The Pierre T. Lambert Podcast Transcripts: Laura Dawn on Micro-dosing for Creativity, Psychedelics Safe Use and Overcoming The ‘Not Creative’ Label.
Please enjoy this transcript of my interview with Laura Dawn.
Laura Dawn is a psychedelic advocate, author, and international speaker who has been leading transformational retreats for ten years. Her retreats inspire people to awaken to greater possibilities.
Host of The Psychedelic Leadership Podcast, Laura Dawn is a microdosing mentor for executives and top performers and has been leading transformational retreats for over 10 years.
Laura Dawn has a degree in Finance and Entrepreneurship and over two decades of exploring altered states of consciousness. Currently, she is completing a Masters in Science specializing in Creativity Studies & Change Leadership, exploring the intersection between psychedelics and creative problem-solving to help corporate teams unlock innovative solutions to the complex challenges we face. »
Laura talks about her journey to micro-dosing and how that helped her improve her creative flow. She discusses how psychedelics and sacred plant medicines can be used to manifest your dreams and how they can be woven safely into the very fabric of your daily life.
Find out how her journey led her to her more profound understanding of the intersection and overlap between psychedelics and creative problem-solving.
Transcripts may contain a few typos. With some episodes lasting 2+ hours, it can be challenging to catch minor errors. Enjoy!
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The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.
#62 – Laura Dawn on Microdosing for Creativity, Overcoming The 'I'm Not Creative' Label, and Psychedelics Safe Use – The Pierre T. Lambert Podcast
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Pierre Lambert: Good morning podcast, and welcome to a new special episode on the Pierre T. Lambert show. I am your host. And today, I’ve got an incredible guest, and we’re going to dive into a topic that I have never explored before. I thought to dip our toes, we’re going to bring someone, and that person today is Laura Dawn. Laura is the host of the psychedelic leadership podcast, a micro-dosing mentor for executive and top performers, and has been leading transformational retreats for over ten years. Laura has a degree in finance and entrepreneurship and over two decades of exploring altered states of consciousness. Currently, she’s completing a master’s in science, specializing in creativity, change leadership, creativity, and change leadership. Exploring the intersection between psychedelics and creative problem-solving, helping leaders and teams unlock innovative solutions to the complex challenges we collectively face. All right, Laura, thank you so much for making it through this introduction. Welcome to the podcast. I’m so excited to have you here today.
Laura Dawn: Thank you, Pierre. So happy to be here.
Pierre Lambert: Laura, I’m very intrigued, excited, curious, and I think everyone listening might be, “What is happening? What are we talking about? How is this going to work?” The whole world is obviously seeing a shift in the narrative around psychedelics and their usage. And I felt that instead of leaving it up to people to randomly find by themselves, through people that may have heard of it or not, I thought, “Why don’t we bring an expert in that field?” To actually get us a little bit of insight into this ecosystem and how it can be used or not used for creativity and how it can work. So, this is the overview for anyone watching, and obviously, Laura, we’re going to dive into your story also. I’m very curious to see how you got into that space. That is very different from what everyone else might think on the first note. Laura, again, thank you. Welcome. And can I ask you, can we just start somewhere, where you and I were discussing yesterday before we started recording? What happened when you were a kid when it came to creativity and drawing with your teachers? If I remember correctly.
Laura Dawn: Yeah. It’s so funny because I just think it’s so ironic that I’m now completing my master’s in creativity studies because I think, just like many other people have had this experience. I think it was in grade two, and I had this teacher. She used to say, my name is Ms. Johnston with a “T” and she was this kind of crotchety old woman. She came over to my desk and said that I would never be creative. Because I couldn’t draw like the girl sitting next to me, and I so desperately wanted to be good at drawing. And after that day, that traumatic experience got etched into my memory that shaped me and my belief system about what creativity is moving forward. As even still to this day, even though I studied creativity, I’ve had a huge narrative shift around what creativity really is. But I am still working through those internal blocks around drawing and putting pen to paper. It’s just been an amazing process to witness my healing and grow through that process. But I think a lot of people have had experiences like this. And when I share this with other people, I often hear other people express to me, “Oh my God, I had a similar experience happen.” I don’t know, Pierre, do you know who Brené Brown is? Do you know the research of Brené?
Pierre Lambert: Yes. Brené Brown loves to talk about vulnerability.
Laura Dawn: Yeah. So, she is an incredible researcher, and she’s collected over 400,000 pieces of data from people. She found that about 80% of people have had some kind of experience in elementary school that sort of planted a negative belief that then negatively impacted them into adulthood. And of the 80%, about 50% of the 80%, it was related to creativity. I just found that so interesting, and it actually parallels the other research that only about a quarter of people believe that they are creative or a third of people. It’s a really interesting time, especially to be talking about psychedelics and creativity because I see them as both going through this like de-stigmatization. They’re both going through a cultural rebrand right now. So, it’s interesting.
Pierre Lambert: That’s true. That’s how you’re perceived. Suddenly, you’re called Facebook; the next day, it’s Meta. Whether you want it or not, that does change your perception of it. Okay. So, in elementary school, how old are you? I’m not super familiar with the school systems. How old were you, was kind of a weird question. Do you remember, as a kid, what it did? Or how did you process it? Or how have you thought about it? I have trouble remembering my childhood stuff sometimes, but first, how old were you? And do you remember how that worked for you?
Laura Dawn: Yeah. Gosh, I was probably eight or nine years oldish, maybe ten at that very young age. And then, in grade three, until about six, I was in school with this girl named Jenica Lounsbury. I’ll never forget it, and she was just this incredible drawer. And for the rest of my time, I used to be so afraid of giving it a go, drawing because it was in this comparative mentality, in this comparative mindset. And it’s so funny now that I’m studying creativity research; just so much of my own personal experience mirrors that because we see that people who have fixed beliefs about their capacity in whatever creativity domain we’re talking about. They don’t go and embody those actions and those behaviors with the belief, and we can dive more into this. Essentially, I didn’t try to draw or try to be creative in the ways that I don’t want to equate drawing and artistic expression with creativity. I think that’s actually a big part of the narrative shifts going on for us collectively right now. But I was so afraid just to see what would face me, like face back off from the page, and there was a lot of self-judgment and shame around that. So, in that area, it really prevented me from exploring and playing in that particular creative.
Pierre Lambert: I see. I love what you’re saying because I think so many of us can relate. There’s always a point where either a teacher, friend, or parents are like, “No, I think you suck at that.” And just that thought that “Oh, I’m not good at this,” which means nothing. You might have just tried for the first time; the heck knows, it really impacts this. And through me through photography, a lot of people that I meet tell me, “You’re creative. You have this.” And I don’t consider myself creative in that sense, either. It’s just that I’m having fun. I’m trying things. I feel like, for me, at least, creativity is almost like a muscle. It always shocks me the impact of those early teachers on our lives. If you don’t train, just letting go of what is supposed to be when you’re doing something and just trying helps a lot. And when you realize, you’re like, “Oh, maybe I should pay more attention to what they do if I have kids one day.”
Laura Dawn: Oh my gosh. Especially those first seven years of our lives, we’re just like sponges. And that is actually the kind of imprinting that happens and what our beliefs end up becoming the way we embody in our lives. There’s so much we could actually talk about in just that category, but for me, it’s actually been this whole process of redefining the narrative. Because the narratives and the stories that we tell ourselves influence the actions that we take and the paths that we choose for ourselves. It was really psychedelics that helped me rewrite some very deeply ingrained narratives and helped me forge my own path forward, which, I think, is what we’re all being called to do right now.
