Plant Medicine is becoming more mainstream and while many folks are focused on the peak experience that comes with a dramatic shift in consciousness, there is another way, a more sustainable way, to work with plants. Celena De Luna spent the first part of her life in a state of deep listening and in her late teens began her healing journey and started finding her voice. She is now a powerful, strong voice that is not afraid the challenge the status quo and share her discoveries.
She is a folk-herbalist and medicine woman, a kitchen witch who teaches on nourishment as a way of life. In this episode, we explore subtle plant wisdom, redefine “medicine” and examine the biggest tenants of true healing : commitment, patience and consistency. Listen now to hear her incredible origin story and tune into her unique way of connecting with life-giving plants as a way to heal.
Follow her on IG @ofthemoonmedicine
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A: Every day there is a forgetting and every moment there is the possibility of remembering. Remembering who you truly are, awakening to your body, to the inner world and experience of being alive. Here is where you find the beauty, the joy. Here is where you free your Soma.
Hello everybody and welcome to Free Your Soma podcast, stories of somatic awakening and how to live from the inside out. I'm here today with a very wonderful guest, Selena de Luna of the Moon Medicine and she's here today to share a little bit about her own personal somatic healing journey about growing into the person that she is here today and then also to share some really fascinating and helpful ideas about this concept of plant medicine.
So maybe if you've been anywhere recently in kind of the alternative world, the alternative seeing plant medicine is really coming into popularity I guess you could say, like more and more people are doing ceremonies with plant medicine as a way to open up their consciousness and things like this. But why I invited Selena, why I invited you here today is because I really enjoyed some of your posts that you made about a subtler form of plant medicine that is kind of being overlooked that people aren't necessarily connecting with because they have like one idea of what plant medicine means. So today we're going to be exploring some of those ideas along with your own personal journey. So welcome.
Thank you for being here with me today. Hi, thank you so much for inviting me. Yeah, and maybe if you want to just introduce yourself a little bit to our audience and kind of tell them a little bit about your background and about how you came to be involved in these really revolutionary ideas about connecting with the earth and plant medicine, etc.
C: Well, I guess I could start with how I identify myself in this form and and I identify in those ways for a reason because I feel like they need to be represented in what I'm caring. So I identify as a medicine woman and also as a folk herbalist. And I'm also an artist too. I've been an artist my whole life. So I feel like that has a a an important even though it seems like a different world. And a different profession. I see a lot of working with herbs and plants and energy and my life I carried as an artist. So there's a lot woven in where I'm looking at things in a in a in a poetic sense and in an emotional processing way of of healing. Um, but yeah, I was I have been trained in a full herbal studies through the guy school of feeling earth education.
I've also done some shamanic studies and have stayed all around holistic studies have been exploring and diving into this field ever since I probably got out of high school and had my my just knowing of I need to take care of myself and why am I I've had I had a really unique childhood and I guess it would be important to talk about this because we're talking about psychoactive talking about plant medicine and all this stuff and really my journey started as a child. I had selected me to some so I didn't speak for 10 years. Wow. Yeah, so from the age of four years old to 14 years old, I did not speak at all. So that was a little bit of, I guess, a spiritual awakening did not feel not feeling like it at the time but it it sent me into when I was 18, this exploration of my own self of what the heck is going on. Why did that happen? Prior to that, I just felt like it wasn't safe to explore that.
And that kind of sent me into more of the, I guess you can say, spiritual and alternative health world to tend to myself and explore cultures and different types of things. And I feel like it just kind of snowballed into my own health as well. I feel like trickling into how can I take care of my nervous system just being so anxious, so socially anxious as well. I dove into food. Honestly, I feel just like intuitively, not really knowing I didn't really name a lot back then, but I got into food medicine around like 2013. And just like wanted to, I was eating a very normal American diet and had a lot of a lot of teeth issues as well growing up as a kid. And just needed to tend to my health in a lot of ways. And I had an angry phase of like, what the heck have we been eating and and what have I been eating?
What have been what have been bad and and that contributing to so much had like a documentary binge for like a year and explored and on my own. And that dove me into the field really quickly. I had a food business where I was making my own almond milk and this does have a lot to do with it because I was working with herbs as infusing herbs into my almond milk and that dove me into growing the herbs getting to know the herbs. And that then led me into just, you know, step by step exploring and wanting to go to herbal school. And in folk herbal traditions. You learn through apprenticeships, you learn through mentorships one on one or in groups experiences like actually in the field. So, and also just being an artist and having just having a different way of learning being in the field being outside exploring is the way I love to learn anyways. So, yeah, that's cool.
I started in 2015 and graduated in 2016 and it absolutely changed my life. So, in that, in that school, it's really what I also carry my own practice in now and it's through plant spirit medicine through the wise one way of healing so it's like a perspective of healing and working with herbs and working with all modalities. But how how you view it and nourishment being the foundation to that. So, yeah, that was a bit of my training and also just the start the start of a new chapter and my, my initiation into yeah I am going to stand represent and live for myself first with the plants for the rest of my life. And that was a strong statement that I feel like I had.
And it was a very metaphysical experience as well as it just like hey let's let's learn about the facts of plants. It's like let's get to know these plants as personalities as friends as beings alive on this planet that are here to be our medicine and our food and all the things. So that has really, that really set me up for a different life and, and it all kind of just accumulated itself and, and yeah I just been studying and doing different things ever since you know, caring about more sustainable ways of living and kind of kitchen witchery and shamanic types of ways of healing and trauma recovery and all the things but really it's been a foundation of walking with the plants full time. Awesome.
A: Wow, you know that's so amazing what you said about being 10 years of no speaking between four and 14 because you speak so well now and you're so articulate. I don't think anybody would ever think that you spent so long in life not talking. And what it makes me realize is that like, sometimes when we like see a child who doesn't talk, we like have some kind of assumption about their intelligence. Right. Or we think they're behind, or we have some idea that they're like, you know, lower on the rung of some system systematic way of thinking. But the truth is that a child who is not talking is doing a hell of a lot of listening.
