Welcome to Loic’s Newsletter
I write about entrepreneurship, technology, consciousness, spirituality and everything I learn through life. Frequency: twice a week free. I like to share the stories I can’t tell most people to my paid subscribers.
I am a French Entrepreneur who writes a lot. Been writing since I discovered blogging in 2003 and never stopped sharing, now on Substack. I was born in South of France then lived in Paris, San Francisco, for about a year in total in the jungle in the Amazon forest and many other places.
I try to share everything I learn through writing, sharing audio and video or conferences, it’s been about 20 years…
I’m like you, learning about life with humility. I just love sharing it all the time.
A tech entrepreneur and conference organizer
I’m 50 and started many tech startups and I still do. I also started the largest technology conference in Europe at the time, called LeWeb. I started it and ran it with my ex-wife Geraldine for 12 years in a row, it gathered 4000 people and not sure how many countries, but 80 or so. Then we sold it. I also invested in about a hundred startups as an “angel investor”, such as LinkedIn, very early on when many people did not believe in them. I still do.
I have three incredible boys in their twenties. I will soon have another with my partner in life Magdalena Sartori.
A middle-age crisis and a “seeker of awakening”
When I was 40, 10 years ago, I divorced. Nothing seemed to be “enough” anymore regardless or any material success or recognition in the world. I fell into the cliché of the 40 years old middle-age crisis. I was bored with life.
Everything got way worse. I lost all references. I tried many things.
I did my first meditation retreat. Vipassana. Discovered meditation and never stopped since, with periods of break.
I went to see therapists in San Francisco for the first time in my life. That lasted a few years. Then I did the Hoffman Institute. I kept meditating while going through past trauma, the divorce, losing my father when he was 50, my sister when she was 36 and peeling the layers of my life and my mind.
I was seeking freedom so I went to Burning Man, 8 years in a row. I found freedom there but then had to return to reality. I multiplied trips around the world with friends, kite-surfing around while investing in startups. I loved it. I had “earned-it”. I thought that freedom was happiness.
The truth is I started drinking even more than I used to before. Wine as everyone knows is very recognized as part of “being French” and I was drinking about a bottle of wine at least a day, plus some cocktails. This was all “normal” then I stopped drinking about two years ago.
I found more freedom for sure and enjoyed that time with friends but I was still missing something.
The “hole in me” seemed to get deeper instead of filling-up.
I also felt I had explored all the layers of our western system, the “matrix”. Exploring more “reality” and trying to succeed more at everything felt like being stuck in a hamster wheel.
Looking back at my life, I did the college thing (here), got married then divorced, started a few businesses, lived extraordinary adventures, even did a few months of politics in France helping run the campaign of a future President (I did not like the experience because of so much lying around politics and many other things I never wrote).
Looking inside instead of outside
I then started seeking. Instead of seeking success, achievements, increasing whatever I had materially, I started looking for happiness. I could not really find it. Something was dead inside.
Death is not an error, it’s not a failure… it’s taking off a tight shoe
I found a lot of suffering inside - regardless of the cool photos I was posting on Instagram.
The plants and the Amazon forest
In October 2016, exactly 6 years ago, I took my partner at the time, Leila Janah, to see Machu Picchu in Peru for her birthday. From there Leila decided we should visit the Peruvian Amazon forest and I ended-up doing my first ayahuasca ceremony there. I did not want to do it. I had never taken any “drugs” apart from smoking some weed a few times which I really disliked so never tried again.
Seated in the jungle a maloca with Leila and two Shipibo shamans, I had for the first time life-changing visions, whatever it was I was changed forever, more than I thought.
I could not believe what I saw when I woke-up from the effects of the plants.
I felt those poorly studied plants were changing me so much that I kept going to ceremonies, each time vomiting a little more of my traumas and realizing better who I was not. It was not entertaining, it was really hard in fact. Each ceremony felt like seeing the truth about all my past mistakes. It was way more powerful and fast than meditation, which I kept going anyway.
After about a year of “purging” in ceremonies I stopped vomiting and met the Chief of the Yawanawa tribe, Nixiwaka Yawanawa, in his village deep in the Amazon Jungle of Brazil, in the State of Acre, near Peru.
The Chief invited me to do a “dieta”. They are periods from two weeks to a year of intense “work” with powerful plants, ayahuasca and others, generally isolated in the jungle and with very little food.
I am not sure why but I spent about a year (in several trips) in the jungle with indigenous “shamans” -as we call them- mostly Yawanawa but also other tribes such as Ashaninka, Katoukina or Koulina.
I saw that I was just feeling and getting better, I felt I needed to “go all the way” as an entrepreneur but now the startup was… me.
Under the guidance of the Chief, I completed 7 dietas in three years which are the basis of the most advanced training of that tribe, concluding with the “Muka dieta” and lost 25 kgs in 3 months. I got isolated in the jungle completely disconnected for 3 months from April to June 2022.
I am still in this dieta as I write this, I completed 7 months on the 12 months with no sugar, no fruits, no sex whatsoever, no meat (some chicken sometimes), no pure water (only tea) and observing a lot of the discipline I learned there.
“Vision Quester and Sundancer”
Working with plants gave me access to another world but I was very frustrated to need them to see it.
I started another path, Vision Quests and Sundance, which is only based on fasting also in the jungle but this time in South Dakota and Mexico. I completed 3 vision quests and 2 Sundances as I write this. I will do two more to finish the basics of that path, “the Red Road”.
Now searched quite far, what’s next?
6 years seeking to know myself better and I am just getting started.
I am looking back at the past to make sure I am actually awake and I have not replaced material “matrix” ego by now “consciousness” or “spiritual” ego. I felt into that trap many times but I feel it’s less the case now.
So what’s now?
I am learning to master myself, to seek being my own master. I am dedicating my life to studying consciousness.
Instead of staying it in the forest alone I write this newsletter and I built a startup again, with my partner Magdalena Sartori.
PAWA is a community for those who want to learn more about themselves and be better human beings. They want to stay in the modern world and not disappear in spiritual work. It is online on discord and a series of events, the first just happened in Paris in October 2022, PAWA Paris.
Thank you for reading me, please feel free to comment or send an email, I read all but cannot always answer as I get a lot.
photo - one of the “dieta” places I called home many times at in the “Sacred Village” of the Yawanawà. Thank you Faisal Tisnés for taking this photo from a drone for me!
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