Pierre Lambert: That’s a very important point to dive into. How does one even go about —I will say that before you can even try to work on something. How do you even bring awareness to it?
Laura Dawn: That’s such a good question. Okay, I’m going to give an analogy. I use this analogy in a lot of the programs that I teach. It’s almost like we’re in our adult lives. It’s like we’re living in a glass room. We can see off into the distance because it’s glass. And we might think to ourselves like, “Oh, I want that thing over there. I want to align with that. I want to go for that”. But then we walk right into the glass wall, but we can’t see that that’s our boundary, and that’s sort of our growth edge. And we keep paying attention to it, like noticing. We can start paying attention to the patterns. What are the patterns that keep sabotaging our growth and the path we’re choosing? I find that working with psychedelics teaches us, first of all, about perception and how we pay attention. This is a lot to dive into, but they teach you how to pay more attention to what you’re paying attention to in your life. If you keep paying attention to the same things that keep limiting you in those self-reinforcing self-sabotage behaviors, then you just start paying attention to the patterns. Like, why do I still keep dating like the same kind of archetype, or why do I make it this far in my career? And then self-sabotage in these ways. And what are the patterns that keep like poking their heads up in our lives? Then pay attention to that and then look at the root causes of that, and psychedelics help us do that in a lot of ways and help us essentially rewrite those narratives. Because I think at the core of it, we’re the main actors on the stage of our lives, and it’s really all a narrative. It’s all the stories that we tell ourselves. That’s why you can go to a dinner party with a good friend. And let’s say you’re sitting next to the same person in between you, having the same conversation, and you’re driving home with your friend, and you’re saying, “Wow, that guy was a real jerk.” And your other friend is saying, “Wow, that guy was so funny.” Like, “What a charming guy,” and why do we have those different experiences? Essentially, we see what we believe and pay attention to those deeply rooted belief systems that were given to us as children. And it’s a profound statement to say this, that we see what we believe. You can spend the rest of your life unpacking that and playing with it and starting to notice it. But if you want to see the results of your limiting beliefs and your empowering beliefs, just look at your life. It’s literally reflecting back to you, what you believe to be true, and you pay attention to. I know we’re getting technical here, but stick with me for a second. So in every given moment, we’re exposed to about 4 billion bits of data, And the brain is very good at streamlining what we pay attention to. And there are some core things. We pay attention. We’re biologically hardwired to pay attention to our safety and to things that might prevent our safety and stability. And we also pay attention to things that have high emotional arousal. That’s part of linked to safety, but we are also primarily the third big bucket of what we pay attention to our past experiences. So, it’s easier for me to go to that dinner party. And let’s say I have a belief that all men are jerks. Okay. A lot of women do have that kind of belief. Then I’m going to look for that kind of data and fit that data into the box of what I already believe to be true because It’s energy-efficient, and that’s the way that our mind works.
Pierre Lambert: It’s like the hammer looking for the nail and basically.
Laura Dawn: Exactly. Exactly. Those little games as children where you reach for the square, and you put it in the square box, and then it fits in. We’re doing that all the time with data. So out of 4 billion bits of information, we all have mechanisms in the brain, like the thalamus that the reduction valve for people who followed psychedelic literature, Aldous Huxley, wrote the doors of perception. He’s talking about the thalamus opening up, and that’s why in psychedelic journeys, we’re like, “Whoa, there’s all this information coming at us. But those are also safety mechanisms so that we can be in waking consciousness— walk and talk— walk across the street. It’s really interesting that I’m constantly picking out the same 2000 bits of data to confirm what I already believe to be true. And so, once we understand the sort of core underlying mechanisms for which perception and consciousness work. Actually, psychedelic research and science are some of the best ways that we’re actually learning about consciousness right now. And so, when we learn how we perceive, we start empowering ourselves to make a change. So, when we’re coming back to this analogy of being in the classroom, I see the same patterns. We keep running into those same invisible patterns. The same patterns keep showing up, but it’s like Jedi training, in the sense where I can say, “No peer.” Instead of walking right into the glass wall, look at it from this angle, and maybe you’ll see a glint of light pop off. And then you see the glass wall, and then once you know how to pay attention to it, you’re like, “Oh, okay, I’m going to work with this. Now I’m going to heal this aspect of myself. I’m going to rewrite this narrative.” Rewrite this belief in a way that allows me to progress and walk in alignment with the vision of what I’m creating in my life.
Pierre Lambert: Wow. It is so much to unpack. I love it. It’s so good because it is exactly what happens. We go through experiences, and we seek similar experiences. It’s like travel, you go to another country, and you’re “Oh, it’s like in my town. It’s like in this country.” It’s like every time you’re trying to link it back to data you have from previous experiences. So as a child, you’re accumulating all those data, as I imagine. And that’s when, after you create things, you’re basically creating your operating system. At least that’s what I see with my daughter. It’s fascinating to watch. It’s almost like a reflection of you as an adult because they pick up some things you do. And you’re like, “Oh, did I do that? And you know, like, “Whoops.” So, we learned by association. That’s the way the mind works. It’s more energy efficient to learn by fitting things into an existing framework. And if you were given a shitty framework as a child, you’re up against more limitations in terms of what you’re perceiving and the narrative that you tell yourself about what life is.
Laura Dawn: And this is the difference between a happy, fulfilled, inspired life versus a life that’s the opposite of that depressed or unfulfilled or constantly searching for meaning and purpose. Not that we don’t go through those phases in our lives. We’re human. But really, it’s a total mindset shift around how we engage with the narrative of our lives.
Pierre Lambert: So we’re going to dig and give an intro on what psychedelics are. What does it mean? I’m going to ask you that question. Guys, if you’re listening, obviously none of that is medical. Just check. If you have a psychiatrist, check with them about the use and its different legalities in different countries and states. So just make sure you’re within your own rules and boundaries, and last but not least, those are beautiful compounds that can also be very powerful. And it’s just like drinking a bottle of wine and then driving. There are safe ways to do things. And, there is like not so safe, which usually yields the results you might hear on TV, or in the stories of bad things happening. With that said, I just want to, and Laura, feel free to put disclaimers anywhere because that’s something I appreciated with the content you’re sharing. And what I saw is that you tell people, “Hey, this is not for everyone. Be careful, et cetera.” Now, before we go any further on those beautiful compounds, in a way, there are also ways of accessing alternate states of consciousness. What does it mean? It’s simply can be prayer. It can be dancing. It can be meditation, breathwork. There are tons of ways. That’s just from my understanding and experience. It’s just that those compounds, a lot of them being completely natural. I’ll just highlight to get to the same states. And then you can walk with them a little more, just like you, would I don’t know, put paprika on your dish to spice it up? You will take a compound to actually access something differently or reality differently. That’s what I understood. But Laura, please tell me I’m no expert. So, I just wanted to give a little brief disclaimer slash intro. What are we talking about when we say psychedelics consciousness?
