On Spirituality & Consciousness with Dr. Erika Czerwinski Part 2 – Ep. 202

 In this episode of Next Level Human Podcast, Dr. Jade continues the conversation with Dr. Erika Czerwinski, who is a psychologist based in Asheville, NC. This time they talk about experiences, consciousness, how to access our ‘good’ consciousness, and how it all integrates with spirituality.

In our next-level human journey, it’s important to recognize that life in general gives us multiple opportunities to work on ourselves and to reach a proper level of self-awareness. This self-awareness and consciousness can influence not only our relationship with ourselves but also our relationship with the external world.

On the spiritual side, as spiritual humans, we are responsible for our actions, every day. That’s why the concept of “toxic people” has a whole other meaning if we recognize ourselves as toxic as well. In a world where everyone has wants and needs and they need to be met one way or another, aren’t we all toxic in a sense?

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Connect with Dr. Jade Teta

Website: www.jadeteta.com

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Next Level Human

Episode 202- On Spirituality & Consciousness  

Host: Dr. Jade Teta

Guest: Dr. Erika Czerwinski

Podcast Intro: [00:14] welcome to the Next Level Human Podcast. As a human, you have a job to do. In fact, you have four jobs; to earn and manage money, to attain and maintain health and fitness, to build and sustain personal relationships, to find meaning and make a difference. None of these jobs are taught in school and that is what this podcast is designed to do. To educate us all on living our most fulfilled lives through the mastery of these four jobs. I'm your host, Dr. Jade Teta and I believe we are here living this life for three reasons and three reasons only; to learn, to teach and to love. In this podcast, I will be learning, teaching, and loving right along with you. I'm grateful to have your company; here is to our next level.

Jade 1:18 

So let's begin to go into another discussion, we'll just make this part two of our discussion. So those of you who are you know, continue to listen, this is just going to be a part two of the discussion that Erica and I had previously. So this is Erica Czerwinski. She's a clinical psychologist, a Psy D, she's become one of my closest friends here in Asheville, North Carolina and, and a great teacher to me and you're jumping into part two for Erica and I, this is a conversation that is just continuing. But for all of you, this will be a part two, where we begin to, you know, get into a little bit more discussion based on what we are speaking of in the last episode. So in order to perhaps follow all of this, you're gonna want to go and listen to the last episode between Eric and I last time we were talking, we were talking about this idea of, you know, sort of integration inclusivity these kinds of things around, we were talking a lot about polarity and this idea of masculine and feminine. And when we left off one of the things that you made a point to say, because I was making the point that you can't fight fire with fire, so to speak. So as much as we might want to take out our frustrations on, you know, let's say the patriarchy and the masculine, that we can't become masculine patriarchs. In doing that, otherwise, we become the thing that we hate. And my point at the end of that was that a lot of people who have feminine orientations or look female and feminine, are doing this, in my from my point of view, and one of the points you had made to me is that you said a very important point, I think he said, Well, part of it is that, you know, we must have safety and we must be able to fight back to a degree that anger is useful that we must be able to orient ourselves towards safety and security before we can be and do these things where we can meet people oftentimes in the way that we our higher self might want. And so now what I want to talk to you a little about is this idea of spirituality, and this idea of consciousness around spirituality, because here's my contention with that. And I just want to see what you say with this. So if I'm wounded, and my natural inclination is to push back in this way, and to meet fear with fear and anger with anger and power with power and get into this struggle, from my perspective, to what degree Am I perpetuating this and isn't it in my mind, the quintessential spiritual warrior, let's say the quote Peaceful Warrior spiritual warrior would essentially say, No, the It stops with me, I would break the chain, I will take one on the chin, 14 human, I will no longer be the thing that perpetuates this. In other words, I refuse to become the thing I hate in Thoreau's words of civil disobedience. I simply will no longer contribute to this way of thinking. And what I want to ask you, Erica is to me, what has happened to the fact that to these people, like why do we have to all bow down at each other's wounds? Now? What has happened to the fact that yes, we're going to suffer we're all going to suffer every single one of us is going to run into pain and have difficulty and if If we always are, like, pay attention to me, you know, my wounds matter most like, you know, I need to be seen, then who's going to show up and do it. For Team human? Isn't there something to be said for the fact that someone's got to step up and stop this perpetual cycle?

Dr. Erika Czerwinski  5:18 

First, let's say I love your team human makes me smile. You're so desirable.

