‘At 49 years old, most would call it a typical mid-life crisis; however mine was existential.
I remember sitting at my desk in my comfy corporate office when a wave of panic came over me. I realized I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. This was not the life I wanted.
I knew I was supposed to be doing something else – something that had meaning – in a business that valued purpose over profit. But, What? Where? How? I didn’t know what it was or how I would get there.
Swirling in my head were the lyrics from the Talking Heads song Letting the Days Go By:
And you may ask yourself:
“Am I right? Am I wrong?”
And you may say to yourself:
“My God! What have I done?”
Not long after this moment of self-realization, my mother, a vibrant 80 year old, died.
She had a massive stroke after having surgery that she hoped would finally free her from years of chronic pain. To this day, I believe her acute pain was not just aging – it was from living in our modern-day toxic environment: GMO’s, chemicals, plastic and acute stress.
That event forced me to shine the light on how I was living my life. If I died tomorrow, what would be my legacy? Was I thriving or just surviving? I had always been a seeker and had, for several years at this time, been on a spiritual path; yet, I still felt “dense”- that low vibration weighing down my body and my spirit.
I switched to a plant- based diet and turned to meditation and yoga to handle stress. I felt so much better, and I was eager to share what I was learning with others, so they, too, could thrive – not just survive. The problem was, few would listen. I realized what I was missing was community – conscious community.
One day, my soul sister who had been traveling the same mindful wellness path I was, introduced me to Mindful Market and the founder, Jim Kupczyk. I didn’t know anything about conscious commerce at the time. All I knew was this was the community I longed for: a place to find products that aligned with my values and support socially responsible, heart-centered businesses and individuals.
At that point Mindful Market was more a vision than an actual marketplace; but, Jim’s pure heart, positive energy and complete transparency made me a Believer. This was my place to serve. I was in!
Little did I know that small leap of faith would bring me closer to the life I really wanted: to meet my soulmate, quit my 9-5 and move to the beach.
At 55, I feel like my generation has been a large contributor to the social and environmental crises we are experiencing today. It’s not entirely our fault – we were just doing what we thought we were supposed to do – unaware of the consequences. Now, I’m looking at the faces of the next generation, asking: “How can we help?”
It’s never too late. Small conscious changes in our behaviors as consumers and business owners can still make a big impact on the world.
We can all do better, be better. Will you join me?’
Paige Baggett Riggins, Founder of The Beach Speaks
“Have you ever felt like you were losing your sense of purpose in life, while the world around you only got louder and more chaotic? Well that was me less than a year ago. As a millenial, I have grown up in a world of uncertainty, with messaging that only seems to provide reasons why we shouldn’t have hope. I felt forced to exist in a world that wasn’t heading in a positive direction and little understanding of how to change that.
The day I met the founder of Mindful Market, I found that hope again. Jim Kupczyk is a conscious entrepreneur from Buffalo, New York who had a dream to empower our world through consciousness. When I say consciousness, I don’t mean that we are all going to sit in a circle, sing “Kumbaya” and have all the answers, but the idea surrounding this word is about empowering, educating, and creating community around what we value, who we are, and who we support. Right now, it feels like this matters more than ever.
After years of searching, navigating, and fighting for a space to feel heard, seen, and valued as a young professional I met Jim and knew that his story, his path, and this idea for a conscious marketplace would change the world. We are here to touch lives in small and big ways, starting now.
This is the beginning of our story. We hope you will share it with the world.”
Kristen Gmerek, Conscious Marketing and Communications Director at Mindful Market
On February 22nd, 2020 Mindful Market will launch a Crowdfunding Campaign and we need your help to reach our goals. We are asking our generations to step up and take action in this movement any way they can.