Laura Dawn: Okay. So just a lay of the land. Cultures across the world for millennia have been working with plant medicines. We often refer them to sacred plant medicines to move into another dimension, being able to perceive another dimension, also known as an altered state of consciousness. So, we also naturally go into an altered state of consciousness every single night when we go to sleep. So, an easy way, if people are listening, who have never worked with a psychedelic before, think about how different your dream state is versus waking consciousness. That’s a great way to think about it. And, there were a lot of different names that were actually tossed around before psych stuck. Psychedelic means mind-manifesting. So, it’s beautiful that we opened with everything that we opened because what I was expressing in all of that opening— in getting rather technical about perception, is that your beliefs manifest your reality. And so, in a way, psychedelics helped you amplify the way you perceive reality and give you a different perspective on how you’re engaging with life. So, we’re talking about whether it’s a plant medicine, like Ayahuasca, that has DMT compounds in it. Or we could look at LSD, which is also a very powerful psychedelic, synthetic, although it did originally come from ergot, and then we have Mescaline and Peyote. And the way that we talk about medicines is really important. There’s not so much sensitivity in the way that I talk about LSD. But, the way that I talk about Peyote is, it needs to be actually held in a very specific way because there are a lot of cultures that work with that medicine. And the way that we talk about it is actually important. So, we want to hold that with a lot of respect and a lot of care for those cultures that work with these medicines for generations, upon generations, in a very ceremonial way. So, these are compounds that affect the brain mostly through the 5-HT2-receptor site in the brain that fundamentally changes the way that we perceive reality. There is so much to unpack there, but it’s a hallucinogenic compound. And we also could use the word entheogen. A lot of people like that name as well. Entheogen is a name for the way that we connect to God or spirit. So, there are many ways that we can look at this— from a shamanic, indigenous, or science perspective. Especially within neuroscience perceptive, what is happening in the brain is essentially hallucinogenic compounds that allow us to change the way we perceive.
Pierre Lambert: Beautifully explained. It’s great. Then, I’ll just add to that, from my understanding, is that I think it’s Dennis McKenna, who said that psychedelics are to consciousness or the brain, what the telescope is to space exploration. In a way meaning, it’s a great tool. And I feel for my photographer friends out there; it’s almost like you’re always shooting with a 50 millimeter, with the same lens, all your lives, same focal length. You see things the same way. As much as you want to see wider or narrower, it’s very difficult. But suddenly, it’s as if for a few hours you can put a very wide-angle lens and see it. You see a lot wider, or you might see super detailed into one infinite thing that you would have never noticed. So, it just changes your perception for a certain amount of time. That’s how I like to see it. And then you put back your normal lens, but now you know that you can change your lenses. That is the thing that never goes away.
Laura Dawn: I love this analogy. I’m going to use that if that’s okay with you. If I have permission, I love that analogy. Good one.
Pierre Lambert: Yeah, I’ve thought about when we’re chatting, I was like, “Oh because I’ve heard it differently. Everyone knows photography here.” So, I’m like, “That’s like you’re always shooting with the prime, same prime focal length, 50-millimeter. And now you can go to 14, then go back to 50.” Now, you know, there is another lens. So, a lot of impacts. We’ll get into the creative side. How did you get into that space? What’s your comic book story on that?
Laura Dawn: Yeah, well, I would say a child. I was very immersed in my dream realm. And it’s funny because I’ve interviewed quite a lot of people on the psychedelic leadership podcast. I have noticed a core, sort of thread and theme among many people who started working with psychedelics and altered states of consciousness from a younger age. And that was definitely the case for me. My dream realms were so vivid, and I just hated school. I thought school was the most boring thing you could possibly do with your time. I did everything in my power to always get out of it. I was also an athlete as a kid, too, which I would love to actually share about in a moment. I would be so excited to go home, go to bed, and go into the dream realm. And a lot of times in my experience, I would have these moments where I’d have to ask my dad or my family, like, “Did that really happen? Or was that a dream?” Like, It was very like mixed into my reality. And so, so vivid. I think that just sparked an interest for me around altered states in general. And then, when I was really young, I had someone in my family that was a lot older than me who was starting to experience psychedelic journeys, who would express some of the things that he was going through. And, it’s so funny because I need to be so careful around legalities and all the things. But I would hear stories about magical lands at about ten years old and be like, “Wow.” And it was just like seeds that were somewhat planted in my consciousness. And then I was about 14 or 15, and I had my first high dose Psilocybin experience. So, I was quite young, and I like to say to people you know, I kind of joke that, “Psychedelics and plant medicines, like hand-raised me and forged me into the woman that I am today. And so, it was such a parallel. Like I grew up, learning how to grow up and be who I am on this path through just many journeys over the years. And then also paralleling just my upbringing in the family that I had. I grew up with two entrepreneurial parents, a very different landscape as an entrepreneur than it is now. Like everyone, their mothers, brothers, fathers, sisters are entrepreneurs now. But growing up at that time, it was so different. So, my parents taught me a lot about how to look for opportunities and how to perceive opportunity. And I pitched my first business plan when I was about eight years old. I was just a kid. We used to have family dinners together and then buy dessert. You pitched your idea to the rest of the family. So, that was a big part of my upbringing, which actually links into my narrative around creativity. As I grew up, I was shaped into what it means to be a visionary creative, which is a huge part of the framework that I teach in my program. So, it was just a strong calling to hurl myself over the deep end and see what happens. You mentioned travel earlier, too. I also had a very strong propensity to go to very foreign countries, and it was another way that I was hurling myself over the deep end to be like, “What’s this experience going to be like?” And I think it’s just always been this deep drive, this deep curiosity around what else we can experience in this life.
Pierre Lambert: That’s so good. And the travel bar, I never thought about it that way, but you’re right. It’s exactly that, too. You’re putting yourself into the perspective framework. Like you go to certain countries, you’re like, “Wow. It’s like a million years from operating the way I would ever think. And that opens up your mind. I started traveling young, and that’s always had a huge impact. It’s the same. Yeah, that’s fascinating. I love that.
Laura Dawn: Well, just to add one more layer there, I started traveling like intense traveling when I was about 16. Backpacking. I also did a lot of anthropogenic medicines in other very, very foreign countries. And not that I absolutely do not recommend that to anyone because there are very harsh drug laws in a lot of these countries. But it actually gave me this experience of witnessing how different of an experience the other cultures have. Especially, I spent many years of my life studying Buddhism for about the last almost 17 years. I’ve been deeply immersed in Eastern philosophy and then having these experiences and being exposed to foundational Buddhist countries, where that’s like a primary just way of perceiving. It had such a big impact on me in my life.
Pierre Lambert: Yeah. So, what was your mindset around that? I’ll start with my examples, so you can understand the question. I grew up in a very traditional way, and with a traditional mindset, I never questioned much until I was like five years into my job. And then I had my own mind shift just by reading books. For example, on drugs, it was very much like all drugs are. Everything’s evil. Alcohol is not a drug, of course not. It was that narrative. For me, it’s almost like, you smoke a joint, and tomorrow you’re doing heroin under a bridge. And you’re homeless. The people who smoke joints are lazy, and this is literally the world I grew up in, and I have no shame of saying it. This isn’t a narrative I was fed. And I stood now many, many, many examples. Another guest will come up with people that I know who smoked weed and completely blew that out of the window because they’re amazing entrepreneurs. And I’m like, “Oh, wow. Look at that”. How was your word around it? How was it perceived, and how did you navigate or dip your toe into it? Because I had to unlearn or realize a lot of what I did not know. It was just like the education actually on the whole topic.
