Leadership coach Dr. Jennie Rivlin explains how the Third Wave Microdosing Experience helped her move from fear to flow, overcome depression, and find healing in community.
Dr. Jennie Rivlin has a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology from Georgia Institute of Technology, and is the founder of the niche retail and consumer product brand ModernTribe. As a leadership coach with over 25 years of experience, she helps businesses and non-profits of all sizes achieve business success, connect with customers, and nurture happiness to help create their best selves and their best businesses.
Dr. Rivlin has created a mindfulness-based approach to leadership that combines the best of positive psychology, wellness practices, eastern and western philosophy, and industrial and organizational psychology to help people make big changes in the way they lead so they—and their teams—can be more engaged, committed, creative, and joyful.
00:00 Paul Austin: In today's episode, we have Dr. Jennie Rivlin who recently went through our pilot microdosing experience program. Dr. Rivlin is an executive leadership coach with a PhD in Industrial Organizational Psychology. And in today's episode, we talk about her path and process that finalized in the microdosing experience. Stay tuned.
00:23 PA: Welcome to The Third Wave podcast. I'm your host, Paul Austin, here to bring you cutting edge interviews with leading scientists, entrepreneurs and medical professionals who are exploring how we can integrate psychedelics in an intentional and responsible way for both healing and transformation. It is my honor and privilege to bring you these episodes as you get deeper and deeper into why these medicines are so critical to the future of humanity. So let's go and let's see what we can explore and learn together in this incredibly important time.
01:01 PA: Hey, listener, we have great news. Third Wave is rolling out another microdosing experience program, a live six-week group coaching program that uses microdosing and intentional ceremony as tools for accelerated growth. We guide you through two weeks of preparation, a breakthrough ceremony, and four weeks of microdosing to elevate your mood, reduce your anxiety and help you feel a deeper sense of connection to those around you. Spots for the program are limited to 50 people, and our next cohort begins Sunday, October 4th. If you're interested in more details, go to our home page, click Academy and click Microdosing Experience. We've also linked to it in the show notes of this episode.
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02:25 PA: Hey, listeners, and welcome back to The Third Wave Podcast. Today is a little bit of a special episode. Normally, I'll bring in people to interview who are maybe medical doctors or therapists, entrepreneurs, writers, even coaches, and we'll talk about their journey with psychedelics, we'll talk about how psychedelics have integrated with their professional path, but in today's episode, we went another layer beyond that and actually talked with someone who went through one of our recent programs. So as mentioned earlier on the podcast, Third Wave is opening up enrollment for a six-week microdosing experience program, and we piloted that program from the end of June to early August with an initial cohort of 50 people, and one of our participants was Dr. Jennie Rivlin.
03:16 PA: Now, Dr. Rivlin and I connected back in January or February of this year, she had just heard about psychedelics at that point in time and was going to have her first Psilocybin experiences, and she actually came out to Oakland where I was living at the time, we had a chance to meet, sit down and record a podcast, which is not this podcast, we didn't end up publishing it. COVID happened, as we all know, the world moved in really odd ways, and then late June, I go and look at the participant list for our microdosing experience program, and I see Dr. Jennie Rivlin in there, and I go, "Hey, Jennie. It's so good to see you here."
03:53 PA: And so Jennie completed the six-week program, she was there and present for every class, active on the Slack channel and the community, and then after the program completed, I reach out to Jennie and say, "Hey, because of your background as a leadership coach, because you're fairly new to psychedelics, but you still have a lot of training in mindfulness, I feel like it would be so interesting to hear about your story, to hear about where you were before COVID, the impact that COVID had on you, and then how the microdosing experience helped you to adapt to this new crazy world that we now live in." So I got her on the podcast, we sat down and chatted for a little under an hour, and it was just such a good time to really connect at a heart and soul level about how Jennie's life was changed and impacted by the work that we're doing here at Third Wave. So without any further ado, I bring you Dr. Jennifer Rivlin.
04:47 Jennie Rivlin: So when I first met you, I had... It had just been like a month since I had gotten back from Jamaica to check out Rise Wellness Retreat. I don't know if you know Irie Selkirk and that team, they're amazing. But I had gone to Jamaica to check out this Rise Wellness Retreat, to have a Psilocybin experience for myself, a macro one, and to see if this was a place that I might wanna bring my clients. And I had this amazing experience there. For the first time ever, I had an externally connected experience. I know you know what I'm talking about, like with your eyes open and with other people being in that relationship un-armored. It was the first time I'd ever experienced that where it was like I felt it was a new kind of awakening, whereas before I'd had awakening moments through meditation, but it was always internal.
