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When I set “Simplify” as my 2023 word I did not expect for so much chaos to unfold..

I imagined it would all just become simple, easy and smooth…

Forgetting that in order to simplify we must have the clarity about what isn’t serving us anymore & the courage to actually let it go.

I simplified my business and officially closed the doors to revenue streams that used to bring up to $50k/month so that I could go all in on my greater vision and heart calling.

I had to face my fears, insecurities, attachments to money and hustle mindsets as well as lower my head in humility as I acknowledged that there were no shortcuts to where I want to go. (and therefore patience was in order!)

I simplified my relationships by taking good inventory of the people I could really -unconditionally- count on.

Some left my side the moment I became clear I wasn’t willing to garden someone else’s flowers, or to give to them at my own expense.

Simplifying my marriage meant for us to have long and difficult conversations, to recognize the patterns we used to sabotage love and to commit to letting them go..

Clearing the bulks of baggage we had unconsciously dragged with us these years..

Simplifying my spiritual journey meant going all in into my yogic practice and spending extended times of silence and deep meditations at the ashram on my own.

Moving from the fireworks of plant medicines into the realities and subtleties of actual life.

This year I let go..

I let go good friends to make room for Allies.

I let go of comfort to make room for growth.

I let go of cash-cows to make room for legacy.

Letting go of attachments (to people, habits and emotions) to make room for freedom.

So much has fallen..

It’s been a painful year in so many ways.

But the lightness, aliveness and clarity I feel starting to emerge I would not change for anything.

This year was in fact full of small ‘miracles’ thanks to this newfound spaciousness, among which these below were my favorite, in no particular order.

Launching of my first book (which turned into an international bestseller)

Shared moments with some of the men I feel deep resonance with (Sadhguru & Jordan Peterson) as well as dear medicine men and indigenous elder from the Colombian jungles..

🧠 Sitting in ceremony with my mother as she healed her brain tumour

⛰️ Hiking Machu Pichu

🪆Meeting my in-laws in Russia

🔥Holding space for my father-in-law to drink medicine for the first time in Colombia

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦Hosting The Way of Fire medicine retreat with family at my side

💒Being asked to host the wedding ceremony for two dear friends

🇨🇦Coming to Canada with my wife after 4+ years of denied visas and long distance hassle

And just now -as I sip a cup of golden milk latte next to my little sister’s christmas tree in Vancouver, we wait in family as she is about to give birth 🥹

What a year!

What was your word for 2023?

(or what will be your one this coming year?)

My father-in-law…

went from thinking self-development was for idiots and never having meditated to going through 3 Kambo purges followed by 7 Aya ceremonies among other experiences we curated during his 5 weeks visiting my wife and I in Colombia..

My wife had never spent more than 24 hrs together with her father since she was an adult..

and for VERY good reasons.

Recurring alcoholism and violence would have her mother and brother constantly beaten up and sometimes in the hospital.

Controlling tendencies and lack of empathy made for a tyrannical environment growing up.

When he was 1 year old his father committed suicide and his stepfather would later beat him up daily.

He grew up resentful of his dad for being “weak” and violently punished perceived weakness wherever he went.

My wife escaped home when she turned 16 to avoid the drama and toxicity that came with these kind of situations.

Fast forward to recent years, she realized she wanted to heal her relationship with him in order to work through some of her own relational blockages.

But it was hard!

He wouldn’t inquire about her life, he had no curiosity or good things to say about her choices..

When she told him she was a Breathwork teacher his answer was “What kind of idiots would pay for that?”

When she shared with him how happy she was she had overcome her scarcity mentality and we were living prosperously, he replied “rich people always steal from someone.. no way you’re wealthy unless you’re tricking people or stealing..”

When she sent him a video of me proposing to her in our medicine temple, covered in flowers next to a bonfire, he did not say a thing.

Not “congratulations”

Not “Wow!”

Nothing.

She grieved and asked him a few weeks later why he didn’t say a thing and his answer was “What do you want me to say? I’m happy for you.”

I think that paints a good enough picture of where he was at and their relationship.

A while back, out of formality and politeness, my wife told him “you should come to Colombia!” knowing he’d never follow through on that invitation…

Yet to her surprise, two months ago he sent her a message:

“Is the invitation to Colombia still up? I want to come.”

He’d never left Russia or been on an airplane.

My wife came to me nervous and with so many fears…

He wanted to come for an indefinite amount of time (30 days minimum)

“I’ve never spent so much time with him and the little bit of time we’ve shared isn’t really the greatest.”

I listened and encouraged her to keep her word while drawing a couple of boundaries – since I knew that most of this trip would be paid from our pocket.

I said:

“I’m happy to support your father’s visit, but not if it’s a vacation.

If he wants to have a good time he can go somewhere else and pay for it himself.

If he wants to come to Colombia, it will be to do medicine work.

I will take a stand for his transformation, not for his vacation.”

She agreed and told him the conditions.

He agreed because he really wanted to come, whatever the conditions.

What unfolded the next 35 days was a wild rollercoaster of emotions…

My wife would go from sharing the deepest conversations and connection she had had with him..

To deeply rooted anger, resentment and frustration about the way he communicated, her perception of his lack of appreciation, and the child-like tendencies.

At some points she felt like her father’s mother, when she was dying to feel like a cared-for daughter.

