Excerpt from a 12/2020 interview with VoyageLA
VoyageLA: Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Adam: In 2009, I learned about Chinese and Taiwanese tea culture, thus embarking on a lifelong dedicated practice of “tea as meditation” and a novel way to host and facilitate a shared immersive experience for other people. In 2015, I became a UX Designer and spent five years freelancing in Los Angeles, oftentimes offering tea ceremonies as mindful team building modules to the companies I would contract with. Then the pandemic hit and the ability to offer a service to people disappeared due to safety concerns. Something else occurred that I felt impassioned by over the years where now I finally had some larger context for; everyone seems to be hyper-connected, misinformed, outraged, depressed possibly due to tech addiction and the perils of living with social media. Where, before the pandemic, I was able to sit in front of people and guide them on a 90-minute tea ceremony (an effective mini digital detox), now I felt I needed a chance to help people address their overall Digital Well-being. As of late 2020, I currently host Wabi Sabi podcast and am pursuing a certificate in coaching with the Digital Wellness Institute.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Smooth roads are for airport runways. Along my path, I’ve met with depression, anxiety, family estrangement, toxic relationships, failures, false starts, a bankruptcy, parenthood, mistakes, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, being in the right place at the wrong time, broken hearts, and more. There are stories behind every point, we’ll discuss them over tea one day.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?‘Digital Well-being’ is a growing movement concerned with controlling the amount of time we spend in front of mobile devices, the internet, and tech in general. Thus ‘Digital Wellness’ is the optimum state of health and well-being that each individual using technology is capable of achieving. Thanks to my training and association with the digital wellness institute I am able to work with individuals, groups, and fellow parents — to strategize with each unique scenario because no matter what facet of wellness, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. What sets me apart from my colleagues in the field is my background in tea culture.
As a tea specialist for the past decade before the pandemic, I facilitated immersive tea experiences for corporate partners and private events — with the aim to help people slow down, embrace mindfulness through the vehicle of tea ceremony, and get the benefit of camaraderie. Now in the age of remote distributed work, I am just as keen on working with clients and including a tea protocol should that be of interest as well. Just as we’ve all learned by now that a work/life balance has been compromised by working from home, the ability to ritualize our passions and self-care acts are both beneficial to our minds and schedules.
What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
Digital well-being has quickly become a part of the cultural lexicon thanks to Apple screen time and similar operating system features with android. Additionally, with the recent popular documentary, The Social Dilemma, we are able to collectively see how tech is affecting us in real-time during the pandemic, especially as it pertains to the fracturing of our democracy and political systems. There is so much work to do in the field and have those efforts affect nearly all aspects of life.
I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT SUPPORTING PEOPLE & ORGANIZATIONS — TECH STRESS AFFECTS ALL