Laura Dawn: Yeah. I would say it happened in different phases. But because I started working with psychedelics, I even knew that there was a narrative around them being wrong or bad. That’s why I feel like this past, and even speaking with you and where I’m at in my journey, was my Dharma from the beginning of my life. And so, there were sections of time when I was working with psychedelics less during university, like a window, when I was studying entrepreneurship—and being a little more focused on the commerce, getting caught up in that sort of matrix. Then as soon as I left, my hometown and I packed a bag, and I left, and I actually never went. And in those two years after university, I remember very distinct LSD trips that were way out there in the world, just on the edge of nowhere. Here I was really grieving the process of the education that the masses are getting. Where it was, this de-fragging my brain, and my body and feeling my body carrying the education of the stock market and all the financial structures and all of it. Just sobbing and sobbing and having these journeys of real deep grief and grieving for myself and for the collective of humanity. And that was very informative for me, but I’ve always been super stubborn. I’ve always been this kid who was hardheaded and wanted to beat to my own drum. It was like, “Oh, you guys are all going left. I want to go right”. I never wanted to do the thing that I was supposed to do. And I feel incredibly grateful that I had two very supportive parents. My father, one of the best beliefs that he gave me, was sort of parallel with the medicine because whatever I thought in my mind, I could make a reality. And that I could create whatever I wanted to create. There was so much stuff that I’ve navigated with healing and my relationship with my father, but I would take all the hardship just to keep that one belief that he gave me. My mother used to always tell me; I trust your judgment. So, I was raised by a mother who is still my best friend, who she’s the closest person in my life. We joke now that, she would say, “I knew one day the west of the world would catch up to you.” Because this was 20 years ago and saying, “Hey, there’s really something to this.” There’s really, really something to this experience that is fundamentally transformative, helpful, and healing. Because I used to struggle with depression and addiction throughout my teenage years. And it was helpful. There wasn’t a framework and educational framework that went with it, but I knew that it was helpful. And actually, in high school, I started intuitively micro-dosing. So, this was like 20 years ago, and I remember the first time I heard the term micro-dose. And I was like, “Oh, that’s like obvious.” But that was the first time. And I was like, I had already been doing that practice to be more focused and engaged in school until I stopped going to class altogether about grade eight. I started self-studying because I thought school was such a waste of time. And my parents supported me in that too. I only had to go to one hour of being with a tutor to replace the whole week of school. And so, I had a lot of free time on my hands and also was more of a risk-taker. I’ve always been like a risk-taker and got into all sorts of trouble.
Pierre Lambert: You mentioned you were also into the sport.
Laura Dawn: Yeah. And that shaped me and the level of my dedication and determination. And dove for many years and trained competitively. I also played water polo and those early sorts of years of shaping my life to like self-discipline. Importantly, another big key to those years was my coaches teaching me how to use my mind and the power of visualization for competing. And so, I have this big aspect to the programs that I teach. That’s all about creativity, visionary, Bodhisattva, which is more the Eastern philosophy part. But the visionary piece is the trinity of learning for me was through my father, through growing up as an athlete and through the plants, teaching me that our minds are manifesting all the time.
Pierre Lambert: I have a million brain notes right now. And, I want to go back to the first one, which is the athlete and discipline part. So, you mentioned diving, is that right? Like from the springboards, right, where you do the twist, and it looks great. This is a perfect example of visualizing because you can’t do it at the moment. You have to know exactly what you’re going to do before. How do you teach yourself self-discipline if you’re not in that lead? What do you think about that? Because I felt like this might be the biggest struggle for anyone trying to achieve.
Laura Dawn: Okay, let’s back up a second. Interesting because a lot of the reflections I get from the people closest to me are like, “Wow, you have just such a high degree of self-discipline. And in a way, I find that discipline—I think even the narrative of the word discipline, makes most people want to cringe. Like we have…
Pierre Lambert: Thinking army and like being whipped
Laura Dawn: And so, this is why I wanted to back up because I think in the Western mind, we’re very self-critical, right? I think we have to sort of preface the notion of discipline with kindness, and self-love, and compassion that this isn’t like the self whip on the back. And like you have the drill Sergeant. Actually, when I’m disciplined in the things that I care about, I have more freedom in my life. And there’s liberation, discipline, and change. So, this is where a lot of Eastern philosophy comes into my framework because my spiritual teacher talks about discipline from this perspective of loving-kindness. When we sit in meditation, for example, that takes discipline. It takes discipline to hold your seat and to stay with it because the mind just wants to be like, “Boom! Go do the next thing or go do that thing.” And it requires discipline to grow and to hold space for change. And that kind of dedication. So empowering and the way that I would say, “You know, now that I’m thinking about it like it’s a muscle that we learned to flex.” So, it’s a practice in essence. And I was actually right before this conversation, just talking to my friend on the phone, and I am just moving into a new apartment in Austin after being on the big island for ten years. So, I’m setting up my space in this way before we started recording. We were talking about how much we love our stand-up desks. And our environment is such a big aspect of how we create and how we create structure. And so, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about, “When am I most creative? Like when do I get my best ideas”? And I’ve consciously designed my life to make the scaffolding and the physical environment to make discipline effortless. I like that. Yeah, making discipline easy. I’ll backtrack to the self-love and kindness part. I totally did not think about that, but you’re completely right if you think about it. Let’s say we’re going to do something for 30 days, and most of us would say this is discipline, to do it every day.
Pierre Lambert: Right? The one thing that will take you out of it is usually distractions because of the reason you would commit to something. You intrinsically believe that it’s going to be good for you. You’re going to feel great. You want to learn something, et cetera. And the one thing that will distract you is actually things that usually don’t serve us. Otherwise, it’s just a different commitment. So, I love the idea of self-love and kindness because this feels better. You know, you’re more in the flow into those activities than you are in the distraction. “Oh, shoot. I forgot to clean up. I forgot this. I don’t have time to meditate. I have to do all those million things.”
Laura Dawn: Let me just add onto this there’s this framework that I, teach us like, think about like a cross, a four-way cross. Okay. So, you build your life and your environment to support an open creative channel. How I think about it, on this, on the vertical access for people who are listening just through audio. We have a vision—the vision above and the value below. So, we align our vision. This is leadership development, and we can call it Creative Leadership Development 101. And so, we’re looking at the vision of what we want to create in our lives? What do we care about? Why are we doing that thing, and why are we going for that thing? Who are we becoming? There’s so much I could actually say about this, but plant medicines help us to cultivate a sense of inner vision, and this links into the research and the science behind the power of visualization. And so, when we connect, we give ourselves permission, first of all, to connect to a vision that is not yet manifest in our reality. And to say, I can create that, and I can go embark on the journey. To become that person who is embodying the vision that I held however long ago. And I think just a caveat in this thinking is that it’s not about the outcome of the vision. For me, I’ve written a couple of published books. I’ve created built a volcanic hot spring retreat center. I’ve created a lot in my life. The outcome of the manifestation of the vision is a by-product of whom you become along the way. How that creative process literally shapes you into the human being that you’re becoming, that no one can take that away from you. So, we have this path of vision aligned with our values and taking time to ask ourselves, what do I value? What do I really care about in my life? What’s important to me? And I’m very clear on all of this because I make this actually a practice. And I encourage a lot of the people that I work with to make this a practice. Actually, cultivating clarity is a habit of high performance. So people, high performers, are in the habit of seeking clarity more often than people who are not high-performance. So, we have the vision and values, and then we have the passion and the purpose. And that’s the fuel that gives us that stamina. It’s like the recipe for grit. Angela Duckworth’s grit model is like going far for a long time. Like it’s not a short sprint. And then you give up. We’re talking like work for decades and decades and having the stamina to keep doing that. And so, it’s getting clear on what my purpose is here and then getting clear on the passion that fuels that, “Why I’m incredibly dedicated.” I have such a high degree of discipline because of that sort of framework. That model is very clear in my mind. And I revisit it often.
Pierre Lambert: That’s great. It reminds me of a quote. I think it’s from Alice in Wonderland, which is how you get there is where you will get.
