After multi-millionaire Tim Gurner spoke at the Australian Financial Review’s Property Summit about the future of Australia’s economy, he endured a period of online retaliation that extended as far as death threats. Recently, he has spoken about his remarks, his apology, the effects of these online interactions, and the personal transformation that allowed him to move on.

Gurner’s inciting remarks came during an interview at the annual gathering of investors, leaders, and experts of the Australian property industry in September. The final question of this interview prompted a response that Gurner would later regret. “I said something really stupid, and I really regret it,” Gurner recently told Forbes. “And, looking back now, I don’t know how it happened at that moment. We all make mistakes, and I made a big mistake.”

Gurner’s comments targeted trade workers in Australia’s industries. Quotes such as “We need to remind people that they work for the employer, not the other way around,” and “They have been paid a lot to do not too much in the last few years, and we need to change that,” were widely reported, circulating online and triggering a backlash. Gurner’s quote, “We need to see unemployment rise. Unemployment has to jump 40, 50 percent,” has also been frequently cited, with media pointing out that his numbers represent a call for 275,000 workers to lose their jobs. Media reports have featured trade workers rebuffing Gurner’s narrative, but a much more personal response took place on social media. There, Gurner became the target of individual contention, which included death threats.

“The online social trolling is pretty intense nowadays,” Gurner recently said to Yahoo! Finance, “And it’s stuff you try not to read, but it’s very challenging. There wasn’t a hell of a lot of sleep. But I brought it on myself. I deserved it.”

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Worse for Gurner than the online backlash, however, was the need to face those close to him. His words had hurt people in his life, causing very real damage. “My family, my team, the tradies on site,” he said to Yahoo!, “I had a lot of people going through financial strain themselves, and families who lost jobs that reached out directly to me, and it was a really confronting, eye-opening experience.” He focused on this tangible damage much more than the online retaliation.

Gurner did issue an apology: “My comments were deeply insensitive to employees, tradies, and families across Australia who are affected by these cost-of-living pressures and job losses.”

He then traveled to the luxury wellness clinic that he owns in Melbourne, Saint Haven, and there met with breathwork and meditation coach Eugene Koning. “The first seven minutes was him just sitting me down, cross-legged, staring at me, saying nothing,” Gurner said of this transformative experience. “Literally just staring me in the eye. It was the most bizarre experience.” Gurner said that this meditation was “a bit of a strange journey, to be honest, but a beautiful one at that,” going on to say that it was the “start of a rebirth to get back to some kind of normality.”

Following this experience, Gurner returned to his work as the CEO of Gurner Group, a company that handles a $9.5 billion development and management portfolio.