Sylvia helps high net worth families manage their multi-hundred-million-dollar portfolios. She shared her path of a spiritual healer to family office management and the life lessons she learned from confronting her core fear of money.
We talked about:
- How she developed wealth consciousness?
- How she confronted the source of her fears?
- What’s her nonlinear path of awakening?
- What spirituality requires of her?
- What karmic costs she had to pay for operating from her blind spots?
- Why is a prenup agreement an energetic agreement?
- Why staying innocent is the best way to learn?
- And more
CK LIN 0:00
Today, I’m really excited to share my next guest with you guys. I’m talking to Sylvia. I met her here at the awakened futures summit. She is an investor conscious investors, she was in charge of different family offices really helping them manage their wealth. And when I spoke to her, I immediately feel a kindred spirit who is all about using psychedelics and different modalities as a way to face her shadow or lower self in service of her higher self. And she just has a tremendous story narrative, a hero’s journey to share. So we’re very privileged to have Sylvia with us. Welcome to the show, Sylvia,
Sylvia Benito 0:45
thank you for having me.
CK LIN 0:46
Yeah. So why don’t we actually start off on how we drop into our conversation. We started from talking about energy, how money is energy. So if you can share a little bit about your journey to that conclusion, now, it would be really, really helpful.
Sylvia Benito 1:08
Sure. I always have the sense that we incarnate for very particular karmic reason, or particular karmic lesson, and that lesson is a difficult one, it’s supposed to be difficult. But the level at which it’s difficult is the level at which it holds the gift that we’re supposed to offer on this planet. So one of the experiences that I have is that whatever is the most difficult for us in our life is also the karmic gift that we came here to share. So our weakest place is also our strongest place. And for me, I knew at a young age that that was going to have something to do with money. But it wasn’t completely conscious for me. So when I was 18 1920 years old, I was studying healing modalities and working as a healer and studying with different spiritual teachers. And money was very much in the periphery of my consciousness as it is for many people in their early 20s. Because I was not fully embodied yet I was still in the Age of Exploration. And I worked as a healer for many years until I was like 26, or 27. And then that’s when that consciousness started to come in, where I said, Well, this is, this is great, I really love this work. But I’m never going to be able to make any money doing it. And in particular, how that looks to me is I will never be able to buy a house I would never, like how would I support children? How would I get a minivan for the children? So all of these kinds of questions started to come into the periphery of my consciousness, but I still didn’t really want to face them. And I wanted to kind of continue on my spiritual path and ignore those questions. So when I was 27, I went to India for an extended period of time to the ashram of Rama Harsha, at this mountain called our natural and our natural is this really profound pilgrimage site. It’s a Shiva mountain. And the pilgrimage is that people walk around the base of the mountain every day. It’s a three and a half hour walk. So I went there as a pilgrim. And every morning I was waking up and walking around the mountain and praying for liberation and praying for awakening and all of my intention was just liberation and awakening and liberation and awakening. And then one day, I’m walking around the mountain, and I swear the mountain I feel the mountain is speaking to me in the mountains, like, like, Fuck, you want liberation, what you really want kids? What you really want as a husband? And I was like, No, no, no, I want to wake up, I only want to wake up only one awakening.a complete refusal. But it was pushing like really pushing more and more and more into my consciousness. And on that particular trip, I met, like this beautiful, old man in a room with like four or five people and had a profound awakening and his presence. By far the most profound if you say, like awakening experience, because all awakening experiences are momentary, and they don’t last. But this one in particular was a very, like, super powerful awakening of the Divine Feminine inside of myself. And I really felt like I became the divine feminine, I became like this incredible goddess and, and it lasted for about a week. There really very little consciousness of Sylvia who she was, and I was completely in this divine self. Towards the end of that week, is when again, that message came, and it was even clear, and the message was like, okay, you can’t stay here. You can’t stay in India. You can’t renounce your life in America, you’re you’re not you don’t have permission to do that, because you have karma to fulfill. And specifically, you have a karma to go and learn how to work with money, and you have a karma to go and have children. So I moved back to the states and
CK LIN 5:37
before you go there. Was there an inner tension? torment?
Sylvia Benito 5:43
CK LIN 5:45
Share with us a little bit about that, how were you able to surrender to this higher purpose that was given to you that was told in the inner knowing?
Sylvia Benito 6:01
I think that that we, it’s a good question, I think we actually we often have inner knowing that we’ve decided that we’re going to ignore, but there’s just a certain point where it becomes too uncomfortable to ignore it. And that was my experience. It was physically uncomfortable. I actually got quite sick. I got profoundly sick. The only time I’ve ever been sick in India, I was in bed for days. I was really, really sick. And during that illness, it just was it was kind of unmistakable was kind of like we’re going to cripple you until you listen.
CK LIN 6:39
So So in the beginning was a feather and then it become a gentle knocking. gentle nudge. Yeah. And then he didn’t want to wait until the sledgehammer come down.
Sylvia Benito 6:48
Yeah, but I am generally the kind of person who waits for the sledgehammer. I just like to play hard like that. Yeah, I wait
CK LIN 6:54
You dare the divine to tell you strongest thing else.
Sylvia Benito 7:00
I came back to the States. And really, then that’s when you really see that there is a way that the divine takes charge. And I could never really completely explain how all of it happened. But six months after coming back from India, I was working as a financial advisor for a bank.
CK LIN 7:18
How did that happen? He didn’t just like, Hey, here’s a job offer. As a financial advisor,
Sylvia Benito 7:23
there was some program that hired people that had an entrepreneurial background. And during those years that I was a spiritual seeker, I had helped to found a school of healing arts and South America and I had sold the school before I was in India. So I did have actually, you know, some entrepreneurial background.