Jade  5:28 

But this is a hard one, right? Because like, think about a victims want to be victims, and people will get stuck in that. So to what degree do we let them continue to do that?

Dr. Erika Czerwinski  5:36 

Well, I think individuals are can only operate from that place of where they're ready, what their psychic and where their capacity is. So if someone is in a wounded place, and they're saying, No, I need to be seen. They, that individual unit can't show up for the collective yet. Right? So yeah, maybe it is the collective that needs to circle around that human, you know, I'm thinking collective small group or, you know, we could look at this as more of a metaphor that needs to say, Wow, I see your wounds, and maybe you haven't been seen enough. And I'm not going to rescue you. But I will witness you and love you and watch you rise. I had a there was in 2016. I was in my own very dark night of the soul had gone through a breakup, that was very hard. For me in my own growth, it was even less about the relationship and more about just where I was at, but I was definitely in a dark night of soul and depressed. And I had a dream one night where I woke up at four in the morning. And I was like, oh groggy. Why are you waking up so early again, and I went back to sleep, it was a light sleep. And in the stream. I was, I was watching from above this, like a desert, very dry African terrain. And it was at the tribe and there was a tribe in a circle. And maybe there are about 40 people. And the people were all rattling and chanting. And there was something in the center of that circle. And I looked and there was a amount and it was it was knee buried. And these people were chanting and rattling, and I knew what was happening. And what was happening was that I was not dead yet. They were waiting for me to die. And I also knew that they would keep rattling until I work that I was needing to die. And I was needing to come back to life and that they were they're holding the rapids. And what that is, to me is an example of a collective holding, not doing but being present with someone's process, which in that time was my process, that I needed to die in order to come back to life.

Jade  8:09 

What a beautiful metaphorical story that illustrates this. I just love that so much. Because I agree 100% In a sense, we must if someone is going through difficulty, if they are suffering, as good humans, we absolutely need to show up, hold the space be there for them. We you know, we need to say, I see you, you know, I know you're injured. This is not easy. I hate that this has happened to you. And here's the part that I really love about that dream, there is a part that you said they're rattling, because they know you're waiting for you to die in a sense, but they're rattling because they know you must awake and they're there. And to me, I go, this is the question then what happens to the individuals and I do feel like I see this constantly, who simply refuse to wake back up. They simply refuse to do anything until and unless the people stop rattling and do it for them. It's not enough for so many of us. And by the way, there's no judgement. I mean, suffering is horrible. I wish it wasn't the case. But ultimately we have got to at some point, make the choice and I guess I'll put it this way victims, right. It's such a negative connotation in a lot of ways. And to me I go absolutely we there's a time and a place and we must in my mind, in order for our salvation, our spiritual salvation or spiritual growth, we must allow ourselves to be victims. There's no way around it and at some point, we must also choose to become the heroes to use this in some way. And what I would say is that most individuals are in some I'm sort of Limbo Here where they're pointing out everyone else's dysfunction and saying you shouldn't be the victim be the victim, and you shouldn't be the victim and you have no reason to be the victim yet they themselves are calling out for their wounds to be witness, and they become addicted to this in a sense, and then they never can move on. And, and this is the world you live in, day in and day out. This is what a clinical psychologist does helps people move on from these. And the question to me is what is going on there? And like, because in the end, isn't it true? And maybe I'm wrong here, correct me, Eric. But isn't it true that at some point, every individual must take ownership and responsibility for what has happened to them, regardless of whose fault it was? And find a way to make sense of it? And to do something powerful with it for the world? Otherwise, who's going to do and if not, then

Dr. Erika Czerwinski  10:51 

yes, and I don't think it could happen alone. Meaning that there's everything from cultural and collective influences that have created those injuries for that person, say, and so yeah, there's this being is both an individual and part of a larger web, right. And in that micro of the individual, they're the only person that can step into empowerment. And they're also held in a web that has to recognize and have accountability for certain things. As well, as an adult, I'm thinking racially, you know, we're to white privileged individuals speaking about both from the macro, and that's not our main conversation, but it has to be present. So we have to look at the culture that that exists in, and then also look at where's the individual micro going on? And yes, the only person that can make those changes and have that empowerment, is that individual? And are they having the resources to help them do that? Are they having? Are they making the right choices of their community around? who they're with around? Are they finding the help they need? Are they receptive, we talked in our last podcast about that feminine quality of receptivity. And sometimes it's really hard when someone has been always on the offense and protected. And this is a mountain to, to be receptive, and receive help. So I think that you're absolutely accurate in saying that it is down to the individual to choose their own empowerment and to be able to make steps. And it also is a responsibility of the collective where reparations and where acknowledges acknowledgement needs to be made, so that the individuals have opportunity to become receptive. And depending on that environment.

