Friday, April 2, 2021

Microdosing While Perimenopausal


Author: Kaia Maeve Tingley


I cry, then laugh, then laugh at myself for crying. My inner landscape feels like some combination of old faithful and the fourth of July. Looking helplessly through my turmoil, I raise my face and meet the eyes of my partner who is looking at me with curiosity and compassion.

“Oh my god, these hormones are so intense!!! I feel like I’m actually tripping!” I say breathlessly, collapsing back down into my thighs and taking some deep breaths as I try to collect myself gently, and with deep self-love.

“Maybe it has something to do with the fact that you’re micro dosing?” my partner muses to me thoughtfully.

It’s too much.

I collapse completely onto the beanbag in the middle of the living room in a paroxysm of laughter and manic release. Blessedly, my partner laughs with me this time. It’s a good feeling of liberation.

Perimenopause hit me early

And boy, in this crazy world, during these crazy times, it’s a freakin doozy. I’ll tell you what! I’ve shared before about how surprising the experience has been for me.


Evidently this is something that runs in my family. Lucky me.


I guess it could be karma for getting to be in my early 40s without having suffered all that much at the hands of my menses. Or maybe it’s partly a result of spending the last 20+ years consuming things like coffee, and stress, and other hot, drying habits.

Whatever it is, I’m both metaconscious that (a) I’m having 1st world problems, and (b) this underlying struggle inside of me is clearly a fractal version of the systemic fluctuations happening in the larger world.

Perhaps it’s not too surprising that given my age, gender, demographic, undeniable white privilege, past psychedelic experiences, and wide-ranging library — I’m the perfect candidate for the modern trend of microdosing. Born in the productivity-obsessed atmosphere of Silicon Valley microdosing LSD has replaced coffee as the professional millennials' focus aid of choice.

Tim Ferriss, tech investor and author of the Four Hour Work Week, has said almost all the billionaires he knows regularly take hallucinogens. Crazy, right?


I have introspective intentions


Maybe I’m just bullshitting myself and doing my best to avoid conventional therapy.

We all think we’re special, right? In one way or another. We have things inside of ourselves that we are CERTAIN no one else is experiencing.


Until we hit a certain age, or have an intense experience, and the illusion that we are all completely separate and ineffable beings gets completely shattered or dissolved.

We learn to look into the eyes of others and begin to see our self. This is my intention now.

I’m starting to realize that the inner work is really the work that is going to set the foundations for a better world in the future. It seems to be small, and slow and unimportant to the bigger picture. But it’s not.


Evolution of a Casual Psychonaut

Psychedelics have never been solely a recreational experience for me. With the exception of my first experiments in college, I’ve been lucky enough to have ridden the wave of plant medicines becoming far more mainstream, more accessible.

Now there are shamans trained in traditional lineages of the various plant medicines such as Ayahuasca, San Pedro that travel the world. They hold small discrete ceremonies in private homes in quiet neighborhoods. And most importantly, they hold safe containers for the transformation that can be possible through the mindful and traditional ceremonies of these substances.

So now, mostly under the mainstream radar, more and more modern humans are getting their heads broken open, their minds exposed to other planes of understanding and existence, and their hearts reoriented towards a more holistic and partnership-oriented relationship with the planet and other people. And then they’re going back out into the world and spending effort towards changing themselves in an attempt at a healthier way of being.

I know all this because I’m one of these people. Suburban mom pixie cut or not, I’m very grateful to be awakened to the marvelous possibilities that happen when we get to be humans. Hence the experiment with microdosing.


So how does it work?


Microdosing is a protocol where people take 1/10 to 1/20 of a recreational dose of LSD or psilocybin on a regular basis for a length of time. The purpose of the process varies on a personal level, but it is generally undertaken by people seeking personal growth and development. The FAQs listed on is a fascinating read. And this podcast from MAPS back in 2017 gives far more detail on the science behind the trend.


Why did I want to do it?


On a personal level, the way I decided to take the plunge was a combination of opportunity, personal blockages within myself and my family relationships, and the COVID lockdown.

Oh, and hormones. Definitely hormones. The microdosing study run by MAPS actually has a whole section on the relevance of the protocol to menstruation-related issues. So cool.

If you’re the kind of person who thinks of the world like this, the plant doctors came and got me and asked me if I was ready. And I was. So I went.

