Grief and Rebirth: Finding the Joy in Life | Steven Twohig | Plant Medicine

 

Steven Twohig is a dedicated practitioner, guide, and International Speaker in the transformative realm of Shadow Work, with 23 years of practice across many areas, including trauma, PTSD, addiction, homelessness, psychedelics, spirituality, and more. With a deep sense of purpose and a genuine desire to support others on their journey of self-discovery, Steven has honed his skills as a facilitator and mentor, blending ancient wisdom with modern insights to create a holistic approach to Shadow Work that addresses the multidimensional nature of the human psyche. He continues to be guided by his passion for personal growth and spiritual evolution, inspiring others to embrace the light and shadow within themselves with courage, compassion, and authenticity. Be sure to tune in to this informative, fascinating, and highly enlightening interview to hear Steven and Irene discuss the transformative power of Shadow Work in healing and self-realization, the impact of shadow work on psychedelic integration using plant medicine, and much more!

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT THINGS LIKE:

  • How the deep trauma Steven experienced when he was 3 years old inspired his remarkable calling.
  • How Steven’s integrative approach leads to deep healing and transformation.
  • How Shadow work can help an addicted person who uses a substance to manage trauma.
  • The difference between drugs and medicine.
  • Steven’s transformative ayahuasca experience.

SOME QUESTIONS IRENE ASKS STEVEN:

  • What synchronistic events and personal experiences led you into the realm of self-discovery?
  • What is your definition of God?
  • Why is psychedelic-assisted therapy one of the most effective tools we have to solve our current mental health epidemic? 
  • How does ayahuasca differ from mushrooms and other substances?
  • Why do you state that by doing our shadow work, we are doing the work necessary to change the world? 

Watch the episode here

 

Listen to the podcast here

 

Steven Twohig: Can Plant Medicine Transform the Blocks That Are Holding You Back to Unlock Your Full Potential?

 

 

 

 

 

I hope this finds each of you very well. I’m speaking to you from my studio in West Orange, New Jersey. I could not be more delighted to have the pleasure of interviewing Steven Twohig, who is a dedicated practitioner guide and international speaker in the transformative realm of shadow work with 23 years of practice across many areas, including trauma, PTSD, addiction, homelessness, psychedelics, spirituality, and more.

In his quest to understand the shadow which consists of the often unconscious aspects of the psyche that hold hidden treasures, as well as unresolved wounds and traumas. Steven was guided by a series of synchronistic events and personal experiences that led him into the realm of self-discovery and inner exploration. Those synchronistic events and personal experiences brought him to various spiritual traditions, psychological theories, and healing modalities inspiring Steven to formulate a specific framework for understanding the human experience.

Through his own inner journey and encounters with mentors and teachers, Steven began to recognize the transformative power of shadow work, healing, and self-realization with a deep sense of purpose and a genuine desire to support others on their journey of self-discovery. Steven honed his skills as a facilitator and mentor blending ancient wisdom with modern insights to create a holistic approach to shadow work that addresses the multi-dimensional nature of the human psyche.

He continues to be guided by his passion for personal growth and spiritual evolution, inspiring others to embrace the light and shadow within themselves with courage, compassion, and authenticity. I’m looking forward to talking with Steven, who will be speaking to us from Eustis, Florida about the trauma he experienced when he was three years old that inspired his calling, his work, and his study under the world’s leading business and life strategist Tony Robbins, the transformative power of shadow work and healing and self-realization, the impact of shadow work on psychedelic integration, and so much more for what is surely going to be a fascinating interview filled with enlightened healing insights. Steven, a warm welcome to the show.

I’m floored by even the introduction. Thank you very much for having me on here. I feel honored.

 

Grief and Rebirth: Finding the Joy in Life | Steven Twohig | Plant Medicine

 

Shadow Work As A Calling

We’re a mutual admiration society. I can’t wait to share you with everyone because I think what you’re doing is fantastic. Talk about my passion for bringing people healing resources. Here you are. Thank you for this. Let’s start with the beginning. You had a deep trauma when you were three years old. How did that inspire this remarkable calling of yours? It’s not everyone who decides to specialize in shadow work.

No, it’s the calling. You don’t come here because you like the tea and the chips. That’s not what brings people to shadow work. It’s conducive to who we are as humans, but when the pain stays the same, it is worse than the pain to change. When I was three years old, my mother had an accident with her hands and my dad had to take care of us. He gave me my step-monster. She locked me in the basement during the day and beat me. She pulled my hair out. I mean, a real deal kind of stuff. It went on for several months like this before my mom found out what happened. She starved me. We were taking pictures.

She would bring me back out during the day and at night and say, “If you say anything, I’ll kill you and your sister both.” For three years old, it’s verbal like, “How am I going to even explain that level of trauma?” Mom and Dad are God at three years old. They’re not trying to understand what that is. I think at that moment, a part of me came online and said, “I got you, buddy.” Everybody wasn’t crowded like, “Everybody, repeat after me. Thank you mind for keeping me safe.” The mind did what it needed to do at that time to keep me safe. One of the things it did was it started to plot from that basement. Some part of me dropped anchor right there and it said, “I’m going to always be on the lookout for how this type of a situation can happen.”

Fast forward, I’m an adult, I’m talking to my wife and some part of me feels like, “Go look at the subjective experience and the story called your life and your intimate relationships.” There was part of me that was certain she was trying to trap me all the time, and it was in business. It was that and I wrestled with that. It led me down all these roads trying to fix the problem externally. There are no accidents in shadow work, but it’s like I ran the wrong way though for a long time before I realized I was running the wrong way.

You had to heal it.

