“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another:
“What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”  ~ C.S. Lewis

When I was a kid, I always wondered if I was the only real human among a sea of robot-aliens. But as I grew older, I began to worry that I was crazy, and everyone else was sane. As my vocabulary grew, the definitions of words became ingrained in my mind – of success, failure, ‘a good life’, and even sanity. Suddenly, there was a list of activities I ‘should’ be doing, majors I ‘should’ be pursuing, careers I ‘should’ have. I quit listening to my DNA and numbed my senses from what actually felt right for me.

While wallowing in this confusion, I slowly realized that others were feeling guilty and lost, perhaps even more than I. One friend, Jordan, grew depressed over the course of eight months during our senior year of college. She wanted to learn how to meditate to quiet the voices in her head constantly nagging her ambitious spirit. We started Spread Your Seeds to raise money for her to learn transcendental meditation.

Tragically, Jordan died before Spread Your Seeds was fully organized, and after, other friends and I began furiously organizing as a coping mechanism. We poured our sadness into it but soon the organization grew heavy. As we were all about to graduate and disperse all over the country and world, Spread Your Seeds was temporarily put to rest.

For a year after Jordan died, I was raw. Raw from heartbreak, from realizing I had to earn independence and from confronting myself for the first time since childhood. I was offered a scholarship to learn the meditation technique Jordan had been interested in. I have since learned how to dive into myself regularly instead of allowing trauma to force deeply rooted feelings out. I believe there are many tools to quiet down and help us listen to ourselves. Yoga and meditation are simply two useful tools for “checking in” in a healthy way.

Upon meeting Molly and Chelsea, and learning more about Tuning the Student Mind, the possibility of a partnership sprung Spread Your Seeds back to life and renewed the mission of providing healthy living resources to students – a group that’s put under the immense stress to figure out their lives while the technocratic world changes more rapidly than ever before.

Our process is simple: we make necklaces filled with seeds. Whenever you feel uprooted, you uncork your necklace, sprinkle seeds out, and instantly remind yourself of how you are in control of rooting yourself back down. The proceeds from the sales of these necklaces go towards providing healthy living resources to students and raising awareness about the ways we can quiet down the noise and listen to our own voices.

It is our hope that Jordan’s spirit lives on in this mission infusing our efforts with meaning, love and commitment. All young people should live in a world where inner peace, happiness and a sense of well being pervades their everyday life experience.

Poonam Dagli | University of Michigan