[00:00:12] Pascal: Hi, welcome to One Degree Shifts. I'm your host, Pascal Tremblay, and I'm the co founder of Nectara, we're a psychedelic support ecosystem. And today I'm really excited to talk with my friend, Andrea Langlois. She's an organizational ecologist, coolest title ever. And she's a strategic consultant and she's been involved in the psychedelic space for well over a decade.
Hi, Andrea. Hi,
[00:00:34] Andrea: so excited to
[00:00:35] Pascal: be here. Likewise. I first met Andrea about three years ago when she was working at ICERS and she did some work with the Psychedelic Association of Canada, and I found her to be extremely intelligent and empathetic and a real systems thinker. And today we're going to talk about systemic perspective and emergent strategy in organizations.
Things that I'm really passionate about. So I'm excited to, to dive in and I'd like to start off with a quote from Hellinger, who said that. Love is the emergent quality of a system that works well. And I love that quote. Andrea, you're an organizational ecologist.
Why do you think systemic perspectives are so important in the psychedelic space?
[00:01:16] Andrea: And so I, the term organizational ecologist, I just heard it along the way. And I thought, Oh, that's. That's totally what I do. So a lot of people think about organizational development or how do we work as organizations, as entities to make them really great.
So that's what I think most exciting part of my work is and then what benefits me as somebody who is working with different organizations or teams or groups of people really is to think of them as ecosystems. And if we think of an organization as an ecosystem or as a garden, there's different elements that need to be tended to.
You have to tend to the soil, to the water. This plant might like being beside this plant, it might not. You might have different pests that are okay in this part of the system or the ecosystem and this part not. So really approaching organizations as an ecology with all these different parts that are interacting with each other is how I approach working with organizations, groups, and teams.
[00:02:14] Pascal: And why is systemic perspective important, especially in the field of psychedelics? And of course, we all know psychedelics are a gateway to unity consciousness for a lot of people and bridging the individual perspective of the world to a more collective one. But why is it especially important to approach things in the psychedelic space with a systems perspective?
[00:02:35] Andrea: It's a great question. I think when we were talking about doing this podcast, you were asking me, what are you most excited about in the psychedelic space? And I said, I'm actually taking a step back, I was really involved with an organization called ICEERS, worked there for several years, working around looking at how do you create societies that integrate these plant medicines in good ways.
And that led me down the path of doing a lot of work around, the source of the medicines, indigenous knowledge, indigenous peoples, the actual physical source and conservation. And so I started to see that there was this whole other part of. What was going on in psychedelics that I hadn't been looking at and so got deeper and deeper into looking at the origins, of how do we even come to know about these medicines and then seeing that.
Okay. So say Gordon Watson goes to Mexico in the 50s comes back with these mushrooms. This happens, next thing it's been patented as endocybin. and then we have decades now of historical path that's happened. And so for me, it's really looking at how we source our medicine started getting me to think of the even broader system.
And then it's, then we go to today. It's like we have psilocybin or other medicines that are going more into a commercial space where people are going to make money and some people have access and some people won't. And then how did the original people benefit? So really that sort of having me in terms of the psychedelics is really look at the system Of where medicine comes from how we even knew about it how it evolves and then the impact of what happens on the other end.
So in terms of thinking systemically Really looking at it bird's eye view of how every element has some kind of impact on another part of the system. So I'm studying something called systemic constellations right now, which is a method to basically bring health into systems.
And it started within family work. One of my teachers, she talks about the family system, and I think we could apply this to the psychedelic space as well. It's like a baby mobile. There's mobiles that you hang above the crib, and if you touch a little part of it, it might start spinning and one of the other little animals on the other side might start spinning in a different direction.
You can't quite see cause and effect, but you do know if you move something over here, it's going to impact the whole baby mobile. And so Gabe Donaldson uses this. This analogy, and I think it's quite a good visual to think about the system. So if you think about the psychedelic space, source some medicine from over here and then somebody benefits over there, it's actually part of a greater mobile.
And so when we think about the impacts, if we want to have positive impacts of our work thinking in this way, I think is incredibly important. I feel for the, for, the psychedelic space, having been involved for a number of years now, it's gotten really complex. And so trying to take a step back and think about how is each.
element of the system impacting each other. And how do we move towards having, really good flow in the system where everyone's benefiting, where we're not pulling too hard on one part of the system where we look at, for example, a systemic approach might also say, Oh, we have this symptom of something that's not going well.
People are fighting, which happens in the psychedelic space, you have people who are not getting long and in a systemic approach, we actually wouldn't look at that as a problem. We look at it as a symptom of something within the system. That's asking to come back into balance and also bring health to the whole system and really give us a bit of a way forward to understand, what's happening here and really looking at what is I think is a really important part of systemic thinking as well, is that we're really looking at, okay what really is right now, how do we map that out?
How do we understand where there's, Blocks and where there's flow and then use that approach to make our next move.
[00:06:28] Pascal: So what I'm hearing is asking the question what is up the greatest service to the entire ecosystem when creating actions, creating strategy, creating plans.
And I love that you say ecosystems are constantly shifting, but they can come back into balance, right? And so it's not that it's a static thing ever. It's always evolving, always changing, always shifting. And so what I'm hearing is being attuned to the overall relationships is a key to developing this approach to life.