Jade  12:44 

Yeah, this is the part that that is really, really hard for me. Because if we're really listening to what if I'm really listening to what you're saying, and this is a place where perhaps I just can't allow myself to agree fully because of this, because I go, in the end, society may just choose not to. And in the darkest of times, and this is a horrible thing, but you know, we humans have the I think the capacity, I really do think we have the capacity like a star in a sense, when surrounded by darkness, we must become our own source of light we have, we have no choice simply because otherwise, we may be waiting forever, it may never come. And if we have the orientation, that it is impossible, then I think perhaps it actually is impossible. And if we sit around and wait for culture to do it, then and other people to do it for us, we may be waiting our whole lives. Now maybe I'm wrong here. But this to me is perhaps like if we're breaking this down politically, you know, the sort of more conservative argument course for me, I'm the type of person I want to help people. I think that, you know, we must, you know, I actually see it as my duty as a spiritual being if we're going to talk about spirituality. To me spirituality means, in its very simplest that you aren't just a part of me because you're on the planet you are me, like, like I am made of the same stuff, you are a different extension of me and I am a different extension of you of Source consciousness, let's call it and that we are a reflection of them and they are a reflection of us that we are all one to me. That is sort of the definition of spirituality. If you really understand that, then you're not necessarily even taking care of someone else. You're taking care of self. But I also think that taking it on the chin is something that is an orientation, that we must also have we must hold both I must help you. And I must also understand that I am the only one who can help me because I might be the only one who will.

Dr. Erika Czerwinski  15:00 

But I think we're also then thinking as I listened to you, I think about, okay, what are the various influences that goes into having the capacity to do that. And part of that means one's own, what is one's own connection and experience of actual feeling love. And if you're an individual that really has felt and knows that experience of love, and you have that little nugget of information in you, and you can call upon that, and access that, if it feels like your main thing has just been shame, and disempowerment? How do we start to have that lived experience of that imprint in us in order to operate from that imprint? So I might say that we need to have individuals need to have that imprint of love, or goodness or love ability, in order to tap down into that seed, in order then to do what you're saying, which is like I have that access in me, I can use your words, take one on the chin, or I could have a little bit more flexibility right now to know that, oh, I really don't think this is fair, I really don't want to do this. But I've got to be able to rise up right now. And be tall and be empowered.

Jade  16:15 

I love this so much. Because it's such a This to me is really where the rubber meets the road in personal suffering and dynamics. Because you know, if you look at the Buddhist philosophy, essentially, and by the way, this isn't the Christian orientation. Well, it's, it's, it's all over the place that life is suffering. Like, there's no way to get around that. And perhaps if, if you and I were, you know, a supreme being who was going to design a world, we would build suffering into it, because it makes you pay attention, you can't learn perhaps about suffering. And we'd also probably build depth into it a timetable. So you get shit done. Right? So in a sense, it's designed well, but we do have this, this issue of spiritual and this is really what I wanted to really get in with you, because get into with you, because another pet peeve of mine is this idea of people who speak a very spiritual language, a very connected language, a very, you know, love light, and you know, all of this, and yet show up in very divisive and dehumanizing ways to me when you divide and you're divisive in your language, which judgment in itself is a form of division. When you do that in any way, shape, or form you are in my mind by very definition, not spiritual if if we agree and perhaps don't agree that spiritual spirituality at its very definition is a recognition of oneness that you are me and that I am you. If that's not spiritual, I don't know what is and certainly divisive. Language and dividing behaviors are completely different than that, which then calls into question, you know, some of the orientations and popular religious orientations that culture has constructed off of division, which to me goes well, it's not spiritual at all, if you're seeing yourself in some way, shape or form as better than or trying to divide me from you.


