Turtle Transformation Story: Jonah Aline Daniel

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Name: Jonah Aline Daniel

Job Title or Roles: Healer, creator/maker, spiritual leader, organizer/convener

Pronouns: They/them

Describe your radical work.

My vision/purpose is to create healing, ritual offerings, practices and leadership that grow liberatory, spiritual community and decolonized relationship to land, lineage and future.

My main work at this time is as the founder, owner and candle maker with Narrow Bridge Candles, a Jewish Ritual Candle-making project in support of the full Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel, with a portion of profits going to U.S. based struggles for racial justice and Indigenous Sovereignty.

I am a craftsperson, and have been making hand-dipped and poured-beeswax candles for the past 9 years. As a disabled candlemaker running a small business, I am both working to survive capitalism, and to forward a relationship with labor, life, land and craftship that builds interdependence and undermines capitalism at its core. My hope for Narrow Bridge Candles is that it supports my livelihood while nourishing and resourcing community resilience and infrastructure.

Skilled craftship requires an embodiment that capitalism depends on restricting and breaking. With my labor, I remember and invoke a time and place in which something made intentionally with skilled hands and quality materials is to be treasured.

My work as a candle-maker means living in deep relationship with the element of fire, honoring it's contained expression in balance and right relationship, and sharing that magic, awe and honor with you in material form.

I am working to facilitate the remembering of ancestors and ancestral ways through my body, my spirit, and my life.

How long have you been in the Turtle Tank incubator?

2 years

What brought you to Turtle Tank?

Close respected friends and community members told me about Turtle Tank!

What challenges were you facing before you joined Turtle Tank and how were they affecting you?

I was in a partnership that was an intense energy drain, and a painful and damaging relationship. I was immobilized by stress and anxiety about finances. I was trying to run two growing and expanding businesses, and do the work of many many people.

I was unable to prioritize my work, unable to discern what I loved and didn't love, and unable to be clear about what was a reasonable amount of work for a day, a week, a month and a year. I had difficulty enjoying my life and was uncomfortable being still. My excitement and new ideas quickly cycled into overwhelm and despair. Hopelessness and despair, anxiety, overwhelm and exhaustion were the dominant qualities of my life. I was stuck and my businesses were running me.

What other solutions/options did you try out or consider?

I did some business coaching with a somatic practitioner. I tried to work harder and harder.

Why did you chose Turtle Tank?

The language and the framing of Radical Entrepreneurship appealed to me. People who I trusted and had a history of doing healing justice organizing with were signing up for the program. I needed something holistic and radical.

Did you have any reservations about joining us? If so, what would you say to yourself knowing what you know now?

My main reservation was not having the time (the program started in my busy season) and the money. I felt that I couldn't afford it, and now I feel that I couldn't afford not to do it! I would tell myself that I and my work are worth the investment.

What tangible results have you created out your work with Turtle Tank?

  • I have taken out a loan.

  • I feel as if I am running my business rather than my business running me.

  • I have quit my part-time job which was a major energy drain and moved to running Narrow Bridge Candles full time.

  • I have completed a website transition from one platform to another that is both mobile responsive and has robust e-commerce and recurring payment capability.

  • I have hired an operations assistant and a communications director.

  • I have established work and life routines that are more supportive of my mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health.

What insights led to those results?

I am in charge of my own life! I am worth investing in. My work is divine work. I have the capacity to accept support and guidance from ancestors and other spiritual guides and forces. I have a responsibility to be responsive to my own capacity, pacing and desire.

What was your experience of the Radical Purpose tool?

Very clarifying and helpful and inspiring!

If you feel comfortable, please share your radical purpose statement and/or masks.

My vision/purpose is to create healing, ritual offerings, practices and leadership that grow liberatory, spiritual community and decolonized relationship to land, lineage and future.

How has the Radical Purpose tool changed how you work and live your life?

  • It allowed me to see what areas of my work are fulfilling purpose and which need development and attention.

  • It allowed me to identify what areas of my work I do not enjoy and get the help that I need.

  • It has supported me in taking my work and my potential impact seriously.

What would you say to anyone who’s considering working with Turtle Tank?

You can't afford not to! If you are trying to build a business, if you are trying to transform your relationship with your business, you are worth it! Invest in yourself and invest in your work!

Learn more about Turtle Tank’s newest offering:

The Radical Purpose Deep Dive: a 6-week virtual workshop for Radical Creators and Radical Entrepreneurs. Learn more and apply here. Deadline to apply is: Thursday, December 13th at 11:59p PST.

Learn more about Jonah’s work and Narrow Bridge Candles here.

Watch Jonah’s #MeFirst Story here.

#MeFirst features the stories of inspiring radical creators and entrepreneurs who share about how living their Radical Purpose and putting themselves first revolutionized how they live and work. Start watching now!