Transcript...

In this episode, you will learn:

How plant medicine differs from pharmaceuticals

How psychedelics can help chronic pain

The difference between recreational and ceremonial use of psychedelics

Elements to look for when researching a church or other facility for ceremony


Katie Wrigley  0:00  

This is the pain changer podcast episode 13. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between pharmaceuticals and natural remedies? Are you curious about plant medicine? My guest today is a former nurse turned spiritual master who is an expert in pain management and plant medicine. That's coming up next on the pain changer. 

Katie Wrigley  1:08  

Okay. Joining me today is Shannon Hernandez, a former registered nurse and massage therapist Shannon is what some might call a transformation junkie, always seeking to grow and integrate what she has learned and share it with others. Since she was a child, she is known her purpose was to grow and be better. That's useful verbage. That's useful verbiage for transformation. She has devoted her life to connecting with the Great Spirit originating within the Christian church and later expanding to embrace all spiritual truths. She has over 30 years of experience with psychedelics and healing arts and over 20 years of education in transcendental philosophies. She is experienced in making sacraments with Master plants and makes herbal remedies with local medicinal plants. Welcome to the pain changer podcast. Shannon, thank you so much for joining me today. How are you? Thank you, Katie. I'm wonderful. How are you? Doing? Well, thank you. Thank you. I'm so excited to have you on. People may actually remember your name for the first episode, because as you well know, from years of working with me now, I thought you're crazy at first and I'm so glad we're not only not crazy, you helped me learn how to get my life back.

Shannon Hernandez  2:24  

I thought I was crazy, too. That's okay. Having been a nurse. I mean, I came from the medical model of if I couldn't touch it, feel it, see it, like prove it. It wasn't real. So this energy, you know, emotional correlation stuff was was foreign to me too. And I think it is for a lot of people. But then once you have an experience with it, it's a whole it's a whole new world.

Katie Wrigley  2:47  

Absolutely. That resonates and would you be comfortable to tell the audience a little bit about what that was like for you shifting from traditional medicine, which we talked about a lot on the show, and moving over into this whole holistic experience. And, and you know, the the part of your bio I didn't read, which I hope you'll tell people about is that you haven't had chronic pain since 2007. Yeah, you helped heal yourself. So I would love for you to share your story with the audience.

Shannon Hernandez  3:16  

Absolutely. So I don't think that very many people who have who you know, have a health issue or you know, a psychosocial issue, don't necessarily just go right into a psychedelic. So most of the time we go through the medical model, we go through the normal avenues that were taught, you know, in our society to go through and sometimes they work and when they don't we keep looking. And that was exactly what happened. For me. I was dealing with chronic pain. I was dealing with asthma. And, you know, allergy shots weren't working inhalers weren't working, you know, the 10 different pharmaceutical meds from painkillers to muscle relaxers to anti anxieties and benzodiazepines that I was on. I mean, they were working, but were they really working? I wasn't happy, you know, wasn't wasn't really a place to live from.

Katie Wrigley  4:14  

And what would you define as something that's working versus not working? Because you mentioned some specific classes of drugs. So what what was telling you it wasn't working like what was still persisting in there that made you continue to seek other solutions.

Shannon Hernandez  4:30  

I still had asthma, I still needed an inhaler. I still had pain. I still went to bed with a headache every night even though the headache was maybe a five on a scale a 10 versus a nine on a scale of 10 I still had the headache, you know, the the medications just masked. The actual symptom, the symptom was still there, the cause of the symptom was still there.

Katie Wrigley  4:52  

Right? That makes so that

Shannon Hernandez  4:55  

brought me into psychedelics and I had used psychedelics recreationally prior to that, but then I found psychedelics as a therapy as a, as a spiritual process. And I, you know, having been a nurse went through that whole road. And I remember being 29 years old and thinking to myself, I am on more medications than my patients are. Oh, wow, I was a pre op, post op nurse. So I would we get them ready for surgery, and I would look at their medication list. And I'm like, and a 60 year old guy is only gonna, you know, one one medication to sleep at night, and I'm on a lot more than he is. And this This isn't good. If I'm in this much pain at 29. How am I gonna feel when I'm 60?

