Astral Project, Disassociation + Trauma

Astral projection?! 💫

What am I *not* talking about these days?

I sat down with Your Soulful Goddess for one of my favorite podcast interviews in a long time—to talk about astral projection. 🎙

My deepest passion is to normalize human experiences and to remind people their lived experience is the right thing.

Whether it’s sexuality, purpose, or spirituality—

If your experience doesn’t match up with what you’re taught, then THE TEACHING IS WRONG. You are right. 💪

And astral projection is pretty fucking normal. In fact, I do it dozens of times in a day.

When I go downstairs to do laundry and my mind is still thinking about this post and I barely remember walking? That’s astral projection. ✔️

When I am super bored and zoning out and daydreaming? That’s astral projection. ✔️

The clinical word we use to describe astral projection is DISASSOCIATION. 🩺 And it’s not always pathological.

Disassociation can be an important protective mechanism against trauma and a reprieve for the mind.

And it’s something we do ALL THE TIME.

Sure, people can get into really focused applications of astral projection. 🔮 But it’s not nearly as esoteric as we make it seem.

Like most things in spirituality, it’s totally natural and even mundane. Because—guess what—spirituality is natural. 🌜(So is sexuality, for what it’s worth.)

This interview is wild. I talk through trauma, disassociation, and spirituality—and then we move through a potent exercise to consciously disassociate. Or astrally project. ☄️

It’s a lot of fun. And, man, do I love my work.

So check it out above. And let me know what you think.

What Does Trauma Have to Do with Purpose?

Last week, I was on The Awareness Space talking about life purpose + trauma.

A lot of us think of those as opposites. Purpose is about alignment, success, creative expression. Isn’t trauma the thing that HOLD US BACK from purpose?

What if trauma is just the other side of the purpose coin?

What if trauma is deeply intertwined with purpose?

Purpose is about sensitivities. We experience life through our senses. When we were babies, way before we learned our purpose was supposed to be achievements like starting a business and writing a book…

We had sensitivities. Some babies were sensitive to Freedom and felt trapped really easily. Others were sensitive to music and could hear notes I can’t hear.

When we’re sensitive to something, we sense more there—we see, taste, touch, smell, hear more.

We have more desires. More expertise. And more trauma. Because we feel things deeper there.

Over the past 7 years, I’ve had the honor of mapping hundreds, maybe thousands, of sensitivities at this point. I’ve seen a lot of purpose on my whiteboard.

So I can say with pretty clear certainty that trauma—like every sensitivity we have—is deeply intertwined with purpose.

WHY something felt so traumatic. HOW it affected us. WHY we’re acting in a trauma response. WHAT we wanted to feel…

is all deeply a part of our purpose.

Purpose is about understanding ourselves. Our subconscious motivations. Our abilities. Our desires. Our trauma.

If it can’t answer why, then it isn’t purpose.

And, for most of us, our deepest desire to understand ourselves centers around our trauma.

Listen to this one up above.

How I Found Purpose Through Debilitating Sickness

A few weeks ago, I sat down with Peace with Pain Podcast to talk about sickness.

Like waking up and vomiting blood every day. Terrified I was going to die. Shitting my pants at work. Unable to get off the couch.

The kind of sickness that made me question everything. That made me fall in love with Garrett as he cared for me. That made me leave my job and take the leap into something unknown.

The kind of sickness that made me listen to my body. And fall in love with myself.

I’ve been doing this work for a long time, and I can definitively say that few of us choose self-work and spirituality for the fun of it.

Whether it’s physical agony, sexual trauma, or emotional anguish, we’re often propelled here to cope with pain.

I got vulnerable and deep here about my own journey. Mapping my sensitivities — or senses — to find purpose in the pain.

How I fell in love. What it was like to wake up to millions talking about my sex life. The craziest engagement story you’ve ever heard.

And how any of us in pain can lean into our sensitivities to discover more purpose.

Living with pain is shit. We all deserve healing.

Check out this interview above. And let me know what comes up for you.

Sickness, Love + Laughter — My Most Vulnerable, Zaniest Stories with A Simple Life Podcast

I’ll never forget the moment I knew I was in love with Garrett.

I had just started recovering from my illness, and I was at a Christmas party in a section of Boston that’s notoriously bad for parking. And there was a snowstorm that night.

Garrett was on residency and working until midnight, so he couldn’t make it.

