Spiritually Sassy with Sah D' Simone
MEDITATION EXPERT AND TRANSFORMATIONAL COACH
Sah D'Simone wants to make sure you know you are worthy. Just spend a few minutes on his Tik Tok and find yourself shifting energies. His quest to realizing that self-love is our greatest asset, came after he made a huge career switch from the world of fashion to India–immersing in meditation and deep self-work. He transformed his diet, rewired his thought patterns, made a killer morning routine that includes dancing, Tibetan meditation and smoothies. Explore more of how this transformation coach and meditation expert is brightening up the internet with his New Age take on some of the most ancient healing techniques— and how positive affirmations might be the thing missing from your day.
Can you share your journey with us, and how you found meditation? How did you decide you wanted to make this your career?
In 2012, I was bought out of a company that I started when I was 23 years old— this extremely painful breakup didn’t totally stop me though. I was driven by having a title and money, and “stuff” and very quickly started a new business after that. Within 6 months a similar story happened, a tech giant wanted to buy the name of my new project, and I couldn’t really disagree with them. When that happened, I finally paid attention to the red flags that had been popping up everywhere but I was “too busy” to notice and take agency of my life. I had struggled with anxiety and depression for most of my teenage and adult life, so after these two massive wake-up calls I listened to the inner-voice that had been whispering to me for a long time [that said] “it’s time for a change.” In the spring of 2013, the voice was loud and it led me to north India, in the Himalayas, for my first 10-day silent retreat. That’s when the journey back into my heart started and I slowly began to make friends with my mind. That fall, I did a 30-day meditation retreat in Nepal and that’s when a massive transformation happened— I was faced with a lot of the traumas I had suppressed growing up. It was also when I met my Spiritual Teacher who told me that there will come a time that I will have to go back to the west and share what I had learned, at that point I didn’t make much of it. Fast forward to the summer of 2016 after ashram and monastery hopping for almost 3 years, I was financially broke, but my connection to my heart was stronger than ever. I had come out to the other side of my depression and anxiety. I was in upstate NY volunteering at the cafe of the Omega Institute, while I figured out my next steps. I was offered the opportunity to begin teaching the staff as a 6-week course called The Happiness Method–– a combination of all my studies from my time in pilgrimage. My mission had become clear to me: be of service by sharing the tools that helped me transform my life, and live from my heart.
What was the biggest mental hurdle you had to overcome to become a "great" meditator?
[The toughest part was] getting to know my default mindset— which was negative, fearful, and sad. Not being discouraged by that internal-chaos, and later not judging myself if some of these old ways of thinking and feeling come back from time to time for a little visit.
As it is a practice, what do you feel like you're working on now?
It’s always different and depends on what comes up— just the other day, I realized that I have to work on healthy boundaries with my family.
How do we work on releasing past "stories" or change the narrative on ourselves?
With forgiveness. We ask for forgiveness for the intentional and unintentional ways we caused pain to others, and we forgive others for the pain they caused us, and we then forgive ourselves for the ways we neglected ourselves and the pain we caused ourselves. This is an active practice, and not a one time deal, each time you open your heart to forgive, you are unshackling yourself from the past. And choosing to move in a direction of peace, and happiness.
Tell us about your new book- there's 365 different meditations and mantras and reflections... what was your creative process in making each of them?
My creative process was based on one question: how can I help guide the reader to take this “short trip” of only 18 inches from the mind into the heart in only 5 min. In this process, I got to learn all the ways a daily meditation practice has changed my life and continues to do every day.
What are your other wellness non-negotiables?
In this order pretty much everyday— gratitude, intention setting, chanting Tibetan Buddhist mantras, gentle movement, breathwork, meditation, running, and dancing, and of course a plant-based diet.
How has a plant-based diet helped you to find clarity or feel your best in order to be present and in meditation-mode?
ABSOLUTELY! I tell my clients and students all the time that in order to advance in the spiritual path you must upgrade how you eat. I have been plant-based for 5 years now, and it started when I decided to take agency of my life, and heal. There’s enough scientific research that shows the link between an inflamed gut to depression and anxiety, and another mind-blowing fact that I love is that our gut sends 10 times more messages to our brain than the brain to the gut. Therefore your gut feeling is real— so if you’re eating badly that internal guidance might be hacked.
Why is being plant-based important to you, and what changes have you seen on all levels?
I don’t want to cause harm to any living beings. Then, of course, my mind became more clear, less fog, and overall I feel more energized. I feel part of the solution.
Which artists/ music/ books are you turning to for inspiration and joy?
So many, I love finding new music and love to dance! Right now I’m loving this Brazilian label Casa Caos, they sometimes mix mantras with deep house. SO GOOD! At the moment I’m reading Radical Dharma.
What mantra do you go back to the most these days?
May I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be safe, and may I live with ease.
Who have been your mentors, teachers, and sources of inspiration along your journey?
- His Holiness the Dalai Lama
- Lama Zopa Rinpoche
- Krishna Das
- Venerable Joan Nicell
- Ram Dass
- Thubten Gyatso
- Geshe Gelon Sonam
- Govind Sharan
- Sharon Salzberg
- Geshe Kelsang Wangmo
- Richard P. Brown, MD
- Joe Loizzo, MD, PhD
- Dr. Miles Neale
We love to end by asking what legacy means to you and the bigger vision you have for yourself and the mark you leave on the world. Thoughts?
I want to leave a trail of compassion, laughter, kindness, courage, beauty, forgiveness, and so much love.