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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!

🌷The 3 Most Difficult Lessons I’ve learned 2 years into my marriage: (Part 1)

1- A conscious relationship takes A LOT of work,
yet it should not feel like work.

This is a big one that I used to confuse back in my dating life..

I’d think “great things in life take effort” and then jump head-first into swamps of toxicity, justifying the pain and chaos through a false sense of martyrdom.

Feeling like a righteous, compassionate, loving white knight when in reality I was nothing short of a codependent, afraid, emotionally closed-off doormat.

“Sticking through it” is not a sign of relational health.

Getting through it is.

Noticing tangible, consistent and reliable improvement.

Even a round peg fits into a square hole if you force it violently enough..

But the process destroys both at their core.

A conscious relationship takes a lot of -INNER- work

Yet relationally, it should feel stable, safe and supportive of growth.

I realized marriage takes a lot of self-inquiry:

“Did I fall asleep at the wheel? How?”
“Is there a chance that her complaint speaks to something I’m not willing to see?”
“Could it be that this emotion is about myself and not about her actions?”
“How is this feeling familiar? Is this really about us or is this about my unprocessed trauma”

It demands so much..

Rigorous self-analysis.

Moment by moment awareness.

Disciplined thought, emotion and action.

These take A LOT of work and energy.

Yet any spiritual path does..

And if you’re doing your relationship right, it is a bridge towards spiritual liberation.

Now, if you think the work a relationship requires looks like:

Drama..
Bickering.
Resentment.
Violence of any kind.
Betrayal.
Manipulation.
& cycles of pain and make-up sex..

Your relationship doesn’t work.

You’re just trying to make it work.

I’ve learned two years into marriage that the more responsibility I take, the better it gets.

The more I work on myself (and her on herself)

The less work it all takes.
🙏🏽🔥

SARASWATI: UNDERSTANDING THE THIRD ASPECT OF THE FEMININE

Failure to understand and embrace this aspect leads to a life on anxiety, meaninglessness and suffering.

The first two aspects (Kali & Lakshmi) refer to both the creative and sustaining energies of life.

If Kali is the fire, Lakshmi is the constant adding of logs and tending to it.

One is the raw energy of creation and the other one is the caring of it.

Most human beings live between these two, they are the states of survival and thriving (or aching to)

Sexuality, power and wealth are all most aspire to, however there’s a third energy.

Saraswati refers to the aspect of transcendence.

Touching grace..

Reaching towards something higher.

She’s the goddess of art, music and spirituality.

She’s the energy that pulls us upward and out of the basic cycles of life.

When we are disconnected from her, life feels like a struggle..

Something to endlessly tend to..

Never ending desires to chase, the birth of new desires, the pain of unfulfillment if they’re not achieved..

And the greater pain of emptiness when they are.

Disconnection from this energy leads to addiction, for every addiction is nothing but the pursuit of a higher state.

However, no amount of sex, pleasure, money, power, fame or even health and friendship will every satisfy our soul.

There’s something within us that longs for that which isn’t limited.

Something that doesn’t want “more” or “better”

It wants it ALL.

It wants to experience its own, true, limitless nature.

In relationships, disconnection from it shows up as emptiness, boredom and struggle.

The absence of a spiritual path will slowly consume any relationship.

Only two people whose love is not predicated on pleasure or survival, can withstand the tests of life.

A man or woman disconnected from Saraswati gets entangled in the day to day busyness of life..

She’s the touch of the divine..
The taste of something sublime.

She’s the heartbreaking beauty of a sunset,
the smile of a child,
the song of a bird.

She’s that which comes to show us that we’re not mere humans..

That were eternal souls.

And that our love can become more than the mere exchange of pleasure and quest towards comfort..

That our love can become a vehicle towards ultimate liberation.

When this energy is cultivated in a relationship, you are no longer another human’s lover.

You see your beloved as an extension of the divine.

And as such you become devoted.

A reverence where you would do whatever it takes,
to truly honour and raise one another.

Only when we’ve touched this place, our love spreads beyond the boundaries of the couple and it becomes contagious..

A love story that inspires the world 

And reminds us that beauty is possible

That there’s more to life,

and that God exists.

🙏🏼♥️
May we embrace our desires and creative force,
may be sustain our life in prosperity and trust,
and find a love whose fire destroys the smallness or who we are..

