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Set the Setting: April 2023
Meme drop, Set the Setting Playlist: Focus, Transform Conference Recap, Catch me IRL in San Francisco, Community Support Circle for Single Gay SF Men, Sex Party or Sub Focus?
Meme of the Month
In December 2021, leading up to my first ayahuasca ceremony, I stopped using instagram. Along with avoiding certain foods that can cause adverse physical reactions, there’s general guidance to “purify your mind” by avoiding stressful situations and people.
During my ayahuasca ceremony, it became clear to me that using instagram (and all social media) really wasn’t serving me at this moment in my life. I needed to break free from seeking validation from others to be the truest version of myself. The endless feed of influencers, who seemingly had much more interesting lives than me, made me feel so small. I couldn’t help but feel like I wasn’t hot enough, wasn’t rich enough, wasn’t cool enough, wasn’t… enough.
I’ve been off instagram since then. I miss it sometimes, but my mental health has been better without it for now. I’m still able to keep in touch with my closest friends and family. And importantly - I fully, deeply understand: I am enough.
Set the Setting - Focus
I also chose that meme of the month because my Outlook email inbox has me SUPER stressed right now. I completely broke down in tears during IFS therapy this past week. I won’t go into the details, but the long and short of it is that I re-wrote some internal agreements between my parts, and I am letting folks know that I will be declining a lot of invites and slow to respond to personal emails/texts through June. I’m heads down planning Psychedelic Science 2023 and if you need something from me, you’re just going to have to be patient. I’m usually responsive, punctual and supportive to everybody in my life. But for the next 10 weeks, I need to be extremely focused.
Luckily, I have a playlist for every season of life. I use this playlist to Set the Setting in moments where I need to get shit done. I know what tasks I need to accomplish and this playlist powers me through it all. It’s for persevering when I am running on empty.
Ironically for a “focus” playlist, this one traverses a lot of genres. There’s some dark and gritty dungeon techno, there’s some bouncy drum and bass / UK garage vibes; but every 5-6th track is something with uplifting vocals. This playlist is modeled after my favorite time management system, the Pomodoro Technique. To utilize this playlist, power through the techno and DnB tracks, and then take a dance break when you get a vocal track. You’ll be done with that task list in no time. Suggested drug pairing: caffeine and nicotine.
Transform Conference Recap
Two years ago, I wrote this LinkedIn Post telling my professional network that I use psychedelic drugs to deepen my DEI practice. In some ways, it was easy to write. I think I drafted the post in a few minutes - it just flowed out of my fingertips:
I need to come out of a different closet: I use psychedelic drugs to deepen my DEI practice. Psychedelics have allowed me to imagine innovative ways to address inequities, challenge our current institutions, model brave conversations, speak hard truths and walk boldly towards new challenges. While my altered state is temporary, my experiences with psychedelics have made me stronger.
But for obvious reasons, it was also one of the hardest posts to hit “publish.” Psychedelics carry a lot of stigma, especially in communities of color and in professional settings. Well, we all know what happened over the next two years after coming out of the psychedelic closet. I said “bye bye” to the haters because I’m living my best life! (Remember - we only have one life, so live it!)
At the Transform Conference, I led a storytelling session called “Leveraging Psychedelic Drugs to Deepen your DEI practice” which was a triumphant moment in the story arc; an homage to the LinkedIn post that started it all. My panel of 3 badass Women CEOs told their psychedelic coming out stories - we wore white nails, as it felt a lot like an ayahuasca ceremony - and we held space for audience members to share their stories. It was incredibly powerful to witness folks embrace their own vulnerability, not to mention feeling a personal sense of validation being platformed at a prestigious conference like Transform.
Catch me IRL: Discovery Con (April 19) and Queering Psychedelics (April 22) in San Francisco
Given my busy schedule, I’m only taking two local speaking engagements.
Discovery Con at the Midway in San Francisco. It’s a Bicycle Day celebration/conference, so it’s lot of LSD enthusiasts! I’ll be representing MAPS through my role as the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer; my session is aptly named: “Promoting Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Psychedelic Culture.”
A few days later, I’ll be opening the Queering Psychedelics Conference at the Brava Theater in San Francisco. It’s essential that queer spaces be established for exploring the unique needs, gifts and strengths that LGBTQIA+ communities bring to psychedelic medicine. My session is “Psychedelics and the Cosmos of Gender Expansiveness.”
If you’re coming to either of these conferences - track me down and say hi! And if you want to come, let me know because I have discount codes.
Community Support Circle for Single Gay SF Men
The next iteration of my Community Support Circle for single, gay, SF men is… postponed. Ugh, I hate to pause when we were building momentum!
One hot topic at the last Community Support Circle was how many people in our community use Grindr for connection, begrudgingly. We called it the Grindr cycle - trying it, hating it, deleting it, feeling lonely, re-downloading it; repeat ad nauseam.
I built a workshop for folks that want to use Grindr in a more values-aligned way. We’ll start by establishing our individual intention statements — then I’ll facilitate an introspective exercise where we’ll see if our profiles and action match. All the while, providing mutual support and kind feedback for each other.
But, given the priorities on my plate, I’m going to punt this to May. Stay tuned and if this workshop is of interest to you - please let me know and you’ll be the first to be on the invite list.
Sex Party or Sub Focus?
Lol, I think this is why I’m single. On Easter weekend, I had two options for what to do with my Saturday night:
Say Love Sex Party. The one I went to last year was incredible. It got me out of a long funk and back in touch with my body, touch, and pleasure. It’s “intimate” for an SF sex party (<100 people) and a great chance to connect with other humans that might be looking for romantic partnership.
Sub Focus Worship Tour (with Dimension, Culture Shock, and 1991). The first time I saw Sub Focus was at the Bass Pod at my first EDC Las Vegas in 2013 - it was truly unforgettable!
This often happens… I have two options - one that will have a lot of gay men / potential partners, but across town there’s a DJ I really really really want to see. The EDM will win every time. The way I justify it - I’d rather meet someone who also wants to be at the Sub Focus show. And damn I love Sub Focus! It was an easy decision, really. They crushed it and I had a blast!
April Photo Drop
Clockwise from Top Left: Thanks to everyone that came out to celebrate by birthday - RAVE TO THE GRAVE! // Bauer sneaking a pup cup at Auntie Hilarie’s // Outfits are arriving for EDC 20223 // Epic waterfall hike with Darya, John and pups
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