Dr. Erika Czerwinski  20:43 

When you are speaking about that, the first words that came into my mind is what is one's capacity to have a true sense of, for lack of a better world word self like a true sense of knowingness, right? We use the word ego in different words, in our common vernacular, a lot of times people say, Oh, he's so egoic, we think about the ego in psychology as being a consistent sense of what is that sense of self, what is one's ego development, and that just means sense of self. And when we think of it, in a colloquial vernacular, it's more like, Oh, he's so ego, he has an ego. So we might say if that if that puts spiritual person on their path of progression, and self-actualization of being full, and the next level human, that person has some kind of progression with their ego development. And when I mean, ego development, I mean, we when we're infants, and when we're little babies born, we get a sense of goodness, and who we are for the reflection of the parent. And so that little baby is crying, and the parent picks it up, and it's all you're okay, you're okay. And what's happening, there is an attunement that the baby begins to take in this sense of, I am okay, because what is outside of me, which at that point, the baby only has a concept of what's outside of me is also inside of me, they don't have a divided sense of self, yet everything that's happening is really just them. And so if there's an outer world or a parent that says, hey, you're okay. They say, Oh, I'm okay. And these are the beginning kernels for the building block of self. What happens when there's frightful experiences or fractured elements of stability in a child's life? Everyone experiences some form of trauma? And how is that trauma met? And what is their resilience? What are those initial building blocks of that ego is based on Oh, I have a flexibility I have a be able to experience our things but handle them? Or is, you know, we look at more often leaders and spiritual quote, spiritual leaders tend to contend to be more narcissistic, partly because mostly, like, that's not like a, like everybody. But that because there's a sense of one has to have a healthy sense of narcissism in adolescent development because it's so fucking crazy what you go through in adolescence, all the hormones and building understanding of who am I and who are you? What do I really like? What do I not like? Who's my kid? What, who am I, that you have to have some semblance of solidity to keep going, and as that develops, you actually start to take on more real or authentic things inside of yourself, if that doesn't start happening, and there's a rigid sense of self, and external, I am this. And I think that I need to think that not just because of what the inner core, there's there is a sense of there's a flexible inner core versus no flexible inner core, then that outer shell is very fragile. And I need to prove myself by what I do, or who reflects back at me, I need to prove myself by how much power money friends I have, as opposed to a solid, stable, flexible sense of security

Jade  24:02 

inside. Yeah, and that could be an orientation that you have, regardless of the type of language that you're using. In fact, you could potentially be using very spiritual language and being very Machiavellian and very psychopathic in your orientation towards humans, Machiavellian meaning manipulative, you know, and in your orientation. And one of the things I just want to point out for you listening that is, I always find this interesting when you talk to people who are trained psychologist how careful they are with using the term narcissism, because it's almost like it's an overused term, I think for those of us who are not, you know, clinical psychologists that that term is used in a very incredibly if I'm, if I get this, this wrong, but I just want to point out to people notice how Erica sort of used that term and narcissism is one of these things where it's on a we all we all have narcissistic tendencies as a personality trait. So it's It's more on a continuum, and it becomes psychopathic, you know, when it is, you know, extreme in a sense, but I found it interesting that you were essentially saying that, you know, leaders have to have a degree of narcissism, it's almost like they have to know that they're good enough to get the job done. And hopefully, though, it's about honest enough with humility and humbleness that, you know, so they need to be confident enough to know they're a badass some degree of narcissism and insecure enough to know that they're not shit, right? Like, that's, that's the right orientation. And I just wanted to point that out, because I liked the way he was sort of balancing that. And I do think that's a term that's very much over used. But going back to I think your major point is really interesting, this, this childhood development, and this idea, because I have a question about this, this idea of, do they feel safe, as we, you know, sort of become fully conscious, which, you know, if you look at the literature, it happens somewhere between the ages of six and 10. I mean, the brains not fully developed until like, 25. But we start to develop somewhere in childhood, this idea of, I am my own entity, and they are their own entity. And to me, is this where you see this this is, it sounds like what you're saying is, this is where this begins to happen. So would we say that if we had a very adverse childhood and lots of trials and tribulations and traumas in childhood during these formative years, are you essentially saying this mate would make it very difficult for someone to really embody this, you know, essential spiritual idea of not just speaking in, you know, spiritual language, but actually behaving that way?

Dr. Erika Czerwinski  26:45 

There's so much that goes into, you know, human development, I mean, it constitution, environment, what one's own biology is, so it's too difficult to say, yeah, if someone has a certainly a really traumatic upbringing, or lack of present parenting, that's certainly going to be harder. But no, there's many people that I know who have developed into very healthy, humble, beautiful teachers and beings when they've had rough childhoods, it but it does take a certain amount of self-awareness. And just in general, I think self-awareness is one of the key traits that helps people grow. So but yeah, I think it certainly is harder when we come from greater trauma.

