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Mastering Microdosing by Paul Austin: Book Preview

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Deeper Sense of Connection: {Paul Austin’s Microdosing Story}

Like so many others, what I gained [from microdosing] was far more useful and transformative than expected. Yes, I saw an end to my social anxiety and insecurities, but I also developed more empathy and compassion, experienced deeper engagement in my relationships, and was able to cultivate a sense of presence that I’d rarely felt before.

Even better, microdosing also shed light on points of vulnerability that I didn’t even know were there.

Microdosing helped me become aware of the source of my social anxiety. I’ve always been an introvert who needs time to recharge between social engagements. Like many, I’d tried to tame that social anxiety with alcohol, which was more detrimental than helpful. Microdosing helped me foster prosocial qualities by stripping away the pretense from my interactions that would typically leave me drained; it brought ease and depth to my communications.

Microdosing also helped me understand who I am as a person. I was able to accept my naturally introverted side and reframe it as something to leverage rather than repress. I stopped being so hard on myself when I realized I needed to recharge. I developed the confidence and patience to prioritize rest so I could show up with more presence when with others. I was able to step out of the story that I was “socially awkward” and allowed myself to show up as my free and authentic self. Once I’d done this, I realized that so many of us are suffering from the fear of being rejected for who we truly are. But for humans, community means survival, and our disconnection from that is detrimental.

This microdosing-induced self-reflection also unearthed some of the unpleasant driving forces behind my desire for increased productivity. When engaging with psychedelics, there tends to be a “deconditioning of the shoulds” and a deeper desire to ask ourselves what we truly want. I examined why I was so driven to perform in the first place. I reevaluated my relationship with work and how my focus on performance was rooted in covering up some deep-seated anxiety about inadequacy. This enabled me to tune in internally and come to some realizations about my true desires, not the “shoulds” that peers, parents, and the broader culture externally impose.

This reevaluation didn’t stop me from working. It simply helped me pinpoint a direction that felt authentic for my life. My professional path and my personal mission became inextricably linked with microdosing. The practice helped me understand which projects felt truly aligned with my truth.

When I was building [the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), I knew I loved education, teaching, and building curriculums, but I also knew I wouldn’t teach English for the rest of my life. Instead, I saw it as a stepping stone to something greater: Third Wave. Thanks to a much-improved ability to handle complex tasks and integrate new information, after I grew my online English teaching business, I was able to officially bring Third Wave to the world.

Not long after that, I co-founded a third business, called Synthesis, a legal, medically supervised psilocybin retreat located in the Netherlands where psilocybin truffles have been legal for years.

Our goal with Synthesis was to weave together ancient modalities with contemporary practices such as coaching, psychotherapy, and music therapy. Synthesis eventually became the gold standard for legal psilocybin retreats globally.

Through Synthesis, I understood how working in person with clients motivated me. During the eight retreats I led at Synthesis in 2018, I learned that I wanted to make human connection a central part of my professional work. I have loved many other aspects of my work: creating courses, doing podcast interviews, thinking about scalable products, and more, but nothing resonates with me on a soul level like human connection.

Since those experiences in 2018, I have continued to move in the direction of human-to-human connection. I credit microdosing not only for helping me understand my core values but also for helping me to stay true to them in my business ventures.

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