Unbroken Chain #28 - The Least of These with Mia Pean

Mia Pean is the Executive Director of My Sister’s Place, a non-profit devoted to rescuing and rehabilitating victims of human trafficking. She has opened five homes internationally, including two in her home country of Haiti, and is currently devoted to opening one in Atlanta, Georgia, which has a $290 million human trafficking economy. As a child, Mia escaped an abusive home to raise herself and her younger sister in a squat in Brooklyn, which set her life's course on a radically compassionate mission to protect society’s most vulnerable. She discusses the realities of trafficking in today’s world and how predators target those who will not be “missed” by society. She talks honestly about the faith and self-care necessary to do the work she does, and how her aversion to organized religion has made room for the recognition of god within herself. Find her online at www.mysistersplacehaiti.org to take action and champion these women and children alongside her. More podcasts where podcasts are found and at www.maurajames.com.[“What’s Your Thing” - The Staple Singers]

Unbroken Chain #27 - Walking Persephone’s Path w Kathryn Solie

Kathryn Solie has dedicated her life to the study and practice of non-duality and inner work. She works one on one with people looking to remember their authentic selves through the use of tarot readings, dream interpretation, herbal medicine, intuition building, shamanic journeying, creative expression, and meditation. Today she takes us on journey into the transformative medicine of poison plants. We go deep into the underworld of datura, hellebore, henbane, belladonna, and amanita muscaria, and explore the myths that help unlock their wisdom. She talks about the pagan origins of Christmas traditions, the loss of our European shamanic lineage, wrathful goddesses, and the intersection of buddhism and plant medicine. Find Kathryn on instagram @persephonespath and at www.KathrynSolie.com. More conversations at www.maurajames.com and wherever podcasts are found.[“Sunrise of Forever” - Layne Redmond]

Unbroken Chain #26 - Reconnecting to Spirit After Trauma w Jennifer Patterson

Jennifer Patterson is a grief worker who uses plants, breath, and words to explore survivorhood, body(ies), and healing.  As a queer and trans affirming herbalist and breathwork facilitator, Jennifer has built an inclusive, sliding scale one-on-one practice called Corpus Ritual, and she also holds group workshops at healing spaces, LGBTQ centers, a needle exchange and harm reduction clinic, veterans hospitals, on college campuses, and online. She is the editor of "Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti- Violence Movement" (2016) and the creative nonfiction editor of Hematopoiesis Press.In this beautifully transparent conversation, Jennifer discusses her surrender to the psychedelic healing process after years of destructive patterns rooted in past trauma. She talks about her experience with iboga, mother of all entheogens, the somatic imprint of trauma, the dark magic of alcohol, the predation of the “healing industrial complex,” the legacy of free and sliding scale work, and how to grow the parts of ourselves that are ok despite all our wounds. “For those of us who have lost faith in the world, in a god, these are ways that we can gain some faith back, and they’re body-based. It’s in ourselves. We get to connect to our own spirit. And spirit at large, too.” Find Jennifer’s beautiful writing and her herb shop at www.corpusritual.com and hematopoiesispress.com and on instagram @corpusritual. More podcasts available where podcasts are found and at www.maurajames.com.[“Healing Song 1” - Verdell Primeaux]

Unbroken Chain #25 - Psychedelics and the War on Drugs w Ifetayo Harvey

Writer and cultural activist Ifetayo Harvey works in communications at the Drug Policy Alliance. She has spoken widely on her experience growing up with a parent in prison, and she is a passionate advocate for ending the war on drugs and mass incarceration, improving education, sexual health and reproductive justice. In this conversation she gives us a brief history of the drug war before diving into the opportunity presented by our current moment: whether we use the tide of legalization to deconstruct the prison industrial complex and begin to make amends for centuries of oppressive, racists lawmaking. She talks about the traumatic fallout of mass incarceration, harm reduction and public fear around normalizing drug use, accessibility to medicine, using psychedelics to shift consciousness en masse, and protecting psychedelic spaces from predatory individuals and institutions. You can find her writing at www.ifetayo.strikingly.com and a wealth of resources from the DPA at www.drugpolicy.org. More podcasts at www.maurajames.com.[“Walking in the Rain” - Grace Jones]

Unbroken Chain #24 - Keep it 💯 w Darryl Carter

This is the story of Darryl Carter and of New York City, his home for the last five decades. With the backdrop of a rapidly evolving city, Darryl tells intimate stories from his journey through love, addiction, loss, and transformation with side splitting humor and radical transparency. He shares scenes from the idyllic working class 70s, the crack-ravaged 80s, and the aggressive gentrification that has followed in recent decades. A keen observer of human behavior, he talks corruption of power, corporate tyranny, escapism, nonconforming, sex addiction, satan in a crack pipe, getting humbled by women, and the moments of clarity that have turned him into a devotee of gratitude, forgiveness, and peace. His wisdom is hard won, and he knows what really matters. “Don’t you want to be understood and accepted as a human being? That’s all of our dilemmas. More than anything in the world… human beings want to be loved.” Come hang with us at his apartment in the Bronx. More at maurajames.com.[“We Got To Have Peace” - Curtis Mayfield]