05:44 JR: So I was just on this high, and then I had decided that I was gonna take a group of six clients with me to Rise Wellness Retreat in May, and I had three people that were already signed up to go with me, and I flew out to California to go to Wisdom 2.0, and a woman had flown in to meet me from Spain, Laura Lee. Hi, Laura Lee, if you're listening. We were so excited what we were gonna create together in the psychedelic space potentially and we met Rick Doblin and he hooked us up with a Wall Street Journal reporter, and she had interviewed me. She was doing a story... She was working on a story on executives using psychedelics to help them with their businesses. So here I was being interviewed about my experience, and then telling her about what I wanted to do for my clients as an executive leadership coach.
06:37 JR: And I was flying high, and then I had this interview with you, Paul, and I was like, oh, my gosh. And then, Bam! Right? And this happened for so many of us, and so many of you out there listening, I know, our lives have been disrupted. So I went through a whole period of being in denial, thinking, oh, everything was gonna go on as... We were gonna be back to normal come end of April, like we all sort of deluded ourselves into, and slowly I started to realize that what I was creating for myself in this round as an entrepreneur was not going to be happening, and all of the dreams and hopes that I had with that were gonna be shifted, and it was very much entwined with my marriage and the relationship that I was having with my husband at the time. I wanted to retire him. He'd been stuck in his job for way too long and unhappy and just unable to make a move to try to disentangle himself, and I know you must know a sense of that, Paul, and the people listening, that sometimes we just get really get stuck, and so my husband and I had this sort of implicit agreement that I was gonna rescue him from this by becoming the breadwinner.
07:58 JR: And then of course, I was creating this dream business for myself in a way that I had never created before from a place of true purpose and heart's desire. So I'm a long-time entrepreneur as well as being a PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, I was an entrepreneur for 10 years, and I had built this business, I had sold it in 2016. My husband, shortly after that, was diagnosed with a serious form of cancer, he's in remission now, but it shifted me tremendously, that disruptive event, and it brought me to a new level of awareness that I eventually got to like an epiphany moment and a spiritual awakening. At the time, I would have called it an existential awakening through meditation, and it just completely changed my life, and so then here I was building on that and completely shifting my identity, like really.
08:57 JR: I've been an atheist and a skeptic all my life. I said that I've got this doctorate, well, it's from Georgia Tech, it's one of the most materialist, empirical, quantitative, measurement-oriented programs, at least it was at the time, that existed probably in the world, in my field. So I was so quantitative that for a while I was working in the field doing mathematical modeling, like predictive models for marketing and for strategic HR, and I was such a skeptic. And so it was like this breaking open and then this awareness and then a learning that people are having these mystical experiences, these awakening moments, these epiphanies or whatever you wanna call it, through psychedelics that brought me into that space, so I'd been on this long journey, this lifetime journey, I felt like, and then it was like smack and it all sort of...
09:58 PA: COVID. COVID hit.
10:00 JR: That's how it fell.
10:00 PA: Yeah.
10:00 JR: COVID hit and it all fell. So I think it's so beautiful and I'm so grateful to be sitting here having this conversation with you now, Paul, because you've been part of my journey back to where I am now, which is like a next level of understanding myself, and also what I would like to bring into the world, so it's this beautiful sort of book end for me. Like you and I had met right before the COVID where it all began to sort of fall apart, and then you were part of me reawakening and coming back to, remembering who I really am, and now I get to have this conversation, and I'm so grateful because look, the people who are listening out there, I know I'm gonna... Today, when I'm talking, I wanna be as open and authentic and I wanna try to talk to the person that I was before I had that awakening moment where I felt... Through meditation the first time, where I felt that connection and that unity and that oneness and that awe.
11:08 JR: I know there are people out there listening who are where I was, where you're like you're doing meditation and you're doing mindfulness, and you're learning awareness and you're seeing all the benefits of being aware, that you're starting to see reality for what it really is, and you're starting to notice things and you're starting to enjoy yourself more, and I would just wanna encourage everybody who's there but hasn't gone the next step to like, "Where's the unity, and where is the oneness, and where's the love that people keep talking about? What in the world are they really talking about? Are they all deluded or are they all crazy?" They will listen to the psychedelic stuff, right? And people are talking about it. So I want people to know that you keep going and keep... This is just an amazing journey, and you, Paul, and Third Wave, I think that what you're doing is a gigantic mitzvah, in that you are... [chuckle] Really, because you're showing up in a space that is like, it's got its risks, it's a blessing.
12:14 PA: So much of this is a good starting point for our conversation, Jennie, because part of the reason that we're even having this conversation was we connected in March, and just like your world fell apart and my world fell apart and I won't get into the details on that podcast, but you know, millions and millions, if not billions of other people as well, it was just, holy shit. It's before and after globally, right? And I think what I loved about what you said is this is a book end because although we connected maybe five and a half months ago, when COVID hit, I think everyone went into a bit of a cocoon, and then all of a sudden, we rolled out this microdosing experience program, the six-week live group coaching and did a webinar, I think in mid-June about COVID, resilience, microdosing and then all of a sudden I saw, "Oh, whoa, Jennie is joining the experience program, that's so great," 'cause we hadn't talked for a few months by that point.
