Trust or Fear: Which Do You Choose?

There are two places I can always go, but never at the same time.  I have to choose one or the other.

I can go to the place of fear where I will most certainly experience worry, anxiety, doubt, insecurity, and discomfort.  I don’t like going there yet it’s so easy to find myself there when I’m not being mindful of my thoughts.  Being in fear makes me sad, impatient and self-centered.   I feel nervous and uneasy there and I know instantly I don’t want to stay.  It’s not a friendly place and it’s very crowded.  Lots of people hang out there and none are happy.  There’s lots of complaining, moaning, whining, blaming, judging, criticizing and there’s no shortage of despair.

I like the other place, the place of trust.  Everyone in trust is calm, relaxed, and peaceful.  People take their time in this place; they are confident, generous, optimistic and practice gratitude.  You see lots of smiles in the land of trust.

We are always in control of our choice and we can always change our mind; which one do you choose?


What’s One Simple Tool to Prevent Your Inner Child from Hijacking Your Life?

We are all born innocent; as infants, toddlers, and young children, our innocence allows us to grow, learn and develop in optimal ways and at phenomenal speeds.

Then, at some moment in our growing up, something happens and on some deep, hidden level, a dramatic shift occurs and we mysteriously intuit that our innocence has vanished and we have crossed over an unanticipated threshold toward a darker, heavier place.  Why did innocence leave?  Where did it go? And most importantly–how can we get it back?

The particular event or series of incidents that moved us out of innocence is less relevant than the omnipresent but unspoken awareness of feeling vulnerable in a threatening world and somehow blameworthy.  The pattern and behavior of compulsively blaming and harshly judging ourselves develops into our unconscious default and can dominate for years, even decades.  Self-forgiveness seems impossible to imagine, as does recovering our innocence.

Yet, without self-forgiveness and recapturing innocence, how can we experience true joy, peace, and health?

How do we transition from blaming, shaming and judgement to a place of acceptance, forgiveness and connection where we believe we are worthy of abundant love, health and joy?

This gradual transition demands a disciplined, assiduous practice of reconnecting to the baby, toddler, child or adolescent inside of ourself who needs to be seen, heard, understood, valued and loved.  We are the only ones who can give this to ourselves.  We are the only ones who can parent the needy, hurting child inside of us who needs our attention, acceptance and love.  The more we avoid the wounded and needy child within, the more we, as adults, unknowingly chase others away from us with our neediness–neediness that we are not even aware of yet to those around us seems suffocating and blatantly obvious.

You can start your practice with one simple question each day.  Choose a time in your infancy, childhood or adolescence; see yourself at that age and ask that younger version of you what she/he needs.

Every Young Girl Deserves a Chance to Be Empowered!

The first time I envisioned myself as a published author I was twelve years old; the year was 1962.  My seventh grade Social Studies teacher planted the seed in my heart; she praised my writing and said I should be a writer one day. Being acknowledged like that was a strange and sweet sensation since at home I was invisible and my talents and accomplishments were entirely ignored.  My teacher’s name was Mrs. Forrester and she made me feel valued. More than fifty years has passed yet in my mind I can still see her perfectly formed signature on my report card; we remember those who value and appreciate us; they are etched into our eternal essence.

It turned out that I did write professionally for many years when I was conducting marketing research in Chicago and Shanghai but the only things I published were analysis reports for my clients.  The idea of publishing my own books always lived in a silent space of my mind and heart,  hidden on dusty shelves that I seldom visited because I was too busy meeting deadlines for bosses so I could support my two children.

Decades passed and jobs took me from Asia to Africa when in 2008, I was living alone in a very remote area, twenty-two kilometers outside the capital city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the dirt road in front of my place would virtually wash out nearly every day during the heavy rains.  It was then, most of the time without electric and phone service, that I started writing my book.

On the days that I had electricity and the other days when I did not, but still had a few hours of battery power left on my laptop, I wrote as much and as quickly as I could–always racing against the moment my battery would completely die.

My first book, Empathy Warriors, autobiographical in nature, poured out of my heart like the deluge that flooded the road in front of my little house, turning it into a muddy, rushing river.  My first, rough draft was completed around the time I accepted a new job in Korea in 2009.  My plan was to publish and field test my book there so before I accepted the job offer, I shared with my new employers my intentions for my book in their school.  They claimed to be on board with my plan, but two years later, it was clear it was not going to happen.  I listened to my heart and determined the best thing for me was to leave that job behind, return to America, and be my own boss–so in 2011, that’s exactly what I did!

My desire to publish Empathy Warriors and empower young girls with it was pulling at my heart strings and telling me to stick with my plan to get it out in the world and available to the millions of young girls who need to hear its message.  In January 2013, I started revising and editing with the goal of self-publishing on Amazon.  For the next eight months, I was glued to my computer, determined to achieve my goal and on September 20, 2013, Empathy Warriors first became available for purchase on Amazon!

My challenge and intention now is to learn how to make Empathy Warriors go viral so it gets the attention it deserves to fulfill the unmet needs of multitudes of deserving girls around the world whose hearts and minds are open to receiving what is their birth right–a chance to live an empowered life.