April 26th, 2022

Episode #51


Regulate Your Nervous System, Manage Stress and Prevent Burnout with Your Breath with Robbie Bent

Robbie Bent sits down with me and shares the science of breathwork and why it’s such a powerful tool for working with the stress on our nervous system that live, psychedelic work, and leadership entails.

Our breath is our number one tool to hack into our emotional state that is available at all times.
Robbie Bent
Robbie Bent


About This Episode:

How do we as leaders manage the overwhelming stress, anxiety, and burnout that is commonly associated with performing at a high level, starting and running organizations, and doing the deep spiritual work that is required of us? Breathwork is one of the most powerful ways we can take control of our own state and set ourselves up for success.

On today’s episode I sit down with Robbie Bent, the Co-Founder of Othership. Othership is an on-demand Breathwork platform that helps you manage the daily ups and downs in life through the power of your own breath. Breathwork is the #1 tool for leaders to cope with the challenges that we face.

Tune in to the episode and follow along as Robbie guides me through several valuable breathing exercises, breaks down what exactly is going on in our body when we do breathwork, and shares his journey of founding and leading multiple companies.

Core Themes

Explored in this episode:
  • The science of breathwork
  • Nervous system regulation
  • Stress management
  • Burnout prevention
  • Mindset
  • Core values
  • Leadership development
  • Vulnerability

Links &

useful resources

Download My Free Guide on Breath Work & Nervous System Regulation for Stress Management


Episode Transcript

Episode #51 Full Transcript: Regulate Your Nervous System, Manage Stress and Prevent Burnout with Your Breath with Robbie Bent on the Psychedelic Leadership Podcast.

My name is Laura Dawn, and you’re listening to episode #51 of the Psychedelic Leadership Podcast featuring my conversation with my dear brother Robbie Bent,  founder my favorite breathwork Othership Breathwork, and we’re going to dive into how you can use your breath to Regulate Your Nervous System, Manage Stress and Prevent Burnout. 

One of the core themes that keeps coming up in so many conversations I’m having with other leaders and entrepreneurs the psychedelic space, and you know,  pretty much all of my friends and everyone I talk to on a regular basis are supporting the movement in one way or another. 


And I think a big theme that’s up right now is awareness around burnout and a need for more burnout prevention strategies. 


I think a lot of people are feeling maxed out and overwhelmed and there’s a need for more balance and tools for managing stress. 


And stress management is a major component of effective leadership development, and learning how to draw upon easily accessible tools, like the power of your breath to immediately regulate your nervous system and change your physiological state is invaluable, and in this episode you’re going to learn the exact technique you can use to either up-regulate your nervous system or down-regulate, depending on the situation. 


And I want to frame this discussion within the context of leadership. 

One of the foundations of effective leadership development training is actually training in emotional intelligence, and learning how to regulate your nervous system and become more aware of your physiological state directly contributes to heightened emotional intelligence. 


There are 4 major sub categories of emotional intelligence and learning to conscisouly work with your breath helps with strengthening emotional self awareness and emotional self regulation. 


By learning how to balance your nervous system, you can take control of your emotional and physical wellbeing


 and learning to master these skills helps you adapt more effectily in the face of change and all the curve balls that we as leaders and entrepreneurs face on a daily basis. 


And beyond talking about the breath, I just want to invite everyone listening to remember that we don’t need to be in such a rush. And I know so many of us care so deeply and we’re so passionate about the cause and want to contribute to it, and There’s this powerful saying that reminds us to stay behind the medicine. It means to not get ahead of ourselves, especially when working with these powerful substances.  


There’s so much movement and excitement happening in the space right now, I think it would be so good if we could collectively slow down, re-attune to our heart centered values, broaden our perspective, weave some humor into the process, and take a breath, literally. 


And I love the Othership breathwork app, because it really helps me stay rooted in my own daily practice of self care. 


As many of you know, I’ve also just had a super full plate. So I’m not except from this advice I’m offering here, and it’s actually why I feel inspired to speak to this topic right now because Burnout has definitely been in my peripheral field of awareness these past couple of months. 


I’ve been finishing graduate school, running this podcast which in and of itself is almost a full time job, I’ve been leading this 12-week psychedelic leadership mastermind for women with almost 40 women in this cohort, and I’m weeks away from the launch of Grow Medicine, which has been one of the most significant and challenging and rewarding initiatives I’ve ever led, which you can learn more about at growmedicine.com we just updated the pre-launch landing page, and it’s looking incredibly epic. 


I also have some really big speaking gigs coming up, I’m offering the Keynote at Arise Music festival, 


So all that being said, taking care of myself is becoming increasingly crucial and important, and as I said, the othership breathwork app is just becoming apart of my daily routine to engage in self care. 


And so I wanted to bring Robbie Bent, the founder of othership back on the show to really just focus on this topic of nervous system regulation, what it is, why it’s important and simple techniques you can use to change your state within a few moments. 

You can access all the resources mentioned in this episode by going to lauradawn.co/51 where we also created a free pdf on breathwork and nervous system regulation, and along with that PDF you’ll also get access to a downloadable MP3 of a guided breathwork session called Abundance created by othership, so you can experience their magic, and instead of featuring a song at the end of this episode, I’ll be leaving you with a 10 minute long guided breathwork session called Heartbeat that focuses on the breath as a powerful tool for nervous system regulation also created by the othership team. 


I’m also going to include a link in the shownotes that gives you 2 free weeks to the othership app. 


Alright friends, without any further ado, here is my conversation with the founder of Othership, Robbie Bent.

Laura Dawn: Aloha, hey Robbie. Nice to see you, brother. How are you doing today?


Robbie Bent: I’m doing excellent, grateful you had me excited to share is the topic I’m personally really passionate about, so just appreciate the chance to have a little chat.


Laura Dawn: Yeah, I know you’ve got a lot going on. You’re leading some really big projects that are so exciting, such a huge offering to our whole community. So maybe we can just dive right into the importance of talking about nervous system regulation. I know, especially a lot of people in the psychedelic space right now are just, we’re leading at the forefront of such an emergent space, I hear people all the time using this analogy that we’re flying, we’re building the plane while we’re flying it. And I think a lot of people are experiencing a lot of overwhelm and the necessity to call upon strategies for stress management. And so that’s why I wanted to have you on, it just feels like such a pertinent topic. So let’s just dive right in and talk about nervous system regulation and the importance of this topic right now.