13:09 JR: Yeah.
13:09 PA: And so what I'd love to just dive into first is... Because I think COVID is sort of the relevant topic in the room for everyone, and you had mentioned, you had all of this great energy, moving up to COVID, you had planned a retreat in Jamaica, and you were gonna bring down a group and you were starting to look at taking over the bread-winning responsibilities from your husband so that he could be less stressed. What were those first couple of months of COVID like for you? What was going on? How were you processing? And I think even more important, in terms of the skill sets that you had taught leaders, or had been teaching leaders about mindfulness and meditation, what did you notice worked, and what were you like, "Oh, maybe I had learned about that, but it wasn't as useful, or as effective as I thought," for you personally? I'd love to hear that, because I think, especially when I think about my own programs or coaching or whatever else that I set up, there's always an element of as above, so below, so ideally, as a coach, and I'm sure you can resonate with this, we only want to be teaching things that in some ways, we deeply know and not academically, but we know know, on an intuitive level. So I'd love to hear about how that dynamic... How COVID shifted that dynamic for you.
14:31 JR: Oh, my gosh, in so many ways. It's insane, I feel like a different person, not really a different person, it's a rediscovering, but with more goal, with more wisdom. Yes, So I'm flying high and I had this amazing awakening experience, my first time within Jamaica, where I had felt connected with my eyes open, in interaction with other people, un-armored, where I felt nowhere to go, no place to be, and that fear or that resistance, I wanna say that, for me, is pretty much always present around other people, that little bit of whisper, maybe it's not there when I'm with my closest friends and family, but out in the world, on this podcast, even now, just this little bit of judgment... Fear of judgment.
15:21 JR: And when that's gone, it was just like, "Ooh," so I had this new knowing, and then all of a sudden, COVID. I was in denial, I think, for a really long time. What I immediately did, was I opened up a connection for my community, all the people who follow me online, a daily connection, Monday through Friday, because I knew that we were gonna feel that disconnection, literal loss of relationship and interaction. So I started that, and so that was really good for me, because it kept me connected with my community, it kept me in service, and of course, I was trying to navigate with my clients, most of them dropped off for several weeks, if not a month or more, just trying to get their stuff together, their workplaces together and their kids together and all that stuff.
16:19 JR: But what I started to notice is that even though I was moving forward and still in action and still in service, which I had always believed was the way to be, I was starting to feel anxious and I was starting to feel heavy, and all my tools and tricks weren't bringing me back to myself, in that piece. And when I say tools and tricks, I'm talking about my meditation, my journaling, I have a very strong morning routine, which I kept, I was in service, which usually helps me feel great, still, but I just was sort of in denial of it. So it probably all was working to a certain extent, because it kept me above board for a long time, I wanna say two and a half months. Then all of a sudden, my body was like, "There's still more here, that you're not looking at," that things have really have changed and you need to have this conversation with your husband, and you're starting to realize that you're in a home with your family and all the disconnection that is present there, even though we love each other so much and we're crazy about each other, when you have this quiet time and you are alone in your home, you start to notice things that you wouldn't have... I hadn't noticed, and my body just wouldn't let me ignore it anymore.
17:39 JR: So what ended up happening is I started having panic attacks. I would wake up in the morning really early, 4:30, 5:30, which was very early for me, 'cause I didn't have any place to be, and I would just be so anxious, that I would immediately start to do whatever I could do, and that evolved into all kinds of things, new breathing techniques, new embodied practices, rhythmic dancing, really trying to figure out what was gonna work. For a really long time, I spent hours every morning, doing this kind of thing to go and get me to a place where I felt okay. And then by the afternoon, I would mellow out, but it's exhausting. Eventually, my friend, one of my dear friends said to me, "Is it time for you to go to ask for help?" And I've been resisting that. In the past, I've been on SSRIs, but not currently. I was on no medication. Your audience will know what an SSRI is, right? Like Prozac.
18:45 PA: For sure. Yeah, Prozac, Zoloft...
18:48 JR: And so I was on nothing, and I was really resistant to going back to a medical model, but it is what it is, and here we are, in the United States of America, and I don't know how to... And even though I am so interested in learning everything about psychedelics that I can, I don't really have them at the ready for me and any kind of way of getting my hands on any kind of psychedelic, at least that was my story then. So I called my psychiatrist, we have our telemedicine session, the therapy is just listening, really, and she prescribes benzo for me, Ativan, which is a short-acting anti-anxiety medicine. I have... It's like... I think it's like Xanax, it's like Xanax, which is something that I hadn't used, didn't use, except one time after my husband was diagnosed with cancer and I was super anxious, she had prescribed this for me, and I was like, "Okay, that's fine." So I started taking that, and she's like, "Just take it when you need it." Well, guess what?
