Life's paths aren't always straight
My musical journey began in 1999 when, at the age of 19, I started to play records as a DJ in New York City. That was the catalyst for me to produce music of my own and, a few years later, when I graduated from college, I enrolled at the Institute of Audio Research and obtained my Audio Engineering, Sound Design and Audio Production certification. From there, I held a variety of roles within the music industry including positions at record labels, record stores, industry-driven publications, distributors, and artist management companies. Those were good times and I learned a lot but after a series of events in 2007, I decided to take a leave of absence from the music industry and found myself smack in the middle of Corporate America.
It took me seven years to realize that my profession was not aligned to my core values, the purpose in life that I’ve been seeking, nor the contribution to society I wanted to be a part of. I decided to take time off from work to travel and explore life and that's when I embarked on a solo mission to Peru where I experienced Ayahuasca for the first time at Nimea Kaya - a healing center devoted to the collective healing of Mother Earth and humanity. During my very first ceremony, one of the facilitators struck and played a singing bowl that propelled me into another dimension. It wasn't the first time I heard a singing bowl but I never heard, felt, or experienced it like this ever before! Since one of my main intentions with drinking Ayahuasca was to find clarity with my music, I instantly received the calling to work with sound in this new capacity.
After that retreat I hiked up the Salkantay trail to Machu Picchu, traveled through Europe where I eventually stayed with Huzy and Joanna at the Świątynia Dźwięku Sound Temple in Poland, and then immediately moved out of New York City and spent six months alone in a cabin in the woods (yup!) where I dedicated my time to integration (maintaining "la dieta," practicing meditation and presence, spending time in nature, reading, journaling, producing music and exploring sound). Fortunately, those experiences allowed me the time to self-reflect, learn how to accept change later in life, and develop the strength to embrace my inner voice. This eventually crystallized into one idea: to combine my passion for sound with an experiental service that can help people connect with their inner self and that's when yourinnerspace was born.
The following summer I studied sound healing with Philippe and Lea Garnier at the Sage Academy of Sound Energy in Woodstock, NY, returned to Nimea Kaya to continue my work with Ayahuasca, and started acquiring the necessary instruments to start a sound healing practice. Last year, in the summer of 2017, I returned to Nimea Kaya as a guest for the third time but the co-founders of Nimea Kaya, Jill Levers and Casey Honaker, allowed me to stay on their grounds as a volunteer. So, for three months, I lived and worked alongside an international group of people in a communal setting with the primary responsibility of helping guests process and integrate their experience at Nimea Kaya. Living in the jungle of another country meeting people from around the world in this particular context provided daily lessons in leadership, personal growth and transformation, presence, communication, active listening, flexibility, humility, compassion, and how to step through fear. In addition, I:
Participated in Nimea Kaya's non-profit, The Selva Spirit Association, by ensuring their expansive health program with Water Purification Drops continued to reach the indigenous people in the surrounding communities
Participated in the brewing process of Ayahausca under the care of experienced Shipibo Ayahuasqueros
Co-facilitated Ayahausca ceremonies for four different groups (four ceremonies per group) ranging from six to almost 20 guests per group
Led sound meditations for the guests and provided sound for yoga and meditation classes led by other volunteers
Assumed responsibility for the watering, grooming, and cultivation of several plots of land
Took care of all the domesticated animals as well as managed a chicken coop of >40 hens
What an experience! Of course I had mixed feelings about coming back home to Brooklyn, New York but at the same time I was ready to start another new chapter. I ask for strength, wisdom, love and light each morning when I meditate before leaving my apartment, getting on the subway, and hitting the streets of New York. Daily affirmations help a lot as well as remembering to remember all the lessons I learned over these past few years - trusting the process, focusing on the breath, slowing down, and letting go (over and over and over again!). For me, it's not easy to vibrate and maintain a high frequency here in New York and if I was born and raised here and am challenged by it then I know others are too. In my opinion, in these current times, I think it's extremely important to disconnect from technology, social media, TV, etc. and allow some quiet time to turn inwards. It's in this state where all the answers we seek become clear. Welcome to yourinnerspace...
I share "my story" because by being vulnerable and opening up allows others to do the same and, from what I've experienced, that leads to tremendous personal growth and transformation.