Around 12:30, I turned around and saw Garrett sitting alone in the corner in his scrubs. He had to drive across the city and find parking in a snowstorm after 12+ hours of work.

I was stunned to see him. I ran over and asked him why he was there.

“Because I just wanted to sit here and watch you tell stories. I love watching you tell stories.”

It was the most seen I’d ever felt in my life.

Recently, I got the chance to hang out on A Simple Life podcast with Michael Jefferies and do just that—tell stories.

Lots of stories. The story I just told. And many others I’ve never told.

We spent 90 minutes laughing and gripping on tightly through getting sick, falling in love, exploring sexuality, finding this work, getting engaged in a rainstorm—so many stories.

This is honestly one of my favorite interviews I’ve ever done. I feel like Michael really opened up something inside of me and got more details and vulnerability—and zaniness—than my average interview.

We had so much fun that I’ll be back on in a few weeks to tell 90 minutes of more stories.

Check it out. It’s a great episode. If you ever had any questions about me or my journey, it’s probably in this episode.

It’s up above. So go ahead and listen.

My Path to Authenticity with Path to Authenticity Podcast

The path to authenticity.

Last week, I sat down with The Path to Authenticity Podcast to talk about my own winding journey to authenticity. To discovering my sensitivities and purpose.

9 years ago, I woke up vomiting blood. It didn’t stop for months. And then I fell in love with Garrett as he cared for me through that. It didn’t feel sexual or even romantic, but it felt like *something.*

We spent years exploring if our relationship could work. In that time, I left PR, became an herbalist and health coach, started a blog, and signed a book deal.

And I couldn’t just have friends find out about our relationship on a Barnes & Noble bookshelf. So I wrote a blog post about our relationship.

And I went to bed. When I woke up, 100,000 people had shared it overnight.

I’ve had so many iterations of myself. So many places I clung onto to feel worthy. The successful PR pro with famous clients. Or the herbalist. Or the author. Or the viral article guy. Or Garrett’s husband.

I’ve spent years stripping back to my essence—my core sensitivities. Who I am without any labels.

And I’ve spent most of the last decade fascinated with mapping those sensitivities for others, too.

And the one thing I’ve learned along the way is that authenticity is an ever-changing journey. A deepening. A continuous courageous act to ask who we truly are in any given moment. And where we’re still clinging on to external crutches.

We really go for it in this interview. Everything from addiction, substance abuse, and gender constructs to self-esteem, trauma, and implicit biases.

This is my path to authenticity.

And I’m still walking it every day.

Check out this interview above. And let me know what you think.

Removing Toxicity From Your Purpose with Spiritual Dope Podcast

Purpose. It’s such a loaded word.

So I loved getting the chance to sit down with the gritty and impactful Brandon Handley of  Spiritual Dope Podcast to dig into the underbelly of purpose work.

The truth is most of us talk about purpose like it’s aspirational and achievable. Like “My purpose is to be a writer” or “My purpose is to speak on stages” or “My purpose is to get married.”

And that’s awesome. But, if you can achieve something, that means you can also fail it. And that doesn’t make sense.

How can you fail your purpose?

And did you just not have a purpose as a baby?

Conditional ideas of purpose create shame. And they keep purpose and spirituality only accessible to “some people.”

And they never take into account when we need purpose the most — with our trauma.

But the cool thing is our lived experience tells who we are over and over again. We just have to map our experiences.

Check out this interview above. It’s a fun one because we get to dig in, break down some toxic myths we see perpetuated about spirituality and purpose, and even demo discovering your purpose live.

Pop on over and let me know what you think.

Surrealism. Trauma. Art Therapy. David Lynch.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me is my all-time favorite film.

So, when I was invited on to Mental Health Film Comment Podcast, I wasn’t passing up the chance to fit David Lynch, surrealism, and trauma into an interview.

Brian’s show explores some aspect of mental health through the lens of a film.

We offer up a lot of mental health resources and exercises, and do a deep dive into the sterile—and sometimes pathologizing—way mental health is often approached that can minimize the richer emotional associations.

Surrealism gives us a window into someone’s emotional realities.

And it gives us clues on how to holistically heal. Like art therapy, we can use metaphor and associations to transcend the limitations (and sometimes re-traumatization) of pure intellect.

We talked about disassociation and numbness and trauma on a continuum with sensitivity to life.