19:52 JR: Every morning I needed it, because I was so anxious. So I started taking it, and the thing is, Paul, it worked. It helped me feel less anxious. But whatever it was that was causing the anxiety was still there and maybe it was helpful in letting me feel the sadness, because I did go deep. I did go deep, deep, deep into sadness at that point. I went deep, deep, deep into sadness to the point of depression.
20:19 JR: And I was in the dark forest, really in the dark forest. And by this point, I'd started to get... Well, I was in grief and I was starting to accept, okay, things have changed. This fantasy of me becoming the breadwinner or whatever the expectation, the plan, all of it was not gonna happen right away, especially given that apparently my body is telling me I have to just stop and listen, 'cause something was going on. It was time for me to just go through it and stop resisting.
20:57 JR: And of course, all of my resisting up to that point, Paul, was why my body ended up going into panic attack, because I wasn't listening. I was in denial. I was just trying to keep going and just pretending like this was all gonna just not be as disruptive as it's ending up being. I was in the dark forest and it was beautiful to be there once I surrender in myself that I was there, and I admitted to my family, and I talked to my parents, and I talked to my coaches, and I talked to my best friends, and I told them, I'm like, "I'm in a dark forest. I am feeling depression and I'm moving through it. And I'm both taking steps to feel better and also doing the deep work that's coming up."
21:46 JR: Because I had seen that, okay, there are these missing pieces for me. Big missing pieces around relationship, especially with my husband, who I love dearly and, honey, will be listening to this, and he knows how much I love him, and how much our marriage has created who I am today in so many beautiful ways. He's the first person that I felt unconditional love, both from and to and with, and we create it together. And also there were these big blind spots in our marriage that I got to start looking at.
22:25 JR: And I also got to realize that even though I was the one that was opening my eyes and gaining this awareness, and my husband wasn't necessarily there seeing that, so I got to kind of lead him to that awareness, and it's been a really, really beautiful thing, but so much beauty and goodness coming out of this, like going rich and deep into the dark. But it was hard, it was really hard. I was fantasizing sometimes about ending it all, never with a plan, but just being really, really tired of feeling the fear, being afraid. And now I understand that a lot of that fear and that being afraid and going so deep was because I had also lost faith.
23:16 JR: So again, I started this discussion, you mentioning that I was this big-time skeptic, big atheist, big materialist... Still am, okay, but I have a completely different perspective on it now. I just didn't have faith for most of my life, and I felt like I found it, in other words, not in a traditional religious God way, but in this connectedness, in this different way of being in the world, in this connected way. And I'm talking about connected with myself and connected with others in a way that is truly deeply felt in love, in a love that is not a romantic love, and it's not a mother-child love, it's a love for humanity.
24:08 JR: And I had lost that faith. I was like, "Oh, my goodness!" This whole path that I'd been on, and everything that I was dedicating my life towards, the mindfulness, the meditation, the emotional intelligence, the psychedelics, I thought... Paul, I didn't realize it at the time, but now I understand that I really believed I would never feel this way again, the depression, the sadness, the darkness again. I had believed that. And what I now know is that that can't be true, because there are so many circumstances in which we are yet to experience as human beings. In other words, the human experience is so broad. Like most people, I've never fallen out of the sky in an airplane, and I hope never to. In other words, until we experience some things, we can't learn the lessons that are available to us in this learning.
25:05 PA: I think that's especially true for something like COVID, because none of us have really lived through a global pandemic that is accentuated by an existential crisis, climate change, which is accentuated by social media and all the division that comes with that, and sort of a replay is what we're seeing culturally from the '60s. So like you, and what you're getting into just now, is we do have all these tools, we've learned about all these tools as coaches and as CEOs, as entrepreneurs, to help us stay balanced. Mindfulness and psychedelics and bio-hacking and sleep and diet and yoga, you name it, there's so many tactical things that we can use to cultivate awareness.
25:51 PA: And as Jim Fadiman said in a recent webinar about a month ago that he did, depression is sort of like an elongated state of being, whereas just being sad is just like the state of the world currently. So I think there is that balance as well, between how do we cultivate sensitivity to be aware of we are going through this major crisis and it is normal to have these really difficult days or weeks or even months sometimes, where like you, for the first couple of months of COVID, I was waking up at 3:00 AM or 2:00 AM, and there was a lot of anxiety and it was difficult. And like you were emphasizing as well, having faith is something that a lot of us lost, myself included, of things will get better. There's a sense of like, "Fuck. Where is the end of this? Is there an end to this? Is this just the new normal and now we're just learning to adapt and we're learning more and more about resilience and we're learning more and more about what we do have control over and what we totally can't control?"
