Kat Courtney – Ayahuasca’s Beautiful (And Brutal) Wisdom, The Missing Piece In Psychedelic Integration, The Benefits of Going To Prison, How To Stay Grounded In Ceremony And More (#4)

John Wood, Founder of Rageheart

by John Wood

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Kat Courtney, The Afterlife Coach and The Plant Medicine People

In late 2018, I had one of my first ayahuasca ceremonies and it blew me apart (in both good and bad ways). The ceremony itself was great but afterwards, I had a lot of trouble coming back to my day-to-day life. Bills? Rent? Work? What are these things again?

I remember feeling like I was in a boat and I couldn’t see the shore I’d departed from… but I also couldn’t see the other side of the lake yet. It was disorienting, uncomfortable and scary.

Around that time, I stumbled across Kat Courtney, a psychedelic integration coach who focuses on Ayahuasca.

While we only had 1 phone call, she gave me some great advice at the time and helped me make sense of my insane introduction to ayahuasca.

It’s now 4 years later and I’m doing better than I ever have – thanks to Ayahuasca, psychedelics and solid advice from people like Kat Courtney.

With that in mind, I invited her onto the The Rageheart Podcast to talk about all things psychedelics, going to prison, embodiment and more.


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In This Episode Of The Rageheart Podcast With Kat Courtney (The Afterlife Coach), You’ll Discover:

  • The beautiful, magical and even brutal wisdom of Ayahuasca (and how the worst moments often lead to the deepest and most profound healing)
  • The surprising benefits of going to prison (hint: freedom is an inside job)
  • How to actually calm your nervous system (as Kat says in this podcast, you can’t think your way to a calmer nervous system)
  • The missing piece in psychedelic integration (for me, this was the key to integrating the insights from my various ceremonies into my day-to-day life and yet, most people get it wrong)
  • How Kat stays “as grounded as the earth itself” (if you don’t feel calm and safe in yourself, how can you tell or teach someone else to feel calm and safe?)
  • Where to start with ayahuasca? Small, intimate group in someone’s living room? Big retreat in the jungles of South America? Somewhere else? (Here’s how Kat would decide if it was her)
  • Kat’s take on enlightenment (with 1,000+ ayahuasca ceremonies under her belt, I thought it would be interesting to hear her take on the topic of “enlightenment”… and I was not disappointed)

Links From The Episode:

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John Mcintyre (00:01.329)
All right. It’s John Wood here, the founder of Rage Art. I’m here with Tina Kat Courtney, the founder of Afterlife Coaching. She’s founded a retreat company down in Costa Rica, which we might get into today. She’s got some great stories. I met her a few years ago, two months after my, probably one of my first day Oscar experiences, which was very intense. And she helped me out. And now that I’m here doing a podcast, partly about psychedelics, I thought she’d be a really good person to get on and talk about her.

background and experience and the skills that she’s developed. So that’s what we’re here to talk about. Tina or Kat. I never know whether to call you Kat or Tina.

Kat (00:40.530)
Only my mother calls me Tina. Let’s go with cat.

John Mcintyre (00:43.585)
All right, Tina. Kat, man. Okay, Kat, how you doing? Good to have you.

Kat (00:48.517)
I’m awesome John, thanks for having me.

John Mcintyre (00:51.453)
Yeah, it’s cool to reconnect after three and a half something years. Yeah. Uh, because I met you right after I’d just been in Australia and, uh, I had this insane two Oscar ceremonies. It was incredibly blissful, but I came back from that and was now I’ve got to pay bills and live like a normal human life. And like, what do I, how do I do that? Like I could still do it, but the meeting and it’s just, everything was out of whack. And so we had a chat and then I think since then, you know, now I’m in Peru, so I’ve kind of got

John Mcintyre (01:19.469)
Been through a few more ceremonies, done a few more things. A little bit more experience these days. So, yeah, you’ve had a wild ride too.

Kat (01:29.054)
just keeps getting more wild. It really does. Yeah. Um, sometimes I started drinking medicine 20 years ago. Sometimes I think of that, that girl and like, don’t do it. Like, it’s gonna get so crazy, you know, like, but honestly, I love every minute of it, even when it’s wild.

John Mcintyre (01:46.189)
Yeah, me too. Like I talk to people when it’s like, I’ll be like, I just love this. I love this stuff. So I’m like all of them, eh, Oscar and Zimpedro and mushroom. They’re all amazing. But I mean, it can be some of the hardest shit ever at the same time as well. But on the other side of that, it’s incredible.

Kat (02:05.302)
Yeah, break down, break through, repeat. That’s what we do.

John Mcintyre (02:09.185)
But you, but you had a probably the more like, it feels a bit newsworthy at the moment you you’ve started a retreat company down in Costa Rica, you got a retreat company down there. And but you can’t go there right now because you’re in the States. You got a bit you got in a little bit of trouble.

Kat (02:25.546)
did. I did. Convicted felon. Yeah, I got in trouble for ayahuasca. Ironically, in a state in the US that is really progressive in terms of its relationships with sacred plants. It’s the first to decriminalize mushrooms, psychedelic mushrooms. But you know, the legal systems everywhere are very slow to adapt to the progressiveness that’s happening and very draconian. And so yeah, they threw me in jail and

John Mcintyre (02:37.133)
Thought that.

Kat (02:52.886)
had a four month legal process and got a year probation. So yeah, I did. I did, but that was awesome, John, because talk about a place to practice the principles that the medicines teach, liberation being an inside job, compassion for the people that are, I mean, really dark in their execution of authority. So I got three days in a space that made me walk the walk.

John Mcintyre (02:56.617)
You went to jail as well, wow.

John Mcintyre (03:07.938)

John Mcintyre (03:10.484)

Kat (03:21.662)
And I’m grateful. It was hard as hell, but I needed that. I needed to know that I could honor the principles the plants teach in kind of a worst case scenario, which jail kind of is. So yeah.

John Mcintyre (03:23.484)

John Mcintyre (03:33.197)
Yeah. Do you ever get the feeling that it was kind of because sometimes working with these plants, it can feel like things are being orchestrated in a certain way to create growth and things like that. Do you feel like the plants or something like that had a role to play in all of this?

Kat (03:49.630)
100%. And not just for my personal growth. I knew this was coming years and years ago. I could feel it, that it was part of my soul’s journey to walk through the legal system for my personal growth and also on behalf of being a messenger for ayahuasca in particular of educating the DA and the judge, judges and the people I encountered of like, this is not a hard drug from the streets. You’re not going to pick up a kid.

on the sidewalk tripping on ayahuasca, you know, but to get to educate them because most of them don’t have a clue. So yeah, this was like, it just felt destined. It really did.

