#7 If You’re Melting | Shelby Hartman and Madison Margolin

September 19, 2020

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Shelby Hartman and Madison Margolin are changing the narrative around psychedelic drugs with their print magazine ‘Double Blind’ that covers stories about psychedelics from around the globe. Before the magazine – the two worked with notable publications including Rolling Stone, HERB, Vice Media, High Times, and LA Weekly.

Connecting with psychedelics from a young age – both Shelby and Madison are focused on a mission to educate people about the potential of psychedelic experiences – and to assist them with their own healing and personal growth.

They join Ronan to discuss how psychedelics create a positive ripple effect on society when they heal the individual. Then, Madison shares how her first trip was the most impactful – and Shelby says psychedelics showed her what it means to be human. Psychedelics can heal, but they are not a magic bullet; that’s why it’s important for us to be candid about our experiences.

Learn more at doubleblindmag.com and follow Shelby Hartman (@shelbyannehart) and Madison Margolin (@madisonmargolin) on Instagram! 


Madison: [00:00:00] I think there’s something to be said about being wholeheartedly in the moment and wholeheartedly present and not feeling a disconnection between your mind and your body or your mind being elsewhere you have something else to worry about or other people kind of influencing your decisions. [00:00:16][16.1]

Shelby: [00:00:17] But one of the reasons why I like to be so candid about my experience is because, you know, Madison and I are really passionate about obviously about the potential that psychedelics have to heal. And I’m confident I would not be the person who I am without them and I like who I am. So that’s the good news. [00:00:34][16.8]

Ronan: [00:00:39] This is Field Tripping, a podcast dedicated to exploring psychedelic experiences and their ability to affect our lives. I’m your host, Ronan Levy, Shelby Hartman and Madison Margolin are changing the narrative around psychedelics – one issue at a time. They co-found Double-Blind, a print magazine and media company covering timely untold stories about the expansion of psychedelics around the globe. Before the magazine, the two worked with notable publications including Rolling Stone, Herb, Vice Media, High Times and LA Weekly. Connecting with psychedelics from a young age, both Shelby and Madison are focused on a mission to educate psychedelic users and assist them with their own healing and personal growth. One reason I’m excited to have Shelby and Madison on is because they had one of the first looks at Field Trip’s new app, Trip, which leverages much of the learning and wisdom within Field Trip pPychedelics to aid self-guided consciousness, expanding journeys. Essentially, Trip helps you have the best experience possible. [00:01:45][65.6]

Ronan: [00:01:47] Hey Shelby, Hey Madison, thank you so much for joining us today on Field Tripping. Field Tripping is a podcast where we talk about epic trips in psychedelics, really with a view to, you know, trying to normalize conversations around psychedelics and trips. And I think there’s a lot of value in people sharing their experiences on the trips because everybody’s experience is unique and personalized. So, it’s always interesting to talk about what people experience on their trips and the work they’ve done. But before we get into that, I would love for you to tell us a little bit about Double-Blind magazine. What does the name mean and what’s the message behind the medium that keeps you both so driven by it? [00:02:25][37.4]

Shelby: [00:02:25] Double-Blind comes from the double-blind randomized clinical trial, which you probably know is sort of the gold standard in science in terms of rigor. And it is a nod to science and all of the incredible work that researchers are doing to get psychedelics through the FDA approval process. But there’s also kind of a multidimensional meaning, another being that it references sort of all the ways in which we are blinded in our society and psychedelics can kind of take our blinders off. And then also for people who are really in the weeds of psychedelics, it’s sort of a ironic nod to this idea that psychedelics even can be studied in the double-blind context, given that we all know that as soon, as as soon as someone is given either the psychedelic or the placebo, they know what they’ve been given. So it speaks as well to kind of the limitations of science. [00:03:22][57.1]

Ronan: [00:03:23] And what was the inspiration for it like? Tell us about your stories that led to the creation of Double-Blind. I think I may have been one of the first people to sign up to receive the physical copy of Double-Blind last year. And I thought the first issue was beautiful, it was it was amazingly done. Where did the idea come from? How long has it been in process? And just tell us the story. [00:03:41][17.8]