Laura Dawn: Oh, I love that.
Pierre Lambert: It has a little twist in it. But it’s exactly that. I love that you’re making clarity of practice because even myself, I fall out of the wagon. I never thought of making or even think about it as any kind of practice before, so it’s fascinating. How would one cultivate a practice to practice? Clarity, like what does it look like —writing down things or asking yourself certain questions.
Laura Dawn: I personally, and again, major disclaimer, this is not for everyone. I’m just talking about my own personal practice, my path that is true to my heart. I have a practice working with my plant teachers. The scaffolding of my life is built around integration. Okay. So, I have this very strong support network that manifests itself in very many ways through the community. I have through mentors, through very close friends, who also have a similar practice. And that we integrate through the literal structure of my environment —through my lifestyle, my knowledge and what I’m learning and how I’m teaching, and the way the output that I put out through my work in this world. So, my whole life is built around tapping into this open creative channel and cultivating clarity in another dimension that feels very alive for me. And that’s very informative. That allows me to remember and come back into my heart. What’s really important to me? Not because I need to do this. Let me give you an example. So, a lot of people have this core wound of not good enough, of unworthy, and it’s this path. Then the manifestation of that is proving. I need to do, I need to do, I need to get the credentials, so it’s a life of chasing. It could take a long time to actually unpack that sort of core wound. If you have the kind of support and not working with, I recommend working with a guide or someone to support you in this journey. And you could have one journey to replace, you know, ten years of trying to figure it out on your own. That just snaps clarity. Sometimes it’s helpful to go into those journeys or even with a micro-dosing practice and ask that question, like the way that my narrative is. Okay, you know how earlier you just said, “Wow, I never thought about the practice of cultivating clarity.” Now I just gave you a new conceptual model that is now in your mind. And now your reality, your physical reality, and the actions that you take can now start to shift because you have this new conceptual model, right? So, I’m what I’m doing here is offering a conceptual model for a way of living. That’s possible that might not work for other people, but it works really well for me in terms of how I’m a creative entrepreneur. So, I go into these journeys, and I ask for clarity because my conceptual framework is that I am in this constant co-creative dance with some life force that moves through all things. And that I am a part of it. I trust my plant teachers and my spirit allies and trust the wisdom that is beyond me, that I’m in collaboration with. But there’s a way that we can communicate with other aspects of ourselves with the help of these very profound teachers that cultures have been working with for thousands of years. So through that core, then it’s all use the P-word, the prayer word, but I know it doesn’t resonate for a lot of people. But I use it in a different context now after working with medicines for so many years that have taught me what it means to be living in this prayerful way in my life. And so, we could also use the word intentional. When I wake up in the morning before a micro-dosing practice or before I make a deeper dive solo journey, I sit in meditation and ask the spirit to show me the way. Help me find clarity. I wrote songs that came through the spirit that are all about praying for clarity and that sense of clarity. So, it’s like a total sort of mindset shift in terms of not figuring it out. It’s not analytical. That’s where plant medicines are so amazing because they get us out of our analytical minds where we can start feeling and asking. What do I care about? And I feel my heart, and I feel my body come alive. And I feel. To me, creativity is actually this very subtle frequency that I refer to as inspiration. So, I create my whole life around tuning into that frequency and moving with it, and cultivating a relationship with that. And that’s really important to me. The more that I revolve my life around that, it bursts clarity from that place. And then, of course, we can say simple things. That was a very tangential answer. But you can say, journaling, and you know, going for walks. Like when I’m working through my day, I go work in 90-minute cycles, and then I’ll take a break and go for a walk to help get clarity and streamline my focus. I think better when my body is moving. And I know that about myself. I am even asking your subconscious mind. Please show me clarity around this, and even having the awareness that you need clarity about an aspect of your life is actually a huge quantum leap of awareness.
Pierre Lambert: I love what you’re saying. It sounds as if it’s about tapping into our intuition more versus the intelligence. And the clarity comes from aligning with that intuition. For example, you mentioned going on a walk, moving when you’re working. Why do we have to sit if intrinsically, if you’re going to move, you think better? Why do you try to go back to a law that works for others but not for yourself? I love that. Okay. So that definitely brings a lot of clarity. Let’s step into that micro-dosing practice. And just before— because that’s something that came up was with some of my entourage. People think if you take out, let’s say, mushrooms, you’re going to see unicorns suddenly and dragons, and you’re going to be running naked in the streets—that kind of like how a lot of people think about it. I would love for you may be to clarify a little bit of that aspect. And if you’re still listening and you still have any kind of doubts, or you’re like, “I don’t understand.” Don’t worry. I’ve been there. I have plenty of dabs. I’ve analyzed that thing through several angles before I ever considered it.
Laura Dawn: Most people listening to this, do you think that they would know who Tim Ferriss is?
Pierre Lambert: Some of them will.
Laura Dawn: He is a huge psychedelic advocate. He had a quote that he said, all of my billionaire friends work with psychedelics. And I want to avoid equating money like, “Oh, you should work with psychedelics” so that you can be a better entrepreneur or have more money in your bank. Please don’t take that out of context. That happens quite a bit where people are like, “I do want to do this psychedelic journey, but I’m not ready to overhaul my life right now.” I respect that, and so we have to be also aware that changes might happen. We might decide, “Oh shit, like I’ve been valuing something that was something that my parents told me to value. That’s not actually true to who I am.” But I built my entire fucking life around this value. Now I need to go through the painful process of re-attuning who I am and what I truly care about. You could avoid that. You’re holding on, or you could go on the journey of what it means to be human and, you know, lean into the full spectrum of human emotions. And it’s like the arc of the hero’s journey when you go through those experiences. But the most successful, intelligent people I know consciously work with psychedelics. It’s all about set and setting. Yes. Do you see huge parties happen where people are on the LSD and getting naked? Sure. I’ve been a part of those parties. Of course, in those settings, when I was younger and less intentional about some of the ways that I was working. I also believe that there’s a very strong place for recreational quote-unquote use because some of my most profound experiences were at Burning Man. Or At a festival in the crowd of a whole group of people listening to one of the best DJs in the world. Don’t tell me that that’s not a spiritually transcendent experience because it absolutely was for me. So, I just think that if people listen to this, and you’re holding judgment, part of the beauty of psychedelics is that they help you to loosen your grip over what you believe to be true and get more curious and get more open-hearted and open-minded. And be able to have a conversation with someone else without closing your mind and saying, “You’re wrong.” And you know what? I would argue that’s one of the most fundamental ways to change humanity for the better. Right now, it’s just cultivating the practice of a curiosity mindset. You don’t need to work with psychedelics to do that, but they help. And they also help open our hearts and allow us to embody greater degrees of empathy. Considering the fact that we are living in dire times now. That we are seeing more division and polarization than ever before. I vote for whatever is going to help us become kinder, more embodied, present human beings that can defer judgment when we’re speaking to others.