The thing is I’m still healing it. When you say heal, it’s like a past tense thing. Shadowwork is either doing or not doing. It’s never done. I’m either aware of the construct that’s running underneath the water that I feel like you’re trying to trap me even in this conversation, “Is Irene going to say something that’s going to have me go into a corner?” There’s a part of me online even now that’s protecting myself always. If I give myself permission to lean into that, it starts to create somehow there’s this connection underneath the water, like the Rosetta Stone that allows you and I to translate our communication. There’s something going on deeper than the 120 bits that I think I am. That’s what got me hooked. It was like, “I get that I feel like I’m trapped, but why does it always line up?”

I’m relating to what you’re saying because I also had a very dysfunctional childhood. If my father didn’t like something I was saying, I got punished. It took me a very long time to heal that. Look at me now. It took me years and years of healing to find my voice and look at what’s going on and look at the fact that now, and to this day if I say something that I don’t think the person agrees with whatever I’ve taught myself, that I can be myself and say it, but there’s a part of me that’s still saying, “Is something going to come at me? Am I going to get punished because they didn’t like what I was saying?”

That’s all that right there. We can say, “Hello, shadow.” It casts itself on, and the interesting thing there is if you allow yourself to go from the leaf to the twig, from the twig to the branch, from the branch to the stem, from the stem to the body of the tree down into the root of it, you would be able to feel where that little girl, part of her, like I could see it in you right now, there’s this little girl and she’s scared that, “If I say this, how am I going to get punished?” It’s not a matter of if for me. It’s a matter of how it’s happening.

We’re simpatico with our experiences. You had a series of synchronistic events and personal experiences that led you into this realm of self-discovery and inner exploration. It introduced you to various spiritual traditions, psychological theories, and healing modalities. Tell us all about it.

What is my journey to healing? The path is a subjective experience. It’s different for everybody. We’re talking archetypal, casting, young in psychology, human needs psychology, addiction psychology, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, talk therapy, NLP, NAC, Japanese Nikon, Japanese psychology, and Zen Hollow Bones. I’ve studied the group of people called the Mankind Project now for 24 years. April 14th. I was probably about 10 months sober, 6 months out of being locked up my son was being born. I had been a monster I had been constantly running from a monster in that aspect turned into a monster for fear of that same monster and was tired of running. April 14th, I walked through the door. April 15th, I was brought face to face on the carpet with my shadow.

What year was this?

April 2000.

Our experience is around the same time because my accident happened and my awakening happened around all that time too.

I remember that was the day that my son was born and the day I went through my weekend. I remember I didn’t know what I know now. There was a part of me that came online there that said, “That’s it, and started walking in that direction. Don’t stop walking. Keep going in that direction.” I didn’t know what I saw. Most of me was still asleep, but some part of me was waking up. If some part of me saw, I knew that there was nothing in my life that there was the way. If I was going to be any help to anybody if I was going to in any way, shape, or form get out of that basement, that was the only way out. I kept walking and studying.

I was flown around the world now chasing this thing with a shadow. I went to work for Tony Robbins because I thought, “The only way for me to be able to study this was I wanted to have time in the box. I needed a lot of time studying this. Tony was doing it at a level.” I saw him on TV, stood somebody up and within 30 minutes that’s like, “You can’t unknown what you’ve learned about yourself. You can’t forget that I knew right then and there.” I wanted to study with a master. I went and worked underneath Tony for a little over a decade, over 10,000 interviews with every level of successful business. He commissioned me to interview over 10,000 businesses ranging from your startup to your multi-billion.

In each one of them, what I was doing was, “How is a shadow at play here? What’s the thing that they’re not seeing?” What I found was I don’t know if I can find one piece of suffering out there right now, that at some level, shape, or form shadow is not at the root of it. At some level, it’s like you said, I think you’re trying to trap me in the basement. What I do, and we’ll go back to my wife, for example, I will go, she’s trying to trap me, then I withdraw. I pull in because then I want to assess the situation. I want to find out which road is the safest road out of this.

You’ve been wounded. You can’t trust it.

I’m not conscious of it. The problem is that we’ve only consciously got 120 bits of information that we can be aware of at any given time. I could only be aware of 1, 2, 3, too many. What happens is the Cartesian level consciousness is layers and layers of meaning. Everybody at home in your head goes, “Hello.” How many of you said that out loud? In your mind, say, “Hello,” and they never shut up, do they?

We're just layers and layers of meaning. Share on X

They never shut up. That right there is more than audio. It’s visual and smells. If you imagine sniffing a rose, you can call up that pungent, earthy. There’s a full-fledged Hollywood studio going on up in your head. You’re always floating down the river of the story called you in the boat called now. You’re never not in the river of the story called you. You’ve never been in the river of the story called Steven. That’s the inside of the boat. Then you have the boat itself, which is the subconscious.

“There’s something I’m feeling that’s not quite right,” and it sits beyond what that 120 bits can take in, but then you have the water as well. Most people call that the unconscious. I think that it misaligns our awareness of who we are, that’s the deep consciousness. I have this part of me down in my deep conscious, which is too painful because it was three years old. That was the most ayahuasca journey. Mother takes me down in that basement and I have to feel that terror because anything you don’t feel you can’t heal. Now I’m in there, but when I’m on the surface of my life in the 120 bids in the boat, I can’t hear that signal.

All I know is there’s something I feel is trying to trap me. I lean in Valerie, one of her shadows is I’m going to get abandoned. Her mind, she sees me pull in and all she can do is translate that through her shadow. What she feels is he’s leaving or he’s trying to not get caught, which is similar to trying not to get trapped. She’s translating it, but because the shadow is always at play, it gets tweaked ever slightly. The lineup with the subjective experience of the story called her. This is what I call shadowboxing. I think that’s genius.

