15:32.2 AY: Yeah, it's a great question, and it makes me think of a conversation I just had today. Somebody telling me, she's writing a book about bliss, my friend Denise here, and she was talking about yin bliss versus yang bliss, and yin bliss being very constant and happy and fulfilled, not super stressful, just being at peace bliss, versus the yang bliss of ecstasis, amazing, orgasmic, and being able to have those two things together. And I think that that's really the relationship that, on one hand, it's the negation of stress that allows for the yin bliss and a little bit of hormesis or the good stress, or even the bad stress that forces you to be birthed again, to grow, develop, to become a better version of yourself and break through your walls and boundaries. That stress can then lead to much greater bliss in other aspects of your life and is almost a necessary prerequisite for our growth oftentimes.

0:16:31.0 PA: Yeah, it's almost like the concept of anti-fragility, which the listeners have heard me talk about many times. It's stretching or bending without breaking, and it's even then adapting and growing from it. Even if we're slightly stretched beyond what we previously thought was possible, what actually matters a lot more is not that it happened, but what is our relationship to the fact that it happened? Did we feel like it was forced upon us, or did we feel like we chose it? That sense of willful participation actually makes an incredible difference in how we grow and develop from the stressor itself.

0:17:13.5 AY: Precisely, absolutely. And I think of always hormesis with my cold plunges. That's exactly what it is, a little discomfort, but it does really good things for anti-aging and for getting yourselves healthy and well. So, 100%. I think that's an anti-fragility, hormesis, cold plunges, all of that, yes.

0:17:28.5 PA: Yeah, choice makes a huge difference in that process.

0:17:31.8 AY: Exactly.

0:17:33.4 PA: It makes such a big difference. And even... The who was the guy who wrote, Man's Search for Meaning? Viktor Frankl, would talk about this, right? How he survived, I believe, Auschwitz, and as part of the Nazi concentration camps. It's because he chose to make a choice of focusing on why still be alive, why still choose life in a world of death, more or less.

0:17:58.6 AY: Absolutely. Absolutely.

0:18:01.2 PA: In some ways, we skipped ahead, right? We got right into Sapolsky, your research at Stanford. Tell us a little bit more just about, and you hinted at this already, but tell us a little bit about your path in life. What is it that brought you into, not only research, but medicine? And what is it that has you interested in psychedelics, mental health, and spirituality?

0:18:30.7 AY: Yeah. So the medicine question is, I actually come from a long line of mathematicians. Everybody in my family is a mathematician in some way, shape, or form. I, not surprisingly, went to the Illinois Math and Science Academy, joined the math team, and completely fell in love with math at an early age. I was a big nerd, I would spend hours doing math contest problems, I'd win a lot of contests, and it was what I just love. I was so passionate about solving these problems, and the way that math worked. It was so logical. It was so beautiful. It was so aesthetic, the golden ratio. This was my life, and this is what I was going to continue to do for the rest of my life. So I go to Stanford, enroll in some math classes, and lo and behold, so many of the TAs are brilliant mathematicians from other countries. They don't speak English, and I can't understand anything anybody is saying. Suddenly, my passion for math begins to dwindle. And so what am I going to do with my life? Not a math professor.

0:19:23.5 AY: And so I start to think about, what are other people doing. And I see that 90% of my class is pre-med, I'm like, "Okay, they must know something." So I jump on the pre-med bandwagon, and towards the end, by the end of Stanford, the majority of people were off the Pre-Med bandwagon, by that time, I had enrolled with Dr. Sapolsky, joined his lab, was really, really loving this. And also I started doing philosophy, so I did two theses, one in Biology which one on recess and one in philosophy. So I had this philosophy thing, I had the biology thing going on, and one day discovered a book in the room of my friend Antigone from Cyprus, and the book was lying on the couch, by Irvin Yalom. And it was this amazing, existential psychiatrist from Stanford who writes about his patients from this existential psychiatry perspective. And had so much depth and so much wisdom in his writing, that as I read it I just felt like my soul pulled to this, I'm like, "I wanna be this person, I wanna understand human beings with as much depth, and I wanna then write about and describe their human struggle in such a beautiful way." And so he became a role model.

0:20:35.7 AY: We're pursuing psychiatry, and so I went into Yale knowing I wanted to be a psychiatrist and I wanted to be just like Dr. Yalom. And that's what happened up until the point where my life started to... Unexpected things started to happen, and spirituality unexpectedly entered my life, and this is towards the end of my residency training, where a number of things happened that were difficult for me to explain. One of the things was, I met this person... So it was like, it was my dark night episode, there was all sorts of things going on, it seems like nothing was working out. One of them was, I was dating this guy, was really, really into this person, and then found out that he was dating all these other people, and now it's kind of like, "Yeah, that's what happens, people do that," but back then it was like, "How can this be? Oh my God. Doesn't he know he's my soulmate? He didn't get the memo?" But he didn't get memo. So this is a big, big heart break. And for me it was just like, "I thought he was my soul mate." [laughter] And I went down this rabbit hole and started also just understanding from a spiritual perspective, this concept of soul.

