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Set the Setting: July 2023
Meme Drop, Psychedelic Science Integration, Catch me IRL in Waikiki, Set the Setting Playlist: Decompression, 2023 Mid Year "Performance Review", Photo Drop
Psychedelic Science 2023 was a hit! If you’ve ever planned a conference, you know how much energy, sweat and coordination it takes. My colleagues and I put on the largest psychedelic conference in history, earning press coverage from Bloomberg, Fortune, Rolling Stone, Vox, ESPN, USA Today, Vanity Fair, ABC News, NBC News, Fox News, and The Onion (that’s when you know you’ve made it).
Psychedelic Science Integration
It’s been three weeks and I’m still decompressing and integrating! Here are three takeaways from my experience that I’m excited to share:
Gratitude for the opportunity to positively impact so many lives
I knew Psychedelic Science was going to be a meaningful conference, but I’m just now starting to fully grasp the scale of the impact that we had that week. For most of the ~12,500 attendees, this was the first psychedelic conference they’ve ever attended. For many — their first impression of what is possible in a healthy drug ecosystem.
Undoubtedly, we crushed it. I’m so proud that we provided harm reduction services that kept everyone safe. The way we expertly curated 14 stages of content across disciplines… nobody could have executed that better than us. We got praise for granting scholarship tickets to 1,100 attendees, almost all BIPOC, Queer, Trans, and Veterans attendees. We platformed 280 sponsors and exhibitors (half of which were fellow non-profit organizations). The greater psychedelic community stepped in and threw the most incredible events for our attendees.
As much work as it was for the team, working many nights and weekends, I recognize how privileged I am to work in an organization that positively impacts so many lives on a deeply personal level. As Danny reflected back to me: “you’re changing the world and having fun while doing it!”
With great power comes great responsibility
MAPS is the leader in psychedelic drug policy, advocacy and research; we exercise an enormous amount of power and influence to shape the future of mental health, worldwide. It’s exhilarating. And terrifying. To wield power in a responsible way, one must examine our shadow.
We are trying to heal intergenerational trauma, but we have a colonialist predisposition to perpetuate the extraction of Indigenous wisdom. We are striving to create access for all, but operate in a society that is inherently unjust and unequal. We are designing systems to keep people safe and aware of the risks, but open ourselves up to tremendous liability in the process.
All eyes are on us. As we aim to bring MDMA through federal drug re-scheduling, the spotlight has never been brighter. MAPS has been working 37 years for this moment - we have to execute flawlessly.
Redefining this idea of “being rich”
In last month’s post, I shared that one of my primary emotions was resentment. I used a lot of therapy time to understand where that was coming from: I took a huge pay cut to work at MAPS. I felt like I was sacrificing my primary earning years to work at a non-profit where emotions run high and the disagreements feel personal. Although I can see it’s a fallacy now, in the moment I was resentful that “following my dreams” meant I had to give up “being rich.”
But during a post-conference integration session, I redefined what it means to be rich. I wake up (most) every day with a passion for the work that I do. Everybody deserves the right to heal - and psychedelic healing has tremendous potential. My job is to create access, remove hurdles, and lead the systems change that makes psychedelic healing accessible to all. Fuck yeah!
Being rich is so much more than what’s in your bank account or how big your house is. To be able to find purpose, to know what you’re meant to do with your life; that’s rich. To have family and friends that not only accept you, but push you and celebrate you; that’s rich. I might have traded my tech salary for a non-profit salary, but I have deepened my understanding of what it means to truly be rich.
Set the Setting Playlist: Decompression
To unwind from the past few months of intensity, I was craving giggles. This month’s playlist will deliver! It's pure nostalgia and comfort; pop-, disco-, and R&B- throwbacks but with a twist. Each sing-a-long track has been remixed with some modern EDM flavors. Suggested drug pairing: cannabis.
Putting this together playlist put me down a rabbit hole of finding contemporary takes on Avril Lavigne, Backstreet Boys and Akon. Give it a go, I guarantee it will spark joy!
Catch me IRL in Waikiki (July 17-27)
Decompression continues through July! I’ll be working remotely from my parent’s condo in Waikiki and attending Jack and Renn’s wedding. I can’t wait to celebrate the nuptials of these two lovely souls. It’s hard to picture one without the other, not to mention they’ve been a consistent sunbeam of rave energy magic at every EDC.
Not only will I get to celebrate Jack and Renn, I’m going to get to spend some quality time with Dad! He just turned 74 earlier this month. Dad and I have really deepened our relationship as we’ve gotten older. It’s happened on both sides - Dad has started to treat me like his adult son who is capable of making his own decisions, no matter how much he thinks I’m making dumb choices. And in return, I’ve come to respect him for raising me with an unwavering commitment to my success; something I failed to see when I was younger.
See you soon, Dad:
My 2023 Mid-Year “Performance Review”
At the end of each calendar year, I write a letter to myself from the end of the following year. So, in December of 2022, I wrote a letter to myself in December 2023. It’s a practice that Yannick (my life coach) had me start 5 years ago(!) and each year, I am able to manifest everything in the letter. Let’s see how I’m doing:
1. Saying “Yes” to living in the present moment
This intention was about venturing outside of my comfort zone and moving past self-limiting beliefs. So far, so good! I said yes to Envision Festival; I’m going to ACL for the first time too. I’ll be in Tulum for the first time in November (for one of my 4 remaining weddings in 2023). Saying “yes” even when I’ve been a little hesitant is about taking chances. It’s produced more joy, more surprise - along with more heartache and defeat. It’s an embrace of the full human experience and I’m appreciating this intention a lot.
2. Ready for love
I’ve been half-assing this intention for a few years now, but 2023 is the year it all falls into place. I have gone through every excuse possible to avoid putting myself “back in the arena.” But today, I’m feeling more ready than ever. I’ve been practicing vocalizing my emotions and expressing my feelings for people - even when it’s a “no.” Is it weird that I’m ready to be hurt, again? Bring it on! I think there’s still a lot of progress I want to make in 2023. I’m calling in a partner by the end of the year!
3. The Physical- & Mental- Space Connection
2022 was the year I set-up my remodel, 2023 has been the year of execution. I recognized that I’ve always had a mental model that says “work hard now, reap the rewards later.” My work ethic doesn’t allow me to celebrate achievements; I have to keep going and achieve more and more. It’s actually quite unhealthy. Knowing, more than ever, the connection between my physical and mental wellbeing, I am investing serious time and money into my renovation. This past week I chose where my in-wall and in-ceiling speakers are getting installed — sweeeeet.
4. Bauer’s crate training
Well, this is where my 2023 performance has not been great. I have been slacking on this while living at Addison and Hilarie’s place. Overall, Bauer is doing great and loving his time here - especially as he’s around his friends more often. But once we move back into our home, he needs to be more comfortable spending solo time in his crate. This is important for both of us - so I’m putting myself on a performance improvement plan…
July Photo Drop
Clockwise from Top Left: Celebrating Shelly’s Bday on Lake Stampede, Bauer celebrating PRIDE month, these iridescent chrome nails are the shit, Bauer in his dino drying towel.
Follow @bauerbottom on instagram; Hilarie is owning all Bauer-related content and she’s killin’ it!
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