In this episode, we sat down with Sarah Cotterill. Sarah, the CEO of Shift Edibles and Co-Founder of The Human Array, shares her insights about the potential of hemp, her journey transitioning from healthcare law into wellness, and the importance of regenerative health. 

We also explored the therapeutic uses of THC and cannabis and discussed how they impact work-life balance. Furthermore, Sarah emphasizes the necessity of reconnecting with our physical selves and cultivating supportive communities for a fuller life

Sarah Cotterill is the Co-Founder of The Human Array &  CEO of Shift Edibles. 

Sarah built a 10+ year career in the legal system. From practicing as an attorney to her role as VP & Chief Legal Council at American Health Network, she learned the ins and outs of America’s healthcare industry. 

Then in 2018, she decided to make a change. She left her corporate job and began her journey in organic wellness and regenerative medicine. 

Be sure to check out these great clips from the show:

  • 3:28 The decision to leave the corporate world and pursue a different path
  • 6:06 Moment of realization and the beginning of a new path
  • 9:17 The ability to listen and tune in to oneself
  • 10:18 Techniques for getting more in tune with one’s inner voice
  • 14:21 Understanding the impact of glyphosate on human health
  • 18:32 The impact of regenerative agriculture
  • 20:38 Understanding the different uses of the hemp plant
  • 23:20 The controversy surrounding Delta Eight THC
  • 27:49 Hydration and Grounding
  • 30:20 Hugging Trees and Happy Trees in Michigan
  • 32:47 Improving Community and Personal Health
  • 36:27 The importance of community
  • 39:00 The power of sharing meals
  • 41:21The need for in-person connection
  • 44:48 Hemp-derived products and delta eight
  • 47:37 Indiana’s farming and state parks

Get IN. is the show focused on the unfolding stories and most extraordinary innovations happening in the heartland today. Get IN. is brought to you by Powderkeg and Elevate Ventures.

In our conversation with Sarah, you will learn about:

  • The Power of Self-Reflection: Sarah’s journey began with a moment of self-reflection, leading her to pursue her passion for regenerative health. She emphasizes the importance of listening to our inner voice and tuning into the universe, a superpower that can lead to incredible accomplishments.
  • Understanding Our Bodies: Sarah believes our bodies are the highest form of technology. She emphasizes the importance of understanding our skin, gut, and fascia system, and how hydration and grounding can promote overall health.
  • The Power of Community: Sarah underscores the importance of community as a support system, a place for honest feedback, and a catalyst for personal growth.

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Episode Transcript

Matt: From the crossroads of America in the Hoosier state of Indiana, this is Get IN, the podcast focused on the unfolding stories and extraordinary innovations happening right now in the heartland. I’m Matt Hunckler, CEO at Powderkeg, and I’ll be one of your hosts for today’s conversation. I am joined in studio by co host Christopher “Toph” Day, sometimes known as a little ball of fun.

That’s yes. And Nate Spangle, Head of Community at Powderkeg. And on the show today, we have Sarah Cotterill, CEO of Shift Edibles and Co-founder of The Human Array.

Sarah: Because hemp is this awesome plant. It legalized across the country in 2019. And hemp has a really long. Taproot, which what it does is it goes down and aerates the soil.

So you think of all those earthworms, right? It does that.

Matt: Sarah Cotterill is the co-founder of the Human Array and CEO of Shift Edibles. And today we’re going to cover all kinds of interesting topics. And I’m very excited about it because we’re going to talk about regenerative health, potentially therapeutic uses of THC and cannabis, and just having fun in work and life.

And I’m so excited to have you on the show today, Sarah. Thanks for being here.

Sarah: Thanks for having me.

Toph: Hello, Sarah. Hello, Toph. Let’s give you one of our most interesting podcasts to date.

Matt: I think we’re already having fun and working life. So that’s, check.

Sarah: 100%. You’ve checked that one

out. That’s what it’s all about, right?

Amen. Yeah, absolutely.

Matt: Sarah, how did you get into this amazing world that you’re in, exploring how to, uh, Uh, live more richly uh, regenerative health, living a fuller life, fun things that don’t often get talked about. Mm-Hmm, .

Sarah: Well, I’m a lawyer by training, so don’t hold that against me. So that’s how the law,

Matt: the law school is school.

Definitely the gateway to fun

Sarah: And I will not go minute by minute, so that we can charge by, by every increment . So I’ll give you the, the Cliff Cliff notes version, but, um. Um, I grew up here in Indianapolis, went to the University of Virginia undergrad, came back and went to Bloomington for law school, and then started out my career at Ice Miller doing healthcare corporate and regulatory work.

And I worked with hospitals and physician systems and everything in the, the business side of healthcare. Did that, um, for almost 10 years, then left, went in house and We’ve worked with a company where we’ve bought and sold hospitals right at the time that, um, Obamacare was happening, which was super interesting.

Um, I have a lot of good stories that are best shared over cocktails or something else probably. Um, and learned a lot about having a small business in some ways. Um, Because with that business, never quite knew if they were going to go public or go bankrupt. So there were lots of ups and downs and then you add the health care regulations on top of that, which made it even more interesting, fun, fun, fun, was doing a lot of traveling with that, came back and joined American Health Network, um, as general counsel and a whole host of other things.

And then we sold that company to Optum, which is a subsidiary of United health group and ran that integration and in part with help from the universe kind of decided that wasn’t what I wanted to be. When I grew up.

Matt: And tell me a little bit more about that, uh, with help from the universe, you know, deciding it wasn’t what you want to be.

