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Nothing bears nastier fruits than seeds planted out of confusion.

Look at your greatest heartbreaks, financial losses, relational frustrations and mental/emotional restlessness.

It’s ALL rooted in a poor choice you made (or a choice you have yet to make)

Most people waste their life, feeling stuck, confused, seeing how the days go by without much changing:.

Cycles of mediocrity, settling down, contempt and later regret are the greatest plague.

But it doesn’t have to be like that,
in fact, life does not work like that.

The laws of nature are clear and consistent.
The rules of life do not waiver.
The stream of the river always points towards the ocean.

Everything in nature knows its place and purpose, it’s just humans who’ve made a mess out of themselves through overthinking.

Paralysis by over analysis they call it!

Imagine, however, waking up and being with the lover you chose 100% (and feel fully committed to)..

Running the business and serving the world in a way that feels deeply right to your heart..
Noticing you know the next best steps you need to take to amp up the volume of prosperity, love and peace that’s present in your life.

Feeling clarity even when there’s chaos all around you 🔥

Especially when there is.

This need not be an ideal..
It’s actually your factory settings!

And fortunately, for thousands of years indigenous shamans and mystic yogis discovered tools and practices to press the reset button so that clarity and confidence may naturally arise.

Flow is an universal law that when broken creates ripples of pain, chaos and illness

To hesitate, procrastinate, second-guess and resist change is to go against the current of life.

To know you are here for a lot more than what you are currently doing and not trusting your gut is to betray your heart.

To feel that a more intimate, passionate and spiritually aligned love story is possible yet to settle one more year for uninspiring, mediocre love is to burry your dreams while still alive.

To know deep in your bones that more vitality, energy and clarity of mind are possible..

That peace and confidence are possible..

That health and exuberance are possible..

Yet to settle for lethargy, caffeine-dependency, medications, drugs and a half-broken system is a sin.

Meaning, it goes against the natural flow of life.

It is to miss the mark.

Most people when feeling stuck resort to their mind to try and sort themselves out..

Forgetting that it’s often their mind the one that got them there to begin with.

Rationalizing too much, hesitating at every turn, making “evidence-based” decisions yet second-guessing every decision they make.

Going through lists of pros & cons, waves of overthinking and inevitable anxiety.

There isn’t a single choice that comes from the mind that is bound to last unless your energies, body and heart are aligned with it.

Sure! you could change your mind in a heartbeat..

And that’s as much as a gift as it is a curse:
Today you want something and feel a fiery resolve to follow that path.

Tomorrow something happens and you’re back to square one, reconsidering what you previously thought you wanted.

Years go to waste in these cycles of intention, action, hesitation and reconsideration.

Yet no smart person, who highly values their time and life, ever allows for cycles of mediocrity to perpetuate over and over and over..

For life’s too brief and you’ll be damned if you waste it playing small!

So what to do?

Fortunately the question of “What do I want?” is not new to the human condition..

And over centuries, different cultures came up with their own approach to creating clarity of direction.

In South American shamanism they work in unison with the natural world to leverage certain herbs, flowers and medicinal plants to cleanse and harmonize a person’s energies (and from there, their mind and body follow)

In the Hindu traditions, they understood how to work with the 5 elements within the body in order to cleanse them, altering in this way the patterns of thought and feeling so that the source of who we are could be touched, and from there, effortless clarity sprouted.

The North American indigenous tribes had their “Vision Quest”, which was a rite of passage through which a person would mature, having received a vision from “The Great Spirit” before an important transition in their life.

And like these there are plenty of paths towards the same destination.

However, you don’t have to walk alone.

I could not have done it without her, at least not soon enough to not regret it.

Our greater challenge is rarely to part with the ugly, unconscious tendencies we have..

It is to let go of the ones we’ve grown to love.

It is to have the humility to acknowledge that there’s A LOT that we don’t know that we don’t know.

A lot of unconscious patterns that rig our romantic, financial and spiritual lives.

A lot of stuff we have never dealt with because we found ways to be entertained, distracted, busy, “productive” and efficient..

Work projects, travels and sex being often at the top of the list..

They make you feel like you’re killing it! Like you’ve made it..

But no matter how great the conquest, there’s a subtle void within..

And a whisper that calls us forth.

Had it not been for plant medicine I would’ve most likely kept running in circles of achievement, addiction, connection and disappointment.

Until I became too old or weary about the meaninglessness of it all..

However; I’m glad I was nudged awake before wasting all that time
pretending to be who I was really not.

