Blogs by InnovatorsBox®

Introducing: Dreaming Abundance

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Getting a good deep sleep and rest makes an enormous difference. I know how tired I feel throughout the day when I don’t get enough sleep and rest. Not only am I not productive but I feel more tired, I have a harder time focusing, and I feel like everything takes a bit longer. And with the pandemic increasing our workloads and uncertainty of the future, I also felt my anxiety and stress at times keeping me up late at night, sometimes up until 3:00 am.

I had a full month in July this summer of ’21 where I struggled to sleep so much, I started looking into all kinds of mindfulness apps, music, and bedtime reading podcast apps. And I’m not alone. Entrepreneurs like Ariana Huffington, Gary Vaynerchuk, and many others advocate the importance of having a good sleep and why prioritizing your self-care really matters. In a society where we push so much to work harder, to do more, and to strive for excellence, I wonder how often we really strive to rest and sleep better as a part of it. When we rest well, we’re not only able to lead better but we’re also able to ideate better and connect more dots as we feel at ease. Our best ideas come to life when we are curious, and we are more willing to try something new when we feel recharged.

This is why as I got to learn more about my friend Alice Hu’s work at Woo Woo Company I was eager to see what we could do together to help more people rethink recharge and deep sleep. Her approach to holistic meditation and all things woo inspired me as I learned how she helps one company and one person at a time reframe their mind on stress, mindset through meditation, healing, and sound. And having recently started building our Studios I knew we could create something unique to empower innovators around the world to find healing, rest, and better sleep which is how we got together this summer to create “Dreaming Abundance” for you that is now out in all music streaming platforms. 

First, before I introduce you to our album, let me explain why sleep and sound healing are important for us all.

The Science in Sleep

35.2% of all adults in the U.S. report sleeping on average for less than seven hours per night. 35.2%
32.6% of working adults reported sleeping six or fewer hours per night in 2017-2018, up from 28.4% in 2008-2009 32.6%
It is believed that between 30% and 48% of older adults suffer from insomnia. 48%
Women have a lifetime risk of insomnia that is as much as 40% higher than that of men. 40%
40% of people with insomnia are believed to also be affected by a mental health disorder. 40%
Around 75% of adults with depression suffer from insomnia. 75%

As you can see, sleep and being intentional about rest is so crucial. And I understand how you feel. When things get busy like they are now, it feels hard to explore how to make time or find our heart to feel at ease. This is why, we wanted to make this album for you and start collaborating to create more mindfulness and wellness programs for innovators, as a team development and personal reflection resource. 

With the magic of both Alice Hu’s expertise in sound healing and our InnovatorsBox Studios team’s love for the beats, we created this original collection for you to enjoy, and to find peace and ease.

Let me take you a bit behind the stage in how we put this together so that as you enjoy the music you get to learn how it all came together.

First meet the team behind this project: myself, Alice Hu from Woo Woo Company, and my team member Sam Lehmert at InnovatorsBox Studios. 

  • Monica H. Kang, Project Director – Provided project vision, guidance, development, management, and quality development
  • Alice Hu, Meditation and Healing Expert – Provided original instrument sound, advice, and narration to help create healing music
  • Sam Lehmert, Music Producer – Lead music production, creation, mixing, and mastering to create the album
  • Rowanne Chang, Graphic Designer – Designed album cover
  • Giorgio Schipani, Mastering Engineer – Provided mastering engineer assistance
  • Khadeeja Qureshi, Illustrator – Illustrated artwork related to project

Alice Hu is the Founder and CEO of Woo Woo Company and a partner to InnovatorsBox where we do wellness, meditation, and creative sound healing projects like this one for companies and innovators like you! And to understand why my appreciation for her work I want to take you to how she got to be where she is today.

Monica: Why did you start your company? What does your work mean?

