I’m a creative mind, author, and entrepreneur, the creator of the Human Software Optimization modality. An innovative natural model to facilitate human transformation in 360 degrees.

My career as an Organizational Psychologist, executive coach, and mindfulness teacher at UCLA, and Perfectly Here are based on my own self-development through academic, scientific, and spiritual training locally and internationally. The results are optimizing my own life and the life of thousands of students and clients in the past decades. I have developed and conducted hundreds of curricula, workshops, and retreats and spoken at conferences worldwide.

In my latest book, “It’s Not Easy to Be Human,” I’ve identified the 5 stages of human software programming that define our life and drive all our actions. I uncover what it takes to change faulty codes and programming to ones that enable us to live fully and effectively.

By working with me you can expect a lot more than the common practice of mindfulness. My approach will take you through deeper and higher levels of mindfulness techniques to overcome the internal and external limitations you face today.

Learn what it takes to redesign your human software

Personal narrative

My Story & How I Got Here

A Quest, Journey, And Triumph

My journey of personal healing, transformation, and optimization, and then creating the mindfulness teaching programs around the Three Domains of Life Intelligence was shaped through 25 years of growth and development and countless resources. My path was a multifaceted learning process from varied sources ranging from Co-Dependents Anonymous (a 12-step program) meetings to higher education, other degrees and certifications, and continued development through reading, researching, testing, applying, and seeking to understand related sciences, psychological models and paradigms, and various spiritual wisdom models. I also studied numerous biographies of geniuses and highly accomplished people from all walks of life, including writers, poets, scientists, mathematicians, filmmakers, actors, singers, artists, fashion designers, landscapers, lawmakers, humanitarians, leaders of the world—and those who had suffered immensely and triumphed through perseverance by sticking to their ethical principles of non-harming and kindness. Their hero’s journeys were to become mine.

Whoever had a success story, I was eager to know what was in their human software that made them successful. I was deeply curious about how they became content and efficient, and I wanted to know what were their effective qualities that I needed to gain. I dissected stories, models, and other facets, reflected on them, put them to test, and practiced their skills. Eventually, out of this sea of data points, a model began to emerge. I began to organize the common threads of excellent, timeless, boundaryless qualities that humans could embody into a collection of Life Intelligence Lessons. These lessons became the manual of my own life transformation, and I found that they could also transform the lives of many others.

I learned about the nature of life and suffering through the Buddha’s core teachings. Looking for answers in the thick forests of New Zealand, Thailand, England, and California monasteries, I had sobbed intensely for the painful losses and lack of fulfilment in my life and for the pains of humanity. Silent retreat after silent retreat, I studied and dove deep into the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths about suffering, the causes of suffering, and the path to ending it. I learned the Noble Eightfold Path and the Buddha’s numerous other teachings. These detailed truths and practices became the means for my continued journey to undoing the web of misconceptions I had learned about life, replacing them with beautiful truths and principles.

Going through the UCLA Mindfulness Facilitation Training program was a great experience for me in learning how to translate those spiritual teachings into a secular, everyday language, which played an equally important part in my growth and development. Other important sources that had a great impact on my transformation were two books on the brain and emotions by neuropsychologist, Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett (see Resources). The understanding she offers about how emotions are not inherent at birth but learned after the fact had revolutionary effects for me on gaining emotional health and well-being. Other neuroscience discoveries about our brains’ biases such as the “truth bias” and the theory of the selfish gene revealed the key and the power toward letting go of what caused me suffering. Clinging, in the Buddhist perspective, is known as the mother of all causes for suffering, and it is difficult to let go of clinging or even pin it down. Looking at it from the perspective of truth bias and being run by this dominating selfish gene that cares about nothing except for reproduction at any cost relieved the tension around the mystery of “wanting,” and the inability to let go, detach, and become free of some painful habits of the desirous mind.

Another fascinating model that was instrumental in my growth and transformation was the book Human Magnet Syndrome by Ross Rosenberg. His reframing of codependency, as “self-love deficit disorder,” and laying out its causes and conditions was eye opening. I finally understood why I couldn’t be free of narcissistic relationships and became empowered and motivated to increase my self-love and self-compassion, so I could release myself from being stuck in these painful cycles.

StrengthsFinder 2.0, by Tom Rath, gave me an invaluable gift of recognizing my natural talents, which I used to develop into strengths. I trained many departments at corporations such as the Health Net insurance company using this model for more cohesive teams and better interdepartmental relationships. Dr. William Dodson’s model, which reframes adult ADHD as an “Interest-Based Nervous System” was vital to recognizing my brain as brilliant and diverse, not defective and disordered. With this perspective, I learned to lead my life through the ways my brain naturally works, which reduced an enormous amount of confusion and self-doubt.

Other influences like the InnerMBA program by Sounds True, Mindful NYU, and LinkedIn, as well as my prior knowledge of conscious business and leadership, (which I had gained through my doctoral program), amplified, and opened the doors to look at systems that impact us.