Shelby: [00:03:42] At the end of 2018, I was literally meditating in my apartment in New Orleans and the idea just kind of beamed through me and I got off my meditation pillow and just called Madison and was like, Hey, I have this idea. I want to do this thing. It’s like hell, yeah. [00:03:55][13.6]

Madison: [00:03:56] So, Shelby and I both went to journalism school at the same time. We actually didn’t know each other while we were studying at the same place together, but we met afterward because we had very similar trajectories. We were both writing about cannabis and psychedelics for a lot of the same publications like Rolling Stone or Vice or LA weekly. And for me personally, like I have always been really fascinated and really passionate about psychedelics and cannabis and understanding them in the context of the drug war and also spirituality and wellness and science and policy and basically seeing that these substances intersect with every other aspect of society, basically. And so specifically with Double-Blind, Shelby and I have been very careful to show that intersectionality through our content. And so we say that we’re using psychedelics as a jumping off point to explore mental health, social equity, environmental justice, spirituality, queer culture, what have you, and also showing the diversity of the psychedelic space itself. So we really want to make sure that we’re highlighting artists and writers who aren’t necessarily what mainstream society expects, the psychedelic user. Right? So we have this joke at Double-Blind, no fractals. But really what we mean by that is if the stereotype of a psychedelic person is like a white guy with dreadlocks or maybe like the old hippie stereotype, which to be fair, we owe a lot of psychedelic culture to the people who came before us, whether it’s Timothy Leary or Ram Dass or of course, for centuries, indigenous cultures that have kind of kept the wisdom of plant medicine, but for the modern day, we want to show the kaleidoscopic feel of the psychedelic communities, that includes researchers, that includes grassroots activists, that includes women, that includes queer people, basically everybody, because I think everybody has the potential to heal and be inspired by psychedelics. [00:05:54][117.8]

Ronan: [00:05:55] There’s a couple of things that I found interesting in that and one of them certainly resonates with me, which is the idea that psychedelics are a platform and we have a similar joke. We don’t say no fractals, but a field trip. We talk about no shamans. Our view was that to bring it to a larger audience, to create the impact that I think all of us on this podcast right now speaking think that psychedelics can have across the world. We needed to step out of the old tropes that existed around psychedelics and really reframe the conversation much around how marijuana got rebranded as cannabis over the last few years because cannabis speaks to an earlier time, whereas more therapeutically focused where the term marijuana definitely has a lot of connotation around that. I know there was a pretty conscious rebranding effort around that. So I certainly see psychedelics as an amazing platform. I’ve put a lot of thought into as to focusing on the psychedelic community and that, but I see psychedelics as a tool for sort of broader engagement around a number of things. [00:06:54][59.0]

Shelby: [00:06:54] Madison and I often talk about this at Double-Blind. We talk about this idea that psychedelics aren’t just about healing one person. We really do believe that once you heal the individual, then that person begins to play a more active and compassionate role in their community, in their society at large. And then that has sort of a wave outwards towards the planet and making us all more conscientious global citizens. And so we really do kind of see the psychedelic movement or the impact of the psychedelic movement is having this sort of like tiered effect outward, beginning with the individual, then the community, and ultimately, hopefully, if we don’t want to be overly idealistic, but the entire globe and we’ve obviously seen that in the trials at Hopkins and NYU and other institutions investigating psychedelics, that people who are close to the clinical trial participants report that their relationships with that person improve following the trials significantly. And so it really isn’t just about one person feeling better in their life, but there is concrete proof that it really changes the way that they’re interacting with others. [00:08:07][72.8]

Ronan: [00:08:09] You know, it sounds like meditation led to the creation of Double-Blind, but have you had really profoundly positive experiences on psychedelics? And can you tell us about what happened and what it meant to you and what it showed you for your life? [00:08:21][12.8]