CK LIN 7:41
Okay, so you weren’t just a quote-unquote, just right, a healer that’s doing the mission, but you actually build stuff
Unknown Speaker 7:48
I built thanks to Yeah, I did. So to spank looked at me as a female entrepreneur. But I remember the first day on the job I had, I had no experience of putting a suit on, I had no experience of wearing heels. I didn’t exactly know the difference between a stock and a bond was all brand new, it was incredibly uncomfortable. I felt like an alien. But I knew it was where I was supposed to be. So I just stayed with it.
Unknown Speaker 8:18
So how did you come up with the mental model then? And this may be a little projecting, but if I recall correctly, from our conversation, how money is energy and all that. So if you can induce a little bit about the new mental model, how did you come to them and tomorrow?
Unknown Speaker 8:37
Well, I think that, that these kinds of deepening things, again, they they they developed through difficult, painful experiences. So it would be nice if I could say, you know, I read a book, or I heard it from a teacher or I saw it in a vision. But I didn’t, I learned that the very, very, very hard way. So I began to work with money. But I still haven’t really fully met the belief yet that I quit that I am the source of abundance, I really did not understand yet that the divine is the source of abundance, I did not yet understand what it means to be in the flow of that energy of money, I still believed that money has to come from outside, and particularly that money has to come from a masculine paradigm. So it had to come from a company, you know, a patriarchal kind of top-heavy company, or it had to come from a man. So here I am working for a bank and getting a salary. And in a business meeting, I meet a man who was you know, kind and wonderful, and also happen to be quite financially powerful. And I married him. So one of the things that I really like to share, and I’d love to speak about is that awakening is not this direct path of realization. It’s not, it’s messy, and it’s circular. And so for me to figure out that I really am the source of abundance. That was a big detour as like, maybe I can do this, but let me just do the safe bet, just let me just marry someone who’s already got money, and fall into that kind of umbrella of protection. So I didn’t at that time know that money’s energy would have been, I could have maybe have said it to you in some kind of abstract way. But I would have been pretending it didn’t know it in my bones, or the cells of my body. Yeah, it was, it was like, spiritual ego. You know, like, we can be conscious with money, but I wasn’t conscious with money. I was afraid. I was afraid. I thought that money had to come from, you know, doing certain kinds of things that got you money. And so, but again, it’s like, Are there mistakes? Or was it just like the way that the path was unfolding. So I married someone who was rich, but it I still was working in the world of money, and still learning about how to work with money, and it was doing the hard work, you know, like, I went from not knowing the difference between a stock and a bond to becoming a CFA charterholder, which is a super difficult thing to do. It’s not a lot of women even ever done it. For me, that was a phenomenally difficult task. So I had to really like grind through the work of understanding that how does the world work with money? How does money get invested? What is the language of money, and then mechanics and the language mixing the language and I and I had to also earn my respect in the traditional paradigm. So to have those three letters after my name CFA reduced most questioning that people would ever have ever again, that do I know what I’m talking about with money, like it was like, This is like the stamp of approval, you understand money within that traditional paradigm, you understand money. So I had to work for that. And I did that inside of that marriage. And then I also lived a life of incredible material comfort inside the protection of a marriage to a man who was extremely successful in the corporate world. So you have to fast forward many years beyond that point to where the awakening that I had in India was able to actually truly connect to the energy of money.
Unknown Speaker 12:32
Well, not everyone has a rich husband. Or not everyone wants to go through the path of earning a CFA. Yeah. And everyone works in a bank. But I do know a lot of people want to liberate themselves. Yes, right to develop that wealth consciousness to really tap into the embodiments from from theory to experience through body mind. I am source Yes, I am the creator, allows this energy, allow money flowing through me in service of the greater good, because not about communication. So barring marrying someone get into a bank, CFA, right, what, walk us through a little bit of a tactical thing. Sure, was, how can they we develop that,
Unknown Speaker 13:21
I think the most important thing, and I can share more about what happened inside that marriage and the lessons that that brought, for me, those were my lessons, but it’s about facing the most difficult fear you have around money. Because a lot of people I would say maybe even most people have some pretty deep beliefs around money. And they tend to be quite unconscious. And if you notice, but one of the things that is difficult for people to talk about openly is money. And they can be quite a lot of shame. And talking about money, people are ashamed of their money stories, or people, or they hide their money stories, the only person who generally is not hiding their money stories, the person who’s the richest person in the room, right, and that person wants their money story to be on a billboard because they’re achieving all their self worth and all the recognition society from being generally one of the richest people in a room. So we’re in a culture that gives a tremendous amount of importance and value to the richest person in the room. So everybody else kind of is living in the shadow around money with a lot of shame. And what I noticed, particularly with with women that I know, you know, if you talk about tactical things, one of the things I did at a very young age as I started to look at women’s lives, 10 years and 20 years ahead of mine, and I really looked at them ruthlessly, and said, what were the decisions that they had made in their life? And where did they end up financially. And a lot of women in their 40s 50s and even 60s are incredibly financially disempowered, because they were hiding from these critical, difficult important questions. And because they didn’t confront them, and they were hiding from them in various ways for many years, they end up in precarious situations financially, where they really do not feel the support underneath them that that they would merit normally at that stage of life. So I, I made mistakes, I made lots of mistakes, I was terrified of money. And that, so the story of that marriage is not a happy one. Because, again, there were beautiful parts of the marriage, there were beautiful children, and there were things that were