Making the Brand with Chervin Jafarieh, Part One: The Journey
Wellness, peace, environmental consciousness: These are three core tenets which Chervin Jafarieh embraces. The founder of Cymbiotika and wellness industry
Wellness, peace, environmental consciousness: These are three core tenets which Chervin Jafarieh embraces. The founder of Cymbiotika and wellness industry superstar walked a long path to get to where he is now. CELEB sat down with Jafarieh to ask about his life, and what his path looked like. From roots in Iran and a childhood spent frolicking among the waves, Jafarieh shares what made him who he is.
“I was born in the early ’80’s in San Diego, California. Not far from where we are now.” Jafarieh recounts, eyes gazing back through history. “My parents were immigrants from Iran, and they had been in America since 1970. They came here for school. My dad went to Utah State, and got his master’s degree in accounting.”
Soon, the family of two grew as they put down roots in America. “They had my sister in 1975, she’s 5 years older than I am. I was born in the Summer of 1980. I grew up as an American, I didn’t know myself to be anything different. I knew my parents were different, but I was in American schools, doing American things.”
But Jafarieh was never the type of child to sit still and stare at a TV screen, he always wanted to be exploring and experiencing. “I was constantly in movement. Any kind of movement. I was climbing trees, like a monkey running around. Interestingly enough, I was born as a monkey under the Chinese Zodiac. I’m actually a golden monkey, which is very interesting. If you get into astrology, there’s a deep connection.”
Jafarieh recounts how that desire to move sometimes led to mischief; “I was a curious kid, mischievous and always getting into some kind of trouble to a certain degree. I always wanted to go to the edge, there was a thrill for me.”
And in that space of exploration and growth, Jafarieh was bracketed by love from his parents, whose personalities were polar opposites and helped give the young boy boundaries to thrive within. “My father was one of the most calming templates of my life. He was a very neutral, pragmatic being. I knew from a really young age that he was a safe space for me. His polarity, the polarity between my mother and him really signified that safe place because my mom is the polar opposite. She was fire. A fire template. She is a Leo sign, a lioness. And for better or for worse, she was fierce.”
That ferocity helped drive Jafarieh. From the safe, steady, calming influence of his father to the glowing ember of his mother’s spirit, Jafarieh felt urged on to the next great thing in his life. “My mom was my driving force to become something in this world, and my dad was so supportive of everything. He was water, and she was definitely energetically the masculine force.”
While Jafarieh knows his mom is a Leo, there’s some question about his father’s sign, because there’s some question about his father’s birth date. “My dad is a Gemini, but that’s up for debate because there’s a mystery about his birthday. My dad took on the identity of his brother who died at 14 months. It’s something they did in Iran. It’s a little bit vague with his exact birthday. It’s either July 15th or June 1st, so it’s a little bit confusing but that’s a whole other story.”
Jafarieh spoke in wondering tones about the revelation that his father’s identity was not what he assumed. Rooted in history, identity, and connection with that identity, Jafarieh’s perception was shaken by what his father shared about his birth circumstance. “It was very nonchalant for him to tell that story, but for me it caused a lot of charge in me. That’s a big deal on a karmic level. What soul – did it fully incarnate in my uncle and they just took upon my father? So it’s a trip. These things were common, his parents just didn’t want to go and do all the paperwork. I was just like, ‘what?!’ His name is Mostafa, and it means, ‘the chosen one.’ It’s just a whole trip.”
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But despite the fact that his parents were the rock and the match that formed the bedrock of Jafarieh’s launch into the stratosphere, things weren’t always peaceful or perfect. “My mom was an entrepreneur who came from a wealthy family in Iran. My dad came from an upper middle-class family, and he was a CPA. So there was a bit of that dynamic that comes between someone who’s a nine to five guy versus someone who grew up extremely wealthy and wants to enterprise. So I had an entrepreneurial mother and a hard-working father; my sister was a blend of both. I think energetically I was more like my mom. That was always said: you’re like your mother. I took that on the chin, and I don’t know if I really liked it but I did. I had a lot of conflict growing up with my mom because she was so animated.
There was a lot of turmoil from my point of view because she was always yelling in Farsi – our native language – and she was very, very emotional. I had to block that out as a kid. My dad wasn’t confrontational, so he just would take it and leave and I’d go with him. That’s kind of the source of my dynamic and trauma, some of the stuff I’ve been healing from through different areas of healing and methodologies.”
But there were moments of pure joy in his childhood as well; “I grew up on the beach. I was surfing, body surfing; I was a water baby, on the ocean all the time. I was very connected to the spirit of the ocean, it was my refuge. I remember thinking from a very young age that I just wanted to be heard, and prove to myself that I’m here for a reason. At a young age, I decided I wanted to be an athlete. I wanted to be the best athlete. I played every sport you can imagine. I started club soccer at seven and by the time I was nine, I was one of the top players in the junior divisions.”
Learning About the Truth Behind it All
Jafarieh’s parents never intended to stay in the United States. They planned to get an education and return to Iran, but then the revolution took off. Although Jafarieh had nothing to do with what was happening in Iran, Americans didn’t see a difference. “I’m Persian. But around the time of Desert Storm, I faced persecution from my peers. I looked like an American kid, but I remember getting sh–. And I remember despising where I came from. But it was a short stint.”
Eventually, Jafarieh saw people’s enmity as their own burden and embraced his culture.
“When I was younger, around 10, my cousin started mentoring me. He had a very strong background in Ayurveda, traditional Chinese herbal medicine, permaculture, biodynamic farming with a focus on the importance of healthy soil, and most subjects related to health and longevity. He’s 11 years older than I am, so that was right around the time he was having his breakthrough. He was teaching me about geometry in the most beautiful way in terms of sacred geometry. He was teaching me about proper nutrition, very different from that of the Standard American Diet, about our financial systems and many deep philosophies that most adults don’t even learn. So I’m here, this surfer kid with Persian parents, getting in trouble every day, becoming quickly immersed in a magical world; discovering that life has much more meaning than what’s on the surface or what we are told. That shaped my life, I grew up quickly. I was already an old soul.
I was also learning about what happened with Iran and the revolution, along with foreign policy. I learned how corrupt the world is, going after people’ sovereignty, their money, their resources and pigeonholing people to rely on the system to save them. I decided early on that a part of my destiny was to fight this injustice”
Through the Death Portal
Jafarieh spent the next few years learning about the truth behind the world, immersing himself in the Waldorf principles of education. His parents didn’t really understand what he was going through, and at one point Jafarieh felt like he fell down the rabbit hole of becoming a doomsday prepper in a way, with more militant aspirations than spiritual. “I went to San Diego for college, and dropped out after less than a year because I decided it was complete bullsh–. I was going crazy at this time in my life, doing things like a materialist does. I have no shame in that. I had the experience that I moved to Hollywood and lived in that scene for at least two years. I did events, after hours stuff like that, crazy sh– on the side. But around 24, I had a heart to heart with my dad and it left a very strong impression on me. I realized I needed to go into a different phase in my life. So I went to Maui, and stayed there for a few weeks, and there I saw a vision of what I wanted to do. I wanted to get into finance. I was always a dreamer, I wanted to take the elevator to success instead of the stairs, but I had the wherewithal to do that. So I returned from Maui, and a year later I went into private equity; commercial real estate lending. I got my license, and within a year I had built an impressive portfolio. At 28, I met my eventual business partner, Nicole, and we started a company called Black Diamond Group.”
It was during Jafarieh’s time at Black Diamond Group that he went through something called going through the “death portal,” and it forever changed the course of his future.
CELEB continues Jafarieh’s captivating story next Friday.