Madison: [00:08:22] I kind of came to psychedelics in a funny way. I grew up in a very sort of liberal household, and my parents were hippies and sort of cannabis and psychedelics were just kind of part of the culture of what I was raised in. So there wasn’t a lot of stigma there for me, but I was also a really good student. And so I ended up doing this whole research paper on psychedelics, my freshman year of college. I read every single book you could possibly read, wrote a long paper, and then I was like, OK, I did my research like I’m going to do this. And I would say with all the experiences that I’ve had, my first trip, which was on an eighth of mushrooms when I was 18, was still probably the most profound experience I’ve ever had. And the main takeaway, I guess, was like having grown up with Be Here Now, Ram Dass’ book as this kind of like this staple in the household, I was tripping and I was like, I’ll be here now. Like, I get it for the first time that clicked. But really, actually, as I was coming down from that trip, I started to get a little bit sad because I wanted to be able to get there on my own. I kind of knew Ram Dass’ dilemma also when you come up and come down and let him to India and all of that. And so I think that the value in the psychedelic experience that I had specifically that first time was really in showing me like this place that I could get to. But I think the work, the quote on quote integration is really learning how to practice that and get there and use psychedelics as an inspiration also for your daily sober living. [00:10:05][102.8]

Ronan: [00:10:08] Thank you for sharing that, what did you mean when you said, though, you understood Ram Dass and Be Here Now, what exactly did that mean? I mean, people who are listening probably haven’t read Be Here Now, but can you give a little bit more color in terms of what the fans, what the emotions were? [00:10:23][14.7]

Madison: [00:10:24] Yeah, I mean, I think there’s something to be said about being wholeheartedly in the moment and wholeheartedly present and not feeling a disconnection between your mind and your body or your mind being elsewhere, you have something else to worry about or other people kind of influencing your decisions. And so I guess what I was experiencing was the sense of unity between all aspects of myself and my soul and my body and my spirit. You know, I wasn’t in a clinical trial, but I do feel like based on that experience and based on what I’ve read about the quote on quote mystical experience that scientists have identified in research, I probably had something close to that. And I think it’s really like when everything feels just integrated and you are aware of the unity of the world and the hand that the universe or God or whoever plays in that, you know, the reason I say, oh be here now, I get it like I grew up in a very chaotic household. And to be honest, I was always a really escapist kind of kid, just like daydreaming or whatever. So like to actually be present, I think was really a wake up opportunity. [00:11:39][75.1]

Ronan: [00:11:43] It’s interesting, they talk about the sense of connection, a lot of the work that I’ve done. We talk about pain being separation, whether it’s a broken bone, which is literally separation of the bone in your finger, sort of more emotional separation of being disconnected from who you really are and who you want to be. And I think a lot of the work that I’ve done goes into how shame, negative shame, which is a sense that, like you’re imperfect or there’s something wrong with you, is one of the most common drivers of disconnection, of it’s separating you from yourself. Because if you think that there’s something wrong with you, you’re not really seeing yourself, that we’re all worthy of love and respect no matter who we are. But in the context of like Ram Dass and coming down, how do you manage that personally? [00:12:25][42.1]

Madison: [00:12:26] Yeah, I’m still working on it. I think it’s going to be a lifetime of integration. But no, I think sometimes, even if you don’t feel it in an embodied way, you know it. I think what my work is, is to integrate the knowing and the embodied feelings, because I know that the universe is whole and one and blah, blah, blah. And I also know that I probably, many of the people listening to this, have anxiety and inherited trauma and all the things that kind of disintegrate our sense of self. And I think whether it’s mushrooms or MDMA or whatever it is, is psychedelics really allow you to reintegrate yourself as a whole. And I think part of the value of this psychedelic experience and specifically the mystical experience is being able to remember that feeling and then try to harness it through embodied practice. So whether that’s doing yoga or sitting on a pillow, meditating or anything, really, I think there has to be something that your body is physically doing to really like through muscle memory, kind of try to connect the mind body, you know, get that into a single flow. [00:13:35][69.1]

Ronan: [00:13:36] Shelby, what about you? Can you tell us about your most profound or if you’ve had many profound psychedelic experiences, what it was, what did you experience and what did you take away from it? [00:13:46][10.3]

