013 // psychedelic harm reduction + healing stigmas | sara gael
Today's episode is one of the most empowering conversations of my life thus far, something I couldn't even do just weeks ago. Stepping more into my Sat Nam, I've found myself finding it easier to talk openly about a difficult psychedelic trip I had at Coachella back in 2012, releasing the shame and healing the stigmas, one authentic conversation at a time. Suppressing the gifts and the growth that came from that experience, it wasn't until recently I really heard the call to be more upfront and more honest about my psychedelic journey and my passion for these medicines. Up until Envision, I carried a deep load of shame for my journey + the medicines that were the catalyst for the Sabrina you see today. After Costa Rica, I heard the call to stop playing small and to start getting real about what fuels me and what reigns true in my heart.
Having Sara Gael, M.A. Director of Harm Reduction for MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies, + the head coordinator of the Zendo Project, a sacred and safe space for those who are experiencing difficult psychedelic experiences at festival and gatherings was truly an honor. Zendo has supported over 2,000 clients in the past 5 years. While Zendo wasn't around while I was experiencing my difficult LSD experience, their mission and intention has inspired me to be an advocate and to support their work. Our intention for this conversation is to promote psychedelic safety. We are choosing to hold space by having an honest conversation about psychedelics because we recognize that while we cannot stop people from using psychedelics, we can promote health and education of these sacred medicines. Psychedelics are not just being used recreationally anymore. They are going back to where they came from in therapeutic settings again. MAPS is currently about to begin the third phase of their MDMA research to help bring this medicine as a therapy option to help PTSD candidates by the year 2021.
In the last episode of the Sovereign Goddess Podcast, I talked about how psychedelics saved my life by being the catalyst for my spiritual growth and evolution. My passion for psychedelics goes hand in hand with my passion to teach others how to experience altered states of consciousness through breath and various other techniques. In order to be smart and healthy, we must realize and understand that psychedelics are tools, not the end-all answer. It's up to us to do the work in order to integrate what we learned and experienced during our altered states of consciousness with these sacred medicines. As the Feminine continues to arise, we must learn to honor the darkness of her womb. Many times when people go through dark + difficult psychedelic experiences, this becomes the TRUE catalyst for a beautiful + powerful rebirth.
IN THIS EPISODE WE TALK ABOUT...
↠ Sara's personal journey as to how psychedelics have inspired her to heal her relationship with nature + God
↠ the correlation of healing our inner world will help us heal the world outside of ourselves, the macro + micro relation of reality
↠ embracing the rise of the Divine Feminine, incorporating the shadow when these difficult experiences arise in order to honor the light + your rebirth
↠ honoring our inner healer + the importance of the right set + setting, as well as setting the intention
↠ healing stigmas and releasing shame around psychedelics and difficult trips
↠ how to help someone who may be going through a difficult psychedelic experience
↠ understanding the 4 principles of the Zendo Project and their mission to help create compassionate care for those who are going through difficult psychedelic experiences as well as educating the masses about these medicines
Stepping more into my dharma as a spiritual teacher, I once believed I needed to behave a certain way in order to be respected. What I've learned over time is self-love, vulnerability + authentic self-expression begets respect. It got exhausting trying to keep up with my peers + teachers. The ones who love me + know me best could see right through me. There's no shame to that part of my journey either. We are all doing the best we can based on our level of awareness. What I'm aware of today is the call to heal stigmas against psychedelics and ceremonies that help people heal decades and sometimes even generations and lifetimes of trauma. We came to his planet not only to experience love, but to also heal the wounds of our past and to connect with not just each other, but to the Divinity that surrounds us.
Our journeys are all beautiful and unique and each is perfect in their own way. It's been a miracle to see me release my fears about psychedelics and to focus more on how I can love myself for who I am wholly and completely.
I love my flaws.
I love the battles I've conquered.
I love my past.
I love my journey.
I love where I'm headed.
We've been taught that it's not easy to pave a new road and anchor new paradigms, but the truth is, there's nothing easier than following your heart because deep down, you know you have faith in the work you're doing. You are the cosmic heart and when you go out there and follow your heart + your intuition, nothing can get in your way. The world outside you is the result of all past thinking, that's why it's SO CRUCIAL to walk by faith, not by sight. Please, darling, be gentle with yourself as you embody the truth of who you are. Whatever comes your way on the journey, shower it with LOVE. When you see God in all things, you recognize that your journey is working for you, never against you. So go out there and do something you've been scared to do up until now.
Meet Sara Gael, M.A.
Sara Gael, M.A. received her Master’s degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology at Naropa University. She began working with MAPS in 2012, coordinating psychedelic harm reduction services at festivals and events worldwide with the Zendo Project. Sara was an Intern Therapist for the recently completed MAPS Phase 2 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Boulder, CO. She maintains a private practice as a psychotherapist specializing in trauma and non-ordinary states of consciousness. Sara believes that developing a comprehensive understanding of psychedelic medicines through research and education is essential for the health and well-being of individuals, communities, and the planet.
DISCOVER MORE ABOUT Sara Gael + Zendo Project
SARA'S PRIVATE PRACTICE // re-membering.com
MULTIDISCIPLINARY ASSOCIATION OF PSYCHEDELIC STUDIES // maps.org
ZENDO PROJECT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES + EDUCATION // zendoproject.org