Samantha Betzag- Creating Purposeful Living
By Danielle Echols
In 2016, Samantha Betzag was sitting at her desk feeling unsettled. She was working at a finance firm in New York City but longed to have a more purposeful life. She desired to travel the world, share teachings of self-acceptance and self-love, but didn’t know exactly where to start. As frustration began to build, she decided to take a chance on herself and take a leap. She quit her job to travel through Europe and Asia for 8-months. Today, with a new found life mission, she is working to start a community focused on empowering young girls and women called Jnana Community. Here is her story:
Samantha, where did your journey begin?
I was working in private equity back in New York. I didn’t hate my job, I actually had an awesome position, but I knew it wasn’t for me, I knew I had a calling. I was going into a finance office every day trying to preach about love and acceptance and all these things- people would just laugh. So, I made the decision to leave in April of last year and I went on my own spiritual pilgrimage because I was dedicated. (Now) It’s literally my reason for existing: to work with teen girls about self-acceptance and about self-care and self-love. Accepting that power that is within you and accepting yourself is so scary. It requires connection and community. So this is what I set out to do for the past year. I want to be the clearest vessel to work with girls and women.
How did you know it was time to start your organization, Jnana Community?
I came back to America just a few months ago. I was receiving so many signs from God, the Universe, whatever you believe in, that it is time to start now! I thought I would work, and save up, and do something down the line. I set roots in Austin, and it’s just been happening! I’m still in the beginning stages of creating my company (Jnana Community). Jnana means self-knowledge in Sanskrit. The best way to know oneself is through expression and self-connection. When you accept yourself, you free yourself of the shackles and beliefs that aren’t even your own. So that’s my mission.
Where do you think the lack of self-acceptance starts especially for young girls and women?
To be honest with you, it is society a little bit. Our society is through social media, advertisements, and even through our pop culture. The general public doesn’t understand that these performers are putting on a show. The teenagers and the young adults watching think those things (that celebrities do) are what give you worth, and then when it doesn’t play out like they expected in the real world, they’re let down. It’s a compilation of so many things, but to answer your question it’s really being out of touch with who you are.
When you were in corporate America, was the desire to travel something that built up over time or was it more like a moment when you knew?
So funny story, I had just signed a lease, and I knew that travel was brewing. So in December, I got bed bugs and it gave me a way out of my lease that I had just signed. I got bed bugs, and my initial reaction was “Oh my God I’m about to travel the world!” For me traveling the world signified accepting myself. So, it was a Sunday afternoon I was downtown in SoHo, I was getting coffee with my dad and I said, “Dad today’s the day,” and he said “OK.” I sent my boss a text message and we met for coffee and I told him “it’s time for me to pursue my path and get the balling rolling on the reason why I came to this Earth.”
What does acceptance mean to you?
Acceptance doesn’t mean condoning and it doesn’t mean passively accepting. Acceptance means acknowledging that something just is, and that it just is this way, and it takes a lot of courage and self-acceptance to acknowledge that you feel unsettled in your heart.
What is the purpose of your company?
It’s Jnana Community. Basically, we are empowering young women to create their own reality and achieve their highest dreams by recognizing the power of their beliefs and the power of their mind. My values of the company are connection and expression. We’re creating an environment where these girls can take the walls down that are in front of their hearts, and express themselves freely and in a healthy way, and let them know who they are at their core. Everything that you dislike about yourself becomes your greatest asset and your greatest gift.
What does your organization offer now?
Right now, I offer circles (basically meditation and talk therapy) and one on one sessions. With the sessions, I offer mentoring and Theta Healing, it’s focused meditated prayer. I’m in the early stages of really learning the best way for the girls to interact and express themselves. By the end of the summer, I will be holding educational workshops which will be a 13-week series.
Samantha is looking forward to what the future will bring. She is excited to speak at Acceptance Tour and to grow her organization, Jnana Community. For more information, visit her Snapchat and Instagram
(This interview has been slightly modified from its original recording)