Robbie Bent: Absolutely. So, the simplest way to explain a complex concept is if you think about it as a triangle and so on one corner of the triangle, you have the gas pedal. And so that’s your fight or flight nervous system, your fight or flight response, it’s called the sympathetic nervous system state. And so that’s as an ancient person, you’re out at night, there’s danger, a tiger, a lion in today’s society, you’re walking through an alley and you hear like a boom. Wow. You know, that, that fear that comes on, right? So that’s your fight or flight, it’s your fight flight or freeze mechanism. It’s your body preparing for action, blood flow headed to the brain and the muscles you’re getting ready, you’re becoming focused, you’re becoming vigilant, so that’s one. 


The other side of the nervous system is called the parasympathetic, the rest in the digest state. And it’s in that state where we’re balanced, we’re finding meaning we’re feeling emotions. So think about eye gazing with your partner, giving a hug to your mom, laughing, having dinner with friends, sitting down to eat your blood flow, your body saying, Hey, I’m safe. Blood flows moving from your brain to your organs for digestion and so you’re feeling oxytocin, joy emotions. And so throughout history, those nervous system states have been quite balanced and in the last 10 years, things have really changed with the carrying of the cell phone and you mentioned burnout, overwhelm. And now we have this device in our pocket, our brain doesn’t know the difference between perceived stress. So slack message, discord message, zoom, oh my god, I’m late for a meeting, unending email, social media, all of that our brain equates to real stress and as a result, the fight or flight state is triggered. So we’re in this state now where 90% of our day, if you’re an entrepreneur or at least stage entrepreneur leader, 95% of your day, you could be in that fight or flight nervous system state. That’s why you ask people and the response is I’m busy, I’m busy, I’m so busy, I’m overwhelmed and it’s everyone. It’s just because there’s a never-ending stimulus. Like if you’re a listener and I asked you when was the last time you were bored, the answer is never. You’re sitting at a restaurant waiting, phone out, check social media, you’re catching an elevator, oh, boom, and phone, check social media. Oh, I’m going to check my emails.


This amazing test on adults and had them put their phones down at the start of a presentation and then 15 times the average person would go to pick up their phone and agitation would start increasing. So that’s why it’s important to understand the nervous system state because the way society acts now has really changed. So those are the two angles of the triangle, right? The up, pushing the gas pedal the down, pushing the break. And then the final is everyone’s nervous system state is different and how our nervous system state regulates how the level of stress we can deal with what really triggers that fight or flight is based on something else. So that’s sort of our vagal tone, there are a few other names, but what it is basically is where psychedelics tie in somebody who’s had dramatic experiences as a child is much more likely to enter that fight or flight state. Whereas somebody who hadn’t had those experiences may not have those same fears and so nervous system regulation also means processing emotions and traumas, whether it’s through psychedelic medicines, breath work, nature retreat, different things to kind of get into the nervous system and push those traumas experiencing them. So that’s just quickly the triangle is pushing the gas pedal, pushing the brake, and then increasing the resilience of the nervous system by processing emotions.


Laura Dawn:  All right, and you use the word perceived stress, which is an interesting take. So it’s like, there are ways that we can draw upon actual modalities, like breath to influence our physiological state, and then there are other aspects of psychology that we can touch on. And before we get there, let’s just dive into breath work and how we can work with the breadth on either a daily basis or even a moment-to-moment basis to help regulate our nervous systems.


Robbie Bent: Absolutely, and so what’s really interesting is this triangle as I mentioned your breath, a tool that’s free actually affects all three. And so our breath can control what’s called our autonomic nervous system. So it’s just our automatic nervous system. So that means heart rate, digestion, blood flow, emotional state, hormonal release immune system. So for people who didn’t know our breath is our number one tool to hack into our emotional state that’s available at all times and so let’s talk about the gas pedal, the fight or flight. Quick breathing, getting rid of additional CO2 is going to create that fight or flight state. You may have heard of Wim Hof’s breath of fire, and Holotropic breathing, all of these styles create a fight or flight response. You can actually do this in under two minutes by breathing out excess CO2, increasing the rate of inhaling, and speeding up the breath, so there’s exercise to do that. So, maybe your morning coffee, your afternoon procrastination, you want energy that’s available to you, the rest and digest response, the break parasympathetic part of the nervous system long slow exhale. So when you exhale, your heart rate actually decreases, when you do deep diaphragmatic breathing into the bottom of the lungs it turns on the nerve centre for the parasympathetic nervous system. Long, slow exhale breath retention, breathing deep into the lungs can all move you into that state of rest and digestion.


So you may have heard of Navy seals using the box breathing technique, which is four in, four hold, four out four hold and you’re slowly moving into that parasympathetic state. Dr. Andrew Whale recommends the 478 breathing pattern, four in, hold seven, out eight. All of these have the long exhale and breathe retention in common and they’re going to move you into that system. So when do you use this overactive mind before sleep? If you’re struggling to sleep, it’s generally because you’re tweaked up from looking at your screen before bed, too much stress during the day and it’s just, am I good enough, all these things at work? What about my kids’ never-ending worry? And so this style of breathing pattern can move you out of that nervous system state. For me, right now I’ve chosen this, but I’m working 14 hours a day, 15 hours a day in front of a computer and so when that ends, I’m not even a human being. I’m just thinking and so overwhelmed and so before I can like be there and be present with my wife and are soon to a born baby I need to do deep breathing, I need to use the 478 patterns for five minutes.


I need to use box breathing and I kind of shut down my computer and I say to myself, Hey, I’m done for the day. Like notes, my computer shut they can go into a notepad and I’m not thinking about work for the day and I use that breathing to shift into as I said, that nervous system state, where we find presence and emotion. And then finally, this breathing, which people will probably be interested in your community is this psychedelic-like breathing, so holotropic, transformational, clarity breathing. There are a number of names for this, all of these have one thing in common, you are reducing the amount of CO2 in the body, constricting the blood vessels, and slowing the blood flow to the brain as a result, the prefrontal cortex is part of our mind responsible for the ego. So the, I’m not good enough. I’m not lovable, the fear centre, this control this executive function that’s saying, Hey, I want to avoid this, or I’m craving that part of the brain shuts down. And as a result, we lose a sense of self, our sense of time, our sense of perception, all of that changes. And in that change, when that part of the brain shuts down, we process emotions. 


So this is why breathing is often compared to psychedelics, it’s this going beyond the default mode network processing store and stuck emotions in the body, so it could be, childhood fear, childhood trauma, embarrassment, anger. You bring up these emotions and really feel into them and release them. And I’ve seen this happen thousands of times, it’s incredible to watch and so you’re reregulating the nervous system, and you can do that through any of those styles of breath work. So it’s an amazing tool you can use in under 10 minutes, push the gas pedal on your state when you need, maybe it’s before a big meeting, to find relaxation, maybe it’s before a job interview, when you’re nervous or after work to like get in the zone to be with your partner, or maybe it’s to do a deep dive and, and process emotions that are under the surface. 