Alice Hu, Founder and CEO of Woo Woo Company

I started my company because of an existential crisis in my late twenties, ha! Now, I know it’s called a Saturn Return. It’s a time when the Universe makes sure you’re following your path and purpose. If you aren’t, you will be redirected. I was severely redirected. Woo Woo Company was started to help others through this journey and life transitions. Initially, I was very skeptical about the things I share and rely on today for my wellbeing: mindfulness, astrology, and journaling to name a few. Now, I am a cheerleader for these modalities as they have made such a profound difference in my life. When I went through my Saturn Return, I knew I needed to drastically change my life but it seemed daunting. I didn’t know what I would do for a living. Astrology was one thing that really helped me. My business has progressed quite a bit in the last two years and now I offer Career Clarity Readings to help those who need some guidance. It brings me great joy to be able to make such an impact in people’s lives. People come to be stressed and at their wit ends and leave feeling more aligned with their authentic selves and more at peace.

Thanks for channeling your journey learning to help others! I hear you, businesses that are built to solve pain points we’ve experienced personally as a founder helps us serve our audience better. Just like Alice, I had started InnovatorsBox because I knew how hard it was to be creative as a professional and how stuck I felt in the job I loved. It wasn’t until I relearned to fall in love with creativity, curiosity, and courage that I realized I had been creative all along as well as can be more innovative if I center my mind to it. Your journey as a creator matter! 

Monica: So, tell me more about this whole world of mindfulness and meditation. What does that mean to you and why is that important for you?

Alice Hu, Founder and CEO of Woo Woo Company

It’s one of the best ways for me to manage my stress. I meditate every day and when I don’t I feel it, mindfulness allows me to be thoughtful about the things that are happening in my life and understand how I want to show up in the world.

What about a sound bath? What does that mean and how does it connect to the work of mindfulness, healing sounds, and more?

Monica: What about a sound bath? (for those who are unfamiliar?) What does that mean and how does it connect to the work of mindfulness, healing sounds, and more? 

Alice Hu, Founder and CEO of Woo Woo Company

I like to describe a sound bath as a massage for the mind and the body. It’s one of the easiest ways to drop into a meditative state. You feel the effects and benefits long after the sound bath is completed. When I experienced my first one, I hadn’t really meditated before and it left me feeling calm and relaxed for days afterward. There are lots of instruments that can be used in a sound bath but primarily there will also be singing bowls. I use crystal alchemy bowls, chimes, and an ocean drum. Tuning forks and gongs are also popular. 

 

A sound bath is a wonderful way to relieve stress, sleep better, and meditate.

Monica: That’s cool and also insightful. What about sleep then? I shared a bit about why sleep has been important for me, curious to hear your thoughts on why sleep really matters.

Alice Hu, Founder and CEO of Woo Woo Company

Real talk: up until this year, I really struggled with sleeping earlier and getting enough sleep. I’m a night owl and feel very inspired in the evenings. I knew that I needed more sleep and that my mood heavily depended on how well rested I felt but it was so difficult to sleep earlier. I was working or watching a new Netflix series aka revenge sleep procrastination. I viewed it as time for myself to relax and unwind but it did the opposite of that. I would often wake up feeling groggy and reach for coffee or take a nap. 

 

Now that I’ve been sleeping earlier and the right amount of sleep for myself, I find my moods to be more stable. I’m not as irritable because I’m getting enough sleep! There are also lots of scientific studies that link sleep to physical, emotional, and mental health. Sleep is a time when your body repairs itself. It’s also when you process emotions and memories. You don’t need a study to tell you the benefits and the pitfalls of not sleeping. I’m sure most people are aware already but it’s so common to be tired or not get enough sleep. Let’s not normalize this anymore.

Yes! 100% agree we need to rethink how we think about rest, sleep, and meditation. I appreciate all that you do and am so grateful for how you were able to share your expertise in creating this album with us. 