26:52 PA: And even as we're recording this in the end of August 2020, it's like there's still so much that we don't know. And yet, I think for people who are in leadership positions, for those who are training leaders, for those who are helping to cultivate the new wave of leadership, it's important now more than ever to really show up for both ourselves and for our communities and for our families. And I think the best way, at least that I've found to do that, is less and less of a focus on the I, and more and more of a focus on how do we just help others and how do we show up for others and how do we act as a light for others, because then it becomes easy to serve in that way, especially when we have the comfort and security in knowing that even when a pandemic happens, both of us are, I would say all things considered, in fairly privileged positions, so to be able to hold that energy, it's really just a matter of choosing to do that.
27:49 JR: It is a matter of choosing, but I'd... See, I'd forgotten that. And that was a huge theme through your program too, so I think we're gonna talk about choice. I wanna just quickly get to how I ended up joining your course. So here I was depressed and I was doing all this beautiful work and yada yada and being in it, and also wanting to figure out how to move forward. So here I am, unable to... Or not having access to psychedelics, so somebody, another friend, another dear friend, suggested that I try Ketamine. I did that. I found it interesting and it felt good, but it really didn't go deep enough for me. I didn't have that connected experience, and it was a strictly medical model. In other words, there was no counseling, coaching, therapy, integration, nothing. It was just going to the doctor's office, getting a Ketamine infusion and then leaving.
28:55 JR: And then of course, because of who I am and that I do this for a living, coaching, I did a ton of work with myself, and it moved things, but I was still stuck. And so then I got an email from you. And it was like, "I'm doing this webinar." I'm like, "Oh, there's Paul." I was... "There he is." And so I was like, "I'm gonna go listen to the webinar," and so I clicked through and you were just, oh, oh, my gosh, Paul, you were just... You were so powerful and compassionate, and just really showed up powerfully on your webinar, by the way.
29:28 PA: Thank you. Really appreciate that.
29:29 JR: And so I was... And I was listening to it, and I was like, "Oh, this is amazing. What a great offer." And then you said the price, and I was like, "Oh, my God, he's way undercharging." And I was like "What?" [laughter] And I bought it right away. And I heard that you were gonna get 50 people. I'm like, "Oh, yeah, he'll definitely get 50 people." So then here I was, and I was like, "This is perfect."
29:53 JR: And one of the things that you offer, which is so valuable, is that this isn't just learning about microdosing, you're creating community around something that people don't have community around. Even me, I... There's not that many people that I can talk to about this that will understand what I'm talking about, have had these kind of... Many of my friends have had psychedelic experiences when they were in college, but they haven't gone back and done this kind of introspective, personal growth work utilizing psychedelics or meditation or introspection or any of this, nor do they necessarily have any understanding when I say, "You get to this place of awareness where you really are connected," in other words, your story is gone, and your sense of self has gone.
30:43 JR: People just don't understand what I'm talking about, a lot of them don't. It just was beautiful. I was like, "This is what I... This is what my heart's desire is." And I've been holding space for my own community, but to be part of a community where I can just be a participant is beautiful too, because that's also what I was desiring. So you were offering community. You were also offering... You brought us on an introspective journey, just like I do with my coaching clients, starting with, "We're helping to just build awareness. What are the practices that you want to bring into your life that are gonna help support that awareness?" And then getting clear on what is it that you really want? What kind of changes do you wanna make for yourself? Being in a space where we can build those habits together and we can check in with each other and really utilizing the microdosing ritual as a way to... As a mindfulness ritual, as a way to build mindfulness into our lives. I just loved the whole way that you packaged it.
31:52 PA: And it was so fun to put it together. I'll just say a few things about that, because we had... I think you had seen this, we had talked about this as well. We were gonna host some sort of retreat, and I won't give full details on it in this podcast, but we were gonna host a retreat, and this was right before COVID. And then of course COVID hit, so we had to cancel the retreat. But we had been starting to develop, like what would a curriculum look like for that retreat. And then we were like, well, if we can't do the six-week experience with a three-day retreat, let's turn this into something that we can do online. So obviously in the COVID era, that is the new thing.
32:30 PA: So, what you just sort of brought up with the Ketamine infusion is the same thing that obviously with everything that we've been doing with Third Wave over the last five years, with everything that we set up, Synthesis, the retreat center in the Netherlands, it's always about intentional and responsible use. And more or less what that means to me and probably what that means to many of us who are interested in coaching or therapy or whatever else, it's like the psychedelic experience itself or breath work or whatever it is that's sort of the breakthrough, that's obviously very critical and it's important, but it's still maybe 20% to 30% of the actual process.
33:03 PA: It's not just you go have this peak experience and all of a sudden everything's changed, there's so much that can be done from a preparatory perspective, and obviously then there's so much that can be done from an integration perspective. And that was sort of the cool part about creating this curriculum was just having the opportunity to go, "Well... " And I'm sure this is something you love about being a coach as well. It's so fun to create that container for the students to step into, and then seeing what emerges from that. So in other words, if I... I know if I come in with 50%, then the students, especially... 'Cause the quality of the students that we have are phenomenal. We have executive coaches like yourself. We have investors, we have therapists, we have medical doctors, we also just have people who are retired, or we have young creatives, whatever it is, engineers, it's just like a whole spectrum, then the class itself co-creates the rest of it. Right?
