Have you ever been compelled by a vision or dream? What do you do when your dream is thwarted? How do you know the difference between an obstacle and a dead end? These are hard questions. It’s not always easy to know when it’s time to press forward into your dream and when it’s time to step back and hit pause for the time being. Maybe you’ve been there and know that feeling. Maybe you had a dream that was slowed down by family obligations or chronic illness or financial constraints. Those can be dark moments soul searching. And there are never easy answers to such big questions.
This very quandary came to me earlier this year during the COVID-19 pandemic. I share it with you to give you a glimmer of hope. Even in the face of uncertainty, your dream can move forward.
Let me tell you about my big vision. I was inspired to bring forth my own anthology after the success of my first book, “The Authorities” – a compilation I co-authored with New York Times bestselling authors Dr. John Gray (“Men are from Mars Women are from Venus”), Marci Shimoff (“Happiness for No Reason”), and Raymond Aaron (“Double Your Income Doing What You Love”).
During that process, I had heard many inspiring stories of overcoming mindset, health, suicide, depression and loss from collegues, friends, and community members. I was captured by these everyday heroes who are inspirational to others. I wanted to create a platform where they can share their voice—the message in their heart to share with the world.
As a result of this vision, Break Free to Stand in Your Power was born in March of 2019. It was a powerful dream that compelled me. So, I personally hand selected 16 co-authors who have had an amazing transformation. I knew they would inspire others to take action in their own lives. I was thrilled as I watched the book come together. I had content, I had a publisher, and I had help bringing it to the world.
But, as fate would have it, my inspiration was fraught with uncertainty when I realized I’d be bringing it forward during a global pandemic! I contemplated postponing it to a later date. I wondered if the timing was right and struggled with what people would think. Would it be perceived as insensitive or unethical? Would my heart for the project come through clearly or would it be clouded by the crisis at hand? After several months of getting advice from mentors, my commitments to my co-authors and my own soul searching, I decided that my dream did not have to be on hold or delayed. We would continue with our original launch date.
Why would we do such a thing during such turmoil around the world? Because of the whole premise of the book! In it, each expert powerfully shares his or her own journey of breaking free to stand in his or her power. I was more sure than ever that these words would offer encouragement, tips, and insights to help the reader get started on a path of empowerment. The book covers everything from mindset, to overcoming health challenges, overcoming challenging backgrounds, to breaking powerfully free to live life on your own terms! A message that was desperately needed during this challenging time!
Releasing the anthology wasn’t just a selfish dream to fulfill MY own desires. As I gathered feedback from others and felt their warm appreciation rising, I realized that releasing Break Free to Stand in Your Power was the perfect act of kindness I could do during a time of crisis. It offered real life stories, triumph, love, self exploration, and transformation.
Even more compelled to offer hope and encouragement, my dream grew! Instead of shrinking back, it was expanding! I felt led to create a 15-hour marathon celebration International Virtual Summit and Book Launch Celebration in June of 2020 featuring several inspirational guest speakers. As I skeptically proceeded to move forward, I wondered if these personalities would say yes during this time. But as I spoke to each one, I was in awe that they all said yes. In fact, instead of turning me away, they were inspired that I was taking on this monumental event!! The speakers included world renowned Harvard Professor of Medicine and bestselling author Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, India’s first female Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, Dr. Kiran Bedi, former tennis player and current Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, award-winning publicist Heather Burgett, and award-winning writer and performer Valerie Vigoda, who mesmerized the audience with her unique combination of gorgeous vocals and dazzling electric violin.
The result was the convergence of 25 global thought leaders, 17 co-authors, 12 sessions, and three performances. Lives were touched across 24 time zones where watchers were educated and inspired on how to thrive during a crisis. In the end, the risk paid off as I received messages and emails from across the globe thanking us for the 15 hours of heart touching stories, laughter, and singing. It was a time filled with enjoyment and bliss where they could focus on our stories of journey, triumphs, and joy.
I learned many things from that experience. Sometimes the greatest gifts are brought forth at the most unexpected times. Sometimes what looks like an obstacle actually becomes a catalyst for something bigger and better. I wanted to encourage people with inspirational stories from real people. In the end, it went beyond the written page to a global impact of much bigger proportions.
So, dear reader, don’t give up your dreams. Don’t assume that your vision has to come to a halt. Look at your realities, seek the advice of trusted mentors, and take time to regroup. Perhaps, like in my case, the challenge will turn into an even bigger victory!