John Mcintyre (04:26.781)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, I mean that feels like a good place to kind of like I’m thinking about the average person listening to this probably Hasn’t this isn’t specifically a psychedelic podcast. So the average person listening to this probably May may have heard of ayahuasca, but I’d say some people haven’t even heard of that. They’ve probably heard of mushrooms and LSD They’re more classic psychedelics But um ayahuasca like if they’ve heard things it’s probably what’s in the mainstream media as well. What what is ayahuasca to you? Why is it? What does it do? What’s? Yeah

Kat (04:57.282)
So the general description I have for Ayahuasca is an expansion of consciousness. I think it gets, she gets like erroneously described as a healer, like she can help us heal cancer and everything, you name it. But because this medicine has the ability to expand our consciousness in a way where we can see ourselves in an entirely different view, maybe understand something like why it is that we.

contracted cancer or I was diagnosed bipolar, I was bulimic. Like, it’s not that this medicine fixed me, it’s that it gave me an opportunity to understand why these things were happening to begin with and empowered me to be my own healer, to figure my way through those things. So that’s how I describe it. And it’s obviously a psychotropic brew from the jungle. And it’s two plants that come together to make this magical experience. If you work with the plants individually, it doesn’t happen.

which is fascinating too, that you need them in partnership. But that’s the basic definition of what iOS Gate is to me.

John Mcintyre (06:01.425)
Right, so it’s not the kind of thing you’re gonna be at like a nightclub on Friday night taking a Oscar or you know at the local house party or Yeah, I’m sure some people do but yeah Yeah, I mean yeah

Kat (06:08.534)
No sir. I’m not gonna. No, it’s not like that.

Kat (06:17.086)
No, because it’s shadow work. It’s an opportunity to go into parts of our psyches we’ve never experienced before, whether it’s internal, the personal psyche or external cosmic view. And although it can be fun, right, I’ve had some fun times, it’s genuinely work, like spiritual work. So it’s not a party drug. Nothing wrong with party drugs, by the way, but ayahuasca is not one.

John Mcintyre (06:27.415)

John Mcintyre (06:40.853)
Yeah, it doesn’t seem to work. It worked that way. The way I seem to… The way it seems to feel to me is…

like this and all of them, you know, mushrooms, to some degree, San Pedro, definitely. But it’s like they we’ve got all this stuff that we’re carrying from a long time ago in our body, mind, whatever we are. And was usually a barrier between what’s conscious and what’s not that’s pretty sturdy and take some pretty serious therapy or journaling or like a lot of work to get through it. Or you can drink some ayahuasca with someone who’s safe and who knows what they’re doing. And that wall will start to dissolve. And then it’s like we can start to work with things that

John Mcintyre (07:16.419)
very, very difficult to make contact with. And you’re talking about like they can be behind things like anxiety or depression or bipolar, but even physical things like cancer.

Kat (07:27.146)
Exactly. I mean, it’s a beautiful way to describe it. That wall that maybe 30 years of meditation can break through, you know, a lot of talk therapy. Ayahuasca is like, there’s your wall. It’s nothing to her. So that’s, that’s what makes her so powerful. It’s also what makes her a bit dangerous. I’ll use that word for people that maybe aren’t ready for that wall to come down. Like it’s not for everyone to go the fast track in that way.

John Mcintyre (07:57.309)
Why when you say dangerous, what what kind of danger are you talking about?

Kat (08:02.022)
Mainly from a emotional and mental perspective. Physically, she’s really not dangerous, even though it can be intense physically. Meaning, you know, people have psychotic breaks on or after the medicine. Because a lot of us in the Western world, we don’t have a lot of tools around feeling our emotions, around knowing it’s safe to process something like rage, trauma that’s happened to us. And if we don’t have a few of those tools going in to work with ayahuasca, it can feel super traumatic of like.

Kat (08:32.738)
how do I feel all my feelings? Because it’s not a mental experience at all. That’s where most of us are very comfortable. So that’s what I mean by dangerous, just in terms of it could get worse before it gets better when you work with ayahuasca, because she might peel back some layers of trauma and we get to work with that before it’s actually released. So it’s good to have a few tools and an awareness that the only way out of our suffering is to feel our emotions.

John Mcintyre (09:00.345)
Uh huh. Yeah. I mean, that’s why, that’s why I ended up partly why I started Rage Heart was three years ago, a couple of years after we first met was I discovered this lady was teaching somatic, somatic stuff, how to work with the nervous system, the fight and flight response. And I swear within two weeks.

John Mcintyre (09:19.753)
I felt like I’d made more progress than 10 years of meditation and all these other random self-help stuff that I’d been doing. It’s like some really simple techniques for using awareness as a way to ground it into the body. And as soon as that happened…

I remember that just because of some stuff that was going on, I was so angry at some people I was working with and also incredibly sad. And all it took was just learning how to feel. And that was just the beginning. And so over time, you know, I was in Thailand at the time, then I went back to Australia and drank ayahuasca at home one day on my own and started playing with some of these techniques from the, that they teach you in the somatic world, ways to work with the body, with sound. None of it’s spiritual stuff though, I guess it helps me understand why certain spiritual

John Mcintyre (10:04.655)
And all of a sudden, it’s like, oh my god, these things are doing the same thing. It’s working with energy in the body and it’s all like thinking. There’s a continual lesson for me and I think for most people is the thinking just gets in the way. The more I’m analyzing shit and thinking about what’s going on, the more that seems to block the process of things coming out. And so it was this huge discovery or process of realizing that these two sort of separate fields of plant medicine and learning how to feel stuff, which is a lot of that in the

west with the somatic and nervous system thing you put them together and there’s this magic that happens because otherwise like you said people go into this and something can come up that’s a way they just don’t have the skills the tools to deal with it and they lose their shit

Kat (10:50.062)
Exactly. We’re not taught that. And so I love that your language around speaking about the medicines involves the somatic piece because I spend most of my time helping people in integration. And quite often the biggest piece that’s missing is connection to the body. We can’t think our way to a calmer nervous system. It doesn’t work. And so if the body is in a state of trauma,

Like we need to have tools to calm that down in order to integrate these magical experiences. Otherwise we’re just stuck in our heads. So the somatic piece is essential to integration and it’s often missing in so many of the modalities because we love being in our heads.

John Mcintyre (11:25.633)

John Mcintyre (11:29.808)
Or it’s like…

Like I said here, I came to Peru thinking, oh, everyone, he’s going to get it. They’re going to know exactly how to all this sort of somatic stick and they’re just going to get it because they’ve drank so much plant medicine and like getting, he was like, no, there’s plenty of them that don’t. They’re still very in their head. You know, they’ve, they’ve got some, some people are very good at opening up, you know, into the astral or into this beautiful, you know, visual states, but they, they have trouble like just being here when they’re out of that place. Um, or even people get into meditation and there’s this whole thing of closing your eyes and meditate. People get very good at doing that.

and bringing that into their day-to-day life as they’re moving through working and dishes and whatever else, because this is what happened to me, I’d meditate for a long time and it’s like, I could be all calm if I’m meditating, but the rest of the time I was so disconnected from certain emotions, because I just take a deep breath and I breathe through it and it’s gone and it’s like, oh no, I’m not angry. That kind of a thing, you know?