34:03 PA: And that was something that even before this podcast, we were singing on a little bit over audio messages, was like that process of co-creation is so critical to building community and to the future of leadership, where this isn't about hierarchy, this isn't about one person deciding when everything is going to do, it's like I came with about half of it, what's so much more fun is just to see what emerges when we get into those Zoom classes, when we have the break-out room, when we're chatting in Slack, that... Those relationships, the stories, everything, that's what really brings the heart and the soul and the richness to an experience like this.
34:45 JR: Yeah. Yeah. It was like exactly what the doctor ordered, even though I'm the doctor.
34:53 JR: So it really was what the... What I needed and... At the time. And of course, I recognize all of it, the preparation and then the breakthrough experience, and the integration, which is exactly what should be done always. Always, right? I mean, because without the preparation and without the integration, what is it? I mean, what... Ultimately, I think you'll agree with me, Paul, we're stands for transformation, right? We're stands for transformation, the growth that we get to do as human beings, the understanding that we do get to choose. We get to choose and we get to take responsibility and we get to be in co-creation with other people, and we get to create, we get to be creators, ultimately.
35:38 PA: Creators of our faith and our destiny, so to say.
35:41 JR: Yeah.
35:41 PA: I think that... And that's something that I think is so powerful about psychedelics. I talked about this a little bit in our last webinar, and we discuss this in the Experience Program as well, where this is a skill, right? The ability to create, the ability to manifest, is a skill. And psychedelic use in itself is a skill.
36:01 JR: Absolutely.
36:01 PA: Right? These are very powerful tools, and if you don't have the right container set up for them, then you're gonna be like Mickey Mouse in Fantasia, when he gets access to the wizard's like slop and then just makes a mess of it. In many ways, that's what went wrong in the '60s and '70s. You had these chaotic... You had these powerful tools that just introduced way too much chaos and entropy, so there was a backlash and there was a rigidity that had to come in. And I think that's more than anything what we've been working to do with Third Wave is how do we create that container so the chaos can be oriented towards creation, and that's both for the individual feeling like they have agency, they have power, they have the ability to create, but that's also for the collective, going back to the point that we made before of how do we restore faith in the collective mythology that we're currently dreaming up, because I think a lot of people have lost faith in the collective story.
37:00 PA: There's this sort of nihilism that's pervaded everything, and so I think that's a huge part of these plant medicines as well, is like just restoring faith in the fact that humanity always has overcome, it always has adapted, it is very resilient, and that regardless of issues or the challenges that we're facing, we still can overcome and adapt and be resilient.
37:25 JR: Yes, and we really are all connected and we all have this awareness, this ability just to step into this awareness that is... Transcends our stories, transcends our egos. The way that we would talk about it neurologically is we'd say, you are able to be with your default mode network, really quieted down. [chuckle] Default mode network is the part of our brains that brings us into the story, right? Into out of the present moment, into the future. And now oftentimes that's worrying about the future or into the past, and oftentimes that's ruminating about the past, especially in these days. And so, psychedelics can help us experience within a few hours that moment of being in awareness outside of our story, outside of the default mode network.
38:24 JR: And it's so powerful, Paul. That's why I was so... Again, I wasn't working with psychedelics a year ago, I was... Or even considering talking to my clients about working with psychedelics a year ago. A year ago, I was a straight meditation, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, wanting to help guide my clients to a deeper understanding of themselves and greater awareness, and they do. They really don't have that fundamental belief or the fundamental knowing of that connection that I'm talking to you about, that I know that you know what I'm talking to you about. And I think it probably varies from person to person.
39:07 JR: And again, I'm coming at this from my experience as being a skeptical atheist, materialist skeptic, maybe cynic. Really not understanding that it was my choice and living in a place of blaming and shaming. I just wanna say that, 'cause it's vulnerable, obviously, for me to say that, but to be in that place is so disempowering, yet most people in our society are caught in there. And that's part of the other reason why I wanna just take such a strong stand for the listeners to do the work and move from that and realize the beautiful, beautiful empowerment power that comes from taking responsibility, power that comes from knowing that it is your choice, power from letting go of the blaming and shaming, 'cause it works both ways. When we blame others and we shame others, it goes back into ourselves, too. It's how we see ourselves, it's how we see the world, and vice versa. It's all us.
40:20 JR: Oh, gosh! Was that too much of a statement? Because here's the thing, Paul, this is a good thing, Paul.
40:25 PA: Yeah, that's good.