righteous about it. But there was a shadow. And the shadow was that I didn’t want to empower myself with money fully. So I grabbed onto the coattails of a man who was empowered with money. And when we met, he said, you will never have to worry about anything ever again. I will always take care of you. Which is like injecting heroin directly into the vein. It’s an incredibly powerful demotivating, right? Like why would I need to be empowered financially if somebody else is going to take care of me forever and ever and ever. Now, the dark side of that story is that days before the wedding, which was you know, again, fancy wedding at a big hotel in San Diego and I had a beautiful dress for Saks Fifth Avenue and and the whole thing, the whole entire princess wedding was happening for me. And I got a prenup handed to me. And, you know, at the time, I was surprised, well, no, I think a prenup can be appropriate. In many situations, if not most beautiful, it can be a beautiful agreement. And I was working and I did have some I was beginning to have some capacity to make money and some money saved. But to me a prenup was a document that should protect the assets of the person before marriage should be kind of unquestionably protected. Because you as a couple, you didn’t do anything to create that wealth together, right? pre existing pre existing really is pre existing, it’s like a line in the sand. I mean, it’s just something that’s apart and separate. And maybe you could say like two years into a marriage, there really hasn’t been enough of a partnership to build something. But if you look 10 years into a marriage, it becomes impossible the contribution of a couple that’s married, they have children, how do you how how would you not have something shared? like there should be something shared after some period of time? Gotcha. Because you you really are right. together a co-creating everything together. And there’s such an exchange of energy. How would you? How would you ever define that? So the prenup I was given was everything pre existing separate fine, me, I signed that happily. But everything in all eternity will always be separate. So that means that even for me for 20 years, you can never lay claim on one penny that I create or generate in the marriage, which to me felt like it broke my heart in some way. Because I said, Well, you know, again, if we have children, and I don’t work for a period of time, like that, doesn’t How does that work? Like that doesn’t seem fair. And I was the second wife said he had already been through it once before. And and the guidance that he gave me was like, Look, you sign this, or we just won’t get married, we can still do the wedding. Because it’s all planned. Now everyone’s coming. But we won’t actually legally get married, which again, broke my heart. So I called one of my friends who was a lawyer, but she was just one of my friends from college. She didn’t practice this particular kind of law. And she said, Look, maybe he’s testing you to see if you’re really in this marriage for the right reasons like you is the feminine is your heart and your intention pure. So maybe if you sign it and you prove to him your intention is pure, maybe then like things will change in the marriage. Okay, so I signed it. And then I forgot about it. And I got put in a drawer. And I really didn’t think about it in the beginning years of that marriage as the marriage went on, so like talking about 10 years married now, when I began to bring it up, because I had contributed so much to the financial well being of in many, many, many ways, from many ways, from concrete ways to non concrete ways we had really created so much together. And it was at that point that I said, I think we need to make changes in that document. And it was when I brought up the prenup and asked her to be changed. That is when my husband asked me for a divorce. So so there’s that there’s because there’s really there. There are karmic costs to everything that we do that our mistakes are innocent. So I was innocent coming into that marriage, but I had blind spots that were sourced from unaddressed fears. And those blind spots that were unaddressed fears, had to manifest themselves into what then became a very, very difficult divorce proceeding, which was centered only around the money not around the children at all. So the entire difficulty of that divorce became money. So that was really then you really want to talk about when I really began to learn the lessons is during that divorce? there’s no shortcut.
Unknown Speaker 20:22
Thanks for sharing that. Wow, that’s very incredibly personal and also difficult moments in your life. Thanks for sharing that. So knowing what you know, now, actually, that’s good little tactical. Before we jump into the last session, knowing what you know now, what would be a artful way to actually set up a prenuptial agreement?
Unknown Speaker 20:42
Just from what I think a prenup is an energetic agreement between two people. And it requires the people to really face their fears, and make sure that the agreement is sourced from love. And I don’t know what that would look like for anyone else. But you have to have enough presence to actually do the work of clearing your fear, and then finding the right document. So that document was sourced in his fear from his first marriage. So he needed to clean that fear before he could really have presented a document that would have been loving. One of my really, really good friends who’s like head of m&a at an incredibly prominent bank looked at the document and he said, This is what you would write for a concubine. When I was going through the divorce, so it wasn’t it’s not healthy documents. But again, this is two people that were not awake, creating an agreement and energetic agreement is sacred contract that was not awake. So he was asleep in his way I was sleeping my way. This contract is therefore imprinted with the signature of sleepiness. To create a prenup that is a week could be a really, really beautiful thing. It could be creative. Could be incredibly,
Unknown Speaker 21:55
Have you come across examples of a creative, beautiful pre-nup?
Unknown Speaker 22:00
No, I haven’t. But this part of the reason why I speak about it publicly is because again, I think these are the things that live in the shadows of our society. I recently negotiate help to negotiate a prenup for a family that I work with. So I was at the table with the daughter when it was being negotiated. And, and I can say that, that there were a lot of limitations that that family had and creating that prenup, there were a lot of fears that came up for them in the creation of that prenup. So, I don’t know how that’s going to carry out and who’s in their lives. You know, I don’t know what that’s going to look like for them. But I could I could mark with my finger, the places where the fear was
Unknown Speaker 22:37
one of the things that say in the, I believe was Nicole Bradford or TransTech, one of the founders, she said “we make what we are”. Yes. So the documents, the products and services, whatever we leave imprints, base on our consciousness level.