Pierre Lambert: For sure. I’ll add to that. So, Laura, one of the reasons I actually even considered any of that space was because through all my research. I just realized, that whether it’s mystical experiences, religious experiences, meditation, let’s say high-level near-death experiences, someone who might be on a marathon and at the end of the thread, or an athlete at the highest performance, or the most difficult moment, or someone on a very high dose of psychedelics —all the experiences that people were talking about to each other were similar. For me, having a scientific background and being an engineer is like, “I can’t ignore that.” I could not ignore it once I’ve seen the data. I was like, “Wait. All those things are the same. There must be something here.” Okay. And then there’s a lot of education to do around it, how does it work, et cetera. That’s why I highly recommend no one ever to do it unless it’s your own personal choices in life. But again, you have to understand what it is, how it works and in what settings, and what benefits you can get depending on what you do or the risks. Also, you mentioned working with a guide. If you’re doing certain types of practice, or if you’re doing the micro-dosing part, maybe you can do it on your own. We can dig into that in a second. But really understanding, whatever happens. It’s almost like, you’re in a nightmare. To me, like psychedelics, you can literally walk like a nightmare— If you’ve had those crazy dreams. All the time, ever since I’m a kid, there’s always that dream where you’re running away from something. And that thing just keeps pursuing, and you’re trying to move, and you don’t move or like you’re falling forever, et cetera like those kinds of dreams and those compounds. Or even thru, I don’t know, dance, et cetera. It puts you in those states where important material might come up, and that’s going to scare you. Or nature is going to be like, “Oh, I want to move away from it.” But what it actually shows, is more from my understanding, is more like this needs your attention. Please look at it. Don’t try to run away from it. A nightmare, the best way to stop it is to turn around and look, what’s behind you. What’s chasing you, and you realize it’s a teddy bear, or you realize it’s a monster, and you slay it. And you’re done. Your nightmare is over, and you go pee and go back to bed. That trust and surrendering, understanding that aspect of there is something important. The message that’s coming across that my subconscious wants to meet to explore or work on is key. So dive into maybe the micro-dosing for creativity practice and be more technical around that because there’s like a million directions we can go.
Laura Dawn: Oh, my gosh. And even just, this is such a huge conversation. I’ll send you the link to include for people to sign up for the free eight-day micro-dosing course because there are all the basic questions. Like, if you’re curious about micro-dosing and you want to cultivate an intentional practice, then I recommend starting there. It covers a lot of the basics, which we won’t cover here. And I recommend for people listening if you’ve never micro-dose before, and you want to cultivate a practice, please defer practice until you actually go through the eight-day course because there’s really good foundational stuff in there. Just for your own safety. So, where do we want to start with micro-dosing? It’s such a big conversation. Do we want to dive in somewhere specifically?
Pierre Lambert: I think a good aspect would just be explaining to people what it is that. We don’t know exactly how it works, but how it may work or at least, from all the accounts that you have with people, like how it may help people. And also, just in what cases, it’s not a good idea. And before even considering it, anyone, make sure you tried meditating for ten days straight so that you understand a little how your mind fluctuates. I just think self-awareness and meditation are such easy low-hanging fruits there without dipping your toes and like stuff that can bring up a lot more material than you can choose.
Laura Dawn: Yeah. And I would say that meditation to me doesn’t seem like a very low-hanging fruit to stick with it. It’s an amazing practice. And it is the foundation. I highly encourage people, as a foundation for any kind of altered state of consciousness work, to cultivate a meditation practice as the foundation. I absolutely agree with you there. So, really the definition of micro-dosing is taking a very small amount. Usually, it’s a 10th of a dose, although we can’t really say that because everyone’s full dose is very, very different. There’s a very wide range. And so, we’re technically talking about an amount of a hallucinogen that we’re consuming, like psilocybin or LSD, that’s in small amounts. That’s technically sub-perceptual. So, this is where the nuance comes in because it’s interesting. And it’s a little bit of nuance here that we notice effects, but it’s often sub-perceptual you’re not tripping and seeing everything. It’s almost like things are just a little bit more enhanced in that way. And it depends on who you are, what you’re doing, what substance you’re working with, how much you’re taking. So many factors and that’s why I do a lot of consulting and micro-dosing mentorship for people so that it’s actually held in a way that optimizes change. And I think that even before we talk about micro-dosing, it might even just be worth stating that, like most people come to micro-dosing and to psychedelics because they desire some kind of change in their lives. But we know that actually change is hard. It’s difficult. Otherwise, we’d just be like, all doing all the things that we just snapped to. And we’re doing that thing, and we’re the weight we want to be. And it’s that discipline piece and the change piece and the practice piece. Psychedelics have some interesting qualities to them because what they have is a generalizing effect. Okay. So Dr. Robin Carhart Harris, I highly recommend diving into his research with the entropic brain, and we’re looking at pivotal mental states. But as a generalized statement, we can say that we have these windows of heightened malleability when we work with psychedelics. We’re more shapeable. For those who are interested in this reading, Michael Pollan’s book, how to change your mind, is a great place to start, where he talks a lot about the research. And so, it’s almost like, when we talk about habits, which our perceptions and our beliefs are also deeply ingrained habits, it’s like being on a sled on snow. Going down the hill, where it’s easier to just go down the path that’s already been paved, and that’s neurological connections in our mind. But when we work with psychedelics, it’s almost like there’s a fresh blanket of snow, so you can choose a new path a little more easily. And so, when we start looking at cultivation, the way that I work with micro-dosing and the programs that I run, and the people I work with, I’m not encouraging people to just micro-dose and then get in the car and go to work. I’m inviting people to cultivate a morning practice, a daily practice that helps set a foundation. That’s unique to them. That then is sort of a launchpad for living our best lives. And we can say that creativity is humanity at its best, right? Creativity is a way that we’re like a full expression of who we are. So, I have created a model, and I call it the eight M of micro-dosing. The morning flow, where there are different aspects of morning practice. Whether it’s meditation or movement. We also have breathwork practices, music. And so, over the years cultivated this amazing recipe that works really well. And again, it’s within the environment that I’m in that is like the scaffolding that I’ve created for my creativity to flourish. I create daily morning practices that I know will set me up for an amazing rest of my day. Again, another piece here is that it’s an invitation. Like the micro-dosing, just as I was saying about arriving at the vision of what you’re creating in your life. It’s not about the end result. It’s actually about whom you become along the way. We can say the same thing with micro-dosing. It’s that micro-dose isn’t the thing. The real thing is the way that we’re showing up for our lives. It’s the relationship between us and our plant teachers or the substances that we’re cultivating. A very clear relationship with the power, actually. And the power is that in that relationship. There’s an invitation for us to show up at our altars, whether if you have an altar or not. But to show up and actually embody the ceremony of life. And to embody presence and ritual in a way that catalyzes living in a fulfilled, meaningful way. Because when you break it down, everyone is going for that. Everyone is going for a happy, joy-filled, inspired, meaningful life. It’s really a recipe to codify the struggle and leave behind the limitations. And actually create a practice because whatever we want to accomplish requires practice, showing up, and repeating over again. And essentially, we’re practicing open-heart and open mind, and we’re practicing the cultivation of presence. There are a lot of things we can say that we’re practicing, but essentially, it’s this foundation that then becomes my launchpad for me to really show up. In what I’m doing and who I’m communicating with, in the interviews that I’m leading. Or offering, like in this scenario or the many, many meetings I have throughout the day. Or the chunks of content that I’m creating. And it allows me to show up as my best self and to create from my heart, with integrity and in the right relationship with my life. Whatever you want to call it— universe, spirit, God, doesn’t matter. That life force that is through all of us. And so micro-dosing is so much bigger to me than just focusing. The psilocybin is actually just like point half of a percent of what micro-dosing actually is to me.