Katie Wrigley  5:48  

Yeah, that's, I think that's a thought that many of us to experience pain at young ages start to wonder. It's like, yeah, this kind of scale. Oh,

Shannon Hernandez  5:57  

my God, the rest of my life. Getting old sucks. You know, that's what that was the mentality of Right, right. I'm, yeah, yeah. But I feel great now. So you know what, what happened was I ended up going to I quit nursing, because I realized that stress wasn't, wasn't conducive to my health. I went into massage therapy, and I happen to be in a massage therapy school, that was more Whoo. Then anatomy and physiology. And they had a Reiki teacher in one day, and then they had your Vedic physician in. And they were, they would always ask students in the class to be a model. And so this one girl gets on the massage table with this Ayurvedic physician. And he's not even touching her. He's just kind of like scanning her body with his hands. And I'm watching myself like, Oh, my God, one of those. He's not feeling anything, how can he eat some? No, he's just putting on a show. This is ridiculous how you can't even touching her body, like just watching my brain, you know, when he got to like her, her area of her hips, where her reproductive organs would be. And all of a sudden, I start to feel that sadness well up in me and I start crying. And then she starts crying, but she doesn't know I'm crying because she's on the table. And I'm like, all the classes just kind of standing around her about four feet in a circle away from the table, watching him do this. And I'm like, Whoa, I'm feeling what she's feeling. Wow. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was like this energy mumbo jumbo stuff might have something to it. And so then I kind of like opened up my eyes a little bit. And I started to kind of pay attention to that this this world of possibility that, that I've been closed to. So I just allowed myself to be open to this could be possible. What I've heard, while you're doing it, maybe maybe they're doing something versus like, this is bullshit. Right. So that, yeah, that that's kind of how I opened to that was through that one experience? And yeah, that was that was kind of the the icebreaker for me. And I still see myself sometimes, you know, judging. Yes. But I think other people's perspectives and if it's if it's true for me, then I will have a I'll have an experience that validates that, you know, that makes it that's like okay, I can I can step into this and know that this is maybe not mainstream. But it works for me.

Katie Wrigley  8:44  

Right? And I love that this may not be mainstream, it may not be popular, it may need not may not be what everybody else is doing.

Shannon Hernandez  8:52  

I may not even be able to explain it. And it works for

Katie Wrigley  8:55  

me. That's what is important to being able to break apart chronic pain. It's letting go of judgment of yourself and saying this works. I don't care how it looks. I don't care how it works. It's working. And that was your I'm sure you remember I had a really hard time letting go of that and you're like it's not the it's just peel just heal. Don't worry about the house. Just let yourself heal. Like don't worry about what it's heal. And focusing on that instead of like, what is going on. Like I remember for the first several months we work together you're like you can you can analyze and in rationalize anything stay in the feelings. Yeah. And yeah, that we live

Shannon Hernandez  9:35  

in our head. We all live in our heads so much more than our body. We do that our body's screaming out like hey, wait, pay attention to me. I'm trying to tell you something here and we ignore

Katie Wrigley  9:45  

it. You know, it lets out a fart like, Oh, I'm gassy. We don't think about it. You know, oh, I have a headache. Let me take an aspirin. Oh, my back hurts. Let me let me just keep doing whatever I'm doing. We don't. Until we're forced to stop. We don't stop right for the Most part, some people, some people are proactive, they're getting in front of the bullet or not for the bullet actually, they're getting in front of the issue, and they are preventing a worse outcome for themselves. But most people, myself included, I had to be disabled before I started mishit,

Shannon Hernandez  10:17  

we all have a different pain tolerance, and I literally had to just not be able to breathe.

Katie Wrigley  10:24  

That's a doozy. We laugh about it now, because you're breathing. But if you weren't, you mentioned something a few moments ago that I want to go back to you had said that you'd had experience with using psychedelics in a recreational sense before you went into ceremony? Mm hmm. What is the difference? Would you be able to explain that to the audience? Sure.

Shannon Hernandez  10:48  

Well, when I used psychedelics recreationally, it was I mean, does that make sense, but it was more like to relax to be out in nature, I wasn't really a partier. I didn't use them at parties. And there's nothing wrong with that, I don't judge that. But I, you know, might go for a paddle down the river or go for a walk in the woods, and the grass would be greener, and the, the trees would grow. And, you know, it was just, and sometimes I would get a download or an insight or something that was applicable to my life. But that was like the icing on the cake. Wasn't the focus, right, and with, with psychedelics, using them ceremoniously in a sacred way, there is a clear intention, there's space set aside, it's inward, not outward, you know, when when we have a ceremony, we are not talking to each other, we might be listening to some live music that helps to help us go deeper into our subconscious. But otherwise, it's in silence. It's not, it's not about having a cool conversation with the person next to you. And we're looking into our psyche, we're looking into our body, we're looking into those emotional points that might be residing in our body someplace, we have a focus, that's not about I want to see how green I can make the grass by how many, you know, mushrooms I can eat. So it's not about the external. It's about the internal. And I'd say that's probably the biggest difference. And I think people think of recreational as like a negative, a negative experience or a negative intention. And I don't think that that's negative either. But I heard a saying once that I thought is really applicable, is that using psychedelics recreationally is like using a supercomputer to play Tetris. Oh, so you have this massive tool, right? It could do infinitely powerful things. But you're playing video game with it. You know?

Katie Wrigley  12:52  

So that's a great analogy.

Shannon Hernandez  12:55  

Yeah. So you could play Tetris with it. Or you could build a whole new world?

