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Living freely and authentically, welcome to Grounded!

When I was in college, I remember daydreaming about a platform much like a magazine or a website that promoted authenticity. I can recall being very aware of the instant gratification culture that was growing, and noticing how image conscious we were all becoming.

Two years ago, I was able to move on this project, the catalyst being connecting with three amazing people, Andi, Nicole and Joseph whose stories you will find inside our blog. They were brave and courageous enough to share with me their adversities and turning points in their lives, and how they have made it through to the other side. I find it most refreshing when people are honest and real about themselves, and it is through authenticity that we can learn the most from one another.

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Grounded was built on the foundation to always keep people motivated and inspired. When the going gets tough, Grounded is meant to be a space to help you keep going. I learned that I was the type of person who has bouts of creativity and inspiration, but then I hit a wall and feel stuck. So when I need motivation, God always leads me to the different stories of the people, brands, projects and advocacies that would get me back on track.

This is what led me to Grounded. I suddenly felt like I had to tell stories. Stories that passed the surface of what we normally see. Stories that make us human and that make us relate and connect to each other. Personal stories, adversities, social issues, entrepreneurship, advocacies, creativity, spirituality- narratives healthy for our personal growth and development. Grounded is here to learn from each other and build a community that is encouraging and compassionate towards each other.

Which is why Grounded is a brand and community focused on wellness and the arts. It is my belief that creativity is something everyone harnesses, whether we function more on the left side of our brain or on the right. Something I’ve learned is that creativity is innate in nature. We are all creative and it is just a matter of tapping into it. Once tapped into the power of creativity it can be used for great things- expressing love, expressing ourselves, but one thing I find it is most beneficial for is that it is therapeutic.

Creative energy can heal. Teresa Herrera-Anthony, once told us that spirituality and creativity are two sides of the same coin. That really struck me and always stuck with me (you can hear more about this conversation on our podcast with Teresa!).

Creativity is found in everything, and it is where our potentials can be found. Which is why wellness and the arts, along with authenticity and self-love, is a cornerstone for Grounded. (Speaking of self-love, we also have a really great podcast with Dr. Lia Bernardo on self-love and psychoneurology.) Pursuing Grounded led me back to my old friends and college classmates Carina and Bianca. We were arts management students at the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, our alma mater. Grounded really grew wings with these two on board.

Bianca’s enthusiasm for life is an absolute joy to watch and be around. She always amazes me with how devoted she is, whether it be to her work, her music, her husband or her friends and family, or even her cats! To me, Bianca exhibits devotion beautifully. She and I have always connected on a psychic level, and because of all this, operating grounded with her just felt right. It just clicks, and she has worked her magic so well on our projects.

What I love about Carina is her classic style, attention to detail, and her love for service. Her chic and savvy ways of operating and managing always pull us through to the finish line. Carina and I are both moms, and we both strive to have a holistic family life without losing our sense of self (and style)! I know the mothers out there can absolutely relate. We see you. Being able to connect with both Carina and Bianca on a regular basis, and calling them my partners has been one of the biggest blessings in this journey so far.

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These past two years, we have recorded and edited podcasts, produced video and photo shoots, organized workshops and art exhibitions, and put our art management skills in consultancy projects. Alongside that, we have collaborated with the most amazing groups of people, which is one of the things we love most about working for Grounded. Us three are always trying to learn more and find out what we can share next with our friends and families. Now we find ourselves putting our heads (and hearts) together to present this website to our community in the most authentic way possible.

Preparing the Grounded website at a time of a global pandemic and a community quarantine has felt very relevant for us. The lockdown has been challenging for all of us, to say the least, but I can see the best it has brought out in us. This whole experience has really pushed us past our limits and outside of our comfort zones. These days, I’ve noticed that more of us are coming from a place of love and gratitude, which has been triumphantly shining through past our image-concerned selves. It took a global crisis for us to start waking up, but what is beautiful about it is that we are united in this.

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I wrote the first half of this article the other month, before hearing about the death of George Floyd, before the protests and violence in the US, and before the anti-terrorism bill was brought to light here in the Philippines. Current events are at the forefront of our daily lives. There is a domino effect of what is going on in the world, and I think now more than ever, kindness and compassion towards each other and ourselves is what will help us navigate our way through this confusing season in our lives.

Let’s stay grounded, and connect with ourselves and what we hold to be true in our hearts. Take action to what you feel to be right, and fight for what you believe in. Let the domino effect be positive.

I am so excited to cultivate community with you guys, open conversation, and shine the spotlight on people and stories that deserve standing ovations. Because all of us, ladies and gents, have our own stories to tell and I can’t wait to hear yours.

I hope that you will find that Grounded is a lifestyle of creating a safe space that will always keep you inspired!

Sending lots of love,

Marika