Next, I want to bring our audio engineer who was behind all the mixing, mastering, and producing of making these sounds all come together and worked with Alice in the past few months. Sam, thanks for all the amazing work you’ve done in these pieces which I know are different than our usual podcast audio editing we’ve done! Ok, curious to what your thoughts on some of these questions:

Monica: Why are mindfulness and meditation important for you?

Sam Lehmert, Audio Engineer, InnovatorsBox

I’ve lived with chronic pain for some years, and I’ve actually found mindfulness and meditation to be the biggest help in living better.

That’s great to hear. Your personal touch and care really resonate through the album. Curious. We took an atypical approach where we took these pieces into not only a longer piece per track but also that includes audio narration that feels atypical on music streaming platforms. I’m curious to learn more your favorite part of developing this as well as the challenging parts, looking back.

Monica: What was your favorite part of developing this album?

Sam Lehmert, Audio Engineer, InnovatorsBox

I loved keeping the illustrations in view while working on the music. This type of sound is about creating a sense of space and I enjoyed seeing how the music felt against the illustrated landscapes.

Monica: What part was challenging to make this album come to life?

Sam Lehmert, Audio Engineer, InnovatorsBox

I would emphasize that this is 3 hours of evolving audio; not just a couple of static loops. I don’t personally know anyone else who has ever done this, but for Alice and Monica, I do my best to help.

Thank you. It’s always humbling to learn behind the scene how it comes together and this project really is unique in that. Alice, going back to you. Any favorite highlights you had during the music development?

Monica: What was your favorite part of developing this album?

Alice Hu, Founder and CEO of Woo Woo Company

Creating the story that would inspire the music. I was very intentional about how I created the different tracks and the meditation parts. If you listen from start to finish, it’s a progression.

Love it. InnovatorsBox fans are no stranger to how much we love storytelling which is why I couldn’t wait to work with you on this. While sleep and rest were the roots of the inspiration, we wanted to see each track as an opportunity for listeners to enter a new zone of relaxation. I was so excited that when I shared my vision and ideas with Alice that she, too, resonated with the album’s inspiration and development.

Monica: What was the inspiration for this album?

Alice Hu, Founder and CEO of Woo Woo Company

With the pandemic, people spent more time alone and with their thoughts than usual. This silence ignites the mind to think about long-ignored things. It allows many (some uncomfortable) truths and questions to emerge.

 

  • Do I like my job?
  • Are my friends supportive?
  • Does my life look better than it feels?
  • What is my purpose?
  • My partner is no longer a match for me. 
  • I want to do something completely different with my life.

 

I know that people want to feel more at ease and at peace. This album will help them feel more relaxed and perhaps accepting of the things they need to change in their lives.

This is why one of my favorite collaboration process in this project was ideating the illustrative story to where this was taking place where innovators will feel at ease to ask these important questions about life. How would the lands of Ease, Expansion, and Deep Relaxation look like and what visual would welcome innovators to find more curiosity, courage, and creativity? 

I knew Khadeeja Qureshi was the illustrator who could help bring this magical land to life. I fell in love with her work when we started working together for my first children’s book Have You Seen My Friends? (which came out this October and you can order here too). I knew she would help us visualize while leaving creative hints on how we could reimagine this magical land of possibilities while encouraging our listeners to feel grounded. 

Do you see how each zone carries the meaning of Ease, Expansion, and Deep Relaxation? What was your favorite land as you entered into each zone with us? Tag us on Instagram at @InnovatorsBox and @InnovatorsBoxStudios to let us know! And we’ll reshare.

Thank you Khadeeja for your thoughtful work as always! 

Monica: Ok, back to you Sam. Tell me more about why this album is special and different for you? What stood out, looking back?

Sam Lehmert, Audio Engineer, InnovatorsBox

Most often, I’m asked to work on very short clips that need to work in specific contexts or products; so this is quite different. In some ways, this felt closer to the audio experiments I started doing when I was in high school, where the sense of time is very different from beat-oriented pop music.