And so much of our Western world is focused on silos based thinking, individualistic thinking. Personal reasons for growth and personal reasons for this. And it's a system that promotes kind of blinders on. And I believe that psychedelics, one of the greatest gifts is offering this systemic based thinking and feeling that typically we haven't used before.
Yeah. I think moving
[00:07:19] Andrea: away from, Individualism is essential for the way forward, in terms of understanding. How do we continue life on this planet? We really need to move out of that. So thinking from more systemic approach is just acknowledging that. Okay. I have my personal system in my body.
I'm part of a family system. I'm part of a community. I'm part of a workplace system, I'm part of something bigger. And then when we look at even the psychedelic field itself it's operating within a world with lots of different systemic forces. So I had a incredible opportunity a few weeks ago, I was at the breaking convention conference in Exeter, in England, and a really amazing constellations practitioner and therapist.
A woman named Maria Papaspirou, who's also an author and she's running also the psychedelic therapy training programs here in the UK. So we did a constellation at the conference. So she led it and I was what we call in systemic constellations work, the issue holder. So I got to come into that space and we had 35 people in the room and she asked me to bring forward a question for the community, and it was remarkable.
What happened? And I have permission to speak about it because it wasn't a personal issue, and we were doing it in the heart of the conference that we could all get to learn. What was really fascinating is I had been thinking about, the issues burning within me, which 1 of them is, how do we create the mental health revolution for all?
And if you're just listening to this, I'm putting air quotes around that. Not on the backs of anybody, so how do we create a psychedelic space? That's not exploiting someone over here for the benefit of someone over there. How do we think about global health? And this is the question I was sitting in with, as we walked into the room and then something happened, and this is what in systemic constellations, where is this called sensing?
You're just watching what's happening in this space where we call the field. Because we were already creating a container. It's a lot like creating a psychedelic ceremony space. And when you do this work and what happened was the conference at 1200 people, this workshop had room for 35 people.
So we get there and people flood this room, and everyone quickly sits down because there's only 35 spots. And then a whole bunch of people come in who weren't early because they had signed up and they were like, what the heck?
We signed up, . But there was no more seats left. So we look around the room and then a certain couple of people who I know really well, were very quick to give up to their seats, to the people who had signed up. And then there was just a question asked does anybody else who didn't sign up wanna give up their seat for someone who did sign up anyway?
Rotation of chairs happen until there was one person left who had signed up, but nobody else was giving up their seat. And so she just looked around and then walked out of the room. So here we have 35 people in this room and I'm sitting there just watching all this because some of my really close friends who I desperately wanted to be there had to leave because they didn't know how to sign up.
So I. I was just really touched by this experience because I felt like it showed me something. So the question I ended up bringing to the room was based on that. It's okay, here we have the quote unquote psychedelic space. How do we ensure there's room for everybody at the table in a good way?
Because is it to someone's benefit because they even knew how to sign up? People who didn't sign up They didn't even know there was an option of signing up. So why didn't they get a seat? To me Represented the symbolism of what we're trying to do right now create a space for everyone at the table in a good way And so Maria, in the interview process for the work we were going to do, she was, kept prodding at me to really get at it.
And I started talking power and this, and then I said, okay, she's I'm not sure we're quite touching. And I said, okay, fine. How do we create space for everyone at the table in a good way? When money is in the room, everyone got quiet. And so as a facilitator, she was like, ah, she was sensing the room that something happened.
And. That's where we went from. And so in a constellation, you set things up as a physical living map in the room. And so we just started by someone who represented the psychedelic field, someone who represented power, someone who represented money, and then we had a holding container.
And it was just quite interesting what ended up happening. After an hour and a half, we brought in all sorts of different elements. Someone from the outside circle started really having a big experience. They ended up needing to come in as the excluded.
And Marie ended up having to put six other representatives. So we ended up having seven women representing the excluded. We had money. We had where money comes from, like the shadow elements of money, as well as the beauty and the flow of money. And it just kept building and building.
And what I saw was that in this constellation, it showed me that here is the psychedelic field, which ended up being this really lovely man. He was looking to money with a bit of naivete and being like, Oh no, I'm sure we could work together. And he wasn't quite And
I'm sure I can do something to help. And it was this Perspective of seeing how what's going on in the psychedelic field right now is happening in a context where we have a history of money that has exploited. Where did the money come from? We also have the future of money, which happened to be a woman who I knew, but the rest of the room I don't think knew was pregnant.
So for me, she symbolized not only the future or other elements of money, but also like holding the future of money within her that there actually is maybe a new way of doing this, but also excluded were there and the older the further along the line of this seven generations of excluded the women were getting.
Had a bit more anger in their system. And we also noted they're all white women and that we were obviously also talking about race. And what was also quite interesting in this constellation I was just noticing funny. We didn't bring any of the medicines in. And then suddenly in it, which sometimes happens, one of the witnessing circle, this woman started having a big experience and I didn't quite hear what she said, but it was something like, I am everything that's underground Maria looks at me.
She's she's the mushrooms. So she brings her into the circle. And at this point we'd had, power, which originally I thought was like, the man, power was actually power, like all power. And what happened was. The mushroom's wisdom and power ended up forming this kind of triad right in the center of everything.