Kat (12:25.110)
Oh yeah, yeah, it’s kind of a, it’s a syndrome. And I think in our Western world to be disconnected from our emotions and our bodies and ultimately from nature. This is why I love plant medicines as a modality of healing because that fundamental wound of being disconnected from our homes in the small sense, our bodies and in a big sense, you know, the earth, like and all the psychosis that comes from that.

you know, the pain of separation, of thinking we’re all alone, of like all the stories that comes with that. It’s fundamental to our suffering. So we have to like reconnect basically to begin the journey of healing, or it stays, it stays mental and it’s, that’s not the happy place.

John Mcintyre (13:09.569)
Yeah, it’s a really funny thing. Like when I started the somatic stuff, I never knew like, people would say be in your body, stop overthinking everything. It’s like, oh,

Kat (13:11.229)
I’m sorry.

John Mcintyre (13:19.093)
I guess like I’ll try not to think of something but then realizing that the certain ways of using awareness, I won’t ask you about how you do it in a sec but there’s a specific feeling that happens when it’s like, whatever we are consciousness lands in the body. There’s this, like the embodied feeling. I don’t know what to call it. I don’t think anyone’s come up with a good name for it yet because it’s not just it’s not just like a silent mind. It’s more than that. It’s this embodied presence. I’m here in my body.

John Mcintyre (13:45.885)
it’s different to everything out like no one you read like self help books. I try I keep trying these things because I’ve used to read stuff in the past. I read a few chapters. I’m like, this is so old school. Like I’m just gonna journal I’m gonna analyze and I’m gonna even think about what I’m grateful for the tools but if it’s not about getting into the body, it’s missing the point.

Kat (14:04.450)
I’ve actually reframed the idea of psychedelic integration into psychodilic embodiment. And I’ll be totally honest with you that the relationship with my body has been the most difficult relationship in my life. So I have learned sort of the hard way. I mean, I spent years doing psychedelic work, trying to do it all in my head. Trust me, if it was possible, I would have figured it out. And it’s when I really finally said, my God, it’s this relationship with my physical home that needs to shift.

where like you described, everything started coming like online. It’s just all of the wisdom that I held mentally, literally got to permeate into the cells of my body where I’m walking in it, not just thinking it. So I no longer even really call it integration is embodiment. Like we’ve got to bring it into the physical.

John Mcintyre (14:53.589)
getting goosebumps, truth bumps. So reminds me of like when we talked like a couple of years ago, it was like that big, the personality dissolves kind of experience. I think a lot of people have it at different stages, but then the problem is that it’s almost like it’s there, it’s waiting to land. It’s almost like there’s this traffic jam up from, we could say up, I don’t know where exactly it comes from, but it’s like, it’s trying to come down in, but if I’m in their head, it blocks that process. So it kind of like what you’re talking about. It says we get the mind out of the way, all these.

beautiful things, beautiful insights that people can have with psychedelics, they start to come down and become part of our day-to-day life instead of just being this thing we do in ceremony.

Kat (15:32.414)
Exactly. And so whatever modality we use to be embodied is beautiful. There’s a million of them. It kind of doesn’t matter which one we choose. It matters if it works and that we start to, I mean, for me, it’s like when I’m doing any of my practices, I need to feel my toes first and foremost, it’s my energy, my consciousness all the way down into my body. Cause I used to stub my toes and trip all the time. Cause I was so disembodied, you know?

So it’s so simple. These things are deceptively simple because the mind is the place where it likes to make things very complicated and oh, there’s all these steps to it. Like, no, it’s just finding a way where we feel consciously connected to ideally all the parts of our body, and our organs, and to hear the communications that’s happening on the level of body consciousness. But first it’s like just anchoring in, and yoga.

But for me, it’s nature. When I go out and plant my butt on the ground and I have my back against a tree and I’m like really connected to tangible earth, that’s where it’s like abundantly obvious my connection to my body. It all comes together. But everybody’s different in terms of where they get that aha moment. We’ve got to figure it out.

John Mcintyre (16:51.249)
Interesting. So you think so for you, if you want to connect like that, your go-to thing is to sit outside, lean against the tree, sit on the ground. That’s, that’s the number one thing that you do barefoot.

Kat (17:02.474)
Yes. Yes. And ideally, like connecting as much of my skin to the sun as well. Like I love working with core shamanism, the elements. I’m always working with air and fire and earth and water, like, because that’s what makes up everything. So yeah, like spending time to connect with those four elements and know that that’s what my body’s made of. It’s yeah, it’s not, not mental. It’s pretty simple.

John Mcintyre (17:29.153)
Yeah, what’s you know, because I think some people might hear this and go, Okay, I’m just gonna go sit down on a tree by a tree, but they might go sit by a tree and read a book or they sit by the tree and think about all the stuff they’ve want to think about their work or whatever. But because there’s some vitamin things about sitting down, actually feeling the tree being present with the sensations of how does a tree feel against you? Can you feel it like wobbling? Can you feel your feet on the ground? Can you feel the heat of the sun? It’s tuning into the sensations, not thinking about stuff while you’re doing it, right?

Kat (17:57.234)
Or if you are thinking, having as much of your awareness in the sensations of the senses that you’re naming, what does the wind feel like on your skin? What are the whispers that the wind is speaking? How does that, just using our senses because that’s connected to our body. And that’s my portal into all of this, is sense of smell. What do I see? What do I feel on my skin? And before I know it, I feel completely conscious and connected to my.

John Mcintyre (18:08.402)

Kat (18:26.710)
body and if my mind’s going that’s okay whatever I don’t have to pay attention to it.

John Mcintyre (18:33.289)
Yeah, it’s kind of funny with the mind where it’s like it’s only a mind that tries to get rid of the mind. You know, at some point, it’s like people realize or you realize I’ve realized it’s like I don’t need to get rid of it. If I just, if I’m just here feeling, you know, doing what you’re talking about, the mind tends to fade gently on its own. But the more I try and get rid of it, it’s a classic meditation thing too. They teach you this, but it’s different when it becomes, Oh, now I understand. Now I know what they mean, you know.

Kat (18:37.750)

Kat (19:01.674)
Yeah, it’s like the symbol of the serpent eating its tail, right? It was like the mind trying to tell the mind to shut up. That’s not going anywhere. You know, so that’s why Ayahuasca taught me this is to learn to place my awareness. I focus on my heart. You know, I’ll imagine that my heart has nostrils. I’m breathing through it. And after a time, more of my awareness and consciousness is connected with that space.

And if my mind is rattling off a to-do list or whatever, it doesn’t matter, it’s just background noise. So practices like that are really powerful. Regular meditation for me can stay too mental. But when I’m focused on becoming more conscious of something other than my mind, whatever that is, that has better results.