Katie Wrigley  13:01  

Yeah. Oh, gosh, the choices right? Like, Oh, am I gonna do nothing to move forward? Or am I actually going to take this time, go inward and figure out what my body wants

Shannon Hernandez  13:13  

to hear? That whole new world can be you? It can it's me. It's we're creating our whole new inner world through this set this the sacraments.

Katie Wrigley  13:23  

And I love that the garbage there can be a lot of garbage in there as well. Um, so I want to talk more about psychedelics and get in more depth they are but I want to touch on something really quickly, like you'd mentioned that you have been on different pharmaceuticals before, you know, and now you're pretty much you're, you're almost asthma free. You have a little bit left, you're no longer in pain, which is awesome. But what is the difference between a natural remedy and a pharmaceutical that has been synthesized to mimic a natural remedy?

Shannon Hernandez  13:57  

That's a great question. And I think that everybody might have their own opinion, but for me, the difference is, is it found organically in nature. So I can go out into my horse pasture in my backyard and pick a psilocybin mushroom. I can grow an Ayahuasca vine and Anisha, karuna bush and put them together and that's natural. The, you know, the, the Sonoran Desert Toad makes a very powerful psychedelic through through its venom. So it's found organically already in nature. Pharmaceuticals often mimic nature. So the pharmaceutical companies might go to the Amazon rainforest and find something that they're using that works and then isolate what they think is the the compound that's inaction. That's that's, you know, the the active compound and then Put it in a pill. But when you do that, you're losing, you know, sometimes up to 70,000 different phytonutrients and compounds that work in, in, in collaboration with those other chemicals. So if you take psilocybin, there are a lot of venture capitalists right now with the the upcoming decriminalization of psilocybin, that are investing in isolating psilocybin, but they're also missing psilocybin and all the different chemicals that are in the mushroom that go along with it. It's not operating on its own. It's operating in tandem. It's like a teamwork of chemicals. So yeah, you can have a similar effect, you know, through some of these, if you think about aspirin being from the willow bark. It does work, you know, aspirin can take away a headache. But what if you went and shoot on willow bark? You'd have the same effect plus plus?

Katie Wrigley  16:01  

Ah, I love that. Yeah. And that's, that's, that's a great way of breaking that down, you know, is is the the synthesis, synthesizing synthesis, I don't even know what the word would be. When they synthesize it, well, this close call bet, it loses something. So even though the goal is to be able to help more people, they actually wind up losing a massive amount of efficacy because they're trying to streamline the process and leaving out all the other components that are actually feeding into it and making it more effective. Yeah,

Shannon Hernandez  16:36  

I just had this idea. So maybe this is an analogy that would work. If you think about AI, artificial intelligence, oh, yes, we can create an artificial intelligence person to sit and have a conversation with you know, we can synthesize that, right. And it might look the same from the outside. You can still have a conversation. But there's still that innate lifeforce. There's, there's qualities that cannot translate from AI or from human to AI. Right. Same with nature to a pill or whatever tea or like, liquid that it goes into. It doesn't, doesn't often, I would say most of the time, translate 100%.

Katie Wrigley  17:19  

And that would be consciousness. Consciousness is the one thing you can't you can't artificially create consciousness and magic found planets last. I'm sorry. So they got it. We got a little choppy there. Let's try that again. What did you say Shannon?

Shannon Hernandez  17:37  

Just that the the AI, you know, you can't transfer human consciousness into artificial intelligence, you can synthesize a human being and they can do things and function. But you're losing, you know, the pharmaceuticals are losing a lot of other compounds that they're not even aware of how they operate.

Katie Wrigley  17:56  

Right. And that makes sense. You know, that, you know, they found we've seen, you know, people talk to their plants and their plants are happier, like plants have a level of consciousness in them. And so there's some sort of synchronicity with all of us on the planet that a lot of people just aren't yet aware of. But that's part of what we're getting out of these natural remedies, if I'm understanding you correctly here. Yeah.

Shannon Hernandez  18:21  

Yeah, I think if it's found in nature, it's in the best possible form. The same can be for your food. So if you go dig a potato out of the ground, and you put it in your oven, and you mash it up, and you make food out of it, are you going to get the same thing if you buy mashed potatoes that are in a box that you have to reconstitute, you know, instant mashed potatoes, same thing with instant coffee, anything that's processed like that you're losing some some intrinsic value that nature has placed there, that we may not even understand why or how how it operates, but it still has about you.