At some points she felt that -left to his own devices- he would eat like sh!t and destroy all the positive effects of the healing and medicinal ceremonies he attended..

At some other, he’d surprise her with how connected he was to nature and how much humility he’d developed.

Long story short, he went through a radically life-changing experiences through the itinerary we organized for him.

He cried tears of gratitude for life..

He wrote and send a letter to his mother, telling her he loved her for the first time and that she was the best mother.

He said he saw all the people he had hurt in his visions and apologized to them..

He told my wife he was sorry for not being the best father he could’ve been..

He’d recently cut a couple of trees in Russia and said he now understood that they also felt pain and with tears in his eyes he promised he’d plant many more..

He said he had not learned how to live his life, until now..

That he had lived avoiding his pain and therefore inflicting it on others.

But NO MORE.

He said he wanted to eat differently..

To spend more time in nature..

To spread joy and kindness..

To propose to his girlfriend..

and so much more.

But among all his insights, one of the key ones for him was to learn what true, supportive, masculine friendship was.

During this trip he met men who were kind and generous but also strong.

Men of purpose.

Men who lived with an open heart, yet far from being weak in any way.

He met elder, shamans, medicine men and leaders.

He sat with them and was touched by healthy masculinity.

He had never had that in his life.

Definitely not from his father or step father..

And not from his group of “friends” (whom told him he was stupid for flying to Colombia, casting all their judgements and calling him names out of envy and jealousy.)

He felt truly embraced by other men.

Respected.

& Lovingly corrected, when needed.

He cried and teared up so many times, as he hugged men he had just met but felt more connected to than any of his male peers at home.

He also cried for he saw that he was far from being like them..

Yet he felt inspired to shorten the gap and walk his path so that, one day perhaps, others would benefit from the work he’s done.

Wow…

My wife said she would have never believed it if someone told her that her father would say such things.

In fact, I held off from writing this post because I wanted to see what would happen once he went back to Russia..

For I know it’s easier to feel like you love the world when you’re surrounded by loving people.

Yet he did not disappoint .

My wife’s mother called her recently saying “After 15 years of not talking to him, your father reached out. We met in person with him and he apologized for everything. We’re in good terms now.. I cannot believe it.”

This and many more miracles have started to unfold.

So..

Where am I going with this?

Men NEED men.

We need to be around masculine beings of integrity and strength..

Men who are not the woo-woo, promiscuous. “tantric”, pseudo-spiritual bali festival dude..

Nor the chest-beating, self-annointed “alpha”, hustle & grind, all head and beef no heart macho guy..

We need the guidance of men who are not afraid of their masculinity, nor compulsively driven by it.

Men whose instinct is transmuted for the service of all…

Fathers, brothers, friends and partners..

Solid allies in our quest towards living more impeccably.

It would’ve been easy to judge my father in law for his history and not give him a chance..

It would’ve been simple to dismiss him as incapable and not extend a guiding hand..

Easier to ignore and punish than to repair and rebuild..

Yet that’s what a conscious man does:

He takes upon himself the duty of caring for all of life.

He shares his heart openly so that others may drink from the wisdom and compassion he’s cultivated through trials and tribulations.

Back in my 20’s I wish I had had more available mentors and role models.

I wish I had had spaces where men of integrity were present and their messages available to be heard.

Often in life, your gift and mission becomes giving to others that which you wished you had received..

So in recent months I was asked to be one of the speakers at a men’s summit:

The “Calling All Men Summit.”

A place where -among others- a handful of the very few men I admire and respect were also invited to speak.

A virtual gathering aimed to create that space that most men have never had:

A space among brothers.

My father-in-law needed family, not alienation.

It was male love that healed him, not punishment or rejection.

He opened himself up to the Colombian shamanic medicines because that’s what was available… but the greatest medicines of all are love, community and connection.

And that’s available everywhere if you are open to them. 🙏🏽

So if you’re a man (or know one) that cares about living life in more harmony, honesty and truth..

I invite you to attend this (FREE) summit (starting tomorrow).

I will share the link on the first comment.

Feel free to forward it to the men you care about in your life, or to share this whole post if it touched you.

Transformation is not only our possibility,

but our duty and responsibility.

Miracles are possible.

But we gotta do our part!

See you there.

👊
🔥

At 110 years old, Abuelo Querubin was the oldest (known) living “Taita” (Ayahuasca Shaman) in Colombia.

“Taita” is an indigenous word that means Father, but not ‘father’ in the way we use it today..

A Taita was often both the political and social leader of his community.

THE Man whom everyone could trust to keep their best interest in mind..

A ‘spiritual father’ of sorts.

“Taita” was a title given to men whom – after decades of experience, trials and tribulations – had earned the respect and trust of their whole tribe.

These men more than leaders were healers, sages and warriors.

Men of integrity, chosen to lead due to merit (and not mere popularity as we see today.)

I sat in ceremony 2 years ago with Abuelo Querubin and got to have a brief chat with him.

I asked him for guidance about something that was weighing heavy on my heart and he answered with a joke. 😂

He was a lucid man who embodied mastery, a rare trait to witness today.

In a world where we switch “life partners” every 7 years and careers every 5, this man dedicated a whole century to the study of medicinal plants and healing through the Yagé medicine (Aya).

