Jess graduated from law school in 2008 and practiced international commercial arbitration at a small law firm in Istanbul, Turkey for seven months before realizing that there was not enough money in the world to pay her for hours (and years, really) spent doing something her heart wasn’t in. After returning to the States, Jess became an avid whitewater kayaker– something she had been wanting to pursue since her teenage years. Jess spent the next five years learning and teaching whitewater kayaking and paddle boarding, earning certifications in kettlebell and CrossFit training, and helping her clients connect to their bodies and to nature.
During those five years, Jess was also battling a severe case of Rheumatoid Arthritis. After two and a half years of intensive pharmaceutical therapy, Jess became frustrated with the western medical model, and discovered that she could achieve remission using nutritional therapy alone. Inspired, she decided to pursue a career as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Autoimmune Coach. Her work in the fields of nutrition, fitness and ancestral health brought her to the Paleo F(x) conference in Austin, TX where she attended the very first PFX panel on Shamanism. One of her most influential mentors was a speaker on this panel, and described the experience of Ayahuasca and the concomitant exploration consciousness and spirituality as a human birthright. After witnessing this panel, she could not stop thinking about Ayahuasca. One year later, she traveled to northern California with Keith and Michelle Norris for her first Ayahuasca retreat… with Camino Do Amor.
That retreat in July of 2015 proved to be a turning point in the lives of each of the facilitators for this mastermind retreat, which have become spectacularly and synchronistically connected. Jess and Zach, now husband and wife, met each other for the first time on this retreat. Jess also formed a strong relationship with Ayahuasca and has been studying the medicine intensely since then. This retreat proved to deepen Jess’s relationship with Keith and Michelle as well, as they are both keystones in the Austin community surrounding Iglesia Del Despertar, and a pivotal factor in Jess and Zach’s decision to move to Austin in the first place.
Jess’s life has changed in every aspect since her first experience with the medicine. She feels it has drawn forth her full human nature and true potential by releasing her from patterns and deep cultural conditioning. This story is but one example of the powerful relationships and connections that come with the release and creativity that Ayahuasca facilitates.