Katie Wrigley  18:58  

That that's a great example there to thank you for that one as well. That's awesome. I'm actually I'm suddenly thinking back to the first plant there. Well, actually, the first plant ceremony that I did, were on my own, but the first major one that I did when I did my first Ayahuasca ceremony, gosh, almost three years ago now. And I remember, it really hit me there the difference that you're talking about with the intent earlier of recreational versus ceremony, like I had done a couple of ceremonies at home, it wasn't quite the same as having someone who was experienced in facilitating to really set the intent. And it's almost akin to a gym workout, right? Like a trainer is always going to push you harder than you push yourself. Yes. And it's the same thing with you have someone facilitating ceremony for you. They're always going to hold and preserve that sacred space more amply than you're going to be able to do on your own. It's Having another lens there to help set that up. And I remember when the medicine first hit me at first it was delayed because I was I kind of ignored everything they said, which was, you know, the harder your ego fights, the harder it's going to be for the medicine to take place. And my ego was like no, no fighting me tooth and nail. And then the second I'm like, oh, now I'm going to need more medicine because it makes me so sick, as you know. And then I feel great later. But initially going down, my body wants no part of it whatsoever. And the second that I accepted that I was going to need to take more. Suddenly, all these bright colors start going off, and then I have to go up to go to get up to go to the restroom. And I realized I can't see anything because there's all these bright neon vines hanging down in front of my face. Now I know there isn't actually anything there. And so my first trip to the bathroom, I'm actually like, doubled over with my face, probably six inches off of the ground to watch the ground. And then I'm finally like, Oh, if I can feel rocks under my feet, I'm probably on the path. And the bathroom is maybe what 25 yards away. Yeah, like, it's not like I'm going through the jungle to get there. I couldn't find it. I'm like leaving the maloca I'm like, crap. Where's the bathroom? No pun intended. Right? Yeah. Yeah, that well, thank goodness, that was just a pee break. But yes. No pun intended on that one. But I've had a moment a few times. You know, my may listeners listen, you know, I first episode I mentioned that I used to be an addict. And I still still refer to myself as an addict. Because it keeps me accountable to remember that my brain will have that tendency if I allow it, which I don't anymore. But there's there's moments in ceremony where I'm wondering if all my experience of so many times of being fucked up in my youth made it easier to function in ceremony to get to the bathroom, like but all I know is I'm glad that whatever experience I had, I've gotten there without wetting myself at all. Now, I had a bad back day wetting myself. That's a whole other story. But I don't have very many bad back days anymore. So that's not an issue.

Shannon Hernandez  22:14  

That's good. That's because of all the work you've done.

Katie Wrigley  22:17  

Yes, it has been a lot. And huge thanks to you as well. So just to refresh our listeners memory here is. So Shannon is the coach that I had originally worked with, along with Melanie Curtis Melanie was my life coach, Shannon became my wellness coach, I was still limping at the time, severe pain, still on disability, functioning about 20 minutes a day, couldn't even make my own male, nothing. And she's telling me things like oh, you can heal yourself with your mind and love your body practice forgiveness and all kinds of things that I had no interest in until they worked. And they worked amazingly quickly. Like within weeks, I wasn't limping anymore. So you had mentioned in your own experience, you had that profound moment with watching someone their their Vedic my saying that right? Doctor who just had his hand over her body, and you were feeling what she felt in those, you don't mind wasn't quite as profound as what you had described. But in a way, I think every realization of Oh, wow. Something can actually work is a profound moment, because that's the moment our brains start lighting up, we start going into hope and we're like, okay, we actually may be able to feel better, I may be able to feel better, you may be able to feel better. You take your power back. Yeah, we created this.

Shannon Hernandez  23:50  

You know, I know that a lot of people this is very triggering, and it was triggering for me when I first heard it, and somebody's like, You created your pain. I was like, Oh, get the fuck out of my face. You know, I understand this is your mean, that's that's pretty harsh thing to say. But I started looking at it when I really started to understand the emotional dynamics behind it. Like, oh, I created this. So if I created this, I can uncreate it. Or I can recreate it.

Katie Wrigley  24:19  

Yes, yes, and create or recreate so we can continue to stay in the same pattern. Or we can say alright, if I created this, therefore I can uncreate it. How can I do that. And the same modality isn't going to work for everybody, you know, everybody's body is going to respond in a different way. One of the things that I love about cognitive movement is that it has different parts of the brain talking that don't normally talk which is something similar to psychedelics. So there's a great documentary, if anybody listening is interested on Netflix called the mind explained and it shows the Really awesome visual of different parts of the brain talking under psychedelics versus normal conversation. So and that's, like I said, that's similar to what cognitive Movement does is it starts getting information passing between the two hemispheres of the brain in ways that doesn't normally have access. So when we, we look at that from a psychedelic perspective, and then take into account that we have in some way, and always, as a side note, we have never consciously created our pain. If you're listening today, we're not judging you. We're not saying that you've done anything wrong, you are a normal human being who is running patterns that have led you into a place of pain, which is great news, because you can then lead yourself out of pain. So when we think about psychedelics, with chronic pain, how, how do they help shift that perception of pain? I have to be very careful with using the terms he'll the FDA is very specific about things. That's good.