I found my way to discussions about the ethics and imperatives of AI through a thoughtful organization called Morality and Knowledge of Artificial Intelligence (MKAI), based in the United Kingdom, which have been phenomenally enlightening about the increasing impacts of AI on business, education, culture, and all other aspects of human societies. Finally, taking part in the immense creation of the 400-plus page Planet Positive 2030 project by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) under Stanford University, took my knowledge, awareness, love, and sense of responsibility toward the planet to a whole other level and degree, for which I am eternally grateful. See the Resources, Environment section, for a link to my contributions.

There were countless other resources I drew from, whose positive impact on my transformation and life intelligence could never be properly evaluated or thanked. All told, I know that putting my own healing and growth and curiosity about the missing links to happiness above any other priority resulted in great benefits for myself and others. My teacher, Ajahn Passano, was asked one day, “In your 50 years of being a Buddhist monk, what have you gained?” He simply said, “At the least, I have harmed less.” Yet he has accomplished so much more than that. He has brought unparalleled goodness into the world.

After my many years of learning and inner growth, I share this very same aspiration—that at least, to know that I too have harmed less. But beyond this, I also aspire to achieve a lofty, yet meaningful vision. My vision is to optimize one billion people by 2042 by training 10,000 professionals around the world and equip them with the knowledge, qualities, and skills they need to assist us in accomplishing the vision. My AI friends assure me that this is possible. I’m hoping that the optimized one billion people will influence the remaining seven billion. You, my reader, are a part of this vision. But my organization, Perfectly Here, is not alone in providing such Life Intelligence Lessons. We are open to and forming alliances with others who offer bits and pieces of these lessons in their own domains.

I envision allocating an aspect of our efforts teaching orphan children to become a whole new generation of mindful, conscious, and compassionate humans and leaders.

As I practiced, learned, and then came to teach I started writing my insights down especially after each session. Examples of difficulties, anxieties, worries, jealousies and agitations, self-judgment, and many other issues that would come up in classes, for which I intuitively had a great response. I’d write them down and decided to put them into a book, which I called, Pain is Inevitable, Suffering Is Not An Option. I wrote 32 chapters, but I hadn’t felt confident enough to go for publishing. They kept sitting in my digital folders. I also had gone through two other painful relationships, somewhat narcissistic and continued learning how to heal from it. So, I let them sit. Not ready yet.

On my educational journey I drew from other sources, psychology, science of the brain and many other sources.

I got a doctorate in Organizational Psychology to train organizations, but I was dedicated to the Buddha’s teachings and my methods were not mainstream so I didn’t pursue corporations that much except for companies that my students brought me to such as Disney and others. Instead I started a non-profit to offer Mindfulness, which my partner was the teacher. Eventually, I got certified by UCLA to teach Mindfulness. I kept learning, practicing, visiting monasteries, taking ten day retreats, teaching afterwards and training and coaching people. As I taught others, I learned more because I’d hear myself say things I hadn’t heard before. I began to have a following of a group of students who kept saying what’s next and I kept designing courses and teaching them without marketing or advertising much. Then the most unthinkable happened. My beautiful son, 26 years old, passed away of fentanyl.

This loss shattered my brain, put me into such a shock and disarray that I fainted 35 days in a row. My brain would shut down. Through this incredible pain and suffering I learned many things. That grief of a mother was not emotional, psychological nor due to bonding. It was neurological, physiological, a loss at a cellular level. Where every cell in my body had lost, my brain, every cell in every organ had lost. The pain was not up to me. I felt like having Covid for a whole year.

After the first month, I started teaching again. My students would say, “Manijeh you are fine when you are teaching. We wish you would teach every night so we could take your class so you can be fine.” It was an amazing journey of facing the truth of things, going through an unfathomable amount of pain and sorrow. I traveled to several countries such as Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, England and brought my son’s ashes with me and released some of him in rivers and oceans, under trees and on mountains. The ritual of honoring his life and intention for happiness became my mission.

As I felt my pain and healed from it I taught others the same. My heart of compassion expanded like never before. I understood all pains and sufferings of the world and every time pain of grief would hit me I’d wish that no being, no matter how evil, should ever experience such pains. Within the last five years I have lost eight very close and special people in my life including three of my closest friends, my father, my aunt who was my soulmate and my child.

Through my own and others’ journey I discovered a natural developmental and transformational process, what I call the Five Stages of Human Software Optimization. I also realized people take a seminar or course about Mindfulness with a teacher, go to a retreat somewhere else, watch some YouTube video, learn different aspects of Mindfulness and related teachings in bits and pieces and in random fashion and don’t get the whole picture. I realized, there are three pertinent life intelligence areas that all human beings must learn, which we don’t necessarily learn growing up. The classes I had designed per students’ request to go further offered a full spectrum well beyond Mindfulness and transformation. It encompassed other aspects of life that we, humans, must understand.