0:21:41.0 AY: This concept of soulmates, and it's so interesting 'cause as a psychiatrist I'm supposed to be a doctor of the soul, but the concept of soul was never brought up or discussed in medical school and residency in... At all. And so I then became really, really interested in this concept of the soul, and started traveling the world and travel to Ashrams in India, I learned Buddhist meditation in Thailand, I started working with different Shaman in South Africa and South America to really understand what is the soul. And if I'm supposed to be a doctor of the soul how do I help people heal the soul? And it was just this fascinating journey into myself and also into all of these other forms of healing. And this other understanding of human nature and how the mind works and how healing works, it was very illuminating. And then I came back and started studying Kabbalah in New York City, which also started to put language to some of these things that I was experiencing, and that's how I...

0:22:37.8 PA: Did you go to the Kabbalah Center in Midtown? And spend some time there?

0:22:39.4 AY: Yeah, yeah, I spent some time there, I actually had this dream of a sign that said Kabbalah Revealed before I started studying Kabbalah. And then a few weeks later, I was walking to dinner with a friend and I saw the exact sign from my dream, Kabbalah Revealed, and it was the Kabbalah Center. So I walked in, I started taking a class and that became my spiritual home for the next, maybe 8 to 10 years. And I learned so much, there's so much wisdom there, and I met some amazing people. And that was... After that moved to Connecticut, so I wasn't able to partake in the same way. But yeah, so spirituality entered my life, so then I became a psychiatrist in spirituality and ended up writing this book on spirituality mental health, became very interested in it. Learned somewhere along the lines about psychedelics through my patients and also academically they were coming into prominence and realized that, wow psychedelics are offering something completely novel in the world of psychiatry. First, they're offering a biological neurobiological mechanism that a psychiatric medicine has not seen in decades, so this is super exciting because so many people don't respond to the traditional drugs.

0:23:53.5 AY: And, it's a medication or it's a medicine that's also offering people a way of connecting to a deeper part of themselves into the spiritual world. So it dovetailed so perfectly with my interest in mental health and spirituality, so I got very, very interested in psychedelics and started to... And ultimately was, I wasn't on the faculty at Yale when I wrote my book, they invited me to come on faculty and to start this mental health and spirituality center, so this is what I've been working on really most about for the last year. And this is what we're creating now is a spirituality Mental Health Centre at Yale to study psychedelics, but many other places also where spirituality and mental health overlap.

0:24:40.8 PA: That's super exciting.

0:24:42.9 AY: Yeah.

0:24:43.3 PA: A center for mental health and spirituality at one of the most prestigious universities, and to do that from a soul-centric perspective almost feels like it's antithetical to the traditional academic discourse, right? So much of academia, and even so much of psychiatry and generally health care is very reductionist. And I think the balance that, you mentioned going to India and South America and studying with teachers and shamans, and a lot of that would be considered very woo in a more academic setting. And I think this is one of the interesting aspects that psychedelics are surfacing from a cultural perspective, is they're helping us to remember the value of the mystery and not feeling is that everything has to be quantified or reduced to an atomizer variable. I would love to hear more about the center, how did that come about? Where are you at in the process? What have you learned through the process? What are some of the challenges specifically that you faced as you started to put those pieces into place?

0:26:08.8 AY: Yeah, yeah, I'd love to tell you about that. So, I came on faculty, the clinical faculty at Yale right after writing my book, which is in 2017. And at the time, Dr. Rohrbaugh who has been a wonderful advocate and mentor for me when I was a medical student, and also now having come in clinical faculty, we started talking about my starting the center. I knocked on a few doors and the answer was, "No, no, no." From the universe, from Yale, it just didn't seem like the world was ready. So I put it aside, I'm like, "When the time is ready, I'll do this again." So I started... I continued to do my work, my spiritual pursuits, and I went to a Joe Dispenza retreat, and I'm sitting at a Joe Dispenza retreat, and I get this message, "The time for your center is now," okay? And then it's like, "Go knock on the doors again." So I go back, and this is about six to eight months ago. I go knock on the doors again, this time the doors swing wide open, Dr. Krystal who's the Chair of Yale Psychiatry, is like, "This is a really important project".

0:27:03.8 PA: Dr. John Krystal?

0:27:05.4 AY: Yes.

0:27:06.2 PA: Yeah, yeah, John. Yeah, yeah.

0:27:07.3 AY: Yes. And to give you context, yeah, Dr. Krystal is amazing, he's one of the pioneers in the use of ketamine for depression, and it's because of him and his research that we have all of these ketamine clinics using ketamine, not just for pain but for our treatment resistant depression, so it was his research that ultimately prompted that. And he calls a meeting with Bob Rohrbaugh who's been my mentor and with Dr. Christopher Pittenger, an endowed chair who I have also been meeting with about the center and then he's like, "This is a really important initiative. Let's make this happen, or do our best to make it happen. You never know because funding has to come in, etcetera." But the fact that Dr. Krystal in a very, very Neurology, Neuroscience-based psychiatry department, saw the importance of a spirituality mental health center. And the way that I proposed it was that it would be a collaboration between the Divinity School and the Medical School. And so Dr. Krystal saw the importance of that, and asked Dr. Rohrbaugh and Dr. Pittenger to support me.