Shannon Hernandez  26:01  

That's good. So the question is, how do psychedelics help

Katie Wrigley  26:06  

with chronic pain? Yes,

Shannon Hernandez  26:10  

I have an analogy. So there's many paths to the top of a mountain. And if all of us are trying to get to the top of the mountain, you could, like you said, not one thing works for everybody. But you could take the straight path, which I often refer to as ayahuasca, if you just go straight up the side of the mountain, then it's arduous, and it's challenging, and it's straight up, it's really physically intense, it's rigorous. Or you could take the spiraling path around the mountain, you know, a little bit, little bit a little bit, you could go back and forth up the side of one mountain, you can get halfway up and look back at how far you've come and go, Oh, wow, that looks like a lot of fun. I think I'm gonna slide down on my butt, you know, and then some people call that backsliding, but it's kind of fun, you end up back at the bottom of the mountain, it's like, okay, that's fine. Well, as you start back up to the top, so this is like an analogy, a metaphor for our journey. So I give that preface because I feel like what I say isn't always going to work for everyone. But in my experience, almost all if not all, and I don't use always, never, or all or none, consciously, very often. But I think that pretty much all physical pain, disease, chronic, anything chronic disease related, is related to an emotional or spiritual imbalance. Yes. And the psychedelics allow us to see our own eyeball. Have you ever heard that we're like, Well, you can't ever truly see your own eye, you have to look at a mirror. And so you're just seeing a reflection of your eye, you'll never actually see your own eye. You know, even then those like you can see the tip of your nose, but you don't really see your nose. Right. So psychedelics basically are that mirror that allows us to see within our psyche within our subconscious. So I'll give you an example of my my own experience. Specifically with some of the pain that I have, have held on to or had held on to in my back was related to past relationships, and anger and feeling angry and feeling betrayed. feeling like I was carrying a lot of responsibility for one of my ex husbands, you know, he wasn't working and I was working a lot of hours and I felt very stressed out and mad and angry. Then this was the period in my life. When I was getting epidural steroid injections in my neck, I was taking Vicodin. I was taking Xanax I was taking boosts bar, I was taking flexural Soma like I was taking a lot of different medications because this pain was so constant in my neck. What I realized is this person that I had tied my life with, because they weren't working, it was all a poor boundary of mine where I didn't set a as an expectation and hold my boundary. I allowed them to not work. And then that caused me to have to work extra. And then I was resentful. So I had this literal burden of work that I was carrying around on my shoulders. It wasn't expressing myself. So it's around my throat area. So I'm holding it in. I'm angry, but don't even realize I'm angry. So I then I have like this, my shoulders get jacked up, you know, like, and so I'm holding this physical posture that I'm totally unconscious of. So letting letting that become aware of that and I can express the anger I can set a boundary, I can let go of the responsibility to work for two people and transform that. And so I don't take all those meds anymore, obviously. So I've healed that pain, but that was just one layer of the pain that was going on. My neck. So becoming aware that, oh, metaphorically, I'm carrying a burden on my shoulders, it's causing me shoulder and neck pain, I'm not expressing myself. So seeing this emotional, psychological spiritual etiology, behind that pain, and then giving it the acknowledgement it's screaming for our bodies are just basically saying, Hey, you have something that you're holding on to here that you're not paying attention to. Yeah, that's what the pain does is it gets our attention.

Katie Wrigley  30:32  

Yes, pain is there. For us. It's when the levels are high. And it's constant, that we stop realizing that it could actually be a gift of some sort, because it doesn't feel like a gift. It feels like a pile of shit that we have been given to deal with.

Shannon Hernandez  30:51  

Lumber, coal for Christmas, thanks a lot.

Katie Wrigley  30:54  

Thanks for universe appreciate it. Right. And I love that you brought up shoulders as an example, because I've seen this over and over again, is, you know, like, if I asked someone you know, what's weighing on you or what's heavy. And I've, I've seen a cognitive movement session, I wasn't the practitioner with this one, but I had heard about it. And the person had really severe shoulder pain for years, and did a session around it. And they felt really, like burdened. Exactly the word you use, you're burdened by this. And the shoulder pain went away. And the next day, I watched that person set an immediate boundary with someone who had been very draining to them, without effort without any conscious thought just boundary was in place, boom. I'm like, wow, it was like, how did that feel? Oh, that felt pretty good. Yeah. And it's alleviating that burden. And amazing what happens to your body? When you're eating? It's not just, you know, putting it back on the person, it's, you have to find a way to okay, what is my boundary here? What am I okay, with what I'm not okay, with, we have to be clear, first with what our boundaries are, before we can communicate them to someone else. Absolutely. And then we need to give that person a chance to respond. You know, it's, it's not like in your situation that night, you know, your, your husband could have immediately gone out and got a job, maybe he could, but most people, it's going to take a day or two to be able to secure some income, it's not going to be something that we snap our fingers and we get a job. So we want to make sure we've got a plan we're agreed to or not, but the clarity is where it starts, awareness and clarity is where everything starts. And I say that over and over again.

