Should I journey solo, with a partner, or in a group setting? In this episode, our hosts discuss what to consider before deciding to take psychedelics in an international retreat setting or with your partner, friends, and family members.
They also explore ways to determine if other people should support your journey by attending your psychedelic ceremony. Nicholas and Jimmy analyze how group settings can influence the organic trajectory of an individual’s psychedelic experience.
They share personal stories to exemplify potential circumstances that may arise if you choose to journey with other people. Our hosts explain how increases in energetic sensitivity may improve or worsen the relationship between two journeyers.
Later, Nicholas and Jimmy review some subconscious beliefs that may inadvertently influence decisions about the ceremonial container. To close off, they offer alternative therapeutic plans for those interested in journeying with a partner.
Episode 29 – Should I Journey Solo, With a Partner, or in a Group Setting?
Nick: Welcome to the Psychedelic Passage podcast. My name is Nick Levich. I’m here with my co-host, Jimmy Nguyen. Thank you so much for joining us today.
This week, we are talking about one of the other commonly asked questions that we get on a lot of the consultation calls that we take, which is, “Should I journey solo? Should I journey with my partner? Or, should I journey in a group?”
It’s clear to me that there’s pros and cons to all of these. It’s also important to acknowledge that different medicines come from different traditions. And so, there’s not necessarily a right or wrong way, but it is important to take into consideration what’s best for you and your unique situation.
For some people that’s going to be perhaps a more solo oriented journey, and for other people they may benefit from a more community style application. So, we’re going to break this down today.
Really, where I want to start is just with the understanding that different medicines have different traditions. If you’re going to sit with a medicine like ayahuasca, for instance, it’s almost always going to be done in a group, in a community style of container.
We want to focus our discussion today primarily on psilocybin as that’s what most of the clients that we work with choose to journey with and tends to be the most common entry point for a lot of people into intentional psychedelic use.
Jimmy: Yeah. We get this question all the time. It makes sense, because it’s a really, really important question. As you hear us on this podcast, we emphasize that your service provider, your facilitator, all of that adds into the container of this work.
And so, the same goes for whether you are considering journeying on your own or with a partner, a friend, a group of people, maybe several, like couples of partners get together, all the way to even larger group containers that you typically see in community oriented psychedelic work, retreat centers, things like that.
I like what you said about distinguishing first and foremost about it being contingent upon the specific medicine or psychedelic substance that you’re using. Then there’s also the other parallel of, “Okay, well, what’s going on for you internally, your needs, the content that you have to work on?”
So, we hope that through our episode today, we’ll talk through some of those dynamics and help you to find some tangible actionable information to arrive at your own conclusion.
Factors That Influence The Setting of Psychedelic Experiences
Jimmy: The funny thing, as you mentioned about ayahuasca and then I don’t want to derail our conversation [chuckles] too much, because I know that I tend to do that, but there’s some medicines that are rooted in very, very deep tradition and lineage and culture.
Even amongst those different lineages and traditions and cultures, there can be some variation, especially around group settings, how many people, how many supporters are there per the group?
With psilocybin, this country, the United States, it’s a little bit different. A- to your point, psilocybin is just more prevalent. It’s more available. It does grow naturally in the Pacific Northwest and in areas all across the country.
We find folks who are able to essentially source psilocybin and medicines, it’s just more available. So, you run into this dynamic of, “Okay, well, who do I have around me? Who do I journey with? What does that look like?”
I would also add that timing plays into that a little bit too. So, orienting this to psilocybin, I do believe that many folks view this from a solo experience. I think that that comes from the clinical trials, and research, and some of those things where that’s primarily in a solo format with supporters and service providers around you.
And then I’ll also share that there is a lot of efficacy around journeying with a partner, journeying in groups, and it really, really varies. So, what would you tell somebody, Nick, as far as the first criteria of thinking about this, of solo or partner or group?
Nick: Well, I think the most important thing is just to acknowledge that whatever your personal belief system is, when you’re in an altered state and you’re in a container with another person, there’s this energetic enmeshment that occurs.
Whether it’s your facilitator, whether it’s your friend, whether it’s your partner, whether it’s a stranger, you become hyper aware of their energy, their presence, their influence in the space that you’re cohabitating together.