Shelby: [00:13:47] Had many profound psychedelic experiences. The first thing that comes to mind is my first time doing ayahuasca. I had been tripping on shrooms and acid since I was a freshman in college, probably once or twice a year. I would just trip with my friends. I think a lot of people experience ayahuasca is just a whole new level of psychedelic. The first time I did it, I was wanting a shift before I discovered ayahuasca profoundly shaped my outlook on the world and my understanding of what it means to be human and the infinite complexity of the universe and made me feel deeply connected to other people and nature. But there was still a suffering or an angst that I couldn’t fully understand or process or work through. And I, I didn’t get it because, you know, I’m lucky to have come from a very supportive background. I’m also Jewish. So there’s questions around inherited trauma for me and epigenetics. And I think that’s all really interesting. And I was bullied as the kid. So there are things that my angst could have been attributed to, but it just wasn’t really clear, like why is the suffering here? And so I came to ayahuasca really wanting clarity. And yeah, I just went so, so, so deep into my unconscious, I couldn’t even fully tell you what happened. I mean, I couldn’t even tell if my eyes were open or closed. There was no perception of time. Somehow I ended up out of the ceremony space lying in the middle of the desert, looking up at the stars. And I really only became conscious of the stars above me. Once that ceremony was coming to an end, I thought, my God, like, I just had no idea what had even happened to me. Afterwards, I felt like such peace. And then I sat for my second ceremony and I spent the whole night really afraid of what they call surrendering a lot of times in the plant medicine space. And I still wonder whether it was really smart of me to go back for that second night. A lot of times in ayahuasca ceremonies, they will recommend that you sit for two nights, especially your first time, because the first night you’re sort of acclimating to the medicine and what the experience is. And then the second night you kind of get what you came for. It’s what a lot of people say. But I had had such an intense experience that first night that the second night I just spent the whole night resisting what was coming up for me, which is like psychedelics 101, like I think it was Bill Richardson who said something along the lines of like, if you’re melting melt, if you’re, if you’re moving into a light, move into a light, if you’re like basically whatever is happening for you during your psychedelic experience, like move towards it with openness and curiosity, don’t try to push it away because the only way out is through. So I didn’t do that at all. And then my night ended and the ceremony came to a close and I felt nauseous and I felt like a bunch of stuff had been stirred up in me, but it hadn’t been fully processed. And I think I spent probably three months or so feeling very uncomfortable in my own body and not knowing what to do about it. Every day I was meditating and I was just doing exactly what I was supposed to do. I was journaling and I was observing it and sort of seeing a psychedelic integration therapist, which probably would have been helpful. You know, I was doing all the things and doing all the work and just trusted that eventually it was going to lift and it was going to pass. It’s hard to explain how that experience ultimately changed my life when I shifted out of that feeling of discomfort, because it’s not like I made some dramatic changes to my life, like I was married and I got divorced or I quit my job. But I feel that the medicine does live within me and that it has given me like a deepened compassion for myself and other people. And I also, after that started committing to a meditation practice because one of the realizations I had was. My God, my mind is out of control and I really have to get it in control and I really need to start tending to my mind. And so I started meditating and now I’ve been meditating every morning for about six years. [00:18:34][287.0]

Ronan: [00:18:35] Thank you for sharing that, like I still hear the emotion in your voice when you talk about that experience and what you saw and like laying out and seeing the stars and how it touched you. And I feel the anguish that you went through during that three month period afterwards of not being able to integrate the experience or understand it. Do you remember what happened that got you out of that three month period of feeling disintegrated? [00:18:55][20.4]

Shelby: [00:18:56] You know, eventually the feeling just lifted. You know, but one of the reasons why I like to be so candid about my experience is because, you know, Madison and I are really passionate about obviously about the potential that psychedelics have to heal. And I’m confident I would not be the person who I am without them and I like who I am. So that’s the good news. But we’re also very clear at Double-Blind about the fact that psychedelics aren’t a panacea or a magic bullet and that they’re not for everybody. And I think it’s really important that we’re candid about our own experiences because, you know, a lot of times we do hear these stories of like a veteran who had post-traumatic stress disorder and they enrolled in the MAPS trial and they took MDMA and they came out the other end and now they no longer have flashbacks and they can sleep and da da da, and like these miracle stories, like they are real and they do happen to people and they’re incredibly important and they’re incredibly inspiring. But also, I think that there are lots and lots and lots of people who do psychedelics, many more than who have these miracle stories. And it shifts them and it opens them up and it helps them step into who they are. But also they’re still human and they’re still struggling and they’re still figuring it out because this is a lifelong path. [00:20:13][77.0]

