The Courage to Prevail

A few months ago I attended a breakthrough program called Enlightened Warrior Training Camp where we were put to the test to conquer fears. For many people it is filled with the most difficult things they have ever done. For me it was not the most challenging things I have done but one of the most transformative. What has been one of the most challenging things was finishing the first draft of the manuscript of my book Healing Happens: Stories of Healing Against All Odds.

I have ski dived out of planes, bungee jumped off of bridges, backpacked in the woods by myself with bears, and traveled around the world solo, and this was harder. Since books take so long to put together, it has been more like an extended Warrior Camp. My book is about exceeding limitations and that is exactly what I have had to do to get this far.

“I am a Warrior…I am willing to do what’s ‘Hard’.”

I remember as a child telling my mother I wanted to write an autobiography before I even knew if I had anything to share. I also grew up deficient in my writing skills but excelling in all other areas of school.

Going from kindergarten to first grade my mother wanted to hold me back a year because I could not put letters together at all. The school was fine with me proceeding but had me get pulled out of class to have a special tutor the first three grades. On all the equivalency exams in elementary school I would get 99% on math, the highest score you can get, and 55% on English/grammar. By the end of high school I bumped the grammar score up to 85% on the SAT’s.

I did not have to write much in college because I majored in Engineering and dance. At the spiritual community I lived in, interestingly they assigned me the role of Sales and Marketing Director of their book publishing company for five years. With books all around me, sharing the writings of others, and lots of ideas in my head to share, you can imagine the idea of myself writing started to seep into my head.

“I am a Warrior… I am bigger than any obstacle.”

First I got to write the intros to our newsletters. Writing never flowed for me but it started to for those intros. Some may have said I was channeling the words from our Guru Paramhansa Yogananda or his direct disciple Swami Kriyananda, especially since I was promoting their books. Although, everything I wrote was heavily edited.

Then we had a journal that majorly needed to be redone to promote our latest books. Our writer was very busy so I asked my boss if I could create it to help with our promotions. He looked at me and explained that writer had a college degree in writing so he was not going to give me the project.

“I am a Warrior… I am willing to do whatever it takes.”

Somehow that lit an even bigger fire in me. Through the disappointment of not getting to work on that job I was determined I would acquire the skills needed to write even if it wasn’t for that journal. I drove almost four hours away for a writing workshop. However I still didn’t have an idea formulated yet of what to write.

Despite not knowing what to write, in the quiet meditative life at the community my head kept getting filled with new wisdom that I could have exploded. After spending a week talking a friend’s head off every night with these ideas I realized instead of making him listen, I could write blogs. But I still had no courage built up yet to actually do it.

“I am a Warrior… I act in spite of fear.”

A year later Swami Kriyananda passed away. A few days after his passing I had tickets to a dance show three hours away in San Francisco. I decided to still go despite his passing. The show was amazing and the dancers were some of the most expansive I had ever seen consciously putting every single cell in their bodies into action.

After the show I returned to my hotel room which was more like a corner of a room because that was all I could afford at the time. I sat on my lime green bed to meditate. Luckily I had my ipad nearby because all of a sudden a flood of ideas came through for the intro to my autobiography, intro to my blog, and three blog posts. Ok done! No! It still took me another year to actually launch the blog.

“I am a Warrior… I never give up.”

By the time I was ready to put pen to paper for my first book about a year ago, I had a list of ten ideas. I decided to go with Healing Happens: Stories of Healing Against All Odds because combining all those inspiring interviews together of health and healing experts exceeding the usual limitations will have the most impact and be a great intro to my healing concepts.

I think it is fairly common for many writers to go through much doubt in their skills, message, ability to communicate it; doubt in the need for it; doubt it will reach anyone; doubt it will be good enough; and courage to put our voice out there. All of that has been true for me. One of my favorite lines on the t-shirt I got after bungee jumping is “Feel the fear, but do it anyways.”

“I am a Warrior… I act in spite of my mood.”

The thing I healed from that I wrote about in my book is Hashimoto’s, which is described as an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland and causes Hypothyroidism. Many people associate those diseases with the throat chakra, the seat of our communication. What a great way to continue to conquer that by singing my voice out to the world through a book.

“I am a Warrior… I do everything at 100%.”

Everyday I have had to sit in this quiet home with just myself and push myself to work despite the fear, doubts, physical issues coming up. I have had a few things pass through my body during this project causing intense pain or fatigue at times. That is all clearing away, especially with the great help of all the wisdom I have gathered. I got to put the wisdom of the book to test as well. If I thought meditating a lot in quiet spiritual community for seven years was going to help me completely accept myself, I was wrong. It was this. When I accepted everything during this book process, I felt a calmness like I never had before.

On the flipside, for three days after finally finishing the first draft of my manuscript I was so emotional I could cry at the hint of anything. Maybe that was the release of all I held in to get the project done mixed with the joy of overcoming one of my biggest challenges. One of the things we learned at the Enlightened Warrior camp was to celebrate winning or crossing the finish line before we get there. Imagine now how you will feel when you finish the big task you are working on or overcome current challenges.

At the camp they also taught us that a Warrior does not just go to the finish line, but through it. The book is not done and once it is done, the next finish line will be promoting it, then sharing it, and then on to the next project and finish line.

“I am a Warrior… I succeed in spite of anything.” 

To learn more about the Healing Happens book and help please click here.

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