Sarah: Things just happen. Um, American Health Network before we sold was a group of 400 plus providers, mostly primary care, Indiana, Ohio. And we went through a really interesting strategic planning process, which was who was our customer. And we decided that the physician was actually our customer, that if the physician showed up to work every day and they had everything that they needed in their toolkit, if they were happy to be at work, if they were enthusiastic, if they were motivated, then their patients would get the absolute best care.

And so with that in mind, we went out and looked for Um, and so we were able to partner strategic partners, talk to hospital systems, talk to private equity, venture capital, that type of stuff because healthcare was evolving and needed more money, bigger platform to keep serving the patients that we were serving.

So Optum was that partner and did provide a number of those things. But Optum is a fortune six company. And so when you go from um, a small health care provider. I mean, small in the overall state of thing in the grand scheme to that much, um, power power structure structure. Yes. All of a sudden, what you’re doing wasn’t what you were doing.

Um, and for me, I felt like I wasn’t able to innovate. I wasn’t able to really affect change. Um, I’m slightly disillusioned with the health care system. The way it is, I think it’s a disease management system and poor at best. I think there are a lot of amazing people that work within it that are well intentioned, but the system as a whole.

Could use some revamping and, um, I had some things that happened in my personal life at the same time, some relationships that kind of really blew up and I looked around and I thought, Oh my gosh, for my kind of long term health well being, there was something inside of me that said you can’t do this and it really had to come to that like I had to be still a no moment.

Where it got really quiet and all of a sudden my intuition went, uh, you have to do it differently. And so that’s kind of the path that I’ve been on ever since. And I would like to tell you it’s a nice, straight, neat path and it is not. Um, it never is. It is very winding and circuitous. And yes, it’s all sorts of crazy.

Matt: Did it happen in a moment like that? Was it like a lightning strike kind of moment? Or was it something that you were kind of almost like meditating on over time? And it sort of Um, how did that kind of evolved

Sarah: so the be still and no moment happened in an instant. Um, it took me a while to listen to it.

And I think it had to kind of hit me over the head because I think it had been trying to quietly kind of bubble up and I’d had these thoughts here and there, but no, no, no, you know, like I’m not going to totally turn my life upside down and go into this unknown state because in many ways, That’s what it was.

The unknown. And I’m not one that traditionally had liked The unknown. I like to know what’s happening next and how it’s happening.

Toph: So what were some of the high level connection points that, so you were in, so you started off in law, you get into health care, growth company, exit to a major strategic, um, and then you enter into this life of organic, wellness, natural, which we could probably get into that later too, the whole.

What’s natural, right? Isn’t always natural, but what were some of those connection points? So there’s this moment that you talk about, you need to listen to that moment. What were, whatever you feel comfortable sharing, like what were some of the connection points that took you from this corporate executive to, I’m going to chart my own path and pursue my passion?

Sarah: I think when I look back, I’ve always been a questioner. So I always want to know the why and my kids will be like, Oh my God, could you please stop asking me so many questions? But I’m just, I’m so curious. I want to know. I want to know. I want to know. And my mom was a big gardener, master gardener, incredible grew all of my vegetables.

Growing up. So I kind of had that in me on several some level. My grandparents had giant flower gardens even when they moved into the nursing home, right? They were those people and they were taking all of their friends around in the nursing home. My daughter, when she was little, ended up having some relatively minor health issues that kind of traditional medicine.

And so I wasn’t solving and I kept looking and kept peeling back and kept peeling back. Turned out she had Candida, which is an overgrowth of yeast in your system and her pediatrician at the time was like, Oh, You know, kids just get this stuff. Oh, it happens and I’m like, it doesn’t just happen. And so we were never getting to the root cause of the issue.

So I had all of these little things and then I ended up to help her get rid of Candida. Basically made the majority of her food for like a year of her life. And I was one that before that had kind of bought food and arranged it on a plate, like cooking was not one of my loves, passions or skill sets at all.

So I had those learnings that happened. And then I had all of a sudden this time when I said, okay, I’m not doing this anymore. And everybody was like, you’re going to have to go teach yoga because I’ve done yoga forever and ever. You’re going to have to take on other legal jobs. You’re going to have to do this.

And I’m like, I’m not. I had a coach, thankfully, that said to me. Don’t do anything that feels heavy.

Toph: Oh, I like that. Don’t like that too. Oh, I like that a lot.

Sarah: And I live by that to this day. It doesn’t mean it’s not hard. It doesn’t mean you don’t struggle. It’s not a challenge, but there’s something about that heaviness that, you know, anchor around your neck.

You just don’t do it. You go, I’m not doing it.

Matt: It seems like you kind of went from this moment where you were really struggling to listen to yourself and, or the universe and, uh, the universe had to beat you over the head with it. A couple of times. It sounds like. Um, it sounds like since then, you’ve really pardon the gardening analogy, but like cultivated.

This ability to listen and tune in to yourself. Um, I feel like that’s a superpower and with a lot of the guests we’ve had here on the show, the people who really are true to themselves and listen and follow their path are the ones that seem like they’re able to accomplish incredible things, are happy in their life and in work.

And so I’m curious for you, what did you learn? How did you learn to do that? And what are some of the, I don’t want to call them tricks, but like techniques or strategies that you might recommend someone trying if they’re trying to get more in tune with. Their own inner voice and or the universe or God or whatever you want to call it.

Sarah: Mm hmm. I’d say I have kind of a combination and I am definitely still learning and now it gets me really excited about it. Um, patience is forever one of my life lessons and I know that I want to know the answer and I want to know it now. And so kind of recognizing that that’s a challenge. was something that was important for me.