Ronan: [00:20:14] It is absolutely a lifelong journey. I think that’s one of the things that sometimes gets lost, like the news headlines tend to talk about, like the miracle stories, like you said, and those are fantastic and they shouldn’t be diminished. But even the miracle stories are a function of one step along the way. Now, it may be a particularly large leap for that particular individual, but life is about growth, I think it came up on the last podcast I did where some people say death and taxes are the only certainties in life. But I’m a big believer that the only certainty in life is growth. And there’s two ways of growth. There’s conscious growth, which is you undertake of your own volition consciously and do it because you want to. And there’s unconscious growth where the universe is going to make things happen and slice and dice your nervous system a little bit to put you on the path to whatever growth you need to experience. One of the things you said touched on and I guess late last year I did a fairly large dose of psilocybin producing mushrooms and I was going through a lot of anxiety at the time. There’s a lot of things like the universe was definitely putting me on a path to emotional growth, whether I liked it or not. And I remember the physical sensation a lot of people report when they take mushrooms, like discomfort, like digestive discomfort, upset stomach to some degree. And I didn’t quite feel that per se, but the first time I did mushrooms ever, I noticed that it lifted in an anxiety this very low grade, subtle anxiety that I just always carried around with me, that I don’t carry it around with me for so long and even knows there until it lifted. I’m like, oh, that’s what it feels like to not feel anxious all the time. And then in this experience, at the end of last year, I felt that anxiety, but it became super intense and actually kind of felt like there was a battle between my ego and the mushrooms over my anxiety and I couldn’t let it go. It almost physically felt like it was coming out of my stomach. And as much as I wanted to surrender, it was a battle that experience, to some degree very much like yours, I had a couple of very profound insights, but I walked away with it, feeling more unsettled than settled. [00:22:09][115.2]

Shelby: [00:22:10] That’s so interesting, Ronan. That’s really, really interesting. And I think that actually your experience definitely does resonate with mine, because sometimes when you’re on a psychedelic, you’re hoping you’re going to just let go of that thing that’s holding you back. And really, before you can actually move through it, you have to take a long, hard look at how attached you are to the feeling or the thought. And the psychedelics sometimes shows you that before it lets you let it go. [00:22:36][25.9]

Ronan: [00:22:40] At various points in this podcast, you may have heard me talk about mapmaking or things known as morphogenesis fields. While the words we use to describe these are different, the essence is the same that we as humans and all living things, for that matter, are connected on some level, and that when one of us does something, it creates the opportunity for others to be able to do it as well. Well, these concepts may seem a little too new agey for many, and they did for me for a long time. You just have to look through the history books to remove doubt, throughout the three hundred thousand or so years of human history. No one was able to run a four minute mile, but within two months of Roger Bannister doing it, another person did it and within a year, three more had accomplished the feat. Similarly, although Alexander Graham Bell is credited with inventing the telephone, Elisha Gray invented a similar telephone within minutes of Graham’s, even though they were separated by huge distances. Experiments have shown that if you give people nearly unsolvable math problems within minutes of the first group solving the problem, the other groups will solve it as well. Maybe this has to do with metaphysics, or maybe it has to do with mindset. But the important point is that when one person does it, it enables other people to do it as well. And that’s why each of us focusing on our own healing is so important, whether it’s through morphic fields, empowering others to have a positive mindset or just because when we heal ourselves, we have greater compassion and empathy for others. Healing has exponential effects. It doesn’t just stop at us. An incremental movement matters. That’s why at Field Trip, not only are we building clinics so people can have structured, guided experiences toward healing, but we’re also building tools like our app trip that empowers people to embark on their own healing journeys as well. [00:24:30][110.6]

Ronan: [00:24:35] Both Field Trip and Double-Blind are on journeys that ultimately lead to the same destination. So where do we as people trying to bring psychedelic therapy once consideration intersect, like how does Double-Blind and Field Trip start to intersect? How do you want to transform wellness, taking these drugs out of the stereotypes? [00:24:51][16.1]