So that we may be born anew

And become the greatest expressions of the life we are.

This is what’s possible when two humans commit to each other and decide that they won’t leave any stone unturned..

That they will treat their love as sacred,

and as an extension 

all of life.

This is my prayer, that as we heal our masculine and feminine, we heal our relationships..

So that our children may light up when they hear the word “family”

Sp that we may cry more tears or beauty, than of pain, through this complex experience we call love.

☀️🙏🏽

LAKSHMI : UNDERSTANDING THE SECOND ASPECT OF THE FEMININE

Failure to understand this aspect of the feminine will keep you single, financially stuck and without energy 🥵

The aspect of Lakshmi refers to the 2nd dimension of the feminine: “Rajas”
(For context, read my previous post on Durga.)

Rajas means Aliveness, Energy, Movement.

Prosperity and Passion are her main qualities.

Lakshmi is beauty and abundance oriented.

She’s the ultimate multiplier and giver..

The universal principle of affluence.

This part is often attacked by those whom -in their failure to build the kind of life they dream about- judge, shame or belittle a woman’s desire for wealth & passion.

The shadow expression of this energy is entitlement, “gold digging”, vanity and superficiality.

Deep attachment to all that is physical paired with an unquenchable thirst for “more” (AKA: Nothing being ever enough.)

The conscious expression of Lakshmi understands that we are creators of our world, abundance is our soul’s nature and that a poverty mindset isn’t a virtue.

It is to remember that the source of creation is thriving within us and therefore there’s no such thing as ‘not enough’

A man disconnected from this dimension will resent a woman’s standards and desires for luxury, passion and prosperity.

It is easier to judge someone as greedy than to recognize all our limiting stories of scarcity and lack of financial responsibility.

Easier to point a finger and think someone cares too much about “physical stuff” than to reconcile physicality and spirituality.

Easier to date someone with low standards than to be in relationship with someone who knows magic is possible,

Riches aren’t evil..

& passion isn’t sinful.

Women, if your financial situation is messy or if you feel shame around wanting a more beautiful experience of life..

You’re disconnected from Lakshmi.

Men, the same goes for you, but also if your woman’s dreams burden you instead of motivate you, perhaps what bothers you isn’t what she says she wants..

Is that deep inside you do not feel capable of creating that.

You’ve bought into lies of limitation.

Lots of money or s€x won’t make you happy..

But everyone must realize this on their own.

Lakshmi speeds up the process 🚀

DURGA KALI UNDERSTANDING THE FIRST ASPECT OF THE FEMININE

Failure to understand this dimension of the feminine will lead you to trouble in your relationships.. ❤️‍🔥🔥

Especially if you are someone who considers herself feminine or someone who would love to be in relationship with someone whose predominant energy is feminine.

Let’s begin with some context:

These 3 aspects, according to the Hindu traditions, are referred to as Durga, Lakshmi & Saraswati.

These are metaphors for the 3 dimensions of energy (inertia, activity and transcendence) or Tamas, Rajas and Sattva in yogic terminology

Today let’s focus on Durga / Kali, as these past 3 days have been dedicated to her in the Navratri festival. (Worship of the feminine for 9 das)

The aspect of Durga is fierce.

Wild.

It represents mother earth, the womb from where it all comes.

The savage fires of creation.

Durga is a powerful goddess who represents courage, strength, and protection. She embodies feminine empowerment.

Imagine the extremes a mother would go to in order to defend her children..

This raw force is latent in every woman. (also in every man, to a lesser degree if his masculine is predominant.)

This is the aspect of the feminine that takes no sh!t from anybody, especially her man..🥵

In its shadow form it looks like craziness, toxicity, volatility, bad temper and chaos..

But when embraced consciously it is power, truth, protective fire and magic.

Vibrant health & strength are attributed to her.

Women, if you consider yourself weak (in body or mind) it is a sign you are suppressing the wild power latent in you.

You have disowned your anger, and perhaps your desire.

Therefore blocking the flow of life energy through your system.

Men, this is the part of your partner that births life – but is also ready to take it if needed.

In moments of intense emotion, know that your woman is in touch with a wild, primal force of the universe..

Literal fire flowing through her veins..

Use this as a gift to sharpens your consciousness as a man..