Shannon Hernandez  32:41  

And that's what the psychedelics help with is the awareness and the clarity. Yeah, and then you then you have homework to do with it. So I don't want people to think that, Oh, I'm going to go do a psychedelic ceremony. And it's a panacea, it's going to fix all my problems, you know, in one ceremony, it doesn't usually work that way. Occasionally, it does. For some people with one aspect of their life, maybe it does happen, you know, you'll people Google these things, they'll they'll see those stories, but that isn't always the way it works. So you get the awareness. And then you get an action list, you know, some action items to go home and into implement. And so then becomes the integration piece. And without integration, nothing changes. So we have we usually have homework to do, we have some patterns that we have to disrupt. And we have to become aware of our day to day operating system to be able to do that.

Katie Wrigley  33:38  

And that can sometimes be a challenge, you know, is is on the integration piece. So that's something I've done. My last ceremony I with you that I did last September, I did cognitive movement, going into it to prepare for ceremony. It was the easiest ceremony I ever had. Physically, it was the most wonderful ceremony, I experienced true bliss, no idea for how long but it felt amazing. Every fiber of my being was just, I can't even describe it. Now. I still remember that feeling. And it was just it was bliss. It was pure and utter bliss. And I also used cognitive movement on the other side, to delete those patterns that were in the way of integrating in deeper ways. I wanted to like I had a lot of fear around, you know, one of the things I wanted to do was really get closer to my parents and they're only 20 minutes away. I love them dearly. They've been wonderful parents, and I ran from them for 20 years. So I missed a huge chunk of everybody's life and including my own life. I just wasn't there. I mean, I was here but mentally was on whatever I was on at the time. And so part of me has been really strategic and focused on knowing my parents the way they are, but that's also a big shift in dynamic. And it wasn't without fear that I'm like, Okay, how do I even start to have these conversations? cuz it's not like you can be like, hey, yeah, Dad, I did an Ayahuasca ceremony last week, and how do you feel about dying? You can't really go into it like that, you know, not that my dad is dying. He's not thank god, he's healthy. But you know, I'm just saying as an example, like you don't die right into the deep end of the swimming pool of conversations after plant ceremony, you want to be able to ramp yourself in to it and know what steps make sense. You know, and I don't know if you've noticed this as well, Shannon, but sometimes when I'm back in a sober mind again, and I think about the guidance I got from the plan, I'm like, oh, that doesn't seem like a good idea anymore.

Shannon Hernandez  35:38  

Well, if I could speak to that, sometimes, you know, what these medicines these sacraments do is they, they allow us to connect to parts of our mind that we, like you said that we don't normally access or allow parts of our mind to communicate with each other. And it's, you know, it's normal to think, oh, they told me to go call my old boyfriend from high school and apologize, you know, for blah, blah, blah, that, that might be part of the action item. And then you get out of the ceremony and you're like, Oh, that guy was toxic, and it probably isn't a good idea for me to, to really contact him. So maybe the way to do that is I pretend he's here, and I apologize. And I you know, I apologize to his his spiritual self, not necessarily to his physical self and trust that the message will be carried sometimes with the messages that we get in ceremony, our own ego. Mm hmm. You know, it's it can be a distraction that can send us down the wrong the wrong rabbit hole, not the wrong rabbit hole, but a distracting rabbit hole. Right. So sometimes, it's it's neither, you know, it's maybe I don't want to go with this. Sometimes it is another energy that doesn't have our into our best interest at heart. Yes. Right. So I don't know how far to go into that. But you know, when we, you talked about addiction earlier in this conversation, and when you know, to use that as an example, I I think a lot of people are addicted and don't realize that they're addicted, you know, it could be just be the ice cream. I used to have a milkshake before bed every night and can't to cut that out so that my lungs didn't have so much mucus going on was very hard. Very, very, very hard. I mean, I love dairy. So that that dairy addiction has its own voice of consciousness, oh, just going to the movie theater, you could just have a milkshake for the movie doesn't mean you have ice cream at home, you know, and it rationalizes and says, Oh, it's okay to just do it this time or that time, you know, and we all have different addictions that we deal with, whether it's a food addiction, or a cell phone addiction, I know, a lot of us do. And we don't really want to identify as an addict, but we were over human or human race of addiction. So that that voice of addiction can be one of those things that ends up talking to us in the ceremony. And it's easy to confuse that this is this is Ayahuasca or this is psilocybin speaking to me. So part of the process and working with psychedelics is learning how to differentiate what the messages that you're receiving are.