So, that could either be really, really beneficial or very, very distracting and nerve-racking. Considerations that I take into account, for instance, would be something like social anxiety.
This is what prevents people, a lot of people that I talk to from going on international retreats is because they’re like, “Well, I don’t want to show emotion in front of 15 strangers that are also going through a journey together, and I’ve just met these people, and I’m going to be in my most vulnerable state in front of them.”
That’s common in the international retreat format, is for there to be much larger groups, even though the medicine is psilocybin. What we tend to get a lot of requests for are more solo, one on one, like one facilitator to one journeyer type of containers, or like, “Hey, my wife and I both want to do this.
Should we do it together or not?” That’s what I tend to see a lot. But it’s important that we make this point very clear. We talk about containers, Jimmy stresses it a lot.
But what we’re talking about here is the space that you’re cohabitating and just understanding that in this hyper state of awareness, you’re very much picking up on these subtle energies that you may not be aware of in your default way of going through life.
Jimmy: Yeah. The first thing I hear from you is getting really clear on your needs, your boundaries, probably by an extension of that is getting honest with yourself about your intentions, and the content, and the things that might come up.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Deciding on The Setting
Nick: The question that I would ask if I were the journeyer is, “In what type of space am I going to feel like I can let my walls down?” You may decide for some person that may be, “Oh, that’s with my partner,” and for other people, that may be like, “Oh, I need to go solo.
I can’t have anyone besides my facilitator bear witness to this.” And that’s totally okay. It’s not a right or wrong, but that question of like- what is going to allow you to let the walls down, what is that set up- is going to be really, really important.
Jimmy: Yeah, I really want to highlight something super important that you are talking about, which I’ll phrase it as this sensitivity to presence, like the sensitivity to other people’s energies and presence, which is a part of it is physical proximity.
But I just want to illuminate some examples of how sensitive this might be. I’ve had clients who maybe live in a place with shared walls or with a neighbor or something like that. It’s very clear, even though the neighbor or the person has no idea that an experience is happening.
It’s very clear that their energetics are added into the space and then we find out later that, oh, the journeyers had a conflict with this neighbor and then you hear– they drop something or a pounding on the wall or something like that accidentally, and then those things spill in into the container.
I actually have a really, really funny example. I was doing my own solo journey. I was deeply in a somatic experience. Nick, I’ve actually told you this story before. I randomly get a text from somebody, and the text from somebody is like, “Hey, are you showing up to this thing? I left my laptop.
Can you like so and so?” It was totally the wrong text, not intended for me at all. I messaged back the person and I’m like, “Hey, I think this is the wrong text. I’m actually journeying right now, so just wanted to get back to you.”
Their reply was somewhat brushing it off. They were like, “Haha, my mistake.” Very, very innocently. Like one text came through- it adjusted the course of my experience, just even having that interaction with somebody. So, to think that one text message could [crosstalk]
Nick: One sigh, one deep breath, one person just being just bothered enough or like any of these little things, you will pick up on it.
Jimmy: One piece of body language, one piece of nonverbal communication, maybe you make eye contact and there’s something that is not feeling aligned there. So, I use these somewhat silly examples just to highlight that we’re talking about something that’s somewhat intangible but has some real implications to the ceremony of the experience.
Nick: Well, we’ve all had the experience of getting into a room and it maybe feels comforting, because you know everyone there and you’ve got this nice rapport and there’s no elephant in the room or dust in your relationship, whatever the case is.
And then alternatively getting into a room and you’re like, “Ooh, I don’t belong here.” So, that’s the kind of energetic piece that we’re talking about, only it’s magnified like 100x because you are–
Jimmy: [chuckles] Even more. [laughs]
Jimmy: Probably even more.
Identifying Needs, Preferences, and Expectations
Nick: The benefit to me to solo, is that it provides the fewest inputs. It’s just you and your facilitator or trip sitter, guide, whatever term you want to use here, but as you probably know, if you’ve listened to the show for a while, Jimmy and I definitely highly advise being supported in your journey.
So when we’re talking about solo here, I’m referring to one on one, you and a guide. Solo, meaning you’re the only journeyer. But it’s important that you pick the right guide, because their energy is also in the container.
If you’ve heard us talk about a guide with a clean slate, what we mean is someone who’s not infusing their own needs, wants, desires, beliefs into your experience. In other words, it’s non-directive.