When you look at relationships and how we ping shadows off of one another, I think that the mind is trying to write itself. I think that we are in the middle of billions of years of evolution and we are evolving inside of that evolution. We’ve reached a point where we’ve got to learn how to use certain switches and dials inside of our awareness that we didn’t know we weren’t taught we’re there so that we can clean the looking glass that I don’t have to come from that basement. I can see, “She feels like she’s being abandoned right now. Come here, sweetie.” I can lean in with love and not pull farther in because that fear of abandonment comes with my fear of being trapped, and then we go into this power struggle.

 

Grief and Rebirth: Finding the Joy in Life | Steven Twohig | Plant Medicine

 

Beyond Human Experience

It sounds to me like many in the audience may be realizing that they have a choice, that they have a shadow and they can choose to unload that shadow, to heal it, and to move on with a better life for themselves. It’s a conscious choice because my shadow pops up every once in a while, but I’m healed so I say, “There you are.” From all that you’ve done, you formulated a framework for understanding the human experience. Is that what you were saying or is there more to that?

There’s a lot more to it. I mean this thing on the wall, I call this a construct. It’s an illusion that we make up. When I make sense of my reality, I’ve got a book at the end of April will be out called Turning Within. It describes all this. It’s called the construct. My identity drives my narrative. If I’ve got the identity that one of the shadows I carry is that I’m a reject, I’m certain that the plot that I live out of, the narrative that I live out of will never be something other than that because that’s who my identity is.

The voice that’s in my head chattering is only going to chatter from that identity. In that, there’s a loop that that narrative runs on. That’s the story that I’m living out of which then is directed by my beliefs, which then dictates my emotions. We have seven facets to our construct. My work is about pulling these threads to go, “What happens when we do this?” What I found is much like working with psychedelics, this is reality. We’re reality-creating. We are God. I believe that we’re God having perspective. I say it from a very practical perspective, it’s the only logical choice at the end of the day.

What is your definition of God?

That’s a great question because it’s a loaded word.

There are a lot of people who have a lot of different definitions of God tuning in to this.

I can’t answer that question for anybody else. I can only answer it for Steven because I believe that the path to God lies in the subjective experience of the story called you. I believe that every religion dies with its creator. I believe Gandhi said it best. He said, “I love Christianity. It’s all the Christians that I have a problem with.” You go and you look at Muhammad and Buddha. What they were describing was their personal experience of God and the path that they took. I can’t show you how to get to Disney World from where I’m at and why. Because that’s where I’m at. I believe that whatever meaning they’re holding onto that their belief of God is, then that’s correct, whatever that is.

Every religion dies with its creator. Share on X

At the end of the day, I think the first directive of the mind is to create and navigate meaning. If I have a meaning that says, “This is the way God is. This is the way my life is,” if that’s how I’ve been programmed, then that’s right. I’ll go into the Law of Attraction. If I can create my reality, then why am I not happy? We dig underneath the surface and we go, “All you’re doing is thinking unhappy thoughts.” That’s the reality that you’re creating the reality system that’s inside of me, me and my reality are interrelated. Nobody can separate me from my reality but me. There are a lot of people in psychedelic work who want to do what they call an ego death.

The first directive of the mind is to create and navigate meaning. Share on X

They want to get rid of their ego. If you don’t have an ego, you and I can’t talk, I don’t have any words. I lose language. I lose the very structure of what allows me to interact in this reality. As I say that, it sounds woo-woo, but it’s not. You can see that by, “What’s the story you tell yourself that steals your joy?” “ I tell myself I’m not good enough.” I bet you see that everywhere, don’t you? I do. There’s God right there. You’re creating that reality so that you can experience that reality. I think somewhere in that statement lies God. That’s why I’ve been following this road for 24 years. It’s like, “What is that?” I don’t know. I’ll see people that will go into some piece of work and they’re in it.

One girl was in it. She was looking down and she was in a full-fledged pity party in the structure, “Hmm,” in it. As she was lifting her head up, it was about eye level to the ground and everything stopped. Time froze, but it didn’t. Time kept ticking. What I saw from the outside looking in, in my world, the tree started breathing and I was on no medicine. I was completely sober. I was managed. I was guardian of a spot then she continued to cry at the same exact frequency. I could tell something had changed. She had gone from utter suffering to total, “Thank you, I am grateful.” The same level of crying but total gratitude. I asked her the next day, I said, “What was that?” That was the exact moment that I realized that I was special was everybody else. In that equation right there, I believe it’s God.

Shadow Work And Trauma Healing

I agree with that. I’m going to talk to you about psychedelic plant medicine in a minute, but let’s talk about shadow work for instance. How could shadow work help an addicted person who has used the substance to manage their trauma and other deep-rooted problems? You help a lot of addicted people.

I believe that first off shadow work is not therapy. It is an advanced form of, I call it active contemplation. It’s the best way to explain it. I’m going to learn how to think about my thoughts in a way that allows me to get outside of my thoughts. The specific shadow work we look at suffering to help us understand that because its squeaky wheel gets the oil thing. With addiction, what we’re finding, you’re going to read anything on Gabor Maté’s work, The Myth Of Normal, and stuff like that. We’re finding that most of these addictions are simply covering up, “Thank you, mind, for keeping me safe.” They’re a way of maintaining as opposed to dealing with. It’s more of a medication than anything. Shadow work is about going into that muckiness and going, “Let’s get past all this and see if we can connect you to the truth of who you are.” It goes past all that.

 

 

I have a theory Steven, and please tell me if you don’t agree with me because I’m happy to learn. My theory is that people who become very addicted are using the substance to help them with their suffering. It’s lifting them out of their pain and in that time, they’re not in touch with why they need that and why they’re choosing that.

