Zee Clarke breathwork meditation in outdoor setting

Are you living your life’s purpose? Are you intentional about how you’re spending your time on this Earth? For most of my life, if I were to be really honest, the answer was no. In fact, I was so busy being busy and “striving” that it never crossed my mind. 

I did all the things they said to do. I went to Harvard for college because it was a world-renowned institution. I studied economics because they said it gave me the best shot at a well-paying job. I worked at some of the biggest and most known brands in the world because it would look good on my resume. I got an MBA from Harvard Business School because they said that was the next logistical step to successfully climb the corporate ladder. 

Go – Go – Go. 

Push – Push – Push. 

So when the long hours, constant fire-drills, coupled with the daily microaggressions as a Black executive in the tech industry, led to a burnout so severe it affected both my mental and physical health, I had to push pause.

It was in India when I first asked myself this question: “Who am I?” It was in India where I also asked myself, “Who do I want to be?” 

You are more than your resume. You are more than what you have done in the past. And, you have the agency and power to determine where you go next from here.

Our society is so focused on productivity that most of us never take the time to pause and really think about it. What we don’t realize is that this answer is inside of us, if we get quiet, if we truly listen to what our hearts have to say. 

My life purpose came to me during this moment of quiet, and for me, the breath was the key. It was through breathwork that I was able to access my subconscious mind, my higher self, the voice of my soul.

My book, Black People Breathe, was born from this moment of quiet. The stress management workshops I teach at companies like Google, Bloomberg, and Procter & Gamble were born from this moment of quiet.

If you got really quiet, what do you think you would hear? Are you curious to find out?

If you’ve never heard of the Modern Elder Academy, it’s an amazing organization to help those of us in midlife navigate big life transitions. You could be 40, 50, 60 and beyond and wondering what’s next? You’ve achieved your professional goals, and you still have decades left. What’s your second act? What’s your third act?

In my August retreat in Santa Fe, New Mexico, “From Conventional to Intentional: Attune to Your Purpose,” we will go on a journey to release any previous notions of what you are “supposed to do.”  We will leverage a wide range of mindfulness and breathwork practices to open up the channels so that you can really listen to your heart’s desires. What are you meant to be doing next on this life journey? We will soothe any feelings of anxiety and self-doubt through powerful practices that have been used for thousands of years. 

Nestled within the stunning Santa Fe landscape, this private, secluded ranch offers a memorable escape so that you can break through life’s obstacles, and tap into your deeper life purpose. And, you’ll have a community of like-minded folks who are also thinking about changes in their lives!

Last year, I had a near death experience. Open to trying new things, I went on a white water rafting trip. The water levels were significantly higher than normal, and I was tossed out of the boat. Later I found out that I was sucked down a sinkhole. What I experienced in the moment was being fully conscious in a place where time and space didn’t seem to exist. All I saw was white. I had no body. I had no idea where I was. Panicked, I asked, “Is it over? Did it end? Just like that?” …and then, my inner voice screamed with all of my might:


In an instant, I opened my eyes and saw the blue sky. I noticed I was back in the river. I quickly remembered the safety procedures as they threw the rope to rescue me. I don’t know how long I was under. When I finally got to safety, I was coughing up water, my breath clearly struggling.

I’m sharing this story to remind you that life is precious. Our time here is limited. You have special gifts that the world needs. Let’s breathe those gifts into life!

Learn more about the August 5-10 retreat in Santa Fe, NM:

From Conventional to Intentional: Attune to Your Purpose

Zee Clarke is the author of the book, Black People Breathe (Penguin Random House). She has been featured in many leading publications including ABC, Fortune, Forbes, CNBC, Ebony, Essence, and Fast Company.

She is a Harvard Business School graduate who applies holistic healing practices to corporate environments. Zee leads transformative workshops on mindfulness, breathwork and stress management tools at organizations such as Google, Visa, AMC Networks and more.

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