How does one get the calling to go into another country to better someone’s life?
I believe that everyone has a calling or a purpose. Many of the religions and philosophies I have studied from around the world believe that we are all born with our own unique purpose, and that only we can fulfill that purpose in this world. It is our duty to find out what that is and then advance confidently in that direction, paying special attention to our gifts and talents, the things that we love, and the things that make us come alive. Those are all hints from the universe that will lead us to our path. When my daughters were grown, I asked myself who I wanted to “Be” in the world. After spending over twenty years helping my family reach for their dreams, I realized I had stopped asking myself what my own dreams were. When I stopped to think about what I was good at, I looked back on my psychology major, my myriad of certifications, and my volunteer experiences, knowing these all gave me some marketable skills. But what I felt was more important than anything on that list of qualifications was that I wanted to do something with as great an impact on others as possible. If there was a way for me to alleviate even a small fraction of suffering in the world, then I would have lived into my calling. I didn’t know how I was going to put my gifts of love and compassion to use in a traditional job, but I knew that I would create a way if I had to. I read a quote by Henry David Thoreau that stated, “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” I wanted to advance confidently in the direction of my dreams, and I started saying, “YES,” to every opportunity that came my way. Before long, avenues started opening up for me that I could not have even imagined when I first started taking steps towards my dreams, and soon, the pieces to the puzzle started falling into place.
Were these experiences what led you to write BE-?
Working with children for many years taught me so much about life, but being a mom to my own daughters inspired me to write my book. I wanted them to always know that whoever they choose to “BE” in the world will come back to them; that everyone’s life has challenges and being strong will help them persevere. I wanted them to understand the importance of being grateful for the life they have, to be inspired so that they can share their great passions with the world, and to realize that kindness and love are currencies more valuable than money. I wanted them to always know to be true to who they are and genuine about who that is in the world. And I wanted them to choose happiness, because it puts a special energy into the world that brings about even more joy as it spreads.
What is the book,Be- about?
Be is a collection of quotes that I, along with some friends, wrote as advice we wanted to make sure our children considered when going through life and facing the challenges we all inevitably face. No matter what degree or title my children will ever have, their integrity and who they choose to BE in the world is most important.
If someone feels like they can’t overcome certain obstacles in their life what would you suggest?
Finding my “why” and being profoundly grateful for all that I already have in my life have been my keys to never giving up and being able to look at every obstacle as merely a challenge to overcome. It is helpful to try to find the lessons in all of life’s ups and downs, and to do our best to look on the bright side. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t understand the reason. I am personally forever grateful for what I do have because I know so many others face such great challenges. There have been moments where I felt like I couldn’t see a way forward, and the voices in my head screamed with insecurities and doubts, but I remind myself to BELIEVE that things will get better and it has never proven me wrong. I hope to instill that message in others as well: You can accomplish more than you ever thought possible if you just BELIEVE in your own abilities.
What other things do you do besides being an author?
My greatest passion is the work I do with my foundation, The Desire to Inspire Foundation. We are inspiring women and children living in impoverished conditions by helping them discover and hone their own special gifts and talents so that they can find their calling, supporting themselves and their families while helping others in the process. I truly believe we rise by lifting others, and all of my projects help me to do just that. We are currently creating an organic and natural skincare line with partners in Uganda in the hopes of bringing some exceptional ingredients to the US market while providing jobs for people on the ground in Africa. We hope to have our products available later this year.
We were told you have a new planner coming out in May, can you give us a sneak peek as to what it will be?
I am working on the BE…Planner with Deborah Louise Brown, a cherished friend (and my editor), and it should be ready for purchase by May 3. We are so excited about this project because we are combining quotes, writing prompts, and some teachable moments with a calendar and coloring journal. We wanted to create an interactive tool to help others find their own calling and inspire them to BE the change they wish to see in the world.
Thank you Dawn for your time, can you tell us how to get more information about you or Desire to Inspire?
You can find us at www.desiretoinspirefoundation.org and we are on Facebook and Instagram at the Desire to Inspire Foundation. Thank YOU so much for your time and interest, and for your great interview questions.