Laura Dawn: So can we just recap, so if we want to wake up and I think there’s also a reframe around the word stress, and I don’t know about you, but I’m in a deep rewriting of my narrative around stress does not equal bad. And I think actually the relationship that we have to stress is really indicative of actually how we mobilize around it and how we leverage that kind of energy to channel that focus. I just read this incredible book called the upside of stress, by Kelly McGonagall all includes that in the show notes, such an amazing read. I wanted to mention that, but I also just wanted to do a very clear recap. So when we want to sort of ignite energy in the body, let’s say in the morning, can you recap that?


Robbie Bent: Yeah, it’s basically want to be cycling CO2 faster. So you’re breathing out faster, breathing in faster. So there are two things happening, one is on inhaling your heart rate is increasing, and then two, by reducing the amount of CO2 in the body you’re creating this fight or flight response. So the breath of fire is an example. So like, it’s really like in and out quite quickly, even just rhythmic breathing, so sort of the Wim Hof method people might be familiar with. So it’s kind of in, out for 30 breaths without holding in between, and then going into a breath-hold, so what you’re doing by reducing the amount of CO2 in the body, you’re triggering the fight or flight. So fast breathing, no holds at all, and that’s how the breathing will kick in the fight or flight.


Laura Dawn: Okay, so there’s not necessarily a distinction between the lengths of the inhale versus the exhale to activate the sympathetic part of the nervous system. It’s more about a quick inhale and exhale.


Robbie Bent: Yes, exactly.


Laura Dawn: Okay, and then to slow down, that’s where you’re referencing box breathing and these techniques with a long inhale, slower exhale.


Robbie Bent: Yes, exactly longer exhale. So long, slow exhale, shorter inhale through the nose inhaling less oxygen.


Laura Dawn: Can we do an example of a slowing down activating the parasympathetic nervous system? Because I think that is really applicable to most people right now.


Robbie Bent: Yeah, absolutely. So a really nice one is that’s very simple is like a four in, seven holds, eight out, and this is pioneered by Dr. Andrew Weil to get to sleep. It’s something he talks about quite a bit, his line is that if you want to focus on one thing for health and longevity, the first is the breath. And so we’re going to even make it, let’s call this the two minute, like Sam Harris style break in case of emergency, I’m having a panic attack and so we’re going to add a four, seven, eight, maybe four. So we’ll call it four, seven, eight, four, and that’s a four hold on after the exhale. So we can just do it now, if you’re getting ready, close your eyes, be in a space where you don’t have to do anything and all this is going to happen through the nose. So inhale two, three, four, hold six, five, four, three, two, one, exhale. Seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, hold. Three, two, one, inhale through the nose, we’ll do one more. Three, two, one, hold. Six, five, four, three, two, one exhale. Seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, hold. Three, two, one, nice big breath in through the nose and then release with a sigh. So you can extend that pattern, maybe aim for four of those over a two-minute period, and you can start to move your state into the person. How do you feel now after doing that, you notice a shift?


Laura Dawn: It’s ar noticeable state shift for sure, definitely. And so what would you say would be a great two-minute sequence if I’m about to give a presentation or step out on stage and what was the difference between that and, for example, the box breathing that we hear so many people talk about, especially the Navy seals that use this?


Robbie Bent: So the box breathing and what we just did are quite similar, except we’re pushing it even further. So a box breathing, I would do if I had more time and I just wanted to sort of find focus, what we just did it now is great for like, I’m having a panic attack and so it’s even boxing breathing, it’s a box, so you can think to inhale six, hold six, exhale six, hold six. And this one, we were inhaling four, but then much longer hold seven, four and eight exhale. So you compare the holds and the exhale to the inhale. It’s quite a bit longer. So that’s like, I’m really struggling right now, I’m having anxiety, I feel panic in my body. I don’t feel good about myself. That’s perfect, we’ll call it an anxiety reliever.


Now, if I’m going up on stage, it depends on how I feel. So it could be, Hey, I’m having immense anxiety about what these people are thinking of me. And that one we just did is perfect. It could be, I want to like ramp up my nervous system. I’m hyped, I’m ready to go, I want to get in the zone and just like feel into my power and so this might be before like a sales call where you’re not necessarily nervous. It might be before the presentation where you just want to want to give it. And so I think I would recommend sort of one style of one round Tummo breathing similar to Wim Hof. So I personally like the in three out one. So it’s in through the nose and in through the mouth all the way up, like filling the lungs and if you put a hand on your belly, you want to expand it fully.

So that in two, three out, in two, three out, you want to try it? Maybe we’ll do like in two minutes, we’ll do about 15 of those breaths, and then at the end of those 15, we’re going to take a big breath in, hold and squeeze it once at the top like fill up exhale. We’re going to hold on empty and we’ll just do it for about 15 seconds, hold on empty and then we’re going to bring it in again, big inhale and we’re going to squeeze all the blood flow to the head. And then we’re going to release with just like, again, this might sound funny, but if I was going for ultimate pump up, I’d release with like a scream of power. It’s just to get your mind-set ready. So, let’s try. We’ll go, just follow, I’m going to count, and it’s hard for me to breathe, but that all the way like filling your belly, your chest all the way to the brain and then click out. So in two, three out, in two, three out, in two, three out, in two, three out, in two, three out. Five more, in two, three out, in two, three out. In two, three out, in two, three out, in two, three out. In two, three out, two more, in two, three out, in two, three out. Big in all the way in, all the way out, exhaling and holding on empty, we’re going to hold here for about 20 seconds. 


And then this hold, I would generally say what one moment of gratitude for today is? What was something exciting, a cup of coffee, your sunshine, whatever you feel and getting ready for that big breath in that first breath of life and that squeeze, we’re going to squeeze it to the head in three, two, one, big inhale, squeezing all the way to head squeezing your hands, your feet, pushing that blood flow to the brain and getting ready to release with like a roar. And don’t worry about being silly, in three, two, and one.


Laura Dawn: Oh, I love it. I mean, why is it that the hold feels so freaking good? The holds and the really long holds are where it’s just like my joy zone. I’m like, there’s something about it. I feel like I’m floating in the void.


Robbie Bent: I just personally love if you’re doing that style of breathing past 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, you’re really starting to slow the blood flow to the brain and it goes beyond the fight or flight. It starts to go into that emotional processing we mentioned. And so we really like to layer in an NLP hypnosis style script. So maybe in the hold, when was the time you felt powerful and what’s happening is because your conscious mind that part of your mind, that’s always like judging and criticizing and it’s so strong. I have this to-do list, the breath work softens and so we start to ask you questions in that state, maybe it brings up a version of yourself that needs some love, and send it some love. Perhaps it’s a forgiveness ritual. So we found a really unique method of combining breath with some of these, you mentioned like neuroscience and psychotherapy approaches to emotions in that state.


