Distress as a key to success. 
Storytelling as activism.
Breaking down as wisdom waking up.


Our breakdowns are a sort of wild creative disruption. They shake up our foundation, pull us out of our default way of operating, sometimes violently and painfully so, in an attempt to reset. Our breakdowns dismantle old ways of being in order to discover what was missing all along. Our breakdowns are extremely strong signals for individual and collective shifts.

These tensions are strong wakeup calls - signals, showing us the way to become more fully ourselves. If we can explore and discover the underlying wisdom in these experiences, we have the opportunity to change our lives, our relationships, and society for the better. 

If we can recognize the signals, we can begin to wake up.


I realize how hard it is to open up, dive in, explore and share breakdowns. For a long time, I felt that in order to be a leader, I needed to suppress one of my most important break down / wake up experiences...my depression. 

Over time, I learned that the risk to be seen is worth taking. I learned that diving into this experience gave me new insights. I learned that sharing my story was not only personally liberating, but a new form of activism. 

I learned that sharing our own breakdowns changes lives, teams, organizations and the world. 

To build this project, I’ve drawn on ten years of experience in business strategy, change management, psychology, and learning design. I’ve searched far and wide for the best tools and stories from anthropology to strategy, from behavior change to systems thinking.  

Break Down. Wake Up is an Empatiko Project
for more information about Empatiko, visit www.empatiko.org
©2020 by Empatiko