Oh my God. Right. And listening is also how we learn to speak I mean you could say that's actually how we learn to speak period is by listening as babies and starting to experiment with like how to make the sounds that we're hearing. Right. So I can imagine that, you know, during this time for whatever, you know, varying reasons that you didn't speak like there was a lot of like receiving of language and receiving a different ways of speaking and expressing oneself that you like gathered, you know, you can think about like how much listening was going on.
Probably not just to just words but also to your environment, you know, like they say when one sense, you know, if you were to go blind or, you know, one sense gets lost like the others get heightened. So if you were not speaking your listening was getting stronger, your sensing and your sensing in your environment and your communication with your environment would have been increasing because you weren't auditorily expressing. Right.
C: Oh yeah, a lot of observation, a lot of being in survival mode so it, your intuitive abilities and because really. Yeah, our intuition is linked to our like primary ways of functioning and survival instincts. You know, so like, you know, when we're scared we kind of like hear things a little bit more clearly or you know we're like, kind of perked up, and I feel like that really woke me up to a different way of perceiving as well.
A: Yeah, wow, that's, that's really extraordinary like most people did not have that experience. So really can see how it, it created and kind of was part of the momentum that led you down the path that you're on about this communication with plants, not so much as just like facts and figures, you know, and like, knowing how to cultivate something but like actually how to listen to the plant and connect with it. And whatever you said about kitchen witchery, I love that term I don't I've never heard that term before. But as you said that I was like yeah that's what I do like I'm pretty much a kitchen witch like I feel you on that like I'm not even sure like all the different things that might mean but like one way it shows up for me might find this fun is like, I use my analytical brain to like go on the internet.
While I'm cooking something, and I will read about the different compounds in the vegetables the different phytonutrients that I'm about to consume. And I'll read about like all the just brain stuff they've done they've studied all these, you know, different phytonutrients and this one does this and this one helps your eyes and this one has been shown to kill cancer cells. And as I'm like taking in all this like left brain info, or right, yeah, left brain info, I'm like applying it and like a right brain way where I'm like, ooh, this food is going to like come inside my body and it's going to you know make my eyes see brighter colors and like I'm like giving to myself like a little spell, or something into my food like while I'm cooking it. You know, and then when I'm sitting down to eat it I'm like ooh cauliflower like da da da da my, you know, like basically inviting the food to have this healing impact on my body.
And simultaneously it's bringing like so much joy to the surface of like my being about the food, because I'm having this connection with it that's like in some ways, rounded in reality right because I'm reading about like carotenoids or some, you know, like antioxidant classification that like some scientists like made up, but it's like also energetically I'm feeling into the way that these foods are here to provide for my body on like a really deep level. Oh my god that's everything.
C: That's like my favorite thing ever is to is to hold the whole aspect of ourselves which is the part of us that, well I mean I don't know about everyone but like for me I love the facts I love that like analytical knowledge and understanding what's going on in the chemistry and alchemy of the body. And also, you know, the, you can say feminine aspect the flow way the artistic so it's like, okay I'm going to move this and I'm going to, you know, I'm going to tend to this and I'm going to make art with it and I'm going to see its beauty and and I'm going to consume it in that way I love that that that that is witchery.
A: Yeah, yeah so now I have a new I have a new like some new nomenclature to like, you know, give myself when I'm in those modes and like oh kitchen witchery love it. Beautiful. So you were speaking a little bit about the way that you've been connecting with plants as medicine, and then kind of coming back to this like way that plant medicine has become kind of this like hashtag plant medicine and like all these different types of experiences that people are having with plants, and you have a more I would describe as a more subtle understanding of that compared to like what I'm seeing mostly on the internet or what I'm seeing mostly on Instagram about plant medicine. Would you maybe distinguish for us like how you see plant medicine versus how you're seeing it represented.
C: Yeah, well, gosh, okay so I mean there's plants is a very very broad word, and there are a lot of plants that have different categories and interact with us differently and there are plants that are nourishing there's plants that are stimulating the dating. There's plants that are poisonous. There's plants that if we consume them and of course, you know, dose dose matters right but there are plants that even in the smallest degree are poisonous to our system.
So when I'm talking about plants I'm talking about nourishing plant. I'm talking about things that our body needs to heal and our body is run and functions off of nourishment off of. And when I mean when I say nourishment I'm talking about nutrients. Minerals like these constituents that allow our body to function so I can do what it what it here to do it's intelligence. It has an eco ecosystem that it's running by. And it knows what it's doing.
And if we offer it the nutrients that it needs in whole forms. It's able to have those tools to be able to run optimally and then at our natural. We are a we are awake aware we're alert we have all of these abilities when we're nourished. Right. We have to access that from somewhere else of depriving our body from with a poison or getting somewhere, you know, from a, a deprived deprived place, which can be coming from. Yeah, our minds are instability that we can have around something or an insecurity that we have. So I'm not medicine.
I'm talking about working with nourishing and common plants, such as food and herbs that I could, I can suggest but yeah these, these herbs that are safe. And working with them in our food and as medicine when I say medicine, it's, it's a concept of taking something in for healing. It's a view. And we don't even have to consume something to be medicine medicine is a broad term that I like to see as something that is supporting you. Right.
A: So some of what you're talking about here is is plants and I guess you could say chemicals or compounds that encourage regulation in our systems versus dysregulation they support our life versus kind of harming it. Yeah.
C: Yeah. Mark, there's, there's like back to that as well like power. I mean, you know, it could be a little controversial to talk about the body because we all have different bodies and we're going to, we're all in different states in emotional states physical states we're all dealing with certain things we'll have different, I guess pathogen types of levels, things that we're, we're working to heal from or recover from so all these things can be interacting differently but there is a baseline of our body like our body hydration, our body needs nutrients our body needs certain things to live and function properly in a well state so.
