Danielle Lucido, founder of AwaQi (awa-chee), is a social change agent driven by her passion to awaken, inspire and encourage people to live their very best life. This strong desire to spark positive change in the lives of others, combined with her deep understanding of the power of words, led her to create AwaQi.
Then one day, I was sitting in one of the 3 empty spare bedrooms of my over-sized home thinking, “I should be happy – but I’m not!?”
I was going along with the societal norms, high school, college, career, home ownership, marriage...blah blah blah, felt very much like a gerbil rushing, here & there with little thought as to truly WHY?
Like many of us too fearful to admit, I just wasn’t fulfilled. I had no satisfaction in my heart only a sense of sadness. While monetarily I had accomplished so much, and there was a significant amount of stability and satisfaction. To top it off, I was a bit ashamed of just admitting being unhappy.
The price tag of happiness
This was the beginning of my quest, to figure out my true self.
But the price tag to figure that out was quite costly in my case. Through the course of 3 years, I tried everything – self-help books, seminars, various religions and activities – anything to help quench my thirst for fulfillment.
I experienced a renewed sense of self love but it also came with much loss. Eventually, losing my home, my marriage, my personal status & wealth driven identity.
So, I hired a life coach, and worked with her for about a year. The work with her was so transformational I decided to became a coach myself. Perhaps going through my life struggles I could offer guidance and support to others.
Soon after, I created my own radio show called Life Recipes for Success, sharing success stories and nuggets of wisdom to consider in life because I felt a sense of healing.
How AwaQi came to be
I decided to spin my coaching practice into a tangible product, creating a motivation apparel brand. The AwaQi name came from brain storming for quite some time, I wanted an original name, something that was catchy, intriguing, harnessed the energy and power of joy and the essence of life itself.
Then one night, the name of my company came to me in July 2007, I fell asleep journal-ling and I woke up to the word “AWAQI” written on one of the pages. AWA stands for “awaken” and we all know the popular term “QI” means “life energy.” My purpose in life is to help people awaken their life energy; their AWAQI.
Then began the tedious journey to trademark the name, which took a good part of 2 years which finally came to be, trademarked Christmas Day 2012.
I launched my clothing line shortly thereafter as a way to inspire, encourage, and help people find their AWAQI. Combining the power of words, intention, & creation.
Our brand grew, expanding to yoga studio's, wellness retreat centers, and other local retail locations. But just as my brand was picking up momentum and I could begin to feel the wind through my sails, then on day unthinkable happened...
The one person in the entire world, who knew me, understood me and supported me my entire life, died suddenly. My mother, whome was my best friend, biggest supporter and my world.... committed suicide June 29, 2014.
She left no note and there were no signs.
I share a bit about her legacy and how she touched me in a blog post.
I was so completely heartbroken & lost again. I put AwaQi on hold so I could deal with the internal struggle of such a great loss.
The space between
Now, this Spring 2016 after battling depression for the past couple years, I've reached the journey back to my calling with a deeper sense of understanding, compassion and curiosity for all things. I began to feel the nudge to begin again.
So this, 2016 year is somewhat of a re-launch for the AwaQi, with greater clarity and direction. My mothers spirit gently reminded me to get up and do the work I feel I came to do. Which is to help others find their way, and go after their dreams.
Thank you for taking the time to read a bit about my story. I really feel and believe that we all experience loss, pain and confusion in our own life journeys. But it is this adversity that can help redirect us, connect us and eventually inspire us to take the hero's journey.
It's my hope that you will find the courage to find your own AwaQi. Find the strength to turn and face the things that hold you back, and embrace the incredible gifts that you were born with.