Unknown Speaker 22:57
Exactly. And, and so, so then if you look at the divorce is being a form of medicine to that. So it took five months. It wasn’t terrible, but it was painful. And it was painful, exactly in the right way. For me. It was exactly the right medicine from my heart. It was exactly the right. Like tincture from God to say, okay, like my dear beloved daughter, like you’re so devoted to truth and you’re so devoted to God, in all of these ways, except for money, like so what I had been doing for years is say, Here’s all my devotion to truth, here’s all my awakening. It lives over here and this like the over here, this reach of my consciousness, but in the real world, which is money, you know, and power. God doesn’t touch that place. Here’s where I just keep it real. Let me just be practical, let me be grounded. There’s really no such thing that is a false construct. But again, when you see like, how do you figure out money is energy, there’s no shortcut, you have to face the very deep underground fears that you have in your subconscious, one by one by one, you have to do methodical inventory, which sometimes we’re not capable of just sitting in a chair and doing the inventory. Sometimes we have to do the inventory by fucking up in life. And then it gets triggered in us and we have to see it. But you know, I had to do an inventory of my fears methodically consistently. From the day that prenup got handed to me into the day I sign that divorce was the time of my inner work, of meeting those fears. And then coming out of the divorce was really then I started to really begin to be able to flower with the with a different kind of realization,
CK LIN 24:46
you say in such a beautiful way that just the way you are being about is very neutral, even empowering the way you share your story. But during that time, I can’t speak for you I speak for just general human beings even for myself there a stage of woe was me right this How can you do this to me? Right? versus by me now I actually am accountable for all of this. Yes. And then it’s through me this is as me right. There’s that different stages of spiritual growth. So I was curious during that process going through the divorce, did you go through that those seniors? Or were you immediately jumped to stage three?
Sylvia Benito 25:28
Awakening is messy. It’s gritty. Yeah, it’s supposed to be gritty. Yeah. So know, when the divorce first started, I was just a mess. I had a circle of girlfriends around me, they called me They called themselves boots on the ground. And they were on speed dial. It could be two o’clock in the morning. And these women would pick up I didn’t even know which way was up or which was down right or left. I had no idea because if that prenup was an forced, I was going to really end up in a bad financial situation with two children. Now there’s child support, but Child Support is this very little amount of money. Sure. That’s not going to pay your bills. Yeah, so there’s no alimony like it was just so I had to go through a period of of like, really deeply advocating for myself. And I had a whole team of lawyers and it was super difficult even that I had one lawyer who was amazing. I had another lawyer fell in love with me and thought I was a soulmate. It was a mess. I was like to like just represent me. mess. But I got through it. I got through it. And and and in the end, we settled and we settled exactly in the right place exactly in the right medicine for us financially, exactly perfectly. So that I left that marriage, feeling perfectly in balance, perfectly in balance. So but that took time it took it took quite a bit of negotiation, and self advocacy.
CK LIN 27:10
Right, that in itself is a journey. Right? Self advocacy,
Unknown Speaker 27:13
it was a total journey. I mean, I was I was raised to be a very nice girl in my dad’s an Iranian to he’s a beautiful man. But you know, I was trained to be nice to be sweet. I mean, the feminine is completely rewarded for being compliant, being sweet being nice. And I wasn’t in all honesty, very sweet and nice wife. So for me to go from that sweet, nice wife to Okay, like, I’m going to really truly like not back down and I’m going to be difficult and I’m going to be difficult, I’m going to be difficult was, again, it’s it’s all perfect medicine. And I came out of that process. Like, like a warrior.
CK LIN 27:56
Right. So, so tactically, right people would listen to is they’re going through some difficult times, maybe not with divorce, maybe not with money, but difficult times. The trial of life. Yeah. tactically, how did you source your warrior spirit? To start to do this self advocating? for yourself and your children?
Unknown Speaker 28:17
Yes. Right. So there’s really only one secret to me, which is to “face what you do not want to face.”
CK LIN 28:24
So that was a mantra that you just keep,
Unknown Speaker 28:26
it’s a practice. It’s, it’s again, it’s a visceral, gritty practice like to to turn towards the thing that you don’t want to turn towards. All the time, every moment, like you were. I if we just speak about the awakening process in general, true, you know, I’ve had profound awakenings in my life, that that does not mean that you don’t have to still do the gritty work of embodiment. But we, we can all have these peak experiences of knowing that we’re God. And then we say, Well, why do I come back? Then? Why do I go like people say, at one going down, I went down, I knew I was God. And I went down. Like I am, at this stage of my life and conscious that I am always awake at this stage, like, I don’t feel like I’m going up and down out of God. And I’ve gotten like I am God, I know that, it does not mean that I don’t have to still every single day face, what I don’t want to face, face, the shadow face, the fear face, the dark side. So it’s like, it’s a practice. And, you know, when I gave birth to my first son, so I had a very beautiful birth experience. And many people asked me like, what, like, what did you do? Like, what’s the secret to to to a breath work? Did you have essential oils? Did you have dolphin music? Because I did have dolphin music packed in my bag that never came out of the bag. Dolphin music is irrelevant for birth, you know, what was relevant was in the moment that it got so uncomfortable, something in the new turn towards the pain, not away from the pain, you turned towards it, you’re going to open the portal, turn away from it, you’re going to be here for a long time. And it’s going to hurt. Yeah. And that’s a muscle that’s a spiritual muscle. It’s like going to the gym. So what are the tactical things of that muscle is setting your intention. So intention setting saying, you know, I am willing to see what needs to be seen, I’m willing to experience whatever I need to experience I’m willing for whatever conditions need to be present for my awakening, I’m ready for those conditions to be here. Now, set your intention. My intention is to wake up, no matter how painful it is, my intention is my intention is to take this pain and use it and transform it as the medicine that it is. So you have to set the intention to stay and process and digest whatever is present. So the intention setting is one. The second is to hold your learnings as innocent, to be self forgiving.
CK LIN 31:02
To hold your learnings as innocent, what does that mean?
