The Story. The Voice. The Book.
How Thrive inspired me to create a startup to help heal the world.
One thing I know for sure is that we all have many stories. And sometimes it's the stories of disappointments and failures that can lead to a profound transformation in our lives - they can open the path to healing and begin the quest for personal and spiritual fulfillment.
This particular story that I'm about to share has a lot of meaning for me. It was through my journey as a female entrepreneur in Silicon Valley where I succeeded, failed and completely transformed myself.
It's where I became fully aware of the synchronicity of a story, a voice and a book, and how they intertwined with one another to inspire me to create a startup to help heal the world.
In December 2011, at the age of 39, I hit a wall.
It was the Big Kahuna.
I called it that because I couldn't bounce back like I had done so many times before. This time it felt like I was glued on with gorilla strength super glue.
At the time, I was living in San Francisco and running a successful business that I had founded a few years before.
But, I was burned out from my work. I was completely exhausted, empty, lonely, depressed, becoming way too OCD, and just feeling lost. I couldn't even connect with God at this point because I couldn't connect with myself.
Although my business was successful, I wasn't showing any signs of "success". Instead, my business was taking over my personal life and running me instead of me running my business.
Here's the other piece to top it all off.
There was all this emotional "stuff" that I'd neatly tucked away because I didn't make time to deal with it.
This time around when I tried to press the snooze button, it didn't work. All of a sudden all that "stuff" I had tucked away came crashing right back at me.
Yes, it was the Big Kahuna (call it what you want) and the universe was calling out - IT'S TIME.
I met a friend for dinner soon after, and when he asked how I was doing, I spoke the truth, tears and all. He recommended a place in Sedona where I could take care of myself and start the healing process.
You know what I said? "I don't have time!"
I quickly learned that I was running myself ragged and hiding behind my work because I just didn't want to deal with that "stuff."
But, with the insistence from my friend and my family, who were also witnesses to my Big Kahuna and were (rightly) very worried about me, I got on a plane a week later and arrived at the Sanctuary, a healing treatment center in Sedona.
Once there, I completely surrendered because I was ready to let go, heal and connect with myself again.
I stayed for 14 days.
My time at the Sanctuary warrants its own post, so I'll save that for another time. But, what I can say is that it was one of the most healing and transformational periods in my life.
Fast forward 3 years to mid-January of this year.
I hadn't been getting the traction I needed for my startup in San Francisco that I had launched a year earlier. I needed seed funding and technical help to build a team and grow the platform.
I was a one-woman show wearing all the hats except for coding. I knew I needed to pivot, but I wasn't quite sure which direction I wanted to take.
I had several ideas, but they just didn't feel right. I knew I wanted to serve a bigger purpose in the world, but I didn't know what or how until I heard the "voice".
One day, I was driving through Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles and this loud voice spoke to me as if someone was sitting in my passenger seat.
"You need to change your platform and bring the healers of the world together."
"You need to go back to Sedona."
I paid attention. It was so loud and clear that within a week, I was back at the Sanctuary without hesitation.
During that visit, I knew I was onto something big.
Shortly before I'd left for the Sanctuary the second time around, my startup attorney (Kristine Di Bacco of Fenwick & West LLP) had given me a very special Christmas gift - Arianna Huffington's book Thrive.
When packing for the Sanctuary, I had casually thrown it into my suitcase without much thought.
Then, with some downtime in Sedona, I started reading it.
I couldn't put Thrive down.
I kept reading and rereading it. I took out my highlighter and started marking up the pages.
I was entrenched in Arianna's story, the stories she had from so many others, and the amount of research she provided in her book.
It showed me that there is a greater problem we all face and that stress, depression, and sleep deprivation are worldwide epidemics.
We as a global community need to step up and advocate wellness for all people.
It was in Sedona, in the healing environment of the Sanctuary, while reading Thrive, that the foundation of my new startup was developed.
When I got back to Los Angeles, I continued doing research on the wellness industry, but Thrive became my most valuable resource.
This created the synchronicity with the story and the voice to start living my life's purpose by helping people rethink the social and work pressures of society and reconnect with themselves on the quest for personal and spiritual fulfillment.
I decided to build a digital platform to enable all of this healing - I've called it BeOne.
Today, I may be still a one-woman team, but that isn't stopping me from putting the foundation into place to create a platform that empowers, enriches, educates, and improves the quality of life for everyone.
Having a single platform where we connect with the healers of the world (wellness practitioners), share our stories as a global community, and share wellness resources gives us the ability to grow and heal.
We can reconnect and create our own definition of success. It is through sharing our stories that we can heal ourselves and help heal the world.
Together we can Thrive and BeOne.