Many people start questioning because they experience a tragedy or some unfortunate life changing event. That was not the case for me; it was the realization that I was not satisfied with my life even if I had achieved everything I thought would make me happy.
Here I was, a 37 year old immigrant who had left Romania over a decade previously, had changed countries every couple of years, had achieved my educational and work goals (I had finished my PhD and was working as an academic researcher in California), was financially comfortable, and had a beautiful and loving family.
I had all that and more and yet I could not shake the feeling that something crucial was missing. Even if it made me feel ungrateful for all the blessings in my life, I found myself thinking ‘Is this it?’ and I realized that I needed to make some changes.
I started – like the rational and practical person I thought I was – with what I could most easily change, my job. After a couple of months of job searching, I realized that there was no use getting a similar job, that instead I had to find the work that was truly meaningful to me. I knew that it was pointless to look for jobs that most people consider ‘meaningful’ because I already had a generally agreed-upon ‘meaningful’ job: I had been working in public health research with vulnerable populations I cared about.
I needed to find the work that was meaningful to me. However simple and obvious that might sound to other people, for some reason that was no small task for me. I had plenty of interests and causes I cared about – seemingly too many – but that only made me feel more confused about what I should focus on. This led me on a journey looking for my purpose, for the work that I was meant to do.
This journey often took unexpected turns and brought me gifts beyond what I had asked for. I was blessed to have enough resources and family support to be able to dive deep and dedicate much of my time and effort to my pursuit: I read books after books; I used numerous tools (such as meditation, yoga, breathwork, journaling, astrological readings, energy healing sessions), I saw a spiritual guide regularly, I ultimately quit my comfortable job to make space in my life for new beginnings, and I embarked on a 6-week process including workshops and ending with a weeklong silent solitary retreat.
This journey dramatically changed my life and that of my family, as it brought a lot of change for all of us. However, with every book, podcast, energy session and retreat, I became more self aware and more in touch with pieces of myself that I had forgotten or intentionally hidden from myself: my creativity, intuition, sensitivity, connection with nature and people around me.
Because I was constantly exploring new resources, I often found myself frustrated by the fact that there was no online space where I could get a sense of all my options, read reviews I could trust written by people who had used them and found them helpful, so that I can make informed decisions about what resources to try next. This frustration soon turned into desire to do something about it.
Because I could not possibly try and review all existing resources, I knew that such a space could only exist if we all came together and shared our knowledge and experience, I knew it had to be a collective effort. Seekers Collective was born soon after, with the help of my friend Melissa. In a short period of time, the vision of Seekers Collective’s mission further clarified: to be a space where seekers can help each other on their personal journeys, by sharing resources, stories and inspiration. Within weeks, we had a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for website development. In the months that followed, Kat, Alex, Sheri and Cavan joined the team; we came together organically, inspired by a shared vision for Seekers Collective.
The collective’s mission mirrors my personal purpose to help facilitate people’s journey towards their true selves. Shepherding this collective is how I think I can best do this right now.