“Let me unsaw you,” because that’s exactly right. I grew up in the twelve-step community. At that point, I needed to be brainwashed. I needed to find a group of people that could help me. They have a process called the Twelve Steps that comes from we now find and we now know comes from a psychedelic journey that Bill W took, but talks about taking these twelve steps. As we’re going through the twelve steps, it’s a going down in and taking a personal inventory, admitting to your God, to yourself, and to another human being the exact nature of your wrongs.

Going in and doing shadow work at a very core level. It’s like once you go down and you start to see what the mechanics are that are driving the addiction, there’s a saying that we say in the rooms, it’s like there’s nothing that ruins a good relapse like a head full of recovery. You start doing this work and you start seeing, “This thing is leading to that other thing which is causing me to be in pain over here, which is leading me to use.” I see the loop now and it’s like starting to be able to break out of that with an understanding of how to restructure the very programming that we stand on.

That’s fabulous. Give us an inspiring story about how a person’s life was healed and transformed by shadow work. I’ll bet you have about nine million of them.

Every Monday night we run an integration group and I can go there. There’s a girl I know who I love. She came to us. She came to work because she had a stiff person syndrome.

What’s a stiff person syndrome?

She’d be driving down the road and all of a sudden the muscles in her throat would lock up. This is not therapy. I am not a doctor. As a matter of fact, I’m just a guy who’s bumped his head up against every single thing here. There’s nothing tragically terminal unique about me. She comes to me and steps on the carpet. I said, “What brings you here?” She said, “I want to heal myself.” I’m like, “I need to let you know. I don’t have any special powers.” That’s not what this carpet does. She says, “I know.” She’s doing work with Joe Dispenza, and Wim Hof and she’s got all these certifications. She’s still got this deal. We do a piece of work and then we do another piece of work.

Is this with the medicine?

This is no medicine. This is shadow work. She’s working with ayahuasca, bufo, and mushrooms. She’s doing all that. This is typically an entourage. When people come to work, they’re already deep up in something and they need help unraveling what it is that they’re finding. They’re not just, “Let me go do shadow work.”

They’re doing the plant medicine and it’s unearthing their shadows and now they’re coming to you to work on that.

That’s a standard thing. They’ll go in and they’ll unpack the medicine now unpacks this thing and now they’re stuck.

“What do I do with this?”

They come to me, and it’s like, “Are you ready to take a look?” We go into that muckiness and they can now understand shadow work. The beauty of shadow work is when I get underneath what drives me, it’s like. “No wonder why I keep bumping my head. I’m ramming my head. There’s a wall there. I got to go around. That changes everything.” It’s like that. She did a big piece of work around when she was physically assaulted as a very young girl. What that taught her to do at and through the whole structure of it was to hold on. If you teach yourself to hold on, now see the work out of it and then she’s gotten off the medicine. It’s a whole cad rate of things.

How fabulous. How wonderful for her.

I can give you examples. If I had a gentleman who came to me because he wanted to grow his business. He had a $9 million business. He wanted to grow it, sell it, and exit it. He started doing the work and realized that the whole purpose of the business was to be good enough because he always felt like a loser and he needed to fix something. He would create problems in the business so that he could validate his experience, “I could fix something so I wouldn’t feel like a loser if I didn’t have that, well then I’m going to get stuck feeling like a loser.” We go down and do the work so that he can identify that part of him. He can tend to that wound. When it comes up, notice it and not come from it, create more karma out of it.

Now all of a sudden, we didn’t exit, we’re not selling it, we’re not moving up. Now what we’re doing is he’s now downsizing, moving into a smaller and that’s going to create for him a much more efficient and effective exit in the business because he is not doing it. He was leading to more problems. That’s all he was doing. We can go as far down down into the intensity of it. I’ve seen situations where people are the sight of, “|I don’t know what to do with myself.”

I’m on the front right now. I left Tony Robbins five years ago to follow this plant. We’re going to get into that in a minute. Now I left the big money job. I was set. I was Tony’s senior business strategist, and the entire division was built around me traveling around the world, speaking with thousands of people to make pennies, and following this plan because I was researching shadow work. I’m telling you, the people that are on the front lines here, this is the front lines, we’re doing it down here in Orlando and these people can’t make it to Peru. They had nowhere to go. Mother has given me a vision.

Tell us how you refer to mother.

Transformative Ayahuasca Experience

I’m working for Tony. I’m ten years in. I’ve reached a point to where I know I need to outstretched the space. I’ve outgrown my home. It’s time to move out like, “It’s time to move out of the home.” It’s what it was. I knew I couldn’t leave because I worked for Tony. It was all Tony says, “I needed something real.” A friend of mine introduced me to the concept of ayahuasca. I didn’t do any research. I trust the guy who pointed me in the direction. I trust, chance. Chance said, “Try this out.” I jumped in and I called Ayahuasca’s mother. I’ve done 28 ceremonies. I’ve gone through a lot of work. She’s shown me a lot of things.

I’ve earned the right to call her mother. On the second ceremony, I knew nothing. I didn’t know there was a female, they called Mother Aya. There’s a spirit in the medicine that they call Mother Aya. I didn’t know any of that happened. I had steak the night before. I hadn’t prepared for this. I’m in the daytime ceremony and I look over. What it looks like from you to me is I close my eyes and inside me, I open my eyes up. It felt like I woke up from a dream that I didn’t know I was having. It’s the best way to explain it. I looked over and there was this beautiful lady. She’s looking straight ahead. She doesn’t care whether I notice her or don’t notice her, whether I talk to her or don’t talk to her.