Katie Wrigley  38:35  

Absolutely, and one of the distinctions I've seen is for people who are newbies with psychedelics, you absolutely want to get proper coaching, like you can google Ayahuasca ceremonies and see every nightmare everybody's ever had. You can also avoid that. By getting proper coaching, it doesn't mean that your ceremony is going to be easy. But in my experience, and I know Shannon, you could probably expand on this. The plant is not going to give you anything you cannot handle.

Shannon Hernandez  39:08  

Exactly. Exactly. If I bring something up, it means that you're ready for it. And with most plant medicines, it's there's always freewill. You know, you have the you have the freewill. I know. One woman was in a ceremony and the medicine brought up birth trauma. And she's like, I am not ready to go into my birth trauma. Okay, medicines like Okay, let's go down this rabbit hole. And so there is an interaction, a beautiful interaction that honors your freewill. that will that will work with you. But yeah, it's never going to give you more than you can handle. It is only going to bring up what it feels is best for you.

Katie Wrigley  39:47  

Yes, yeah. And that's that's certainly been my experience. You know, when I've, when I've gone in with an open heart and been in a really good place. The plants been more gentle on me. It doesn't that I don't have challenges to face in there. And they've all helped me grow every ceremony has been totally worth it. And when I've also gone into ceremony with more ego and thinking, Oh, I don't have that much to heal, I get schooled. Those tend to be a lot less pleasant ceremonies. But it's all good. Yes. And but we create it. Right, exactly. And like, create the pain, you also create the ceremony state. And it doesn't mean that you're you may not have fear or something else going into it, that's okay, that's normal. But allow it to happen, be open to it. And definitely make sure you have a place that has excellent coaching so that you have people who know what they're doing, is there anything else you would recommend, and then I'm going to ask people to give, if you can tell people where they can find you, if they want to work with you, or talk about more, learn more about plant medicine.

Shannon Hernandez  41:03  

Um, you know, since this is all about pain, I really would just recommend that people check in with their heart, in every aspect of their life, but a lot of people might be thinking, well, is are psychedelics, right for me, do I want to go down that path, and they're not for everyone. And, and for some people, they can help tremendously. Let you know change, change your life beyond imagination. So I just really recommend people check in with their heart and a lot of us live from our head. And the science is now finding that the heart has more neurons, and then the brain does. And it's sending signals to the brain all the time. Like with guidance, this is our this is our true spiritual guidance system that's from the heart, you have your gut your intuition from the gut, but you have direct direct access to your heart, we don't hear that message because we're in our head. So open the heart, imagine your heart like barn doors opening, and just allow yourself to feel love and gratitude for three, four minutes, and then check in and see what's what's best for each person. People can use cognitive movement, they can use breathwork, they can use meditation, you can use coaching, I have a number of clients that while they may participate in plant medicine, from time to time, we, we go into these subconscious aspects of the psyche. Without plant medicine in our calls. For example, I have a client that she has a lot of pain in her foot in her feet. She has bunions. And she was telling me I'm considering getting foot surgery. And just like I told you, I don't think you need to get foot surgery. And she's like, well, that would be really nice. How do we do that? And I said, Well, you know, and she just walked out of the grocery store. And I said, Well, let me know when you get back to your truck. And, and so she said, Okay, I'm in my truck. And I said, I want you to just close your eyes, take a deep breath, and put your hands on your feet and shook her shoes off. And she put her hands directly on her feet. And I said, I want you to ask your feet. What is this from? Why are they hurting? What are they trying to tell you in instantly, she had an ex boyfriend that she'd spent 12 years living in this really unhealthy toxic relationship come up. And she was like, Oh, it's this, I just, I just know that I know, it's this and I was like, okay, there you go. She's like, I was so stuck. I was stuck in this really unhealthy, toxic relationship of addiction and abuse, and really just bad bad relationship. And I didn't, I knew I shouldn't be in it. But I couldn't, I didn't know how to get out of it. And so that stuck, energy ended up in her feet, which represent our forward progress. So she wasn't able to progress forward, because it was in her feet. So there's this metaphor of the body that translates. So if people want to uncover this pain, they can do it on their own at home, there are so many avenues. You know, one way might be faster, you might be more efficient, you might get to the bottom of something faster with psychedelics or a coach, but you can do it on your own. It just takes time. You have to carve out time to love yourself, to care about your body, to get into your subconscious to get into child's pose, get face down on the floor, and really tap into what part of the body is hurting and ask the body give it the attention it wants. Hey, what are you trying to tell me? And whatever pops into your mind? Don't overanalyze it, just go with it. Okay, maybe it was this maybe it wasn't. But let's just dive dive into this memory that popped up. And she now has a ritual where she loves her feet. And she promises them that she will never get into an unhealthy relationship like that again, and she rubs them every day with lotion and she loves them. And she's taken an outline of her foot on a piece of paper to show how big the Bunions are. And they're decreasing. Oh, so it really decreasing in size. And she's like, I can wear shoes that I've never been able to wear, I don't have any pain in my feet anymore at all. And it's so much easier just to do this work than to walk around, going to get your prescription filled, you know, tape feeling pain all the time, like living miserably, like, it doesn't have to be that way. But it does take an investment of your own time into yourself,