And I think that’s a big part of it. Taking a step back and saying, What lens am I viewing this through? And why? All of a sudden you’re like, Oh, there is a different way to look at it. And there’s a great quote, and I won’t get it exactly right, by the Dalai Lama. And he says, Basically, when the world looks bad, Look at a flower.

There’s another truth.

Matt: Mmm. I really like that.

Sarah: So it’s, how do we shift our paradigm? And then, when you get into like, the nitty gritty, for me, some of it was, I have to move my body. I have to walk. I have to walk, walk, walk. And when I don’t know what to do, I either walk or I do yoga. Um, and all of a sudden, things start to, to clear up.

I’ve gotten better. Align. Align. Mm hmm. They do. And all of a sudden that answer, I’ll be like, that’s what I need to do all of a sudden when I’m not thinking about it, the answer comes.

Nate: So, so take us back, right? You, you’re working at American Health Network. You guys get acquired or strategically invested and then you decide this isn’t for you.

So, you know, put your two weeks in last day of work. You wake up on Monday the next week. And what did you do? Where’d you start?

Sarah: Walking.

Nate: Yes. Okay.

Sarah: Like, like honestly, I mean, I think I went to, I was in the best shape I, well, I’m still like I, I still do all those things, but I mean, I went to yoga class and I walked and I lunched, like I, I saw all the people that I hadn’t had time to see and I saw friends of their friends or connections of their friends.

I really. Spend a bunch of time talking to people that I thought were interesting and listening to podcasts on things that I thought were interesting and reading on things that I And it just kept kind of following that path.

Matt: Were there a couple of particular books or podcasts that you could kind of look back and like that was a pivotal book or article or podcast?

Sarah: I think it’s hard for me because I’m such a consumer of all of those things. Um, So Zach Bush out of Charlottesville, Virginia does a bunch of connecting the soil to human health for me. And that was huge because all of a sudden the language that he was using, I went, Oh my gosh, my personal health is so dependent on what I put in and on my body.

What I put in and on my body really depends on the soil and the way that it, which it was grown. So you can put the organic label on things all day long. And it may still be nutrient dense food. They’re just like nine things you can’t do to that. And so that’s what really started for me.

Toph: So, all right. So now we’re going to start getting into the, some juice, some meat here.

Right. And, and, well, we were already in the meat.

Nate: It’s actually vegetables cause it’s grown,

Toph: But cannot meet, be organic and, you know, okay, double click. All right. So before we start into that, um, Um, I may be wrong, but my personal belief is that there might be some misnomers, misnomers, some myths, um, around different terms and what things are out there with the population as a whole.

So to make sure all of our listeners are on the same page, can we just do some level setting with what is THC versus cannabis versus CBD versus organic versus natural? What are, what are kind of the swim lanes that, um, That we should be thinking about these things like what’s what and what’s illegal, what’s legal in versus in various states, etc.

Sarah: Yeah, so let me back you up a little bit first because they’re kind of they’re they’re different categories, right? There are the labels that would go on food or products, right? So you could have conventionally grown which means Um, and it’s, you know, a whole host of things can be sprayed on it, including glyphosate, including 24 D.

Um it’s kind of your traditional farming practices of what we think of today. Then you get in. Those are so those are herbicides or pesticides, pesticides, quote were

Toph: Accepted by USDA or whomever.

Sarah: Yes, yes. Um then there’s organic and organic says you can’t do a certain number of things and a lot of those are you can’t spray a glyphosate.

or something like that. And glyphosate is one of the most prominent, um, out there. It gets sprayed on GMO crops. It’s really why we have GMO crops. When you think about it, everybody’s demonizing GMO, which is genetically modified. It’s not the genetic modification. That’s a problem that’s been happening through evolution.

The problem is, is we’ve GMO these crops so that we can spray things like glyphosate on them. So if you spray glyphosate on wheat, for example, it acts as a desiccant, so it dries out the wheat so you can Harvard it faster earlier, it also kills certain other weeds and things like that. That glyphosate is a water soluble toxin, right?

Which means it really is never going away. So even the most organic of things have glyphosate in some way because it is in our rainwater, right? It is in our air. And when it gets into our bodies, what it does is it breaks apart the tight junctions of our gut lining. So your gut has these nice little things and they fit together.

Right? And when they fit together, it’s this very thin boundary. When you think about it, we kind of, we talk about boundaries in our personal lives, things like that. In our body, these boundaries are so important because they keep out what shouldn’t be there and they keep in what should be there. So when your tight junctions break apart in your gut, all of a sudden we have these leaky gut, these things that start to happen.

And when that happens, we create inflammation. In our body. Systemic inflammation. So when you’re starting to see that part of what has happened is really since 1996, we’ve been using glyphosate on, on all of our foods. And this isn’t a show about glyphosate. So I can kind of stop there.

Matt: Is that part of why you’ve seen such a like, um, growth in number of people who are like gluten free, like, like when you, when I talked to my parents or people, uh, that are, you know, older than me, they’re like, I don’t remember anyone being gluten free or gluten intolerant.

Are those two things related?

Sarah: I think they are. I mean, I’m not a physician and I’m not a scientist, but I’m going to say that my gut says yes, they are. Um, I think that the, when you go to Europe, Um, and so a lot of their, um, especially their wheat and things like that are raised differently. You’re only allowed to raise so much, then it goes into a smaller bakery.

They have smaller production of foods, and you’ll notice it’s easier on your system because their farming practices are different. And so. I think things are starting to irritate our system more in a way that they wouldn’t otherwise because we, this systemic inflammation is growing and growing and growing, um, and that is in part because of the, the, the, the tight junctions breaking apart.