The word psychedelic was coined by the pioneering British doctor Humphry Osmond in 1957, who was among the first medical professionals to use psychedelics like lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) for addiction recovery treatment and the study of schizophrenia. Osmond chose this word based on the synthesis of two Greek words- “psyche” meaning “mind,” and “delos” meaning “manifesting,” meaning the word psychedelic literally means “mind manifesting.” -Psychedelic Times


So should you do it?


First of all, psychedelics are still technically illegal in most countries. So it’s up to you if you want to flout the law and experiment with these traditional plant medicines that current regimes have tried to suppress.

Secondly, the inequities of racism and classism and culture are such that educated white people like me can experiment with microdosing these illegal substances in our little home enclaves, working from home and earning our money virtually, getting everything shipped to us while we weather the pandemic, and generally avoiding all the policing that poorer, darker, more urban people are forced to deal with.

It’s incredibly unfair and inequitable, and ironically the microdosing experience itself makes me more sensitive to the social imbalance of our whole story. Oh, and hormones. Gah! Everyone should have access to this tool, and if enough of the conversation goes mainstream, hopefully, everyone who wants to try it will be able to. Who knows what the world will look like now in 5 years?

Oddly, microdosing is NOT recommended for people with color blindness. Psychiatric disorders and an autism spectrum diagnosis are also contraindications. You can hear more about why in the podcast linked above.

If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t want to go deep, the kind of person who chooses to relate to the world on a very superficial level because that’s just what you like — in my opinion you might want to steer clear of intentional psychedelics and microdosing. If you’re scared of your own shadows, definitely consider deeply before taking anything.

But if you’re of the ilk that WANTS to manifest their mind, to see how things are working up inside that little bone bowl on the top of your neck, and you aren’t scared to do a little internal digging, then microdosing might be right up your alley.

The best way to find the right place to go is actually just to set a clear intention to find the right substance and the right protocol, and then to let go of any attachment to finding that place. Then the place will literally come and find you. At least that’s how it’s always worked for me.

CAVEAT: If you are doing this during the time of your big change, you must learn to pay attention. And you must make time to let yourself feel.


What does it feel like to do it?


I had the episode described at the beginning of this piece and I got really crystal clear that it was INDEED doing something within myself. Something subtle but significant.

It feels a bit like I’ve overlaid my meditative mind on top of the regular day. It’s not really noticeable when I’m focused on chores, or work, or other people. But I feel it more intensely when I do activities like stretching, qigong, or contemplative journaling.

It’s a mild meta-consciousness that, if I want it to, can help me break down the congestion and stagnation within my own energetic field by the conscious application of my attention.

To put that in less esoteric terms, I have the option of exercising more control over my actions and reactions, if I pay attention. It’s not a given that I will, but I suddenly have the option to do so. I have a higher capacity for noticing.

The microdosing makes me more aware of what I’m feeling. It also assists me in my ability to communicate with others about my feelings. By allowing my feelings to bubble up through my daily interactions, and then by making the conscious choice to release these feelings and the stories that go along with them, the feelings get less intense over time. And by holding a container to release these things, I can feel myself getting less stagnant and stuck.

Unlike a psychedelic ceremony and a larger dose of these substances, which can take you to entirely different worlds, the microdosing creates this little compartment you can carry around with you and use to process your life experience in little mini-doses over time. It’s pretty splendid in my own experience.


Are you curious?


Am I the only crazy mama out there?

I don’t think I am. In fact, I know I’m not. But still…

I feel a bit like I’ve been living in the psychedelic closet in some ways. And honestly, there really hasn’t been that much suffering from it. It’s not like it’s a central tenet of my identity that I’ve had to hide from the world. It’s just a little secret that I don’t mind keeping private.


So why did I just write this post?


Maybe I just wanted to let you know that YOU are not alone either. We are out here. These plant medicines and teachers are infiltrating the modern world for a good reason. I believe they have something to teach us. Something vital. The next step in our progress as part of this living planet in fact.

The plant teachers are here for a reason. Microdosing honestly doesn't make perimenopause any more fun, but it does make it more productive.

It harnesses the hormonal fires and helps use them to transform the understanding of how the mind is manifesting and how to change your mind to change your manifestation.

Anyone else ready to transform? I sure as hell am. I can hear the world calling to me. I can hear the cry for change all around me.

The time is now, and we are the media. Let’s raise our voices and make this transformation more accessible to everyone. It’s past time to take the reins of this narrative and steer this human thing onto a far better road going forward. It’s time to make the playing field more equal, stop fucking around with our human to human disagreements, and get to work building a world we can actually live with in the future.

Are you ready?




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