She’s just love. Unconditional love doesn’t have any expectations. I understand now what the Irish Christians were talking about when they said that grace is a divine right. It’s not a saving grace. We are just born. It is our divine right. I was in the middle of a conversation with Mother. When you take these plant medicines, you’ll get about a decade’s worth of information that’s been compressed into a couple of hours. I was in the middle of the conversation and I remember her saying, “It’s all make-believe. It’s all pretend,” all the way down to the very gaze of God then I woke up.

I looked around and I was like, “Whoa.” I came up with a completely different set of questions. I didn’t know what was that. I looked up and I saw these weird things going on in the trees. I closed my eyes again and I fell asleep or I woke up, depending on which end of the stick you’re on. Now I’m in my shadow. I am seeped up in this feeling of I’m certain that this is the worst. I am the worst person on the planet that’s ever walked on the planet. There’s nobody lower than me. Everybody in this place deserves to be here but not me.” I’m suffering and I look over to her and ask her, “Why do we suffer? If I’m God having a human experience, then why am I suffering?”

Do you know what she did? She laughed at me and I woke up. She didn’t laugh at me like a bully would laugh at me. She laughed at me as in, “I knew you were going to ask that. That was the most logical next question,” and then I woke up. It took me a long time to realize that’s the whole point. The whole point is for me to be able to see I now can go into a basement. If there’s somebody that’s stuck in some structure of a story that they haven’t been able to because I’m going all the way through that and I’m going all the way to the well, I want to go all the way to source. That was my ask. We have a clear channel, a clear path to take people through that would take them all the way down to their truth.

Mother then said, “The only way out is through,” then she took me right to my shame, and from there on out, I started purging and the journey began, right. In the third ceremony, she gave me another vision and another vision. Now I have this mission to stand here. It’s like I am a doula. That’s the best way to explain it. I’m a spiritual doula. I’m standing on the other end of creation going, “What’s coming?” My job is to stand here and help support the genius that I see now coming through you. My job is to see your genius for the amazing woman that you are and to help birth that through. That’s beyond me.

The only way out is through. Share on X

I have four questions at the same time. You’re involved with ayahuasca, which gives people very deep insights and then you help them to process it to heal. What’s the difference between using that as opposed to mushrooms, ketamine, and all the other substances that are also out there? I have been hearing about those substances used, and I want to stress to people who are tuning in to this interview and thinking about it, is you need a very well-qualified guide while you’re going through this experience. It’s not a toy. It’s plant medicine. You need to do it with someone who knows what they’re doing and can help you interpret what it’s revealing to you. Would you agree with that?

Yes. Let’s take a couple of steps back and walk into this conversation.

That’s why I’m asking these questions.

Let’s call it what it is. You wouldn’t go across the country without planning for that trip. Why would you ever go across dimensions, across realities, whatever the experience, why would you go into the deepest part of yourself without planning for that and then unpack that journey in a way that gets the most? I know of a lot of people that don’t believe in that. I learned the hard way when I didn’t prepare for my interaction. If anybody is on this show, imagine if you’ve ever been with Mother Aya. I had steak the night before. You’re going to come out. You’re loosening the sphincter muscle here and anything that’s in there is coming out.

Let’s back up. First, let’s start off. There are drugs, medication, and medicine. Drugs are what we use to mask the pain. Medication is what we do to manage the pain. Medicine is what we take to go through and heal what’s on the other side of it. That’s always been for me when I’m working in this field. It’s like, “Are you taking this as a drug? Are you taking this as a medication? Is this a medicine?” We can use anything either way. Addiction is addiction. Addiction isn’t just to a chemical. I get addicted to identities. I get addicted to the stories that I tell myself.

Grief and Rebirth: Finding the Joy in Life | Steven Twohig | Plant Medicine

Plant Medicine: Drugs are what we use to mask the pain. Medication is what we do to manage the pain. Medicine is what we take to heal the pain.

 

The Power Of Plant Medicine

The plants are considered medicine. It’s plant medicine. The plant medicine is the part that heals the pain.

I believe what it does is it gives us what we call cognitive flexibility. I would talk about the shadow. That shadow of being trapped. Now I feel myself going there and I now know where that is. I now know if you’ve ever seen how they catch monkeys in India, I now know where I’m holding on. I know where to let go. That makes sense to me because now I know where the basement is because I’ve had to do that work

Mother took me down in the basement and said keep moving forward. Took me through that basement. That’s medicine. Now I don’t have to live in that basement. Cannabis can be medicine where she could show you you’re paranoid. That’s not something the medicine’s doing to you. That plant med. Cannabis is a plant. Medicine is showing you that. You can also use that as medication to cover up because it’s a nice warm blanket is what cannabis is.

Go back because a lot of people have been enjoying their cannabis. You refer to it as a comforting blanket.

I think that cannabis is a master teacher. Cannabis is like ayahuasca in that aspect. Cannabis is a master teacher if I learn to develop and understand my relationship with the plant, I can deepen my ability to learn and interact with the medicine. I can also use it as medication. If I want to calm down, I don’t want to, I’m going to go take some cannabis to help. There’s nothing wrong with medication. There’s nothing wrong with drugs. At the end of the day, it’s not the drug that’s the problem. It’s the relationship with the drug that’s the problem.

 

 

What’s fueling that relationship, which is a shadow?

The intention.

Why do you lean towards ayahuasca as more than mushrooms or all the others?

I work with mushrooms and cannabis and I work with ayahuasca. Iboga is another one.

That’s what I haven’t heard about. What is that one?

Many people refer to it as the grandfather plant.

Is ayahuasca indigenous to Brazil or South America?

It’s ayahuasca vine and chacruna plant. They come together what that does is that strips out the MLI inhibitors, because everything has DMT in it, which is what ayahuasca is.

DMT is?

