Seeking (and Giving) Compassion while Managing Depression

When Sah D’Simone moved with his family from Brazil to Florida at the age of 16, it was the first time he had experienced debilitating depression. He eventually moved to LA and then to NYC, where he started a successful fashion magazine at just 23 years old. Less than three years later, Sah had a falling out with his business partner, and life as he knew it was gone. This period of his life was marked by the worst depression he had ever experienced, and it’s also when everything changed for him. Realizing he had to shift his mindset, Sah embarked on a journey of self-healing and self-love that ultimately led him to his career as a meditation teacher, author, coach, and speaker. On today’s episode, Sah and I talk about the pivotal moment when he realized that meditation had opened a door for him, why he’s passionate about making his practices accessible to marginalized communities, and how he manages his mental health on a daily basis (lately, with Whitney Houston as a key element).

“I was really at a point where I didn’t have a choice. It was either, I continued on the path of self-harm, or I chose self-love and self-healing.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS SAH AND I CHATTED ABOUT:

  • Starting a successful fashion magazine when he was 23 years old, and how it all fell apart

  • Why he feels a connection to his maternal grandmother, who also suffered from depression

  • His former coping mechanisms for depression: drugs, sex, alcohol, and shopping

  • His decision to travel to Berlin, and why it was hard to change his default mindset

  • The moment it became clear that he needed to explore the world of meditation further

  • His pivotal experience at a 30-day silent retreat in Nepal, and how it set him on his path

  • Why his daily practice is rooted in compassion--a concept that wasn’t always easy to grasp

  • The aspects of his practice that piqued his interest in contemplative psychotherapy

  • A key aspect of his work with clients: getting them to “unhook” from past and future stories

  • His mission to make spirituality sassy and attainable, and about relative truth vs. absolute

  • Why he sometimes felt unsafe in spaces that were homogeneously white and affluent  

  • How his queer and immigrant identities help him relate to communities who are marginalized

  • The process of writing his book, 5-Minute Daily Meditations: Instant Wisdom, Clarity, and Calm

“We need new faces in this space. And we also need the brown bodies and the queer bodies and the black bodies to know that they have someone they can talk to.

LISTEN HERE: ITUNES / SPOTIFY / STITCHER / GOOGLE PLAY / OVERCAST

Sah D'Simone