John Mcintyre (19:34.076)

John Mcintyre (19:47.521)
Yeah, and the way I’ve been explaining it to people in I have a newsletter I do for Raychard. And the way I explain it, it’s just thinking versus feeling. Like we’re thinking is thoughts and ideas and stories and all of that. And then all this is feeling is sensation. Whether it’s the sensation of the toes or the tree or the sun or the water, it doesn’t really matter what it is. But once we start tuning into the sensation, that’s when we start to come out of the head and we’re in feeling or in sensation or in embodiment.

Kat (20:15.242)
Yeah. And the great thing is, is that is always, always available. We always have our senses to tapping, even in prison. It was right there. No, it’s true. Like as soon as I figured that out, yep. Locked door, suffering everywhere. People wailing and like pounding on things, but to find that center in the chaos, it’s actually made a better relationship with my mind.

John Mcintyre (20:20.297)
even in prison.

John Mcintyre (20:26.817)
The cold concrete.

Kat (20:42.186)
because I stayed centered and calm in that space. So if my mind goes nuts in regular meditation or whatever, I don’t care, it’s fine. I can find, I call it the Buddha space. You’ll find the Buddha space somewhere inside of me, where it’s like that little half smile, like I got this, I got this.

John Mcintyre (21:00.493)
Yeah, or it doesn’t really matter what’s going on outside, because it’s all about what’s going on inside.

Kat (21:06.054)
Exactly. It’s an inside job.

John Mcintyre (21:10.034)
Uh-huh. It’s funny, I remember I had a ceremony in Australia for a weekend and one person started screaming. It was 20 people in rural New South Wales, few hours from Sydney, and someone started screaming at the top of her lungs within, no, actually, yeah, no. One person started screaming, a dude started screaming.

about five or 10 minutes in, top of his lungs, screaming at the, we’re outside, screaming at the moon for some reason. And then that sets off another girl. She starts screaming and this is blood curdling. It’s a very high pitched, you know, it’s just a very powerful scream. This went on for hours and the police came. And I remember at some point when all this was all happening, it’s kind of what you were talking about where.

John Mcintyre (21:54.201)
At some point I’m like, this is really irritating. If only they could stop, I could get back to my own ceremony. I could do what I need to do, you know, feel what I need to feel. And somehow, I don’t know how I started probably the medicine. Obviously the medicine was just chill. Just see, see if you can get to a point where the screaming is literally no issue. Like it just doesn’t even matter anymore. And I remember feeling actually with the screams or even people moving, there was thunder, there was a windmill that had this like,

John Mcintyre (22:23.125)
like a horror movie or something. And I could feel like when these different things would happen the body would tense in different ways. I was really present with it. It would start to tense. And so gradually it was like, all right, just keep relaxing, relaxing, relaxing, relaxing. And eventually all this stuff could be happening. The storm was going on. Police come. I have to talk to the police because the two people who were screaming came with me so they want to talk to me. I’m still in the medicine. It was a whole thing.

But somehow it got to a point where it’s like, it didn’t even matter anymore. Cause what was going on inside was like, I guess the Buddhist space, as you call it, it’s just like, oh, like I’m good. Like all this other stuff outside can do its thing. It doesn’t have to affect me on the inside. And it’s pretty cool when that stuff starts dropping in.

Kat (23:05.070)
To me, that’s the definition of liberation is, circumstantially, it does not matter what is happening. We claim our peace in this case, our okayness. Everything’s okay, yeah. Mass chaos, we can handle it. Like, yeah, oh gosh, it’s lovely to discover how powerful we are.

John Mcintyre (23:19.823)
Yeah. Yeah.

John Mcintyre (23:24.465)
Yeah. How do you, when you’re working with people, as an integration coach, or even in ceremonies down in Costa Rica, wherever you do it, how do you help people stay connected other than leaning against trees?

Kat (23:39.714)
So, well, I’ll speak of it in terms of ceremony space, because first and foremost, I need to ensure I am in the space, the Buddha space. I’m in the everything’s okay space, because especially with medicine, we’re so sensitive that if the person who comes to assist is all tensed up and also scared, well, that’s gonna be contagious. So my teacher that taught me to do this work, he would say you have to be as grounded as the earth itself, like so calm.

so that it’s an invitation to the other person to come in. Like everything’s okay, come join me in this space. I do it with coaching too, it just isn’t as intense and urgent in that way because the screaming may not be happening, right? Like that, but in other words, I have to lead by example. I have to actually be credible that I have access to the space I’m trying to invite other people into. Otherwise it stays mental again.

John Mcintyre (24:23.228)

Kat (24:37.854)
It’s, we’re trying to solve it in the head space. So I take that to heart big time that it has to be deeply felt, you know, whatever I’m trying to help people through that. I know everything’s okay. That I know that this will pass. So that’s the foundation of it.

John Mcintyre (24:56.033)
Well, how do you do that? If you’re in ceremony or you’re on an integration call, you might not have a tree behind you or a nature immediately present to do the nature thing. So how do you access that? What’s that? You reckon, so the altar does it.

Kat (25:06.538)
Got an altar where I’m sitting behind right now. I got my altar, which I’m sitting behind. Yes, exactly. Because everything on the altar represents a connection to nature. It’s a tool. And so some of the things help calm my nervous system. Literally, I work with nervines that will physically calm me down. I have different plant allies that create a sense of protection. Maybe I’m gonna go help somebody that’s got really dark energy and I need to feel like there’s a cocoon around me. I got a plant for that.

I got a tool for that. So I would never do any of the work I do without my allies, basically, which is what the altar is. So that way I’m not alone and I have the help that I need to give myself before I go be of service.

John Mcintyre (25:51.341)
So would you say that’s the 80-20? If that’s not in place, it doesn’t matter what technique you give whoever in the ceremony or on a call, it’s like it’s all kind of irrelevant. That’s the foundation that everything else rests on.

Kat (26:05.022)
Yeah, because it’s honest. Because if I haven’t cracked the code of trusting something like death, I’m also a death doula, help people die. If I don’t trust that it’s safe, then what the hell am I doing trying to be of service to try to tell somebody else to believe that it’s safe? But I’m human and I’m gonna go into contraction of fear. I’m gonna have triggers, which is what the altar is for. If like, that’s my tools that reminds me, oh yeah, oh yeah, just chaos, smile at it, you know? But I need that.

John Mcintyre (26:32.137)
Yeah, yeah.

Kat (26:34.550)
because you never know what’s going to trigger me.

John Mcintyre (26:38.237)
That can be some of the…

John Mcintyre (26:40.301)
tricky thing. I found that quite tricky sometimes. I can have a ceremony like that with the police and I’m just like, it’s going crazy. If there was ever a time for me to be freaking out, it’d be a time like that and yet somehow I find that calm. But then another time, like not even that much is happening. Like it’s nothing crazy is going on. Like, and somehow I can’t get to that place at all. I’m just stranded in some hurricane somewhere in my mind. This could be in ceremony, even just day to day. It’s just like, it’s this continual back and forth. I’m in and then I’m out.

And then of course over time, hopefully we spend more time in that space. We get better at that’s the goal to me is to get better at accessing that. Exactly.

