Updated: Mar 3
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Women On Psychedelics (WOOP). Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.
Somebody wise once said: “perfection is the enemy of success.”
For so many women, this quip feels heavy and all too familiar. Our inner mean girl is the backtrack to struggles at work, in relationships, in goal setting, and most importantly, in our self-image. We’re losing sleep, barely able to function during the day, listening to our negative judgments, and “I Shoulds” on AirPlay.
We find ourselves musing: if only we had handled that meeting with a little more tact. Or, if we had found the time (somehow?!) to better develop that proposal, we’d have landed more clients, or gained more “Likes”. We could’ve done more, better, faster.
Then maybe finally, I’d be good enough.
We think about our partner/s or prospective partner/s and question ourselves – if we had done X or not done X – they wouldn’t have pulled away. Maybe we would’ve had that difficult conversation sooner and wouldn’t be feeling all kinds of ways and inattentive to our kids. Perfect Paige would be having sushi and sex right about now.
Self-image slides into the Inner Critic’s ear like your homegirl’s DMs, and cruelly whispers that we should have gone to the gym last week or gone on that run – “maybe” and “why didn’t I” and “I should have”. The drowning dialogue in our pretty little heads robbing our ability to be present and dimming the light of our vitality.
This is the stealth mode of the Inner Critic. Veiled as perfectionism, whether she contrasts our work with an ideal perfectly depicted in her imagination or instead offers her vague scorn that “we should have done better”, she manipulates our brain’s ability to connect with the part of us that knows better. And, she can surround us with so much shame, fear, and doubt that we lose sense of ourselves in the anxiety and the noise.
Over years, the deep negative neural pathway of “I’m not good enough” is enough to bring the strongest of women to their knees.
We create masks and personas to wear, trying to protect our fragile and wounded inner child. We live inside restrictive shells made of harsh and impossible ideas of who we think we are, or should be. We compare ourselves on social media with endless and mindless scrolling and can’t even tell which voice or thought is our own anymore.
Underneath, our true spirit is left longing. Boss energy? Forget it.
And so, at our breaking point, primal instinct tells us to look for the truth directly in the face of our wounded and vulnerable selves. The last place we’ve thought to look, but the only space remaining we’ve yet to be fully present with. Who ARE we under all these masks? Under our possessions? Behind the psychological warfare we consume? What do we even want? How do we possibly align our true inner self to our external lives?
To answer these questions is to make it past the VIP gates of the Inner Critic.
On the path that led me to acknowledge my soul’s purpose as a Healer, I faced burnout and the crumbling of the high-achieving, type-A, corporate and socialite story I had built in comfortable illusion. I was suddenly incapacitated with crippling anxiety, the onset of severe health issues, and at the mercy of my own Inner Critic. I had been a walking disease of perfectionism in high heels.
I knew if I wanted to live, I needed to find a way to ground myself, stabilize my nervous system and evolve again; differently and authentic to my soul. With the Inner Critic firmly planted in our conscious and subconscious analysis, how do we move past her to heal the deeply connected child and sage she guards?
Drug averse, I resisted “plant medicines” at first. After exhausting every avenue modern medicine had to offer, my own healing journey led me to psilocybin research. In surrender, I was specifically led to cultivate a loving and reciprocal relationship with mushrooms, and to invite healing with psilocybin, their psychoactive compound, an agent which has been a part of healing rituals as old as time.
I began to undertake a deeply personal study with healers, teachers, and guides, while devouring everything coming out of academia, and mastered the art of thorough preparation and the power of intention. Psilocybin and experienced guides became allies in breaking through the red velvet roped gates of the Inner Critic.
What I found was the entire Universe:
Rooted deep in our womanhood, is an intimate relationship with chaos.
When in right relationship with the Self, the cyclical and ever-changing nature of life, expressed through the conduit of our bodies, is always benevolently teaching how to co-exist with our essence in this reality. Our natural abilities lead us to continually destruct and rebuild, to create a life truer to our inner self with each iteration, and to be guided by our true north.
To make peace with perfection was to befriend the Inner Critic.
Her voice changed as my relationship with her changed. Today, I help my clients transform their understanding of their Inner Critic and to call it forward as a dynamic tool; a voice of their intuition providing data, power, and opportunity for reflection. And learning, always.
Healing of this kind is grounded in exploration and experiencing the embodied wisdom of your own value and most of all, in your connectedness to everything in the entire Universe. You can become consciously aware of being a fractal piece of the many – unique and yet vitally essential – and restored of compassion in directing your destiny.
Since the ‘60s, psilocybin has been studied in the treatment of mental health conditions, despite the prolific War on Drugs in the USA. MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies founded in 1986, continues to collaborate with academic researchers and clinicians, publishing positive research supporting psychedelics and psychotherapy as a breakthrough therapy. Many volunteer participants in various studies around the world report back their experience as being among the five most personally meaningful and among the five most spiritually significant experiences of their lives1.
We are witnessing a modern re-affirmation of age-old wisdom.
With genuine soul-searching, research, and preparation to set the stage, and with an experienced healer present to guide the journey, psilocybin can offer a powerful opportunity to deepen the conversation with yourself.
To spit truth, to be a Real One, is to be in direct conversation with your intuitive wisdom beyond all protective masks of the Inner Critic. The shadow self can unleash and be met with full presence. Perfection is replaced with potential. These are core healing concepts I’ve experienced and now hold space for; feeling the mind, body, and spirit re-wire its understanding of itself in real-time.
In ancestral times, it was well-known and accepted that healers and elders would hold safe and sacred space for lived experience and for pain, witnessing and supporting the stories of those who came to heal with primal guidance. Plant medicine psychedelics are old medicines. The present and future are simply discovering and remembering the truths of the past.
We come with inner pain, life experiences, desires and we come with questions. So many questions. We come full of curiosity, with earnest and with humility. But above all, we come with intention. With intention, we can connect to our ancestral roots, be shown where we have come from, have revealed to us where we truly are, and know many potential futures, dimensions, and possibilities.
If we ask, and in a state of allowance, we can rewire the brain and experience healing that restores our innate power as women to move forward with the strength of our histories supporting us.
“There is nothing to find but yourself, and nowhere to go but home.”
Founder of Bloom Institute, the world’s first psychedelic space entirely for women and powered by women, Jennifer is also a master trained and certified akashic record consultant and healer, stewards spiritual mentorship and guidance for creative visionaries and impact entrepreneurs, and leads diversity initiatives through MAPS Canada and Diversiphy.
Advocating for the greatest possible potential within each of us, Jennifer walks women home to their self-worth.
Together with plant and herbal medicine allies, energy sensitivity, deep intuition, and a whole lot of LOVE; she guides healing and therapeutic experiences for modern-day life.