A: Yeah, yeah. And the other piece that you said here that I thought was so fascinating was that we are taking in the food, right or the substance or the plant medicine, right, whatever, whether it's an herbal tea or you know some kind of, whether that is actually giving back to you, or whether it's like taking from you is another way that I was like thinking about it as you were talking, because I've thought about that a lot with like say, if we're looking at, you know, consuming calories, right, these, you know, terms for the energy levels in our food, right? So we're consuming say like 500 calories of something. Our body has to work to break down that food. And so our body has to use energy to do that.
And so how much energy your body's using to do that, you want to be receiving something like nutrition from what you're taking in. And if what you're taking in is nutritionally deficient or not even just nutritionally deficient, but actually has things that are harmful in it, things that actually do damage to your system, it's like a double negative, you know? Like you've used this energy to break down this food and then you have not only received not almost nothing in return, but now you have also like created damage or stress within your system, right?
So the idea that you're talking about with accessing plants as medicine through their consumption is that they, as medicine, they are giving you something in return. They are nourishing, they are providing for you versus removing your energy and removing your, yeah, your energy, your life force energy that you used just to break it down, you know? And then maybe had to deal with some kind of toxic load that the food contained, right? Yeah.
C: Yeah, gosh, and there's so many approaches to like this conversation that we can go into around plant medicine as well, cause it's like, well, generally speaking, cause we all have our own unique reasons, but why is the majority of us right now as a collective going towards plant medicine? And we're talking about plant medicine, I'm talking about psychoacid. I'm even talking about caffeine. Mm-hmm. I'm talking about coffee, matcha, chocolate, and that's a little bit controversial too, because we don't even go into that. We see them in our society as so common as a way of life.
And, you know, if we break it down, and what I've learned is like, those are really, those are quite similar in that they are, they are increasing our adrenaline in our body. And really what I feel like we're not talking about is the addiction that we have with adrenaline. And a lot of us don't understand or know that, but going into the studies around like actually consuming psychoactives, doing plant medicine when I'm referring to what I'm what about makes like ayahuasca, or we're working with worms, or working with anything that could be affecting and inducing some type of a hallucinogenic effect.
And just altering our state to a way that's quite forceful, emulent. And it has a, it's a one-time action, right? So it's not necessarily going to help and support, nourish the body in recovering from the root cause, or actually help with the body detoxing something out that is affecting the system, that's maybe creating some type of imbalance. But yeah, this concept of being addicted to adrenaline is something that a lot of us don't know, and it's in our blind spot as a human collective right now in the health world. And it's something that I've personally have been on a journey with, and it makes so much sense to me.
And also that I've just been diving in and learning about how like adrenaline is released when we consume something that is poisonous. And that's registering, like the body registering something poisonous. So that is also caffeine, that's high levels of fat and fat and combination that's alarming to the system, that the body literally has to try to put the fire out because it's super stimulating and puts our whole system and organs to work too much.
A: Right, overworking. And you could even just describe it as stress, right? It's stressful to our system, right? And so then our adrenals start creating adrenaline to survive the experience.
C: Right, it's actually there to thin the blood out. So that's like its job, it's thinning the blood out. And it also gives us a trace of nutrients. So we're actually addicted to the release of nutrients that it's giving us. And why it's doing that is because when we're in a fight or flight situation, our body is thinking that we're gonna like pretty much gonna die, like so it's giving us our last dose. It's giving us, it's reserves.
A: A little bit of a fighting chance.
C: Yeah, exactly. And so that's what's happening over and over and over and over until we get to a level of burnout or we start seeing symptoms and conditions happening. And I also want to emphasize like what I've learned about adrenaline is like, it's very corrosive. So it's a blood thinner and it's similar, of course not similar at all, but like similar in metaphor to a paint thinner where it's acidic. And it can be really corrosive. And we actually have like, there's organs that are very strong, but there's also organs in our body that are very delicate. And when that is released, that adrenaline is released out of survival.
And like you said, a fighting chance for our body, it starts to corrode those organs and those organs are affected negatively and they have to repair. And if we're not giving the body the nutrients, or the fighting chance to repair, to restore with those nourishing foods and things that we need, and even outside of food, like just stress reductions, self care, a safe environment, emotionally stable, so those types of things, all those support. And that's sleep. Yeah, all the things, that's all gonna be indicating to our nervous system, to our body that we are able to drop out of fight or flight and go into recovery mode. And most of us, I would say, are subtly not aware how addicted we are to that.
And I will own that that is what I'm recovering from, because I'm a human on this planet right now with a phone, with regular amounts of stress, with had been on a American diet for the most of my life, and that takes a while to recover. There's a lot of dedication and awareness to see what's actually really going on in the body. So, yes. And so when I think about people going to plant medicine for the purpose, like not just like, oh, I'm just gonna go have fun and go on a trip, but like, hey, I have this illness and I wanna go and help myself. And I want to recover with these medicines. What's actually happening is we are stressing the body out more for an extra spiritual experience.
A: Right, like that's kind of how you're paying for the spiritual experience. Your goal is to have the spiritual experience and the expense is at the actual regulation of your body system for a period of time. So that's like what you're paying for that experience with. And it's so interesting, you just said that because I've had those feelings sometimes when people get really, you know, talking about, for example, ayahuasca. Now, I can't say anything too much about ayahuasca because I have never done it, but I have talked to many people who have done it. I've had lots of different experiences described to me over the years.
And it's funny because I had a, I guess you could say, like a spiritual awakening when I was 19 years old in the form of a psychotic break. And I've written about this. I've been featured on another podcast talking about this event. But basically when people would describe their experience on ayahuasca or even this experience of meeting like unconditional love and being absorbed into like the field of pure unconditional love, I was like, okay, like I had that experience. I had that experience when I was 19, when I was psychotic, you know, and I don't really feel this strong pull or this strong need to like go have an ayahuasca trip and go through that again. That was extremely stressful actually to my body system.