0:28:02.5 AY: Dr. Pittenger then came on to co-lead the Center with me, and we have since been seeking funding, and doing what we need to do to make this a reality. We're currently seeking our first anchor donor in order to make the center a reality, and we're having discussions with a number of different people, but it's a really, really exciting time because we are also elucidating the research priorities. We have a number of people at Yale doing very relative work who we're gonna bring in, but my vision is to bring in an amazing endowed chair, like somebody who is junior but about to very junior enough to be able to come to Yale to do this, to be able to take this endowed chair. And we have a few people on the short list who we're are speaking with right now, and this person would then run the center.

0:28:50.4 AY: And really, really interesting possible collaborations have come in, one of them being that the work of the center and the work that I have done this far has really been with personal and human individual transformation. But we have one possible donor who may come in from the perspective of social transformation, so not just changing at the level of the individual, but actually creating intentional communities with the right values behind them to enable societies of individuals to thrive. So we're thinking maybe bringing that into our center as well. So there's a lot of very exciting developments and our number one thing that we're looking for is the anchor donor.

0:29:24.5 PA: So if there's anyone listening to this who might know an anchor donor that would be be phenomenal to help Anna out as they're bringing this to life. Is there... I know with Harvard, for example, Harvard has started a... I don't know if it's a psychedelic specific research center yet, but they have done some things. Like Johns Hopkins has started a psychedelic research center, NYU at Langone has started a psychedelic research center, UCSF with a Michigan, my home state has started one. For this at Yale is there going to be a distinction between this and maybe a future psychedelic research center, or do you sense that those will be integrated to some degree?

0:30:03.4 AY: Yes, so that's a great question, and so Dr. Pittenger who is co-leading the spirituality mental health center, actually runs the psychedelic research program at Yale. And we have had many discussions about this, so we're very connected and we're gonna be collaborating very closely in our two centers. But we're gonna keep them separate for the reason that our belief is that psychedelics, although they are spiritual and have the potential to create deep spiritual connections are not wholly spiritual. So they don't wholly belong in a spirituality mental health center. We also wanna a psychedelic research center that studies the biology, the neurobiology of psychedelics which is what is being done by amazing, so many amazing folks at Yale including Ben Kelmendi and many others. And so we're gonna have these two centers, the Psychedelic Research Program the Dr. Pittenger runs, and then our Mental Health and Spirituality Center that Dr. Pittenger and I are co-leading.

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0:32:43.2 PA: It's interesting that the... Where you... I'm not saying you specifically, but just generally where that landed with psychedelics not being wholly spiritual, right? And I think the counterpoint that I would make to that is even elucidated in the research with Johns Hopkins, which we talked about before before going live on the podcast. That actually the degree of healing comes from these high-dose psilocybin experiences, it was correlated with the intensity of the mystical experience that one has. And so I feel like I understand the point around, there are still many other ways or many other aspects or elements to explore of the psychedelics. What are the properties of inflammation, what do they do into the neurobiology, what's the use case for addiction and how that might change communities and the social fabric etcetera, etcetera.

0:33:37.4 PA: And at the end of the day, I think the point that I would make, what you may or may not agree with is psychedelics it's like you can't think of these outside of a spiritual context. That every use case of them at some point or way or level involves touching into the soul, touching into sort of the unknown and valves can be very sexy, attractive, all encompassing. So I think I also understand the concern that if you have a psychedelic research center, it might just sort of encompass the mental health spirituality. So to have that distinction allows for enough space, because this is what I've noticed is... And you've probably seen this with clients or people coming through, right? They hear about these miracle stories with psychedelics, and then they're like, "Oh my gosh, they haven't experienced, it's life-changing." I was this way, many people are this way, we just become totally obsessed with them and they take over everything. So to have some boundaries there is probably healthy.

0:34:50.4 AY: Yeah, yeah, no comment on that because I'm very much in your camp and I think it's very difficult to distinguish the two, but that is my personal perspective on that. I live within a university of neuroscientists, not everybody of who believes there to even be a spiritual dimension to psychedelic use and so I totally respect that. And this is kind of the distinction with ketamine and the question of in order for people to truly have the ketamine effect that we are looking for them to have, do they need ketamine-assisted psychotherapy? Is there a psychological component at all? Or can they be just standing on their head and doesn't matter what they're doing, it just affects the brain in a certain way and that's it. And there are people in both camps, and so this is, I think, very much the thing at Yale, that's not everybody believes psychedelics to have that spiritual perspective or dimension, the majority of the psychedelics researchers they're looking at the biology and neuroscience of psychedelics use.

