For Life on Purpose Episode #71, my guest is psychologist Rachel Harris, PhD, who joined me for an enlightening and hope-filled conversation about her new book Listening to Ayahuasca: New Hope for Depression, Addiction, PTSD and Anxiety (New World Library).
Ayahuasca, a psychedelic brew from the Amazon rainforest, is entering the Western lexicon through the popular media, the internet, and first-person reports. Considered a medicine by practitioners, the tea has great therapeutic potential that is just beginning to be studied. As a result of her own personal experience with ayahuasca, Dr. Harris was inspired to research how this medicine was being used in North America in the largest study of this kind to date. Listening to Ayahuasca describes her findings, including miracle cures of depression and addiction, therapeutic breakthroughs, spiritual revelations, and challenging or bad trips.
“This book is intended for people considering ayahuasca and for people drinking the medicine. I hope it will help them integrate their insights and visions into their daily lives. There is much work people can do on their own to maximize the healing that ayahuasca offers,” writes Dr. Harris. “I also hope this book will inform psychotherapists about the process of integration after ayahuasca ceremonies, so they can provide a supportive and respectful container for the unfolding of healing.”
About: Psychologist Rachel Harris, PhD is the author of Listening to Ayahuasca: New Hope for Depression, Addiction, PTSD and Anxiety. She was in private practice for thirty-five years working with people interested in psychospiritual development. During a decade working in research, Rachel received a National Institutes of Health New Investigator’s Award and published more than forty scientific studies in peer-reviewed journals. She has also consulted to Fortune 500 companies and the United Nations.
Rachel was in the 1968 Esalen Residential Program, Big Sur, CA. This intensive six-month program focused on meditation and body work. In the early seventies, Rachel studied with Dorothy Nolte in the movement system, Structural Awareness, based on Dr. Ida Rolf’s Structural Integration (Rolfing). Rachel also co-edited the Journal of the American Dance Therapy Association for three years. Awareness of how people live and move in their bodies has always been an aspect of Rachel’s approach to psychotherapy.
During the mid-eighties into the early aughts, Rachel led workshops at Omega Institute, NY and Esalen Institute, CA. She wrote Twenty Minute Retreats: Revive Your Spirit in Just Minutes a Day with Simple, Self-Led Practices (NY: Holt, 2000). This book describes many of the psychological, meditative and body awareness exercises she taught in her workshops.
In 2005 Rachel traveled to a retreat center in Costa Rica and serendipitously found herself with the opportunity to drink ayahuasca with Ecuadorian shamans. The morning after her first ceremony, Rachel began asking questions about the therapeutic potential of this medicine. She conducted a three-year research project with Lee Gurel, PhD that resulted in “A Study of Ayahuasca Use in North America,” published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs (Summer, 2012).
Rachel has a married daughter, Ashley Mason, who sings in the chorus at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC. Rachel is the co-author with Dorothy Nolte of Children Learn What They Live and Teenagers Learn What They Live (NY: Workman, 1998 and 2002) and the author of 20 Minute Retreats (Holt, 2000). Rachel spends eight months of the year on a remote island in Penobscot Bay, ME and winters in Napa, CA.
To learn more about Dr. Harris' work, visit: https://www.listeningtoayahuasca.com/.
For Life on Purpose Episode #70, my guest is transformational photographer and coach Robyn Ivy, who has 20 years of experience helping clients transform themselves by shifting their focus and learning to see their world through a new lens.
Robyn joined me for an inspiring conversation about photography as a tool for transformation (a conviction I share), her life and work, and PROJECT 3.8, the compelling campaign she started to raise awareness for pediatric cancer. Robyn brings a deep understanding of what holds people back and brings it into the light so it can be seen and overcome.
"Have you ever stopped to consider that the way we look at and experience our world is often done by default? Did you know that our vision can be strengthened, like a muscle, and when we exercise it, it transforms, changing the way we view our world and ourselves?"
About Robyn: Much like the world around us, I am constantly evolving—driven by an intense passion to help businesses and individuals transform themselves by learning to see their world through a new lens. As a professional photographer, visual brand strategist, creative director, speaker and coach, I explore opportunities from a variety of perspectives that help my clients see the possibilities, truths and solutions to problem that remain invisible others.
For nearly two decades, I have encouraged others to step outside the box, shifting their focus to tell a different story about themselves; one in which the heart of who they are and what they stand for shines through for all to see. The impact of storytelling is very real, and I pride myself on uncovering the deeper message behind my clients’ brands and communicating it to the world through powerful imagery.
In 2016, I created Project 3.8, a compelling visual campaign to raise awareness for pediatric cancer, born from the heartache of a close friend losing her 8-year-old son to Rhabdomyosarcoma. I produced a traveling gallery of 20 large scale metal portraits of children ages 3-18 who were either active in their fight against cancer or celebrated survivors.
The show’s inspiration, Dorian J. Murray, was our only angel. While I learned much from this experience, my mission was simple: to teach people to “see” childhood cancer in a different light and the impact is has on far too many families. Project 3.8 moved thousands of people and, I’m happy to say, will be an annual event.
I share this with you because of how passionate I am about helping people see themselves and their cause from new and unexpected vantage points. When you understand what holds people back and bring it to the forefront so it may be overcome, there’s truly no limit to what you can accomplish.
Whether you’re looking to create new pathways to growth, increase ROI, find innovative solutions to difficult problems, or guide others in the direction of our true purpose to make a difference in this world, I want to be part of that journey. I want to be part of your journey.
Through my photography, I shoot for a wide range of commercial, corporate and editorial clients, as well as entrepreneurs and those who want to change the world. I also offer workshops and speaking presentations on how to transform your business, your brand or your life by changing your viewpoint.
Now that I’ve told you about what I do, I’d like to tell you a bit about who I am. Though I’m a native New Englander, in my heart, I am a citizen of the world. At 15, I spent a year in Germany as an exchange student and it changed my life! Traveling became embedded in my DNA and I spent my youth finding ways to see more of the world. A free spirit by nature, I love a great road trip and the kindred spirits you meet along the way.
Long before I was a professional photographer, I worked with baby chimpanzees in Africa, led German tourists on adventure camping trips in Alaska and beyond, taught English to folks in Europe, and spent a year working my tail off with an anti-hunger coalition in Vermont.
In 2001, I became a mom and began life’s most valuable journey: raising my two boys, who have quickly (yet not quietly) become teenagers. I'm pretty obsessed with Instagram and I’ve promised myself that one day, I will learn how to knit!
To learn more about Robyn's work, visit: http://www.robynivy.com/.