Jimmy: And I’ll add, just to encapsulate what you were saying earlier, that once you identify your needs and what you’re comfortable with, then you got to go and check and see what’s possible.
Especially, in group settings, you have to check with yourself, how comfortable am I in walking into a ceremony and maybe not having met everybody already? Is that important to me? Is it important that I’ve at least met everybody, whether you’re a journeyer or facilitator?
Then you got to check and see what’s possible. Because if you’re going on an international retreat, there may be some privacy issues at play. Maybe there’s 30 to 40 people in that retreat setting.
So you may not be able to schedule a 20-minute meeting with everybody to connect. That just may not be possible. So, I think in addition to getting clear on your needs, it’s also just important to check what your options are.
I’ll also say that it’s a little bit of a different dynamic, even in a group. Let’s just say, you’re working with five or six different people. Even if you know everybody, there’s still a lot more to consider around whether the container is appropriate for every participant there, because everybody’s journey is different as well.
So, if you do have, let’s say, a partner, a friend, group of people, whether it’s several different couples, like coming together, I’ve seen a lot of these dynamics play out, because everybody’s at their own place with their own decision making and everybody’s at their own place in their openness and willingness too.
So, you may have five out of six people who are like, “Yup, I’m ready to go deep. I’m ready to be vulnerable. I’m ready to address whatever’s there.” You might have that one person who’s like, “I’m not comfortable with that.”
Nick: Or, they’re oriented recreationally. They’re like, “I’ve journeyed hundred times and I just want to eat this dose of mushrooms and you all can do whatever you want to do.”
Jimmy: Mm-hmm. Ah, so it’s even the way that the person is approaching [crosstalk] experience–[crosstalk]
Nick: I’ve seen this. I’ve had people reach out. They’re like, “Hey, we’re doing this bachelor party and we’ve known each other for 10 years,-
Jimmy: I remember that one.
Nick: -and we want to do an intentional group journey.” What’s really interesting is, I would say 9 out of 10 times a larger group approaches us, it falls apart at some stage in the process before we even get to the ceremony, because there’s such a mismatch of how people are entering it.
Just because you know each other as friends, it doesn’t mean that you’re well suited to all journey together because of these varying levels of intentionality, commitment to the process, desire to go deep, all of those types of factors.
Jimmy: Yeah. Let me illuminate this further. This is a great example to use this anecdote here. I think first and foremost, there was one person who was the point person for this group. First and foremost, getting really clear on their needs.
Do you want a trip sitter, like somebody needs to just show up and just make sure that you’re okay from a harm reduction standpoint? Are you looking for more of a facilitated experience?
Are you looking more for a guided experience? Like, what is it? And then what Nick and I did was we just chatted with everybody. We’re like, “Okay. Well, let’s just get on individual calls with everybody to see where everybody’s at and just see what happens.”
We got all the way to the point– I forget if it was this group or another. We got all the way to the point where people were making payments, and making their deposits, and they were all committed. There was all this stuff happening and then it slowly started to unravel.
One person was like, “Oh, I’m not sure. I’m going to bow out of this.” That gave other people this almost space to be like, “Oh, maybe. I’m not sure either.” What we arrived at was that out of the group, everybody was viewing the thing differently.
Everybody had different needs, they were expecting different things, they wanted different outcomes. So, it’s really, really important to get aligned with all of those things.
Nick: Yeah. I think groups are the trickiest, frankly. For facilitators, for journeyers, and even the pro, the upside to a group is this whole community aspect, because there’s this kind of bond that forms when you go through a collective experience like that that transcends the mind, and language, and what we know to be the human experience.
When you share that with someone, there is a special connection that’s created, because you’ve connected in a level that’s much more soul oriented. You’ve stripped away all of the facade and you’ve journeyed together in a level of vulnerability that some people never experience in their whole life. So, to me, that’s the upside to the communal piece, but it can just as easily go the other direction, if the sanctity of that container is not upheld.
Jimmy: Yeah. For example, are you okay if– let’s say out of your group of six people, three or four people are actually going through a challenging portion all at the same time? And maybe you actually just have two facilitators there.
Are you okay for giving a little bit of space for other folks to get supported or do you need somebody who is just giving their undivided attention and support to you, because that’s what you’re looking for? So, there’s no right or wrong there.