Dimethyltryptamine. They call it The God Particle because it’s literally in everything. This is interesting. Two plants out in the middle of the jungle come together and create this ability for us to have this journey. How did they know? Why are you working with ayahuasca? I’m working with ayahuasca because this is where the journey is as I continue to work out with shadow work. Mother Aya was my next teacher and I’m finished. I think I might be coming to some threshold as the book finishes, as I start to lift my head up and look around and see that I’m one voice of many voices that are coming through this field, coming down this path. I’m excited about where we’re going and what’s coming next.

I think that’s wonderful. It’s the way I look at it. There are loads and loads of podcasters. Bravo for all of us because we’re all helping people. I don’t see it as a competition at all. Each of us is serving our community.

You’ll notice that your ability to hold that space, I would be willing to bet if we processed it out and looked at it from a shadowwork perspective. Your ability to hold that line and come into a collaboration of type mindset is paramount to some level of how you got the success that you’ve got. The need to identify in a competition is ego-based, the third directive of the mind is survival-rooted. It’s a survival-rooted hijacking that says, “I have to survive by taking ground from you.” Whereas when we start to see the new way it looks when I allow my genius to come online and I fully live in the structure. My mission is to create a world that unlocks the innate genius that’s lying dormant in the human condition. I believe we all have genius.

Genius isn’t some individual, it’s the unique expression of the universe coming through you. As I allow my unique genius to come through some part of you, much like when I’m in shadow, I tend to trigger other people. When my wife is in shadow, the same thing holds true of shadow begets shadow. Being in my genius begets genius. As I stand in my power at what I call the axis moony, the center of me comes online. You see that and you go, “That’s exactly right,” and then you step into your genius, which is what you’re doing here. That’s how we’re able to come together. Through your genius standing online and my genius standing online, there’s a third level of genius that opens up. We enter into what Mark Gaffney calls a unique symphony of what I would call genius that comes online in this third level of genius.

Genius isn't some individual. It's the unique expression of the universe coming through you. Share on X

In our society, when we let go of survival because survival-rooted thinking is all based on what happened back there. The threshold of change is happening too fast. The CEO and founder of Google said, “We had as much new information as from the beginning of time until the time of Jesus.” That data double rate is now doubling every second by 2015. That’s how fast we’re going. Look at your personal lives. It’s happened collectively, it’s happening personally. What if that all happened for a reason and it served us? I can’t keep running my life based on where I came from. I can’t keep living my life as if I’m running it through the rearview mirror, comparing where I’m going to where I came from. That works great when you’re pulling out of the driveway.

When you’re on the interstate doing 80 miles down the road, you can’t keep driving through the rearview mirror. We’re being forced to wake up. I think that this all points to you go read like with Tiko and you go read a lot of others, it’s all doom and gloom that this is all pointing to something that needs to change or else. My belief system is this is the very point of change here. It’s not an or-else thing. This is what’s going to happen because you can’t drive your car like that.

Proper Mental Health Care

I know you’re very aware of this. There’s a lot of talk about the fact that the planet as a whole is rising in vibration from a 3D denser reality to a 5D. Everything you’re talking about and everything that I said about the collective consciousness as opposed to the competitive concept is all about rising to the 5D consciousness. This leads me to ask you, why do you believe that we are on the cusp of proper mental healthcare? Is that having to plant medicine? Why do you feel this will spur global innovation?

I can’t prove this, but let’s look at it. There’s a word for it. I don’t know what the technology is, but every society understands the mind by the emerging technology. You go back and you look when hydraulics came online, blood flow and leeches became massive. We still use leeches now for some things. There is value in the hydraulic system being monitored. It was bad that in France they would import 70 tons of leeches every year. It became hard to find leeches.

You’re filled with your shadow. You’re going crazy, struggling and leeches are all over you.

Could you imagine I have this feeling you need some leeches? I feel like the life is being sucked out of me then they would put leeches on me. Let’s fast forward, we go to the industrial age, we go into the computer age and we understand that the mind is like hardware or the brain is like hardware. The mind is like software. Now we have these things coming online like augmented reality and what they call extended reality and virtual reality. Now you add psychedelics into that. This is my sneaky little suspicion. I believe our kids as kids are going to understand altered dimensions. Remember when we were kids and how the VCR or for me it was a select division? That’s how old I am.

I’m old that I remember when the TV was first invented and my family got a big block TV in black and white.

Look how technology has evolved. Do you remember how your parents didn’t know how to change the VCR clock and you knew? Do you think that that points to where we’re going? I think our kids as kids are going to understand altered states like we understood changing the clock in a VCR. I think that’s how the human mind works.

I want to let you tell everyone because now they’re fascinated and they would love to work with you. please describe your app, your mental cleanse process, your shadow tribe, your shadow integration circle, and any other offerings that you’d like to tell everyone about.

First, we’ll talk with the mental clan. There’s a book out called It’s Turning Within. Go get the book. I give as much away as I can give. That’s the goal. Here’s the structure of what I think is going on. It’s a little different than maybe what we’ve been taught. I may be crazy, but go check it out. It’s a book. If you find, want to take a deeper dive, you search for the shadow work app or mental cleanse app on your phone. You can do that at your leisure. I wanted to remove Irene from the mental cleanse app. The goal here was to try 30 days of no complaining. I started it eight years ago.

I don’t know how many people could graduate from that.

You’d be surprised how much harder it is than you think. No complaining, negative bias, and confirmation bias. Anytime I go, “I’m going to get attacked or some judgment of an attack,” That thought needs to be inspected. That’s how it started. It’s a simple four-week process. We built an app around it. You don’t have to come and drink the medicine. You don’t have to walk on fire. I’m going to show it. It’s really hard, guys. You don’t have to go anywhere. You don’t have to do anything. All you have to do is go, “What is the plot that I’m swimming in right now?”