Everything else aside, such focus, discipline and dedication to mastering his craft is a tremendous accomplishment.

However, what touched me the deepest was his humility and simplicity.

In spite of being a “big deal” with everyone rushing to snap a selfie with him and filling up retreats with hundreds of attendees..

He remained simple.

You could tell that his mission and devotion to serving others was what kept him energetic, clear and wise well into his 100’s.

A couple of days ago he graduated from this experience we call life..

Rest in peace abuelo. 🌱

May the seeds of service you spread through the world blossom to their fullest possibility..

& may the sacred medicines be held and carried forward with the same respect and humility you showed them.

Onwards & Upwards.

🙏🏽
🔥

Broken families

That’s the pattern I notice as I hear every participant share why they decided to join The Way of Fire and fly all the way to Colombia for 10 days.

Some of them came to step into their purpose, unaware that their broken relationship with their father is at the root of their confusion and fear of giving structure to their dreams.

A violent dad or an emotionally absent one creates a vacuum of direction which manifests itself as feeling stuck- consumed by unhealthy patterns.

Some other came to heal their addictions, aware that they’re not a problem but the solution to old trauma that’s been hard to process.

The trauma of controlling parents, violence and punishments.

Absent love and education, drugs become a somewhat reliable hiding place where temporary love and peace are found..

yet they ditch you lower once the high has passed.

Sexual abuse, violent fathers, absent ones, overbearing mothers, painful divorces and breakups, seemingly un resolvable health complications and numbness from life are some of the trials that our retreat participants have faced..

And when I look at them, I see the root in the breaking of the family nucleus.

The grief and impossible pain of a child born within the tiger’s cage.

The anger of our innocence stripped away by parents that didn’t know any better..

And the responsibility (and tremendous possibility) we have to be the ones that break all patterns.

The Way of Fire is a retreat where our prayer is one of union with the masculine and feminine within us, and our family as an extension of that.

I’ve already cried tears of pain and joy through witnessing some of what some people have gone through…

and the courage they had to believe a different life is possible..

Paired with a sense of fulfillment and humility knowing that they’ve trusted me with their lives.

That they trust I can bridge them into healthier relationships with themselves, their mind, body, heart and homes.

It touches me because I used to be against family values, resent those who gave me this life and be as distant as I could from my parents and relatives..

I used to spend years without seeing my parents, and fly back home only to hang out with friends and -occasionally- join my family for a meeting or Sunday lunch.

I used to feel heavy about being in connection with them due to all the pain, dismissed emotions, controlling tendencies and judgements (from both directions).

And today I get to serve others in healing their closest relationships, with my family being the team that I host this retreat with,

We healed our family

and now our family stands holding space

for the healing of others’ hearts

and therefore their homes.

Miracles are possible. ♥️

What a life!

Tomorrow we set sail for the mountains of Medellin…

together with my wife, mother, father, sister and godmother to welcome this year’s participants to The Way of Fire (A retreat that marries the deepest relational & spiritual practices I’ve learned in 2+ decades together with south american shamanism and plant medicine work.)

I feel ready.

Eager.

Nervous of excitement

Joyfully anticipating the transformations we’re about to witness..

And what a privilege that I get to hold space -on a retreat focused on healing our relationships- with my family by my side.

The proof’s in the pudding 🥮🤣

This poem/prayer I wrote last year is at the core of why we do what we do.

“I was once a little boy

so scared of people

that the only safety he found

was in closing down

and hiding away his heart.

A boy so scared of love

that he told himself a thousand stories

about women and life.

About pleasure and lust,

about romance and trust.

A thousand stories to justify

the avoidance of commitment

and the escape from responsibility.

A boy so scared, he used his mind as a shield

so that his heart wouldn’t break open.

So afraid to be alone

that he filled up his bed

with many women

afraid -too- of their own loneliness.

A tragic dance of two people

craving nothing more

than to be seen and loved

yet clinging

to their eyes staying closed

and their hearts hidden..

It is not true what the math states

two negatives never make a positive.

I was once a boy

who objectified

and took from the feminine..

in all her forms:

Mother, sisters, lovers and nature herself.

Entitled to their caring gestures..

yet stingy with his giving.

I was once a little boy who

growing up absent from his heart

did not know how to receive

someone else’s

so they broke in his hands.

A little boy so blind

he stepped over the softest of flowers

and brought chaos

to the prettiest of gardens.

I was once an agent of destruction and pain

and I’m sorry about that.

In recent years I’ve made a vow,

that today I want to share with you:

I vow to protect and restore

all that is sacred and beautiful

starting with my own heart,

then my family’s

my community

and life at large.

I now take a stand for the sacredness of family..

For most of today’s pain in the world

can be traced back to a father and a mother

that through their absence

or their forceful presence

bruised their kid’s heart.

I vow to support, guide and educate

powerful men and heart-aligned women

committed to creating

conscious relationships

and sacred families.

I vow to help us

re-member

what it’s like

for the masculine

and the feminine

to live in harmony.

To raise and praise The Feminine

in all of her glory

To help rise and make wise, The Masculine

in all of his strength.

I vow to be a bridge

to the creation and restoration

of divine union.

Within each of us

With our beloved

& with the world.”

AHO 🔥

Stay tuned!

