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Alignment + Authenticity: Takeaways from September’s LAB Talk


On a sunny fall morning, we gathered at Glass House to host an event we haven’t hosted in over two years. LAB Talks are back and better than ever! With Acorn Coffee Club serving their favorite blend and cookies courtesy of Junita’s Jar, guests settled in alongside The Makery’s breathtaking paper floral installation for connection and community.

With a panel of entrepreneurs and experts, we discussed how to channel your passions into purpose and what it takes to make the leap toward what you love. How does this look different post-pandemic? Where do we even start on a path toward alignment?

Kate Arends of Wit + Delight moderated our panel, which was a perfect fit with the blog’s September theme to show up as yourself. One of the questions she posed was to consistently ask herself, “What do you need most right now?”

Oftentimes when the season changes and our schedules fill, it’s easy to shift into auto-pilot mode without taking the time to get in touch with what you’re actually thinking, feeling, or needing. Our team loved this question and found ourselves asking it frequently throughout the month as we planned our FLOURISH event series.

It’s also how we started our panel. Kate began by asking a simple question to each panelist, “What do you need most right now?”

It was a small opening, but all it took to crack open a discussion of vulnerability, taking chances, and thriving amidst change. Here are a few key takeaways that kept us thinking long after our conversation ended.

Saying no can lead to a deeper yes.

Meredith Neumann, the founder of Scaling Within, shared this idea as a way to embrace the idea that tomorrow truly is a mystery. Sometimes saying no feels difficult, but it’s actually paving the way for something that is more deeply aligned with your passions and interests. Meredith reminded us to “Say YES to whatever is inside of you to bring to the world because it is absolutely a gift to others!”

We all have a unique set of talents and perspectives that we can offer to the world. Learning how to embrace these instead of what you believe is expected of you is the first step to becoming a more aligned version of yourself.

Instead of asking, “Why me?” reframe your perspective to consider, “Why not me?”

Jason Berke, the Founder and Atmospherist behind Warmhouse Story, brought this fresh perspective to our conversation. After feeling frustrated with the challenges in front of him and asking, “Why me?” he had an epiphany–why not me?

Jason left behind a successful career in product design at Target to start his own business with a design aesthetic completely his own. He shared how shifting his perspective allowed him to think bigger and truly consider the possibilities beyond the comfort of his more conventional work. Outside of his metaphorical window was an entire sky of possibilities.

Listen to your body first, and pay attention to desire lines.

Dr. Anna Roth, holistic psychologist and yoga instructor, shared how she oftentimes listens primarily to her body in decision-making before factoring in her thoughts. Not only does she make an active effort to connect her body and mind on a regular basis, but she explained the idea of following “desire lines” in the process.

Desire lines refer to following a path of what you feel called toward instead of what your brain is conditioned to do. Identifying the difference between these two is often physical–which feels the most at peace in your body? Dr. Anna recommended connecting with the physical feelings that come along with a decision. Which one feels peaceful and secure?

As I chatted with fellow attendees after the conversation, we agreed that we wanted more. More of this feeling, more of this mindset, and more authentic connections. Once the panelists became vulnerable, it allowed us all to do the same. I felt a collective exhale in the room as we all reminded ourselves of what brought us here, and what could be in store for our future.

For the rest of the morning, Glass House opened its lounge space for a day of coworking and connection. With coffee flowing and conversations sparked, it was the perfect way to welcome LAB Talks back to the scene.

To learn more about our FLOURISH Event series, click here.

Emma is a writer living in Minneapolis. When she’s not checking out a new brewery with friends or blasting Taylor Swift in her car, you can find her dreaming up ideas as the Brand + Editorial Manager at LAB.