Madison: [00:24:53] People say we’re making psychedelics more mainstream right? But I also want to argue that maybe the mainstream needs to become a little bit more psychedelic. And what I mean by that is basically having wellness and having kind of openness of perception and different perspectives being what becomes more mainstream right? Like especially coming out of cannabis is we’ve seen, I’d say, the industry shift and go through ups and downs and sort of trying to be just another North American industry. And that’s worked for some companies and other companies have completely failed trying to keep up with that. And so I want to say for the psychedelic space, I mean, specifically for Double-Blind, I think the idea is that we’re changing the conversation or changing the mainstream conversation. And so not only are psychedelics more of a mainstay in that conversation, but I really would hope that people who are talking about psychedelics are also talking about wellness or talking about like what actually is medicine like, what part does the FDA play? Really, it’s about shifting the mainstream conversation to be more inclusive of different healing modalities and communities and voices that aren’t often heard or have as much of a platform in the mainstream. [00:26:08][75.3]

Shelby: [00:26:09] That was beautifully said. I would say that where Field Trip and Double-Blind intersect is, of course, that we’re just deeply passionate about the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. And we are working towards a world in which anyone who might be able to heal from them will have access in a safe and supportive context. I would say one of the things that we’re passionate about at Double-Blind is for sure raising awareness about the research and all of the incredible work that the scientists are doing at these different institutions. But we also are very passionate to about not creating a hierarchy of context in which, say, the FDA approved clinical context is considered to be more legitimate or more effective or more important than, say, the indigenous ceremonial context or even just tripping on your own, because we’ve all had really profound experiences tripping on our own. I went to the Amazon in February to the temple of the Way of Light outside of Iquitos, Peru, and it’s an absolutely amazing ayahuasca retreat center that is run with so much integrity and is one of the primary employers of the shipibo in that region just have profound, profound experiences there. And was with a whole bunch of women on that retreat who also had very profound experiences. And so our whole thing is yes to all the research, because we know that there are a lot of people who are really going to need all the protocols, from the preparation to the navigation to the integration. And also many people who will never want to do a psychodelic without the FDA stamp of approval. [00:27:51][102.3]

Ronan: [00:27:52] That’s awesome. I mean, it’s a bold and important thing to do. And I appreciate all the work you guys are doing. And what I’m trying to do, the voice I’m trying to lead to in this is that like, it’s not about psychedelics, it’s about emotions. It’s about understanding the texture and complexity of emotions and being OK with them, which are fundamentally not measurable right? I remember the first conversation I had with Erwin Perlman. We talked about, I was in a situation where I was breaking up with this girl and I had this list of all these reasons to stay together and he was like, but you don’t love her. And I’m like, no. He’s like, so what good is that list? Right. Emotions and logic don’t integrate. There are so many things in this universe that maybe are not incapable of being measured, but certainly are incapable of being measured right now that are real, that are honest. And shifting the conversation out of a purely medical context, like a simple example, is that people talk about there being five senses, your sense of sight, your sense of smell, your sense of taste, your sense of hearing, your sense of touch. Truth is, is there’s way more senses out there. [00:28:49][56.8]

[00:28:50] There’s a sense of hot and cold. You know, you walk into a room and you immediately know if someone’s warm or like frigid, right? Like, these are all these things that are not defined by our five senses. But in a medical and clinical context, we only have five senses to work from. And so my hope with this platform is to change the conversation, which is to say that the clinical is important, but the emotional is also really important. And we’re never going to get to a point where those very subjective, human emotional experiences are easily measurable. So two questions I have that refers to everybody is first of all, we’re still in the middle of the pandemic. And people have described this time as the great pause. And it’s an opportunity, much like a psychedelic experience, that’s forcing people to confront their personal issues, I know that I’ve spent a lot of time when I’ve had time to young kids and trying to launch a business, reflecting on things that have come up, which is like economic anxiety and relationship anxiety and all that kind of stuff. And it’s forced that right to the surface being stuck in this context. So a question I posed to both of you is during this great pause, have you become aware of anything? How are you using this time? [00:29:58][68.4]