Laura Dawn: Amazing. What’s your take on combining breath work with psychedelics, whether it’s a micro dose, a mini dose, or a large dose, do you warn people to be careful about that combination?


Robbie Bent: Yeah, I think it’s dependent. So one, we would never publicly recommend combining psychedelics and, and breath work for people who have used it, I’ve never seen it be dangerous. I think one thing to consider is if you’re using a 10 minute fight or flight breath work as we mentioned, or a rest and digest, anything we’ve just covered I think is completely safe. As you get into the 30-minute plus Breath works you are creating space to open up trauma and so I think if you have a history of mental health, PTSD, nervousness of things that happen in childhood and surfacing those feelings, it’s really important to have support. So we work with Remedy Clinic in Toronto, and we work with Being True to You. We’ve got a number of coaches on staff so if something happens there is support because people just like psychedelic medicines if you went into the woods on your own and took three grams of Psilocybin, of course, there’s danger at any time. And so the first thing is like, is it safe to use psychedelics? The next is, is it safe to use breath work? And so that’s something that you can decide based on having done both and your mental health assessment with a therapist.


Personally, I’ve used breath work with ketamine with like extremely solid results, low dose ketamine taken in a loin format or intranasal and I’ve also used breath work with low doses of psilocybin with extremely solid results. And then I’ve used breath work and I’m when I talk about breath work, I mean it’s more aggressive, like holotropic fast breathing style, and then I’ve also used breath work with cannabis, and there’s a guy Daniel McQueen who has a whole program on breath work with cannabis, where you can get to no joke, like Iowaska like states. So I think all three that breath work with Iowoska ketamine with Psilocybin can have some very interesting effects but also want to put it out there that I’m not a therapist, I’m not recommending that. And there are dangers, so you need to think of where you’re at with your psychedelic use but I have seen, I personally used all three of those and had amazing effects, I would say at high dose psychedelics like Psilocybin and LSD, `there’s no need for breath work. You’re already having the experience. Your mind’s already shut down. You’re not going to get added value from also doing it. I would say that the value comes from lighter dose psychedelics and THD.


Laura Dawn: I appreciate that and also sometimes working with breath work leading into a big journey could be a nice way to sort of prepare your mind-set to go into those deeper dives. So maybe not at the same time, but maybe even in the preparation beforehand.


Robbie Bent: Absolutely. Especially if you feel nervous, nervousness which many people do, I have used psychedelic medicines hundreds of times and still I get super scared and I’m not afraid to say that. If I’m going to take a big dose, I’ll feel extremely nervous knowing what’s going to happen. I think after you’ve had some challenging experiences, that’s kind of more common, so it’s totally normal to feel fear and then to use breath work and somatic body-based practices to prepare for a ceremony for sure.


Laura Dawn: So you’ve used the word trauma a few times and the way that breath work can really unlock deep emotional states, is that because when we experience trauma we hold our breath and that it impacts our nervous system?  Can you speak more about the science of that?


Robbie Bent: So, there’s not like this is very hard to measure. So there there’s science around using holotropic breathing styles and in response feeling more life satisfaction, greater self-confidence, but these are qualitative studies based on self-perception. So the actual mechanisms of action or somewhat unclear, there’s an interesting paper by Robin Carhart Harris, I think it’s called the Pivotal Mental States and it’s this idea that breath work can reset the nervous system response. Let’s say your nervous system is dysregulated through trauma, so when you’re young, let’s use a simple example, you’re in grade school and there’s a girl you lie and you go up and you ask her out and she calls you a loser in front of your entire friend group. It’s like, why are you talking to me? And you feel embarrassed and ashamed and something important to get across is trauma is not always like a sexual assault car accident or there’s trauma in day-to-day life. It’s when you face, failure, rejection, and these fears that your mind has trouble processing and so what is believed to happen. 


And there’s an example from, Dr. Peter Levine that he uses where, animals and animal kingdoms are attacked, their fight or flight system is engaged. They escape the attack and start to shake and they discharge the energy from that fight or flight response and so there’s this thought that humans do not discharge that energy. So we go, and this example where I asked out this girl, I like and I was made fun of, and I feel this rejection, it’s not processed and let go, it’s bottled in the body and then stored in the body. So there’s an idea, pivotal mental states is one. The other is, I think it’s called somatic completion theory. We have to get the exact links to these in the notes.


But the idea is that these feelings are stored in the body at the cellular level, and they can be released through re-experiencing. So sometimes it’s shaking, somatic movement, and ice bath breath work. The idea is that you’re shutting down the conscious mind, moving into the body, processing these like stuck emotions, and releasing them and as a result, sort of completing that cycle. And by doing that, you’re kind of reregulating your nervous system. So if you have all this stuck energy, like childhood abuse, war, and fear in your body, your nervous system is not out properly regulated. So something that for me, maybe I go outside and hear a bang that doesn’t really trigger my fight or flight nervous system, but for somebody who was at war, perhaps that immediately puts them into this massive state of stress. So I think the power of these tools is like, reregulating the nervous system by processing old traumas and strengthening that resilience between fight or flight and rest and digest.


Laura Dawn: I’m going to drop a nugget here. It’s funny that you brought up Robin Carhart Harris’s work on pivotal mental states. I was literally just rereading this paper again this morning because I am just at the end of this semester for graduate school and I’m also looking at his research and drawing upon that. I’ll include that link in the show notes as well, it’s a paper called a tale of two receptors. And what’s really, really interesting that also relates to what we’re talking about here is that he talks about psychedelics as being agonists to the 5-HT2A receptors and if we were to sum that up all the way down, what is the purpose of this serotonin receptor of which the 5-HT2A, the 2a receptor is one of about 14 receptors in that serotonin sort of category.


He really points to the way that it comes down to adaptability in the face of adversity and change, the capacity to change. And that’s related to what we’re talking about here because if we have trauma stored in the body that creates behavioural patterns that are really hard to change essentially we have this, shaking off the snow globe, there’s a catalyst for change and again, I’m coming at it from a different perspective from the narrative of leadership and creativity. But when we look at that research that the capacity to change is what is so efficacious in the treatment of trauma, depression, PTSD, and addiction are also what actually allows psychedelics to be very effective tools for leadership, because we are facing constant change. You know, you’re facing decisions on a moment-by-moment basis and this project that you’re leading. And so this notion that the 5-HT2A essentially boils down to adaptability, flexibility, flexible thinking, and our capacity to make a new choice. It’s really interesting to just weave this narrative in here. So what is the embodied feeling sense of nervous system balance and regulation? Would you say that is an equal balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic and what is the embodied felt sense that we can really start pointing to in that state of cantered alignment?


