NEXT TIME YOU’RE AT THE MALL, SIT IN YOUR CAR AND WATCH THE HOARDS OF PEOPLE RUSHING BY.

They’re all moving so intently, shopping bags in hand, towards that Next Big Thing—whatever thing that’s “guaranteed” to drag meaning, purpose, and happiness into their lives. That second pair of Beats headphones. One more Chanel bag. And if those don’t work, just sub in the new no-carb diet, the Audi RS7, or the bigger home in the bigger neighborhood.

Uh, this is stupid.

Pardon the outburst, but that’s a whole lot of money and effort for pretty minimal results. Because when you don’t know who you are or why you’re on this chaotic, crazy, completely mind-boggling planet, the next big thing you’re chasing isn’t your definition of success—it’s someone else’s. It sounds harsh, but life winds up being nothing more than an inauthentic compensation for not knowing who we truly are.

WE’RE USING THINGS TO FILL A VOID THAT ONLY WE CAN FILL, OURSELVES.

And so, Coretography began as a valiant search for myself—for that meaning that comes deep from our core. Like all good things, it came from a place of need, frustration, and a lack of answers. Then, of course, from inspiration. I’m wired in a way that’s had me looking high, low, and in the middle for mental and spiritual happiness, not to mention my purpose. We’re talking two+ hulking decades of self-development, career counselors, books, and personality tests. Most of the time, I had all the outward markers of success: married to a great husband, a mom to exceptional kids, the past owner of a high-end women’s wear company whose clients included Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom. I was a real estate broker in the wine country, and a securities attorney.

I was choosing the things that seemed to fall into my lap, and looked good. But I wanted to be crazy passionate and purpose-driven—and not just comfortable—again. I don’t know how I knew at the time, but I just did: all the answers I was after would be sitting where my values and purpose collide.

That's when I thought about my legal training. In working towards my doctorate and master’s in law, my thinking was reframed by the Socratic Method which underlies all legal education. The Socratic Method uses questions to stimulate critical and creative thought, discourages memorization of information and focuses almost exclusively on the student. If the Socratic Method could teach me constitutional law, why couldn’t it also help me answer the age old question, “what should I do with my life?”

I believe that we come into this world with an internal GPS that is perfectly capable of guiding us to make great major life decisions. The problem arises when we ignore our internal GPS and instead we make everyone else the expert. The Socratic Method supported my belief that we don’t need to be told what to think or what to do. What we really need is a system that provides confidence and courage and confirms that we really are the only expert on ourselves. 

And then I thought about why this was so hard to do. I thought about how often I turned on the television, picked up a book or spoke to friends and the subject inevitably turned to this innate desire we all have to know with clarity who we are, what we stand for and why we’re here. I thought about how valuable a road map is to any adventure, about how things that are out of sight are usually out of mind. I thought about how nebulous and difficult this process currently was. When you’re forced to come up with a list of values out of thin air, it’s highly likely that like me you’d forget the most important value (challenging the status quo) which frankly, in my case, set the direction for all my other values.

Even more, I realized that with my core values and purpose in hand (and in front of me visually) all of those pressing questions about relationships and life choice that matter so deeply to us, begin to answer themselves.
 

And, incredibly, how crystallizing my values and purpose actually led to a very important and life-altering health diagnosis; one that experts had long-missed for years and years. Finally, that pit in my stomach, that sense that there was something that I was missing was gone. Finally, everything started to make sense. Finally! 

I knew I couldn’t keep this all to myself. I had to recreate this process for others, so they could also have all the answers, allowing themselves to become exactly who they’ve always known they could be.

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