But I think some of these considerations are important. If you are considering journeying with a group, if it’s a group of people that you know, then I really invite you all to have these types of conversations. How open and willing are we to bring our walls down here together in this safe container?
Nick: It’s funny, because this also came up in a group where these people were like, “We know each other, we tell each other everything.” Okay. Come to find out, there were folks that weren’t fully transparent with other members of the group on their medications.
And so, then in the screening process, it came out that some folks got cleared and some folks didn’t and that got awkward, because you say that you all know each other and your friends, but there’s actually topics that are off limits, so to speak, in your normal friendship.
Once the screening process– basically, a very awkward conversation ensue, because some people “made the cut” and some didn’t. That’s the kind of transparency, and openness, and honesty that’s required for those group style formats. If you don’t have that already, this can really illuminate some stuff that maybe you weren’t prepared to have out in the open.
Jimmy: Wow, [laughs] I’m really grateful to hear that that conversation happened, because it sounds like, “Okay, that needed to come to the surface for people to get on the same page.” I’m also internally cringing on how awkward that probably was. [laughs]
Nick: Oh, yeah.
Jimmy: Oh, man.
Nick: This is the interesting thing, because we casually say things like, “Oh, we know everything about each other.” We all have a shadow side. We all have this stuff that exists stuff that we don’t want to reveal to other people.
Jimmy: [crosstalk] Yeah, exactly.
Should You Journey With Your Partner/ Spouse?
Nick: We don’t want to show that. Perhaps, I think we’ve done a good job of highlighting the group thing.
So, maybe we switch over into like partners, couples, significant others, because this is definitely the most common request that we get is like a husband and wife or a partnership where they’re cohabitating, they’re intimate, they’re an item, so to speak. They’re always like, “Well, should we journey alone or together?” Once again, there’s considerations that have to be thought through here.
Jimmy: I actually think we should do an episode around this also, even for people who aren’t even considering journeying together, because there’s a whole dynamic that happens when one–
Nick: Oh, yes– [crosstalk]
Jimmy: I think that we can talk about some considerations here, and then maybe the audience could just view this as like a teaser to a future episode. So, the first thing that I’ll share is that it really, really depends on the content of what you’re wanting to work through.
I think that there’s a difference between the intention. Let’s say, you’re in a relationship, and if your intent is to work on your relationship, maybe there’s things that you’re unhappy with, maybe there’s things that you–
Nick: Do not journey together.
Jimmy: Caution! Proceed with caution, because then I ask, okay, well, how much of this work are you doing outside of ceremony? Do you have open, healthy communication? Are you maybe in relationship or couples therapy?
Are there things that you’re doing to create a healthy environment already for you to express your feelings, emotions, and needs? Because if you don’t, forget about moving into a ceremony, try to do any of that stuff.
Nick: Yeah. And then we have to factor in that a lot of times the issues in relationship actually stem from unhealed wounds within us. There’s this relationship external focus, but the medicine often orients inwards towards you.
And so, I always caution against– if the goal, if the shared intentionality is to work on your relationship, personally, I recommend solo journeys first, like look underneath your own hood before you start pointing fingers and trying to analyze what’s going on in the relationship.
Because that also sets it up for a very tricky container where you’ve already got this friction in your relationship, and then you’re stepping into this extremely vulnerable state where you don’t know what’s going to come up and you’re no longer in control.
Jimmy: Yeah, I’ll clarify that, Nick, what I believe you’re saying– You could tell me if I’m hearing you right or not. I don’t think you’re being prescriptive here. I don’t hear you saying yes or no. What I hear you saying is, be really thoughtful and careful around this. It’s important to not put the reliance upon ceremony together if you’re not doing this type of work in regular life.
Nick: Yeah. I also think it has the potential to make things a lot worse. Because the other interesting thing that happens when we journey with a significant other is, we often have the tendency to alleviate their suffering.
There’s this subconscious lifeline effect that occurs where if I spend the whole journey worrying about my significant other and how she’s doing, I never actually get into my own work.
So, it’s very easy to get super distracted by what’s going on with the other person, that it’s almost like a defense mechanism that keeps you from actually sorting through whatever is coming up for you.