⚱️Here’s the gold from these previous weeks of ceremony, service and immersion in nature

The gift of the masculine is consciousness & wisdom, the gift of the feminine is love and beauty.

Too much ‘love’ (unchecked compassion) and you will enable someone’s lack of personal responsibility.

Too much ‘truth’ and dry discipline and you create a tyrannical environment where the other is bound to rebel.

True Love is that:
A mix of Truth & Love.

A loving embrace but never one that shelters another from the consequences of their own actions.

A straight, wise word but never one that punishes or casts another out of your heart.

Relationships require you to be loving AND wise.

Learning to discern when the other needs a hug and when they need to sit with their own pain alone.

⚜️ Those who fail to educate, punish.

This is especially true about parenting but also applies to how we relate to our development.

Punishment is the result of frustration, which is the result of lack of responsibility when it comes to educating someone.

⚜️ Humility is to recognize the garbage we have inside without thinking we’re garbage.

⚜️ Medicine isn’t in a drug, but neither it’s in a plant. Medicine is in the love and compassion with which we are present to another.

It’s a moment of attention and an act of affection.

It’s not in rushing to give someone a solution or “fix” them out of their pain.

It’s in meeting them in that tender human place that suffers, without losing sight of our deeper truth.

It’s to see and embrace ours and another’s pain, without drowning in it.

Remembering that there’s always that place of stillness at the core of our heart:

The eye of the storm,
the silence between notes..

And to remain connected to it, as we surf the waves of bliss and grief that come with being alive.

The root of sickness and trauma is disconnection..

Medicine is Connection.

⚜️ Modern cities aren’t built in supportive ways for deep spiritual processes or heightened sensitivity.

The pollution of air, sound, water and sight are a permanent hole where one’s energies leak.

Communion with nature is essential for anyone serious about spiritual growth.

More to come! 🙏🏽

Here’s how earlier this year I cleared up the leftovers of trauma I had with the feminine..

My mother had been diagnosed with a brain tumour, which had her losing balance on one side of the body and with daily paralyzing migraines for over a month..

Before considering chemo or pharmaceuticals I invited her to see that this situation carried a gift and a message..

One she was probably avoiding for too long.

Right away I organized for us to go to 3 days back to back of Kambo, followed by 6 Aya ceremonies, acupuncture, shamanic “curas” (healing rituals), a sweat lodge and more..

Leveraging all the nature-given tools we have access to, to expedite the process of understanding, healing and releasing.

During the last ceremonies I started to feel severe pain around my lungs and heart area..

Unbearable grief, deeply rooted and present from a time before my logical cognition and memory were fully formed.

The scariest abyss to look into..

It was excruciating to feel it all:

“Abandonment. I am not loved. I’m not worthy of being alive. Nobody cares..”

These were the stories that I had unconsciously created upon interpreting my mom’s actions through the lens of a baby..

Something as simple as feeling her being overwhelmed next to me and deciding I was the burden. (and not the 100s of external stressors present in her life)

I touched the wound that had informed (de-formed) my relationship with women all my life..

The pain I inflicted to every woman I dated was a result of this closure I unconsciously carried in my heart.

(It showed up as a near fatal pneumonia back then, and as narcissistic tendencies later on.)

The baby felt it all and almost died, the young adult avoided feeling at all and almost dies.

In that ceremony I saw the truth..

The countless sacrifices she made
All the sleepless nights
Her sleeping on a chair as I laid intubated in a hospital bed
All the hours in long bus rides to the Dr
Painting together
Her delicious meals
Her loving conversations..

And above all, the gift of Life itself.

The wound in me prevented me from acknowledging the vast amounts of love my mother had showed me..

And to heal meant not only to accept and understand why the painful moments had happened..

But most importantly to stop ignoring all the ways in which she was there for me, in the best way she knew, with the few resources she had at hand, with the greatest love she was capable of in her heart.

In that moment it dawned on me that all the bliss and beauty I’ve ever experienced in my life..

All the love I’ve made

All the tears of laughter..

Sunrises and sunsets..

Songs and dances..

I owe it all to her.

And no pain, misunderstanding or trauma was remotely large enough to offset having received the gift of life.

In the silence the shaman started playing a song he had just written..

An ode to the mother.

I started sobbing…

Sobbing for all the moments I carried bitterness against my mother and women..

Crying about the ways in which I thought less of my mom, and women..

Tears of humility, repentance and a heart finally breaking wide open.

I felt myself receiving the love of The Great Mother pouring through my mother..

And with this, I felt once again in love with my life.

In love with being alive.

Worthy of being a life.

I glanced across the ceremonial fire and saw my mother deep in her own process with the medicine.

I walked up to her and gave her a hug, with tears still in my eyes.

I felt the honour of being a son..

And the sacred responsibility that comes with that.

A responsibility and opportunity to treat ALL women as The Mother.

With reverence, devotion and care.

🙏🏼♥️
Today I celebrate your birthday Mom.

Thank you for gifting me this life..

And for all the ways known and unknown in which you’ve made me the man I am today.

The medicines, land and the shamans we work with have a big place in my heart.

It was the medicine who changed my mind from “I would never get married!” to seeing commitment as an expression of freedom and a portal towards beauty and depth.

It was the shamans whom by their example showed me it was possible to live a romantic life that felt sacred. I saw in them strong masculine men, supported by powerful feminine women.