And in a constellation, what we're working to do in any systemic intervention, we're trying to find everything to get it in its right place, which means that you have to acknowledge systemic orders like time, belonging. Place in exchange. And so what ended up having to happen was the psychedelic field.
We had to bring in some resources because this guy was this was all way bigger than him, so we brought in several resources for him. And then he needed to look at the mushroom in and say, you were here first. I came second. I came after. And the mushroom was, he also says you were, the mushroom was like, you were the oldest knowledge.
You were the original knowledge, and then everything started to settle and we actually didn't get anywhere near to any place of resolution or completion. But I was particularly struck by how. It was the mushrooms that came in. There was a moment where Maria looked at me and said, Oh, should we bring in other medicines?
And it was clear. No, that the mushroom was the original source of knowledge, and that things started to get a bit more into a flowing place or a bit more strengthened, especially for the psychedelic field of the person representing that when he was able, when he really acknowledged. The ancestor mushroom, and came into the right place.
And what this constellation showed me on one level, it was extraordinarily humbling, I have to say, to actually hold a question for the whole community. Because what I ended up seeing in front of me through this kind of work was there's a storm inside of me that has all of those components.
And I got to see 35 other people. Who in an embodied way, witnessed it and felt it from whatever place, like we had greed show up, love was in the room. And I got to see, how some of these issues that are really impacting the psychedelic field, the space. Where money's come from, the potential future of money the exclusion, the wisdom of the mushrooms that, that we're operating in a much bigger ecosystem and that, of course, the psychedelic field didn't create the problems with money, but it's operating in relation to that history, whether or not It created a, and we can argue about whether it's perpetuating some of that now or not.
And so I guess, I'm just really grateful to be able to share this. I'm grateful for Maria for holding that space and for breaking convention for allowing us to do that. Cause it, it helped me relax a bit to see, okay, other people saw what I saw that day. And the amazing part about this work is we don't debrief it.
It goes out alive in each of us and all the people in that room had an experience of something which to me was really Seeing something from a bit of a broader perspective and not just focusing, any one element Yeah, just an example to yeah, I think maybe show rather than tell What the power of looking at things from a different angle
[00:17:12] Pascal: can be That's beautiful.
And, those 35 people are also connected to the, I think, 1200 people around the space, which are not actually physically present, but present in their energy. And it's beautiful to approach things that way. And it really illustrates so well how psychedelics are, yes, about personal healing and transformation or, activation of the consciousness and all those type of things.
But it's also helping us reframe systemic global universal challenges that we face as humanity. And so the opportunity is really there to widen the lens and open up the aperture to something much greater than ourselves. And that's what that type of process allows us to do. And I think a lot of us at some level tapped into that high level consciousness, but we don't necessarily attune to it as much as we could if we just.
Sat down with the intention of I'm going to tune into the collective field around me or even my family or my teammates on a team. And you talk about awareness based thinking which I'd love for you to help us understand what that means. You're talking about it with that breaking convention exercises thinking beyond our mind and attuning more to awareness.
And how do you leverage that in your life?
[00:18:23] Andrea: Yeah, I think it's an ongoing learning, we all know that sometimes we sense things in different parts of our body and really separating it maybe between intuition and instinct. So it's like, how do we develop a skill of being aware of what's happening in our bodies?
I think is the first place to start. So somatically, our bodies are often way ahead from our minds, and so it's Oh, I feel a little bit off what's going on there. So getting people really into the bodies, but also sensing as a group. So I'm particularly interested in how we're moving into a time.
Some people say about group consciousness, not individual consciousness. And so some of these ways of thinking or ways of thinking together are about how do we tap into the collective knowledge of people that have ever been in a group space in a psychedelic ceremony or an ayahuasca ceremony, sometimes things happen.
And there's spaces where you're like, say, thinking about water and the power of water. And then you hear somebody across the room, say the word water, or getting into these other spaces. So we know they exist. So how do we actually just attune ourselves to that within groups? And thinking about how teams work or how organizations work.
I'm particularly interested in practices that can support us to think. In generative ways as a group. So I've also trained in dialogue facilitation. That's another way that I've gone about things. It's a bit more through. How do you construct meaning and sense making through dialogue?
Not through debate. How do we get into more somatic practices? How do we work with things like systemic constellations or breath work or group meditation where you're actually meditating on a common thing? And our ancestors knew this, more animist cultures knew this, they know this today.
It's actually just a process of remembering and for me, it's an ongoing practice. I'm by far, I'm not there yet, but it's really working with the intelligence of our system. Through dreams, how do dreams support us? There's many indigenous people, particularly in parts of Ecuador, like the Zapata people who get up at four in the morning drink guayusa and share their dreams because the dreams belong to the community.
And they make decisions based on that. So there's a lot of different ways in, and it doesn't need to be extraordinarily woo or inaccessible or not fit with different ways of working. I think it's really about getting back into sensing ways of knowing and validating that, you know, and seeing it as valuable as ideas based
[00:20:54] Pascal: thinking.
And what I'm hearing through what you're sharing is and it's interesting because a lot of this is happening in the backdrop of urgent social issues that we need to look at very seriously. And at the same time, it's asking us to go through a process of unlearning of. Really leveraging the mind and the 1 to 1 relationship we have of ourselves.
And instead of asking our brain and asking our immediate surroundings is asking the system itself what it needs. So in a way, it's very counterintuitive to operate that way for a lot of people.