0:35:46.8 AY: They're doing very, very important work in that area, but a lot of people like Ben Kelmendi who is very engaged with Dr. Pittenger, the two of them are creating the psychedelics research program. Ben and I are gonna be most likely sharing space, so we're gonna be in the same space, being able to collaborate all the time. And so our centers are gonna be very, very connected, very collaborative, and yet also still separate.

0:36:11.7 PA: One thing I wrote down as you were talking about this relationship between the School of Divinity and the Medical School 'cause you had mentioned that as part of the Yale Center, is this relationship between spirituality and science. And I was having a conversation, six weeks ago at dinner with my girlfriend at the time, we were out with another couple, and we landed on... She basically expressed the frustration that a lot of sort of scientists, neuroscientists, 'cause she does a lot of neural feedback and is very in that space, she's a doctor of acupuncture in Chinese medicine as well. But she was expressing a frustration that a lot of the scientists are so... What's a nice term? Myopically focused on numbers that there isn't a capacity to really see what might lie beyond that, and the person that we were having dinner with made the counter-point of actually all many of the best scientists that have ever been out there, fully understand the spiritual dimensions and that by being enriched through a spiritual world view their science actually improves as a result.

0:37:16.5 PA: So whenever I hear about, and I hear about this from time to time in the psychedelic space, neuroscientists or academics or researchers who think everything is reducible and explainable part of me, and not all be. But part of me wonders if they've done psychedelics themselves or even had a mystical experience with a high dose of psilocybin or Ayahuasca or even something like 5-MeO-DMT. 'Cause I tend to be someone who's pretty hard-headed, and I was an atheist for a period of time, and when I had this first mystical experience through psychedelics, it was almost undeniable that of what that is and what that entails and the sort of traditions and legacy that have been passed down years, over years, over years, over years, so.

0:38:03.1 AY: Absolutely, absolutely. And I think that your perspective is probably shared by so many, and there are so many people who, like, don't believe because they've never had the experience, and because they sit have a certain dogma or have certain pass-down beliefs, and those beliefs could be the beliefs of science. And it also is very much that dichotomy between science and spirituality, because science is also looking for that which is repeatable testable, subject to double-blind placebo control trials. And spirituality often isn't. Spirituality is subjective, transcended, deeply personal, very difficult to replicate and very difficult to study in a experimental setting. And therefore those two are strange bed fellows, right? So there's this dichotomy. And the scientists can be drawn to the science, but also be put off because of the subjective nature, the transcendent nature by the spirituality.

0:38:54.5 PA: So the subtitle of your book, Fulfilled, is How the Science of Spirituality, just on the same topic, How the Science of Spirituality Can Help You Live a Happier, More Meaningful Life. I'd love for you to talk a little bit about that. What is that science of spirituality? We've talked about it pretty extensively as it relates to psychedelics, so if you want to include that as well, feel free. But even outside of psychedelics, what is that science of spirituality? And in writing this book, what stories did you hear about how a spiritual practice, a spiritual orientation, actually helps to improve mental health and overall wellbeing, helps us to find fulfillment as a human being?

0:39:35.7 AY: Yeah. So great question. So the science of spirituality means so many different things. And so before we dive into that, let's think, let's define spirituality. What is spirituality? The way that I like to define it is a connection to something greater than oneself, which for some people can be God, but for some people can be a collective consciousness. A set of transcendent values like hope, trust, perseverance. It could be source, it could be mother nature. It could be whatever it is that connects you to something greater than yourself. It does not have to be God, and you don't have to believe in God in order to be spiritual. And according to this definition, you can be a spiritual atheist if you're in flow with life and feel very connected to something greater than yourself. Now, the science of spirituality is how we quantify this very subjective, often intangible experience.

0:40:24.6 AY: And there's a lot of ways that people have done that. And it's been shown that partaking in various spiritual or sometimes religious, sometimes spirituality and religion are one for certain people. Sometimes they're opposites and completely different. Religion is usually endorsement of certain, beliefs having to do with a specific cultural or religious tradition. And spirituality is much more free form, which could be different things to different people. But having certain spiritual beliefs or practices is linked to better health outcomes. And that's physical health and mental health. Going to church improves your recovery from a heart attack. Having an enlightenment experience is one of the greatest predictors of sustained remission in alcoholism. Being able to have a community which spirituality and religion offers, having community actually aids in all kinds of health outcomes, both mental and physical health. It reduces heart disease, it reduces cancer, cancer support groups, which is community, not necessarily spiritual, but they help people in their cancer recovery.

0:41:27.6 AY: And that's been shown over and over and over. So having any kind of spiritual practices or beliefs can help. And also spirituality offers questions to why the bad things happen to good people and answers to those questions. It offers community, it offers practices of healthy living, and it offers many other things that have also a connection to a higher power. And usually not just a connection to a higher power, but co-creating with that power. Not just waiting for God to save you. Though surrendering also is a very powerful way of feeling, saying, I've done all I can God take over. That's very powerful. And that's very hard for many people ;cause we need control. But what is often even more powerful is working together with God, "God, I'm gonna do my part and I need you to do your part." If you know if your higher power is at heart, it could just be, "I'm gonna do what I can. I'm gonna let the universe do what the universe can."