Forces of nature in the world.

The lands held me as I released the pain, trauma and karmic substance that kept me stuck in repetitive cycles of playing small (in life and in love)

And the best part!

It’s been 4 years now that over a hundred people have flown to Colombia to experience first hand similar transformations.

Excited for what’s about to come!

I’m committed this year to curate an experience that is unforgettable and serves as a before and after in the lives of those who had the courage to hear the call.

A rite of passage into the sanctity of the heart, our relationships and family.

The better it gets, the better it gets!

🔥🙏🏼♥️

“I don’t care if you decide you want to dance and become a ballerina.. Whatever you decide you want to do, just commit do doing it well.”

These were the exact words off my father’s mouth after I had just finished my business university degree and told him I was considering to become a tattoo artist instead..

“Whatever you do with order and discipline you’ll be successful at. Just don’t ever do anything in a mediocre way.”

I feel very fortunate that I have a father that has always supported me in pursuing whatever made me happy, even if it didn’t make sense to him.

From going to the heart of Bogotá’s drug dealing alleys to help me buy underground punk rock CDs and spikes for my jacket when I was 14…

To joining me in over a dozen Ayahuasca ceremonies, staying up until the sunrise next to each other as we gazed into the fire listening to the ripples of medicine music and birds singing..

I’ve always felt capable and worthy of my dreams thanks to his unwavering support and down to earth guidance.

I love you dad! ♥️

Thank you for teaching me through your example what dedication, commitment, responsibility and ease look like.

I feel privileged to be your son.

🙏🏼
☀️

3 years ago today my life drastically changed.

I had an experience that took months of being in nature to ‘come back from.’

I feel that -outside of my birth and death- it was the most significant event of my life.

It was the first time I’d touch a dimension I later learned was referred to as Samadhi in the yogic traditions.

I had drank medicine many times but in this particular night I felt it in my bones that something was going to be different..

I even told myself, half-jokingly, in front of the mirror when getting ready “If we die we come back, Nico.”

Words that came out of nowhere and for no reason, yet I now see those were the last words of an identity dying to keep living, sensing the unavoidable moment of dissolution that was about to unfold.

That night I died.

I saw my life on fast forward, the age, place and manner in which I would die, the people next to me, all of it.

I saw a lot of my karmic substance burn at a tortuous speed..

Everything I considered myself to be, everything I liked and disliked, the people I called “mine”, it all went up in flames in front of my eyes..

Until there was Nothing left.

& I touched the truth of who I AM.

I remember for weeks, after that night, looking in the mirror and not recognizing who I saw.

As if the Nico I used to be had just been evicted, and a wiser Self had just taken over my body.

Those who knew me saw a drastic shift in me, my priorities, my taste, my diet and even the physical structure of my face and body.

Something took over and rearranged everything around it.

Now I see that what died was the carefully curated identity I thought was “me”, and what was left was Life itself, flowing powerfully, freely and loudly within.

I did not know who I was or what I liked for weeks, yet this felt quite freeing – and the feeling accompanies me to this day.

I was fortunate to be in sacred land and invited to help the community with physical labour, so we chopped wood and carried water, quite literally.

This day was the end of the illusion for me, and the moment I made two specific commitments to the source of creation.

The rest of my life, is my attempt to fulfill on those promises.

Back then I was convinced I’d go crazy, given the intensity of what I felt throbbing within me.

(and how silent my mind felt)

I was unaware of how I’d keep my body for much longer..

At one point I even gave my sisters instructions of what to do if certain things happened with me, so that my family wouldn’t panic.

Fortunately I was supported in grounding myself fully.

Today I celebrate this day as well as my friends, mentors and guru who made it all possible.

This is the day I was born to a very different possibility of life..

A spiritual birthday of sorts!😅

So, while I know most of you may think this is wacky or woo-woo, it’s a truth I’m becoming more and more open about.

The work that I’m here to do in the coming decade requires full openness and trust, from me to those I get to serve, and the other way around.

So this is me being vulnerable and transparent, beyond my usual “logical, sound approach.”

Thank you for being a part of my journey and for reading this.

I see you ♥️🙏🏼

What changes you is ALWAYS a person.

It’s never a program, a book, a podcast, a retreat or a session..

It’s the transmission of who they are that awakens a dormant potential within you.

Most of you have gone through the initiatory fires of relationships, but mostly the negative ones.

Those people whose presence in your life wrecks such havoc that the transmission is one of contrast and the way in which you are touched feels more like a big slap on the face.

Yet transformation ensued.. didn’t it?

A difficult relationship, an untrustworthy friend, a deceitful business partner.

You’ve been there.

However, it is rare to be touched by someone’s light.

This is why relationships are so sacred:

They can plant in you the seeds of liberation or disconnection.

And it is never what they say, their advice or their methods..

It is always who they are.

These two are some of the people who’ve touched my life by their being alone.

They’ve freed me, over and over, without uttering a single word.

I’ve received more in terms of spiritual growth, virtue, the love of family, integrity and clarity of purpose from being around Jeronimo than I did from over a decade of paid coaches, courses and teachers.

I’ve learned more about being a man and healthy love from interacting with my beloved than I did from years of studies and trainings on masculinity, polarity and conscious relating.