Madison: [00:29:59] I mean, to be honest, I think this is a really heavy period. And with or without psychedelics, I’ve been feeling that collective weight and the collective uncertainty and the collective fear. It’s interesting, it’s a really unifying in a lot of ways and of course, it really highlights the differences and privilege and how people are really able to engage with or avoid the pandemic based on their circumstances. So I think there’s an interesting play there. But I mean, personally, we’ve been lucky enough that we’re still able to run Double-Blind through the pandemic. So day to day, Shelby and I are both working as much as we were working before the pandemic, maybe even more. I can’t say for me this has been much of a pause, except for that I think there is one thing that is come to mind, which is specifically like so much of what Shelby and I do is going to conferences and interviewing people and doing this event and that event, and we’re all over the place all the time. And I think Corona’s forced me to sort of look at my life and be like if my life were like this indefinitely for the rest of my life, is this the life I want? You know, and it’s not just professionally, it’s personally, it’s where you live, it’s how you spend your time, you know all of that. It really forces you to look at the relationship between, like the be here now and like being completely in the present and also the linear version of time right? And like working your way up to something really meaningful that has pay off, because I think if Corona’s has done anything, it’s really shattered or shaken up our expectations for the future. [00:31:42][103.3]

Ronan: [00:31:43] The interesting thing, what you talked about right at the end about the future being uncertain, and what coronaviruses done is opened up a whole new infinite set of possibilities because the path that we were on is now corrupted. But over to you, Shelby. [00:31:55][12.4]

Shelby: [00:31:56] Yeah, I’ve definitely been taking the time to reflect upon my life. I think there’s something really powerful to be said about wherever you go, there you are. And you know, when we are running around and traveling and going to conferences and seeing the press and doing all these things that we do as people running a business, you know, it’s easy to get distracted. But when you have more space, then inevitably there you are and you use that time to reflect upon if you’re happy and content with the choices you have been making. I moved into a new house during the pandemic and I love it. And it has the cutest little garden and I do yoga every single afternoon. So that’s been a giant blessing. And I also have such such deep love and appreciation for everyone on the Double-Blind team. And I think that this has been a really great time for us to bond and get closer. [00:32:47][50.9]

Ronan: [00:32:47] That’s great. OK, final question for both of you. If you are going to go on a trip with someone or force someone to go on a trip, take a psychedelic and go on a journey, who would the person be that you’d be like you, you need to do this. [00:33:00][12.5]

Shelby: [00:33:00] Definitely my dad. I’ve been trying to get my dad to trip for like 10 years. He’s scared. But during the pandemic, he’s like, you know, Shelbs, maybe we will go to Joshua Tree one day and do mushrooms together. And I’m like, that’s what I’m talking about Dad, come on. He just loves nature. And he’s so fascinated by things he loves to learn. He loves to birdwatch. Like, I know that he would just not even believe what portals are available to his brain. [00:33:29][29.0]

Ronan: [00:33:30] That’s awesome. That’s very cool. What about you, Madison? [00:33:32][2.1]

Madison: [00:33:33] I mean, I think some of the political figures of our time who are making trouble should be dosed. It would be awesome to just get all of Israel Palestine tripping together. I think that would be very useful. Realistically speaking, my mom recently is getting back into mushrooms. She’s asking me if I can find her acid. She used to trip a lot in college and turned into like the neurotic Jewish mother. And I’m like, what happened? Like, you used to do this stuff. So it really warms my heart that she’s getting back into it. And I just would hope that she can have a really transformative experience. [00:34:09][35.9]

Ronan: [00:34:10] Yeah, that’s awesome. I love the fact you that, like, in all the studies, you know, they they tried to do like I think they tried to recreate the Easter Sunday. I think it was called study looking at mystical experiences more recently. [00:34:21][11.3]

Madison: [00:34:22] Good Friday. [00:34:22][0.2]

Ronan: [00:34:22] The Good Friday sorry, yeah, thank you. And they couldn’t get any rabbis because one of the conditions to participating was that you had never done psychedelics before. All of the rabbis were like, sorry, I have to opt-out. Thank you both so much for joining me on the podcast. Thank you so much for the work you’re doing with Double-Blind. I think it’s important and I think you guys are doing something really fantastic. And thank you for making the time. It’s been awesome chatting with you, I know we’ve both spoken before in the past, but never, I think, with this level of depth or openness. So grateful for you being vulnerable with me and anybody who listens to this, so I’m really grateful. [00:34:57][34.3]