0:42:18.0 AY: But that's one of the ways in which science and spirituality are connected. And there's many, many others as well. So other things that will be studied at the Mental Health and Spirituality Center are the fine line between being psychic and being psychotic or somatic mediators of meditation and yoga practices. How do meditation, how does meditation and yoga actually change the body? And how does it help people to heal? Joe Dispenza and his research team has some amazing and very interesting compelling data on that question. And other things are the role of spirituality and resilience, and recovery from PTSD, the role of psychedelics in helping people to overcome stress and to optimize their performance and overall wellbeing, questions like that. All of that falls under the science of spirituality rubric.

0:43:06.5 PA: Incredible. I wrote down a couple notes. One is SBNR, Spiritual But Not Religious, which is a sort of in... You know, a lot more people are coming into this, I think partly through psychedelics, right? I hear stories all the time of those who are, let's say, leaving the Mormon church and it was very traumatic. And they find their way to psychedelics and it can help to heal a lot of that. I mean, I'm a great example of this. I was raised in a religious home, Protestant, I, around the age of 15, 16, started to explore atheism. And then when I was 19, 20, did psychedelics and came back into being an understanding of spiritual practice, even if I wasn't necessarily following any religious dogma. And, and, and this even goes into what you were talking about with the center, that you're starting around collective transformation, right? What are these intentional communities of the future that provide that spiritual nourishment without having to be the same dogma of, you know, the Abrahamic religions or other, other religions that people have normally been, ensconced within.

0:44:11.0 AY: Exactly.

0:44:11.1 PA: The thing that I want to go deeper into is this sort of, this paradox... Not paradox, but the polarity of psychic versus psychotic. Because we've talked about this on the podcast a few times, what's the relationship between schizophrenia and shamanism? And so I'd love for you to hear, just sort of flesh that out a little bit. What is that line between psychic and psychotic? What did you learn about that process and how does that maybe relate to this next book that you're writing about miracles?

0:44:42.8 AY: Beautiful, beautiful. So yeah, the psychic versus psychotic question, it's such an interesting question because there are individuals who I've met in my life who are psychics, and at the beginning of my own spiritual journey, I had started seeking answers to questions about the soul. And I went to a lecture in a local synagogue by Rabbi Jonathan Feldman, who ended up becoming this amazing mentor to me. And I was walking back home and felt compelled to go to this ice cream store and have an ice cream. I'm like, "Okay, let's have an ice cream." So I'm sitting eating my ice cream, and this woman with a child comes up to me and says, "I have a message for you. Can I give you a message?" And I was like, "Okay, sure. Give me a message. Who are you? I have no idea."

0:45:24.0 AY: And so she starts down and starts espousing all these truths about my life, including the name of that guy who I thought was my soulmate. And she had no way of knowing. No one really knew about that. And she just like, you met this person, this is what happened. And then all these other things. And I was just blown away. I'm like, "Who are you? Who did you say you were? Who's this child?" And so that was my first exposure to psychics. And that there are people with powers, there are people who know things. They don't know how... She doesn't know how she knows things. They don't know how they know things, but they know things and they can tap into things. And so what that means is that, that there are things to tap into that we as human beings can channel.

0:46:02.1 AY: We can tap into all sorts of things and we can tap into things in the service of helping to heal others, right? Even in a way, when I am working with my patients, I'm tapping into something, I'm listening to them and using my mind, but I'm also, I feel tapping into something that's like above that, that together with my reason is what comes out of my mouth. And then there are these psychics that they channel and they're able to tap into something to know what most people don't know. And then what happens with schizophrenia? Those people are also possibly tapping into something. And there's a ton of research about the brain dysfunction, schizophrenia and the brain regions involved, and the neurotransmitters that are not balanced and the medications that work to heal it. But on some level, there's also something about them tapping into something that is beyond what ordinary people are tapping into it all times.

0:46:52.8 AY: But the difference between what psychics versus what people with psychosis are tapping into is that, for the psychics, they have control and they know how to use that information. They can use it in the service of healing. It's not to say that they're always right or, but they could be right. And sometimes they can pull things out that could be just shockingly interesting or true. Whereas schizophrenics are often ruled by their either hallucinations, delusions, et cetera, and they don't have control, and they're not able to have good reality testing to differentiate what is coming into their brain from what's real. And they're sometimes not able to even say, like, is this coming from inside of you or outside of you? There's a confusion there. There's a very, very deep confusion. And that confusion, first of all, it's can be helped with with medications. And I've seen in my practice many times that people with psychotic symptoms get much better with medications.

0:47:43.0 AY: That's number one. And number two, there is really, it could be without medication, a downward spiral that really could ruin people's lives. I've seen that as well. But I also know that in families where people are psychotic, people are also more likely to be psychic. And so it's a propensity, it's a vulnerability, but also some sort of genetic openness to this possibility, a different way of your brain working that can make you more open to receiving something from somewhere. What it is that they're tapping into what it is that they're receiving, it's hard to elucidate, but they're receiving something that could be incredibly constructive and interesting and healing or incredibly destructive if people don't know how to work with it.