Kat (27:17.302)
It gets more familiar. Yeah, totally. But that speaks to, I think we all need tools and modalities. Otherwise we’re relying on the mind to access a place the mind can’t access. It’s the wrong tool. It’s kind of like taking a hammer and breaking a window and expecting the hammer to break the window. Wrong tool. No, we need tools that actually help us access our hearts, our bodies, our nervous systems, our emotional spaces.

And the mind isn’t the tool for that. So if we try to white knuckle our way through these experiences without having different like allies and modalities, it’s, it’s not going to go well long-term.

John Mcintyre (27:57.157)
Yeah, so what do you do? So once you’ve got that foundation in place, you’re in that space, you’ve got all your things, you’ve got laid that really rock solid foundation. What happens after that if someone’s still freaking out, if you can’t calm them down just by chatting to them?

Kat (28:11.682)
Well, so in the shamanic tradition that I trained in, we use the power of sound. You know, we sing the Icarus, we sing different vibrations that actually have scientific proof that it has an effect on the nervous system, the body. Like we respond to sound, you know, we know this. So that’s one of the tools, all the different plant essences, the different things that I have that can also do the same, if I have to take them outside into nature, usually I do the work at a, like a ceremonial maloka, but

take them outside, sometimes just putting your hands in the ground and looking up at the stars and being like, Oh yeah, okay. You know, there’s all, maybe I’ll talk to them, you know, say, Hey, hey, hey, come back. What’s happening? You know, ask them to engage their mind to articulate what’s happening instead of spinning out in worst case scenario, which is usually what’s happening. There’s a lot of different things we can do to bring people back to their bodies. That’s what it’s about. Come back to your body.

John Mcintyre (28:58.989)

John Mcintyre (29:09.141)
Right. It’s funny because like in the somatic stuff, which I’ve been in all the nervous system stuff, they probably know it co-regulation where our nervous system start to co-regulate. So if you’re calm and I sit down next to you and I’m freaking out without me doing anything at all, if we’re just usually we’re talking or engaging in some way, I’ll start, we’ll start to sync up naturally. It just happens automatically. This is why it’s, you know, when we’re all stressed out, we go talk to someone who’s calm. We start to calm down.

John Mcintyre (29:36.109)
But what gets interesting when you talk about Ikaros is, it’s like in ceremony, someone’s sitting there. They’re gonna be much more open and sensitive. If you’re feeling that calm, that Buddhist space, and you start singing that, this is the idea I understand behind Ikaros, is that then emotional state you could stay on, nervous system state of calm, gets carried through the song. And if someone’s listening to it and tuning in, it’ll calm them down too.

Kat (30:02.870)
Exactly. By full disclosure, some of the Ikaros do the opposite. They stir up this, they stir the pot. They call in the darkness of like, let’s bring out this energy. And that, cause there’s some songs that are about purging basically about bringing that energy up and out. It’s not that any of the participants know shipibo or Quechua, but they listen and all of a sudden the purging kicks in, you know, crying, whatever it is. So we have songs that stir the pot and we have songs that calm things down.

John Mcintyre (30:17.825)

Kat (30:32.278)
Like, because both are necessary actually, if we’re going to heal and release and bring things to the surface. But yeah, you’re right. Like, there’s so much power in those songs.

John Mcintyre (30:39.114)

John Mcintyre (30:42.901)
This is why it’s so interesting because what you’re talking about is the same thing they’re talking about in the nervous system stuff where it’s like we’re part of it’s creating space in the system or learning how to drop down into what they call parasympathetic. So bringing down into that state where we’re relaxed, we can sleep, we digest food, we talk to people. But…

At the same time, what’s keeping us out of that state normally is because we’ve got all this stored sympathetic charges from the past, stress responses that haven’t been completed. So that has to come out too. Until they come out, we’re not really going to gain full access to that parasympathetic state. So part of it’s this.

dance between accessing some calm for a while to get some sleep and rest and then as we create more space and there’s certain exercises too that will do it, there’s ways of stirring things up even without the plants. Interestingly you’re very, very similar to, I remember the first time I had rage, like aggression they call it, healthy aggression, came out, I had this thing in my solar plexus and the guy I was working with said, make like a karate sound into that spot, like a ha! Five or six times. So I did that.

And then we just started tracking it. It moves all the way up through the chest. It gets into the throat, turns into growls. By the time it’s in my face, my face is vibrating. I’m like snarling. It’s like I’m a complete wild, like out of, not out of control, but like a wild beast. It was incredible. But it’s the same thing. What you’re talking about is using sounds and then access certain parts of the body where things are stored, which then starts to trigger it to come up. And if someone’s open and has these tools of being present with it.

it starts to express, the charge is gone, then they can start to access your Buddha state a bit easier.

Kat (32:16.106)
Yep. And I love the word you used tracking it because once we realize this energy in motion that wants to be expressed and come up and out, there’s some kind of assurance and freedom around that of like, cause we get really scared. It’s stuck. Oh, my anger is stuck in my solar plexus. It’s not going anywhere. I’m like, it’s only stuck because you’re resisting feeling it and to track it and to watch it move. That’s where people usually get excited of like, Oh, wait a second. Something’s happening here.

Maybe I can work with this and release it. And that’s, I think really important to understand that we can feel it move through, which means that it wants to leave and make space for something. That feels better, but we got to work with it first.

John Mcintyre (33:00.849)
And that’s the that’s the part that people need tools for is like if you send someone into an a Oscar retreat or Any of this stuff and that starts to happen, but they’ll they’re in there No, no, okay, because the mind starts spinning out because they don’t want to feel it, but they don’t even realize what’s going on Yeah

Kat (33:16.046)
Exactly. Exactly. And I’m getting more discerning over the years of asking people that come and want to sit and drink medicine, but are very clearly intelligent, but still stuck in the mental space is like get a tool or two to work with your emotions and your energy because otherwise it can just be traumatic and chaotic for everyone in the space because it was just fine. I mean, you can learn that way, but you don’t have to. So yeah.

John Mcintyre (33:43.129)
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I mean, that time with the police, I think we had 20 people there the first night, 15 left the next day because the police came, which is understandable. Yeah, it, yeah, I mean, I stay, you know, the two people who screamed actually, they stayed, which was interesting. They came with me and anyway.

Kat (33:52.354)
That’s intense.

Kat (34:03.734)
That doesn’t surprise me actually, yeah. Because I think it’s more traumatic for people holding space for that than it is the person screaming. Because there’s often a break happening. You’re not really that conscious of what’s happening. So that doesn’t surprise me at all that they came back and everyone else was like, I’m good. That was a lot.