Presence, not product, is where the core of human transformation lies.

In fact, there are times when with those I work with I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I’m deeply grounded and certain of who I AM being.

And that carries them through, from who they are towards who they are meant to be.

The tools, practices and methods are secondary in essence to the transmission of the heart of those holding space

Not a lot of people can say they’ve drank Ayahuasca over a dozen times with their mother.. 

Done kambo next to each other and laughed at the ridiculous and miraculous divine play of life.

🪣 Bucket on one hand, tissues on the other and tears rolling down our cheeks.. it does not get much more intimate than that.

Not everyone can openly look into their mother’s eyes and say “I love you” from the heart, and hear “me too” back.

So I cherish our connection deeply.

During my last retreat I was reminded of the importance of honoring our parents, starting with the mother.

So today I want to honor you mom.

Thank you for gifting me this life I love so much.

None of it would be possible without you.

Thank you for all the lessons, through beauty and chaos, that shaped me into the man I am today.

A man I’m proud of.

Thank you for having an open mind and being a friend in the path of self-realization, sharing all kinds of practices, plant medicines and deep conversations.

Thank you for being the living embodiment of transformation, forgiveness and joy.

For your strength, devotion and huge heart.

I pray we may share a lot more adventures in the future, in this life and beyond it.

Love you mom!

5 Insights from our Ayahuasca Retreat in Colombia

– Embrace, not Endure. These are the only two choices we will always have. Pain and difficult times will come but grace is found in how we navigate them.

– Clarity of vision and commitment to a direction takes only one moment to arrive to, developing ourselves into the people that can bring it forth is a process that demands discipline, consistency and above all patience.

Our relationship with our mother has within it the very own flavour of our relationship with life and nature, therefore untangling all unresolved issues and arriving to a space of acceptance and respect is foundational to living a fulfilling life.

– God and the elements are our original ancestors. The source of creation is our very first grandmother/grandfather. We are literally made out of magic. Walking miracles that forget what their life is about and -a great place to start knowing who we are- is understanding where we come from (starting with our parents and culture.)

– Profound spiritual sensitivity and enhanced perception of life must happen only after you’ve trained your mind to embrace all that is beautiful, ugly, good and malevolent without discrimination.

Failure to transcend dual thinking will ensure your mind breaks the closer you try to move to being truly present with ALL of life.

With that said, the source of creation is always found at the other side of whatever (and whoever) we are present to.

And as Ram Dass said “you don’t worship the gate, go further.”

There was so much more to put into simple bullet points..

Participants experienced moments of forgiveness for others and themselves, freed themselves from guilt and shame, reconnected to their heart as a cornerstone from which to build their business consciously, embraced their parents and rekindled their desire for closer connection with family, were given practical homework for their transformation and found true, deep abundance in their relationship with life (far above what vast sums of money had provided for them so far.)

I’m forever grateful for the medicine, our land, our elder and the ancestral traditions that have been passed down to us to allow for our community to start being recognized by different authorities as one of the most integral and best guided places in the world to sit with plant medicine.

Adventure calls you…

Join my email list, send me a message and I will forward you the details of our next live events.

Cheers.

Nico

What turned my life around for good wasn’t the hundreds of plant medicine ceremonies or the libraries of self-development books and spiritual teachings I had explored over the years..

t wasn’t the workshops, retreats, or even the intense months living with Colombian shamans..

Nor the chaos, frustration and feelings of being “stuck”, or the pain from a life that felt incongruent and far below my potential..

While they all contributed to a healthier way of living, it was commitment and love that actually saved me.

It was the choice to co-create a beautiful relationship with a woman and taking responsibility for all that this entailed.

I had to deal with all the nonsense of my upbringing, the imbalances between my inner masculine & feminine, the resentment towards mom and dad, the fears of being vulnerable and the unworthiness and confusion about love and dating in general…

I had to address my workaholic tendencies and see it was but a glorified way of hiding from the world..

I had to start thinking of myself as a ‘family man” and wanting to be a more present partner and parent (than my parents had been)..

So I began being more strategic and intentional, working less and earning more ($70k+ months)

I had to heal my addictions and ways in which I was playing small. They came up and now there was nowhere to hide.

Wanting to lead through example I stopped drinking, eating poorly and started taking impeccable care of my mind, body and heart.

And in learning to be FULLY devoted to another, my spiritual journey sped up beyond my wildest dreams.

I am now certain that a relationship is the greatest fire that will either purify you or burn and destroy you.

Some relationships erode your self-worth, destroy your finances, damage your mental health and degrade the way you relate to life..

Some will help you rise above your limitations, becoming prosperous, passionate and peaceful in the process.

But no relationship ever allows you to remain the same.

So choose consciously!

As if your life depended on it, because -to a large degree- it really does.

🔥

One of the greatest insights I had during the recent retreats was the importance of true friendship.

The word friend, or amigo (in spanish) comes from the latin ‘amicus’ which means a person who is loved.

And love -in its real and empowering sense- isn’t meekness, niceness nor people pleasing.

Love is the ultimate stand we can take for one another.

A place where we can see, beyond each other’s nonsense, the beauty, light and power that lies at the core of every human, and relate to them as such..

Never again looking down, having pity or agreeing with untruths.

No longer buying into their stories of limitation, separation and victimization.