The other thing that happens when those tight junctions start to break apart is that we lose connection. We’re not getting that connection with ourselves. And if you think about your cell phone, right? Like if you go, your cell phone works perfectly sitting here, downtown Indianapolis. Great, right? If you go to the middle of nowhere, Montana, all of a sudden, you are not having the connection that’s happening.

Your cell phone, the device itself still works perfectly, but you’re not getting that connection. The same thing happens with glyphosate damage in our bodies and our cells. You can have a healthy cell that’s in there, that’s saying like, Okay, I’m out here. Then it gets damaged. And it’s saying, Hey, I’m damaged.

Anybody, anybody. And if that communication network isn’t working, it thinks it’s alone. So what does it do? It proliferates, which is when you get cancer, you get some of these other things that start to happen. So the way our food is grown has a huge impact. And not only our food, but our soil. Really, what we need to be talking about is how are we soil farmers?

Not how are we food farmers? And that was how I got into the love of hemp to make a long story even longer. Um, because hemp is this awesome plant. It legalized across the country in 2019 and hemp has a really long tap root, which what it does is it goes down and aerates the soil. So you think of all those earthworms, right?

It does that. You know, in, in hyper mode and you can’t spray all these glyphosates and these toxins on it. So all of a sudden I was like, Oh my gosh, this is marrying everything that I love of the regenerative health and wellness to the regenerative agriculture. And here’s a plant. And can we start to use this plant to not only change the trajectory of our health, but also to give farmers another tool to maybe transition farming away, and that’s not an easy thing. That’s a whole different subject farming is Incredibly hard farmers have more faith and metal than anybody I know from being so close to it and It’s hard to go green if you’re in the red So, while we say, like, wouldn’t this be lovely, there are a whole bunch of pieces that go into that.

So then, to get to your question, Toph, about cannabis, if you think of a pepper plant, right? There are a million different types of pepper plant. There’s the red pepper plant, and the yellow pepper plant, and the jalapeno, and this, that, and the other. Cannabis is kind of the same way. We are using the overarching term of cannabis to talk about Delta nine THC, which is also marijuana, right? But cannabis is this whole broad family of plants. And within that family is the hemp plant, which is what is legal across the country in every state. And that hemp plant is can be grown for fiber. So think about your your paper, your insulation in cars that they’re starting to use it for clothing, all of those kind of textile applications.

You can grow the hemp plant for grain. So you think about hemp hearts or hemp protein powder. Or you can grow hemp plant for the cannabinoids that are in them. And those cannabinoids are where you get into the Delta nine THC, the Delta eight THC, the CBD, the CBG, and the list goes on and on and on. There are a hundred different cannabinoids and they all interact differently in our body and they’re all grown in the plant to some degree.

And so you pick your seed. And say, okay, this seed has been grown so that it has more CBD, and that’s what we’re going to harvest. Um, and that’s what we’re growing the plant for. Now that plant, that CBD plant, will still have some Delta 9 THC in it. That Delta 9 does have a psychoactive property, but to be considered hemp, it has to be below a certain percentage, which is 0.

3%. If it’s above that, it’s basically an illegal plant and you’re supposed to destroy and all that type of stuff. If you have a license to grow marijuana in the States where it’s legal, then you’re growing a slightly different plant and that Delta nine THC. Um, and so that’s why I’m saying that the hemp is high. Does that make sense?

Toph: Yep. So are you, so if you’re, if you’re farming, uh, if you’re growing hemp, then you’re, there’s, there’s different, I’m going to use the wrong word, but different strands or different seeds that grow different types of hemp that have different applications of which there are vast and many and some, um, the end result product is what people think commonly as marijuana.

But like, that’s just a little piece of the world of hemp.

Sarah: It’s a piece of the world of cannabis. So cannabis is really the overarching thing and then there’s hemp and there’s marijuana and there’s, there’s all of these then arguably synthetic type of things that basically like a delta eight, right?

Delta eight is under scrutiny right now in a whole lot of places because delta eight exists in very small amounts in the plant, but you can take CBD. And then through a process of, you know, chemical plus heat, you can create delta eight synthetic synthetic. There’s an argument, right? Is it synthetic? Is it not?

This is part of what’s happening at the federal level where some states have made it illegal. Some states have not touched it yet. Indiana. It’s, you know, kind of sits in a question mark place. Um, texas. It’s totally illegal. Florida. It’s totally illegal. So you can, it is a state by state type of Um, and on a lot of that, you get down to follow the money because you have your, your traditional cannabis, your marijuana industries that are saying all of a sudden this Delta eight, which is coming from the hemp plant.

Which is less regulated, so less expensive than is infringing on the sales of the traditional marijuana. And marijuana in most states is burdened with a lot of regulation, a lot of taxes. It’s expensive to grow, it’s expensive to buy. So that’s where you get some of the controversy.

Toph: So can we, the rest of the podcast, can we think about two buckets?

Tell me if you’d like these two buckets. Well, actually three buckets. Because we want to talk about community. Yep. And then, um, And think about the bucket of the quote unquote substance that’s illegal in some states, legal in some states and illegal in other states. And in the third bucket you mentioned on, or no, in and on earlier.

I thought that was interesting. I never really thought about it that way. What you put in and on. Your body the on part I think is really interesting. I never thought about that way Organic makeup or oils or lotion or whatever.

Matt: That was my business. I started after college Really the repurify was yeah, that’s why I started Powderkeg is I was struggling with that business It’s just I started it too early.

Basically, there wasn’t enough search volume to be successful with it. It was about five years too early with it

Nate: Toph fun fact. Your skin is the largest organ on your body and your body on your body.

