All of us have challenges and I’ve been a believer that there is an inner strength in each one of us that can be summoned to overcome the obstacles that life throws at us. It becomes even easier if we are fortunate enough to have the support of family and friends. This was never clearer to me than the other night when I was at a gathering of remarkable people who shared their journey, met their obstacles head on, and came out the other side triumphant – a feat easier said than done. It so inspired me, let me share more with you.
The event celebrated the launch of a new, book, Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths (www.lifechoicesbook.com). The book is a compilation of stories by 26 authors who have lived incredible lives and had to overcome some really challenging situations to become who they are today. But more than just sharing their journeys, Life Choices is an emotionally moving guide to anyone who has, or is, facing adversity and the inspiration to know that there is hope. Everyone who reads it can find a kernel of their own life.
I had the honor of meeting a number of the authors from across the US and as far away as South Africa. One author was Andrea Chestnut, a talented and successful interior designer, but she was born into a house of domestic violence, sexual abuse, alcoholism, poverty, hopelessness and death by self-defense – a far cry from where she is now. Driven to share her story of victory, her narrative is both powerful and poignant.
There was also Karen Phillips whose “perfect life” as a healthy young woman with great kids and wonderful husband, was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with MS. In her essay, Karen shares the “7 Keys 2 Success” that have empowered her to live life to the fullest in spite of her new found difficulties. As Karen said, “’If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change’, was not only a Wayne Dyer quote, but also a mantra for life.”
Susan Haller, who is a close friend, shows us all her bravery when she shares her emotional journey to escape an abusive marriage and ten years in the grip of post traumatic stress syndrome to recapture her creativity and joy through music and the stage as an entertainer.
But I think Judi Moreo of Turning Point International who compiled these incredible stories of challenge, love, courage, faith and inspiration, best describes Life Choices:
“Designed to help those of us who are making the difficult choice to create a successful future, this book makes statements of power and creates avenues of self-trust. Knowing that other people have faced adversity and survived allows the reader to find the inner strength to go beyond coping and find empowerment….”
Some of us have never met, some of us have. And let’s face it, the challenges of vanity and wanting to look your best can certainly pale in the face of the stories presented in Life Choices. However, my products were born because I had physical challenges that I wanted to overcome. I was tired of having my cosmetic flaws hurt my self esteem. If you feel better about the you on the outside, you can take that good energy and channel it to you on the inside, the side that gives you the strength to help conquer the lemons life throws at us.
I encourage you to read Life’s Choices and I look forward to all of us sharing more of our stories of strength and inspiration.