Sylvia Benito 31:06
So when I like? Was it a mistake that I got married to a guy? In large part because he was rich? We could say that right? increase a look at say that like that could be kind of a brutal assessment of it. And I could hold a lot of guilt around that. But then how can I learn if I’m holding guilt? I’m going to hold it in shame. And then maybe I’ll even tweak the story or I’ll change it or I’ll say, oh, but there were other reasons. Oh, but he was so nice. Oh, but he was this open he was that you can’t learn. So you had a learning disability, the glass ceiling, right? Because you have to know that deep down inside, we are innocent. We are learning we came here to learn and caught his benevolent like that, like it was profoundly and beautifully innocent, to to walk in what I was walking into, because it was the exact right karmic medicine for me in my life to learn and to be as service to God. So you have to hold these mistakes as innocence. So one, turning towards the pain as a muscle to its innocent. No matter how bad the mistake you made is, no matter how big the shame is, it’s innocent. And then three is to really surround yourself with conscious friends or conscious guides. because too many people will actually counsel you to turn away from the pain or distract yourself.
CK LIN 32:32
Or point the finger victimhood is easy. Yes. Like, this guy’s a jerk.
Sylvia Benito 32:38
Yeah, women love victimhood. So like, if I hadn’t had been surrounded by girlfriends who were like, such a jerk. How could you do that to
Unknown Speaker 32:46
you? And I was like, Oh, yeah, boy, me right
Unknown Speaker 32:49
corner me, look what he’s doing to me. Right? then guess what? You’re going to be miserable in victimhood. till you die. Right? It is good to incarnate to learn the lesson. So why not just get rid of the victim paradigm and surround yourself by people who say, you’re innocent? I love you. Let’s be self accountable. I’m like, look it in the face.
Unknown Speaker 33:11
So So you mentioned the word conscious friends? What are some of the criteria of conscious friends? I think that because you probably know thousands and thousands of people I do those conscious friends? Probably. Very few. Right? How do you how do you select those conscious friends? What are the criteria you use to evaluate your conscious friends.
Sylvia Benito 33:33
I have, like you said, I have a lot of friends. I’m a very social person. And I have a large network of conscious friends. Extremely few. And I treat them like treasures. I mean, they’re like, they’re like Golden Buddha statues. That’s how I treat them. So I think that, that when we have an intention to live an awakened life, they come You know, they’re the magic help us on the path. And, and the divine sends us those
CK LIN 34:04
how do you know out of the thousands that you meet every day, right?
Unknown Speaker 34:08
I think for me, the way that I know is somebody that when I’m speaking to them, I can’t bullshit. That’s a really good sign of a true friend. Like, that person has enough emotional resonance and depth in them that when you come to them, like let’s say, I was dating right now, okay. You know, which I’m not but let’s say I was, I went to my friend and I said, Oh, my God, I met this guy. He’s amazing. You know, he’s, I met him. I met him on Richard Branson’s. I was in Necker Island, and I met him and it was amazing. He’s got this job. And he’s so cool. And guess what? He’s really interested in spirituality. He really wants to be on the path. Yeah. So like a conscious friends gonna be like, like, Who are you lying to right now? Like, oh, okay, you, you want to do the same thing you already did? Again, like a question conscious friend has enough discernment. So maybe even when I show up in front, my conscious friends, I wouldn’t be able to lie. Like I couldn’t lie to myself, because their emotional bandwidth and resonance makes me more truthful with myself. They’re like tuning forks. And you can feel it, like Who are those people that you can be authentic with and be yourself around. And if you don’t have those people in your life, then you need to keep looking. They’re out there, you need to find them just like their true teachers, their true friends.
Unknown Speaker 35:31
One of the realization that I got from ceremony is that I have thousands and thousands of acquaintances, you know, hundreds of Facebook friends or whatever. But really just a handful of those friends who I can trust and how I know that is by if I were gone, who I can trust my children, my family with. Okay, so I have a handful of people can actually take that on not to say that I will, quote unquote, burden them with them. But at least that’s the mental model and the quick mental math that I do. Yeah. Willing to entrust them to these people.
Sylvia Benito 36:09
That’s beautiful. That’s beautiful. Yeah.
CK LIN 36:18
Thanks for sharing your story. No, I really appreciate that. So going back to….there’s a lot here. Were you always spiritual? Pretty much. Yeah. Do you feel like that gives you a deeper trust in your life trajectory, yes. Versus before spirituality, where you were just on your own. And then what you do is your own volition. And that’s that
Unknown Speaker 36:54
you my early awakenings, or when I still teenagers, it’s difficult for me to ever remember, even when I was a child, like I was kind of drawn to the divine, so I don’t have I don’t have a self that existed outside of spirituality. It was really a teenager when it really came into full focus in my life. But it was funny because when it really fully came into focus, when I had like a, like a profound awakening as a teenager, I was kind of pissed off about it. And because there’s like, Why I have a spiritual life, I don’t have a spiritual life. to me look like unhappy middle aged women who were doing Reiki I was like, I don’t like I don’t, it’s inconvenient. And there was actually a grieving for me, because there was some part of me that that really yearned for distraction. I wanted to be able to just, like, be distracted. And it was not like, wasn’t like a joyful thing for me, like, Oh, great, like, I have life of awakening. Because awakening really asks everything of us. It doesn’t ask everything on day one. Because nobody ever sign up for
CK LIN 38:03
Tell us a little bit more. Why did you say that?
Unknown Speaker 38:06
You know, like awakening is is not for sissies
CK LIN 38:11
I love that as a quotable quote.
