This is the first in a series of introductions of the humans that are a part of The Center of Consciousness Medicine. We hope that in sharing, you get a feel for who we are, what our values are, and why this work is so important both to ourselves and the world we share.
Can you introduce yourself and share a little about your overall experience as a client/student/guide of Psychedelic Assisted Therapies or therapy in general?
My name is Naama Grossbard. My parents were steeped in this work. I grew up watching them help people heal with alternative therapies. I never got “introduced” to it, I didn’t know anything else. For me, the question that’s important is: “What’s it like to be a steward of this lineage of healing?” It’s a life commitment, it’s a place I live from. It’s not a job or interest or not even really like a path, it’s more like a stance, like a vow. There’s something about it that is like stepping into the unknown, the great unfolding. I ask how the medicine wants to articulate itself, it’s wisdom. The medicine is more like a messenger. They are wise in the way they bring the messages, they are artful, cosmic, containing the wisdom of the earth. These therapies are a call to come home.
How is it different from other healing modalities?
It is based on a holistic perspective. It sees an individual as a complex system that isn’t broken, just out of balance. Psychedelics bring about expansion so that you can more easily see what’s out of balance and be able to experience it from a different category of experience, or perspective. It provides an opportunity to experience yourself, your life, the world and your relations in a way that differs from the capacity of your ordinary state of consciousness. The ego wants to perpetuate itself in service of protection, so transformation can be slower in ordinary states.
Was there a moment where a light went on and you knew there was another way, a pivotal moment that led you to where you are today?
Kind of yes, kind of no. There was a moment while I was living as an artist in New York with my partner, Bear. We were sitting on the bed and Bear was talking about wanting to train with my parents, but thought it would be weird if I didn’t do it, too. I knew inside if I took this step it would be a step into the inevitable trajectory of my life. I knew what this move would mean.
What impact has it had on your life, in your relationships?
Because I don’t have a context for “before” it’s hard to say, but it continually helps me appreciate the complexity and intricacy of each person. It keeps me in a state of wonder and awe, a place of compassionate curiosity and reverence.
Is there a shadow that has come to light through this work, a part of you that feels more whole?
There are themes around not losing sight of myself, of stepping into my power, releasing the desire for control. I’ve had to uncouple the idea that I’ll feel safer if I have control.
Why were you called to be a part of the Center for Consciousness Medicine and what is your role within it?
Co-creating CCM is like ringing the dinner bell; sounding the call to come home, where you can rest and heal and be taken care of. It is the place where our values take form. It feels like that’s what the earth is doing with the medicines that are finding their way into our lives, sending out messengers to remind us/humanity to come home. The medicine is calling people back into connection, interconnection, well-being, health, wholeness. CCM is a center, a home for healing, that also has boundaries, structure and intention. SCM, The School of Consciousness Medicine is housed within CCM and offers varied levels of training for those called to this work.
I was called by wanting to know how I could be of service. I feel like this is how I can use my skill, vision, and idealism. I’m a perpetual optimist. I believe in the goodness of people. I feel like we belong to each other, like we have to take care of each other. I look at my children and want a different world for them and this longing is also my life’s work. Fairness is important to me, injustice doesn’t sit well. Psychedelics are a great equalizer. They humble you. They can open us to our inherent interconnection. We have a responsibility to each other to do our own work so we can show up for the people and world around us.
What do you see as the greatest potential for Psychedelic Assisted Therapies?
To radically shift paradigms, to evolve consciousness so that people can heal from love so they not only get their needs met, but also thrive in a way that benefits themselves and the collective well being. It has the capacity to heal intergenerational trauma for future generations, but requires us doing it now. I hold the long-vision of what it will look like several generations down the road when therapy is not stigmatized and healing is available to everyone, where everyone has what they need. It has to be big and radical.
I see people as inherently good. They grow toward love like a plant grows toward the sun. We twist and turn in many ways from our patterning and wounding, but ultimately, we move toward the light. It is every living being’s birthright to have an unbroken knowing of their worthiness and value. Psychedelics are a powerful tool in mirroring this, an earth-given technology that helps us directly address the trauma that can travel through generations and keeps people from knowing their innate goodness.
My favorite book or a book I’m loving right now is and why:
My forever favorite is the Tao Te Ching for being the most impactful and influential. It gave voice for what I’ve learned to be true and continues to reveal truth when I revisit or tune into it.
Three things that bring me joy are:
- Getting silly with my kids
- Growing food
- Seeing people thriving and happy