John Mcintyre (34:06.707)
So it can…

John Mcintyre (34:16.808)

John Mcintyre (34:21.645)
Yeah, yeah. And I think too, like coming into some of these things, like one of the dudes who was screaming, he, it was his first time. And so…

You know, I drank a bunch of times by that point. I think before you’ve been in like a ceremony with 20 people making the most insane sounds, crying and vomiting and the vomiting is not normal vomiting. This is like aliens clawing their way up your throat and out your mouth. Like it’s different. It’s a whole thing, you know, and I could totally see someone coming in and not being prepared for that and then being like, oh my God, this is not what I signed up for. Something’s wrong here. You know, like, and of course, if you have police turning up, then, yeah.

Kat (35:01.014)
Not a normal ceremony though with the police showing up. Everything else is normal, but there’s also, at least for me, there’s always been this sense of the method to the madness of like, yeah, this is chaotic and crazy, but there’s also an awareness that something really special and awesome is happening. And that’s just how it looks. Healing is messy, so is giving birth. These things are messy, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t magical and worth it and bring us to something.

John Mcintyre (35:29.215)

Kat (35:30.354)
so incredible and healing and enlightening. Yeah.

John Mcintyre (35:32.465)
Yeah. Yeah. Well, after that, there was a dude there who, um,

John Wood (38:20.234)
Alright. Can you hear me?

Kat (38:24.118)
I can. Let’s see, come back. Here we go.

John Wood (38:26.270)
I don’t know what happened there. That’s the first time that’s happened. Good times.

Kat (38:31.194)
You know, like sometimes talking about ayahuasca so much like short circuits, technology, all this energy, who knows, but we’re back.

John Wood (38:36.259)
Thanks for watching!

John Wood (38:42.582)
Maybe. What were we talking about before? I think it’s already recording, so I think it’s got the rest.

Kat (38:47.522)
So you, the last thing I heard you were mentioning, you know the guy better and you were gonna share something.

John Wood (38:54.455)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was gonna say, so this dude who was screaming, he had a very rough weekend, both ceremonies. The second night there was no screaming, but according to him and in his words, it was a lot worse for various reasons. But off the back of that, like he hasn’t touched A-Woska since then. So it’s really scared the hell out of him, but it’s opened up so much growth. And over the last, this was.

John Wood (39:20.262)
a year or two years ago maybe he’s come a long way in all kinds of different ways. So it changed his life in a very positive way and brought up a lot of things that you know issues that were hard to deal with at the time but now that he’s worked through a lot of it I mean he’s happier he’s got exactly the kind of job he like he exactly wants to do the kind of career he wants to do. He’s having a blast like he’s doing so much better and so it’s crazy to see these bad things that happen bad.

John Wood (39:48.610)
turn out really good in the end. Hard, yeah.

Kat (39:54.962)
If that formula wasn’t true, John, I wouldn’t have dedicated my entire life to this work because I trust in that formula, breakdown, breakthrough, with all that I am. Now, it’s mysterious how it materializes and it doesn’t follow the agenda that we want it to, necessarily, but I trust it. That magic happens when we’re willing to feel our emotions and face our shadows and do all this hard stuff.

John Wood (40:01.160)

John Wood (40:07.701)

Kat (40:21.198)
that that is what makes manifestation and like, you know, whatever it is that we want to do and have fun in this world, that’s the formula is we got to face the blockages that are preventing those things from happening.

John Wood (40:35.406)
So if someone’s listening to this and they’re like, all right, I’m curious, I wanna know more. I think I might like to try this sometime. What would you recommend other than what we’ve already spoken about, like getting some tools? What would you tell people if they wanna explore this for themselves?

Kat (40:51.286)
Well, there’s so many choices these days in how and where and who to sit with with Aya. So then I would suggest doing a process of self-discovery. Do you want a small group with intimate connection to the shaman in somebody’s living room? Because there are lots of those. Do you want to go have the full-scale big retreat, which is multiple ceremonies? And I also do master plant diets and wachuma and different medicines with that.

Or do you want to kind of dip your toe in and try a ceremony and see how it feels? Cause it’s not just saying yes to ayahuasca. There’s a million different ways to experience her, but the, the way that I suggest people do it is to use the notion of safety as a guideline. What feels safe to you? Are you ready for the big guns and to go full throttle and to do four ceremonies in a week and like, but you don’t have to, if you’re not. So to feel what, what’s safe as a next step to.

John Wood (41:37.643)

Kat (41:47.798)
you know, jumping into this world.

John Wood (41:51.042)
And if someone’s like, look, that sounds great, but what do you mean? Like, what do you mean? Does it feel safe to me?

Kat (41:56.406)
Yeah, it’s a feeling in our bodies, isn’t it? And so if we’re disconnected from that, it’s hard to know. So I would say conjure up a memory of when you felt safe. You know, sometimes for people, it’s laying in a hammock by an ocean, you know, or a river or whatnot, there’s a physical connection that we felt safe somewhere along the way, even if it was for a fleeting second. But to find that and to use that vibration, that feeling as a compass for when you, you know, imagine like going to sit.

in a retreat, going to the jungle. No, like, I mean, that’s my happy place with the medicine, but not everybody, right? And that might be too much. But to just try to follow intuition, not mind, which I realize is a lovely concept and can be very difficult. But you know, it’s a good practice to what the medicine’s gonna teach us anyway.

John Wood (42:32.311)

John Wood (42:52.842)
Yeah, I mean, this is like a few years ago, none of this would have made any sense. I’d be the person be like, what do you mean, like intuition, safety? This is whatever, like, I need the logical explanation, you know.

John Wood (43:04.590)
Whereas that’s what I got out of all the, I mean the plants have accelerated it, but all the somatic stuff where it’s like, okay, like orient to the safety and the environment. Look around and see if it’s actually safe where you are, then you start to feel safe. And someone starts to get to know what safety then feels like, they can use that. And then intuition for me was like, what, it just sounds so spiritual, so woo, fluffy or something. Whereas now, like the way I see it is, yeah, again in the somatic stuff, they talk about following impulse. So…

when we want to go to the bathroom, we don’t have to think about it. It’s a sensation in our body. We feel it. Or if we’re hungry, we just like, it’s undeniable. We’re just hungry if we’re tired. So we have these somatic cues of telling us what we need to do to survive, to stay alive.

And the practice for me is a way to learn intuition, is to tune into some of that. And then the better we get at hearing those more obvious impulses, the subtle stuff starts to, oh, now I can kind of feel like this retreat versus that, this person versus that person.

Kat (44:10.862)
Here’s a great way to practice that, that we all do it, but most of us aren’t conscious of it, is when we’re at the grocery store and we’re reaching for an apple and we sort of pivot and go, that apple. That’s exactly what’s happening, is we’re listening to an intuition. If that isn’t logic, it’s like, that one, but to make that more conscious, because we’re animals. We do that. The animal kingdom does this constantly. So do we, we’re just not conscious of it. Bring your awareness there, because it’s happening all the time.

John Wood (44:21.100)

John Wood (44:28.873)

John Wood (44:37.103)
Uh huh. Uh huh.

Kat (44:40.618)
and to catch yourself when you’re like, uh, I think I’m going to turn right here instead of going straight. There’s that intuition.

