From Tragedy to Transformation: Pablo’s Journey of Healing and Hope

My journey has been very privileged. I’ve always considered myself so lucky, for where I was born, my country, my family and my story… Although I’ve not always enjoyed it and for most of my life I had the question “Why me?”.

Growing up in Costa Rica was beautiful. Living so close to nature was a gift that kept on giving. I never took for granted having oceans, waves and mountains on my horizon. I will say, the only thing that we might miss would be the snow. While it can rain a lot, and get even muddier which creates its own sort of challenges, Costa Rica as close as it gets to paradise from where I stand. 

However, even paradise has its pockets of darkness. 

Family Drama is Never Far Away

My dad is an amazing human and always supported us through his examples of hard work and positivity. My mom was the most beautiful soul I’ve met (right next to my wife, Camila)… Losing my mom was my first big lesson.

When I was four years old, my uncle knocked on the door of my grandmother’s house where my family was visiting for Sunday lunch. He was an unbalanced soul, fueled by negative seeds my deeply wounded grandmother had planted in him. 

While there were many things that blinded him, a big one was the lack of support he received from my grandmother. And so he blamed my father for not receiving money my grandmother didn’t want to give him.

What happened next is almost too painful and sad to write in this story of hope and transformation. For the sake of the power of love, forgiveness, and alchemizing, I can now feel love in putting my story into words.

A Bullet that Changed Everything

Standing in my grandmother’s living room for Sunday lunch, he aimed a gun at my father. When my mother saw this, she stood in front of him and actually took a bullet for my father, and in saving his life, gave hers. My uncle when realizing what he had done, decided to take his own life right then and there. 

Since then it was a long road for me to learn how to make myself and the situations of life… feel good. From that moment of unexplainable pain on, I spent most of my life trying to oppose everything in the universe, even myself. I could not make sense of what happened…

A New Beginning on My Healing Journey

My father remarried to a young, loving woman with all the right intentions. However, my young self struggled for many years to adapt to a new family structure with its own new set of rules.

While my relationship with her is a whole journey filled with contrasts and a healing process in and of itself, we’ve learned and healed together. But growing up in this new family dynamic made it nearly impossible for me to see the light of day and to feel anything close to love and peace felt so far away. 

From a very young age, I surfed and smoked marihuana as much as humanly possible to numb all the feelings I wasn’t ready to feel. And that took me on to a path of hallucinogenics and psychedelics. While I hadn’t yet learned to have a relationship with these powerful medicines in a ceremonial or intentional way, their support in helping me heal, process, and feel was crucial given where I was in my healing journey. 

Architecting My Way to Cami

I became an architect but never chased money or success in an economical way. My way of processing what had happened was that money and greed had destroyed my family. So subconsciously, I rejected success feeling that if I had a taste of it, I was feeding the system that drove my uncle to his desperate actions. 

I used my tools to live as easy and simple as I could. In hindsight, I might say it was an irresponsible way to live. I tried to minimize the harm I made to the world and others but didn’t really open up or share my love with anyone beyond my partners and close friends.

Learning Camila’s Way

Somehow, that path that was set so early in my life led to amazing experiences, relationships, and friends that led me to meet my wife. And her energy completely changed my way of thinking. I couldn’t quite understand her perfection but just knew I had to learn her way.

Her love for everything made me better and happier. Simply by experiencing her presence and perspective, I could see my worldview was beginning to shift in ways that felt like they made sense, even if I couldn’t yet understand them. 

I was ready to float away with her to our own little world, but the universe knew better and reminded us things are better in community.  We were presented with a huge challenge that required both of us to go to the depth of our fears and limiting beliefs and heal together if we wanted to make it as a couple. She had some family ties to let go and set healthy boundaries, all the while I had to address my own wound that was getting into our space and deeply affecting our relationship.

Stepping Into Freedom

This challenge required me to crack open, and have very hard and uncomfortable conversations with my wife, her family, and my family to fully feel safe. In this process, I realized I was projecting my fears and trauma into so many aspects of my life. And by doing so, I was creating unhealthy gaps between myself and those I loved. What I realized in this process was I wasn’t willing to pay the price of losing loved ones due to the pain I was projecting toward or onto them. And this realization was my first step toward freedom. 

During this process, Cami also released a lot of her baggage and this is when the magic started to happen. 

We moved to Nosara during the pandemic and I got to enjoy empty surf lineups and our first Plant Medicine ceremony.  The current of Life pushed us North to Playa Grande. Somehow our investments were timed just right to meet the movement of prices. The timing of our choices with the environments outside of ourselves allowed us to get our little farm which is where we currently reside.

Although it was all flowing in alignment and I was happier than I’d been, these senses of gratitude felt like they were being rebirthed, all thanks my 1heart Journey. 

THAT Ayahuasca Ceremony at 1heart

The GIANT LEAP towards full forgiveness and mending of my heart happened during my first 1heart Journey, when I was able to not only forgive but also feel gratitude for my uncle, my grandma, and my mom. During this beautiful ceremony, I also received a heavenly visit of love and light and a reassurance that everything is perfect the way it is.

The magic that the medicine team and staff provided created the safest container for me to process all I’d gone through. And from this place, I was able to feel a sense of complete understanding. 

While what I’ve gone through is full of darkness, confusion, and challenges, I also realized how privileged I’ve been and that we all are to be able to experience our feelings in safe spaces. And from this choice to feel what I’d gone through, cosmic gifts and opportunities continue to come our way every day simply by being alive and breathing. Accepting these gifts, well that’s a different story. 

That said, the one thing that has changed is that I’m truly happy and grateful for all that was, is, and will be. I’m open to receiving, without judgment, what the universe sends my way. And I’m willing to play my part every day to support myself, Camila, our community, and all of life as best as I can.

That change of perspective has made things simple and fluid in ways I still can’t completely understand.

Abundance Born From Healing

I’m grateful for my mom stepping into that bullet, my uncle playing his part, and my grandma expressing hers… I love them all for who they were. The trauma I experienced at four years old was the start of my path to understanding that a broken heart can be healed and that with the support of loved ones, anyone can heal themselves.

Brandon, the CEO of 1heart who initially brought Cami to 1heart, noticed that my story, energy, and strive for creating safe containers could be in the service of others. So now, I’ve been gifted and am so happy to participate in co-creating these magical spaces for healing and celebrating life. 

My life now is better than I could ever imagine. I live with my wife, Camila, on a farm with our animals next to the beach with the best-uncrowded waves. Sometimes there are so many waves and not enough surfers that I come home feeling completely surfed out! I’ll take that feeling any day.

And beyond surfing, being a farmer, and doing some architecture, my life also consists of supporting other people to find themselves through 1heart’s one-of-a-kind program. There’s something about a mix of physical labor, analytical thinking, and reaching simple solutions to better enjoy the fruits of life that speaks to me.

As my healing process unfolds and deepens, I have learned to mend my relationship with the concept of success and understand the balance and abundance of the universe. I am no longer making a disservice to myself by rejecting anything that wants to come my way. 

I’ve always known I was lucky. While it took me decades to believe and feel the luck that’s been placed on our paths, I’m starting to enjoy all the universe has to offer and playing my part to receive whatever that offering looks like on this day. 


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