It is a process of unlearning, isn't it?
[00:21:30] Andrea: Absolutely. I'm in a big shift because I've put down a lot of my thinking based work and people are now reengaging with me like, will you help this? And I was like, yeah, I'll help, but it's going to look really different.
We're probably going to put pieces of paper on the floor. We're going to map it out. We're going to stand on them and see what the field has to say, because it through our bodies and our connecting into this kind of quantum field, whatever we might call it, we'll actually get. More information, about what the interrelationship is between different elements.
And I think that's the real key. I've talked about this with Brown's plant medicines before. It's great example. From my, when I was working with ICEERS, my dear colleague, Rickard Fowda went to Gabon and we were doing this work looking at biocultural conservation of Iboga.
And we'd been asking a question internationally to lots of different people through this big engagement project, what's your ideal vision for Iboga? I love questions like this that have us dream into the future. And then he brought the question to Gabon, to some traditional Bhuti practitioners, and they just look at him what do you mean?
And what I came to understand what was happening in there is he'd walked into a restaurant. Or something quite complex and ask somebody to tell them about the chair, and that this is a complex system of health. This is a complex system of knowing a complex spiritual system that incorporates spirit and, plant matter and, Music and dance and community.
And he went to talk to them, asked about one item of that, where if you actually took out the chair, the whole restaurant was still there. Maybe you'd have to sit on the floor, but it was really a wake up call for me of what I was seeing in this psychedelic space is that we get fixated on the molecules, the plants, the mushrooms.
Rather than understanding the complex systems, the complex ways of knowing the complex ways that these medicines work, which is quite relational .We're so focused on that one piece that we weren't seeing the whole. And so I think, finding ways that help us to see the whole that help us see problems as symptoms that are showing us what needs to be on block so that things can flow.
It feels to me like a different way of thinking, but if I look around, there's all sorts of different traditional communities and peoples that have, they continue to think in this way. And I think we have absolute capacity for it, but in the psychedelic space, if I was to encourage more systemic thinking, part of that is, removing this.
This absolute fixation on understanding what a molecule does in the brain. Not that it's not interesting or valuable, but that there's a lots of other, there's a lot of other elements to how things work. That it's really important to think about not just the chair.
[00:24:21] Pascal: Yeah, not just the chair, the whole restaurant and beyond.
You mentioned flow a couple of times now and it when I think of flow for me, for example, I think of non friction or I think of energy flow in terms of smoothness or clarity and love as well. And for people who are want to practicing and learn more about systemic thinking, can you tell us more about flow?
Cause it seems like that's the. The glue or the gel that connects the relationships. That's the ideal state that we have is that there's flow between the relationships. Can you tell us a bit more? Is it about attuning energetically and from the heart feeling that there's flow or?
[00:24:59] Andrea: Yeah, I guess it's so it's, yeah, it's very different than I know people are also talking about how to get into a flow state with your work and that's not quite what we're talking about. Systemic constellations also called family constellations were really brought, as a deep way of knowing.
And that was taught by a guy, a man named Bert Hellinger. And he looked at different orders, ordering forces within systems that enable the health of the system. And one of the things, because he was working with family systems and he, some people will say, That he, because he worked in Africa as a missionary and with the Zulu people, and while he was with them, from what I understand, he started seeing this kind of deep connection to the ancestor realms.
And so some of this work particularly if you're looking at family systems is looking at, how well does the life force from our ancestors flow through that family system into us and into our lives? So it's really our lives did not do not only exist in the present. There's this whole.
He passed of all these different relatives who had to survive what they survived in order for us to even be here. Life flowed through, but what happens in systems, and we can translate this over to organizations, which I can do in a moment. So he was looking for, like, where are their entanglements?
Like, where are there? Where's their blocks of flow? Because the system itself. Just wants wholeness to exist. So it could be, through a family constellation, you might recognize that, two generations ago, something occurred with one of your ancestors that you're repeating as a pattern in your life now, because the system wanting wholeness.
And so in, in family constellations to return the flow of love and life in the system, we would actually go to that place and then include it because what's excluded is often what's creating blockages in a system. And yeah, Ed Roland, another one of my teachers, he's a great example, and I think this is really relevant for organizations of what he calls the ejector seat in an organization.
So somehow, maybe you've worked somewhere where there's one role in the organization. You can never keep somebody in it. So it's the finance director, it's like person after person. They just get ejected out of that seat. So this more systemic thing. Perspective would be like, what happened there?
And there's sometimes stories or stories that we just don't tell. Someone's just walked out the door, but the emotion stays in the system. And because the system is looking for wholeness, it's actually holding that in that place so that until it gets included. And so it's quite simple.
Actually, the way to fix it is you actually just include it. Oh, so and three finance directors back, he was fired, walked out of the office, et cetera, et cetera. And just by even including it and acknowledging it and giving it a place in the system, you actually will return flow to that.
It's like telling the story of what happened in the system in an organization. And suddenly people can actually take on that role. So we're really looking at, what's been excluded? What are we not talking about? It's like the elephant in the room, you actually want to bring it into the room and simply by acknowledging that you can actually bring flow back into the system.
