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Leadership Unfiltered: Leading with ALOHA: From Cancer Survivor to Compassionate Changemaker | L.A. Tribune TV

Leadership Unfiltered | L.A. Tribune TV with Jessica Abo

In a recent episode of Leadership Unfiltered, Jessica Abo sits down with Savio P. Clemente, is a board certified wellness coach, best -selling author and cancer survivor whose TEDx talk was just released.

Jessica Abo: Savio, you talked about seven minutes to wellness, how to love your inner stranger. And I would love for you to tell us a little bit more about that.

The inner stranger for me is that part of me when I was diagnosed with cancer, that I was really ashamed of, that I didn’t really want other people to see. It was the part of me that sort of had people’s perceptions of me in a different light, they saw me differently. And so for me, that’s what was really important to me – my inner stranger. I challenge people to figure out their inner stranger and what that inner stranger is telling them. It’s not the inner critic. It’s that stranger within you that you normally don’t see yourself as. The inner stranger is a mysterious one.

I think a lot of people can relate to that. And I’m curious to hear more about the Hawaiian healing practices that you have brought into your life because you say that those have helped shape your leadership style.

I used a practice called ho’oponopono. It’s a Hawaiian practice that’s rooted in this healing modality called Huna Healing. It’s really about incorporating this idea of self -forgiveness. So it’s self -talk. It’s actually talking to yourself, working through your emotions, figuring out for yourself what’s working, what’s challenging. And one of those shadow parts of yourself that you don’t want to face, just because you survived cancer doesn’t mean you thrive. For me, I wanted to thrive. I wanted to be an example of the clients that I serve and the people that I meet.

So looking back at your own journey, how has overcoming vulnerability during your cancer treatment influenced your leadership? And what have you learned from all of it?

As a coach, we always talk about this idea of vision. Vision is not a goal. It’s about how do you want to feel? How do you want to be? Overcoming cancer and being vulnerable in that moment allowed other people to see that, you know what? Things happen in life and we can only do the best that we can. I just looked high and low for any healing modality that I could find along with Main Street Medicine and chemo because I wanted to really, for myself say that I did the best job that I could. Fortunately for me, I hit nine years this past December of 2023.

First of all, congratulations and I wish you continued good health. I would love to hear when it comes to your clients, how you help them just embrace all of it. There’s such an emotional toll that comes with a cancer diagnosis for the patient and for everyone who loves the patient. So how do you help them navigate the journey?

At this point I’ve interviewed 200 cancer survivors as a journalist and they all spoke of this idea that they had a whole care team around them when they had cancer. And then after surviving it, it, they had no one ’cause their family didn’t understand them. So for me, I take those cancer survivors on a journey inward, emotionally, mentally, physically, their relationships with other people spiritually and really figure out for themselves, what is that trigger that allow them to create a new version of themselves? It’s really about allowing them to tell their story and amplifying their impact in the world. It’s also about allowing them to express their fears, their insecurities. Scan anxiety is a real thing, but we can manage that.

I think for so many people who have been on this road, they can appreciate everything that you’re acknowledging because I think so much in life just comes down to seeing people, hearing them, trying to understand them. And it sounds like you’re really trying to do that for cancer survivors. Before I let you go, I know you say you have a recipe for holistic well -being that leaders can integrate into both their personal and professional services. settings. Can you tell us what that is?

It’s a seven -minute practice and it’s using the acronym ALOHA, which is Hawaiian word for hello. And really, it’s about coming to your inner self. A stands for acknowledgement. Acknowledge the present moment and where you are. L is for listening. Listen really to that inner voice. O is for opening. Open yourself up to self -forgiveness and be kind to yourself like you would to a friend. H is harnessing that wisdom that you garnered from all that. And A is just acting with purpose daily, having intention and just moving forward with what you learned. Seven minutes is all you need a day. And I practice it constantly.

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