I am Joni, the owner of Puremedy, INC and this is my very first blog post. I am super excited to start writing and to have an even deeper and more connected relationship with everyone who uses my ancestors medicine. Follow my blog if you are just interested in reading about my products, natural medicine, its history as well as its modern relevance, its challenges and its victories, stories and testimonials, clinical studies, laboratory science, and much more. I intend to share about a broad array of topics I deal with as the owner of a natural products company from how the FDA produces challenges as well as where they support natural medicine, to personal and intimate looks into the life of a mission driven entrepreneur.
This first post explores a recent revelation that came to me during a pre-dawn walk overlooking the ocean in Malibu. It’s more of a short story about how I came to the decision to turn my for profit S. Corp into a Non-Profit company to benefit Native American Education and Health Services. This is a very personal look into my life and one that I would like to share with you. It’s called “The Promise of a New Day”. These words are ripped directly from my journal this morning.
7:15 am… “The Promise of a New Day”.
I woke up a few hours ago at 3:47 am wide awake. After staring at the ceiling I watched a 2 part episode of West Wing, where Josh Lyman got shot. Just as I was getting sleepy and starting to drift off again, Jackson came back in the room. He’d gone into the living room to sleep when I turned on WW. Laying here, listening to his sweet paws tap on the marble floor as he made his way into my room made my heart just sing. He rubbed his furry head against my bed with a big smile, cajoling me out of my deep slumber and out for his morning walk. Potty time. I couldn’t help but give him a big smile back as I said, “It’s so easy to get out of bed when you have a big handsome man leading the way”.
With a groggy body and heavy eyes I slipped into my jeans that were on the floor from the night before, then the shirt, then the socks… “I’m coming sweetheart, hold on!” Then the boots… As I grabbed the leash from the closet his entire body wagged with that great big smile looking up at me and the door interchangeably, a thought came to me… Everything feels so easy this morning. Something is different. I put his leash on and sort of floated down the stairs behind Jackson, shaking off the cobwebs, and continued the thought, even walking feels easier somehow. As we approached the gate, I let him run off leash as the glorious dark morning began to come into focus. I found myself on a grassy overlook, Jackson sniffing around and doing his thing, as I continued to gaze out at the dark opal blue glistening calm ocean, the sky meeting it with glowing brilliant hues of orange transmuting up to blue, then fading to black. The lone light in the sky, a quarter moon set perfectly perched off to the side, seemed to be enjoying the spectacular site just as I was. The sun was beginning to announce his impending arrival, and the moon – she was patiently awaiting his return.
And I smiled. I smiled quite literally from my heart. It was as natural as breathing, and as involuntary. I breathed in deeply, and thought… a new day. I breathed in again with a deep exhale and abiding smile and declared out loud, “The Promise of a New Day”. Yes, I thought as I began to ponder the contentious election, literally spending inauguration day in the ER convinced I was having a heart attack (the doctor said he’d seen dozens like me that day). Though even recounting these tough memories, my smile remained as a loyal friend would. Yes, something was different. I felt different somehow.
As I continued to gaze out into this masterpiece of a pre-dawn moving painting, the world around me began to consider waking up. Birds dancing past, courting and singing for each other, a few scattered lights beginning to turn on in the quaint cottages below on the beach, I quite inexplicably felt a sense of joy. Deepjoy. A feeling I don’t recall ever experiencing quite in this way. The tension in my body seemed to be gone. “This must be a result of all the work I’ve been doing with Shari” I posited to myself. I felt a deep letting go. My smile softly grew as I repeated aloud, “the promise of a new day”.
The orange sky began to slowly brighten and come to life. The moon was also smiling, eagerly awaiting her true love, who would always remain just barely out of reach. And yet she smiles – hopeful about the promise of a new day. And I smile as a feeling of bliss literally pours through my body yet I feel deeply connected to the earth. Something in the brilliant orange sky seemed almost to want to speak to me. As I became somewhat hypnotized by the energy of the light it appeared to me to begin moving around like a lava lamp. What happened next I cannot explain.