And so this perspective really. One, I think one of the key orders that's talked about is belonging. That everyone belongs to a system. You can't unbe belong to your family system. You cannot talk to anyone in your family, but you still were born into that family. But even when within organizations, we bring our sense of belonging that we've experienced in our families into the organizations that we work with and that we work in.
And we'll reproduce things there and we're always looking for. What are the underlying rules here that will make me not belong? And so attending to who came first into the system, attending to belonging into attending to the principle of the order of exchange, who gave what, who receives what, and not needing to be in balance.
That when we attend to these main organizing principles within the system then flow can happen. And you bring energy. So we're always looking like, where's energy blocked and how do we actually attend to some of these things so that we bring more energy in?
[00:29:18] Pascal: Thank you. I love it. It's really interesting. It shows us that none of us are in an island. On an island by ourselves and organizations are the same. I have a lot of hope and optimism around the psychedelic space and specifically around organizations and the potential for us to break the silos and attune more to the wider field and really engage into deeper empathy and collaboration with other organizations.
And, you said, and that's what we've been talking about is like a sense and respond kind of way of operating in the world, rather than always thinking and planning and compartmentalizing everything. It's more of a evolutionary purpose type of engagement with the world that is really more around listening and organically feeling how to navigate the world.
We need to adapt and resource back to the system from the juicy margins to feed back knowledge into it. I'd love for you to talk more about what that means to you.
[00:30:15] Andrea: Ali Beiner had done an interview with Paul Stamets and Paul Stamets in this interview talked about how mushrooms, I thought it was really fascinating. So mycelial network, it's the places where they're disrupted on the margins. Something cuts. them up or they encounter a difficulty, et cetera, that's where the greatest knowledge happens, cause that part of, the place of disruption, say there's a new food introduced or something, a new predator or something that part of the mycelial network will then learn.
And adapt and feed that knowledge back into the whole mycelial network that then gets to learn about it. And what I really took from that is also, looking at the societies that we're living in right now, where there's a lot of folks on the margin, I think, thinking about, people of color so BIPOC communities, queer communities, indigenous communities that have really been facing the margins in these places, the high sites of high disruption.
What can we learn from? those sites, not going and trying to take the knowledge, but really respecting that people who've been in spaces of disruption, refugees people who faced climate collapse, that those are extraordinary sources of knowledge and information for adaptation that we really need to listen to.
And so that interview really impacted me. Also has me thinking about, psychedelics as much as they can be. Supporting us to come into a different way of feeling and sensing the world into understanding things in a different way, maybe having experiences of unity.
They're also disruptive in that, they're disrupting how we are in ways of knowing, some people say, how can you call psychedelics safe? They disrupt. Our ways of thinking or even our understanding of what matter is and if we can see these sites of disruption as yeah as knowledge on how to adapt and.
Emergence, it's like, how do you adapt and see what wants to emerge and really listening to the people who've had those experience and creating space for that is something that I'm finding quite interesting right now, as we, ponder really huge. Huge social issues, like we're living in very complex times of change, and somehow I remain extraordinarily hopeful.
[00:32:34] Pascal: Yes, I am too. I trust in the human potential and I see us navigating these difficult times. In a beautiful way, and as well for me in terms of relationship to social issues is the non attachment to things ever being quote unquote good, because that's not what chaotic systems like the universe are always have to be in order.
There's no guarantee that's going to be the case. And I find a lot of peace and yes, trusting the process and hoping for the best and also surrendering to the fact that we don't really control a whole lot of anything except for our daily. Everyday actions and that is ground for change. And I love that you bring in the edges for an organization, for society and for people as well as a source of really impactful growth.
There's a beautiful elder here called Duncan Grady here. He's a Blackfeet elder talks. And he talks about turning and embracing towards, instead of. Facing away from things, it's turning and embracing them. And so much of what you thought so far today's around embracing different perspectives, embracing the intuitive field, embracing the different attunements that we receive when we tap in outside of the mind.
Can you talk a little bit more about that, that turning and embracing? Because our relationship to those edges are filled with strife sometimes and challenges, and that's when the going gets tough, right? It's when we face those edges and yet it's the source of sometimes the greatest wisdom we can receive.
[00:34:03] Andrea: Great question.
It may be the 1st thing that comes to mind. Pascal is I remember reading some of the accounts of some of this, clinical trials of psychedelics, and how they always say, if you see the monster, don't turn and run, actually ask, what are you doing here? And I think that's that prompting of people within their journey to actually look and face to face something.
I think it's incredibly powerful. And so how do we do that right now? And I feel like As we've been speaking, I'm very aware of my extraordinary privilege. I think there's a lot of people facing really difficult times, from different climate related issues, poverty, refugees, war, so you can just sit here and talk about these things.
It's incredibly privileged. And so not wanting to, yeah, to pretend it's that, in my hopeful state of the kinds of things we're going through right now, that there's some people, extraordinarily hard to face into, to what's happening. And it's a day to day yeah, it's day to day survival yet.
There's also, the part of me that's also here, which is thinking, okay. I've been looking at a lot of different theories of how change can happen, and that there's often this kind of group of visionaries who are dreaming the new world into being as we head there and, this is really exciting to me and interesting.
And then there's people who are, trying to hold the system. That is collapsing at the same time. And, there's kind of entrepreneurial folks who are going to try a bunch of different things, and so I think we all have our place and that from where we stand, it's like, how can I best face into what we're experiencing as humankind right now, in the best way that I can, you know, which is maybe looking around me and be like, how do I support by.
