"My focus on self-care allowed me to reflect and find my way out of a very dark place into something positive and fulfilling."
I grew up with a stay-at-home mom who always put her family’s needs before her own. She took in my grandma after her cancer surgery and single-handedly cared for her the next 12 years as my grandma’s Alzheimer’s went from bad to worse. Even though I saw my mom’s vitality deteriorating underneath the strain, she refused to take time for herself to recharge, hardwired by her sense of filial duty from her traditional Taiwanese upbringing. The day of my grandma’s funeral, my mom nearly collapsed from the built-up exhaustion. It was terrifying to witness and i couldn’t help but think, “What could I have said or done to force her to prioritize herself?”
As I reflect on my own life and behavioral patterns, I see that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, or to use a Chinese proverb – a tiger father begets a tiger son. I have a really hard time saying no to people. I suffer from workaholism, exacerbated by my imposter complex and constant feeling of inadequacy. I have a tendency to give so much of my time to everything demanding my attention, that there isn’t much left over for me.
I didn’t acknowledge this about myself until I started experiencing burnout from my career as an executive creative director at a digital marketing agency. I began feeling anxious all the time. I was short of breath every morning as I sat in LA morning rush hour traffic. I developed social anxiety and couldn’t find joy spending time with my friends because my mind was on work constantly. I became super impatient and short with my husband. The stress was starting to affect all areas of my life and it was getting worse by the day. I began a meditation practice to cope with the mounting anxiety. I devoured articles on nutrition, essential oils and soundbaths. I took Muay Thai and boxing classes. I ran. I soaked. I sheetmasked. I looked for inspiration in Japan’s onsen culture and calming shade-grown matcha in Uji, therapeutic minerals from the Dead Sea, adaptogenic herbs from a small farm in Kauai. Through this forced reprioritization of myself, I began to realize that my career was no longer serving me.
Leaving the security of a well-paid job was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make, but the epiphany I had that my sanity and happiness were at odds with my career made it non-negotiable. As I reflected on my mom’s caregiver burnout and my own career burnout, I started feeling a strong conviction to create a brand that supports women and encourages them to prioritize themselves with a self-care practice, inspired by the cultural wisdom I had been looking to for myself. My focus on self-care allowed me to reflect and find my way out of a very dark place into something positive and fulfilling. I’m experiencing a renewed sense of purpose, and I hope to inspire other women to discover their paths to fulfillment through the sharing of my personal journey.
Daughter of healers. Passion-seeker. Dog-mom.
"While I couldn’t fully appreciate my mom’s sacrifices growing up, I always knew our parents loved and supported us unconditionally. My mom is a natural born caretaker. She helped raise her 3 siblings growing up and later became an ER nurse where she met my dad. She is our rock, and always puts our family above all else. Several years ago, I remember she spent months caring for family in the children’s hospital and the ICU, followed by weeks with my grandmother in hospice care until she passed. The mental and physical strain of that year deteriorated my mom’s health, but we didn’t realize the full extent of her pain and exhaustion until it was all over."Learn more about Samantha