Having compassion and understanding for what they go through without subscribing for a single second to them being smaller than their challenges or incapable of tapping into their heart’s strength.

During the last ceremony I was brought to my knees, quite literally, in agony and despair.

For the first time my body was no longer under my control, my mind was overwhelmed and I felt powerless to deal with any of it..

I felt weak, small and insignificant.

Decades of spiritual work and being grounded amounted to nothing in that moment..

Until a friend came and sat next to me, and feeling the vastness of his heart- I allowed myself to lean in and rely on him.

In that moment I understood that navigating life all by myself (and always being the one on whom people relied) was coming to an end.

In that moment I tapped into an exponential source of strength found in trusting high integrity friendship, and my ceremony turned around.

I saw that a friend is someone whose heart is there to keep you going, not to coddle you and agree with your smallness but to face the unknown side by side.

A friend stands for you being conscious and competent over merely comfortable.

That is love.

To act towards others from the highest place within us, relating to them as the highest place within them.

And friendship, a vehicle for men and women to exercise that love.

To be there for each other, never again as means of escapism and distraction but as allies towards mutual liberation.

Realizing that together, we are stronger.

👊🏽

Grateful to be wrapping up “The Sacred Path” retreat in Colombia.

🔥 Together with the group we explored hidden natural gems that haven’t yet been stained by the touch of tourism en-masse, crystalline waterfalls and honey-water-rivers, green paradises, 500+ year old trees, thunder-storm filled jungles and sacred forests.

Heightened awareness, community, Ayahuasca, Tobacco, Coca leaf, fasting food and fasting sleep, breath and cold water were some of the medicines that embraced us through this journey of transformation.

Some came to shake hands with their past and their fear, their self-abandonment, unresolved childhood trauma and deteriorating physical health..

Some came to reignite their love, passion and compassion in their relationships.. understanding where things had gone wrong and returning back into harmony.

And some other came to be touched by something greater so that they could become instruments of the creator, done living a limited superficial life, ready to be forged through the fire into powerful heart-based leaders set on serving humanity at a large scale.

In essence, we all walked our very own Sacred Path.

Whether it was releasing and healing..

reconnecting & loving..

or transcending and serving.

Nature has a way of handing us the exact lessons, situations and people we need given where we’re at.

And everyone got what they needed..

♥️

Thank you to the incredible group that got together, our elder, shamans, teachers and medicine people who shared all of themselves so that we could all return to ourselves.
For those of you who missed this, stay tuned!

Adventure calls you… 🌱

Join my email list, send me a message and I will forward you the details of our next live events.
Cheers.
Nico

This is only for Men

Capital M – Men.

Leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, coaches & healers.

I know you have what it takes to live life on your terms, way above the standards that most men have set out for themselves.

In fact, your mastery over your work and service is a living proof of that.

Yet as cliche as it sounds, it does get lonely at the top.

A lot more comfortable, freeing and exciting, YES..

but definitely lonely.

(or ‘in aloneness’ if we’re being surgically accurate with language)

Most people are quite okay with living lives of conforming to mediocrity and bending over backwards in a system that is beyond corrupt..

And a few others have the awareness and competence to orient their efforts into becoming stewards of their communities, their land and their culture.

Men of wealth but also men of health..

Of direction, protection and provision..

Conscious about their impact and relentless in their commitment.

Driven by their heart’s fire and no longer the world’s greed.

If this is you, I would love to extend a personal invitation to the sacred mountains of Colombia.

We will sit in a sacred temple with the jungle medicines in connection to other Men.

Men who – like you – are operating at a high level of integrity, purpose and efficiency in their life.

More than the medicine journeys guided by Colombian shamans, the greatest medicine I foresee is that of co-creation, collaboration and camaraderie in brotherhood..

But not your ‘drum-circle’ kumbaya, airy fairy watered down flavour of masculinity.

No.

Full fledged, honour-based, death-embracing, presence-inducing connection with other Men.

If you’ve gotten so far in life being the driving force behind your business, your work and your service…

Imagine what it would be like to have 8-10 other men with shared values (and their life and business as the evidence to prove it) in your corner.

When we get together, as MEN (not boys), our presence does NOT merely add to one another..

It multiplies..

Exponentially, to several magnitudes.

This is how great shifts are made.

I foresee a massive one coming out of this container.

Are you ready to play your part in it?

Adventure calls you…

Join my email list, send me a message and I will forward you the details of our next live events.

Cheers.

Nico

I shall fully come out of the closet..

The literary closet that is. 📕

Mom, Dad, friends: I am writing a book!

This book is a lifelong dream that was a little overdue.

A baby that for a couple of years has been kicking and pushing, aching to be born..

yet my own fears, confusion and busy-ness had me put it aside and pretend I’d do it “tomorrow” (which is the place where all meaningful dreams go to die)

Finally, I gathered both the courage and the professional support to let it come to life!

I’ve got my book doulas ready and a party planned. 😉

“GRACE” is a book that condenses 15+ years of personal exploration (wins, epic fails, addiction, recovery, scarcity, providence and more) together with 100s of insights I had during my times living in/working with plant medicine communities in the Colombian mountains & jungles.

Therefore, this is a book that marries the spiritual and the practical.

Mystic & material collided into one.