Toph: And we don’t think I think we don’t wake up every day and think we think about a heart in our lungs and our liver or whatever.

But people don’t really think about their skin a lot. I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong.

Sarah: No, you are. And let’s talk about community right now based on that, because this leads into it. What we’re doing with the Human Array. Is reconnecting people to their bodies so that they then can reconnect and evolve in community.

Nate: Can we double click, I’m going to use the term, double click into that. Cause that, that seems very like philosophical and like conceptual of like, you need to reconnect with your body. And it’s like, okay, I feel pretty connected right now. But it’s like, tell me on a, in the listeners on like an, an applicable level.

Someone wakes up in the morning, listens to this podcast and you, they hear you say reconnect with your body. What do they, what does that mean to the average listener?

Sarah: Right. Well, there’s so many different things. We were just talking about your skin. Did you know your skin is your largest organ? Right? Oh my goodness.

Our bodies and nature, essentially, the cosmos, our body, we’ve rewritten or we’ve written ourselves out of the definition of nature, by the way. Mm-Hmm. , if you didn’t know, if you look in the dictionary. It excludes humans, which I think is a mistake, but so in my definition of nature, the human body is in there.

You guys talk a lot about tech, our bodies and our natural systems around us are the highest tech that exists on the planet, on the planet. And we’re creating all of this other cool tech and it’s starting to catch up in some ways. But we don’t know what our skin does. We don’t know how our gut works. We don’t know about the fascia system.

Do you know about the fascia?

Matt: I went to my fascia workshop and it changed my life.

Toph: Oh yes, I learned a little bit about that. I have no idea.

Nate: Give me the flyover.

Sarah: So the fascia is basically all the interconnected tissue. In your body. Um, it is essentially made of collagens, structured water. It’s why our bodies are really about 100 percent water.

It wraps every tissue, every organ. Your bones are basic. Your fascia just vibrating at a different speed. Um, and it holds up your body. It’s not your bones that hold up your body. It has more sensory neurons Then your nervous system. It connects faster. And why? When you go to touch a tea kettle that’s hot, you immediately pull your hand back is because of the way the fascia can connect in that quantum communication.

So there’s so much cool stuff that I think we’re going to start hearing about your fascia and quantum biology hydration. Is a huge thing. So right. Keep drinking. We are all chronically dehydrated. So whether you take my view that we’re about 100 percent water or you go with the traditional 70 percent water when you now look around, the studies are saying people about 68 percent hydrated.

Well, that 2 percent decrease in hydration causes all sorts of your issues. So when you go back to like, how do you know yourself and your body if you’re chronically dehydrated? Nothing’s functioning, nothing’s talking the way it should in its body, your brain isn’t working. So, easy ways, like one super easy way, is when you wake up in the morning, get your glass of water, put a little bit of that Celtic gray sea salt in it.

Maybe squeeze a lime into it. All of a sudden you’re re mineralizing and you’re starting to structure the water in your body which is what you need for your body to be the electromagnetic being that it is.

Nate: Okay, electromagnetic being. I have a question. I don’t know if you’re going to know anything about this, but I want to ask it.

One of my friends swears by every morning grounding himself. He takes off his shoes and walks outside. He lives in rural Northern Indiana, walks around his property barefoot and says he needs to get grounded every morning. Is this a thing?

Sarah: This is a total thing. I did it this morning. I sleep grounded. So I have like a grounding mat on my bed.

So this goes, this goes into again, your electromagnetic field. So we know there’s positive, we know there’s negative, right? Our body, because all of the EMFs and just kind of living. Gets an excess of positive charge in it. The Earth has, it has a negative charge in part because of the way the lightning comes down and I can’t give you all the like exact sciencey answers.

But when you put your bare feet on the ground, especially like wet grass, all of a sudden, your body starts to come into polarity. It neutralizes. Right? And so it does, it brings down inflammation, it brings down all of these things. So yeah, grounding is a super easy way and it puts you outside. So if you can take your little glass of water with salt and lime, you can go out in the morning.

It’s hard this time of year because, I mean, today it’s gorgeous, but we start to get into cold and yuck.

Matt: Well, that’s perfect. Cause like the more you tell Nate you can’t do something, the more he’s going to do it. I will be out

Nate: there in the snow. Yeah.

Sarah: I mean, 15 minutes, if you can get 15 minutes on the ground.

And you can get your eyes to see that morning light. Matt is a huge

Nate: direct sunlight into the eye guy.

Toph: Does asphalt count as the ground or does it have to be on grass or dirt?

Sarah: Not really. Yeah. Yeah. Concrete is better than asphalt because it’s a little bit more conductive. But I mean, if you’re going to spend the time, put your feet on the grass or the dirt and you know, while you’re at it, go hug a tree, right?

Like that’s pretty. And you start to get into the woo woo ness of that.

Toph: What are my neighbors going to think tomorrow morning when I’m out there hugging some trees? I’m like, oh yeah, let’s tree.

Matt: Please take a selfie and share it on LinkedIn. Yes, I love it.

Toph: Sarah Cotterill told me to do it.

Sarah: That’s great, I’ll happily claim it.

Matt: I actually might do that. You should.

Nate: You should take a selfie, climb the tree. I’ll do it. Like get all the way up in it. Yeah, there you go.

Sarah: Now my 18 year old will tell you that different trees have different energy. Okay. All right. You can feel them and it’s funny and she’ll probably kill me for even saying this, but you know, she’ll be like, well, you know, I think the trees in Michigan are really happy.