Robbie Bent: I don’t know that you necessarily need to be in like cantered alignment, and I think it comes down to your personal life. So for me right now, as you mentioned, I’m building two companies, I’m working most of the day, and I’m managing a large number of people. I don’t think balance is exactly what I’m looking for, my goals are a bit different. So it really is firstly, like, what do you want to achieve? How do you want your life to be lived? And then, and at different times of your life, that may be different. So we have a baby on the way in October, the first child and so I’m actually going to do a phone detox in advance and at Holos with my friend Jesse Hanson, and he’s created a program to call in being a dad. It’s five-day intensive psychotherapy, plant medicine work to sort of resetting my nervous system for when the baby is there, and from something else I’ve heard is that the first year of the baby the nervous system is very sensitive. So again, how true this is I don’t know, but it’s something that stuck in my mind. I don’t want to be around my baby tweaked up on coffee all day long maybe not. So maybe in that state, especially for the first two months, I want to be much more parasympathetic, so no caffeine, breath work every morning meditation in the evenings, lots of walks, being in nature.


So I don’t think there’s like a perfect balance. I think it’s what do you need at this time? And for me right now, I’m sympathetic almost all day because I’m just so excited about what I’m doing. So I’m making sure at least three times ice bath sauna, in the evenings to create space, I’m trying to do five minutes of up-regulated breathing as we did here every morning on my wall to get coffee and then I usually listen to a downregulated breathing on the way back to settle in and start working. So I don’t have a great answer and I’m even struggling myself being overwhelmed and busy, even though I have all these practices. So I think it’s important to just be vulnerable and it’s like nobody really knows do these things and feel into what works for you. Then for me, what I use as like a barometer is what my emotional state is, so am I irritated? Am I getting angry? Am I like losing my temper? If like those things start to come up, then it’s clear my nervous system state is too much in the fight or flight because I’m just not connecting with my emotions in the same way. And then it’s a signal to me to dial back with like this Iowaska retreat in the summer, or maybe it’s a meditation retreat, so I’m trying to do one 10-day ish retreat per year, a few weekends in nature. And then, at least one day per week off my phone, and that seems to be enough. But like this weekend I worked all weekend coffee both Saturday and Sunday and so start to feel like things just kind of feel more important and dire and urgent when in reality they’re not. So I think I would just you can assess and I wrote an article on burnout, so maybe we’ll throw that in the show notes and people can read and assess like where they are. It’s mostly on burnout for founders, but I think steps are like self-assessment to determine what’s tolerable for you, and then add in your activities accordingly.


Laura Dawn: I’d love for you to just paint a picture of your days and maybe just speak to you. You mentioned two companies that you are launching right now. You just give people a snapshot of what you’re navigating on a daily basis.


Robbie Bent: Yeah, my days right now are crazy and they’re not going to be sustainable as we welcome a new member to the family but so right now I’m like in my mind, okay, you know what? It’s been my dream too, firstly we’ve been on a previous show, but struggle with addiction. My whole life I’ve been sober for six years through psychedelic medicine and meditation and hot-cold breath work. And I really wanted to get people into these things and I found that the ice bath and the breath work were like the starting points for people who were maybe nervous about psychedelics, hadn’t seen a therapist didn’t really know about mental health just knew they felt overwhelmed. And so for the last three years started with an ice bath in my backyard, then became a garage with an ice bath in the sauna. Then it became a zoom session for breath work during COVID. Then it grew into a course, then an app. Now we have, I think probably the leading breath work app in terms of content and at the same time behind me, we’ve launched our flagship space, which is a 50-person sauna for ice baths and a tea room. It’s a place where you do this nervous system and emotional regulation. 


So classes in the sauna and complete darkness around like anger release and fear release and so it’s kind of making nervous system and emotional regulation cool and fun. So something you may have paid $250 to go do in therapy, people are now doing together at a more accessible price point. So it’s not a substitute, but it’s prep, it’s my main goals are one, how do we make more people ready for transformational experiences because of the 330 million people in the US most just aren’t they don’t even know there’s a problem, they just feel bad. And then how do we help people integrate? So if I go and do and I lost retreat, when I come back, I saw a lot of my friends, the behavioural changes they want wouldn’t stick. And so it’s like creating a space where people can go in and make a change and so all of this is a vision that was inspired by what worked for me and is my passion and so I’m like, you know what, I’m going to commit my entire life to this. So I get up probably at seven every day, I do like a little morning routine, which I mentioned, and then I’m in it like coffee and I usually don’t eat the whole day, which isn’t the healthiest, I guess it’s fasting, but you know, I’ll go because it slows me down. So I’ll go from like eight to four just at my computer, like absolutely cranking and so far in the last few years we’ve been able to release an app, this brand new space, which is amazing. And we’ve signed a lease for a new space in Toronto and we’re now looking at New York and LA to open both at the same time, so this was just something that was really important to me. 


So think about burnout. It’s like I’m following my passion. I’m so excited. My energy levels are just so high. So it’s how to not allow my energy levels to get manic and completely overwhelm or work has taken over everything and if I don’t take these breaks I’ll just be like, oh, I’m going to work all weekend to push things forward. Because like you, I know I can hear it in your voice when you’re talking about growth, it’s like, yeah, of course, I want to do this. It’s amazing. It’s helping people. It’s creative. It’s exciting. For me, this was something I did in my backyard. It was my first business. That’s like really becoming successful, built on my passions and so there’s such a strong pull to like when I see people’s lives being changed. Like we did a couple’s event the other day and like 15 other couples were just crying, like eye gazing into each other’s eyes in the ice bath and giving each other hugs to warm up and just feels like, wow, making a difference. And so that’s another way sometimes you’re burning out the nervous system, but you’re getting nourishment from helping others and like having an impact. So again, it’s kind of just feel into what works for you, create some space and go from there, notice how you’re feeling. So for me, it’s like if I get started to get, oh, you’re irritated, this isn’t working, then I know it’s like, okay, take a day off coffee.


Laura Dawn: We’re so similar in that way and I think a lot of people can relate who are just so passionate. We are really passionate people. We love to create. And then there is a bit of a shadow side to that where it’s like, it’s so easy to go into overdrive. So really having to have those daily practices and building in space and I’m also in a seven-week sprint now too, we are going live with grow medicine and less than seven weeks. There are those times during the year where the sprints and then really getting conscious about building out spaciousness throughout the year as well. You mentioned taking weekends and taking those retreats, which I am going to be doing this summer and I cannot wait. And I just wanted to touch on again, this notion of perceived stress. How much do you pay attention to the narratives? I mean, I can hear it in what you’re saying that you love what you’re doing. There’s passion there. And can we just speak more to people who are relating stress or what they’re doing from this way of sort of critical mind or not doing enough or not achieving enough or how important is this concept of perception central to nervous system regulations, stress management, prevention of burnout, etcetera?


