Coffee & Plants – Studio City

Coffee & Plants in Studio City was a great backdrop for a mentally invigorating conversation, supplemented with delicious coffee, in Studio City, California

I first met Michael at Groundfloor Echo Park, during a trivia game night. During a side conversation between our group answering questions, we ended up into a conversation involving DMT, mushrooms and Ayahuasca. Intrigued, I asked if he was down for a conversation to go more in depth over coffee.

I picked Coffee & Plants in Studio City, as I’d previously been to their Pasadena location and loved it.

Ordering, I had a lovely conversation with Connor, my barista. When I ordered, he told me they only had almond milk available. As I didn’t react negatively, I was shocked that other people had gone above and beyond in making a scene – over milk – earlier in the day.

I’ll just say that times have changed in Los Angeles from when I grew up. People throwing fits over milk choices? There’s a difference between being from Los Angeles and acting like a Los Angeles stereotype.

In any case, he was chill. He mentioned that he loved going to coffee shops when he wasn’t working at Coffee & Plants. So, he appreciated me introducing him to my food and travel blog (yay!) and suggesting another two coffee shops he should have on his radar: The Palm Coffee Bar in Burbank and Dayglow Coffee in Silverlake.

Apparently, I know places. Just a few.

After ordering the LAVENDER LATTE and a SAVORY TOMATO AND BASIL PUFF PASTRY from Val’s Vegan Bake Shop.

Then, I met Micheal outside for what ended up being one of the most profound conversations about the complexities of humanity and the language of music I’ve had this year.

The more we talked and discussed, the more I realized one part of my mind was going quiet – for the other, more intuitive and inquisitive side to take over. I had nothing to prove – and no sense of social stratification to perform for. I just wanted to ask questions, reflect on responses, sip my lavender latte and ask again.

Great is the situation that allows that space.

Reflecting on our conversation, I still ponder the connections between shame and guilt + humiliation and embarrassment. I never thought of humiliation as emotional violence, until he proposed it. Nor, the  difference between shame and guilt. Which when asked, he leaned toward the Bene Brown definition:

The intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.

In conversing with Micheal, I realized that one can access medicinal plants without the projected demands of the spiritual gaze. Plant medicine can simply be a neutral conduit toward psychological advancement through ruthless self discovery.  I say simply, because I now believe that focusing on it through a spiritual lens creates a distortion.

You don’t need to see aliens to have a successful journey. At least I didn’t.

In my Ayahuasca journey, I was motivated to make the unthought known. I wanted to explore the deeply internal parts where I felt shame and guilt and expose them to the light. I wanted to expand my relationship to love, grief and loss.

It felt good to discuss these facets of the experience, with someone with the depth and breath of knowledge to hold space for the conversation. This, along with discussing additional aspects of self exploration that I hadn’t given space to consider.

In a psychological journey, you don’t just tell anyone your darkest secrets. Especially, if you feel that someone will judge or shame you. This is why it’s so important to find the right facilitator for an experience.

Additionally,  Micheal taught me something else – there are some brews of ayahuasca that don’t make you throw up. It all depends on how it’s brewed. He truly demystified the process for me and made it accessible.

Frankly, we’re all just trying to understand this thing called life. It’s grand and incredible – the fact that a sperm met an egg and here we are. It’s the things that happen between birth and death that change our souls.

Now, would I do ayahuasca again? Honestly, I think mushrooms and DMT are more of a calling. But, everything is a pathway into the Great Inner Landscape. How you choose to dive in, is up to you.

When I thanked Michael for our conversation, I truly and completely meant it. To be able to hold space at Coffee & Plants to really get down into the deep subjects of life. This deep dive into self discovery – that’s the true backbone of this phase of my life.

That’s why I joined Groundfloor. It’s an incredible space that brings diverse minds of Los Angeles together, toward creating a vibrant community.

Sometimes, you just might meet someone over coffee that changes your perspective on life.

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Coffee & Plants - Studio City

12334 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, California 91604
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