And it took me a long time to recover from that. And so to me, I'm like, I don't really feel this need to put myself through that level of stress to attain a certain level of awakening because like I actually already had that experience once upon a time. And like how many times do I have to like put myself in a state of like almost dying to like live my life? Like really, you know? And so that's kind of what came up for me as you're describing this because a lot of it makes sense to me too. And the thing about these experiences that we wanna have, these spiritually like expansive experiences or just like you distinguished medicine versus have a trip and have a party, right?
When people are getting really heavy handed with it being medicine, there is a little voice in my head that goes like, well, what about just like eating regularly, eating vegetables and drinking water and like just sleeping well? Like, have you tried that? You know, versus going on some like intense, very stressful to your system, you know, universal download or something through this like extreme experience. However, if somebody is like, I want a party and I wanna like go to the ends of the earth and just have this like really intense extreme experience and they like kind of own that as like, I wanna escape my current reality and just like have a blast.
For some reason, like I can see, I feel like more authentically connected to that. I'm like, okay, like, yeah, that's like going out to have a party versus going to do this for healing. For me, healing takes the form of like regular, consistent like rhythmic work that you do day in, day out. To me, that's healing. An extreme stressful experience was not healing for me and generally isn't healing for me. Although I've had experiences that were certainly like a blast off into space and induced mild levels of trauma that were exciting, like that adrenaline you're describing. To me, that's like a little more accurate, right? Right. It's a party versus healing.
C: Yeah, oh my gosh, yeah. And I would say so coming from, like coming from my own experiences and what I'm observing and watching in my life and where that adrenal fatigue, so yeah, I'm healing from adrenal fatigue, which I would say and like burn out those experiences. I would say my child was very stressful. That's a very stressful thing to not speak, even though it sounds like cool to a degree now to talk about, you know, like, oh, that's such a monk-like thing, how spiritually cool that is. But being like an eight-year-old child who is just trying to fit in and just believes that she can't talk and no one else in their world is mirroring anything properly, knowing how to handle anything, knowing how to interact or anything, you know? It's very stressful.
And so it brings about a lot of traumatic experiences. And then that becomes, you know, forming of a lot of limiting beliefs and a lot of habits and patterns that I'm recovering from and that I've been on a journey for, you know, over a decade working in healing my, like just recovering from trauma. And, you know, I feel like a lot of us are doing this now, more shadow work, more recovering from all these patterns that are not serving us. And I think that's amazing. And in that process, like I've just been learning so much about the addiction I have to the stress, right? Like that's what I'm familiar with. I'm familiar with someone being dramatic or leaving or having, you know, like, oh, they don't love me type of thing, you know?
And recovering from those types of experiences and coming back to a place of it doesn't need to be that way. That's not love. That's not what health and in healing what the body really needs. And it's coming back to this like neutrality and a calm state. And I feel like I've healed so, so much. But what I've, what I'm also seeing the parallel is like, people having and going towards those experiences because it's like a form of what they know of that kind of that, their trauma, that experience of like, oh, let me almost die, you know? Bringing them back to probably a childhood experience of like those types of things or these limiting beliefs about self. And it's like, it's just so, there's a lot of layers to it. And that's what I'm seeing.
There's like an addiction to the chaos itself. And I'm just calling it out from my own journey that we are burning our bodies out. And that's not what that is. We need to come back to more of a, like you were saying with healing, being a dedication, a commitment, from that place it could be seen as boring. And a lot of people don't choose it, but that's what our body needs. And we're actually the reward of that. And I can tell you from firsthand experience because I've just been living this way for a while. And is that life becomes so more subtly beautiful because you start perceiving things from a place of not being stimulated or high off stimulant. And that's just coming from a lot of just regular food recipes that we can have, just like fatty types of meals. That's a stress on the body.
That's literally putting in induced like adrenaline rush that we don't even know because we're so used to it. But when we're off of that, when we're not on caffeine, we're not on these highs, we actually start perceiving the subtleties of our system more clearly. And we start to actually feel more calm and have a different definition of love and what's safe and a whole new way of life that is not a stressful. And I just find that to be so important to kind of call out that that's what we're going towards when subconsciously, not talking about, hey, intentionally, a lot of people are doing this, but I feel like subconsciously what's happening when we're going towards these really tripped out places to heal. And I feel like we're really just missing out on this whole other world of just being with our food and also being with that system of the trip of actually eating healthy. Like that's a freaking journey right there.
That takes a lot, like so much comes up. And I feel like people are chasing this experience of like, oh, let me have this plant teach me this thing, or this trip teach me this thing, let me go on trim so I can have this, my shadow come up and I can process it. Like, dude, just stop drinking coffee for a week. You'll have a trip, things will come up.
A: Yeah, your shadow is going to show up. I mean, I had that experience when I stopped drinking coffee after years of drinking coffee. Like there's a lot of shadow work in quitting substances. You want to do some shadow work, stop drinking coffee and all your shadows are going to come knocking at your door to be processed, you know?
C: Yeah, and you know, that's again, like that's, that is bringing us more lessons if we are looking for that. And also we don't need to force that either. Like what I'm about and what I feel like the tradition I'm under with, you know, herbalism and the whole viewpoint of feeling is like go easy on yourself. Like we are coming from stress, we are coming from fight or flight, tons of trauma in our ancestry as humanity and our upbringing, childhood growing up in this world that is bombarded with just chemicals and poisons everywhere in our air and our food everywhere.
And so it's like if we can just be more gentle, loving, going at a pace, yes, have this awareness, have a goal, have an intention for yourself and be like, how can I do baby steps? Totally. A nourishing way where we're hugging ourselves through this experience that can be really hard to let go of these addictions or, you know, just face a lot of hard shit in our life. Totally.
A: I mean, that experience I just described with quitting coffee, I did it called turkey and I was miserable for like several weeks. And then of course I didn't stay quit from coffee, ended up drinking coffee again. But like now my MO, if I find myself, you know, three days in a row with my husband when we're out and about we both have had coffee and I wanna not be on coffee anymore. I do it gently instead of cold turkey because I don't wanna stress my body out so much, you know? So I'll drink black tea for like two days and then, you know, slowly come off of the experience.