Otherwise it will become a curse that fills you with fear, judgement and consumes you in it.
🙏🏽

Desiring our partner is never enough. We must admire them if we want for our relationship to stand the test of time.⏳

Take this from someone whose main “qualifying criteria” to date for over a decade was mere chemistry, looks and sexual compatibility.

I used to think that love could only thrive and last in a space where the fire of desire kept burning strong..

Unaware that attraction is the spark that ignites the flame, but devotion is the log that turns into long-lasting coals.

I lusted after the women I dated, yet I rarely admired them.

In recent years, I’ve seen my wife bloom into her own gifts, willingness to serve and courage to grow beyond her comfort zone.

I’ve seen her lead groups and hold space in impeccable ways.

I’ve seen her devote herself to the people she serves, leaving no stone unturned and doing whatever it takes.

I’ve seen her bring rooms full of people to tears of grace with her voice..

And awaken wild releases to many others through her Breath of Freedom practice.

Above all, I’ve seen her evolve as a woman and as a result of that; as a lover.

And this admiration I feel is one that goes beyond attraction.

It’s about the life that she is and how committed she is to expressing it.

You can desire your beloved but if you don’t see them as virtuous, competent and worthy of admiration you will never have in you the capacity to bow down in reverence to them.

So you will always look down to them..

Count their shortcomings and wonder if perhaps you could(should) do better.

Passion, void of respect, soon turns into contempt.

Chaos ensues.

So, while desire is necessary to kickstart the merging of two lives remember that devotion is the glue that stabilizes such union.

Our role however, is never to try and “build them up” or coerce them to grow into ‘admiration-worthy beings’

It’s to do our part and live by example..

And to recognize if the person we’re with is someone who sparks something beyond physical attraction.

If your relationship’s fruits are only of desire and comfort, it is bound to find an ugly ending.

So find someone whose appearance you enjoy but don’t get stuck at the gate

Desire is the gate,
Devotion the destination.

🦉In the west Owls are seen as powerful “spirit animals”, in India they’re considered stupid.

In fact, did you know they’re the 3rd 🥉 stupidest bird?

some have fish-like short term memory to the point they’ll often forget mid-flight where they were going & what they were doing and will crash into trees..

I love owls, don’t get me wrong..

But I deeply feel that we’ve got spirituality all mixed up in the west.

It’s too much show and too little substance.

Most of the so-called spiritual folk I’ve met I wouldn’t trust with anything.

Their word shifts as fast as their wardrobe in a music festival.

“My intuition told me that..”
“I felt into it and..”
“I meditated on it…”

These can often be translated into:

“I have no plan on following through on my commitments, nor respect for our agreements, nor concern for anything or anyone outside of myself and the whim of my emotions, desires and circumstances.”

Zero integrity..

and it sickens me. 🤢

It sickens me because I’ve run into a handful of genuinely realized beings in my life..

People who didn’t speak much of spirit animals, altered states of consciousness or magical woo-woo stuff..

And instead they did what they said they would, when they said they would do it.

Deeply embodied, present and involved.

Great parents, wives, husbands and agents of leadership and change in their community..

Silent sages..

Sometimes active ones, yet backed by experience & grit.

Grounded in the present yet anchored in something greater.

To me, that is a true marker of spiritual growth..

😅 Perhaps this is why I get along better with most entrepreneurs than I do with “spiritual”people..

Because only when someone’s got their roots firmly planted on the earth, reaching out to the sky is a real possibility..

Only when a certain mastery over the physical has come, it makes sense to explore the spiritual.

Before that we’re nothing but ‘owls’..

Glorified yet incompetent.

Magical yet disembodied.

Enamoured with every shiny thing but the Here and Now.

Integrity is medicine.

Moving your body is medicine.

Serving your community is medicine.

Being a full-fledged human:
The greatest medicine 👊🏽🔥

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!

🔥🙏🏼♥️

Last year I sat in meditation in an ancient crematorium, dead bodies filling the floor and about 6 of them being burnt a few feet in front of me

There’s a distinctive smell, particular to a burning dead body in the Ghats of Varanasi, India.

It’s one of the very few places left on earth where they burn the dead out in the open- a tradition that’s been going on for over 3000 years

Imagine that!

For thousands of years these fires have kept on going with 6+ bodies always on rotation burning.

A human body takes 3 hours to burn and consumes 250kg of wood, from which only Banyan tree and Sandalwood are allowed.