Robbie Bent: I mean, I think everything is perception, and that’s why people have different levels of tolerance and so they’re able to reframe and there’s like scientific studies on this also is if you visualize and reframe an emotion, feel into it and reframe that you can make change. Now for me, where does stress come from? So there’s like financial stress, right? Especially if you’re starting a business, like is this going to work? If it doesn’t, what am I going to do for money? There’s like the stress of putting yourself out there. So Hey, I built this ice bath, are people going to come? Is the product good? Are they going to like it? If I’m looking at my customer reviews, are people like I’m putting myself out there, you know, I’m going on a podcast, what are people going to think of me? Like there’s just consistent stress and then there are all the employees that work for you as to their financial security. How do they feel? What do they think about you? 


And so I don’t have a good response here because it’s so personal. But like yes, with the start-up especially, the stress is going to come. I think some level of stress is good, right? Like you, we mentioned it before. So going into an ice bath, exercising, and fasting, are all forms of physiological stress and by putting yourself through those, your nervous system will get stronger so you can deal with the mental stress more easily. And so for me now, when those stresses come up, I try to ground myself in the practices as I mentioned, so breath work the day off, the week off, the weekends off, go on retreat, not like off like I’m going to Vegas to party like off like I’m reducing stimulation.


Then I really ground myself in positive thoughts and positive people. So my five co-founders are my best friends. It’s my wife and we’re not doing this to make money. We’re doing this because we love it. Because we use this stuff every day. Because we’re excited about creating and that is when like, oh maybe this isn’t going to work during COVID. It’s like, Hey, our businesses toast. Okay, well let’s just do breath work for a community because they’re struggling and then it felt good. So I think when you’re really stressed about work and these other things, can you try to find something in that feels good, whether it’s creating or helping others or something you’re excited about. And whenever I’m in periods of stress about the numbers, I start to just focus on like, okay, well how do we make the product better? Let’s have a breath work party in the space tonight and like get people connected. Let’s do something exciting and then when I see people in the space, I don’t really care to think about the numbers anymore. I don’t really care what they’re thinking about me. I just know like, man that was awesome to like blow people’s minds with some new class. So if you’re listening and you’re stressed, is there a way to surround yourself with positive people, do things that give you energy in the business, and surround yourself with customers that are happy that show that you’re making a difference. I’m sure when you facilitate retreats, you know when the people leave, it’s not a question in the, is this going to work or not? It’s like, that was amazing. So it’s kind of like getting yourself into those situations that are positive.


Laura Dawn: Yeah, and what you’re really speaking to is the importance of values-driven leadership, what all the things that you just named and that actually is shown scientifically to be a huge buffer towards physiological stress, when you’re in those moments of stress, just reminding yourself, what do I really care about and what do I value? And am I taking action in alignment with my values and you just name that let’s bring people together? You value community, you’re building your business around this value and this care for community and connection and you just named that as A-Okay, when I’m stressed about the numbers, let’s bring people together, and let’s get into alignment with taking action around values. So I love that you just spoke to that so succinctly, if you had to name two or three mindsets that you draw upon every day, like what I just did there explicitly naming values, driven leadership. Like if you had to explicitly name some of the mind sets or the characteristics that you’re cultivating to be effective are leading a team how many people are you at this point


Robbie Bent: It’s probably 40, 45.


Laura Dawn: That’s amazing, what would you say some of those mind sets and embodied characteristics are.


Robbie Bent:  So two that come to mind for me specifically and for our team. So there are three core values that came to mind and they are pretty good, those are kind of aligned. So let’s say our first core value is inspiring awe, and so what that means. What is awe? It’s like imagine now, like when you’re back as a child and what was your happiest moment, in grade school? Like, can you picture it? And so it’s probably like playing in a swing set or like going skiing with your parents or playing some video game or like something that was just fun and magic. As we build trauma, get hurt, build these walls like, oh, I don’t want to be judged. I don’t want to be rejected. I don’t want to fail, that magic starts to fade and so I think what psychedelics really helped me is go from this person who was like an investment banker and then like just trying to get money at all costs and feel validated. And they helped me start to like get rid of those hurts and as a result, go deeper and deeper into who I was as a child. So one of our values is like feeling that childlike, ah, and wonder. What that means is, you can share whatever you want, even if it’s silly, you can like believe in a sense of magic. 


And so, in our space, we’re always trying to create these experiences that feel like magic. Like you are a child like you just are happy, you know? So that’s kind of how we enable you to feel exactly like your authentic self without any judgment if you want to wear a crazy bathhouse hat and whatever you want into this space, it’s really creating safety in the container to allow for you to be yourself. So, that’s one that I think is really important and the second one around that is vulnerability. And so another core value is like building belonging and that’s this idea that everybody can come in and feel safe and have the chance to feel that awe and express themselves and they can do it together. So building belonging, like our classes are going through group trauma, letting it go, doing things like couples plunges, sharing, fear and anger releases, bringing up moments of gratitude, but it’s all happening. The idea is traditional therapy was one-to-one and that’s great, but as you’ve seen and Iowaska circles and psychedelic circles, the group provides not only accountability, but power and connection, and intimacy and social connection are what we need.


As a leader, we’re always trying to enable this feeling of childlike wonder and this safety to be vulnerable. And so when I look in on podcasts I like to share like, Hey, I’m struggling with fast food right now because I’m stressed. Okay, fine. I don’t have to be on and say like, oh, I’ve got my four-hour routine. It’s like, I’m also struggling with ego for a business. So yeah, we built this amazing thing, I want to expand it in the US and like get my name out there, like yeah, that’s the truth, you know? So I think creating space for vulnerability for our flaws is important as well to actually create real belonging. Because when you share what you’re struggling with, you create space for trust, and then the final core value is cellular commitment and I demonstrate this as a leader by just being obsessed with what I’m doing and putting in the extra effort. So if we’re going to put a podcast together, I want to make sure the description is absolutely perfect. When we do a breath work session, we might spend five hours making sure the cues are absolutely perfect. Harry made a custom scent for a space for the exact perfect smell. So it’s like inspiring a cellular commitment, meaning you have to do the work and this is in psychedelic medicines where people often don’t realize is, oh yeah I did my 10-gram soul assignment experience and I’m healed and it’s like no you’re not. These are, what did you call them the agonist for change. Like you still have to make the change and you do that by going into the difficult emotions, doing the daily work. So I love this idea of cellular commitment. It’s like a commitment to yourself and your community and then there’s the building belonging of like doing it altogether. So that’s the core values that sort of representing how our leadership team works and then how our business functions.