40:26 JR: What happened during your class, your course, is you let us... I think week two, we did a breakthrough ceremony, and it was amazing. And there was Sonic Shamanic, and we did some breath work, and you gave us this playlist, and we had a choice whether or not we wanted to add medicine to the experience or not, and some of us did and some of us didn't, was all up to the individuals. But during that experience, Paul, I had this breakthrough experience and I had this vision of really seeing that if I was going to bring my largest gifts to the world, whatever that it means, these bring my full self, that it was not going to be alone, that I was gonna find other leaders out in the world that are ready to move. And they're out of victim, they're into responsibility, and they're really ready to step into co-creation. I had this vision and I was like, "Wow! That's incredible!"
41:36 JR: Two days later, I was downstairs in my office meditating and I immediately had an epiphany that I was done with the depression. Really, it was a snap of the fingers, and I got up, I went over to my husband, I said, "I'm done. I'm done with depression." And he was like, "I don't think it works that way, honey." [chuckle] I was like, "I'm telling you, I'm just, I feel it." So the combination of everything that I did through the work with the Ketamine, the work with you, the work with myself, the work, whatever, it brought me to this place of way deeper understanding of myself, how I want to be in the world moving forward, which is in relationship with other leaders who are in an awakened perspective, and really, really understand what this means and are committed to co-creating from this place. And so basically, yeah, this has all sort of changed my understanding of myself and my purpose. And so you guys listening, if this is calling to you, if this is tugging at your heart, I really do hope that you'll join this journey, whatever Paul is offering us next. I think you're doing the forest next?
42:57 PA: We're doing another round of the Experience program. So we'll start it, October 4th, will be the first class, and it'll be similar, like a six-week timeline, two weeks of prep, a breath work ceremony with a ceremony guide if people wanna do medicine with it, and then four weeks of coaching with microdosing. And that's something, Jennie, in terms of wrapping this up, I know we just have a few minutes here till the end of the hour, but I love if just you could talk a little bit about... 'Cause I know this is the first time that you had started microdosing a little bit as well.
43:30 JR: Yeah.
43:30 PA: Just a little bit about how was your microdosing experience and what was it like compared to the higher doses that you had done previously, whether that's with Ketamine or Psilocybin, just a little bit of context on that I think would be great. And then wrapping that within... Just wrap that within sort of if people wanna find out more information about your work, where they can find you, and all that sort of stuff, as well.
43:56 JR: Yes, it was my first experience doing microdosing as a habit to facilitate my wellness. I've experienced microdosing in Jamaica through the Rise Wellness Retreat 'cause that's their thing, that's one of the things that you get to experience there, but I'd never done it in... For mental wellness or for a regular practice. Obviously, I was very curious and wanting the whole experience of being in community and then also learning about this technique, and how to use this practice to help facilitate greater wellness. And of course, listeners will now understand when I say that I was also skeptical. [chuckle] I was also skeptical that it would have any difference for me because the research that I've looked at is, well, there isn't very much and...
44:55 PA: Exactly.
44:56 JR: Right, right, right.
44:57 PA: It's pretty negligible.
44:58 JR: That's right. And then it's such a small dose, and I know we're trying... We just, it just hasn't been done, it just hasn't been done. But through the whole experience, when I microdosed and pay attention, which I did, I was really careful to pay attention, what I noticed is that I would feel more emboldened, braver, more confident. Now, here's the thing, that's one of the things that I work on, it was an effect that I noticed, and it could have been an effect that was unique to me, because that's exactly what I need to get, and it could be a placebo, but as we talked about... That is what it is, placebo, it is a placebo, in that psychedelics heighten our awareness, they shine a light on our awareness, and so we create it, I guess we co-create, it in a way, the medicine and whatever is going on with us, in our psyche in that time.
46:05 JR: So I found it very beneficial and very easy, and of course, all the ritual and the mindfulness that's... You invited us into, around that, very nurturing. As you instructed, I did it for a period of time, and now I'm not doing it, but it's something that I would like to experience again, maybe with a different substance, just to see what that's like, but I think the experimentation is beautiful, the community is beautiful, and the ritual and the mindfulness around it is beautiful, and what I guess I'm inviting people to is, come to the community, come to the community, because there's growth to be had there, there's tremendous growth to be had in community, with people who are on this journey, to using these tools, understanding how to raise our awareness, doing the work, doing the contemplative work, doing the transformational work, inward, but also potentially in relationship, and when people can do the work in relationship, it can be even more powerful than when we do the work internally and individually.
47:26 JR: That's my experience, and that's one of the many things that I learned, over COVID, through your program, and just through the experience. That, and the other gigantic thing that I learned, and I think this also goes with microdosing and everything that you were teaching us, how are we eating? How are we sleeping? How are we taking care of our bodies. Our embodiment, is everything, it's everything.