Jade  27:33 

And the reason I ask that because here's I want to ask you so that I know that one of the things that is most interesting to me about you and what you've studied most of your career, is like you have delved you're very traditionally trained and understand all that stuff. But you delve in, you know, sort of the mythological space, you've delved in, you know, the shamanistic space you, you know, you're someone who does ketamine assisted therapy and understands the psychedelics at a level of no one I've met and what they're sort of used for and in the non-dualistic sort of tradition, what they oftentimes talk about is they talk about the idea that the essence of us and this perhaps Source consciousness that we come from, at its very essence, it is just love. This is what they talk about. So from my perspective, if this is the case, and if we have sort of this Source consciousness that we essentially are all bubbling out of, and if for those, you don't know what I mean by non-dualism or idealism, this is just essentially the idea that everything is just consciousness that we are that our brains don't create matter. But that consciousness and mind creates matter. It's all just consciousness, right? It's all just Source consciousness. And we are all you know sort of outcroppings of this so the way I like to put it, this would be confusing to some people but hopefully, you'll get it is that we are all just fish made of water, swimming in water, that is a limitless water with no surface and no, you know, no boundary at all. And if this is the case, then it begs the question that perhaps there is no real subconscious. There's just this Source consciousness that sort of we have access to, but our ego, our ego, sort of makes us because of the self-reflective aspect of us being aware that we are aware makes us forget and not be able to see it's kind of like being in a funhouse house of mirrors where you see what your see your image, your image, image, your image and you forget and can't find your way around. It's sort of like the stars, it's light outside right now. But the saw the light from the stars are still reaching your eyes, you just aren't aware of it. So we somehow forget because of our egoic state, that we have this source conscious ness underneath us. And do you think perhaps, that this is why people can go through such trials and tribulations and they can you know, be You know, be kids who aren't completely but yet still be able to tap into this Source consciousness. Is that what you think's going on.

Dr. Erika Czerwinski  30:07 

question Jade, I love you. I think that that whatever that trigger is or instigator or catalyst that allows someone to drop into that touching that place and for some psychedelics, for some, it's meditation. For some, it's yoga for some, it's their sports. For some, it's the relationship of love. Whatever that pinhole is, that first illuminates that connection to this grander truth of love this grander truth of connection and golden consciousness of you, I think of it that way, like this web. So yeah, whatever that thing is, and I think that's why psychedelics right at this time, as we're our societally expanding consciousness, is literally expanding on the map, because it is one just one modality that can help people and particularly people that have had more of a barrier between accessing that place psychedelics is one way of doing that when done in a safe contained setting with trained providers. So yeah, I think that's what it makes me think of it. My answer your question is yes, I think it's right on to say that that Source consciousness, you know, Jung would call collective consciousness. And that's the juicy love.

Jade  31:20 

Yeah, I can almost feel your goosebumps. And I'm getting them to like in terms of just getting into this work, Matt here. I guess that's the question, right? Like, how do we then if this is what we must access? And that, in some sense, we have access to it all of the time? Then how do we what are the ways in which we can begin to see this, and not to see it, because you mentioned some of those things already. Psychedelics is a big one. But then what happens is, I know so many people who do this, they have these amazing experiences, and then they come out, and they go right back into, you know, sort of this non spiritual way of being, and doing and so this is really, I'm just opening up from your perspective, what do you really think, you know, the next level human journey? You know, like, what, what do you think that we really should like, if you had advice for us? Like, what where do you think we should be thinking and orienting? And how do we develop this self-awareness? And how do we tap into this? You know, this golden consciousness of this Source consciousness? How do we get there, because if I'm hearing you correctly, and we're right here, what this means is no matter what trials and tribulations and traumas that we've had, and no matter what we've dealt with, in life, this is always accessible to us. And once it becomes accessible to us, ideally, we should then begin to promote and amplify and amplify.