It’s a four-week journey. 1st week, “Isn’t that interesting?” 2nd week is, “What else could this mean?” The 3rd week is, “What if it served me?” The 4th week is purging and cultivating. In those four weeks, I am telling you I’ve seen going on 10,000 people come through this process, countless people the reason why is because it starts right where you’re at. All I have to do is go, “What is the story I’m telling myself that steals my joy? There it is.” Notice you’re always telling yourself that same story, aren’t you? I am. What if you could clean that? That’s what the mental cleanse is. I have clients, coaches, and guides that are trained to support that. I have a Friday where I support that.

If you go to TheShadowTribe.com, you will get invited into a Facebook group is where we’re at right now as we load a bigger structure coming online. Every Monday night at 6:00 PM we do the work. We open up the container as best we can on Zoom. We go as far as we can go down the road without being face-to-face because there’s some work we don’t touch because there’s too much mechanical, and there’s not enough safety in the container to allow my mind will only go what it feels safe doing.

How many people do you usually have in these sessions? They share and is it like a cohesive group or does the construct change?

The process stays the same. The goal here is to be able to have these groups as we continue to grow because they’re all tied to what’s called the shadow ceremony. They’ll be able to continue because this is integration. It’s not an event, it’s a process. Shadow work is a process. It’s always another layer of the onion. All I’m doing is constantly waking. This supports that. Right now it’s on Zoom. We can get anywhere from 35 to 45 people and we may break those people down into three different rooms. We might have anywhere from 10 to 12 to 15 people in each room and we do the work. It’s that easy. Without seeing it, it’s hard to explain. It’s like trying to explain what the color seven smells like. That’s Monday night, then we have a thing called the shadow ceremony.

Shadow ceremony is a gift that was given to me by the medicine Ayahuasca. The mushrooms have a big piece. Cannabis has a massive piece and it’s the work that I’ve been doing. It’s a collaboration between all of those shadow work that I’ve learned from various places. Be it voice to men, mankind, project hollow bones, be it on and on and on and on. All of that collaboration is tied with everything I’ve learned from Tony Robbins. Everything I’ve learned in Twelve Steps. The medicine gave me a process where we set up a container and slowly walk you down into the deep conscious to walk you through the cave that you fear to enter into the shadow, the place you hide, repress, and deny through that to get you to what I call your sacred well the center of you.

The problem is our decisions have become a point of coming from without. “If I can get this, maybe I’ll finally again not be a loser.” There’s this unconscious process where the mind projects the pain out into the world. I think it’s because the mind is trying to write itself. It’s trying to get back to its center we’re struggling with that. We throw those struggles on the wall. This goes down in and unravels all that, but takes you past all of it to connect you to something else that I couldn’t describe for you here because as soon as I say it, that’s my experience. That’s not somebody else’s.

The Hidden Truth

What I would say is the difference between living your life unconsciously on autopilot, motivated by or pushed by your shadow, as opposed to living life in a conscious way where now you’re aware of your shadow. You’ve healed it and you’re moving forward and it trips you up or it’s there. Now you’re conscious and you recognize it and you have choices. You’re not just reacting to things on autopilot. Now you’re thinking through in a conscious way in your life.

I like to say the difference between people doing shadow work and not doing shadow work is that people who don’t do shadow work are crazy. People who do shadow work are crazy, but they know it. They know what that means. They understand that. The deeper truth here is that this work is the work with the medicine, the work with the shadow tribe, the work with my mentors, where it’s taken us to now as it’s moved past the suffering. Here’s the other part that’s the hidden truth underneath all this. What is the meaning of all that suffering? If at the end of the road, if it’s all about suffering, what is the purpose of all of it? Mother laughed at me because the purpose of it is the purpose of it.

People that don't do shadow work are crazy. People that do shadow work are crazy, but they know it. Share on X

Learning to do this work in such a way. The practice that we use is called Turning Within. It’s a specific school of shadow work. What we do is we’re not turning within as in going within to face the shadows. Although that is happening, it’s turning within as in realizing that the world is being life comes from within you like you’re going to tell yourself a story. You’re going to live your life. You’re going to die. The question isn’t whether or not the next decision is going to kill you. It’s, “What road do you want to die on?” Once you’ve done that, now everything changes. Now the shadow isn’t something to be overcome. It’s like what looks like chaos to the fly is an extension of the spider.

The shadow then becomes a part of me that goes, “I’m triggered. What’s going on?” “I see you’re triggered.” “I see what’s going on.” Now somehow, Mother told me in the third ceremony, “Love is the key. Love is the Rosetta Stone. Love is the all.” As a practitioner of shadow work, first I need to lock in the key. I need to learn to love myself where I’ve forgotten to love myself. As I do that, I now realize through the Rosetta Stone, where your block is now at. Once I see that, now we can go into this deeper level of communion, which then opens up the third piece, which is love is the all. I’ve been tracking all this, doing these experiments. My ask for your community is simple. You guys start doing the math.

We came back from a shadow ceremony and we entered into a twelve-hour there must have been fifteen different examples of how the only way that this could happen this way is if it was all mapped out. We enter into a level of enchantment with life. The first rule of shadow work is that we’re lying to ourselves. There’s a layer of this that once we get underneath that, everything gets woo-woo. My invitation to all of you is to look for the woo-woo in your life. What if that suffering that you’re resisting isn’t meant to be resisted? What if your goal was so bright and powerful at one time that it scared you? Because of that fear, you buried it. You buried it under judgment. What you’re afraid of isn’t your shadow. Your deepest fear is not that you’re inadequate. Your deepest fear is that you’re powerful beyond measure.