47:53 PA: Right, we're stuck with it. As much as we wanna transcend, all of us are living, we have these meat sacks, and the better that we take care of them, the better our emotional health, the better our state of being, and one thing I do wanna add to this, Jennie, the microdosing conversation is, there was just one of the first research papers published about this in the last couple of days, I don't know if you saw this, microdosing LSD, is really helpful for pain, of all things. And I think what that gets back to is something that we went pretty deep into in the program and what we talk about in the course, is the anti-inflammatory properties of psychedelics, and there being a relationship there.
48:37 PA: So although there isn't vast amounts of clinical research yet on microdosing, there's a lot that's coming out, and I think, as we mentioned before, it's hard to measure all these variables in a lab, whereas someone like you who's doing this at an n=1, at home, we're weaving in meditation, we're weaving in journaling, and even then, for you, the amount that you took, someone is gonna have a certain sensitivity to that, let's say 100 milligrams of Psilocybin, you'll react one way, I'll react another way, another person will react another way, all three of us will take the same amount, but all three of us will likely have different experiences with it. And that's the same for 2 grams, or... So I think that's also the huge variable with microdosing, and why it always comes back to this is a skill that we're developing, is we wanna find that sort of sweet spot, where it's noticeable, but it's not noticeable.
49:33 PA: And I think that sweet spot is oftentimes where then the coaching and the community and all these other parts can come in, is helping us to find what's that middle way, where we can manifest and things... There's less resistance and things are a little bit easier, but it's not overwhelming to the point where we're crouched over on the floor laughing and giggling, or bursting out in tears in the middle of a Zoom call, or anything else that might happen from taking too much, if you will. So I think that's also part of the balance.
50:05 PA: Anyway, I want to thank you, Jennie, for your faith, for your trust, for not only reaching out, I think we probably first connected in January of this year. Was it... It was January or February, and then you had come out to Oakland, we had connected there, you went through the program, we're now recording this podcast, and I know this is still just the beginning days of our co-creation in itself, so I'm really excited to see what emerges from this. So I just wanna thank you for taking the time to hop on the podcast today, thank you for having the courage to go deep within yourself, for continuing to show up, not only for yourself, but for your husband, for your family, for your clients, the work that you're doing will continue to ripple outwards, and I think that's true for anyone who's listening to this, this is about us, this is about the individual, this is about the healing, and it's also about how our internal healing then ripples external and outward.
51:02 PA: So if you have any last words to add, Jennie, I would love for you to do that, and then especially if you could just let our audience know where they can find out more information about your work, that would be incredible.
51:12 JR: I'm in gratitude, Paul, I'm in gratitude for your courage and your creation and your invitation and you're building a community. I see it clearly. You're building it with this course. You're building it with your membership site and I think community and us helping each other to awaken is the future. I mean, it has to be, because we grow faster together. I don't wanna be a lone wolf and I know you don't either. Those of you who are listening, if this calls you, come join the community and you're gonna learn so much about yourself. And then also be in relationship with others and let's grow together. I mean, for me, I'm in this sort of rediscovery stage of where I wanna go next. I am still hosting this program that I call Wake Up And Thrive, which includes the retreat to Jamaica. We're now rescheduled to go to Jamaica in January and we'll see if that holds.
52:17 JR: But that program is a 13-week program, and it includes the preparation and then the retreat breakthrough and then the integration. And then beyond that, I don't know where I'm going in terms of what my offerings will be in the psychedelic world. I am a little bit agnostic to where that is, sort of surrendering, surrendering to the moment and seeing where my heart leads me and seeing what leaders I meet to comingle with and potentially create with. I think that opportunity in the psychedelic space is... It's amazing. And when I say opportunity, I'm talking about opportunity for transformation, for standing for transformation. It's... Very committed to that. That's why I'm here.
53:07 JR: For no other reason than to, I think it's a powerful tool for transformation. So let's keep the innervation and let's keep for the preparation and take a stand for that. And maybe as I'm talking, I get to maybe write a letter to the doctor and just invite him into that too. I'm talking about the Ketamine doctor, that had just the complete medical model without that. It's just a lost opportunity. It's a lost opportunity for everyone. Alright, so if you wanna find me, go to drrivlins.com, that's DRRIV as in Victor, LIN as in Nancy, S as in Sam, dot com. So I am Dr. Rivlin, not a medical doctor, doctor of Psychology, Industrial and Organizational Psychology. It's drrivlins.com.
54:00 PA: Perfect. So drrivlins.com. Tune in there. Sign up for Jennie's email list, get all the updates. And Jennie again, just appreciate you coming on the podcast. Well, this is already the fifth of many conversations, and I'm really excited to see in particular where our containers continues to grow and develop in...
54:17 JR: Absolutely, I am planning on just kind of lurking in your next group program, just 'cause I'm really curious to see how it's going. And plus, I love the community. Love it. Thank you.
54:31 PA: Thank you.