Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Chris-Tia Donaldson
How A Cancer Diagnosis Led This Beauty Brand CEO To Bali
For Thank God It’s Natural (TGIN) founder and CEO Chris-Tia Donaldson, self-care has always been at the forefront of her life. Despite living a very healthy life, in 2015 she received news that no one wants to hear, she had breast cancer.
Just two years after launching her product line, she found herself undergoing 9 months of treatment over the course of 2016.
“It was an emotionally grueling process,” Chris-Tia told Travel Noire. “It was like going to war and then coming back home with PTSD.”
Once she finished up her treatment, she decided to take leave from work and focus on her health. So, she decided that taking a trip was the best way to do so.
“After reading the book Eat Pray Love, I knew I wanted to go to Bali. It has a certain calmness and healing to it that I wanted to experience. I finished my last treatment on August 14 and one week later I booked a ticket to Bali for a two-week stay.”
During her two weeks, she went on cultural excursions, journaled, and meditated. She describes the country as serene, picturesque, and very lush but different from what you may see in the Caribbean.
The people were nice and everywhere she looked people were practicing gratitude. It opened up her eyes and gave her a new outlook on life. After seeing the locals so happy while only having a little at times, it was very aspirational.
“I met with a spiritual reader while there and she told me that this trip is not about Bali the place, but about me finding the Bali within. She explained that I needed to manage my inner self to find self-peace.”
Chris-Tia traveled back home to Chicago with a new perspective and realized that the peace she needed was within her, and not necessarily on the other side of the world. But, this trip was needed in order for her to find that and to heal after her treatment.
“Once I was diagnosed, I had to get to the root of my issues. I was a workaholic and never truly grieved the loss of my mother. This journey taught me that the only person that can heal me, is me. Healing is an ongoing process that I must work on every day.”
In hopes of inspiring others to find the Bali within, Chris-Tia authored a book, This Is Only A Test: What Breast Cancer Taught Me About Faith, Love, Hair, and Business.
Through this book, she encourages others to stop and listen to their body– especially Black women. Take time to slow down, meditate, and give intention to what is going on internally or else it may manifest itself through your health.
“If you can, still reward yourself with a trip as often as possible. Whether it’s a big trip or even a staycation. If you can’t afford that. then create your own Bali at home,” she said.