The, like you said, you're describing this addiction to adrenaline. And the other piece that's coming up here is that when I have had these really clear times where I'm in a really good rhythm, I'm going to bed at like a good time. And I'm not, you know, on my phone right before bed and I'm taking care of myself and I'm drinking enough water and I'm not, you know, all of that. I'll have these moments and this happened earlier this year where I'm just like really, really super calm. And in that moment of just this like really calm, like connected clarity, like I have found that I am afraid because of that conditioning that says like it's not safe to be calm.
Safety is in that adrenaline. Safety is in that on guard, always looking around to make sure the danger isn't right around the corner. My nervous system has been programmed my whole life to be on the alert. And so there's a deprogramming process of like when I get those clear moments, when I get really calm and then the fear comes and immediately what happens when the fear comes is like, oh, I suddenly want like some really heavy food or suddenly I want, you know some caffeine or there's these cravings that come up that are leading me back into the stress, right? And it kind of happens in cycles because then I stress myself out. For me, one that I've been connecting with and maybe you know a bit about this too is just the level of sodium that most people are taking in including myself for many years is actually really toxic to our systems.
And so when we're eating, you know processed foods or restaurant food and we're taking in like say, I mean it's crazy if you look it up at Chipotle burrito that's supposed to, you know a lot of people think of Chipotle as healthy but a Chipotle burrito has like over 2000 milligrams of sodium in it, which is like they say that 2500 is like the upper limit of safe for a healthy person in an entire 24 hour period. Crazy, crazy.
So taking in this level of sodium I'm sure it's having an effect on our adrenals because it is toxic to our system, right? And it's such an easy one to do because all you have to do is just like go out to lunch somewhere and you can have this high dose of sodium that then put in on, I can feel it now it puts me in a stress state, you know the payoff was that I, you know got some quick easy yummy food and, you know that I didn't have to, you know think too much about it.
It was just available immediately for me, you know and maybe, you know, obviously there's other nutrients and things in the food that were more helpful than if I just ate like deep fried potatoes or something, you know, but there's still this interaction that's going on where now like I'm back in that like, you know, fight or flight state which is more comfortable in some ways than being super chill and calm. And so I feel like in my recovery process I've been going through that like back and forth that like kind of like, you know recovery process where like you dip back into like the adrenaline because that's what's normal for you that's what's safe. And then you come out of it again and you get a little bit more comfortable each time like being calm you get a little bit more comfortable just being neutral and not on the roller coaster.
C: Oh my God. Yes, all of that. All of that and also, yeah, I mean, we're so used to adding in those, that sugar, that salt instead of being used to that already being in the fruits and vegetables alone. Like those minerals, those salt are in celery are in a food already. So once we, that's why I feel like it is really important. And it's hard for me to come from a space because we come from such a culture of what cleansing and detox has meant. It's been very forceful, very abusive.
But I've connected with a different definition and different relationship with that of cleansing and detoxing being something that is really supportive to our nourishing and healing journey because it gives us a place to transition. Like giving us a time to where like, okay, I'm going to release those things slowly and transition my body into getting used to these salts and these sugars coming from the food already and not adding them in. And then also there's medicines, there's ways at which we can have that experience. Like I work with a lot of seaweed, I eat a lot of seaweed now because it has a lot of nutrients but also has that salty aspect.
A: Or like kimchi, like I've been making some fermented kimchi and I don't use as much salt as the recipe requires, because you really don't need it to be super salty for the fermentation process to occur. But it gives that little bit of like salty satisfaction or whatever I'm eating to have just a little bit of it. Is that kind of what you mean? Like kind of having these ways that are not so intense on our bodies?
C: The thing is is that that craving is, should be trusted to a degree. We need that salt because it's indicating we need those minerals. We need that sugar because it's indicating we need those building blocks, that nutrients. Like that's how we function. We run off of natural sugars and mineral salts. But that what we're giving it is not satiating so we crave more. Because satiated from those sources, it needs it from a whole form, from fruits and vegetables, from those actual living foods that you cannot replicate. They are, it's not just a salt in there. It's a whole thing, a whole universe that our body is taking in and we're being nourished by and it knows how to register it and knows how to utilize it. And that's what satiates it. And maybe we won't register that at first because we are going off of, we're healing from the addiction. And so we're gonna have some lows or we're gonna have that thing happening. But what I've come through from just doing kind of multiple rounds of cleansing and shifting my diet and just straight, just committing because of my own health concerns. Like I'm just not gonna look back. What if I just keep going? You know, what if I keep going, you know? And I've just been on that for a year and it does even out. I do not crave those things. Those things are nasty to me most of the time. And that took a transition. That took a place of like, okay, now my body's adjusting on its own. And it just takes that commitment to get to the other side somewhere. And you learn like, oh, that's what that craving is. And I don't have those cravings in because there's a time period of those things needing to die. And before they die, they yell out hard. They like scream even louder, be like, hey, I need that, I need that, I need that. And if you give it something where it's like, well, here's the real mineral salt. Here's like coming from celery. Celery has a lot of natural mineral salt in it that our body needs. Or here's an apple where it's like a whole form of like a really good source of balanced sugar. Like it's just, it's gonna satiate it. And it's you're setting your body up to actually really heal and recover.