Jimmy: Yeah, you’re in my head because I wanted to bring this up, where I think what you’re saying applies regardless of whether you’re in a relationship, or you’re journeying with a friend, or you’re in a group, or whatnot.
The way that I describe it to my clients, when we talk about our ground rules and we talk about the rules within the container, one thing that I’ve shared, I think you do this too is, I tell them, do not worry or focus about my needs as a facilitator.
Jimmy: I’m autonomous, I’ll take care of myself, short of like hospitality. There’s many, many clients who are just very hospitable, you’re in their space, they want to make sure you’re taken care of like fully good.
But the moment that it becomes a distraction, the moment it becomes a mechanism for you to not focus on the present is where it can be dicey. So, what I share with folks is that there’s fight, flight, or freeze.
There’s a fourth F, which is called fawning. What fawning means is that as a mechanism, you are caring about somebody’s needs almost sacrificial to yourself. I think about, sadly, like Bambi’s mom, [chuckles] I like to think about this. So, look, that’s–
Nick: It comes up way more commonly that you might expect.
Jimmy: Way more. I don’t want to classify this as good or bad. I’m just saying that this is that dynamic, innocent thing. So, if a journeyer has a likelihood of fawning over the needs of the facilitator, imagine what’s going to happen if it’s your friend, or your partner, or your spouse, or whatnot, regardless of whether it’s your best– [crosstalk]
Nick: And they’re having a super physical somatic release with shaking and tears and convulsing and you’re like, “What is happening to this person?” And you’re also in an altered state. It’s super confusing. You’re not sure whether they’re okay or not.
You can see how this very quickly spirals into a situation where it’s actually not conducive to either party, even though they’re totally fine in their process. It’s just what’s happening.
Jimmy: Yeah. Maybe, let’s say the facilitator is paying some attention to focus on them, which makes you feel like you don’t have time and space to express your own needs and your own stuff and process. So, this can just get entangled, I think really-
Nick: Very quickly.
Jimmy: -really very quickly. I think that’s super important. I’m not saying that you have to have the same intentions, and the same content, and the same work. I think that there needs to be some real honest discussion about navigating that though together.
Nick: Right. Because I’ve facilitated for couples. I’m sure you have too. They’ve been some very profound, beautiful journeys. But there was a mutual understanding that we’re going to be separately internal.
They have different intentions and it’s not related to their relationship, but there’s a shared understanding that we’re going to be going inward into our own respective worlds as we journey.
We’ll be in the same space, we’ll feel each other’s presence, but this isn’t about coddling each other, it’s not about fixing each other. There’s still this very welcomed sense of autonomy, of independence, of personal sovereignty despite journeying together.
Jimmy: Yeah. I hear you noting upon codependence there, which again, that can probably be a whole conversation [chuckles] in itself. But I think that it is an important point that you are making here.
We’re talking about some of the considerations that you should have in journeying with anybody, which this then segues into something that I know that we both wanted to bring up as well.
Look, there can be the opposite of that. You might actually be like, “Hey, actually having this person in the room helps me drop in deeper. It helps me have this tether of trust and safety. This person sees me in a way that nobody else sees me and I actually need that.” That all obviously should happen with consent, and with care, and with a plan, and all that.
So, we’re just highlighting the nuance here and conveying this in a way in our dialogue, so that you know that you have options, because it’s actually way more than solo versus a group versus apart. It’s more than that.
Some things that I suggested to folks in this theme of giving folks options, I think there’s consideration on whether you journey together. I’ve done plenty of experiences where folks actually journey back-to-back.
Nick: I’ve done this as well.
Jimmy: Like, one person journey’s one day, the next person journey’s the other day. And then even, you have to decide on whether you want the other person present in your space or not or whether they go off and kind of step out for the day.
This brings up this whole thought about considerations around other people being in the room, in the container, in the ceremonial space who maybe aren’t journeying. I’ll put a little asterisk here to say that in some specific traditions around medicine work-
It can be pretty common for even like facilitators and space holders to also journey depending on dosage and stuff like that. I’m saying an asterisk because that’s irrelevant to our conversation today. Obviously, that’s not super legal in our country right now.
I think what we’re talking about here is, what if I’m journeying but I want, let’s say, my best friend, or maybe there’s a parent who’s involved to somebody who’s of legal age but a little bit younger, like do you even want them in the space? So, I wonder your thoughts around that, Nick.