Dr. Erika Czerwinski  32:58 

One the what was in my mind when you were speaking was, and we use a word that contend to be edgy, which has the word frequency, when you and I don't think it's so edgy when you think of tuning forks, and sound frequency sounds vibration, and when you hold one tuning fork that's going to see and you hold another one up, they will resonate, there's something called resonance, right, they're going to resonate and vibrate at the same frequency. And that's what humans your next level humans can do. So we have to start to feel attune to that inner truth of when we feel good, and when we're in that place. And then can I from there, recognize, oh, I'm in a room with somebody, they make me feel really good too, they hold me up, their vibration feels so much better when I start to go with my other friend and we start to get gossipy and it doesn't feel good. Feel that lower vibration. So our first thing is a tuning with that cord in ourselves that feels gold, you know, love that feels resonant, that feels expansive, and light. And then knowing when we're in another frequency and company, either it's a person or an activity. Some people, you know, can find that place when they're on the yoga mat, or they can do it on their bicycle, that space of expansion. And I also think we're creatures of experience. So can you notice through experience we learn through experience. So to your point, you might go on a powerful Ayahuasca retreat, and you may come back and be like, Oh, my God, I was able to see and all these things and have deep understandings. And how am I now going to integrate that and that's also in the psychedelic world. When we talk about integration sessions. You can go and have a very powerful experience but if you're not capitalizing on that vibration, if it if the tuning fork goes still And we don't resonate, keep it going, then yeah, it's gonna fall off and what just happened to that experience? How are we going to use that and integrate that more into our lives? And then we start attracting different people, we start seeing different friends and connections that are synchronous.

Jade  35:18 

Yeah, that to me is so good because this starts taking concepts like the law of attraction and things like that and makes them I don't love that. But it makes it makes it far more tangible. For me. It's not necessarily the law of attraction, I oftentimes called the law of recognition. Actually a funny story. I'll tell all the listeners here, my good friend, Mike, who's been on the podcast, and who Erica knows well, when before I met Erica, we were all at across the gym together. We had not met yet. But Mike was this is the tuning fork. I think Mike walked past Erica as she was engaged with someone in conversation and just being her light, bubbly, intelligent, you know, sort of self and he comes up to me, he goes, That chick right there is cool. Like she she's your kind of person. She's like, we got to get to know her. And it was almost like recognizing this tuning fork. Here's the interesting thing, though, I think you're saying and I'll ask the question like, so imagine I walk into this room and have this experience or meet these particular people, or whatever it may be. There's occasion for that in life. And let's just imagine, it's like walking into a room with a beautiful symphony playing. And I pick up the violin and realize that, oh, my gosh, I could play along with them. And this feels good and where I need to be. And then I leave that room with my violin, and walk into another room where they're playing heavy metal, and my violin can't even make headway. It sounds like part of what you're saying is that this is another place where as spiritual humans, we have to realize that we're somewhat responsible for that, because I hear this term all the time toxic people. And I don't love that term at all, partly because I just go well, if you're voluntarily exposing yourself to a toxic human, aren't you the toxic one? And by the way, how do we know which one of us is toxic in the first place? Right. And you know, if I'm vibrating with you, and I'm picking that up, and Aren't I the toxic one? So it sort of begs this question, but it does seem to say that you are suggesting that the environmental shift, which to me, the ultimately violent environment, is the one that you create in your thoughts must happen at some point. And you've said, and I agree with you that, you know, obviously, if we can be next level humans that what if we set our intention to bring that experience to other people and or may set that intention to bring that experience to other people, and then they did and they did this is that idea of paying it forward spiritually, which then gives a whole other meaning to the idea of being spiritual isn't talking about, it's using spiritual language, being spiritual is the recognition that I can bring oneness to my interactions with the world,

Dr. Erika Czerwinski  37:59 

I can vibrate and that's another maybe new age word, but I can embody a sense of leanness or experience that is at a level that I want to be and that I'm going to if I'm not there, and one of the reasons that I love hanging out with us because you do vibrate in ways that you don't guess the word vibrate. That really allows me to feel my own goodness and my own light. So I want to choose that in my relationships, and we may not always be there. And so it's like, God, I should really hang out, what is my choice? Am I going to go hang out with GE, or we're going to go hang out with somebody else who's just going to join in my negativity? So we have a choice in that. And I think there's that this space, where we're at right now in our own growth is that our relationships become our mirrors. Like you're saying, if you're in a toxic relationship, but aren't I toxic men? If I'm choosing that relationship? Are we allowing that to show us going back to our first episode? What is the shadow quality, then we need to see what is here for me to heal what is here for me to change, shift, Grow, evolve, transmute what is in me that I'm still working on. And that's where the self-awareness piece comes in that our life is a continual opportunity to be our own personal project.