It is a poetic, actionable guide for humans to navigate their inner landscape from a place of pain and into their full power.

This book will be especially useful for those who are in a journey of meaning, depth and consciousness..

However, it is NOT for those who just want to yell affirmations at the mirror, create a vision board, burn sage and expect their life is going to change.

NO.

This book will touch the wound.

It will call you out.

It will pour alcohol all over it..

It will burn.

But it will also heal.

GRACE is for those who are ready for a spiritual journey, grounded in THIS reality.

Connected to their heart, anchored in their body, free in their mind.

Leaders, professionals, healers, fellow entrepreneurs and seekers!

I’m excited to be sharing my life’s work with you soon!!!

Thank you for being a part of this.

♥️

“I went with it. I made the choice to go into darkness.. and on the other side I felt and saw in that moment that I was actually God.”⁠ J. Hudson

Before we continue, please do not let the word “God” confuse you – None of the work I do is about religiosity, blind faith or woo-woo, new agey spirituality⁠

⁠In fact, those who come to the retreat are surprised at how practical it all is (I reserve philosophizing for social media)⁠

⁠Anyways, Justin’s experience is NOT an isolated one.⁠

⁠Several people come with all sorts of intentions, ailments, confusions and chaos they want to sort out internally.⁠

⁠Whether it is past trauma or the accumulated years of not being themselves, the loss of a loved one or a failed marriage..⁠

⁠And while most of that can be easily handled and healed, the deeper reason people are here for (sometimes unknown to them) is the search for something bigger.⁠

⁠God. Great Spirit. The Creator. The Essence of the Universe. The Tao. Samadhi. Love.⁠

⁠You name it…⁠

⁠That energy that is at the core of everything that exists. ⁠

Justin had a lived experience of being the creator, not a mere philosophy or idea but a tangible process more real than anything else.⁠

⁠THIS is the essence of my work:⁠

⁠To guide people back to themselves, to KNOW themselves, to MEET themselves and to understand that everything else is nothing by garments gathered along the journey.⁠

⁠Once that meeting happens, NOTHING is ever the same.⁠

⁠Problems, traumas and confusions are resolved effortlessly once the energy of creation is vibrant and alive within you (as a live experience and not a mere idea).⁠

⁠Connecting to God means connecting to that place within that has infinite wisdom, power, acceptance, love and responsibility.

⁠For clients to connect to this point it takes a serious commitment from their end, but once they come to the core of who they are.. their next steps become clear.⁠

⁠For confusion is a side-effect of not knowing who you truly are or what you truly want.⁠

⁠and KNOWING yourself, the antidote to that.⁠

Now, for those wanting more practical and measurable “results”, Justin went from being someone over concerned with pleasing, being kind and saving others (white knight syndrome) often at the expense of himself (which had led to an inevitable divorce)..

To being a dynamic man who has followed his instincts and travelled the world since, lived in a few countries and created beautiful romantic connections along his journey.

He is unapologetically sharing himself and his message with the world (something he had challenges with before) while smiling along the way.

⁠Adventure calls you…

Join my email list, send me a message and I will forward you the details of our next live events.

Cheers.

Nico

🙏🏼

There are questions that only arise in the minds of those who’ve reached a certain level of mastery over their external life.

Most human beings waste their life away chasing money, comfort and connection.

Nothing wrong with that..

But those -who’ve made a decent financial living, invested in luxury and quality of life and developed meaningful relationships- realize that there must be more.

And there is.

For life isn’t merely an eternal hamster-wheel of making more money and expanding your “empire”..

It isn’t merely an endless relational-loop of fine-tuning your masculine, your feminine, your sex life, your partner and all kinds of circus to try and squeeze pleasure, meaning and joy out of a romantic connection..

And it definitely isn’t a big house, fast car, fancy vacation or even fit, resilient and healthy body..

In fact, in my experience, reaching these “dreams” is not the end goal but the beginning of the journey

For only when a person has fulfilled -to a relatively decent degree- their external cravings, they realize that more of any of that will never suffice.

This is the reason lots of young millionaires and lottery ticket winners kill themselves a bit too early:

They come face to face with an existential void that no person, bank balance or experience – no matter how intense – can ever fulfill.

They’re confronted with a spiritual angst that most people never ever feel because they’re too busy chasing their own next version of “a little better.”

And the truth is that “a little better” is a guaranteed way to eventually crash into meaninglessness.

Apathy.

Nihilism and addiction.

For some it’s drugs, for some it’s money, for most I know it’s work.

Under the disguise of impact and growth pain is kept at bay.

The dog would not know what to do with its tail if it ever caught it.

Therefore he doesn’t.

The game would be over..

And then what?

Well, then the real journey begins.

The inwards journey beyond the limitations of physicality.

The journey towards death:

The death of all that a person believes they are, the cracking of the outer shell of the seed so that a greater expression of life may spring forth.

A process of rebirth that demands total surrender, trust and courage.

This is a process not for those who want more..

It is the quest for those who want it all.

And for that, they just be willing to lose it all.

All of themselves..

All of their fear..

All of their untruths..

Only when a person is ready to lose their mind,

they’ve got a solid chance at finding their heart.

🙏🏼

Adventure calls you…

Join my email list, send me a message and I will forward you the details of our next live events.

Cheers.

Nico