Every piece of shadow that you’re experiencing in your life is an opportunity to unlock some genius, some gold, some insight that’s been trapped in you, yearning to come out. It moves past all this. Let’s move past the suffering of it. Let’s get out of the driveway. Let’s put this car in drive, and let’s see what the human condition is truly capable of if we let go of the survival-rooted programming and step into reality creation for what it really is.

Your deepest fear is not that you're inadequate. Your deepest fear is that you’re powerful beyond measure and every piece of shadow that you're experiencing in your life is an opportunity to unlock some genius that’s yearning to come out. Share on X

What is reality creation?

You are God having a human experience. Any experience you have is the experience that you’ve decided consciously or unconsciously to have. By learning how that works, you learn how to drive this vehicle called reality for yourself, not for Steven, but through Irene. When you do that, I see that. When I see that, you see that, and now we start to fight instead of my sleep causing you to sleep. We are little babies looking through a keyhole into a room that we’ve yet to enter. We don’t even know what’s on the other side of it, but we think we can see it all. My little bit of seeing that keyhole sees your little bit of seeing that keyhole, the glint in your eye, I now see is the genius in my own. Now we’ve entered into a different symbiotic relationship. I think that’s what the world is calling for.

That’s what we need. This is a perfect introduction to Steven’s tip for finding joy in life. Let us know what that is, Steven.

I believe joy is our natural state. The mind wants to write itself. I have found that my ability to feel joy is a direct reflection of my ability to be human. The more I allow myself to be human, the more I allow you to be human. When I allow you to be human and why I allow myself to be human, some divinity that I can’t put into words, some level of joy that can’t be explained, pokes its head out. It’s the wink and a nod from the universe going, you’re all right where you need to be. My key is that remember, you’re human.

 

 

You’re saying that doing the shadow work helps you drop a lot of that backpack that keeps us away from having joy.

I don’t think there’s any other way to get there. I think that in today’s world, the programming that we have on television is just filler. It tries to take us from commercial to commercial. Everything is doom and gloom. We are creators who have been programmed to be consumers. Most people don’t design the ideal. They manage the circumstances because they don’t know that there’s another way. It’s like, “Why would I let go of the demon that I have to reach for the demon that I don’t?” I’m here to tell you, by leaning into this work, you come to find out that there is no demon. The demon that I’ve been holding onto is that fear of my own ability to love.

As you heal, you release karma because you’re healing it as you go.

I think when you look at karma, it’s like subjectively speaking, “I don’t get trapped in that basement anymore so then I see where she’s at.” The karma wheel turns and we come back around again. It’s like, “I was here. I know what this is. This is triggering that.” Now I’m even more present for her, which allows her to be more present for me. If I’m driving down a road and I’ve got the steering wheel turned left and I’m trying to go right, the steering wheel has to move all that to go back, to get to where it was, that’s karma. It’s simple. We’ve got to allow the system to go through the process and as Mother would say, “Purge it out so that I’ve got to let go of what I’ve got so that I can grab something new.

Also, find that joy. In closing, I want to share this very meaningful quote from your website. With that merit, have our audience hear it because you’re articulate and it’s amazing. From your website, I picked this up, “In over twenty years of work in the human transformation field, I’ve not seen more need opportunity for change than today. We live in a world where everyone is preparing for an argument and begging for connection. We are drowning in information, but starving for wisdom. I believe that this is due to miscoding deep in the human mind. This coding is the root cause of all suffering in the world. By doing your shadow work, you are doing the work necessary to change the world.”

 

Grief and Rebirth: Finding the Joy in Life | Steven Twohig | Plant Medicine

 

Your mission is deeply in sync with the mission of the show, which is to educate, enlighten, and provide healing choices so that we can end the immense suffering in this world. In doing so, transform lives and change the world. Thank you from my heart for this remarkable interview, filled with many enlightened healing insights. Terrific. Here is a loving reminder, everyone. Make sure to follow us and like us on social at @IreneSWeinberg on Instagram, Facebook, and wherever you get your podcasts, including YouTube. As I like to say, to be continued. Thank you, Steven. Many blessings and bye for now.

That was amazing. Thank you.

Did I just have an amazing conversation? My question to all of you is do you know if plant medicine can transform the blocks that are holding you back to unlock your full potential? Would you like to learn about plant medicine? Would you like to learn how plant medicine helps people remove the shadows that have created trauma in their lives? Steven Twohig is articulate, amazing, a good guy, and filled with important information about how you can heal your suffering and why that is important, tons of information about plant medicine that I’m sure you’d love to know. This is a good interview that is filled with great info you’re going to want to know. From my heart to yours, bye for now.

 

Guest’s Links:

 

Host’s Links:

 

About Steven Twohig

Grief and Rebirth: Finding the Joy in Life | Steven Twohig | Plant MedicineFounder of Mastering Change, Steven Twohig has committed himself to mastering the art of transformation. While seeking to heal from trauma inflicted while just a toddler, Steven was introduced to the practice of shadow work in April of 2000, leading to a lifelong study and what he believes is a path to enlightenment.

Steven spent a decade working for and studying under the world’s leading business and life strategist, Tony Robbins. He wanted to blend shadow work with business strategy, integration, and implementation. Tony commissioned him to interview over 10,000 business leaders worldwide to determine what made them successful and help thousands transform their businesses to be more productive and strategic.

He is an international speaker and has traveled worldwide, teaching a blend of strategy, shadow work, and spirituality. He has extensive study in mindfulness, mindset, business optimization, shadow work and facilitation, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), hypnotherapy, group dynamics, peak performance, leadership dynamics, and unconscious communication. Through this work, he has formulated a specific framework for understanding the human experience and is currently training other guides to spread the practice.

 

“Whenever I see anything from you it makes me smile. Congratulations again on the great work you’re doing.”

Andy Hahn

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