May 30, 2022
Ever wonder how folks who end up in a cult actually, um… end up in a fucking cult? Certainly they must be highly gullible or dying for approval or just simply not that smart, right? Not exactly. Let me ask you this… Have you ever had a relationship you stayed in a bit too long because it started out so great and you kept fighting for it waaaay past the point of toxicity? Or have you ever stayed in a negative work environment and allowed abusive coworkers or bosses make you question your worth? Sadly, these sorts of situations are ridiculously common and the dynamic of falling prey to an abusive dogma isn’t all that different.
No one ever roots for their partner to be a narcissistic asshole. So we look for the good times, attach to them, and overlook red flags. No one ever likes the idea that they made a bad career choice, so we pretend the money is worth it or the toxicity isn’t that bad even though our intuition is screaming at us. Same is true for getting sucked into the promises and allure of a charismatic leader guaranteeing extreme personal growth, spirituality, and enlightenment.
Not to mention that much of our identity is formed by others impressing their beliefs on us… beliefs instilled in us by our families, our religions, our culture, our politics, you name it. In order to find our own personal truth and sense of identity, it becomes necessary to critique the beliefs we’ve attached to throughout our lives.
In this week’s show, I dial up Lopa van der Mersch, spiritual seeker and the founder and CEO of Rasa, a unique adaptogenic coffee alternative. She discusses how her spiritual pursuits landed her in a cult and how she was able to reclaim not only her spirituality but also her entire identity outside of beliefs that were not aligned with her.
This pod explores:
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Lopa van der Mersch is many things: Serial entrepreneur. Mother of two. Sustainability freak. TEDx speaker. Her adventures have taken her around the world in search of health, spiritual fulfillment, and boundless energy. Three years ago, she added a new chapter to her life story: Founder and CEO of Rasa, the adaptogenic coffee alternatives transforming the way we energize.
In 2015, Lopa endured what she now calls “her own personal 2020” — she left a cult, underwent emergency surgery while pregnant, lost a beloved family member, and had a traumatic Cesarean birth. Beaten down and exhausted, she needed a sustainable source of energy that could naturally elevate her mood without burnout, crashes, or jitters – and that wouldn’t be as harsh on her already taxed nervous system as coffee.
The problem? What she needed didn’t seem to exist — yet. So, she partnered with a clinical herbalist and got to work. After countless failures and “almost-but-not-quite” creations, Rasa was born: adaptogen-rich blends that nourish and revitalize the body while providing enough rich, roasty flavor to convert even the most devoted coffee fanatic.
Three years later, what started with a mom elbow-deep in herbs in her kitchen has grown into a full-blown energy movement — exploding with nearly triple-digit yearly growth and serving over 100,000 customers worldwide.
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