Biodiversity, where I live, how do I lend my support to different issues and also think about how we respond to these big waves that are coming through right now. And I think it is about facing it. I did have, I had a journey once with medicine and it was a difficult one. It basically, what I came out with, I need to actually do more witnessing.
And that I, I don't really look at much of the news. I have a bit of a sense of what's going on, but that I actually needed to need to look and I need to watch and I need to witness. And so I think that element of opening, opening our eyes to seeing what's happening and it touches into not turning away, and seeing that I need to witness what's going on and I need to be present.
As much as I can to what's happening,
[00:36:40] Pascal: which is part of the attunement to the field is actually looking at what's on the peripheries and enriching our own perspectives with those of others.
[00:36:50] Andrea: Yeah. And this, the training that I'm well into right now doing the systemic constellation work, the number one training I'm receiving is complete acceptance of what is, and even standing by the part of the system where the perpetrator is standing because what's there that needs to be included, what's there that we don't want to look at, what healing needs to happen there and really accepting it all or seeing it all except, I think it's an incredible, Yeah.
important part of taking stock of what's happening now so that we can really turn towards the future and really harness the energy of the system to, bring about positive change, and I think something that's important for me to touch on, too, if we think about the psychedelic space, I think one of those that, threads into a bit of what we've been talking about is that the hyper focus on the individual is very much there and it is a bit troubling to me.
It makes sense within our system that we're in within the current Western cultures. And of course as we pull these kind of ancient technologies into existing systems that are very much focused on the individual I get concerned, I think, of course, people need individual support and therapy, but I'm also very curious about opening a bigger space for understanding the collective and group processes within the psychedelic space.
If I dream the future into being, one of the. Things I think would be really interesting is moving to spaces where we actually hold group intention In medicine circles in psychedelic spaces rather than just individual intention, you know what can we open to if we ask a?
question that is for The greater good than just ourselves, what is my community need to do to X, or how can we be in better support of flourishing life on this planet? What are the medicines asking for from us? I think some of these bigger questions, if we actually all dedicated our journeying time and our space of exploration with these very sacred medicines to actually.
come back with knowledge that we then weave together that then belongs to the group. It's something I'm quite interested in, come back to this piece around, around group consciousness and what the true potential is, I think, for the psychedelic space is really to hold Yeah, hold space for more than just the individual healing.
Not that's unimportant because, of course, people, are struggling and are looking for support in a lot of places, but really returning to this more holistic perspective of, like maybe that, I'm looking at a beautiful tree out the window here right now. What role does that tree have in my day to day life and in a ceremony.
So how do we connect more with nature? How do we do yeah how can the psychedelic integration into Western culture incorporate some more of these components such as, community and group intention?
[00:39:55] Pascal: Yeah, beautiful. And I love that idea so much. And it's not, it's a new idea. It's been done for many thousands of years before, and Some of us starting to rediscover our connection, our collective power, really to dream together and build together and collaborate together and go beyond the self and to creating something that's beyond the sum of all parts.
And so I think that's a beautiful to me, it's at the core of rewiring and reframing. A lot of our systems is opening up to the larger whole and so much of that has been shown to us by indigenous communities already and how they dream as a community, they share as a community, the language that they even have reflect different relationships that, for example,, we have different words for different things that for them to be like, I don't know what that means, because the way the language relationship is already wired into this collective way of seeing the world.
And I love that you're bringing Sort of disintention around more group therapy and, not that individualized therapy is not useful, but something that allows us to connect together and really tap into this collective that a lot of times, like our systems, I feel in general are very suppressive of that collective intelligence.
The media and everything that we consume on an everyday level oftentimes talks about individualized needs, individualized wants, individualized projects, individualized missions. A lot of it is driven by that narrative. And so when you talk about this and you take a training around that's really helping rewire the system and in a very real way.
What are some ways that you feel like. Are good processes and ways for example facilitators, or maybe people doing integration work right now, or people hosting retreats that they can weave in more of that group consciousness therapy modality.
[00:41:37] Andrea: I feel it starts with them.
And how they're working together to begin with. I think it's really starting in the foundation. If I were to pull the group of people together, support a group of people that were forming some kind of collective project, I would say, start there. If in the foundation of how they work together, they're actually engaging with the people that they're working with to harness ideas together to do group meditation, group breath work.
But with the idea that, maybe a piece of what I learned in that meditation or the, something I come back from the dream world with, is. And if we put it in the middle and we make sense of it together with whatever you captured and caught then, we're starting to weave together this idea that my brain is actually not, my consciousness is not an entity onto its own, that it's actually connecting in with all of the world around me.
[00:42:38] Pascal: So my brain is really disappointed to hear that. Now my brain is no, I want to be the only one.
[00:42:44] Andrea: Exactly. I, for me, it's like, how are we even doing this work? And so within, the psychedelic field and spaces, I'm really curious of the folks who are doing these startups and different projects, are you sitting in?
Either ceremony together or group meditation. I, and I keep saying meditation because I don't think that everything needs to involve psychedelics. I'll be really clear about that. I'm not encouraging anyone to take anything. Of course, if that's your modality, you might want to really make sure you're connecting in as a group with medicines you're working with, but for the intention of the group, not just for oneself, but I think there's different methods that we can.