Sylvia Benito 38:15
It’s true. It’s true. Yeah. So in the beginning, it’s kind of like, this is like kind of feels good. And it’s nice, and I feel some relief is kind of nice. But the truth is, is you go more and more and more down the path, it really does ask for everything to be given to its feet. Now in the end, what you’re putting at the feet of awakening is not of value. But it takes a while for you to figure out that it’s not of value. And so let’s go back to money for a second, there’s not of value, there’s been talk about money is the way of because because for so long, I wanted to hold on to money a separate from God. Like I better keep making sense money over here like, like, I’m definitely not. And the only way I could conceptualize that is like, I feel like people that look like they’re trying to have a spiritual life around money just look like dumb fucks to me. Like they were they look like they were lost or like they weren’t working or they were like poor like they just look messy. And I I just couldn’t conceive of what, what it would look like to surrender money to the feet of God. Honestly, it’s really only very, very recently that I’ve even begun to understand what that looks like that there’s there’s this just your your devotion to truth becomes so profound in your heart, that it begins to take everything else that you had as a false god. And money was the last false god for me to offer. And even though I’m still in the process of giving some of those pieces of the false god over. But when you talk about money being an energy of the Divine, the truth of the matter is that as I give over that false god of the kind of money I thought I need to make and create and protect, as I give that over more and more, which it’s not like I give it over. It’s just like that my devotion of God is just deepening and deepening and deepening. It consumes the fall god and burns it. And in its place, there really is this is this is the universe’s magical year magically abundant, magically abundant, it’s dying to support us. It wants to support us It wants our gifts are so much for all to share. And one of the things that I really struggled with was, you know, why are there so many poor people like like, these, if I’m living in Africa, on $1 a day can’t have a deep spiritual realization and become a millionaire. So like, how does that work? Like what’s going on there? Right. And Marianne Williamson actually speaks about this. And she’s the one who kind of drew some light on it for me. And she says that the the fact that there’s poverty is something we can solve, like we are capable of solving poverty. But that is the global shadow of not knowing that money is God. So there’s the personal shadow of not knowing that money is God. And then there’s the global shadow of not knowing that money is God. And that global shadow creates these tremendous pockets of mass suffering. So we can wake up to our own path with money, but really, it needs to be in service of waking up the path of money for everybody. Because if everybody were to wake up the path around money, we will solve the issues of this huge inequality of wealth in the world, not completely not that everyone can be a millionaire. But things can come into a deeper equilibrium. And if that makes sense, because it is it’s Maryann’s content not mine.
CK LIN 42:00
Yeah. So for someone who is on that path of awakening there, let’s actually focus on money since we’re talking about right. Where do I even begin. So on the path to, to know oneself to be the creator of abundance in an abundance, which is really available, right? It’s not something to be created, it’s already existed, you’re creating, you’re tapping into something that’s, that’s, that’s already there. Right? How do you actually tactically do that?
Unknown Speaker 42:37
by meeting your money fear? There’s no shortcut. There’s just literally no no shortcuts. So what does it mean to meet your money here? You know, everybody knows where their money fear is? How do you feel when you open up your bank statement? Do you pay attention to your investments? Or do you ignore them? Do like your work? You’re in love with your job? If you’re not, why don’t you leave it? Are you in a marriage because you’re afraid of what would happen financially because you leave, everybody knows where their money fear is, has to be confronted? You have to do the work.
CK LIN 43:14
I feel like almost there could be a seminar transformation weekend can be done in in this particular area. Because as you said, especially America, this is definitely the shadow right? You can ask about everything except what’s in your bank account. How dare you? Ask me about my sex life, everything political belief everything in your biases. Money, how dare you?
Sylvia Benito 43:45
Not at all? Am I rich? Am I not rich. So to opening that conversation around money is very important. And as you know, I work with people that have tremendous resources financially. And I have to say that I know a lot about the technical aspect of how to manage huge amounts of wealth. I know how them if somebody puts 300, which they do people put 300 million in my hands, I manage it, I do it. I know how to do it, right. But the truth is, is that the really important piece that’s missing from most people that are holding that kind of wealth is the consciousness piece, because nobody talks to them about it. And they are universally admired, and unquestioned because they’re so rich. So their shadow begins to be hidden in tremendous recesses. And in some of the deeper conversations I’ve had with families of truly astronomical wealth, you would be surprised how many of those people actually wish they didn’t have it, because they don’t know how to connect to the purpose of it. And it’s become burdensome for them. Because they really, this sounds like a cliche, they really don’t know if people like them or not.
Unknown Speaker 45:07
Right, because they don’t know if people like them for their money or for themselves.
Unknown Speaker 45:13
So it’s that that, like, you know, in my in my kind of ultimate fantasy of something that should be happening on this planet, people with tremendous resources should be coming together and ceremonial kinds of work with them that is set to to, because there’s nothing that humbles you the way that medicine does,
Unknown Speaker 45:34
it’s also not external. It’s not it’s not someone telling you something, because when it’s someone like a guru, or a teacher, or advisor, or a coach, or a friend even telling you something, how dare you, right? It’s ego against ego, it’s easily triggered, easily go into that direction. But when you do plant medicine, it’s from the inner knowing. It’s like, okay, that’s right. You do an inventory of all your beliefs, all of your journey, all of your events, things, you’re proud of things, you’re ashamed of things, you’re disappointed by things, your anger by everything, everything.