Like they don’t seem like they need a whole lot of hugs, but these other trees they do. And she’s gotten so into trees. She now plants trees with KIB, keeping NFs beautiful on a regular basis. Like it’s, it’s really,

Nate: That is so crazy that you just said the trees in Michigan look happier. I was just up in Southern Michigan, like kind of over by.

The like, uh, Buchanan area, like just north of South Bend. And as I crossed the state line, it was right there on the St. Joe River, and I was like, Man, these trees are really beautiful, and I’m only 15 miles north of Indiana. And I literally told my aunt, I was like, Are the trees different around here? Like they just look so full and the color was great.

And I like to, I took pictures of them. I was like, I don’t, I don’t take pictures of trees. I’m like, not a, I’m not like a nature landscaper. And I was like, these trees just look

Sarah: so beautiful. See, they’re happy. And now they know that you’ve noticed them. Right.

Matt: So they’re like, maybe we can start a movement here in Indiana to have happier trees than Michigan.

For sure. Yeah, I like it. That’s amazing. One hug at a time. If you’re listening, go hug a tree. Seriously, do it.

Toph: Alright, so then, so, then how do you think community with all of that? So, so how does that all, how do, how do you feel like you connect, so whether it’s your professional life, which you’ve moved into, or personal life, how has that manifested itself using these techniques into improving community.

Sarah: Yeah, so I’ve been a studier of the body in all of these different ways and other things and things like. Okay when you the bullet train, the bullet train didn’t work until they changed the front of it to mimic the beak of the king Fisher, which is a bird we have out here like a Geist, for example, and when they did that, that thing can fly.

Right. So I have been literally, but like, but close, move really quickly. Yes. I guess we live in a world where things may be starting to fly.

Matt: We have some engineers who listened to the podcast. I just wanted to clarify.

Sarah: Well, I don’t know. Can you guys make it fly? Um, but it’s that kind of biomimicry. Piece of things.

So I’ve been kind of collecting all of this information, starting to see all of these things, but it wasn’t until I really stepped into a community to participate, to talk about these things, to basically to have the humility to say, I can’t do this alone. I need help. That’s when the potential came.

That’s when the quantum leaps happened in my own personal life from a health and wellness perspective from all of these things that I’ve been kind of thinking about starting to manifest. And that’s what I think we’ve lost. You know, you walk down the street and nobody even says hello to each other. We can’t look each other in the eye.

Nate: We do not see each other on the street then, Sarah.

Sarah: Well, you and I might, like, we probably, so do I, and I now make it like a point. Like, who’s that crazy person?

And that’s what, that’s what we need to remember. And there’s kind of this micro macro level that’s happening that we’ve forgotten about. If we are not So if we are not healthy in our bodies, if we are not comfortable in our skin, if we are not hydrated, if we’re not functioning, if we’re not doing all of those things, then we sit down at the dinner table with our families.

When we come to work, when we do all of these things, we’re not really bringing our whole selves. We’re not functioning at our best, which means our communities aren’t functioning.

Matt: Do you think part of that is because our brains have not evolved at the same rate as society and technology have? Because when you think about, even a decade ago, the number of connections that a single person had, it was closer to Dunbar’s number of 150.

Today, I don’t know how many connections I have on LinkedIn, but it’s definitely more than 15, 000. And like, at some point your brain, and maybe this is just my brain, it like lets go of like holding onto information. And I had to literally retrain my brain to be like, this person is introducing themselves to me.

Remember their name. You know, because I was just out there so much having conversations with thousands of people. I’m curious if any of your studies took you in that direction and, and um, if you’ve learned any ways personally to live more connected and more in community even with the advent of A new social platform every year.

Sarah: Mm-Hmm. ? No, I think it’s interesting. I mean, there’s some statistic out there that, you know, in 19 hun in 1900 what you learned, your whole lifetime is the equivalent of what you learn in a day now. Right. So we have all of this information and all of this people, and, and now we know we can look it all up again.

Right, right. So I do think. The biggest thing for me is how am I present and where I am.

Nate: How do you believe community and like that feeling of belonging in your community affects your physical health?

Sarah: I mean, I think you can’t separate them. You just, you can’t. It’s the It is the place where all the potential happens.

It is the support system. It’s how you go in and go, and you don’t realize you need community until you need it, right? Like you don’t realize it until there’s a crisis in your life. And all of a sudden you look around and you’re like, Oh, who am I going to call? Right. And that’s when the real panic and fear sets in.

Um, and so some of it is like, if you know, you have it, there is this, you know, sense of security. And you’re like, okay, I can try that because I know I have these people around me that are going to cheer me on, that are going to support me, that are going to really be honest with me. And I think that is some of what we’ve lost, too, in community, is the way for us to sit around this table and for me to go, Toph, five years ago, you told me this.

Or two weeks ago, you told me this, and this is how you wanted to live, and this is how you wanted to show up. Are you doing it? Are you doing it in the way? Because I’m not sure you are. Right? And to say that in a loving way to help people grow.

Nate: Yeah. And I think that you’re talking about you don’t realize that you need community until the bad side.

Right? When you have to look around and you need it. Or I, I am such a big proponent of like, there are those times where people show up and your community shows up and like taking a moment, it’s like step back and be grateful and just like bask all that in, like even in like the hardest times when like people show up.

And I just like, I’m amazed. And I just kind of like take that in. I’m like, dang, I’m really lucky. I’m really fortunate that like we talked about, um, on the, uh, at the event, the like. Brian Brown, Brené Brown, Brené Brown, sorry, the one inch by one inch square and like write all that stuff to get that feedback and that’s super impactful of like, hey, these 10, 5, 10 people, they’re going to like be straight shooters with me and like be so grateful for the community that we do have.