Jade  39:26 

spirituality right like to me if I if I think about this, I go like imagine that if it's all just consciousness then we are essentially in a very real sense filters. For that particular free for a particular frequency of consciousness is almost like the imagine a universe is this giant, you know, octopus with all these suction cups and tentacles and little bumps all over its arm and each of us are one little bump or one little suction cup or one little aspect of that nervous system that is sort of sampling the world allowing, you know this Source consciousness to experience itself in a sense. So if this is how we orient, then we have this filter that we are as humans, if we essentially open ourselves up to this the job then of us would be to expand that filter to develop our consciousness. more fully. And because it's a recognition that other people are us, we are them, that it's our job to expand their filter, which means we cannot speak in divisive, dehumanizing non inclusive ways and ways of being with people ever because then we are just insulting and devolving Source consciousness, which is ultimately insulting and destroying and evolving ourselves.

Dr. Erika Czerwinski  45:29 

And I also want to I want to make room for the shadow work, right? Or if we use that term, our own inner work or seeing our injuries and wounds, right, Calabasas, right, which is the you know, my program, right? What the tenant is, is to say, can we go into the Down Under Can we take a journey down into the underworld to come up and rise again, because if we're only going to stay up here, we're only going to stay in the positive, we're probably cutting off because we are humans that are trying to evolve. And we are sentient beings that have this, these feelings. If we don't look at these other areas that are still ripe for evolving, then we're cutting off and either dissociating or compartmentalizing and missing opportunities for healing and growth.



Jade  46:19 

Okay, so let's just tackle this before we end this this last piece, because this is fascinating. So is what you're saying here is that if I am suffering and that some of this suffering is, in some regards, I'm blind to it, then some of the work that we must do, is going into this. And looking at this suffering, suffering to me being you know, emotional, mental pain, and going into this this world, looking at this aspect of consciousness. And then what do we do with it? Because I've always had this contention that once we recognize this pain, the job and this is more a question. So want to see if you go yesterday, this is right, or I don't agree with this, or I don't see it that way. That to me, the job of once would be job one, it sounds like we're in agreement with you have to look at this pain, you have to go into the areas that you're not completely aware of and understand aspects of where you're suffering and all of that kind of stuff. And then two, from my perspective is what's the job, then when we now have excavated this hot potato, right, this thing that is hurting us? You know, a lot of people would say, Well, I don't want to sit in this. And my contention is that we must in some way integrate this and part of the way in my way, this is the question, my way, I've always thought that if I can look to see who else is suffering in this way, and go and help to allay their suffering to teach the lessons I've learned from that same suffering in some very real way, I get to integrate that suffering for myself, as well as allay some of their suffering. And I'm wondering, is this correct? And the reason I'm asking is because when we talk about going into the shadow space, and going into these worlds, I think a lot of people would say, I'm too afraid of that. And then what do I do when I find it? Like, what am I going to do with this hot potato, this hot mess of dysfunction that feels like it's the end of the world or is not something I want to look at or confronts my insecurity issues on such a way that it can blow any semblance of self-esteem up?

Dr. Erika Czerwinski  48:33 

Yeah. And I don't think there's one right answer, I think there's a number of different right answers, because we're also different. And what we need, I definitely think one modality is to be able to become conscious of what those injuries pains were to experience them through our bodies. And this is some you know, in trauma theory, trauma gets stored in our bodies. And with the releasing of that trauma also happens through our bodies, and through experience in relationships. So if I, for instance, had an alcoholic father who is always critical, and end up choosing partners who are critical, I'm replaying something Freud would say, it's the repetition and until you get it right. Some might say, well, that's gonna take a really long time. Others might say, Well, can I have a new relationship, where I'm actually shifting the stories and experiencing new stories to heal. I mean, we're both story making creatures. We live through stories, and our memories are completely fallible. So we really begin to construct new stories and new ways of being, but also that the body has to be integrated in that too. So if it's just, oh, I'm changing my scripts. Well, that seed of trauma in the body is not necessarily going to change just because you're changing the script. So I do want to honor also the need for the body to process traumas and to come through that through different experiences, and through ways of healing trauma for the