As I sat in meditation I could smell a mix of Sandalwood with that of burnt flesh.

My mind went silent for a little as my body remembered:

This is where I’m going.

This is where we’re all going.

Death is what we’re doing from the moment we’re born.

Somewhat obvious yet I was raised in a catholic family in Colombia & death was not something you talk about.

You were expected to look the other way if you happened to drive by an accident.

A total avoidance of it..

I had never seen a dead body as an adult.

I have never lost someone dear to me.

So I decided to face that which I’d been conditioned to turn away from.

Walking through the streets I found my way into meeting a guy that knew the son of the owner of the Ghat, so after one phone call and a bribe, I was allowed in.

Usually only the family of those being burnt are allowed by the pyres.

As I walked in I realized it is hot as hell!

Pyres burn at 760 to 982.2 Celsius (1400-1800 Fahrenheit)

Yet a strange chill spread through my body..

It felt like the parts of me which thought we had an eternity to explore what is truly meaningful had just been given a reality check.

Time’s ticking!

You’re mortal.

The energy was palpable as the prana that would usually take 14 days to leave a dead body was forcefully pushed out by the fire in a fraction of the time..

A wave tantric yogics can ride if they dare to.

After that night, food tasted like death for a few days.

& the scent of the dead stayed with me.

It now keeps me going.

Clear about what matters,

and flexible about what one day won’t.

As I head to the Ashram I remembered a younger version of me

The Nico who traveled the world to party, get drunk, connect with women and find an elusive sense of meaning in the process.

I’d always been very good with words so I convinced myself that it was all about freedom, romance and exploration.

I thought of myself as a modern version of Don Juan and felt that there was a seductive poetry in those encounters..

short lived yes, but intense.

And in all truth, there was some of that..

Yet the BIGGER truth is that it was avoidance.

My life was void of direction, meaningful responsibility or virtue.

So the biggest, most accessible form of dopamine was found in the shape of sexual conquest..

And the most “responsibility-free” type of conquest was that of foreign lands..

After all if my days in a city were counted the question of “what are we?” or “Where is this going?” was just not on the table.

And this made for a few beautiful, passionate and heartfelt encounters..

But mostly drunken connections and lust-driven hookups.

I’d feel like The Man, drunk at night, as I earned the validation of random women..

And the next morning I’d felt empty once again..

and the chase would start all over again.

So as I get ready to board my flight I realize that the way I travel shifted these last 4 years…

Now there’s depth and spiritual significance.

The Nico that leaves is rarely the same that comes back.

Before I’d travel to run away from myself,

Now I do so to embrace deeper parts of myself.

To face my self.

To sit in solitude.

To fast.

To be in silence..

Way past what’s comfortable.

To turn all of my attention within until the pressure starts to bubble up all the undigested emotions, energies and patterns that I still carry.

So that I may cry, scream, sweat and release all that is no longer serving me.

So as I get ready to travel, I send love to that version of me consumed by pain and addiction.

If he only knew how beautiful life could get he’d shake his head in disbelief..

I used to shame him a lot.

Recently I started to honor him.

I got you my man.

For how could I love the fruits of a tree..

if I judge the roots that made them be.

🍇

Overlooking the Andean mountains I had waves of nostalgia and grief wash over me..

The pain of a life-long rejection of my roots, sequels of the systematic cultural erosion that started during the colonization and has been perpetuated ever since.

Being raised to look down at andean traditions, ethnic folk music (mocking it as cheesy) and judge -without a second thought- artisanal crafts as ‘second-class’ and of lower quality..

(Those NIKE guys for sure had it figured out! 🙄)

An inherited series of judgements towards indigenous culture and traditions, seeing them as simplistic, archaic and outdated..

I was raised to glorify the modern world, not knowing of its deeply rooted sickness.

To see North America & Europe as “THE civilized world” and my own culture and heritage as the 3rd world: a lesser land of lesser people..

Forgetting that the wealth of such nations was built on stolen resources from ours..

But beyond that, nations that made an altar of the individual:

Worshipping wealth, independence and power.

Sacrificing family, community and connection.
(and often nature too)

I cried as I allowed myself to reclaim the love and wisdom of the blood that runs through my veins, the rich ancestry and vast spiritual knowledge of our elder..