A: Mm, yeah. Yeah, the other piece here that I've been exploring, and maybe you have some ideas about this too, is like, you know, the way that some people attempt to transition towards a more whole foods plant-based diet, but then they have gut issues with it. And then they start like blaming plants for those gut issues rather than understanding. And then this is kind of still new information, I feel like that is being shared. But rather than understanding that there was a predisposition of your microbiome to not be able to digest and break down the fibers of plants, right? And so having that ability to actually break them down to remove the nutrients is really like ground level foundationally key in order to be able to have some of the experiences that you and I are describing. So I just was thinking of that as like I was thinking about anybody who might be listening. And like, you know, I've had that experience when I was younger of like, oh yeah, I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna be like a raw foodist vegan. And I like went full hard into that and just had like gut issues and like felt like my body wasn't digesting the food and like wasn't breaking it down and was having like nutritional deficiencies. And I didn't understand why. And so I thought that like, you know, oh, it's, I just, you know, I should be eating more, you know, whatever animal products or the standard diet that everybody else eats, right? And now I'm starting to understand, oh, it was actually because my microbiome was out of balance that I couldn't break those foods down. And that the way to heal my microbiome has been through very gentle consuming, regular consumption of a wide variety of plant fibers over a long period of time. Not something that I do with like a probiotic medicine that I get at the store or, you know, a cleanse or an elimination diet. Like those are an okay place to start, but it's that regularity of like regularly taking in in small portions, these different plant fibers to help my gut adapt to being able to digest them.
C: Yeah, I mean, so I've been on, I've been taking in and living, living by medical medium protocols for the last few years, learn so much about what's really going on. And I've been on this like vegan, vegetarian journey for like literally just since I was like 16. But, you know, like, and also like I said around like 2013, just like totally wanting to clean out everything that I was eating and just being, let me just make everything from scratch. You know, I started doing like almond milk and my own breads and all this stuff, like, you know, and coming from wherever. And then I've also tried on a lot of hacks throughout the years because I've always just been struggling with gut issues. And my nervous system just being shot and just being so anxious and always trying to figure it out and break out since different that. So I've tried bone broth diet, I've tried this, that raw milk for a while and raw cheeses and like going to like homesteading places and just getting the best quality things ever on the market for years. And I've still had high levels of anxiety and depression and still having all these conditions. And of course, the quality of things that I've had are so much better. And I've done it over such a long period of time and have done like juice cleanses and all this type of stuff. But like, I feel like this past year, going on a whole like a whole, on a system that was like the medical medium type of like way in lifestyle and like cleanses has really changed and flipped over so much of what I thought was true. And like really learning what's actually going on and how important it is like, it's like to not just, oh, you're eating plants now, like that's it. You know, like you're on it. No, there's so much system that I go on and I'm thinking about on a regular day basis. Like I think about everything and it's not overwhelming. It's just, you know, you're just integrating knowledge and I've learned over time. Like I have celery juice every single morning because I'm thinking about my gut. I'm thinking about my hydrocarc acid levels. I have lemon water first thing in the morning because that helps with lushing out the toxins and it helps with like those two things are helping with the body and the digestive tract for all the rest of the food that's going in. It's like priming and giving the organs enough like ability to break down all those things. And I also take certain supplements. I'm thinking about herbs. I'm thinking about the food that I'm in taking. I'm making sure I have like enough greens, which is like all these types of things. I'm also not consuming any fats or oils or anything like that. I'm very limited on that. And if I do, it's at the end of the day. So it's like all these systematic things that if you're just on a vegan diet, you're not really doing and those little tiny things can change the world. And that's what I just didn't know. Like having peanut butter in the morning or having pacao in the morning. That was a common thing to have oatmeal and put peanut butter on that stuff. And that little shift actually can change the whole day at which my digestive system is processing and won't be able to really break down the things. I'm just kind of eating random things. So it's like a lot of food combination knowledge and seeing where your system is at and what your body is needing from with what it's...
A: What you're experiencing. Exactly. An all-in-a-little experience that's going on all the time, right? Like you're talking a bit about an intuitive process that you go through in terms of sensing into where is my system at right now and what would be the best thing for me to take in right now? Like obviously there's these protocols and these systems that you're familiar with, but it sounds like you're applying this knowledge real-time to your individual body. Absolutely.
C: And it's like... And having these tools of herbal energetics are really important too, like just yesterday. So I'm like... I would compare to other types of diets. Like I feel like I eat really, really clean and I'm constantly needing to navigate every day. Like just having too much fruit can... What I'm just perceiving, whether this is true or not, but just with my own intuitive ability to read my body, I'm feeling like, ooh, I'm not... Maybe I'm having a little bit too... Speeding up the detox a little bit too much and so I'm getting too much water retention and my lymphatic system is kind of backing up. So I need something else. And I'm... If I'm just having too much fruit throughout the days or whatever and not having enough greens that are going to help flush it out or having some bitter types of foods or even pungent types of foods. So yesterday, I just felt like I'm like, yeah, I feel a little bit more bloated. And when I was just like, okay, I'm thinking about herbal energetics. What could I do? I was already out, so I couldn't just go to my medicine cabinet at home. So I was at the market and I was like, I'm gonna get a piece of ginger and I'm gonna chew on it in the car. And that immediately helped me because I needed something that was going to kind of be heat inducing and circulating and clearing. That's going to kind of balance out the building aspects and the detox things that are like a lot of the fruit sugars and all that stuff is doing. And I mean, and that's just me understanding it from my mind. I know there's a lot else going on, but that was my intuitive thing of let me just chew a little piece of ginger. And immediately I felt like a, whew, like it was a balancing effect that happened. And I was so grateful for just that common thing that I can go to. And that's what I mean by plant medicine. It's like, that's a piece of ginger. You can find a piece of ginger anywhere almost, like someone can go to get some ginger or someone can go try to get from rosemary. Like those are the things that I feel like are so important to kind of navigate throughout the day is those subtleties of taking care of your body.