0:48:23.3 PA: And so when those psychic potentials are open, let's use a shaman as an example, right? 'Cause there's a way in the initiatory process for shamans within an indigenous context, they have to be baked in some ways, right? And that way they can actually hold and handle the energy that is moving through and not be sort of overwhelmed and totally thrown off by it. And then with that, with the capacity to, let's say, channel that energy, for lack of a better term, they then have the capacity to heal, 'cause the role of a shaman is, is for healing. And that healing can often be miraculous. And so I'd love you just to sort of continue to elucidate that. What is that sort of relationship between the shaman, the healing powers, and sort of your understanding of miracles?

0:49:19.8 AY: It's a great question because as I told you, I'm working on a book right now on the Science of Miracles. My first book was on the Science of Spirituality. This one is on the Science of Miracles. And what is a miracle? I define it as something that is highly beneficial and gets statistically improbable, which is actually a pretty secular definition. By that definition, miracles happen all the time. And we all want, especially when we are healing from illnesses or incurable illnesses, or pretty much incurable illnesses, we want that miracle. We wanna be able to be the person that's able to walk away and say, "Okay, I did it. I was able to heal myself," or, "I was able to heal myself in concert with the help of a shaman, or the help of a doctor, or the help of an amazing healer in some way, shape, or form."

0:49:58.8 AY: And the question of the book is, what can we as human beings do to open ourselves up to this healing, and to open ourselves up to miracles? Now the way that you frame the question was interesting because, what you were saying was that it was the shaman that was providing the healing. And what I would frame the question as, I think what the shaman does is the shaman opens you up to heal yourself. Ultimately, our body is self-healing and our body knows how to heal itself. Oftentimes we forget, or we have so much blockage and resistance to healing ourselves because of habits of mind, because of our understanding of a disease that is so entrenched and so deeply, you know, in society with these are the percentages of people who live and die, these are the percentages of your recovery. And you buy into that as gospel not realizing that actually no, your body can heal itself as well.

0:50:49.4 AY: I've gotten very interested in this work by following some of Joe Dispenza's work. Joe Dispenza is a meditation teacher. And people will often go to his retreats, week long retreats, after they have tried everything, their chemotherapy has failed, their drug regimen has failed, the medications have failed, everything's failed, they're ready to die. And then they're like, "Okay, I'm gonna try one more thing. I'm gonna go to a Joe Dispenza retreat." And they go. And there's been so many people with amazing, miraculous healings. There are many of whom I've spoken with and who've given their testimonies firsthand, and many of which have been medically verified. And this is people with cancer. The chemotherapy didn't work. They had to stop their chemotherapy because the side effects were so bad. And then they started meditating. So what you do with Joe Dispenza retreat is you meditate 35 hours in one week, which for most of us, that's a ton of meditation.

0:51:39.4 AY: I don't do 35 hours in one week. But there's something that happens in our bodies and in our systems. We're in a group of cohesive people, like a thousand or so, people all meditating together for one week. A lot, a lot, a lot of meditation for most of us. Something shifts in your field and you have a breakthrough and your cells start to regenerate, your cells start to heal themselves. And a lot of your stressors, a lot of the things that caused your anxiety, depression, you start to see them in a different way. A lot of people have really powerful breakthroughs. And in addition to that, they do these energy healings, these coherence healings, where essentially people heal one another through intention. And what Joe Dispenza creates through this experience that he has is when you can think of as a meta placebo, right?

0:52:29.2 AY: It's all of the conditions necessary for you to heal yourself. You have permission to heal yourself because everybody goes there to heal yourself. And then you're given permission even further by all these people giving testimonies of how they've healed themselves. And you're like, "Okay, if they can do it, I can do it. If someone was able to run the four minute mile, then maybe I can do it too. If that person had stage four like metastatic cancer and nothing worked for them, and now they're completely cancer free without drugs, maybe that gives me permission to do that too." Oh wait. And there's also a mechanism, and the mechanism is meditating 35 hours in one week and continuing to do something like that when I go home. Okay? So you're given permission, you're given a mechanism, you're given a community, you're given other people to do it with.

0:53:11.4 AY: You're given the social cohesion and there's a lot of lecture on the science of it all. So you're also given an explanation of how it all works. So it's like a mega placebo and people heal. So this is, some of the things I'm gonna be exploring in this book, what enables us to heal ourselves, whether it be a shaman, whether it be a Joe Dispenza retreat, whether it be something that we discover in a dream, whether it be a psychedelic journey. And so it's very exciting what the human body and the human mind is able to do.