It, it does wonders to like mental health and even I think physical health. I think there’s some tie there, but I don’t have any research or anything to back it up, but just by the way I feel.

Sarah: But you just know. And part of that is it’s fun, right? You are laughing, right? That’s good for your energetics.

Among other things, it resets your. You’re not, you’re not. And we need that. And in Ikaria Greece, which is one of the blue zones where people, they have the most they talk about it’s not what you eat, it’s who you eat with. And so they’re always setting an extra tape place or two at the table. When I went to Italy.

In the spring. It was that same way. We stayed at this amazing villa, the villa owner and his wife who were making all the food joined us. Our guides joined us. I mean, it was just like the more the merrier. And it was this incredible sense of place and sense of people. And I don’t care what I saw in Italy.

Those dinners were the best because everybody’s sitting around laughing, sharing sharing. About, you know, everything and nothing.

Matt: I just happened upon a photo, cause I was, I was, uh, challenging myself last week at the Powder Keg event to find the earliest photo of every person who came on stage that, that was in the Powderkeg directory.

And I was looking for the earliest photo of you and I, I found it, but in finding that, I found a photo of, uh, you, me and maybe 20 other founders, um, grabbing dinner at Scott Jones’s house. Oh, yeah. I don’t know if you remember. I, like, I didn’t remember it until I saw the photo. Yeah. And, and there’s something about people going through similar experiences and sharing over a meal, which I think Paul Singh was in town from 500 Startups and like we use that as a reason to be like, let’s get all of our founders together and have a meal.

And, you know, it was all of the kind of who’s who of. Indiana Tech and there’s just something about like sharing a meal. That is magical.

Sarah: There is. And that is one of the things that we’re doing with the Human Array that we’re getting ready to kick off here soon, which is we’re going to get people together to share a meal, to share, we’re calling it the Wisdom Well, um, to share some wisdom.

Where do I sign up? All right. I’ll put you on my list. All right. Perfect. And we’re going to create these, these groups that come together, ideally. Monthly and they don’t even have to be the same group, but we think it’s important to get people back together to talk about this, some of the stuff and then to laugh and have fun and eat good food.

Nate: I’d love to hear your perspective, right? So, because if you think about it from a high level, society is the most connected. That we’ve ever been, you know, digitally, you know, 17, 000, technically we’re so connected, but yet there’s like this loneliness epidemic, right? Of like people feel more alone than they ever have.

And I just be curious to hear your opinion of like why getting people together in person in groups to break bread is so important.

Sarah: I think you’re a hundred percent right that we are super disconnected and in part because we don’t know who we can trust anymore. Right? You look around. You’re like, I don’t know if I can trust my politician or my doctor or my church or my teacher.

It’s all in question. And at the same time, there’s infinite everything. It’s all coming to us, right? So it comes back to, okay, we do have this kind of ancient wisdom in us. Like, think about it with evolution that doesn’t just all like poof go away, but we’ve forgotten to tap into it. And it’s in that sitting here and being able to look at somebody in the face, to be able to hug them, to touch them, to feel the energetics that all of a sudden it starts, Oh, good.

Matt: That’s going to be a gift on the podcast episode for sure. Uh, I, I mean, I, I can’t help, but think about our core value, trust yourself. Um, and how this all relates to that and in isn’t even deeper meaning of what we originally meant when we said, trust yourself as a core value at Powderkeg. Um, but I, I do think that there’s some, some level of like personal intuition that if you can cultivate that, it can be one of the most powerful tools or skills you have.

Sarah: It totally can. And, you know, kind of similar to what you’re doing with Powderkeg, we’re starting to I think it’s important for people to amass what we call catalysts. The people that are making the changes because recognizing that you know your way in is not going to be my way in to this growth thing.

I do think there’s some kind of foundational types of things that everybody should be doing in their lives from a health and wellness perspective. But you know for me it may be yoga and moving my body. For you may be breathing, right? It may be how I fuel myself. It may be that I need to sit in meditation and maybe, and, and when you start to build that foundational level of health, then everything comes with it.

But to have that community, both from a resource perspective and encouragement perspective. Um, creates all the, all the difference

Matt: Do we cover everything you wanted to cover tough because we’re, we’re down to our last,

Toph: We need about eight more hours. I know.

Matt: I knew you were going to say that we’re coming up to the lightning round.

Like we

Toph: literally could spend 12 hours. We didn’t get to a half a dozen topics.

Matt: Well, maybe next time we can do it over dinner. And yeah, exactly.

Toph: Bread and, and.

Matt: At the wisdom. Well, I think that’d be great. That would be cool.

Nate: Yes. I do want to, but as we wrap up, right, you’re, you’re kind of in that as we talked about the THC cannabis space.

If we do have a lot of Indiana listeners, could we just get like a quick, you know, one to two minute flyover of where Indiana stands on, on all that stuff. Just so like people know what’s being grown where and how they can leverage these resources in their everyday wellbeing. Sure.

Sarah: Yeah, so, um, marijuana or cannabis, as some people call it, is currently not legal in the state of Indiana.

I personally think there’s a way for Indiana to do it and do it really well and do it in an Indiana fashion. And we can talk about that in, in a different way so that we don’t have the black market so that we don’t have all of these things. And we really do, um, use it as a revenue stream and an avenue of health.

For people in Indiana who are otherwise just crossing the border to go get it and bring it back. So that being said, hemp derived products are For the most part legal Delta. It’s a little bit in question, but it is still generally being sold all over the state of Indiana. Delta eight is essentially a cousin of marijuana.

