Groundswell - A place to just be

Sandy Hwang embarked on a journey with Groundswell this year and found the alternative aspect of this business school along the way.

I signed up for Groundswell in hopes of ending my 5 year-long quarter life crisis, to figure out what the heck it is that I want to do when I “grow up”.  Little did I know, that during the course of a few short months, I would be dealing with one personal crisis after another, till I was completely burnt out at the start of this winter.

When things outside of my control kept taking away my energy from working on my project, I became very frustrated with myself-frustrated that I could not spend time on validating my ideas, stressed out when I was falling further and further behind my peers as they made progress with their ventures.

However, Groundswell has created a safe space for me to simply just be.  It is a space where not only are we coached with our business ideas, but also a place that allows us to grow personally, in our own pace, in our own way.  

Upon further reflection in the week leading up to the gala, I have realized that as frustrated as I was, I have gained a lot.  I have learned that it is ok to not have it all together sometimes.  I have learned to remind myself that I am doing the best that I can, with the resources that I have, and that there are certain things I have to let go.  I have learned that no matter what I do, self-care should be my number one priority.  For me, this is a lot easier said than done, but I am committed to consciously work on practicing self-care.

At the end of the Groundswell kick-off weekend in September, we were asked to complete 4 phrases on how we were feeling at that moment and this was what I wrote then:

I came to Groundswell and knocked on the door with humility,
I was received with open hearts,
I feasted on a sense of peace and equanimity,
I walked out feeling that I belonged.

The sense of belonging I felt that weekend only grew as the program progressed.  If I were to sum up what I have experienced here at Groundswell in one single word, it would be gratitude.  The 6 months of being in this program coincided with the toughest 6 months of my life and at times, it felt like I could not continue on.  However, every time I step foot in Groundswell, I am received with warmth and kindness, and I leave feeling more grounded than when I had arrived.  I didn’t just find a community here, I found a new family and I am more motivated now than ever, to build a community, by harvesting the energy of like-minded people, to move my cause forward.  

I want to thank all of the facilitators and all of my friends in cohort 3.  Thank you for walking beside me in my journey of self-discovery, for reaching out when I felt like I have fallen into the abyss, for providing me with the support that I needed to learn to stand up again after I have fallen.  I am definitely still a work in progress in terms of where I want to be, but I know I am on the right track.  I plan on acting like a rubber ball, the harder I am hit, the higher I will bounce.  

As we geared up for the gala, we were reminded that this isn’t the end of Groundswell for us.  We are closing one chapter in our journey of life-long learning and embarking on our respective ventures; this is truly just the beginning.  So watch out world, here we come!