The other day on Facebook I read the transcript of a speech delivered by a girl from York PA. Her name is her name is Devon Hornberger and she gave the Valedictorian Commencement Address at her high school graduation ceremony. I was blown away by her speech that began by recounting the abduction of 276 girls from their dormitories in Chibok, Nigeria. They were kidnapped because their abductors believe that girls should not be educated.
Her message to her fellow classmates was about the privilege of their education and how young people around the world are risking their lives for that same right. In her speech, she also sited a quote by Edwidge Danicat, an award-winning Haitian-American author:
“Create dangerously, for people who read dangerously. This is what I’ve always thought it meant to be a writer. Writing, knowing in part that no matter how trivial your words may seem, someday, somewhere, someone may risk his or her life to read them.”
Wow. This quote was like an arrow right to my heart because, truth be told, I’ve been writing and creating cautiously. I’ve allowed the opinion of others and the fear of judgment stop me from writing and speaking about what is truly in my heart.
When I began my work with teens, I got invited to speak at a prevention program for youth. During my presentation, I offered prayer and meditation as a way to reduce stress, anxiety and depression so that kids don’t turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. Several parents complained that prayer shouldn’t be brought into a public school program. I’ve since had to come up with lots of creative ways to talk about prayer and God, using terms like higher power, mindfulness and intention.
About five years ago, I was invited to participate in a conference call that included 150 or more thought leaders in the teen girl space. The purpose of the call was to brainstorm and target the most pressing areas of concern for young women and find the best solutions to serve this demographic.
You can well imagine the cacophony of voices and the list of issues that resulted; eating disorders, relational aggression, cutting, media messaging, body image, bullying. It was all so overwhelming and to me seemed more focused on the problem instead of the solution.
So I spoke up and said, “I think the greatest need for young women today is spirituality and teaching girls how to connect to their divinity and inner power.” The silence that followed was deafening. It was as if the line went dead and all 150 women hung up at the exact same time. Well surely 150 empowerment experts knew more than me, so I stuffed my own inner knowing even deeper and continued to write about self-esteem and bullying and body image, and wondered why I felt so disconnected.
All the while, God has been calling me to create dangerously. But I kept resisting. It felt safer to stay with what was more mainstream and acceptable than to venture out in deep and unchartered waters.
So last week I created a video on the power of prayer. I taped it, edited it and then became frozen with fear to upload it, caught again in the fear of judgment.
I decided to take my own advice and I prayed about it. I asked God to show me my next right step and thanked him in advance for guiding me.
Immediately following my prayer, someone posted a link to a video called Today I Rise and it is described as a love poem to your heart and soul. This quote from the poem jumped out at me:
“The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My Hunger for Peace.”
Suddenly I remembered that it’s my job to take the next right step, and not concern myself with the outcome because that’s God’s job.
What if someone really needs to hear my message today? What if my fear of judgment prevented me from using my voice to make a difference? How on Earth can I model leadership if I don’t take that leap myself? And most importantly, how many others have died for the same privilege to share their faith?
Today I rise. Today I dare to create dangerously. Today I will let go of the fear of judgment and trust God to lead me every step of the way. Today I am uploading the video on the power of prayer, complete with a scripture from the bible.
I believe that prayer has the power to heal our families, conquer addictions, cure illnesses and above all bless us with the peace that transcends all understanding.
I’ve been bringing the power of prayer more and more into my coaching and have seen absolute miracles happen.
One of my clients, a 26-year-old young woman sent me this email:
“I was watching a movie trailer for a documentary about Seymour Bernstein’s life and something he said totally resonated with me and you were the first person I thought of. He said, “Most people don’t tap the God within.”
It was such an amazing and true sentence. I’m sitting there with a group of friends and I had this epiphany because our entire journey together has been helping me to do exactly that! Training me to tap my inner God.
You have made me so mindful of how possible that is to do. It’s harder than everyone thinks and it takes work. Training the mind is hard work. But I know I wouldn’t be where I am right now if it wasn’t for you. You prepared me for this journey I have ahead of me in so many ways. I kind of feel like it was all in preparation FOR THIS!
I’m so grateful for you and I am tapping the God within me, Kathleen! I am doing it. I love you so much.”
If you’d like a little help on your journey I’d be happy to offer you a FREE 60 minute Breakthrough Discovery Session (for you, your daughter or both of you) so you too can learn how to manifest miracles, create peace in your home and become all you were born to be.