John Wood (44:45.786)
Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. So the more you focus on it and start to be aware of it, the more it grows. It’s like, Oh, like I’ve been waiting. It’s like it’s waiting there for you all along. One thing that’s been finally

Kat (44:58.382)
Thanks for paying attention to me. Yes, exactly. Welcome to the party.

John Wood (45:05.850)
It takes time. I’m still learning. But one interesting one for me has been noticing when I like someone or don’t like them. And in the past, I grew up in a religious family. You got the verses like, turn the other cheek, be nice to everyone, all this, be always be forgiving and compassionate, this kind of stuff. And it got me into some pretty serious trouble by not detecting dangerous people.

John Wood (45:27.506)
in the plant world actually in Thailand and over time I’ve started to go okay so if I don’t like someone that’s usually my not always but a lot of the time that’s my system picking up on like some cues maybe I’m not conscious of them yet but it’s

noticing things and there’s a reason why I don’t like them why I feel like I don’t trust that person and on the other hand if I do really like someone I feel like that’s the same kind of a thing It’s like the body saying spend more time with this person like there’s something there to learn to grow to yeah

Kat (45:58.774)
And so there’s a tricky way of working with this though, because I fully honor that’s wisdom coming through. But what the mind wants to do, or I should say the ego, is to make that an unequivocal truth. Like that person’s bad, I don’t like that person. And to write a big story, instead of just going, that’s true for me, that doesn’t feel good for that person. And to not have that temptation to be righteous.

all of a sudden and to think we know everything, but to honor it and calling it intuition helps with that. If like, my intuition says that’s not my person, cool. You know, we don’t have to make them bad or wrong because that’s true, but we don’t have to make ourselves wrong either, which is what a lot of us do of like, oh, I’m supposed to be a good person. I’ll just ignore what feels right in my body. Yeah, that doesn’t go well.

John Wood (46:24.473)

John Wood (46:32.694)
Uh huh.

John Wood (46:36.458)

John Wood (46:44.311)

John Wood (46:47.906)
Yeah. What’s interesting taking out, like you just take out the mind side of it. Like the mind makes these like universal judgments, black and white. These people are bad. These are good. And it’s, there’s always going to be like that. Whereas the impulse or intuition thing, it’s only a present moment thing. It’s only right now. It’s not, I can’t tell you what’s going to happen later or even what happened in the past. It’s only right now that person could change. Lots of things could happen. And so it, like all these stories, they’re all built in time. And so that gets rid of all that stuff. And it’s all about right now.

Kat (47:18.310)
Exactly. And that’s, that’s, you’re right. That’s the, um, the danger of believing the mind is the mind spins a story, but the mind is never anchored in the present moment. It’s in the past or the future telling stories, whereas the body and the intuition is right here right now. Yeah.

John Wood (47:36.708)
Uh-huh. What have you, have you had any interesting, I’m sure you have, any interesting stories about your mind in ceremony that’s happened? Anything funny?

Kat (47:46.862)
Oh my God. Sure, I mean, I have watched my body respond to the stories that my mind tells and then made that correlation so many times of like the seat of suffering is in the mind. You know, like pain is present moment energy. It’s like, oh, I stubbed my toe, that hurts. Suffering is the mind story around it. Oh my God, I’m never gonna walk again. And like, you know, it’s just, but how tempting it is to fall for that.

So I still have ceremonies 20 years in where I watch myself, my consciousness gets sucked into the fear that my mind says and then to correct and to pivot, be like, uh-uh, that’s a story. Nope, I’m not gonna believe that. But the way the body responds, it’s fascinating how fast we fall for a hypothetical situation that the mind creates as if it were real and it creates suffering.

John Wood (48:44.898)
And it’s so quick and it feels like this is reality. This is what’s happening. This is not just my mind. This is the truth.

Kat (48:48.598)
Yeah, oh, you’re sure of it. I have been sure that an earthquake just happened and everybody out in the world was dead. Cause I felt a little shake and like, oh my God, it’s the apocalypse. I’ve been sure of it. I’ve been sure that I’ve gone completely insane, that I took too much medicine and now I’ve done it. I will never be sane again. Absolutely sure of it.

I’ve been sure that I was dying, which is very common. I get to help people through that all the time. I’m like, no, I’m dying. And I’m like, yeah, I know it feels that way, you know? So yeah, I’ve had so many trickery moments of believing the stories my mind has told me, which is a core teaching of ayahuasca. Like, are you sure that’s true? Because you just went down a whole rabbit hole around, you know, one thought.

John Wood (49:23.515)
I haven’t had that yet.

Kat (49:43.906)
Like we’re in the apocalypse and then suddenly I made it real. With no evidence, mind you, none whatsoever, except for one thought.

John Wood (49:49.454)
Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

John Wood (49:53.914)
Yeah, I mean, the thing that I get, I haven’t died yet, or felt like I’m dying, not yet anyway. But one thing that’s happened a bunch of times is I’ll be like, having some massive insight, I’m like, Oh my god, I’m like, really, that secret of the universe. These plans are like teaching me some incredible thing, this breakthrough, I figured out all my stuff, like, Oh man, look at this. And this could go on for hours, like I’m just learning so much. And then at some point,

something will like click and be like, no, that’s just your mind. They’re just thoughts. And it’s so frustrating to realize I just spent half the ceremony, half the day doing that. And then, but it’s also really funny. It’s like, that is so ridiculous. I can’t believe, I can’t believe I…

And I guess that’s the point of the matter. That’s why it works is it blows these patterns up that we have so we can see them. Because we’re doing this every day, doing our day to day life, but it’s kind of hard to see it. So then we see it in ceremony like, oh, okay, I should probably, I need to get better at not doing that. Yeah.

Kat (50:56.438)
Well, maybe the funniest story I’ve ever told myself in the middle of ceremony is that I was enlightened. I have cracked the code. I understand all of it now. I will never suffer again. You know, these grandiose moments. And then one little thing happens like, you know, I’m back into contraction and fear or whatever. So.

John Wood (51:09.276)

Kat (51:17.642)
Yeah, and what can we do but laugh at it, laugh at the symptoms of our mind and how quickly we fall for these things. Otherwise, we will go crazy. I love laughing at it. It’s hilarious.

John Wood (51:19.580)

John Wood (51:23.123)

John Wood (51:27.814)
Yeah, yeah on the topic of enlightenment I I’ve read a few of your blog posts You’ve got some very long and epic blog posts all over the internet and one of them was about non-duality Maybe several of them you were talking about how like in ceremony at some point Like people think see these entities are the different energies that start to come in is good and bad There’s good ones and there’s bad ones and you got to a point where you start to see that they’re all basically good They’re all there for people’s growth, which is

in a way like a non-dual perspective where it’s all there, it’s all love, it’s all here for people to evolve. And I wasn’t sure if I remember that article. I do remember wondering, because we spoke about this three, four years ago, you recommended Adyashanti and Soul Story, which Adyashanti is great. Soul Story was pretty hard to read, but I got through it. And I think I wondered at the time or wondered at some point, I was like, wondering how many people…

John Wood (52:21.698)
have actually accessed that as a permanent thing. The way Ajayshani talks about it, he’s there all the time. And other people claim to be. But a lot of these people haven’t done plants either. They haven’t worked with ayahuasca. So I’m always curious, you’ve obviously done a lot of both. So what’s your take on that? Are you there? Have you been in that? Are you in that? Are these other people in that? Or is it the whole thing just like a pyramid scheme?