0:53:39.0 PA: When I began meditating many years ago, it, was right after I worked with psychedelics and I found this guy, John Kabat Zinn, who's more of an east coast. I think Joe Dispenza is more of a west coast. And John Kabat Zinn came up with this program called MBSR, mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, where he would take highly stressed professionals through I believe a six week meditation program, and it would totally change their lives. And so as you're talking about the Dispenza, meditation, as you're talking about miracles, as you're talking about healing, just to bring this sort of full circle from where we started this conversation, what is the role of stress in cancer in these major autoimmune or disease issues? And why is it that meditation, non-duality and miracles can often help to heal those things that nothing else could?

0:54:33.1 AY: Stress is on one hand a really positive thing because there's also eustress, it's a positive stress. Stress is what happens when there are things shifting in our lives and we're forced to see the world anew. We're pushed outside our boundaries. Hormesis, right? A little bit of stress, a little bit of anxiety forces us to be birthed and to be birthed to new and to become new people, to rediscover our boundaries, to see ourselves, to, access capabilities of which we are previously unaware and experience things that force us to be better and greater versions of ourselves, and ultimately elevate our consciousness. Without stress, none of that could be possible. On the other hand, too much stress for too long and the wrong kind of stress actually undermines you and predisposes you to all the vulnerabilities of cancer, heart disease, and the leading killers in our country.

0:55:22.1 AY: There's nothing good in that. And the, I think, some of the most difficult questions are that a lot of the things that create stress in our lives also are conflicts at the unconscious level. It's the things of which we're not fully aware that actually create the blockages of why we can't move past certain issues in our life. This is what Sigmund Freud calls Repetition Compulsions or what I like to call the Soul Corrections. Those things that come up in our life often, again and again and again, much to our chagrin and dismay, and despite our best efforts to change it. Right? And those soul corrections are the things that, just like frustrate us to no end and are the greatest challenges that we encounter. And this is where often they're the most stressful and yet we're at a loss to shift them.

0:56:23.5 AY: It's almost like something outside of us has to shift for us, or we have to have, what Maryanne Williamson talks about in A Course of Miracles. That a miracle is a change in perception. And so you have to have a perceptual change in order to truly be able to move past those soul corrections. It either has to be lifted or have a perceptual change or, that you work it through and you figure out what the unconscious blockage is within you that will enable you to shift some of your deeply held core beliefs and actualize what it is that you most deeply want.

0:56:59.7 PA: So that change in perception, there's a phrase that I love, which is that, altered states lead to altered traits. And so when we're looking at, how we shift our perception, there's a lot of psychedelic researchers who are, for example, exploring psychedelics, but taking out the "trip" or the, the sort of psychospiritual experience, right? So there was this one called MC 18 that was like, iboga, but you didn't have a trip, it just blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And what we continue to learn, whether it's through psychedelics or breath work or meditation, whatever the modality is, what we're continuing to learn is, having that altered state is actually central and important because it acts as a pattern interrupt, the usual sort of default way of being. And that pattern interrupt is what allows the insight of, "Oh, this is why this thing continues to repeat itself again and again and again. And now that I have awareness of it, I actually have choice." Yung had a quote, which was something along the lines of... Oh man, I'm gonna butcher this. But it's basically like, something about like the shadow and fate and do you know what quote I'm talking about?

0:58:18.7 AY: I do, I know like the main premise of it. And I just think like what you're saying is the most important thing. It's exactly what... We're saying the same thing in that the way in which you free yourself is you make your unconscious conscious, you bring your shadow to light, and therefore give yourself choice over your actions, as opposed to being victim to repeating the same patterns unconsciously and while you're asleep again and again and again and then getting very upset about it.

0:58:45.2 PA: Exactly. And I have the quote, "Until you make your unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." That's what the quote was.

0:58:54.0 AY: That's it.

0:58:56.0 PA: And so whether it's a psychedelic or whether it's breath work or whether it's meditation, that capacity to open up, open up the sort of skeletons in all the closet and get them out is what allows, allows true freedom, true agency, true choice.

0:59:13.5 AY: Exactly.

0:59:15.8 PA: When is this new book coming out, Anna, on Miracle.

0:59:19.1 AY: I'm working on it right now, hopefully very soon. I'll be done with it within a few months.

0:59:24.5 PA: Beautiful. Well, when it comes out, we'll have to amplify it to the audience. You do currently have a book available, the book is called Fulfilled: How the Science of Spirituality Can Help You Live a Happier and More Meaningful Life. As we wrap up the podcast episode today, we're in the last five minutes or so, I would love to just hear a little bit more about, you talked about the Mental Health and spirituality Center at Yale, which sounds like quite the project that you're working on. What else? This year we're recording this February 16th, 2023. What else in 2023 has you excited, has you motivated, has you jazzed about life and existence?

1:00:04.6 AY: Oh, I feel like so many things. I feel like it's been the most amazing year on so many levels, the Mental health and Spirituality Center is taking off. That's been beautiful. Working on this book has been beautiful. I think just all these incredible people coming into my life. Like I have been spending the majority of the winter in Miami. And because I felt so pulled there by this incredible conscious community that is building there. And so that's just been amazing with these beautiful, beautiful souls. And then groups, I think that I was somehow connected. Are you part of summit? The Summit community?