Playing games my heart was never really into.

The medicine is there for those who are brave and have the courage to cut the cycles short, move beyond stagnation and transform.

Yet as a good friend says “Every great life has had in it a great renunciation..”

Are you ready to renounce?
👊🏽🔥

I used to hide my fear of trusting and letting go of control under the façade of perfectionism.

Most of my entrepreneurial journey has been an individual one, with brief bursts of external help here and there, but I’ve mainly been a one-man army.

Taking care of all things website development, marketing, video editing, content strategizing, creation and deployment, customer service, accounting, finance management, logistics coordinator, visual media artist, public relations and branding..

And I would go through periods of intense productivity and eventual burnout.. 😅

Then I’d half heartedly hire help that wasn’t qualified, so that my belief of “If I don’t do it myself, it won’t get done well.” Would turn out a reality..

Like in a relationship, when we don’t respect and love ourselves we tend to draw in someone who won’t respect and love us, I would attract people that wouldn’t do a good job, would be irresponsible and that would reinforce my beliefs around working with others..

That was until I started organizing retreats.. suddenly I had to work with another 20 people to ensure that things would go smoothly – from ensuring a truck brings enough wood to the friends that would spend a week chopping it, to the musicians, chef, facilitators, transportation and cleanup crew..

Suddenly I had no choice but to open up and trust..

It was one night during ceremony that in the midst of difficult emotions I looked up and saw the ceiling of the temple (which is a reciprocal structure) where if only one of the supporting beams was missing, the whole thing would come down.. (swipe to see a picture of it).

In that moment I understood our shaman’s design for it: a reminder that we CANNOT do it all alone.

A reminder that alone, the weight will crush us..
But together, it is possible.

That nothing GREAT in the world was ever created by a single person unwilling to involve others..

And that my journey forward was one of leadership, inspiring others, delegating and then trusting.

So I started already by hiring a personal assistant and a travel concierge.
And what a difference it’s made!

I now see that the right people show up only when you’re willing to let them in.

There are 5 states of the mind

– 𝐈𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐭
They are not a problem. Simple minded people often have no trouble. They eat and sleep well and aren’t riddled by too much thought.. Life is basic but enjoyable.


– 𝐀𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞
90% of the population has an active mind which often means it is scattered. Overthinking, anxiety, confusion and a lot of activity but often without much stillness.


– 𝐎𝐬𝐜𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠
9% of the world, through self-development and spiritual work, develop enough energy and commitment to pour their minds into a few things.
It goes from being all over the place to being one day this way, the next another. Highly polarized.


– 𝐎𝐧𝐞-𝐏𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐝
Very few people energize their mind up to this level where focus (and life itself) becomes an effortless, meditative process. There’s no inner tug of war or constant division and jolting of the mind.


– 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐜𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬
A rare happening, and often one of enlightenment, when a mind reaches its peak. It let’s go of the “one-pointed focus” to become all-inclusive and all-encompassing. It’s nothing and everything at the same time. It becomes the present moment itself and as such, a source of infinite wisdom, love and beauty.

If your mind gets organized, your emotions will match your thoughts.


If your emotions get organized, your energies will match your emotions.


If your energies get organized, your very body will get organized.

With these four in alignment you become extremely empowered in creating and manifesting that which you want.

Clarity is bringing our mind from Scattered into One-pointedness and eventual Consciousness.

In the yogic tradition this process is achieved by energizing one’s system.

How far and fast you go depends on how much fuel you have and its quality

How much clarity and power depends on how much energy is present in your system.

So how to energize our mind and body to grow past confusion/scattered/inert thinking?

There’s only TWO methods:


-Cleansing
Dealing with the areas where it leaks


-Boosting
Increasing the amount & quality of it

Did you know that the Chinese character for music is the same one for happiness?

And did you know that the one for medicine is the same one for music but with the “plants” character on top?

🤯

For me, music has been a tool of sharpening my discipline, my patience and my priorities..

A medium into which I channel and transmute the excess energy running through my system.

A way of grounding myself in the present moment and reconnecting to a sense of play and freedom.

Music has healed me, given me strength and brought me closer to myself than any prayer or yogic pose..

So it’s become one of my go-to practices of spiritual growth, for when I sing I can clearly see where my heart is at.

The guitar and the voice don’t lie – but neither they judge..
They show you where you’re at, what you need and gently guide you there.