It has about two thirds of the psychoactive properties for some people that have, um, you know, have problems with the Delta nine that it makes them anxious. Delta eight can be a better term. Um, better product for them. There is also hemp derived Delta nine. That’s what, um, my company shift edibles has gourmet chocolates that are milk and dark, so they are, they’re excellent.

And I will tell anybody that is listening that, um, if you go online to CBD jubilee. That’s where we’re selling our products, um, in part because Alix, who’s the owner of that company, used to have a store in Broad Ripple. I remember that, yeah. Um, she just closed it, so she’s all online now. But Aleix is such a wealth of information about all things hemp, cannabis, how they interact from a health perspective.

Ask Alix. She knows. We should just invite her to our dinner. Yes, we should.

Toph: She should start a website called Ask Alix.

Matt: Ask Alix. Ask Alix. I went to a wedding once in Denver and um, they had like a five course meal and they did meal pairings, you know like wine pairings, but they did it with Cannabis.

That’s wild. I could not hang. I could not hang! Five courses! It was insane! I was just like, how are you guys, like I’m not on that level. I

Sarah: mean, either, and it’s really funny because cannabis affects everybody differently, right? So if you’re, you’re not a connoisseur, you don’t really know in which different ways and you know, sometimes like Delta nine, people will be like, I don’t feel anything, but with Delta eight, they will.

So, you know, it takes some, some time, I suppose, to figure out. Right. And like, why are you using it? What do you need it for? And that’s where, again, Alix is a great resource. CBG is an awesome type of thing. If you need a pick me up and at the same time leveling out, um, that’s a great thing. So yeah, there’s so many different ways to go.

Nate: I love it. This is a, that’s a great little, you know, two minute resource for all of our Indiana listeners out there. But I do believe it’s time for my favorite part of the show. The lightning round. Bum, bum, bum. Yes. So these are three quick questions. First thing that comes to your mind. Lightning round.

There are no wrong answers. And we’re going to start with outside of the amazing entrepreneurial ecosystem. What is Indiana known for? I know.

Sarah: I’m just trying to think. I mean, I think Indiana is known for farming. Farming. Which is one of our greatest opportunities in this whole Yes, upcoming world.

Nate: True story.

I drove my first combine on Saturday. I was harvesting corn. I got to no help Just me

Matt: and a combine combine still have ones that are driven by humans.

Nate: Uh, well when you work on a small farm Yes, yes, they do. Okay, 2001 international harvester. That’s awesome Sorry, that’s totally off topic. But number two, what is a hidden gem in Indiana?

Sarah: I think if people haven’t been down to Brown County and Shades and some of those types of of our state parks. State parks are you should definitely go

Toph: That’s a great place to walk in the dirt

Nate: Get grounded down in Brown County it grand get grounded Yes, and our final final question of the lightning round.

Who is someone we need to keep on our radar Someone who is doing big things


Boom! Yes! I love it! Boom, boom, boom. Thank you so much for coming on. This was a spectacular episode. Our most, um, unique episode for sure. I feel like I learned a punch, um, and just in thinking about my body and just the way that works in a different way, and I appreciate that perspective.

A little bit different than our normal kind of tech entrepreneurship business talk, and I really appreciate that.

Sarah: Yeah, and I will tell you just to kind of, Um, a plug for the human array is that we do work with companies and individuals because we do and communities because they’re all nested, right? So it’s how is you an individual?

How are your people showing up? And we have a whole kind of, um, thought process around creating living systems within your company, within your body, how that translates.

Toph: I love that. Yeah, just one quick final thought, like, uh, this was really educational for me and made me think about things in an entirely different way.

But like, my takeaway from this is like, the, the critic, the critical nature of authentically reconnecting is, has never been more important than now, and we’re actually just on the tip of the iceberg of what’s going to be required with the things that are going on in this world. Um, and so, this is, I’m going to be like, Reflecting on this pretty, pretty hardcore.

Matt: It’s really interesting that you just said tip of the iceberg. Last time I was hanging out with Max Yoder, friend of the show, friend of the Powderkeg community, founder of Lessonly. We were just talking about the conscious and subconscious. And your consciousness being like the tip of the iceberg. I’ve lived a lot of my life thinking that that was reality.

Like that was all of reality was the tip of the iceberg, but you actually look below the surface and what’s going on in subconscious, your dreams, analyzing your dreams, uh, being in touch and channeling the universe, whatever you want to call it, just like an amazing well of. of opportunity. And, um, it’s really interesting.

Like, I’m just a well of wisdom. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been talking about last hour, but like there’s connection, there’s things happening here. You just said iceberg. There’s, there’s something there.

Nate: The happy trees in Michigan. Crazy. The dots are being connected here. It’s here. Thank you so much.

One final reminder to all listeners out there. If you send us three large shirts to 16 Tech address to powder keg in Indianapolis. We will give your, your company, your organization, a shout out on the show. We’ll talk about it. We’ll wear them. You’ll get all the, all the jazz of our YouTube videos for the next show.

We do have a special one for the next show. Some nice polos, actually, somebody kind of went off for it. So watch out. We’ll dive into that next time, but thank you so much. This is very,

Matt: This was awesome. Thank you so much. Yeah. Awesome. Great job. This has been Get IN, a Powderkeg production in partnership with Elevate Ventures.

And we want to hear from you. If you have suggestions for our guest or segment, reach out to Matt or Nate on LinkedIn or on email. To discover top tier tech companies outside of Silicon Valley in hubs like Indiana, check out our newsletter at And to apply for membership to the Powderkeg executive community, check out

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