I was born in California. My mother is a Bolivian immigrant of Spanish and Indigenous lineage and a survivor of generational trauma. My father is a 12th-generation American from a working-class family in rural North Carolina.
When I was 5 years old, we moved to a suburb of New York City. I saw my first therapist when I was 7 years old, I was diagnosed with depression and started taking antidepressants at 9 years old. By the time I was in high school, I was diagnosed with a non-verbal learning disability (NVLD) and “ADD” (Attention Deficit Disorder).
I spent the next two decades trying to fix myself, others, and the world around me…
I first started meditating when I co-founded a social impact startup in NYC. I was 25 years old, working 100 hours a week. I felt stressed, busy, and mercilessly driven to perform by adrenaline, cortisol, or ritalin. I started with the app headspace, it was a struggle to do the 10-minute meditations. When we ran out of money and the company crashed (I had to fire all 40 of our people including myself), I felt like I lost my identity. My ego had been so attached to the success of the company, that, when the company no longer had any value, "I" had no value. It started me down a dark spiral into the worst depression I have ever known.
A year later, over the course of one month, I lost my “dream job” at the world’s largest hedge fund, I went through a terrible breakup, my grandfather died and my mother checked herself into the psychiatric ward at a hospital.
I broke down.
At the very bottom of that depression, I found myself on thanksgiving day at a 10-day silent meditation retreat in Massachusetts. At that time, it was the most painful and profound experience of my life. In that meditation hall under a blanket of snow, I hit "rock bottom" and guess what... I bounced...
When I walked out of that meditation hall, I was still depressed, feeling broken, alone, and terribly afraid, but I knew that underneath all the ego-pain, down through the story of self and the darkness of my mind there was a place inside me where everything was okay. That knowledge would give me the strength to walk the rest of the long dark tunnel to recovery. I didn’t know anything else, but I knew that if I could get myself meditating every day I was going to survive the depression.
After decades of psychiatry and psychotherapy, a degree in philosophy, thousands of hours of meditation, and years of coaching, yoga, dance, men's work, psychedelic therapy, and ceremonial healing... the only thing left to fix was the story that I (or anyone else) needed fixing. It was my work with the grandmother medicine Ayahuasca that truly allowed me to transcend the old ways of negativity and brokenness.
When that illusion passed, I knew everything had to change.
I left my career, home, and relationships behind and went on a year-long journey of learning how to live in my new reality. The reality in which all the parts and forms of myself were accepted, loved, and perfect.
It was a life-changing journey. Partly because I had to completely dismantle “my life” to begin the journey, and partly because the experience of walking the road itself altered me. The people I met, the land I lived on, the food and water I drank, the ideas I absorbed, the music, the dance, the oceans I swam in, the dangers I confronted... all these things changed me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. They wore "me" down. The experience of flowing through life without attachment sloughed off the emotional armor, the old stories, the physical and mental images of my identity, and infused me with a sense of impermanence.
When I returned I felt reduced, lighter, more essential, simpler, and more connected with life at large. I felt closer to my authentic self. This is to say I was more able to BE more, DO less, and live in the enjoyment, acceptance, and enthusiasm that arise from it.
First, I learned to love myself. Then, I learned to love my family. Finally, I learned to love everyone else. So now, that's what I do…
This is my mission: Helping you unfix yourself. So that you can live fully, love well, and let go of the rest.