Should a Friend/ Family Member Attend Your Psychedelic Ceremony?
Nick: I’m usually very hesitant when I get this request. My first question is, why? Why do you want them there? What is it about this? Because this is where we get into this kind of a lot of times the codependency and the subconscious lifeline shows up.
And I’m not saying this in all cases, but a lot of times if that’s what’s happening here, it reinforces this story, this belief that “I don’t know if I can do this on my own and I actually need to rely on other people to help dig me out of here”.
And that’s nothing against support. It has to do with a level of autonomy and ownership over your situation that you can get yourself out with support, but not necessarily having someone to do it for you.
Jimmy: Here’s a really important distinction. It depends on the role that that person plays in your life, because a facilitator– one of the beautiful benefits of it is that they have less bias about you. They have less stake in your life. They should just by nature, just be more neutral.
They don’t have proverbially- a dog in the fight, besides supporting you. If you go through something deep, if something comes up that nobody else knows, well, great, that facilitator can hold that space for you.
But if it’s your best friend who views you in a certain way, if it’s your partner who views you in a certain way, if it’s your sibling who views you in a certain way, if it’s your parent who views you in a certain way, it’s really, really hard to be that–[crosstalk]
Nick: And then we get back to this thing of how do they relate to your suffering, your discomfort, your struggle or your beauty, your divination, your communion with God? Can they hold all that? The irony is that this is why people hire a professional guide or a facilitator is because they want someone who can hold all that.
And then you turn around and infuse someone into the space who has no idea what they’re doing- it muddies the waters. This is that energetic enmeshment piece that I think is so, so, so important to highlight.
Jimmy: Yeah. I share with folks that even the people who know about your experience, but they are not there physically in the space, their concern can influence your experience. If you have a spouse, or partner, or friend, maybe you told your friend group and they just know the day that it’s happening.
They’re going through their day worrying, freaking out, wondering if you’re safe. Guess what? All that worry and all that stuff is going to come into the space. Then imagine what’s going to happen if that person is actually in the room, if you’re having a somatic experience.
And they’re concerned about you. Then they’re looking to the facilitator, then maybe the facilitator has to take some time to reassure that person. So, I think that’s really, really important. I think about having somebody else in the room who isn’t journeying.
It’s really, really contextual, like what you said about kind of this line of dialogue where you were noting, “Well, I don’t know what might come up. I just need somebody to maybe rescue me if some shit comes up.”
And then the first thing I’m thinking of is like, “Well, are you clear on what might potentially come up or not?” I’ll share that just to really, really make a concrete, concrete example here.
There’s a difference internally between what you’re talking about, Nick, on why you want somebody there. I’ll share this anecdote that I had a client who wanted their mental health professional present, and that was a person who obviously wasn’t journeying.
They were not [chuckles] doing any medicine and they’re in the space that I had to get really clear on the why. So, even somebody who’s a professional supporter, I’m still asking the why and what’s the intent.
And then I’m checking with that person, “Are you able to hold a neutral, grounded presence? How do you view psychedelics? How are you looking at this? How would you navigate this if somebody was going through a challenging, difficult, overwhelming time?”
Nick: Because if you’re a journeyer and there’s someone in your space, regardless of your relationship to them or who they are, and they’re holding the frequency of, “Oh, my God, this is scary. I don’t know if this is going to be okay,” you will feel it. There is no question about it.
Alternatively, if everyone that’s in the space is holding the frequency of, “this is all perfect, this is all beautiful, it’s unfolding exactly how it’s supposed to,” you’ll feel that. So, how people show up- It doesn’t even matter what they’re saying.
It’s quite literally the energetics behind their physical presence in your space or even what I hear you saying, which is, their lack of physical presence, but how they energetically do or don’t support your journey all impacts your experience.
I want to highlight that a lot of times what we see after we work through that line of questioning, “Hey, I have a friend who is my best friend, and I want her in the space,” and we go through this whole process. A lot of times we arrive at the outcome of either they’re in the home but not in the room, or they’re just out and just simply knowing that they support you is enough for that journey.
Jimmy: Like on call.
Jimmy: I do this very commonly where myself as a facilitator offers like, “Hey, do you want me to send some text updates, like not about any content, but just to reassure this person?”