Pierre Lambert: That’s great. Especially because, from what I understand, is you’re setting the foundation. And then maybe the compound might just help set the foundation, maybe glue it a little bit better or hold through time in a way, just like when you mentioned the fresh powder of snow. You can set a new track on that specific day or in that you repeat over time. And this, I think, is key, especially if you’re tapping into creativity. And for me, I cannot tap into my creativity. Or, I can’t let it flow If I have a million things I’m thinking about if I don’t feel centered personally. Or if I don’t feel like I’m in alignment or with what I want to do now. It’s like you mentioned earlier. You want to move through with intention when you’re doing things. So, even if it’s just going to shoot out like on the photoshoot or whatever, my mind is somewhere else because I didn’t take the time to settle and be like, “Okay, this is, what’s happening now.” I can’t get there. So, I love that it’s creating a structure. I think that’s why it can be so powerful for a lot of people. It’s not just about a compound. It’s about that practice you create. I’m sure a lot of people are like, “Oh, is it a magic pill?” No, it’s everything but a magic pill. It’s something you need to build around, from what I understand you’re saying.
Laura Dawn: Yeah. And really to like to link it in, even deeper, with the creativity piece. Again, I mentioned the word inspiration. So, I invite the people listening to this to think about the last time they were inspired. Take a moment to like really think, what were you doing? Where were you? What time of day was it, and how did it feel in your body? And then what was a result of that inspiration? How did that come through you into the world, into what you were doing? There’s something about this notion, and I invite people to pay more attention to those moments in their lives, where inspiration is flowing through us. Because I see inspiration as being this direct channel to a lot of energy, so, all of a sudden, there’s this like life force. That all of a sudden, we’re carried down the river. We’re not struggling upstream. And this is so important. You want to turbocharge your reality, focus on cultivation. The cultivation of inspiration in your life because there are so many things we have to do as creatives and entrepreneurs that are logistical and blah, blah, blah, and doing all the things. But when you tap into that channel, that is such a distinct frequency. We know it when we feel it. It’s so distinct that it carries us, and it’s ten times better than anything we could have come up with in our own minds. It’s flow, right? We know that experience doesn’t happen that often, but we can actually learn to pay more attention to it. So just to tie this back in all the way to the beginning of the conversation, when I was talking about we’re exposed to so much data and information, it’s data around us, but also introspective data within ourselves. We can tune into the beating of our heart or how our gut is feeling. You keep looking for the same information. You’re going to keep creating the same thing over and over again. But now, if I say wake up in the morning and look for inspiration, then in your mind, I’m actually activating a part of your brain called the reticular activating system. And now your mind is starting to look for it. And if I say pay attention to its feeling, we start building our lives around the supporting, or opening, of a creative channel. That actually produces what I call golden nuggets. So, there are ways that I know how to cultivate that. And there are ways that I practice, like dancing as part of my morning micro-dosing flow. When you have speakers set up, it’s part of, again, the environment, the creative environment. I’m always looking for new music that just lights me up. I’m working with journaling practices, with breath work with meditation. But when I’m in the channel of dancing with music that I love, and I’m really just ecstatic, then I’m able to raise my energy. To the point where I’m like, “Oh, I can now hook into inspiration.” Because think about it, it’s like climbing a ladder. If you’re experiencing depression, which is no judgment. These are fucking hard times for a lot of people. And I also have struggled with depression in my life. So, I know that place very, very intimately. It’s a really hard jump to go from depression to inspired creative, open channel, so we do the practices to move up the ladder. Oh, I can reach up to one more. Okay. I’m going to encourage myself to think in this way, and I’m going to move my body in this way. I’m going to go for a walk that makes me feel better than the ideas are flowing. So, it’s a way that we cultivate our lives to literally open that creative channel.
Pierre Lambert: I love that dance part. It just sparked something. It was like, if you want to test your own beliefs of judgment that we’re in, stored in, you just try dancing in the street. Or even, without even going there, try dancing alone in your home with loud music and even stupid music. You will hear your mind go like this is stupid. You shouldn’t do this. Your moves are, whatever. You know, that whole narration. You didn’t have as a kid. I have a two-year-old. Nothing exists in mind. It’s a blank state. Like the moves just come. There’s no judgment. It’s just a free expression. It’s beautiful. But when we go all day, this is a great exercise. If you think you don’t have filters, try this.
Laura Dawn: Yeah. Yeah. Or go to an ecstatic dance in your community, and actually, this is very much like play. Research shows that the more we play actually is so good for our creativity and for our creative output and creative expression. Okay, one of my favorite definitions of creativity was by Arthur Koestler that said creativity is the defeat of habit by originality. I’ll say it again. Creativity is the defeat of habit by originality. And actually, it’s so interesting when you look at all the research right now, so much research is coming out about how psychedelics can help treat depression, PTSD, anxiety, and addiction. And that’s really where it’s catching in the mainstream like psychedelics are being so de-stigmatized now. Because now the proof is in the pudding. There’s so much research to show that it actually is very, very— but one thing that we’re not talking about yet as much. Although I think it’s going to go in that direction, exploring psychedelics for creativity. The research is going to go in that direction too. But when you look at this definition of creativity, that it’s the defeat of habit by originality, you can say the same thing about the healing of depression or addiction. You’re choosing a new way. So, we get caught in these cycles over and over and over again, whether it’s like ruminative thinking beliefs that we just don’t even, weren’t even aware that we keep circling around. And to step out of that hamster wheel and say, “Oh, here’s a new thought.” Or, here’s a new way of looking at it. Or here’s a new belief. It’s actually how we move out of mental illness, like depression, cognitive flexibility. And it’s also the same thing that helps us to think more creatively. So, one of the ways to catalyze getting out of the hamster wheel is to play and look at children and how they play because it’s free from inhibition. And dancing is such a great way to do just like everyone. We can all collectively start just taking ourselves a little less seriously. I think that’s the beauty of medicine and psychedelics, and plant medicines. It is just how they help us laugh at the irony of life. We’re just here for a moment. Enjoy it. Don’t take it so seriously. It’s not about the end destination. The end destination is your own death. So let’s keep that in mind and live in a way that’s really true to who we are and who we are on this path.
Pierre Lambert: There’s a good reminder also that I think our civilization is only about 6,000 years old. If we look at our planet, which is a few billion years. Just to put it in perspective. Like when we think we’re so important, it’s like, “Are we really?” Why can’t we play more and take it less seriously in a way? I always wonder because I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve found a book on that yet. Do you know anything about how it’s being used? Do people actually take some countdowns and then start creating, painting or like drawing or photography, or whatever. Or is it more like they will have a drone and then create a later something that might have…
Laura Dawn: All of the above.
Pierre Lambert: Okay.
Laura Dawn: All of the ways. Yeah. There are infinite ways to be creative, and there are infinite ways that people have their creative process. So one model to even think about is the four Ps model of creativity. I don’t know if you’re familiar with this James Rhodes model. So, when we say creativity, it’s such a huge word, and what are we actually talking about? He talks about the creative person, like characteristics of the creative person and mindset —the creative process. The creative process that we go through, whether it’s over the course of minutes, hours, or decades: the creative outcome, the product of what we’re like manifesting and forming. And then we have the creative place, the environment, which I’ve been referring to quite a lot. Conversation, in which there’s so much research that shows how we can set up our spaces to help be conducive to creativity. Now, when I talk to a lot of different people about psychedelics, like people that I know who work with psychedelics. And that are also some people who are like. I never mix them while I don’t do psychedelics and paint. Then I know other people who micro-dose. Look at Alex Gray. He is one of the most prolific visionary artists of our time. And he talks a lot about psychedelics and creativity. So, there’s no one way. And there’s also not even one definition of creativity. There are as many forms and definitions of creativity as there are people alive on this planet. So, I think it’s really helpful to get into that playful mentality and a little bit of that sort of experimental mentality of looking at it. Oh, okay, that works for that person. I’m going to try it in a safe way. Remember to keep safety as the highest priority and then adjust accordingly and find what works for me personally. I think that there’s this like constant externalization going on. We’re so pulled outward all the time, and psychedelics and plant medicines give us that invitation. They’re like reaching out a hand and saying, actually come within and find what’s true for you. What does creative expression or output look like for you? And I think that’s just a really good mentality for all of us to have, yeah? Be in conversation with other artists that are also working with micro-dosing or psychedelics. And remember that there’s not one way like play. With my perspective is that life is one big experiment. We’re all just experimenting. This is one big collective experiment, an individual experiment. So, we’re just learning. It’s emergent.