And above all, to reclaim the gratitude for the earth that gave me birth, my roots and my family.

The modern world is sick and it shows.

The time has come for us to bring back all of the tools, sacred plants, practices and teachings that our ancestors left..

So that we may heal ourselves..
And from that place, the whole.

I shed tears as I said bye to the parts of me that had glorified a society based on vanity, superficial connection and distraction.

I opened my arms and embraced with all of my heart the living tradition and energies that run through these mountains..

And I asked for nature to keep molding me so that I may one day become a clear vessel of its medicines.

So that my life may be one of service to The Great Spirit.

So that those I meet may remember their true beauty and the sanctity of family.

I prayed for my roots to heal so that I may bear sweet fruits
& my prayers have been answered.

Aho🙏🏼🪶

As I look out the airplane window on my way back to Toronto I feel a profound sense of peace..

I am closer and closer home.. 💛

And I don’t mean the land or the place where I keep “my stuff.”

I used to travel to chase experiences and pleasure, to escape commitment and “boredom.”

I flew around the globe a few times trying to find an elusive sense of fulfillment..

Only to face myself once again in the mirror, miserable, as soon the dopamine rushes had settled and the night highs had come down..

I wanted to fit in so bad, to be respected by men and loved by women..

Yet I did not respect nor love myself.

Today, as I look out the window I feel complete.

I could die a free man and with my head high..

But not because I earned something or achieved some arbitrary success marker…

But because I feel deep in my soul there’s NOTHING I need.

Nothing life could offer me that would have me sacrifice the way I feel within… (and much has been offered.)

I feel the peace and joy of someone with lots of dreams and very few attachments.

I would love to create so much in this life..

To be of greater service..

To do, share, teach and guide..

At a substantially bigger scale..

And I’m also okay if it all were to end right now.

Today I feel grateful for my guru, my elder, ancestors, family and friends along the path..

I bow to nature’s medicines and the grace of God that reaches us through them.

And I say thanks!

For I don’t recognize myself anymore.

And that to me,

is the greatest freedom of them all.

To look within and feel empty.

Not because something is missing

but because nothing, anymore, is lacking.

💙

Imagine every day waking up more in love with a person who is your best friend, most mischievous lover and spiritual partner..

Realizing that the aliveness and radiance that has been nurtured between you two is not only a catalyst for beauty in your own life but a contagious fragrance that touches every corner of every place and heart you two walk by..

A love story that -quite literally- makes the world a brighter place.

A reminder to yourself and to others that what you dream is not only possible but necessary, as you become an inspiring duo for other couples and families.

Imagine a love so profound that there’s no longer room for “what if’s”, doubts, jealousy or insecurities – for you feel each other’s hearts as your own and in the depths of that intimacy, there’s a bond no mortal would dare break.

A sacred bond of such intense energy that it empowers and amplifies your confidence, trust & thrust in life.. (and your finances tangibly reflect this.)

Your increased impact and income being an enjoyable side effect of the affirming strength and clarity with which you walk through this earth, knowing that poverty or wealth, you’ve already made it:

For when there’s true love in your heart, there’s nothing else you need.

Nobody can buy your life (time) nor there’s a deal seductive enough that would have you compromise your truth..

So your work becomes an act of play and divine service, and no longer a survival obligation.

And so it happens that the greater powers of life bestow such couples with the prosperity required for them to be beacons of healing and transformation in their communities.

Your aliveness and magnetism – fruits of well cultivated play and sensual exploration – become the keys that open doors of opportunity previously closed and seemingly unaccessible.

You discover that manifestation is the power to create, and that it’s A LOT easier to create when there’s harmony between the masculine and the feminine poles in your relationship.

You discover, experientially, that 1+1 no longer equals the loss of both, nor 1+1 = 2.

1+1 = 11.

Imagine a love so radiant and juicy that others can’t help themselves from asking you what your secret is..

And the beauty of your connection with your beloved becomes the foundations from which those around you look up to you when it comes to finding, guiding and orienting their own romantic relationships.

And your relationship becomes a seed that heals the earth as it grows stronger and its roots deeper.

What a beautiful possibility to realize that you can have your cake and eat while you’re still alive and that -no matter what they’ve told you, the depressing statistics and naysayers- you’ve proven (once again) to yourself that your dreams exist not as mere ideology or fantasy..