Laura Dawn:  I actually never even really considered this notion of looking for awe moments of awe as a mind-set. I actually really like this reframe and it’s also very psychedelic in a lot of ways. Well, first of all, I want to name that I love the other ship app. It is so phenomenal and one of the things that I love about what you guys do differently than what I’ve seen a lot of other people do is that the music component of the breath work is I think just as foundational for me in terms of what it lends to the experience. I’m curious if you can speak to this at all and why really chose to go in this direction by combining music with the breath work practices?


Robbie Bent: I think something really interesting that stuck with me was that meditation is the practice that I have. I’ve done a number of retreats, it’s what changed my life, but then in trying to teach it to friends, the feedback cycle was quite long. So it’s just very hard to a learn and like make it a habit and also we talked about this we’re all over stimulated, so meditation is like the antithesis of that. It’s just like, holy like this is insane. The difference between meditation, which is about emotional awareness really noticing your quality of thoughts and what’s happening, breath work is about changing state. It’s changing physiological and emotional states and so where meditation is often there’s a teacher with a long history of experience in breath work. You are your own teacher because you’re breathing to the music and so we found that like traditional meditation, where you would take wind chimes you’re kind of going calm, just no sound or teachings where you’re contemplating. Breath work was more like exercise and it’s akin to just changing your body state, and letting the body take over and so because of that, we found musicians where actually and the music you’re listening to actually has way more impact than the verbiage and what you’re considering. And so we spent a lot of time, my partner Harry is actually a musician, DJ, and audio producer and so he spends like hours sinking the breath to specific music. So you’re breathing along exactly at the perfect cadence when the drops come, when the holds come, when the squeezes come, he’s layering in like heartbeats and breath tracks. So it’s more about the physiological change, which music helps with than the actual words and thinking that you’d have with meditation.


Laura Dawn: Yeah, and when you think about it, music is also a valid catalyst for changing mood, changing state and I could think just combined with breath work, it’s just you guys are really hitting the nail on the head. And I’m curious for people who are listening, there’s such a wide landscape in the breath work space now and I know that you’ve done really a vast deep dive into a lot of different modalities of breath work. So when you look at the landscape, just to make it sort of applicable for people who are maybe new to breath work, they’re looking at a bunch of different things, different, holotropic, Wim Hof, etcetera, what have you done to synthesize or what are you doing differently? What makes other ship and what you guys are focusing on with your app and the techniques that you’re weaving in different than other companies


Robbie Bent: Think about a few things. One is the quality of production. So as mentioned we have a top-of-the-line recording studio, we work with professional musicians and artists, and we’re highly producing each track to make it feel like you’re listening to your favourite track on Spotify or Sound Cloud. Some songs are just like amazing DJ sets you listen to when you’re cooking with a perfect breathing pattern. So it can happen in the background, some are like for walking. So okay, I don’t have time in my day, but maybe I’m working at my computer listening to a set for deep focus, and I’m just breathing in the proper pattern while I’m doing that. So I think the quality of production is something that we really focused on in terms of like, how does this sound? Is it entertaining? Not only is it creating a state change, but is it something I would almost like to listen to on its own? The next is the science aspect. 


So we really stayed away from spirituality, dogma, energies, anything that’s like really high on the woo scale we said you know what, our goal is to make this accessible for everybody and fun. And so this is a lot different in terms of like your chakras, your energies, and this kind of stuff I’m into huge. I’m really into this stuff, but we just decided let’s make it accessible and so we said, we’re going to focus on the science and the body, which is what we were chatting about the entire session. So it’s like, hey, we understand this, we know what’s happening at a physiology level, study level, and then emotion.


We weave in a lot of emotions, so guilt, anger, shame, forgiveness, gratitude, and compassion, are universal and so by doing that, we’ve really stepped away like this experience if you do an hour of breath work, it’s going to speak for itself. You may have a spiritual experience. You may have an energetic cleanse, but we are not prescribing that. We’re just saying, look, this is the science, here are some emotions you might feel. Here’s the music in the physical state and we let the experience both with hot, cold, and breath work speak for itself. That way it’s more accessible to a lawyer or a banker or a chef or somebody without a spiritual practice and I think that’s what’s needed is like that prep, right. That getting ready to feel better emotionally and I think sometimes in the breath work landscape, there’s a lot of like rebirthing and past traumas and all these experiences which I’m all for, but it just it’s like what is the first step for somebody to make something accessible?

And then the final piece is just simplicity. If you go on our screen, there’s a daily up and a daily down. So I’ve never done breath work before, I can in under 10 minutes up-regulate my state and get a boost. I can under 10 minutes down-regulate and push the break and so it’s just a very simple framing. Like, instead of all these names, different styles of breathing Buteyko and Wim Hof and Holotropic and Clarity, and these ones we mentioned, we’re just in under 10 minutes, you can go up or down, and then you can do a deep dive as well. And so we explain it with that simple triangle and so the goal isn’t enlightenment it’s just to teach you to change your state at will and teach you why that’s important.


Laura Dawn: I love that. I want to wrap on getting really vulnerable, are you into it. How vulnerable do you want to get right now?


Robbie Bent: I don’t, let’s see. 


Laura Dawn:  I’m just curious, like from a vulnerability perspective, what you would say is the most intimate things you’ve learned about yourself in this whole project and leading your team and being at the forefront of a space. What is the most vulnerable thing that you’ve really learned about yourself through this process?


Robbie Bent: Something that’s been really hard in the last year is that there’s like a good vulnerability and a bad vulnerability. So the good one is that my entire life I thought that I needed to be successful. I thought I was unlovable. I thought I was like a numbers person and operations guy, with no creativity. I was in finance for a while and I just thought I was like a nuts and bolts person. And then about 30 maybe a little bit before I started my psychedelic work, meditation work and all this creativity exploded when I felt that awe that inner child and I started designing these experiences, my partners and writing breath work scripts and writing like different sauna classes and all of a sudden this like wellspring of massive creativity and realized like, wow, I’m actually a creative person. That really made me feel super happy and different and unique and that feeling of like, I can make something with my hands and brain that’s going to blow people’s minds was so satisfying.  


I would spend hours in my backyard with a little bunya hat on, like with a sound bowl, guiding people through the ice bath, checking, like what to say, what kind of meditation to guide them through what kind of smells to use, it would just be so much fun. And so that was a learning for me on this path of like, wow, I’m actually creative and anyone can be creative. I know you’re kind of obsessed with a master at what it takes to be creative and so that was like one of the most satisfying things in my life. This feeling of being a kid again is why I’m so obsessed with this idea of feeling awe and the flip side of it in the last year is like, the business is changing. We have investors, and we’re getting pressure to open in New York and LA and so my role, like I haven’t even facilitated a class in the new sauna and it’s just dis it’s very disheartening, because this thing I love and have just discovered like I don’t really have time for, and because all these people rely on me, the team wants to grow. The team wants to step in too, sauna and ice bath classes don’t exist. 