Monica: What do you hope listeners will feel when they listen to this album?

Sam Lehmert, Audio Engineer, InnovatorsBox

Curious; it’s an open-ended adventure that will take you somewhere else every time you experience it.

Thank you. This has certainly been a creative, caring project and I know those who are reading this will feel the love and care we’ve put into this entire process of development – or if they haven’t, I hope they notice a bit as they read this now!

Monica: Alice, back to you. As we look back at this whole journey of working at this together, what do you hope listeners will walk away from this when they tune into this album?

Alice Hu, Founder and CEO of Woo Woo Company

What they need to hear. They may hear something different each time they listen to the album. My hope is that it provides the healing that they need.

Monica: Yes, love that. Any final advice you want to share about sleep as we settle more into deep sleep routines?

Alice Hu, Founder and CEO of Woo Woo Company

Create an evening ritual to help you unwind and get ready for bed! I’m a big believer and practicer of morning and evening routines. They really make a big difference to my day. In the evenings, I like to put electronics away 1 - 2 hours before bed, journal, and read a book. I have a podcast episode about routines here.

 

I promise you if you do a routine in the morning and evening that brings you joy + don’t look at your phone, you’ll see a difference in just a few days. Consistency is key.

Agreed on consistency. So important and so looking forward to seeing how we now add this to our list of music that we could play to get into the rhythm of deep ease, abundance, and rest! 

Monica: How about you Sam, any other advice on sleep?

Sam Lehmert, Audio Engineer, InnovatorsBox

From physical therapy, I learned ways of using pillows to support your body during sleep, and that was a huge turning point for me. I’ve seen some videos online about this, and I would recommend checking it out if you’re not waking up feeling rested.

Thank you so much for that. With these pieces of advice, we’re good to go on this journey. My advice? Well, I’d say learn as much as you’d like but find what works for you in your style. What works for one person may not work for another and while we hope this will be something for many people, there are parts of the track that you’ll like more than others. There are moments you may like a moment of silence or pause as well as just tuning into this for other reasons other than abundance and getting good sleep. The key is to take proactive steps to manifest what you want and design space for it. 

So, there it is. Curious about what resonated with you and what you’re feeling more curious as you learn more about how we made this behind the scenes. 

Monica: Oh, and Alice, if others want to get in touch with you to learn more about meditation and the work you do, how can they reach out to you?

Alice Hu, Founder and CEO of Woo Woo Company

Instagram @woowooco

My Hotline: 202-918-3414 where I share inspirational quotes, host abundance meditation challenges, and you’ll get news from me as well. Have a question about something spiritual and/or wellness-related? Text me! 

Book a Career Clarity Reading with me if you need help in that area of your life! 

https://www.woowoocompany.com/career-clarity-reading

Fantastic. Thank you so much for all that you do. I know your phone and Instagram will gain new followers very soon after falling in love with this project. For us, find us at @InnovatorsBox on all social media channels and @InnovatorsBoxStudios on all music streaming platforms. Here are some links that we’ll share as an easy reference:


Thank you all again for joining us on this journey! If you have any other questions or are curious to learn more about what goes behind the scene, reach out to us anytime at
[email protected]. Can’t wait for you to step more into abundance as a result of better rest, sleep and ease in your life.

About the Author

Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang, Founder, and CEO of InnovatorsBox® and Author of Rethink Creativity is transforming today’s workforce through the power of creativity. She helps companies rethink culture, leadership, and team development by making creativity practical and relatable regardless of industry or job title. She has worked with clients worldwide including Fortune 500 companies, higher education, government, and nonprofits. Monica’s work has been recognized by The White House, Ashoka Changemakers, National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Prior to InnovatorsBox®, Monica was a nuclear nonproliferation policy expert. She holds an M.A. from SAIS Johns Hopkins University in Strategic Studies and International Economics and a B.A. from Boston University.

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