An idea just “came” to me as if delivered from the light itself. It was simple, yet revolutionary. Turn my for profit S. Corp into a Non-Profit Company. Immediately my shoulders dropped, I grinned ear to ear and was filled with absolute joy. Suddenly all the pieces of my life began to literally fall into place. (As I write this, “Can’t buy me love” entertains me in my brain). The oddities of me began to make sense. How I have never been motivated by money. Which is why I was such a miserable failure working on Wall Street. How I wasn’t able to have children (the biggest regret and sadness of my life). How I’ve never wanted a traditional suburban life. How I’ve always felt like an outsider in modern society, on the fringe of this life – engaged but never really committing to it. I have no one, no family of my own to leave my business to. What if Big Pharma is able to somehow buy my company after I die? That would just kill me. All our great natural products companies are being bought up by multi-nationals… No one in Corporate America will give a shit about buying a non-profit! It’s instant protection from the sharks, and it’s instant succession planning. After I’m gone, my company will continue to do good work, guaranteed. After all, I am selling Native American medicine! There would be no question in mine or anyone else’s mind that all of the benefit and profit would go towards funding education and health services on reservations and fighting for their natural medicine! Imagine if the Original Healing Salve does become a Medical Device! Then we could give away millions a year (some day, maybe billions, if my plan works out…). We can build colleges and Universities! Justin – President of Northwest Indian College somehow must be involved. He is so smart and talented, Dad says he could be President of any college in the country.
Just yesterday I confided in my Papa, “I need to know why I’m doing all this, building my company. I don’t have a family to leave it to. I’ve never had the desire to be a billionaire. I always assumed I would build healing centers on Reservations with my profits. But after being at Standing Rock for just 2 days and meeting so many Wounded Knee Natives and so many others, I realized healing centers are not the highest priority. They need building blocks for their communities in every area.” Dad after patiently taking this in, said “Well yeah, I agree. That’s why I chose to help to build Northwest Indian College literally from the ground up 35 years ago.”
So this morning it all came into focus. My non-profit company will benefit Education and Health Services on all reservations, and promote their natural remedies in the US and in Canada where my medicine originated probably well over 150 years ago.
I’m noticing as I write this in my journal that somewhere through these words I began writing not just for myself but for others. Another major block I’ve battled.
But this morning – there are no blocks. After gazing into that orange sky a few more minutes, listening for anything else it wanted to share with me, I summoned Jackson on down the hill to the beach and he happily leapt into action. We made our way down the trail to the deck at the beach, still smiling. I took a seat on the bench where Jackson jumped up and joined me in again gazing out over the water, the waves just a few feet away gently breaking onto the rocks below.
My eyes rested on an object moving slowly out to sea. It was a brave paddle boarder in a black wet suit this blistery January morning. As I watched him, still relentlessly and involuntarily smiling from above on the ridge, basking in a feeling of unconditional love for the world, I thought, “…that’s me”. Paddling out to sea, leading the way, while other entrepreneurs watch from the shore. As if I’m shouting, “See? It’s safe out here. You can still make money I promise. No sharks. (After all, why would ‘The Sharks’ be interested in a non-profit?) It’s even fun! REALLY fun!! And great exercise. See? Come on out!”
I understand I’ll have to keep plowing ahead for awhile longer, until enough people catch on and make it a ‘thing’. What if many companies begin popping up selling products through a non-profit? And then more – and yet more? Creating a world that works for everyone. I will still make money, I’ll take an ample salary and a percentage of sales, the same way I pay my Sales Reps in the field. I don’t want or need more than that. Never have. If I grow my company the way I think it can grow, I will have more than I could ever spend. Who needs more? And the joy!… Wow. The joy that comes from living a fulfilled life… that’s what i really want.
Again my attention slowly fixed on the lone paddle boarder, as if watching myself from the shore, both the observer as well as the observed. I watched as he slowly made his way out to sea, alone but on a mission, toward the orange sky which was still smiling at me. And me with my goofy smile still effortlessly affixed, raising my cheeks and my consciousness, I said out loud, “Yes Jackson. That is me.” And as the sun began to slowly crest over the water I said, “And this is a new day”.
Yours in health ~ Joni Siegel