The idea of like emotional regulation classes in this container actually is not in North America and we have a chance to be like the best in class. So there’s an ego of, oh, I want to do that. I want to be the one, I want our team to be the one, and we created it. We want to stamp it. We want to be in the magazines and the space. There’s definitely like the impact and like helping people in the product, but there’s some ego there that’s like sticky because it’s like, I’m a small-town Canadian kid and I could build this thing on the US stage and I want to feel that success. And because of that, there’s been like a drive to expand that our whole team wants to feel that success But now in that drive to expand, I’m like signing leases and dealing with investors and like hiring people and doing one to ones and it’s just become a different role. I’m struggling with like the ego around expansion and building because I definitely want to be successful, but then like a lot of the stuff that I really enjoyed, I’m getting to do less and less of.


Laura Dawn: This is so common. I just feel like this is such a common narrative that you have this transformational experience, you build your life around it, and then the choice to build a company and share that in the world because you want to influence the world in a better direction. Then inevitably pulls you away from the embodiment and the living of that thing. I experience that with my own healing of disordered relationship to food and then buying land really healing my relationship to food by living on the earth and then wanting to share that with the world and building an online brand and then effectively pulling myself further away from just being on the land. I think it’s actually a really good inquiry for leaders to look at motivation and to look at, okay, what I am willing to actually sacrifice to help create the vision of humanity that I want to contribute to. There is some level of sacrifice in that you’re speaking to that now you’re like, yes, it was so powerful to teach breath work classes and now I don’t have time for that because I’m building a company to bring breath work to the world. And I think that that just epitomizes what so many leaders face all the time.


Robbie Bent: Yeah, unfortunately, I don’t have an answer. So that’s like from a vulnerable standpoint, that’s the struggle right now. Then also the next struggle is going to be having a baby in October and so who are really excited about that, crazy gender reveal experience that was just probably the best five moments in my life a few weeks ago, wish I could talk about it if we had time.


Laura Dawn:  Just share what you were going to say, what blew your mind.


Robbie Bent: I’ll finish that point and I’ll share the experience. But I am worried like, okay, you know, I’m going as hard as I can now to push as much forward because when that happens I want to be a good dad also. That’s like I want to push this forward and I still want to do it, but I also want to be there for my baby. So that’s something I’m scared of because I’m so into work right now. It’s like such a part of my identity, which probably isn’t healthy either, but it is. I’m sure people resonate with that, so those are the fears it’s just the vulnerable shares. So we all go to the sauna the first night, no COVIDs, restrictions, no masks, big party, 60 people music’s on my co-founder Harry sauna lead him and his partner Amanda are like Hey everyone in the sauna and they’re like, Hey, two of our co-founders are here and they actually got pregnant after a class and the sauna where they set the intention to have a baby, which was a wild story in itself. But they’re here tonight and we’re going to like call in the sex of the baby, like as a community. And so they have these five ice balls and each ice ball has a scent and so they throw the first scent on and it’s rose, everyone’s like, whoa, it’s a girl. The next one goes on, it’s Cedar, it’s like, oh, it’s a boy. It gets to like the fifth one and it’s two, two, and I’m like kind of into it, but I’m also like, okay, they’re just calling in the intention. It doesn’t mean anything.


Then my wife’s like, no, I actually got the test done. I sent them the results, they know and I was like, whoa, like this is it. I’m going to know right now if it’s a boy or girl and so they throw the fifth one down, it’s like pine smell the whole crap out reps like 60 people cheering. Everyone’s like, it’s a boy. I’m like hugging all my co-founders are there, it’s Friday night with my wife crying and it was such a cool experience to have my friends do that for me to be surprised. But then also to see 50 strangers who had shown up for class and instead of a class, they got like improve to gender reveal and people are crying and like, they’re like, oh my God. I’m like, just to see strangers come together in that level of community and emotion, like building belonging was like such a moment for me that like I was so emotional. My wife and I go home just kind of like being in it together and so I’ll just never forget that was amazing.


Laura Dawn:  So beautiful. Thank you for sharing that, is there anything else you would like to say in closing?


Robbie Bent: I think for people just to remember, there’s so much stuff out there and it can be overwhelming and just the idea that in even under five minutes, you can change your state. So there were two exercises that we did today. So you want to go up, you want to go down. If nothing else, you can change your state through your breath. So that the smallest, smallest habit that you can do is like you’re struggling. You can and use your breath to just remember them.


Laura Dawn: Beautiful and I just wish you all the best with your baby to come and just wish you so many blessings for you and your family.


Robbie Bent: Thank you. That was amazing, so fun.

Hi Friends, thank you so much for listening to another episode of the Psychedelic Leadership Podcast. 


Just a reminder that you can access all the resources mentioned in the episode by going to lauradawn.co/51 – where you can access a free PDF on how to use your breath to regulate your nervous system and if you grab that free PDF, you’ll also get another free downloadable guided breathwork called Abundance created by Othership. 


I love the othership app, and it’s how I engage with breathwork on a daily basis, and if you click the link in the shownotes, you’ll get two free weeks to their upgraded version of the app. 


If you’ve been enjoying the show, please subscribe where ever you listen to podcasts and I would so appreciate it if you could take a moment of your time to leave me a review. And if you’re not yet following me on Instagram, you can find me @livefreelaurad. 


Instead of a song, I’m going to leave you with a 10 minute-long guided breathwork meditation, called heart beat that focused on using the breath to regulate your nervous system so you can immediate experience the power of these guided sessions that othership has created. 


Once again my name is Laura Dawn and you’re listening to the Psychedelic Leadership Podcast, until next time.

Robbie Bent

Robbie Bent


Robbie Bent, is building a platform to reduce loneliness. Robbie’s company Othership, has built the first emotional training classes in North America using saunas and ice bath’s paired with a breathwork mobile app. Othership also runs live breathwork concert tours in NYC, LA, Miami and Austin. Robbie is a GP at Vine Ventures, a Psychedelic Medicine venture fund committed to giving 50% of profits to research and charitable causes. Prior to Othership, Robbie was an early employee at the Ethereum Foundation.

Featured Audio

This Episode of the Psychedelic Leadership Podcast features a guided breathwork meditation available on the Othership App


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About Laura Dawn

Through her signature Mastermind Programs and Plant Medicine Retreats, Laura Dawn weaves together science with ancient wisdom. She teaches business and thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals how to mindfully explore psychedelics and sacred plant medicines as powerful visionary tools for inner transformation, fostering emotional resiliency and unlocking new depths to our creative potential.