Jade  50:07 

body. Yeah, one thing I'll say about that's really interesting. Why am I experience? One of the things is the by third time I didn't throw up at all. And I remember asking the, one of the shamans assistants afterwards and it's like, you know, I didn't purge. And she said to me, because she was there helping that and then she goes, Oh, Jade, you perched. She goes, remember when you know you were shaking. And like you were, you know, I was having these things where my whole body would just shake. And some people would get up and dance. And there was one point where I was just, you know, sort of moving and rocking back and forth. But I'd had these energetic things go through the course the first night, I did throw, but I've found ever since then. And then I had an LSD experience where I had to get up and I went through just this spontaneous yoga, sort of flow and fell all this energy surge into my body. And since then, my kidney, this is what, six months ago, now, I have done that every single morning, for 20 minutes, I wake up and do this, this flow. And it has been really interesting to see the energetics around, you know, needing to move in that way, which I'm not someone that has an orientation to exercise, yes, but not dance or not anything like that. So it's really interesting. So if I'm hearing you correctly, there's this idea of, we are, you know, story, you know, sort of making machines, we buy into stories, we need to become aware of those stories, we need to begin to rewrite those stories, we also need to be, you know, so journaling, perhaps, movement therapies, you know, allowing ourselves to feel where these things are, and then move and then of course, acting out these new scripts in the real world.

Dr. Erika Czerwinski  51:54 

And there's so there's two other parts to one, which you already mentioned, was through the body. Right. The other one is through relational attunement. And I think we all know, I hope most of us know what that's like, when someone's attune with you. It's why, you know, Mona and ago when I was getting excited, you're like, Oh, I'm getting excited, right? Because we're resonating. And so there's another human who is tuning with you. And that's what I think good therapy does, you know, clinical like talk therapy, along with many other therapies, what really good relationship is, is we're tuning and we feel met and seen. And so healing happens also through that through positive attunement, that's healthy. And through the body, like you're saying, through movement or shaking or crying, moving energy, energy is neither created nor destroyed. And so when energy comes in and gets blocked, that energy somehow is in there.

Jade  52:43 

Let me so let me just I want to reinforce to you what this to me, this is so powerful, what you're saying here, and I want to make sure the listeners don't miss it. And then I'll give you final final thoughts. But if we're listening to what Eric was essentially saying, She's She is telling us that lots of this trauma gets stored in the body. And energetically speaking, there's not too far to make that leap that these things then and I don't think this is too uncommon, in you know, people's understandings now that this can manifest as illness. And she's also giving you giving us a way to begin to deal with this. And so if you're somebody who has had suffering, whichever human has, we know it's there and you believe and have seen that it is perhaps recurrent patterns, stuck emotions, recurrent, you know, repeated obstacles and things like that, then you know, it's having a role in your life. And Arab is literally giving us tools to help break through this, the tools of psychedelics, the tools of meditation, the tools of journaling, the beautiful tool of attuning with other humans, the movement sort of therapies and all of these kinds of things, these things are not something that we should be looking at as alternative out there. Woowoo therapies, we should be looking at these as primary tools, primary treatments, in something that conventional medicine and even my field natural medicine simply is not really touching, which is why I just think it's so powerful to be able to talk to someone like you. So I'm going to wrap up there, but I want to hear any final thoughts that you have.


Dr. Erika Czerwinski  54:29 

The other one that I would say that can't be left off is the experience of nature and being outside. And just I think a year ago, Canada has now made it a prescription their doctors are allowed to prescribe nature therapy. So what they do is they actually give them a parks pass. So they can that's actually now a medical exchange that you can get a prescription to get a parks pass to spend time outside.


Jade  54:55 

Shinrin Yoku that's what they call the Japanese forest bathing. I love that you Tell us Erika where everyone can find you. I know that you have a website I know you're in clinical practice and I don't know how much distance stuff you do or and I know you. The big thing that I'm so excited about for you is the ketamine assisted therapy that we're going to do another podcast you and I so people can be educated on that. But where can they find you? Where do you hang out if they want to get more education?

Dr. Erika Czerwinski  55:24 

we are in the middle of giving our website facelift but that is katabasisrising.com. You can also find me at dr.erikacz@gmail.

Jade  55:40 

Cool. You are just really my friend. I love you. Thank you for being on with the next level human crowd. And thank you everybody for hanging out the conversation and we will see you next time. You've been listening to the next level human podcast with Dr. Jade Teta. If you enjoyed this episode, please make sure you subscribe and consider leaving a review. You make the biggest difference where you pass on your lessons and inspire others. That's why reviews like this are so powerful. Your words may be the only ones that resonate for someone else. Please remember the information in this podcast is for educational purposes only. Always consult your personal Physician or Therapist before making any lifestyle changes. And finally, thank you for where you are in the world. And the difference you make



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