From Tech Start-Up to Plant Medicine: My Journey to Vikara
My name is Nadia Estefania Hannout. I joined the Vikara team in December 2022 to begin co-managing the Retreat Center with Roey.
The journey that led me here is a long one, but I’ll try to keep this short! I began my own journey of self discovery and healing with plant medicines about 4 years ago, and this work transformed my life. For me, there was life before and after plant medicines. Before I began this journey I would have considered myself a perfectionist and an overachiever. I was a work-a-holic. What I did professionally defined me and I was living a life that was good on paper but made me feel like something was missing.
The Transformative Power of Plant Medicines
When I began working with plant medicines, I began to get to know myself for the first time. I started to see what my unconscious beliefs and thought patterns were, and how they manifested in my day to day life. I also realised that I didn’t love or accept myself, so I sought external validation from others through my accomplishments. This allowed me to see how experiences in my life left a mark on my psyche that I was totally unaware of, and how I carried the energetic baggage from these wounds with me. I saw how this affected my relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and affected how I showed up in the world.
The more awareness I gained by working with plant medicines, the more clarity I gained about the things I wanted to change about myself and my life, so I committed to doing so. This is what I refer to as integration. The process of weaving the insights accessed during ceremony into day to day life to bring about the healing and growth we seek. It’s about taking responsibility for ourselves and our lives and believing that we are able to cultivate the wellbeing, joy, love and tranquility we seek.
I knew from my first journey with plant medicines that I wanted to share this work with others. I spent 4 years on a journey inward, focusing on my self and my healing first, until I got to a point where I felt I couldn’t wait any longer to take the leap and make real changes to align the life I was living with the vision I held for myself.
Taking a Leap of Faith
In January of 2022 I left the world of NYC tech start ups and decided to give myself a year to rest, travel and create the space to allow myself to go with the flow of whatever presented itself to me.
And now, here I am! I’m so grateful to have landed at Vikara where I can contribute the experience and skills I gained in the corporate world to the operational needs of the center, while getting to do what I love! This looks like thinking about how we can create the most safe and supportive spaces for people who choose to embark on journeys of transformation with plant medicines, co-leading our monthly retreats with Roey, supporting the medicine men & women on our team during ceremony as I continue to learn about the ancestral traditions and wisdoms that guide their work, and continuing to deepen my relationship with the powerful and sacred plant medicines we share. I also provide 1:1 integration coaching for those who feel called to be supported during their process of integrating the wisdom gems plant medicines bring our awareness to, back into day-to-day life.
If there is anything I can ever do to support those of you in our community, don’t hesitate to reach out! I look forward to staying in touch and sharing more about this new chapter beginning at Vikara.
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