Pierre Lambert: Yeah, it definitely is a big experiment. When we have The Matrix coming out soon or, if not already, the new version, which is the old one, once you get into meditation. Or even though the spaces of psychedelics, you’re like, “Oh, I understand why they created that movie.” This is literally the first thought that came to my mind. I understand why they made that movie now. It makes so much more sense how we perceive things is not necessarily how it is, and we don’t even know how it could be. So big question now. What would you recommend? And again, this is not medical-legal advice to anyone. Just make sure you’re doing things right. And check with your doctors if you have doctors or with the laws in your own countries. What would you recommend in the way, or what would you suggest they look into either before or as a first toe in the water?
Laura Dawn: If people are listening to this, I’ve never worked with psychedelics. Like we said earlier, I think having a solid meditation practice is a really good first place to start. Really depends on the spectrum of what people are working with. If you are listening to this, and you’re really struggling with depression or addiction, that really does require extra support. If you’re listening to this, and you’re like, I’m generally well-adjusted, things are pretty good in my life. I’m kind of curious what more there is. I would look at potentially starting with a micro-dosing practice or working with a guide or someone who can support the container and help prepare you for that experience. I support a lot of people in the preparation and the integration. Feel free to reach out to me for something that’s resonant for you. Or if you are looking for a retreat or something like that, I also have a really great document on my website. That’s 41 questions for vetting your Shaman. I also have really great guides for how to have a safe psychedelic journey at home. If you so choose, and that’s your choice, you’re making that empowered choice; please be safe. And so, I created a guide around safety. There’s a lot of information out there around harm reduction and how to have a safe journey. If you’re working with trauma or with really overcoming some big things in your life, get support even without psychedelics. When you go through really difficult, challenging experiences, We’re supportive creatures by nature. So reach out, don’t do it alone. We’re not meant to do any of this alone.
Pierre Lambert: Yeah, that’s for sure. The support is so underrated. Many people see it in a weird way, but I think that this narrative has changed, especially with Covid-19, where people actually understood its benefits. And yeah, you mentioned a perversion integration as extremely important. From everything that I’ve understood in that space, it’s as important as one’s experience. Because a good example of it can be, in life, you might have an experience. But what is going to impact you emotionally and physically is how you take that experience, right? It can be a traumatic event for some people, but not for others because of how they will look and integrate it. Let’s say something happened to you, and no one ever believes you. That’s going to be traumatic in some way. People are going to think you’re crazy, but you know, it has happened. You know, deep down, but now if everyone believes you, you’re going to think it’s normal, and you can share it openly. So again, your preparation, what you’re trying to achieve, work on, and how you integrate whatever came up or just your experience talking about it with someone who can hold the space for you is equally important. I’ll just say that. Do not think this is lighthearted or like an easy or like a recreational thing because it would be the same thing as saying, “I’m going to drink on a boulevard can go on the highway.” You know, already, just because the culture is so attuned to alcohol, how it might. It’s just as powerful as alcohol and the way at the high dose.
Laura Dawn: Yeah, yeah, even if you do want to have a solo journey. So, I hold this full spectrum awareness. One side is that people have been journeying with these medicines safely for thousands of years. Okay. So, I think that we also like to overemphasize the fear of it. All of it, like women, have been giving birth in the forest for thousands of years. Okay. So, when we think about it, “oh my God, giving birth outside a hospital.” That being said, the medical model is really helpful for saving babies in emergencies or when you break a leg. And so, there are models like psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, a very good model for people working with mental illness, like depression or PTSD or anxiety, or end of life, anxiety. That’s another big area that people are seeking these medicines. So, there’s a wide spectrum. I think it’s possible to have a safe psychedelic journey at home if you choose, but then basic things that you can put into place at the very least is you have a buddy system. So like when I journey, I have where I still, after 23 years, journeying, I still check-in. I have a buddy that if I’m alone, then I make sure that they check in on me. Or if you’re new to working with psychedelics, and you want just a trip sitter, then not a therapist or a guide or a facilitator, but just someone to sit just in case anything’s happened. There are also guides for that. I can link my website as well. If someone else, you can just give them the guide and tell them to read this information on just how to hold space in case anything happens. The chances of an emergency happening are actually really low. There’s not. The lethal threshold dose for psilocybin is super, super high. You can’t physically consume the amount of mushrooms you would need to overdose. I trust the medicine. It’s like that saying, trust Allah, tie up your camel. It’s kind of like that. Trust the medicine. Trust the compounds and create safety, you know, and do what you can. Like, don’t be stupid. Yeah.
Pierre Lambert: That’s well said. I think yeah. If you’re listening to that, just take all those and do your own— just keep researching a little bit before you consider anything. I think that’s the most important. Okay, there are a million avenues we could go in the future. We’re going to keep it there. I love that. The fact that you’re. Change that narrative around your own creativity and that you were able to, in a way, overcome. Just change the narrative completely. And I feel like so many of us can benefit from that. So many things we’re not creative in those areas. We can’t do this. We cannot blah-blah-blah fill the blank. I think that those tools can be super helpful. So, I’m very grateful for you sharing that with us. You have a ton of information on your website, especially for harm reduction. Those questions you mentioned, if someone is going to see a guide or shaman or whoever that person wants to be, called those questions. I look through them very, very important questions because I think it’s Tim Ferris, who said, you want to find a person who stays with you when you’re in that space. With the same amount of scrutiny that you would look, if someone was doing brain surgery on you. So just think about it that space you can be very malleable, which is great. Add new practices for yourself, but you don’t want someone to take advantage of that either. Yeah. Laura, is there any place you want to send people to learn more or explore your universe, or something you would recommend to people?
Laura Dawn: Yeah. So, I’ll give you the link to my websites and all the links for the show notes because right now, I’m doing a pretty big overhaul, from www.livefreelaurad.com to www.lauradawn.com. So my new home base by January 1st, 2022, is going to be www.lauradawn.com. And you can find all the projects I’m working on, the retreats, my programs. I’m doing a really big course with the shift network starting in February. That’s all about plant medicine, integration for change-makers. I run micro-dosing programs. I have my free eight-day micro-dosing course on my website. And please, feel free to check out my podcast, the psychedelic leadership podcast.
Pierre Lambert: This is a great podcast. If you want to hear more stories and a little more in-depth on some areas, definitely a good resource. Thank you so much, Laura. Everyone, good shakeout, Laura. Everything is in the show notes below or on https://pierretlambert.com/laurad. And we will see you, Laura, maybe in a new episode. Thank you so much. All right. Thanks.
The Pierre T. Lambert Podcast is where Pierre interviews the best creatives in the world to share their tips and stories. Enjoy & spread the word to your friends about this podcast! Pierre T. Lambert is a travel & adventure photographer & YouTuber followed by over 600,000 people. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.