Sylvia Benito 46:11
Yeah, and it and it will specifically cleaning and direct energy and money. And we’ll look at the money is just pure energy. Medicine knows that it’s just energy. So it will look at the money through the framework. So in my work life, I take quite a bit of personal direction. Again, I’m not taking the kind of personal direction of like, you should be shorting the VIX right now or Facebook’s going down. It’s not that I mean, the divine is definitely not giving me instructions on how to treat with stock. But the divine is there through the plant medicine is saying to me, you need to come into a deeper integrity with your energy around this particular relationship around that particular, like that particular cluster of money, you need to have more, you know, personally, you need to clear your personal integrity with it before you can make decisions with it. I recently met a family who came it was just sold a company for a ridiculous amount of money, I mean, just ungodly amount of money. And they they met with me. And I think they were they were kind of expecting me to like put a pitch book in front of them. And like sell sell them. I don’t have a pitchbook like I really just wanted to meet with you and see you know, how you are like what’s happening for you and like, how do you feel about this? And that’s really, it’s really uncomfortable for people. But it’s the right thing to do. Like, if you’re given a tremendous gift financially on this earth, it’s my best advice is don’t do anything, do a lot inner work, and then say, and take your time with it. But that’s at the far end of the spectrum of people with too much. And you know, a lot of people are just like me, and I’m still working at the other end of the spectrum. I haven’t gotten what I want yet. And
CK LIN 48:14
Okay, so let’s let’s go there for a little bit. And then But before that, I want to share a quote with you. I can’t remember who said this, I think was I think it was Warren Buffett or Reid Hoffman. Anyway, they said, No, it was Kevin Kelly. It says money is all like gasoline. It’s very important to get you from point A to point B, but you don’t want to spend your entire life going for gasoline station. Gas Station. All right. Yeah. So So these people have a lot of gas and a lot of energy. Yeah. And they can utilize to manifest whatever it is they want to manifest in life, what they do with it? I think that in itself is a journey in a I’m very, they should be thankful for my point of view that they have someone I’d like you to ask them some critical questions. What do you actually want to do with all this gasoline? Other than getting more gasoline?
Unknown Speaker 49:09
it’s very hard for them to discern a voice like that, because they’re so used to everyone who sits in front of them wanting something from them. So that’s I’m seeing their their their pitfalls in four. There’s pitfalls around these questions. Because again, you end up with a lot of money, almost 99.9% of the people that are in front of you want something from you. So I can show up in front of them. And they may not even be able to see me because I just looked like another flavor of someone who’s selling something different to them. And they’re protecting themselves against everything because they don’t know what to trust.
CK LIN 49:45
So Elon Musk said something interesting. And I’m paraphrasing, he basically said solving problems are simple, actually. 90% of the effort is identifying the right question, right. And you had mentioned that facing the whatever you’re most afraid of specifically around money. But that’s hard to identify. Because you may feel something viscerally you don’t feel good. And the easiest thing to avoid that is let me turn on TV, Facebook, ice cream, or chocolate. Then I don’t need to look at my bank account. Right? I need to look at my budget. Right? Right. I am speaking from personal experience.
Unknown Speaker 50:49
yeah, or rescue fantasy, you know, to the rescue fantasy, like it’ll just take care of itself.
Unknown Speaker 50:54
Yeah. So but then how do you specifically identify that core? Sure, fear the shadow and bring light and intention to that.
Sylvia Benito 51:06
But I think that’s that’s a lot of what this meeting that we’re both attending has been about is where do you find the tools. So there are tools of presence and and you can say meditation, we have to be careful because meditation for some people can mean floating above the problems, but to really, if you have a meditation technique that is more about doing an inventory, quietly, of what’s really happening inside and naming it. So just that you’d have to develop some quality of presence. And you have to want that. So that’s the first step, it’s like to I want to have an awakened conscious life, yes, then I need to begin to develop presence in developing presence is a lifelong work. So you can develop the inner presence to really sit and say, you know, for example, typical feminine fear around money is I’m going to grow old, alone, and poor, like the most terrifying image for the, you know, white American woman in her mid 30s, maybe facing divorces, she’s going to end up being married with the shopping bags on the corner, begging for sandwiches, you know, people don’t want to admit it, these are the images that they have. Sure, that is the fear, I will be old and alone and poor. So you have to really face fear of abandonment, fear of not being loved, fear of being alone. But these are, these are fears that have spiritual power and spiritual transformation. And then all of those fears can be resolved through awakening is we are never alone. We’re never, we’re never abandoned. But you have to use your presence and your inquiry and your, your attention. to really see that for yourself. There’s nobody else can tell you that. So can happen that way. Or you can just do some plant medicine. And that’s just I’m just gonna like give it to you.
CK LIN 53:03
Okay, so all right. So yeah, I see that you got excited for. So how will One know that they’re ready for plant medicine from your point of view? yeah, let’s say they did, you know, they want to confront their fears and their fear in service in and really develop this capacity to generate wealth consciously, let’s say right, and plant medicine is one path, and how would they know that they are ready.
Unknown Speaker 53:34
If I was saying krim never tried anything. And I feel like I’m curious. The first thing is to know, are you a suitable candidate for plant medicine or not. And that’s just an important part of the discourse right now. So anybody with pre existing mental conditions of their family history, anything that anyone who has schizophrenia in the family, things like that, those kinds of that kind of discernment is needed to know that you are the kind of person who’s going to respond well, from a psychological standpoint to medicine. And I think that’s important to say, because I’ve actually seen people jump in and not have a great experience, because they didn’t do the proper sort of intake of their own family history first. But saying somebody says, you know, I’m pretty solid dude. And I think I, I’m ready, then the truth is, I really think you’re never ready. Just like I wasn’t ready for birth, I read lots of books on it, nothing prepared me for what it actually was. I don’t think anything will prepare you a proper medicine journey, nothing can really prepare you for it. And you will be surprised by the depth and by the intensity, and by the, the the complexity of the experience. And I think that that’s okay, because the truth is, is no matter what happens inside that journey, it’s safe. It’s safe, it’s really, it’s always no matter how intense that rides going to be. It’s a safe ride. So don’t know how you can prepare other than do your best.