A: Yeah, wow, this is so wonderful. It's such a, you know, what you're offering here and what you're sharing about your own like process, there's a lot of sophistication to this. Like it's something that you've really developed and honed over time, you know, in, in my own, like, process with this, I will notice different energetic shifts, if I, for example, like, because I love salads and I will eat like really big salads with lots of different kinds of vegetables in it. You know, and if I, I've had periods of time where I am basically eating like two really, really huge salads every day. And what I will notice sometimes depending on the other things that are going on, like, you know, especially if it's like summer or spring or something, and I'm doing that. I will start to feel like I'm really in my upper chakras or something like I'm really cerebral like my mind is like really active and like it's, it's great but I feel this sense of like floatiness. And so what I'll do is I'll be like, Oh, I need to eat like some root vegetables I need to eat like some beans I need to like ground myself, because just too many greens, and maybe you have like, you know, other explanations for like biologically why this might occur too many greens too much raw food has me like almost like floating out of my body. And like that's lovely in some ways like it's like I get a lot of like, kind of psychic or, you know, collective download information but like I also need to just like be in my body and have that sense of like grounding and organization and being able to follow through on tasks and stuff like that. And that's when I find myself gravitating like I said towards like colorful root vegetables or beans, squashes, things like this. And that was one of the challenges I felt when I was a raw foodist was that I felt floaty a lot, and I didn't feel this sense of like being on earth, if that makes sense.
C: Yeah, that's, that's something that I feel like I definitely like I don't know what I feel about it now I do I do feel like I feel that way sometimes, but I do eat a lot of potatoes because potatoes are super healing to the gun I've just learned that, like, just going to potatoes or, you know, winter squashes or sweet potatoes and stuff like that. And I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do consume a lot of that to actually slow down process so it's like we're having so much fruits and vegetables we are speeding up the detox process and things are dying and also yeah energetically we can be way up here type of thing, but I do I do believe that as far as like energetics. And I've also had experiences that are different this year, where I'm just like, Oh, all those years that I've thought that I'm having different experiences like there have been a lot of periods of in this year that I've had almost like all raw food and because of the the system systems and the actual like cleansing protocols that I'm going through. I'm seeing that what I thought was true. I'm actually healing my nervous system and I feel more calm. And I'm having more like those greens but but also I'm having steamed veggies and not having everything wrong I haven't had like I haven't done like a full rock blend for like a longer period of time so I don't know that. So I feel like if I did I could feel that way. But I do feel like it's important to balance out the body that way to have like having some steamed veggies, or some like, you know, steamed potatoes steamed squash, because it helps us with with with regulating the system and doing it at a pace away which if we are. If we create stress, that is, that's still going to release adrenaline in our body and it's also going to counteract the detox process so it's like we need to feel safe and regulated to heal. And so, navigate that of like, is this too much for me. And is this is this, like those things are subtle sometimes like we do have to go over a hump that it's like no something dying. And that's that's a different, that's different than, you know, going towards something where it's like I just want to avoid this. It's like it's a subtle thing and we and to start navigating that within ourselves takes a skill it's a practice we we need to start somewhere, especially if we just haven't been paying attention inside.
A: Yeah, I mean that's in many ways. The, the work that I do with people somatically I consider to be like the foundation of any kind of like food coaching or intuitive eating like anything that I teach has to have this somatic foundation of developing their body connection. Because without that, I think a lot of people just end up following rules and kind of like an arbitrary way without actually sensing into what they're experiencing and honoring that to whatever capacity like I know I experienced that in the past with like cleansing and detoxing where I did it kind of forcefully I like did it to myself like as a punishment or as like a trying to fix myself thing. And it actually that energy going into it was counterproductive, because it, it actually created more stress in the experience of doing it which as you have been describing like creates that adrenaline which then is going to get in the way of the healing process. Right. And so it's really important I think for when people are first starting out with this kind of approach, you know, and I totally love what you've shared today because it really shows this beautiful vision to to our listeners to people of what's possible of this connection that you can cultivate with yourself and that you have this real time, like interactive quality with your own body that, you know, and then you have all these different tools that you use to navigate like what to consume to be for your highest good. Right. But a lot of people when they're first starting out the foundation is just having that listening having that connection to their body and like practicing responding to their body rather than just reacting. Mm hmm. Right.
C: Yeah, I also when you're talking I was also thinking about this. This association we have with like certain plants is those are our teachers and others are not. Mm hmm. When we think about even marijuana we think about ayahuasca we're going there because we want to get a message or you know we're wanting to drop in and learn about ourselves some some and that's been a lot of people would do I feel like if I, I haven't had, or have gone to a lot of psychoactive because that has been too much for me I have been on a whole nether health journey and I can go and share about that. My experience is that when I have worked with them, what has happened. But yeah, God, what was I saying. I was talking about sorry, like going off of a tangent.
A: Yeah, yeah. So you were talking about the, the connection with like other plant medicines versus potatoes or something like this is our teacher this is not our teacher. Exactly.
C: Yeah, so my training when I was sitting under my apprenticeship with plant spirit medicine. That's what it brought me the most is like seeing working with nettles working with stinging like working with lemon bomb working with common plants, and they being teachers messengers for their own psyche, just as much as mushrooms would doesn't go on a trip would and it's like it's working with their own ability to tune into our senses and become more familiar with those subtleties to receive that information, because all of those lessons are there and I just remember like my teacher saying and I feel like I live by this now it's like, you know she's, she's learned more in her life from a cup of tea of stinging nettles, then she did with her ayahuasca trip that steaming taught her about boundaries about certain things and in her own self that relationship she received information and messages. And that's like what is possible and that can and those, those actual herbs are, they're not going to deplete us, and they are, they can be allies and I feel like that's my relationship with plants is I'm constantly learning about myself in a lot of like self reflective practices through just having a cup of tea and welcoming that plant in energetically of like, hmm, like right now I'm working with, with holy basil. And I don't know why, but it's just like, yeah, it just, it seems the most attractive to me and I'm like, hmm, I'm just, I'm going to keep following that I don't know why I don't need to know why I don't need to be heady. I don't know don't know don't know don't know don't that sense. I could for fun. I try to figure out why like, but it's just a trusting and a relationship and that's like the beauty aspect like that feminine type of way of healing of just trusting and unfolding that relationship with the plant. And, and it's helping me with my development. It's helping with my whatever I don't know, maybe I need something, but just following that relationship with the plant can be really helpful and that's what is available in so many different types of plant and even foods, working with seaweed working with celery working with like celery is an herb working with, you know, broccoli, like we can do that we have that ability and, and I feel like that's a cool way of seeing it is like these things are helpful to our body and we can turn to them and learn just as much from them, compared to you know, mushrooms, or like right.