Work within teams to actually start building within to the structures of organizations that we're sitting together as acknowledging that there's a group here, that there's us and there's a group, and then there's all the systems we each belong to. I saw this image recently of a peacock, it's if you think of the peacock, a male peacock with its feathers right out, and each one of those is one of the systems that we are a part of, we actually are bringing that.
All into whatever group we're a part of. And so for me, I think, it would really start with the people who are doing the work. So we can only practice, we can only teach or hold space for what we know in ourselves. So I really believe that. So that's where I would start. And I think it just would shift things.
And for organizations, I'm really excited about the organizations of the future. I feel like in the psychedelic space, my hope has always been that there is a kind of innovation and openness to doing things differently. And so just really encouraging folks to feel into that and to. Explore how to build teams together, how to work as organizations in a new way or in a new old way.
Because, some of, some of what I've learned, I was really lucky to work with an indigenous led organization in Columbia called Umiak. And I went to their territories in 2019 and the meetings we had were in a ceremonial space and people talked to each other and it was really, eye opening and I don't think I understood very much at all, but I understood a tiny bit about what it looked like to live in a collective community and to bring things together more collectively. And so it's, that's been, an inspiration to me. And part of what gives me hope is that, there are, yeah, it's sitting around a campfire is age old technology, let's get to it.
[00:45:18] Pascal: Yeah, it reminds me of Frederic Lallou's beautiful work in reinventing organizations around the TEAL model of evolutionary purpose driven organizations, which are all about self management and conscious leadership. And I'll put a link in in the notes around that book and specifically how it really gives us a map of what a potential.
More conscious organization and cycle or any other industry could look like. And I am really also really excited about that. And ultimately, to me, it means looking at nature and the systems in nature to really help us, to inspire us and to really educate us on how a harmonious multi relationship organization can look and feel and operate from.
And this brings me to leadership. So for organizations in the space that are looking at doing this or are people in general interested in doing this that have leadership positions or are part of teams that want to they want to bring this into their organization. Of course, leadership often reflects the, the organizational from an external and internal perspective.
And so what are, what do you see in terms of leadership when navigating systemic perspectives and more collective consciousness?
[00:46:31] Andrea: What I've really. Learned is that as a leader, we bring our family systems in with us. And that's been really fascinating for me to dig into, how we felt in our family systems comes with us everywhere, and I think, we have to think of those different levels, like there's the personal, what we bring in personal thinking of the team, thinking of the organization.
So there's these different layers. So I think as a leader, I think.
Practices that can help with sensing, and seeing the whole organization. So working with people, there's lots of systemic coaches out there that can bring these kinds of practices into organizations. And so really thinking about how do we feel into what's happening within the organization from different places, and understanding organizations as evolving as alive as emergent.
And. Being curious. I think that's the biggest thing is being willing to see what's happening around us as leaders. And so I particularly like working with leaders because I have a real passion for supporting people who can have, who are going to, if they're successful in, really finding their ground.
And seeing things differently and sensing into things differently, that they have quite a broad impact on the organizations that they're leading. So I think recognizing that how we are internally creates waves and we bring it into the organizations, particularly as leaders. And so I think finding ways to, to have that kind of support to see the organization systemically, and also to be understand that there, that our inner.
State as leaders impacts the organization. So if we're confused, the organization's going to feel the confusion. If we're, having, it's like one of my teachers was saying that, her bookkeeper who doesn't know anything about her life can tell when she's doing well or not because her business.
It's doing a lot better when she's not having as many difficulties in her personal lives. And so I think, acknowledging that and then, just creating networks of mutual support, I think anyone can lead from everywhere in the organization, and finding that kind of alignment.
The other piece that's been really expiry date.
Having people around us who will tell us, and that's something that's a way of wording that this teacher, Yannick of Stamm, I recently did a workshop with, because he's closing this teaching part of his life, and he said that, and so I've been doing a lot of reflection on endings, that beginnings matter, endings matter.
And how we leave a system, which we can, if it's not our family, we can actually leave an organization. There's a lot of energy in a meeting and in an ending. And so really thinking through as a leader, I think, if you focused on just a few things, it's like, how do people enter into the system?
How do we tell them the story of what's come before? How do we attend to the different elements of belonging within the organization? How do people feel? How do we have conversations about that? And also what happens when somebody leaves? How do we tend to that in a really good way that acknowledges them for what they've contributed?
That really doesn't, is conscious of just not to someone just is just gone, or that it's just really awkward. So I think, Thinking about a few of those elements I find are really important, beginnings, endings, belonging or I think a few touchstones that leaders in organizations can contend to in order to create healthier organizations.
[00:50:13] Pascal: Yeah. Beautiful. And I can share personally like being a co founder of Nectar, like how much, the business side, if you want to call it the organizational side of Nectar is like. So intertwined with my personal story and my personal life and my own trauma and my own stories and my own, sensitive points and my relationship to my dad and my mom and my friends and like every day, like everything I'm doing is coming through that lens.
And I like to practice a lot of attunement into what's happening. And of course, sometimes the awareness doesn't quite catch on to something. So I have a support team, including my partner Elaine, who will tell me like. You're not operating from the right space right now, or maybe this is not the right decision, or maybe, this is coming up for you.