Or maybe that person is like a mile away or just like down the block or something, and can be there if needed. So, there’s a lot of different ways that you can figure out the logistics and the implementation around.
Nick: I do want to share that just to reiterate that one of the really cool things, if it’s a good set up to journey with your partner, if you go through that internal exploration and decide that’s a good idea, it can be a very beautiful experience, like incredibly profound–
A level of bonding and connection that is oftentimes unavailable to us when we have our defense mechanisms, our ego, our conditioning, all in the way. And that same kind of rapport can exist in that back-to-back journey day kind of things–
Because you’re still so raw and so vulnerable and there’s a sense of understanding for what the other person went through. You may not know what content came up, but just an understanding that you both went through that journey can be very empowering in a relationship.
Just because you don’t journey together, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t positively impact your relationship. I think there’s an immense amount of potential benefit to be had regardless of how you structure it.
Jimmy: Yeah. I want to give a very specific word of caution here, especially around the partner, couples, relationship thing. And then it’s very clear to me that we need more episodes about this. We’ll follow up on maybe an episode specific around couples and partners journey and together and even an episode about just support–
Nick: Like spousal support.
Jimmy: Right, exactly. So, I think that that’s really important. Whether you are a friend or in a romantic relationship or whatnot, it’s also important the length and the depth of that relationship–
Because psychedelics, this can be more specific to things like MDMA and whatnot, but even with psilocybin, it increases empathy, it increases connection with folks in some instances and cases. And so, that can get really blurry if let’s say you’re in a new relationship or if you are in a new friendship and then some of–
Nick: Or, even abusive or in a toxic relationship.
Jimmy: Oh, my goodness. Yeah.
Nick: But then you see the light in this person. It doesn’t mean it’s embodied. They could be operating from a totally different side of themselves, but it definitely shows up there as well.
Jimmy: Then it becomes really hard to separate out. “What are my feelings? How do I feel about this person in this relationship or the thing?”
Versus maybe this was like a flood of serotonin and oxytocin that comes up from a psychedelic experience that temporarily makes me more connected, more aligned or more. I’m not saying right or wrong. I’m just bringing this up for anybody who is considering journeying with any type of–[crosstalk]
Nick: This is perfect, because I want to bring this back to where I started, which is– solo provides the cleanest slate because it’s the least inputs. It’s just you.
I think if it’s your first time exploring this type of work that probably is going to make the most sense, because you’re limiting these external factors for exactly what you’re describing, which is the lines getting blurred. Is this mine or is it yours?
This is the same reason that people ask, “Well, why in your prep recommendations do you suggest abstaining from sexual activities in the week before?” It’s not because sex is bad. It’s because sex is union.
It’s this divine union into oneness, and it becomes very hard to separate out what’s yours and what’s mine. So, that’s the intention behind abstinence and then more of a solo orientation is that it’s just you. It becomes very clear what’s yours and what’s not.
Jimmy: Yeah. I’ll add one last thing. I know I said that about before, but I will add one actual last thing, and then we can wrap up this episode, where I just also acknowledge that what’s possible depends on your financial situation, your economic situation, what time you have available, which we’ll talk about a little bit in the next episode.
But I just acknowledge that, if you’re doing one on one work that is more, I would call like a boutique type of service, where there’s one person fully paying attention to you, sometimes that can come at a higher program price or a higher– whatnot.
Maybe you can only afford a group setting within a particular budget and whatnot. I’m just noting that I know it’s not as simple as identifying your needs, and then going out, and then finding a service provider who can meet those needs.
My point in saying this is that you have to decide what are non-negotiable needs versus needs that can be navigated. The social anxiety example is huge. Like, if you have social anxiety, likely you’re not going to sign up for a group setting even if it’s X, Y, Z cheaper or whatnot.
And so, just do that internal check with yourself. What’s the most important for me to feel like I have a safe and sacred container that can hold my shit, essentially?
Nick: Yeah. I think we’ve done a pretty good job covering this. Is there anything else that-
Jimmy: No, I feel good.
Nick: -feel call to add here?
Jimmy: Feeling complete here.
Nick: Okay, cool. Well, thank you all for listening today. I think that was a nice, juicy topic that addressed a question that we get a lot of. I hope it’s helpful for all of you. That brings us to the end of our episode today.
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