Shelby: [00:34:57] Thank you for having us and thanks for all the work you’re doing to Ronan. [00:35:00][2.5]

Ronan: [00:35:00] Appreciate that. [00:35:01][1.4]

Ronan: [00:35:06] My discussion with Shelby and Madison unveiled several key points about human connection and our ability to learn from one another. First, psychedelics aren’t just about healing one person. Once one person starts on a path to healing, they start everyone around them on a path to healing as well. Whether you accept that on a metaphysical level or just see that a more integrated person tends to be a more compassionate person. This seems to be a consistent experience. At the end of the day, we’re all following the same maps and those maps connect us with each other. Psychedelics can help you to reintegrate yourself as a whole. Part of the value of the psychedelic and mystical experience is its ability to help you vividly re-experience of feeling, and that can help elevate you to understand it more deeply. And this doesn’t have to happen through psychedelic drugs. It can be achieved through yoga, meditation or even physical movement that connects through muscle memory. Growth can be conscious and unconscious. Conscious growth lets you choose how to evolve yourself. Unconscious growth, on the other hand, happens when the universe pushes you onto a specific path. Psychedelic experiences can be a mix of both, but if you’re tuned in before your trip and set a clear intention, you’ll be more able to pick your path. Finally, the team at Field Tripping aren’t the only ones on a mission to open people’s eyes to the power of psychedelics to foster spiritual and emotional awareness. Double-Blind is shifting the narrative around psychedelics and bringing them mainstream. We’re all working to create an open and welcoming space to talk about psychedelics and giving people a platform to share their experiences. It’s great to be on this adventure with people like Shelby and Madison. [00:36:52][106.3]

Ronan: [00:37:01] Thank you for listening to Field Tripping, a podcast dedicated to exploring psychedelic experiences and their ability to affect our lives. I’m your host, Ronan Levy. Until next time, stay curious, breathe properly, and remember, every day is a field trip if you let it be. Field Tripping is created by Ronan Levy and produced by Conrad Page. Our researcher is Sharon Bella. Special thanks to Quill. And of course, many thanks to Shelby and Madison from Double-Blind for joining me. You can check out their work at doubleblindmag.com. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast and sign up for our newsletter at fieldtripping.fm. [00:37:01][0.0]


The origin story of ‘Double Blind’ and the role of science in our approach. (3:30)

Psychedelics are not about just healing the individual – they help the community and society at large – creating a ripple effect of globally conscious citizens. (7:03)

Madison’s first trip was one of her most impactful – and she took inspiration from seeing the book cover ‘Be Here Now” by Ram Dass. Psychedelics can be used as an inspiration for daily sober living. (10:10)

Integration is the real work – and psychedelics help you reintegrate as a whole. (12:40)

For Shelby, her first time on ayahuasca was one of the most profound experiences. It shaped her outlook on the world – and provided clarity on her understanding of what it meant to be human. (13:50)

Afterwards, she felt much peace. But on the second night, Shelby spent her trip resisting what was happening. Some of the best advice she relied on: “if you’re melting – melt” and “the only way out – is through”. For Shelby, seeing a psychedelic integration therapist after the experience would have been helpful. (17:00)

Shelby and Madison are passionate about the potential of psychedelics to heal – but not a magic bullet and not for everyone. That’s why it’s important we are candid about our experiences. (19:00)

Why the mainstream needs to become more psychedelic. (25:00)

‘Double Blind’ and ‘Field Trip Psychedelics’ are both organizations who are deeply passionate about the therapeutic potential of psychedelic and we are working towards a world where people who can heal from them in a safe and compassionate context. (26:30)

Shelby would love to see her Dad take a trip one day – and since COVID hit – she thinks he is finally coming around. (32:40)

Psychedelics aren’t just about healing one person. Once one person starts on a path to healing, they start everyone around them on a path to healing. Psychedelics can help you to re-integrate yourself as a whole. (35:10)