Unbroken Chain #23 - Invest in Your Authentic Self w Ryann Holmes

Ryann Holmes is one of the founders of bklyn boihood, a black and brown queer and trans community committed to cultivating and supporting one another’s stories, dreams, and creative work. Ryann is devoted to living a fully authentic life, one free from the expectations and prescriptions of mainstream culture, and in its place they have built a radically safe, inclusive, and healing community. With wisdom gained from over a decade of this work and a lifetime of self-making, Ryann shares their perspective on the use and limitations of labels, combating the erasure of black queerness, the importance of non-white spaces, the toxic energy pervasive in non-profit funding, and canceling the term “ladies.” Find Ryann at www.bklynboihood.com and more podcasts at www.maurajames.com.[“Organic Elevators” / “Naps Jam” - Nappy Nina @nappy_nina]

Unbroken Chain #22 - Lady Be True w Emily "Birdie" Busch

Emily “Birdie” Busch is a Philadelphia-based multidisciplinary artist whose creative spirit flows out of her in music, visual art, photography, and a non-linear life devoted to art-making in all forms. From her five full length albums, to the Core Memory Cards she invented to teach emotionally grounded songwriting, to her upcoming show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art featuring her original songs and paintings inspired by Goddess Archetypes and women painters from the museum’s collection, Birdie’s spirit of abundant creativity is undeniable. In this conversation she shares musings from her current projects and talks about what it really means to be an artist: the sacrifices and compromises, the necessity of a deep support network, and the release of immersing herself in her work. She shares many of the artists that inspire her such as John Prine, Joni Mitchell, Outkast, Alma Thomas, and Shaker women of the 1800s. Her complete discography is available at birdiebuschmusic.bandcamp.com and all things art at emilybirdiebusch.com. More podcasts and art at maurajames.com.[“Dreamers” / “If You Swim Far Enough” / “Lady Be True” - Birdie Busch]

Unbroken Chain #21 - Pack Light w Trendy

Trendy is an artist and, as he reminds us of all creation, a divine spiritual being made of light and love. This conversation is an offering in the tradition of open source spirituality. Trendy makes visible the matrices that we live under without knowing it and explores liberating messages that can help us deprogram our conditioning, remind us of our infinite possibility, and “beat the game” as a collective. He shares his current practices, which are derived from a feast of traditions including Buddhist, Hindu, and Toltec wisdom: accessing dream realms, fasting, using fear as a tool, honoring the wisdom of the ancestors, and healing his DNA. Come dance in the sacred energy exchange. Find Trendy on instagram @artoftrendy and more podcasts at maurajames.com.[“Bag Lady” - Erykah Badu]

Unbroken Chain #20 - I'm Here w Po

Po is an artist, seeker, and lover who has traveled the US with a clipboard stacked with paper, making portraits for over 13,000 pedestrians in his signature two-handed style. He developed this technique after watching his toddler daughter teach herself to draw and has embraced it as a method to overwrite deeply ingrained patterns of trauma in his brain. In this deeply synchronistic conversation recorded in Po’s hometown of Brattleboro, VT, he shares views from his journey through violence and addiction toward healing and self-understanding. He has gained passionate beliefs about how we can all heal collectively by taking actions that include eliminating landlords, instituting a 20 hour work week, and understanding the true value of money. You can follow Po in his travels on instagram @the.ambiguous.adam and find more art, including videos of Po drawing @maurajames and maurajames.com.[“Only You Know” - Dion]

Unbroken Chain #19 - Ritual Pain w Yin Q

Yin Q. is a BDSM educator, sex work activist, former professional dominatrix, and writer and creator of the series “Mercy Mistress.” In this generous conversation, she makes a deeply personal reflection on the transcendent element of BDSM practices and how these rituals can help transform the shame and fear accumulated by trauma into agency and self-compassion. She talks about what consent, transparency, and feminism really mean in the context of sex work and makes, among many things, an enthusiastic call for embracing male nipple play. Throughout, she emanates a strong belief that when we decriminalize and uplift the most vulnerable and marginalized communities, we assure the safety of all. Watch “Mercy Mistress” at www.youtube.com/mercymistress, and find her writing, advocacy, and professional offerings from rope bondage to couples kink guidance at www.yinq.net and @yinq13 on instagram. More podcasts at www.maurajames.com.[“Pain Is Beauty” - Chelsea Wolfe]