We talked about why I’m a big fan of art therapy and associative therapies.

We talked about why surrealist works hit the mark and tap into deep, unconscious emotions when we’re talking about mental health.

It’s a really deep and fun one. Feel free to check it out above. And let me know what you think.

This one, especially, is a different type of interview for me, and I think the topic opens a lot of discussion.

Magic Isn’t a Diversion.

I’m just going to be straight up here: 

I honestly have no idea how to start this post. But I know what I want to say.

And it’s weird. I just wrote something on Instagram, and it flew right out of me.

But suddenly I don’t know how to interact on here. Because this space—my home for the past seven years—is suddenly unfamiliar. It’s changed now.

Like walking into a party where I don’t know anyone. And suddenly I’m awkward. And I don’t know how to express myself. But it seems so intuitive in my head. Or when I’m with a close friend.

It’s kind of like that.

I don’t know if there’s a more painful feeling than to be a stranger in your own life.

And the irony is I’ve spent so much time being a stranger in mine. Being a person I didn’t quite recognize. Living a physical life that just didn’t match the mental picture in my dreams.

And, boy, did I want to dream.

As a young kid, I’d sneak downstairs to the family computer. And I’d be more likely looking up ancient Egyptian magic and witchcraft than I would any dirty movies.

I’d read Harry Potter. And write my own stories. And just imagine a world that was a little bit different than this one.

It was fun. Enticing. A diversion to imagine possibilities greater than my mundane life.

Because what I really wanted was to disassociate. Like diversion, to “turn away” from life as is. To play with crystals and magic and pendulums as some kind of ‘supernatural’ fun.

Like those things were somehow different from this relationship challenge. Or this fight with a friend. Or this struggle to have enough money. Or this deep-rooted trauma. Or the question of what to do with my life.

Fragmented. A rich world of wonder. And an abandoned physical reality.

No wonder I felt like a stranger in my own life.

And my solution to the hardest parts of my life was to always to imagine a different possibility. But never take the painful steps to ground that possibility into my current reality.

So, like a lot of people, spirituality and life purpose was a diversion. Something you could focus on when things were going well enough and you had the resources.

But the moment actual crisis hit, you had to drop it to get back to ‘real life.’ Because there was somehow a fragmentation between the two.

I saw life purpose as the cherry-on-top. But never the foundation.

Truthfully, I’m not as interested in any diversions these days. I’m not interested in distracting myself or disassociating from the challenges in my life and our world.

And today there are many.

No matter what we are facing in life—no matter which challenges we encounter—if our work doesn’t help us face that moment successfully, then it isn’t actually purpose work.

I want work that makes me dive deeper into myself and the world around me. Empowering me with the tools to stay present, even when it’s so fucking hard and scary. And ultimately using those lived experiences as the fodder to understand myself deeper.

To connect the dots. See the invisible thread of magic between the mundane and the painful.

And not have to keep leaving to find magic. Because there’s a lot more fucking magic in what’s real.

Love is magic. Friendship is magic. Laughter and joy and purpose and pain are all magic.

Real life is way more magical if we see the invisible threads that connect it all.

Not magic as a diversion. The magic that brings us deeper into our lives. Empowered to become more of ourselves.

And, no matter how much I teach this to others, I’m constantly finding how much deeper I can go with healing those dichotomies and diversions myself.

Because we’re always cycling deeper. We’re always spiraling further. We’re always seeing what we weren’t quite ready to see in ourselves before.

In this moment—as the world feels overwhelming and intense and sometimes even unbearable—we don’t need diversion. We need empowerment. We need understanding. We need ways to bring the future possibilities into this present moment.

And hold steady. When it’s hard. When it’s scary. When we aren’t sure exactly what we can do.

Because the thing about being ‘all over the place’ is that there’s a common denominator to all the places that we’ve been. And that’s us.

We are the constant in the chaos of our lives.

We’re the connecting thread that makes every moment of our lives make sense.

And all we have to do is map those seemingly disparate lived experiences to discover ourselves beneath it all.

Understanding and becoming ourselves is the most magical adventure we will ever embark on. It will take us much further into the darkness and shadows and miracles and wonder than our wildest dreams ever could.

The most magical life is one that’s real. And one that’s ours—all of ours—without splitting ourselves up or abandoning parts of ourselves. Without any disassociation or diversion.