Mali Phonpadith, Founder and CEO of the SOAR Community Network (SCN), joins Mark Alyn on Late Night Health. Mali is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and marketing strategist. She is also an accomplished poet, television show producer and podcaster who helps small business SOAR in the market. All these roles and titles may sound impressive, but arriving here hasn't been an easy road.
Mali and her family escaped war-torn Laos in 1979 and arrived in the United States when she was just 5 years old. She did not grow up with money and privilege. Her parents worked two or three jobs to support their four children. Mali and her siblings learned early in life, the importance of hard work and determination. Mali began working in a fast-food restaurant when she was fifteen years old and hasn't stopped working since. Stress, worry and fear of "not having" ruled most of her young life. This "conditioning" continues to be a part of her life but with a lot of personal development work, her awareness guides her to live more calmly and have a sense of freedom that she wasn't able to tap into when she was growing up.
When Mali turned 27, she began facing terrible tragedies. In 2003, she lost her fiancé and a family member in a drowning accident. Two years after this painful event, she lost her godfather and 6 months thereafter, suffered the sudden death of her father to a 3-week battle with cancer. Two years later, her best friend passed away, then her uncle to cancer and, most recently, her grandmother to illness. She has weathered seven major losses in less than 10 years. The constant grief can take a toll on the body, heart and mind.
Mark interviews Mali to explore all the ways in which she walked through the grief and continued moving forward, even with all the losses she has had to endure. They discuss practices, techniques, and the emotional stamina required to move from tragedy and trauma toward living every day with intention and purpose.