Boardroom To Rainforest, Leadership Reimagined With 1heart’s Plant Medicine Approach For Global Change

Costa Rica-based 1heart is offering an exclusive eight-week ayahuasca experience for high-level executives, which chief elevation officer and cofounder Brandon Evans defines as “a comprehensive approach” to elevate mind, body and spirit, and foster “heart-centered leadership and connections.” 

1heart’s program includes two weeks of pre-journey virtual group preparation, one week at Kinkara (Costa Rica,) and five weeks post-journey virtual integration.

The 2024 participants are organized in groups of 40 people plus staff. The majority of them come via referrals and are typically familiar with the experience, though first-timers are also welcome.

A Tailored Healing Approach

1heart retreats’ cohorts are high achievers: leaders, founders and change-makers with Type A personalities who define themselves and their value through creating, building and doing, until they eventually hit a wall.

“They may have defined themselves so deeply with their professional experience and with what they do that there’s a lot of other aspects of their life that are more unclear. It gets challenging to know where to turn at that point,” Evans explained. 

The 1heart team and the retreat program support people in different life-check transitions, tailoring the approach to whatever phase the person is in. Still, there’s usually a shared feeling among participants of getting to a place where they know there’s something deeper yet they don’t know exactly how to find it, Evans told Benzinga.

After the eight weeks, he says almost everyone leaves the retreat with insights and breakthroughs. Yet the hard part comes when people return to the same world they left. “So a lot of our integration is helping them really remember what they discovered on the journey, and implementing it into their lives through exercises that really codify their learnings.”

Some of the most challenging topics for Type As are self-love and surrender, which the 1heart team proposes to work on through exercises like a 10-year vision, or trying to think of ways to continue creating without a constant “push, push, push, never enough, never recognizing oneself” dynamic. 

Evans says 1heart’s motto is avoiding being prescriptive and putting beliefs on or heavily coaching participants, but enabling for self-reliance to come through and then discuss and share. 

“That’s really a huge piece of this experience that is often not as accentuated in a typical medicine experience: We focus a lot on just the joy, the creativity, the community, and that becomes the medicine for many people,” Evans says. 

Team And Community

The 1heart team consists of lead facilitators, and trained coaches in different disciplines -including performance flow-state and mindset training, yoga and meditation. There is a  medical arm, trained with Amazonian maestros of different lineages, a local doctor and “elevation leaders” for when the cohort breaks into smaller groups.

Christian Alfaro is one of the numerous team members who’ve been through a 1heart journey. His personal work has allowed him to feel confident using his voice, expressing love and taking up space in the world. 

“I learned what embodiment means, to be a leader for myself. It’s also being surrounded by others on the team and within the community: everyone’s fanning the flames of the bigness that we all hold within ourselves in a really collaborative way,” he said.

So the 1heart community serves as a huge support for participants, whether connecting online or through local and international chapters with monthly events.

Photo courtesy of 1heart.

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