Unknown Speaker 55:09
S o any other criteria in terms of selecting the right facilitator, the right peer group, the right, you know, timing, perhaps because I hear also a lot, and I want to do it, but now’s not the right time. Right? So what would you say to these considerations?
Unknown Speaker 55:23
So I was just on a call with someone today and was like, you know, what do you think about when you’re going to do medicine Next, the person was like, I’m in a period where I really need to integrate. And so I think that that’s a normal thing that happens in a human life, we have periods that are periods where we, we’re really, we’re feeling stagnant. And that stagnant time, you might really come into a plant medicine ceremony to stir things up and bring them up to the surface. And then there can be times when so much has been stirred up that you know, that you need to ground and integrate. And that’s, I think, the natural ebb and flow of the human life and the path with these kinds of medicines. That’s different for everybody. Everyone has a different capacity for holding these kinds of medicines to for some people, maybe they do it once in a lifetime. For some people, it’s once a month. So I think that you have to have that sense of whether you’re in the integration phase or in the phase where you’re stagnant.
Unknown Speaker 56:21
Any other so any considerations about making the right facilitators and my peer group?
Sylvia Benito 56:27
Well, I think just to be incredibly discerning, because the setting can give you a pretty adverse experience. So really, be super discerning in terms of the setting and make sure that you wait for a setting that’s going to feel like home to you. You know, it should feel like home, the facilitator should feel like home, where you’re going to do it that space should feel comfortable and like home to you wait for that home feeling there. I am particular pretty strict about who I will work with with two I’m almost fanatical about it. I would say particularly with ayahuasca, I really have a strong faith in lineages with iOS go because I think that quite quite a bit of energy can come up for people and and I was a journey and I would want to know that my facilitator is part of a lineage with tremendous experience. Because if you’re working with it within a lineage where say, you know, the taita has done 1000 ceremonies, they’ve seen everything, so he can track energetically, whatever is coming up for you. And can I share just one personal story? So during my marriage, I wasn’t doing any plant medicine because it was something that my my ex husband didn’t agree with. So I didn’t do any during that period of time. My first time coming back to it was like, two weeks after the divorce was when I went to go and work with with a taita a very beautiful taita and, and I, I kind of walked into the ceremony feeling prepared, like, you know, I’ve, I’ve done some things, you know, I’ve done some meditation, some yoga, and I mean, I’m good here. I know what I’m doing. I’ve done it before. And I sat down in the ceremony, and I drank and I was absolutely floored by the level of energy that came up for me. I was like, Whoa, like, it was way more than I thought I was like, whoa. And I raised my hand and the ceremony and this is like in the silent part of a ceremony. We’re kind of related as you are. But but it was funny just like a two hour silent period where everyone’s just basically like chill, like hanging out by the beginning of 44 different 45 minutes, like the first two hours where everyone else is like, easy breezy. know, me, I’m raising my. sights it comes over to me is like, you know, basically what’s wrong? I said, am I okay? Because so much energy. And this is the beauty is all that arrogance I had had coming in this taita of just mail to him it to me goes, let’s be straight man is go to your practices. Oh, wow. Good. Your practices, like I mean, were you just telling me earlier how you have all these great meditation practices and all these great yoga practices, introduce intense, go to your practices, ground yourself with your practices. And in that moment, I felt the medicine say to me, girl, you have no practices, you cute pictures on Instagram, doing yoga, you had no practice, you have abandoned your practices. And look where you are now. So I was like, so then that’s the importance of working the lineage because then the tides have brought other healers and shamans to work with me, and to heal me, you know, to really help me to process the intensity of that energy until I could hold it on my own. So that’s why for me, the fun facilitator and, and the lineage is so important, because they have to be able to track that moment where I couldn’t possibly integrate the energy, they brought me to the place where I could begin to integrate the energy through their work. So they let me scaffold on their practice, right? And then they left. And then I was alone. And I said, Okay, show me the way, where do we start, and the medicine was like, let’s start with the breath. Let’s just start with the breath, it’s a good place to start for you. And then that whole night, I just had to work with the breath. So this is really important that you can’t like if I had imagined I had been with some, like novice facilitator in a yoga studio in Manhattan. I mean, I could have really have been dislocated energetically for a really long time. And maybe I wouldn’t have gotten that profound lesson, which was, you used to have practices, they’re gone. Let’s start again. So I’m very, very cautious and discerning about who I will work with.
CK LIN 1:01:00
Yeah, that’s beautiful. And for everyone listening, please be discerning whoever facilitators you’re working with, of course, because this is on par to spiritual surgery.
Unknown Speaker 1:01:14
It is. Yeah, it’s a good way of putting it
Unknown Speaker 1:01:17
any as we cover a lot of different realms, any specific so for those that are listening right now, any actionable things, one actionable thing that you believe that they can take on as a way to cultivate their wealth consciousness
Sylvia Benito 1:01:33
with wealth consciousness? Yeah. I think that, that the first the first thing is, is just to bring into your awareness, the the parts that we all hide, that we are all ashamed of around money. And to begin to ask yourself the question, What am I compromising in my life in the name of money? What compromises Am I making? Where Where am I selling myself? Where what carries the energy of the prostitute in some way? Like the energy of the prostitute is a really good way to even frame it like in what way? Do I sell myself for money? subtly, where am i doing it and why?
CK LIN 1:02:22
I love that,
Sylvia Benito 1:02:23
be willing to, to confront that.
CK LIN 1:02:28
With that, thank you so much. Really appreciate having you here.
Sylvia Benito 1:02:31
Thank you for having me.