But as a higher calling.

Echoes of the arrival of a future you who knows what’s possible in life, in love and in service.

A love story that frees you from all bondage and brings you home into the lap of the creator / creation.

Now, as I celebrate our 4 year anniversary with my wife, I cannot imagine what other wild adventures and life-affirming surprises this journey has in store for us..

Yet I rejoice the present and eagerly anticipate the cultivation of all the seeds we’ve planted.

AND the truth is that our first years together were far from being like this.

Bitterness, bickering and ongoing drama had pushed us away to the edge of breakup several times.

Frustration and confusion were our daily companions (mostly due to following the advice of a bunch of well-spoken yet unexperienced love “coaches” and polarity “teachers”.)

I carried grief, resentment and pain from previous relationships (and so did she)

I didn’t know how to move past my own heart closures and trust her enough to be vulnerable and open up once again (and neither did she).

But over the years, through patience, guides, jungle amazonian medicines and a relentless commitment, I understood a few key areas that -when tended to consciously- release all that gooey baggage that fuels isolation.

A few keys that when applied in the correct order and with the right guidance and atmosphere open up the doors of love, connection and profound healing.

If you’re single or in a relationship, and your love story is not what it could be (yet) AND you feel in your gut that more is possible for you.

Actually not merely possible, but it has become a necessity.

The next step of growth in your curriculum..

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

An eternal symbol of transformation & surrender.

In shamanic traditions the butterfly represents the radically different potential that lies dormant within the caterpillar’s heart.

If caterpillars were asked about what they wanted to get before going into their cocoon they would’ve probably said “a bigger body” “faster legs” “a stronger grip!” or something along the those lines:

A subtle (or big) improvement on what they had known in life.

A minor, positive change on their pre-existing limitations.

But that’s NOT transformation.

Transformation means that nothing of the old remains..

It means that the “new” life is not a result of old conditioning and old wishes but instead, the blooming of a deeper intelligence.

Life’s greatest mysteries expressing themselves in the most unlikely of dances..

Turning lead into gold, not into shinier lead.

The same is possible for you, if you’re willing 🙏🏼

May you invite the energy of transformation into your life and may you welcome it with open arms, for it bears gifts..

However, the gifts often come with a heavy dose of uncertainty and chaos.

For it is not here to bring comfort, subtle improvements or gradual change.

It comes bringing DEATH.

.. and with it,

the possibility of a new rebirth.

🙏🏼

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.

🔥

I spent a lot of years doubting myself, my ability to serve and the value I had to offer.. and for a good reason.

I’d tell myself I was confused.. I wasn’t ready.. I was waiting for more divine clarity to descend upon me.. for my talents to bloom fully.. for the market to be ready..

I would tell myself I needed one more plant medicine ceremony, another business mentor, abundance coach or accountability course before I was fully FULLY ready..

But in truth -as I reflect- I see that what held me back was my lack of integrity.

I spoke of love and harmony while my relationships were full of bitterness, sarcasm and disconnection..

I spoke of abundance and trusting the universe but kept clinging to a job that made me great money but eroded my soul in the process..

I wrote about the masculine and the feminine but kept lying, didn’t keep my word, abused my body and ignored my heart..

What I “knew” and how I spoke was not how I lived.

That’s what held me back..

My mind had moved further ahead than my embodied reality and I unconsciously knew that to teach from that place was nothing but a farce..

To attempt to guide others to a peaceful, loving life when my own was riddled with turmoil, compulsion and confusion was nothing short of fraud..

So I procrastinated over a thousand different excuses, until I faced the truth.

These last years have been a process of that:

becoming humble enough to admit where I’m falling short of whom I could be, and responsible enough to understand it’s my job to diligently take care of it.

And in recent months I’ve finally come to a point where I feel in total integrity.

I have walked more than I now talk.

I have not lied in a long time.

I respect others, myself and life.

And the hardest..

I am now the same in groups as I am when nobody is watching.

I have finally made my bed and organized my house.

Relationships with everyone around me are in a beautiful, thriving state.

It was a rough journey but well worth it for I see that life (and people) gravitate towards my message more and more..

Without selling, convincing or forcing.

For truth is a light that needs no explanation.

And love, its greatest expression🙏🏼❤️

Thank you for being a part of my journey.

I look forward to sharing with you!