A: And it's interesting because like I mean, as, as someone who teaches somatic movement like we use micro movements or very, very small movements and there's a big emphasis on what the person experiences from this very, very small amount of activity. Right, so we're increasing like your sensory awareness at like this. It's more sophisticated level. And most of the time for people when they haven't moved this way before it's very difficult and they want to do like a really big movement they want to do something extreme they when I say move your arm like they want to do like a must intense muscular contraction. Right. And so this is kind of reminding me of what you're describing where a lot of people their introduction to the idea of receiving a message from a plant is like this big dramatic intense experience versus what's actually always available are these more subtle experiences these more gentle experiences, and those more subtle and gentle experiences are actually more nourishing to our bodies they're more. They're creating more connection within our bodies, instead of actually creating like trauma or disconnection. Right. Yeah. And my dad was talking about this the other day with the way that our nervous system specifically likes gentleness. Like our nervous system really craves that it really likes that now our mind and like our other systems and our conditioning might get in the way of like, you know you as a whole person like appreciating that gentleness at first especially if your life has been rough. Right. And you're used to harsh things and intense experiences right and that adrenaline, but that when it really comes down to like the way our bodies are designed. We actually are subtle beings, and we actually are nervous systems really love that level of gentleness. You know, I was thinking about that when you were mentioning potatoes because, you know potatoes I feel like I've gotten a bad rap in like the world like as a carb and like, you know, but like what really makes them like not good for us is that we like deep fry them and then smother them in you know hundreds of milligrams of sodium you know that's actually what's not good about potatoes. It's nothing about the actual plan. But what I found with potatoes is they are so easy to digest. Yeah, or most people, they're just very easy to digest and you were saying it's healing to our digestive system and that resonated with me I'm like, yeah because they're just easy to break down like our bodies can just easily break that down it doesn't take like effort to do it right because of that the quality of the starch and you know the gentleness of the flavor. It's just, it's an ultimate like gentle food and really like a comfort food without having to add all that other extra stuff.
C: Exactly. Yeah, it really, it really calms our nervous system as well, because we're refueling ourselves with such kind of like, Rudy handedness. And yeah, a lot of us do need that, you know, if we if we have some really messed up guts which a lot of us have in which I've come from I needed some sensitive easy to digest foods and bananas, papayas and and potatoes and and like steamed squashes are really easy and also healing to the gut system. And then you know, wherever we are on our journey like we can start adding in those like rock hails and and those those kind of heartier types of greens. And it's not so what I learned is that it's not actually. So what they're doing is they're scrubbing the inside of the intestines. And so that can create a sense of bloating or irritation but what they're doing is actually cleaning the gut out. And when I learned about that, I kept eating them and I felt like also just like with this other types of way of eating and eating really clean. I have way less irritation from like eating raw kale now, but I used to. I would get so irritated. But now I don't, because there was like this phase where it's like, you need the process of cleaning out. And if there's a lot going on, there's a period where it's going to keep scrubbing, you know, there's a lot to work through.
A: Yeah, yeah. And also the the digestion of those fibers, like you have and this is from my experience with like following Dr. Will Bolsowicz who is like a gut, a gut doctor who talks about healing the microbiome through plant foods really fantastic dude. But he talks a lot about like the different kinds of bacteria that it take to break down different foods. And if our diet has been deficient in those things like we literally haven't been eating them like if somebody hasn't been eating kale for like several months or something. And then they go to eat a bunch of kale. They literally don't have the microbes to help break that down properly. Right. And so the digestion is going to be like off. But if they were instead of eating a big pile of kale, we should just eat like a small amount, and then a small amount and the small amount and be like reintroducing this food slowly like you were just mentioning, then you build up the microbes that can actually like process it. And you can then get more of the nutrition from it. You know, but it's this idea of like trying to take in like a whole big, intense amounts like, you know, again with dosage that you can't really process that's like actually like difficult and challenging for your body to process versus the more gentle dosage the smaller, you know, more gentle food amount that your body is actually going to be able to work with. Right.
C: And coming from our mind a lot of the time, you know, we think like, Oh, this is healthy so we need to do it and we need to get through it and we need to push through it. And then, and then that ends up upsetting us. And so then we pushed away and be like I'm never doing that again subconsciously, you know, that was horrible. So it's like we're saying where it's like then that becomes something to avoid and like, Oh God, I don't want to do that cleanse it's like, what's because you're doing it in a way where you're torturing yourself like right be that way it shouldn't be that way that's not helpful. It feels horrible. That means you're stressing your body out like it just, I feel like there's just all this stuff that we need to really let go of. And also just been so much that we've been conditioned with with like diet culture and being dirty and needing to cleanse and like needing to force ourselves to do all this stuff and that are really just hard on the body and that's just like so much that is not helpful.
A: Yeah, yeah. Well, it's just so been so incredibly inspiring to chat with you and hear about your processes and about how you sort of navigate the world because I mean you're living in the world you're living in San Diego County right so it's like, you know, you're not immune to any of the, you know, programming that's out there that's around you and you're fine you found this really beautiful way to stay centered in yourself and and really come back to home like in your body and and navigate yourself from there. And that's just such a beautiful thing to get to witness and and be like shown in this last hour and a half through your being through the way that you do that. And just really excited for anybody listening. If you want to learn more about Selena's work, you can follow her on Instagram of the moon medicine on Instagram she shares really fantastic super helpful knowledge there about plants about the way of living that she has dedicated her life to. And you can learn just more about her processes and see how they resonate for you how they fit into your healing journey and what you're discovering about yourself. Thank you so much for joining me today and sharing all of that.
C: Thank you so much Amy. You're such a pleasure.
A: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I'd love to have you we'll check in with you we'll have you on the show again maybe later this year and see if there's like a new topic that we want to explore together because I feel like this was very helpful this was very resonant this was beautiful. Thank you again. Thanks so much.