Kat (52:48.974)
So I am there sometimes, not always. So I’m on my journey. Like I know that place exists because I’ve been there. The place being the non-dual state. No, where it’s abundantly obvious everything is love, not mental, like, oh. So I’ve been there, but I don’t live there. I definitely, I mean, I suffered like hell when I got thrown into jail. Make no mistake, I went down into suffering and had to find my way back out.

John Wood (53:16.489)

Kat (53:18.550)
But I do, I’ve been around Adyashanti, I’ve been around beings that I do trust they have landed there. And the way my non-dual teacher put it is to imagine American football field, you know, with degrees, and that the center of the field is the space where fear and love are in perfect balance. Enlightenment is jumping even one degree into the space of love.

John Wood (53:18.933)
Uh huh.

Kat (53:46.326)
being the predominant energy, not that fear isn’t still available. So I know what it’s like near the end zone of everything is love, but I’m still, you know, making my way there in a more, I guess I could say permanent state. So I trust that exists. Yes.

John Wood (54:00.674)

John Wood (54:03.930)
Yeah, it seems to me like, I mean, I’ve connected into, I don’t even know what to call them, but they’re always, you know, the whole main factor that the main, what do I call it? The main sign that like the main, it’s always so hard to describe the main like

John Wood (54:20.570)
quality that I notice is that it’s like a seeing the world without thoughts or seeing the world without a filter, the way things are, or that’s why I say truth or something like that. But that’s what’s been so interesting about all the nervous system stuff is going, okay, the nervous system is still there. Like whether you’re enlightened or not, you’re still in a human, at least while you’re alive here, you’ve still got a nervous system, a fight or flight response.

John Wood (54:44.630)
That means you’ve still got fear to get you to step out of the way of a bus or to stay away from dangerous people. It’s like you’re not a… if you lost all of that, you’d be incredibly vulnerable to all kinds of different things. And so I think people think, you know, I used to think, it’s like, oh yeah, enlightenment or whatever that state is, is there’s gonna be none of that. That’s just all gone and I’m always just in bliss or happiness. But it seems like it’s more nuanced than that, where it’s all the emotions are still there. Everything’s still the same. The only thing that’s changed is the perspective.

Kat (55:14.698)
or relationship to it. Exactly, yeah. So what you’re describing, like on a biological level, the body has a consciousness and it’s gonna fight like hell always to survive. So of course it’s gonna send fight or flight responses and things like that of like, you’re in danger, you know? But the enlightened state, and again, I’m not claiming to be enlightened, so this is my perception of it, is that the relationship with those energies is like, yes, that’s okay, oh, my body’s telling me to get out of the way. There isn’t resistance.

John Wood (55:16.849)

Kat (55:44.082)
I think the only thing that dies in the universe is resistance to these states of consciousness. So an enlightened being to me is someone who’s just saying yes to the experience that they’re having. Not that it’s not always, you know, bliss, that fear comes in, all of these things happen, but it’s flowing through. There isn’t that resistance to it. Yeah.

John Wood (55:44.638)

John Wood (56:03.514)
Yeah. Yeah. And that’s why it ties into all this like, you know, the trauma stuff where, you know, part of it’s the energy part of it’s the bracing all the muscles, the fascia will start to clamp down to stop all that all of that flowing someone’s thinking so it’s all it’s like the whole game is this learning to open to all of it, which is such a process. And you think you’ve got it, you’re like, no, no, no, definitely don’t yet. Not yet. This, you know, it’s a lot of fun.

Kat (56:29.686)
And the body tells us the truth about that, doesn’t it? The body tells us where there’s tension and contraction and where things are all knotted up. And that it’s, I love the connection to truth via my body because she’s not gonna lie to me. My mind will. My mind will be like, you got everything figured out. You are so good. And then I feel what the truth is in my body. And I’m like, okay, I think I got some work to do.

John Wood (56:43.025)

John Wood (56:55.609)
Yeah, that’s the funny thing about the body is that the mind can spin all kinds of stories about everything. And the body is just what it is. Like you either feel it or you don’t. Like you’re either there or you’re not. It doesn’t matter what story you tell about yourself.

Kat (57:10.230)
Nope, it’s gonna tell the truth. Always the body, no matter if we’re trying to spin it in a different way. Yeah.

John Wood (57:16.090)
The tricky thing though I find with the body is that, because it’s not words, sometimes the message isn’t immediately obvious. We might be feeling unsettled, but are we feeling unsettled because this person is dangerous or because they’re triggering something from the past and they’re actually really safe? So it’s tricky.

Kat (57:33.398)
Yeah, for sure. There’s a lot of sophistication in interpreting the messages of the body, the communications that are coming in. Yeah, for sure. But wouldn’t it be amazing if that’s what we focused on when we were growing up in school, of learning how to understand what our bodies were communicating, rather than being taught to just be in our minds and be shut down from all of that?

John Wood (57:55.526)
You’d make people a lot harder to control, which I think is part of the problem.

Kat (57:58.398)
Yeah, well, exactly. Exactly. God forbid we be the authorities over our own health and well being, right? Like, no, we’re supposed to trust the system for that.

John Wood (58:03.297)

John Wood (58:07.094)
Alright, alright.

John Wood (58:10.570)
take your pills and blah blah blah yeah. Alright well I think that’s a good note to finish up on so if people want to learn more about you, work with you, chat to you, connect with you, where’s the best place or places for them to do that?

Kat (58:12.487)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Kat (58:24.554)
The best place is plantmedicinepeople.com. That’s my company where all courses and retreats and part of my blog is. And then my personal site is afterlife.coach. Yeah, afterlife coach, not life coach. Yeah.

John Wood (58:36.014)
Cool. Afterlife. Oh, okay, I never even noticed that before. Afterlife coach. Afterlife coach. Kind of sounds like you’re a, like people who’ve died, now you’re coaching them through the afterlife. Is that the idea?

Kat (58:50.482)
Well, I’m a death doer, so I help people access the afterlife before they’ve actually died. Do you know the die before you die kind of idea? That’s the heart of what I’m passionate about, and ayahuasca helps with that. It’s not the only way to have that experience of knowing who we are as a consciousness outside of the body.

John Wood (58:58.685)

John Wood (59:09.134)
Yeah, that’s beautiful. Cool. Thank you, Kat. Thank you for coming on. It’s been really fun.

Kat (59:14.958)
Thank you for having me, John. It’s good to reconnect after all these years. You’ve come a long way. We both have.

John Wood (59:21.710)

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