I’m a big fan of the hugely popular site, Medium. So it was particularly fun when I was invited to be interviewed for the Medium publication, Authority Magazine about Emotional Intelligence.
And I just want to share a short excerpt with you that reveals a notably embarrassing – but instructive – moment when I first started my emotions work a number of years ago in the basement of my Denver home.
Authority Magazine interviewer: Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?
How about an interesting mistake!
Early when I was beginning to teach this work I’d hold “Cannabis Elevation Ceremonies” in my home when I lived in Denver (Colorado is a bastion of legalized cannabis). I’d share about 30 minutes of theory and then we’d begin about an hour of practice which consisted of very active and expressive movements. 
Early on I always did the movements and breathwork right along with my group and would close my eyes as well. This time though we’re in the middle of this very active practice and I open my eyes to see that one of my participants has fled! I glance over at the bathroom; the door’s open he’s not there. He’s gone. 
While everybody continued with the movements (and eyes closed) I rushed out to find him. Nothing. 
I’m floored. I grab my phone look up his number and text him. Immediately he texts back “I freaked,” he said. “too much was coming up and I had to leave the scene.”
Well, at least I knew then that he was ok. He could think, talk and respond. But I immediately felt like I had failed him. What a rookie move! Had I been watching (instead of “being in the energetic field” with my participants) I would have spotted his discomfort and would have immediately taken action to calm and settle him. I reached out several times after that with apologies and invitations for 1-to-1 sessions but he never responded. 
It was a profound lesson for me in how powerful this work is and underscored the care in which I needed to explain what to do if emotions come up too fast.  Oh and I always keep my eyes open now!
Boy, until that question was asked, I hadn’t thought of this experience forever. But it does stand as an example of how certain mistakes can help us develop and advance our craft, right? (If you have a memorable example of this, I’d love to hear from you. Connect with me here.)
Of course, I could have really beat myself up about that mistake, but in staying close to my emotional intelligence (hell, it’s what I was interviewed about 🤓), I reminded myself that my work is unique and cutting-edge … I’m not a talk therapist or a doctor, a yoga teacher or psychedelic guide. Although in my master courses I draw from all those disciplines – embracing brain science, ancient wisdom practices, plant medicines in a therapeutic group setting. So I’m essentially the one codifying this multidisciplinary approach to emotional and trauma release. That mistake made me a better and more present facilitator.
And to put a bow on this, I just got an email from an enthusiast who wrote:
“Your work is more valuable than ever and way ahead of its time. Please keep on sharing this holistic medicine – that delicate dance between plant medicine and emotion – all in support of the ability to thrive in each moment that we are blessed with breath.”
– Jennifer L.
Wow, poetry – and a reminder to stay the path and see the “mistakes” as guideposts in our evolution.
With Love,

P.S. if you want to read the full Authority Magazine interview, you can go here.