Katie Wrigley  45:29  

right. And whenever I hear you say that, and like, oh my gosh, how much easier is that timewise, physical wise everything, to love your feet, to talk to your feet, then to go through the trauma of a surgery to go through extra pain, because you are going to be talking to your feet less time than you are going to be cursing them after surgery, pretty much guaranteed, your pain is going to go up before it goes down. Even if it helps, and if the energy still there, it may still come back again. So you've gone through all this, you've spent all this extra money, you've put yourself through more pain, and then you're right back where you started. Again, that can happen. We've seen it

Shannon Hernandez  46:05  

it's just like cancer people can go have the cancer removed, but then it comes back because there's an underlying cause for that. Yes, we can heal cancer to it's usually some kind of, you know, toxic emotion, toxic energy in the body.

Katie Wrigley  46:18  

Usually resentment actually is what I've been seeing. So two things before we wrap here. So you actually you had a really funny ceremony in your past that involved in armadillo, would you tell them because this is some of the funny stuff that could happen in ceremony we've been you know, pretty serious with a couple laughs here and there. But this story just cracked me up when you told it.

Shannon Hernandez  46:42  

The story is Vulcan hilarious. I you know I do my ceremonies alone. Since I am a facilitator, I carve out my space and I have my tiki torches around me and I was up in our ceremony circle at night by myself and I was a psilocybin ceremony. And I was about in the last hour, but I was definitely still feeling the medicine. And I heard this rustling in the grass at the edge of the circle. We have like a taller grass in the circle than we do in the middle. We mow the grass in the middle and and I was like, oh, it's probably just an armadillo wasn't afraid, you know, right. And then I and then I see the armadillo come out of the grass. And then I hear something else behind the armadillo in the woods. And I'm like, I'm not afraid of that. Because I really am not afraid of nature. I know that whatever's out there is more afraid of me than I am of it. Yes. And so I was like, maybe another armadillo. Maybe it's a bobcat? Who knows. But no big deal. I'm like, Cool. I'm like, you have a month on the side. And I'm what I'm hearing is real question myself. Like, am I just hearing an echo of wrestling in the woods? No, no, that's really a second sound. And all of a sudden, this Armadillo gets scared shitless and it takes off running, but it's running directly at me. I mean, the ceremony circle is at least 100 feet in diameter at all the things that can run that was me, I was like, Oh my God. Like, and you know, it's like when you have like an emergency situation, everything slows down into slow motion. And I'm thinking, I gotta stop this thing from running at me. He's gonna run right over me. And so I'm out there, like, stop. Like waving my arms. And at the last second it, it made a right hand turn and like didn't hit me. The comedy I was like, if somebody could have been up here watching me that would have been really funny. I wish I had it on video, but only only in my mind. But yeah, it was, it was pretty hilarious. That is

Katie Wrigley  48:48  

pretty hilarious for sure. And where can people find you and get more information about what you do Shannon if they're interested in trying plant medicine for themselves?

Shannon Hernandez  49:00  

Well, we are a private church we only accept new members based on referrals. So if they know you and they want to reach out to you and get a referral from you, then they can contact you and then you can give them the link to our private email list. We have an email list that only goes out to our members with our ceremony dates and general information if they'd like to learn more about myself or my husband who helps us facilitate our ceremonies or the property and and some of the different herbal medicines that we make from the plants that grow on site, so we do have some different herbs and tinctures that we use for immune support. If you're feeling like you're getting a cold or getting digestive issues or want to bring your blood pressure down, we have some different natural remedies for that. I can go to our website. It's great spirit farm.org. And yeah, that's all they can find us.

Katie Wrigley  49:55  

So yes, if anybody is interested in connecting with Shannon for plant medicine, please reach out to me info At Katie wrigley.com. And thank you so much, Shannon. Again, the website is great spirit farm.org and Shannon Hernandez, thank you so much for your time today. Very, very much appreciate you coming and speaking with us. Thank you. Thank you, Katie.

Shannon Hernandez  50:14  

I appreciate the difference you're making for people out there because pain sucks.

Katie Wrigley  50:19  

It does but it doesn't have to be chronic. That's right. As always, we appreciate every five star review we get drop us one for your chance to be called out as the listener of the week. If you were chosen as our listener of the week, we will send you a small gift as our thank you for being a part of our community and helping to spread the word that we can accept the diagnosis without accepting the prognosis. Thank you, as always for joining me today. And until next week, never forget that chronic doesn't have to mean permanent. If you want more of my tips and tricks flowing into your life, then I invite you to connect with me and follow me on social media. Just go to Katie Wrigley comm slash connect and follow the links to whatever your favorite social platform is to follow me.