And the Spanish saying goes:
“Quien canta, su mal espanta.”
(He who sings, his evil scares away)

Gratitude for @azulejero@piedemontemusic and @josue_velasquez_giraldo_ for being sources of inspiration and to @herediamusic for being an impeccable teacher.

🙏🏼

One of the reasons @tumi.anastasiya inspired me to want to marry her, even though I used to swear against marriage, is this:

– She was a big YES to my leadership.

She celebrated it with joy.

Throughout the years I had met incredible women who -in spite of “having it together”- were not a good match.

My invitations would sometimes be met with hesitation, resistance and overthinking.

Nothing wrong with that; for some people thrive in connecting from a very safe, carefully managed and controlled place..

But I’m not made like this.

I’m like fire, and I see what’s possible with people and call it out right away; often.

In work, friendships and love.

In relationships this has meant a level of intensity beyond what most women are used to, and that’s okay.

With Anastasiya it started effortlessly..

with random adventures in Bali, visiting her in Russia, and inviting her to come for a month to Colombia where we attended our very first plant medicine retreat.

Our first few dates were each in different countries.

Little did we know we’d end up spending covid together and moving into an Ayahuasca community, living in the sacred forests and supporting the construction of their temple.

We’ve often traveled 6+ months of the year; explored new places and gone on deep dives when it comes to our spiritual journey.

From visiting chiefs of indigenous reserves, to attending special consecration ceremonies with Yogi mystics, and exploring play and community in-between.

With her, adventure has felt effortless.

She trusts me and celebrates my leadership.

And when needed, lovingly reminds me when I fall asleep at the wheel.

I married her because there’s symmetry in the depth of devotion we have for each other and the overall vision we have for life.

(Other than this being the last round for me and her saying she’d want one more life together 😂😅)

In love, like in engineering, if there’s no symmetry there’s bound to be friction.

So find someone who’s a big yes to who you are, instead of bitterly settling for someone who merely sees you as a ‘maybe’.

One will fuel the fire that you are,
the other will turn in down.

Choose well.
🙏🏼

You will never think your way out of being stuck, for it is your mind that got you there to begin with..

Feeling stagnant, confused or overwhelmed by lack of clarity is a symptom that you’re in your head.

Indecisiveness is the limbo where all of human potential (and peace of mind) goes to waste.

Not knowing whether to commit fully to that business venture that calls your heart, whether to stay or leave a relationship that may be past its due date, or simply unsure about how to take the next step in your journey of healing..

Those are all nasty places to be in.

I say nasty because being confused means that you don’t move forward and change things with courage, but neither do you learn to love and embrace where you’re at..

Sitting on the fence it’s only bound to hurt your ass..

With that said, most people try to think their way out of their dilemmas.. as if fire could ever put out fire 🤦🏻‍♂️

A deeper, clearer intelligence must be touched if we want to move forward with clarity and confidence.

Ancient yogis and indigenous shamans knew this, that’s why their advice was never in the form of lectures but instead, they’d bathe you with a specific mix of plants..

Have you eat some other..

Make you breathe in another way..

And even rearrange your home in a particular manner..

And you would see that the confusion -once removed from your field- would inevitably be removed out of your mind.

They knew how to work with the body, mind, energies and environment to kick-start certain processes within.. so that clarity would sprout.

Are you ready?

Let’s do this!

Here’s a Selfie🤳

❌No fancy background.
❌No artificial/posed moments.
❌No subtle “wealth/virtue signalling”
❌No “on brand” context.
❌No filters.

Just a reminder of a morning I woke up feeling joyful and handsome 🙂 (AND my grandma agreed.)

So that’s it!

Celebrating life as it is, past filters, expectations, demands and inner/outer pressures.

And an invitation (and permission slip) for you to feel free to celebrate YOU being you.

Free from comparisons and judgements.

Fully unique and perfect as the unfolding life that you are.

🙏🏼

I have never understood this…

Why do people feel sympathy when the labels you use to define yourself are limiting? (anxious, insecure, depressed, traumatized, bipolar, shy, etc..)

..and on the other hand they totally lose it if you dare to declare (acknowledge) you are an extension of God? (and openly commit to living from that place.)

Why do people shout “get a room” in disgust when they see a couple kissing in public yet are quickly to pull out their phone whenever a fight breaks out?

What gets openly celebrated and shunned really mirrors to us where we’re at – collectively.

Wild isn’t it?

Something being common does not make it normal. (Natural)

I REFUSE to live with so little love in my heart to ever relate to another human being as incapable, limited, broken or forsaken..