And so I find that essential for leaders to really have a deep support team and really having that that question of, where am I leading from right now? Is it from a place of dysregulation or a place of hurt or a place of et cetera? And I find a lot of potential for that for growing for organizations is that having that cycle of feedback or the cycle of support, a cycle of attunement and having the practices like you shared just now around tapping into the collective.
And I have two more questions and one of them is related to this last one, which is as a person who's really. Tuned into those ideas, like how do you personally leverage these ideas in your day to day life?
[00:51:39] Andrea: Great question. Practices. Yeah, I think, strong yoga practice movement being in nature and sometimes those just feel like parts of my day until I don't actually have enough time for them. And then I noticed I start to get tired. I think that's really important.
And then, different kinds of ritual practices. I've spent a bit of time the last few years in the UK and what I loved about the communities here is that there's. Really growing land based. spiritual practices like doing land offerings, drumming, being with other people reviving, different Celtic traditions, which, some of my ancestry.
So attending to my ancestry and learning about What happened in my family where there might have been people that were forgotten. It's been a big part of what I've been working through recently. It's a way to see if I can actually feel more ancestral energy coming to me. I'm just learning where did I come from.
Where my people from, one of the greatest gifts, I think, of, some of these medicines that don't come from where I'm from, that I, that have been a part of my life is they've woken me up to thinking about my own lineage, the land I'm on, connecting with the land every day, those have become really important practices that keep me grounded and here in the here and now and having, I have mentors.
I think that's also incredibly important people who've seen me over a period of time. So I think between kind of body based practice, being, eating healthy, thinking about where my food comes from, and then having mentors and people around me and different communities. It's definitely what helps me, bring energy to the work that I'm doing, and I'm one of those lifelong learners.
I love a good workshop and places to think and evolve. And so I'm in work in progress at the moment because I've, really moving out of really being inside organizations and helping run them and wanting to be more and more in this. Mentoring and consulting space so that I can come in and offer that kind of support, which I'm noticing really that one of the biggest commitments I have to myself is that when I do deep work with, for myself or with learning or with different groups.
That I actually need to write in integration time and take it and take days of rest. And that is not, it's easy, easily said than done because I just want to just keep moving. But I think that's really something that's become very important in terms of how I'm able to, yeah, just have the energy to keep up with these things.
[00:54:23] Pascal: Thank you for sharing. And I've heard this for, from multiple people now around this idea of grounding and slowness and resting and how that's just an essential piece of any. System right and for us to move into the system in a good way and healthy ways to ground and rest and slow ourselves down a lot more than we're used to.
And so I, thanks for bringing that in. And I have 1 last question, which is a really big 1, but I really invite you to bring in your inspiration cap here. And I'm going to ask you, what's your greatest wish? For the space or even society in general for the next 50 years.
[00:55:02] Andrea: Wow, I'm going to sit with that for a minute.
So as I sit quietly, I actually am hearing Birdsong really strongly outside the window here. And when I hear songbirds, there's a... It's both really beautiful and then there's this kind of shadow side that comes in and I'm like, oh gosh, what happens when the birds are gone? And so I think for me, biological and cultural diversity has really come into my awareness as being a really critical An important part of our path forward, and there's a really great organization that works internationally that I worked with for a while.
It's called flourishing diversity, and that's really their focus is this biocultural conservation, as well as the indigenous medicine conservation fund that I was part of. And yeah, in my heart of hearts, as I look at this big oak tree out the window and I hear the birds, it's really that we are able to As much as we can with our capacities, some people live in cities and apartments and have to work long hours, but that we can really start to see how being part of a really diverse ecosystem brings so much health and benefit to all of us.
And so where we can to play a role in contributing to the preservation of biological and cultural diversity, and then just really celebrating it and finding ways to merge in. And I hope 50 years from now that this question that we are. Touching on today. Am I an individual or am I part of everything that we're actually not asking that question anymore that we've reconnected with a way of knowing that just knows that we're not alone, that yes, we are in these kind of human bodies.
So we have this individuality, but that we're very much connected in and that we can both contribute to and source intelligence and knowledge from all of the seen and unseen world around us. So that would be my greatest hope of where we're going as a society, as a people, as a, as part of Gaia.
[00:57:31] Pascal: That's beautiful. And I'm going to tune in after the. this podcast recording to send a prayer so that everyone in the world can receive a little touch of energy around that idea. I think it's a very essential one. So important. And thank you for bringing that up. And if you're listening to this right now, please go outside and connect with a tree or birds, or just sit around and look and witness the beauty and all the relationships that are.
Just around you in that moment. It's a beautiful thing to witness and how recharging and restful it can be. And I'll be doing the same thing. Andrea, thank you so much. That was lovely. You're brilliant mind, brilliant heart. Thank you so much for sharing and doing this work and looking forward to connecting again and, having you as a consultant and all sorts of things, because I think you bring a lot of really deep attunement and wisdom to things that are so important to look at.
Thank you so much. Really appreciate
[00:58:21] Andrea: it. Thank you, Pascal and a enlightening conversation. I love how it's float and weave between us and hopefully people can take some inspiration if they like it, leave the rest and just, yeah, really grateful to be a part of the weaving that's happening within the psychedelic space at this moment in
[00:58:41] Pascal: time.
Thank you. Have a lovely day with the birds.