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Empowering Holistic Wellness: Lauren Alderfer on Mindful Microdosing and Mental Health for Women

Updated: Jan 24

In this latest interview for WOOP, we invited Lauren Alderfer to join us in a conversation about the intersection of mindfulness and microdosing, the benefits of microdosing for women’s emotional and mental health, and the role of women in family, career, personal development, and the psychedelic community. 

Lauren Alderfer, PhD., an award-winning international mindfulness educator and author, advocates a mindfulness-based approach to microdosing in her latest book, Mindful Microdosing: A Guidebook and Journal. With decades of practice, she combines mindfulness with microdosing, enhancing well-being and presence. Lauren's journey began in the Andean region, where her book "Teaching from the Heart of Mindfulness" received recognition. She holds a PhD in Global Educational Leadership, bridging Western and Eastern perspectives, and her work has earned forewords from His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama. As a certified microdosing coach and IAYT-certified yoga therapist, she weaves spirituality with global experience.

Check out the full interview below.

photo of Lauren holding a flower

WOOP: Can you describe how mindfulness practices enhance the microdosing experience, especially for women?

Lauren: Mindfulness quiets the mind to open the heart. Through breathing practices, mindful inquiry, and other mindfulness practices, gentle whisperings of  inner knowing emerge. This presence of heart and mind is a place of being that can be felt from an intuitive sense. This inner calling from the heart, a natural intuition, may resonate from a deep sense in all women. It is a feminine quality of grounding — a grounding in expanding love and peace. 

An added calling to mindful microdosing is in this very nature of how microdosing works. I find it a very feminine process. It has become a great ally in my own greater wholeness and wellness. 

WOOP: In what ways do you believe microdosing can benefit women's mental and emotional health?

Lauren: If this feminine grounding force that generates an expansive positive feeling can be felt through mindful microdosing, then its ripple effect potential can transform in subtle yet constant ways on all levels of health and wellness. Tension, like stress, is a contracting energy. So this sense of expansion can bring greater ease to mental and emotional load— women oftentimes carrying an overload.  

Specifically, common benefits reported include a greater capacity to handle things, a calmer presence, a more positive outlook, enhanced mood, and greater ability to set boundaries. What this points to is women coming into more alignment with their true nature — their ground of being. When we can live from that place of greater wholeness steeped in greater love and wisdom, we can move in the world with greater ease and wellness. 

WOOP: How can women balance their roles in family, career, and personal development through mindful microdosing?

Lauren: Mindful microdosing not only helps carry the load with greater ease as described briefly above, but also asks you to take a gentle look below the surface. It invites the possibility to look at what is hidden in a soft, embracing way— one full of acceptance. What is bothering you? Why? What do you really feel or think about things you see on the surface? What brings you joy? In what ways do you feel grateful? How are you honoring yourself? 

Your own heartfelt inner knowing to these questions and other queries reflects your true intentions and heartfelt desires. These intentions are the seeds you are planting in your own garden of life. Some may come into blossom quickly while others may take more time. Weeding things out of the garden, but done with love, may also be part of creating a robust, abundant garden full of life.

WOOP: How important is community support for women who microdose, and what advice would you give to women who are curious about starting mindful microdosing?

Lauren: Women are natural networkers and connectors. Though we may have a deeply individual and private sense of self, we usually thrive when we connect and share with others. So balancing your own private experience held in a container of support is one I highly recommend. Just like having a mindfulness teacher highlight guideposts to a path traveled, a microdosing educator or coach can do the same. And similar to finding a meditation teacher, I suggest discernment in choosing a microdosing coach while combining it with the intuitive knowing that the fit feels right. 

When people can share and be witnessed in community, powerful transformations can occur. This witnessing can be with just one other person or in a larger setting in a self-organized or formal way. 

Women don’t necessarily crave outer recognition because our actions come more from a place of service without always wanting something in return. I have found that with mindful microdosing, the ripple effect of positivity that exudes over time has an impact on people in that person’s life. The way you show up changes the way others show up. What a beautiful way to be in the world, adding your own point of light wherever you may be.

WOOP: Has your life transformed by combining mindfulness with microdosing?

Lauren: Having been a long-time mindfulness practitioner, it is natural for me to bring this lived sense and way of being to microdosing. Additionally, mindful inquiry brings a greater witnessing and natural integration to the microdosing process;  on the other hand, microdosing aligns me with a deep-felt sense of the grounding and joy embodied during a long retreat. Undoubtedly, the two enhance each other. So while I have found a more embodied sense of mindfulness in my life through microdosing, the larger transformation is seen in my more public persona. Namely, dedicating my efforts to support a mindfulness-based approach to microdosing and to psychedelics in general as well as serving individual clients and witnessing radical positive transformation.

WOOP: How do you see the role of women in the psychedelic landscape?

Lauren: One of the things I like about this space is that women’s voices are being heard and embraced. It is heartening to see WOOP and other initiatives where women are supporting women. Women’s messages resonate deeply with earth medicine and the respectful use of psychedelics. It is also important to note that when I refer to women, it includes the feminine energy everyone has. This energy is a softer, yet fierce and strong energy that protects all life and one that the world can use more of. This feminine quality doesn’t react against or close its eyes to pain; but instead, feels and takes in deep suffering. It is a more receptive and reflective sense of being that invites consensus, an honoring of all voices and hearts, and a place of true belonging. It is an energy that beats to the rhythm of the natural world of which we are all a part of. 

photo of Lauren at a garden

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