(let alone enslaved and defined by a label)

I refuse to join anyone’s pity party or victim-virtue’ing..

I’ve been called -many times before- an uncompassionate, victim-shaming, a*hole

All for refusing to join the collective delusion that would rather have us balm with fake coddling and pats on the shoulder those who -instead- need to be looked eye-to-eye and be reminded of their power.

Nothing is more shaming to a human being than being related to as a victim.

Nobody is ever powerless unless they believe so.

Nobody is a victim unless they’ve accepted so.

Do messed up and unfair things happen?

Yes, unfortunately.

But why anyone would ever think it’s a good idea to perpetuate the pain they suffered by allowing it to define them is beyond me…

About 7 years ago the greatest acts of love I’ve ever received from friends and family were those where their compassion was so great that they refused to relate to me as the hopeless drug&sex-addict, workaholic, self-destructive and immature guy that I was.

They saw me (and related to me) as whom I truly was – behind all the veils, identities and masks I had accumulated through the years.

They saw a Man in me, and treated me like one.

They didn’t judge, dismiss or invalidate how I felt..

But they also didn’t spend an unnecessary second dancing in my misery.

Their fierce gaze and call towards personal responsibility was the medicine I so deeply rejected but truly needed.

I realized that to declare ourselves as instruments of the creator is not an act of arrogance but one of commitment.

A declaration of FREEDOM.

Freedom from all labels (imposed by self, society and family.)

It means we no longer find virtue in playing small or reveling in our smallness.

It means we set the highest standards for our being, our life and our love.

It means our guiding north is that which we relate to as the Highest.

Call it God, Nature, Great Spirit, Great Mystery, Divine Intelligence.. or Source..

It means we refuse to ever see ourselves -or another- as anything less than that.

Love exists..

But in case you haven’t noticed

Love is anything but meek.

Love is dawn’s clarion call..

NOT a lullaby.

👊🏼🔥

You’re their partner, not their parent !

Stop crossing that line!

Also- although you may have the best intentions for them- when someone feels they’re being fixed they NEVER think:
“Oh thank you! that’s a great idea! I never thought about that. All our problems are solved, I was wrong all along. If only I change myself you will feel better and it will all be perfect!..”
Now, let me tell you what they actually experience:
“I’m not good enough as I am.”
“There’s something wrong with me..”
“You think you’re too good eh?”
“You think you’re right?”
“Of course it’s always me.. I’m sick of this..”
“What about YOU!”
“Oh you’re too smart of course..”
In essence it triggers:
A sense of blame.
Shame.
Defensiveness.
Excuses.
Avoidance / Disconnection
and attacks, if all else fails.

The simple communication shift that had even a “closed-hearted, self-serving and uncaring” Russian man open up to fully listen, repair and want to heal the relationship with his woman.

My wife has an old friend from Russia whom you could say has a track record for making poor choices in the men she chooses.

She’s lived with drunks, narcissistic and unempathethic guys.

Dudes who literally belittled her with their words, were unfaithful and never slowed down to take ownership for what had happened.

Guys who’d defend themselves or push back and call her dramatic and “too much” (all for wanting to draw a boundary or bring up something that was important yet created a sense of confrontation.)

Anyway, this woman sent a voice note to my wife asking for relationship advice because all hell had broken loose in her current relationship.

I had recently shared with my wife about the exact steps I’m planning to teach in my upcoming course “The Language of Men” (she knew them implicitly through the way we communicate, but this time I had laid them out in order.)

My wife replied with brief suggestions, practical tips and ways she could evoke a kinder, more compassionate and loving part from her “Ogre of a partner.”

A day later she received another voice note stating that upon implementing the few suggestions, they’ve actually had the most heart to heart, vulnerable and repairing conversations of their whole relationship..

(And knowing her, perhaps of her whole life in relationship with men.)

Now, this is a woman who runs multiple businesses, owns real estate and gets sh!t done.

She’d been in therapy and trying out all kinds of different healing practices and tools, implementing all sorts of relational advice she came across online and investing money in trying to get herself (and her love life) figured out.

From anti-depressants and sleeping pills, to plant medicine, breathwork, psychologists and different therapists and coaches.

Yet NOTHING had worked.

Not until yesterday..

So what *ACTUALLY* works?

If trying to fix your partner doesn’t work..
If merely doing therapy doesn’t work..
If being bold about what you want and don’t want doesn’t work..

If avoiding speaking up to ‘keep the peace’ doesn’t work..
If just being “more in your feminine” doesn’t work..
If taking responsibility for everything you feel does not work..