1:00:33.4 PA: I know of Summit.

1:00:34.3 AY: Yeah, exactly. So yeah, so that has become one of my communities. So I'm really excited to go to Summit Etsy in May.

1:00:39.6 PA: Nice.

1:00:43.1 AY: And I recently went to Palm Springs and so many friends from that summit community and being able to do all kinds of collaborations with them. And then, with my executive coaching work, I'm able to go a little bit deeper with clients who are able to do multi-day engagements. So I recently work with a couple for several days, here actually in Cabo. And that was just an amazing experience to have that level of depth in such short time, which is very different than what the psychiatric model allows. And so I'm very excited to continue that work. And just in general, I just am excited about life. I think that's what happens at a certain point. There's all this stuff, but at the end of the day, it's just about being present and just that life is exciting.

1:01:25.2 PA: What's the focus of the executive coaching? It didn't come up in conversation yet. Tell us a little bit about that.

1:01:29.6 AY: Yeah, and so, I was doing... When my book came out, I was doing all of these talks at all around the country Kripalu, at SLN and Multiversity, at a number of different centers. And at Kripalu for whatever reason, a number of the people who came to my workshop there, it was a three day workshop, were physicians. And one of the physicians came up afterwards and said, "I'm a physician. I'm part of this coaching organization, MG 100, I think that you'd be really good for my organization. I've never nominated anyone before, but I'd like to nominate you for this." And I'm like, "Coaching, huh? Interesting." So I looked it up, started understanding coaching, and I thought, "Okay, this could be a really neat, foray into a whole new world." And I love learning frameworks. I love forays into new worlds.

1:02:12.9 AY: I just, I'm a lifelong learner. And so I joined MG 100 a coaching group, and it was this whole introduction. It was working with CEOs, executives, and a lot of really, really brilliant people who I work with also as a psychiatrist. But this was in a slightly different format, and the format is number one, it's the company that actually hires you. So you're hired by the company to be the executive coach for their CEO. And it's similar therapy work to what I'm doing, but you have a different... You're not just having the person subjective experience color, the work that you do, you actually have feedback from all of their superiors and the people who report to them. So you have this subjective perception, perspective. And it's really interesting, very different model. And with coaching you can have... It's not as regimented of a model. In psychiatry, there are very specific ways that you work with a patient, you're part of a profession, this is how the profession does it. In coaching very different model and allows much for flexibility.

1:03:12.0 AY: So I was able to do this six day engagement with this one couple, and it was really the man of the couple that was the person I was coaching, but I can't coach, like if it's gonna be executive as well as person, like kind of executive coaching, if it's gonna be a multi-day engagement, you can't coach a person without also getting the person who's most important to them. And the person who they most deeply loved also involved. So it was a six day engagement with this amazing couple, and we set very concrete goals and did a lot of work really around heart opening and around taking their relationship to the next level, understanding what the barriers are to their success. And this individual also has a center that he's very excited to put into the world. And it was actually an interacting with him that we started talking about my Yale Center starting to have not just an individual transformation focus, but a social transformation focus. He really inspired me with his thoughts on that. And so, yeah, this is something that... Yeah, this is some of the work that I do.

1:04:13.7 PA: I love it. We have our own training program for coaches at Third Wave.

1:04:17.1 AY: Amazing.

1:04:17.5 PA: So we train executive coaches, performance coaches, wellness coaches, life coaches. A lot of the, a lot of the trainings in the psychedelic space are very focused on therapeutic modality for healing the various things. And so we've taken the other kind of perspective where a lot of our faculty are MDs or clinical psychologists or doctors of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, but then they're also now executive coaches for some of the top performing people in the world. So it's been fun, and I myself do some coaching. It's been fun to sort of explore that lens and that realm because it can be much more expansive than the traditional healthcare psychiatric or therapeutic model.

1:04:52.9 AY: Precisely, that's so cool that you're also in the coaching world. I did not know that. Well, we'll chat offline about that. We have a lot of things to chat about offline.

1:04:57.8 PA: We do have a lot of things to chat about, Anna. Well, it's been a pleasure and an honor to have you here today. I'm glad we can make it all work. If folks wanna follow you on Instagram, if they wanna learn more about you, maybe your website, what are maybe just some places that we can point them to.

1:05:19.8 AY: Sure. Sure. It's Anna Yusim on Instagram and on my website,, and LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, all those. So welcome.

1:05:32.2 PA: Great. Well thank you again for all the work you're doing. Best of luck with the Mental Health and Spirituality Center at Yale. I really can't wait to see that come into fruition. It's so important. And, and listeners, make sure to check out Anna's current book Fulfilled, which can be found on Amazon, and then keep an eye out for her next book coming out about miracles.

1:05:50.4 AY: Thank you so much, Paul.


1:06:14.2 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 to get weekly updates from the leading edge of the psychedelic renaissance. You can sign up for our newsletter frequency at, and you can also find us on Instagram at @ThirdWaveishere or subscribe to our YouTube channel at

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