What does?

I’ll distill what my wife shared with her friend in an ‘educational’ way so that you get it fully.

There are 3 essential conditions for a moment of True Repair to happen..

A moment of True Repair is a relational space that serves as a vacuum where BOTH partners cannot avoid stepping into their vulnerable truth about what is *actually* going on for them.

It’s a heart-opening, sword-lowering, vulnerable-inducing space.

Most couples have touched (at least once) this place where all tension and friction is diffused into one mutual release..

Often followed by tears, hugs and a deep recognition of one another..

It’s in these moments that you feel something was healed, released or integrated.

It’s in these moments that you feel truly seen, understood and acknowledged..

Only here your body relaxes and your emotions come to a place of rest and ease..

However, this space is highly elusive and most people don’t really know what it takes to come back to it whenever it’s needed.

So it’s a random happening, at best!

Back to the 3 conditions for this to happen, let’s explore the 1st one:

SAFETY.

The reason that your polarity teachings don’t work when you’re having a difficult argument is that when you or your partner are triggered, the wound that is touched is rarely (basically never) an adult wound.

It’s a childhood one.

And guess who doesn’t give a damn about polarity?

Young children 🙂

(Not when they’re crying and feel hurt, at least.)

They also don’t care for therapy, good ideas, suggestions or spiritual concepts..

They are disregulated and above all, they NEED to feel safe first.

You cannot rationalize or strategize with a crying child.

The more you try the worse it will get…

Because his cries are not for your fixing,
they are for your connection.

And the more you are thinking about what is happening and how to change it (them), the less connected you are to them and what is really going in.

Please understand that in moments of high-tension, the part that comes out to play from both you and your partner is often the very little, fearsome and safety-deprived (and aching) one.

So, before any words come out of your mouth about solving things, thinking of solutions, understanding, ensuring it doesn’t happen again, or even drawing boundaries…

You must extend a feeling of safety to the other.

Because when we’re in fight or flight our capacity for listening, being present, self-regulation and conflict resolution is basically ZERO.

So it’s our job to ensure that we create a space where our “children” can soften up.

Now, the ‘children’ MUST eventually be allowed to express and speak what they’re feeling – that’s largely where the healing and breaking of the pattern happens.

But before that, there must be two present adults moderating the conversation.

So in practice it looks like this:

1- Ask yourself whether you are dealing with the adult or the child version of your partner (and/or yourself.)
2- Decide (internally) that a space of safety is needed before the conversation can evolve in a positive direction, and that you’ll be the one to offer it first. (this takes A LOT of generosity.)
3- Create a space of safety.

My wife’s message to her girlfriend was about creating a space of safety.

She suggested to her the following:

– To stop interrupting him (someone who doesn’t feel heard won’t EVER want to listen.)
– To practice being curious exactly in the areas she felt the most judgement about. (when we judge we are righteous about our perspective and closed off to try and understand theirs.)
– To share with him they would take turns. (In every relationship there’s enough space for everyone’s pain, but NEVER at the same time.)

And to add her own version of the following sentence:

“Hey love, I just want to slow down and pause for a moment..

I see that you are feeling very intense emotions and so am I..

I feel like I am failing at communicating what I want to without attacking you or making you feel worse. I’m so sorry.

If I knew how to communicate better I would, and I also see that this is difficult for us two and I don’t really know what to do..

I want to understand you and this is painful, hard and confusing.

But I’d love for us to slow down and sit to explore what is happening and see if we can see things better together…”

I refer to this as “Naming the elephant in the room”.

To point to what is *Actually* happening:

– The difficult problem and tense argument..

– The parts of us that feel scared, lost, confused and worried, wanting to run away or hurt the other..

– And the parts of us that want to cooperate, have love and trust that we can get through it TOGETHER. (not by imposing our ideas)

These suggestions alone can (and have) saved failing marriages and prevented painful breakups.

My wife’s girlfriend shared with her:

“We went from sitting next to each other in an awkward silence, not knowing how to begin the conversation or what to do to solve the tension.. Feeling lost and not really understanding wha was going on..

To for the first time being able to truly connect, reach an agreement and look eye-to-eye with each other, having an honest conversation..

I feel a lot of clarity, understanding about what’s going on between us and what I can do about it..”

She even suggested that my wife becomes a relationship coach 😂

So I’m sharing the golden nuggets with you before she gets me out of business.
🙏🏽
Hope you found these useful!

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.

🙏🏼
☀️