Eye-Opening Moments are real-life stories of adversity, encounters, & perspectives. In this episode you will hear about a moment of adversity called How to Kill Fear, Part II, a moment of an encounter called The Most Powerful, and a moment of a perspective called Happy Moments.
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Hello and welcome to Episode #13 of Eye-Opening Moments where you’ll hear stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives. These are real life stories that can lift your spirits, give you some food for thought, or move you. I’m your host Emily Kay Tan. In this episode, you will hear about Killing Fear: Part II, The Most Powerful, and Happy Moments.
A moment of adversity called: Killing Fear, Part II
With Part I and Part II, it seems like killing fear takes a bit longer; it does! After a life-long fear of people, I finally conquered it in one event: Skydiving. It was a significant activity that singlehandedly produced a result for me. Reading about it, talking about it, thinking about it would not stop fear from attacking me. Experiencing it made all the difference. When faced with how much is created in the mind to determine how we feel, I realized I could have a say in it all instead of falling victim to it. I have the power to alter the thoughts that enter my mind.
All this came about as I stepped out the door to drop from the sky. Seconds later, as I was floating in the sky, all negative thoughts escaped me. All I could think of was what a wonderful feeling it was to be free of pain, hurt, heartache, evil thoughts, anxieties, and worries. Never in my life had I experienced one hundred percent of this level of freedom and joy!
Of course, the moments of flying like a bird were all only minutes in a life lived of thousands of hours. Skydiving did not eliminate fear permanently, but the experience forever changed my relationship with fear. Firstly, I had fewer fears than ever before, and the number continues to decrease. Secondly, each time I sense fear, I grab it and tell it to shut up! Knowing that I made it up in my mind, I inform it that it will not or is not allowed to stop me from moving forward as I wish. In other words, I take over the reins and direct it the way I want rather than being led by it with no say about it. By taking these actions, I expand my freedom from fear, from obstacles.
Since the experience, I have been able to be with people. But still, I did not know how to approach strangers in conversations that would lead to talking about my business where I was looking for business partners or people to buy the products I wanted to sell. Here is where Part II of killing fear began for me, the introvert.
I began reading books in the sales industry. I was soon out on the field attending networking events, seminars, social events, and community events wherever there was a gathering of people. I practiced what I learned from books, gained experience, and got more and more comfortable and skilled at doing it.
Though success in sales did not result in making millions, the gems I acquired were far more precious. The knowledge, experience, and insights gained continue to seep in and broaden my life. Since I was in the financial services industry, the knowledge gained continues to impact my life daily as I manage money. The experience of engaging in numerous networking and social activities took me out of my comfort zone, led me to conquer fear, pointed me towards more adventures of doing things I had never done before but always wanted to do. The opportunity of giving presentations on stage resulted in more sales. The stage platform to also train business partners granted me the chance of self-expression and helping others. Introverted me was like a caterpillar in a cocoon. The butterfly that came out was me soaring, part introverted and part extroverted.
The skills of interacting with strangers, communicating, and interacting with people learned from the business came to be far more helpful than I realized. They are life skills.
Years later, when I moved abroad to live and work, the skills came in handy. Without fear of people, I approached strangers to get the help I needed as many things in a new place was foreign to me. To practice speaking in a foreign language, I connected with over seventy language partners in one year. I would find them online. We’d quickly arrange to meet for a conversation. I’d meet with strangers at a coffee shop or diner for two or three hours at a time and have a chat. Sitting down to have coffee or tea and chatting away was leisurely and fun for me!
Through the many conversations, I discovered that I had come a long way since the days before my skydiving and business experiences. I noticed that some of my language partners would run out of things to say. Some looked uncomfortable because they didn’t know what to say to a stranger or a foreigner. Others would even say that I was a good conversationalist because I engaged them in conversation, kept the conversation going, and had uncommon stories to tell. They even asked how to acquire the skill! Little did they know that I used to be a person who didn’t know how to engage in conversation with strangers!
Since they asked, I realized and answered that it was my skydiving and business experience where I learned it all. Before skydiving to conquer fear and before being in the financial services industry with a network marketing structure, I would not have been able to comfortably and easily chat and have fun with it!
Crushing the fear of people encompassed much more. It included overcoming fear of anything. Without fear, there is freedom and joy! Even with a bit of fear, I know I can face it and tell it what to do rather than succumb to it and be debilitated by it. I learned that connecting with people gives us life, a life that is worth living. Don’t let fear stop you; tell it to get out of the way!
A moment of an encounter: The Most Powerful
I didn't know this woman, and I only spoke a few sentences with her, but I call her the most powerful woman in the world. She singlehandedly changed and impacted my life permanently. Had I not seen her speak or facilitate in the Landmark Forum, my life would predictably be miserable with some joy in between. For me to begin living an extraordinary life even with all the ups and downs of living, access to my power only started the day I met her. Synonymously speaking, you could say I began living when I participated in The Landmark Forum.
Before this encounter, I worked hard to achieve goals and had some friends and boyfriends that afforded me a little joy in life. Emotionally speaking, I didn't have a good childhood and lacked family support in every which way. My self-esteem was low, and there wasn't a great deal of love in my life. Despite all that, I lived, worked, and played like an average person appearing to be doing just fine.
For the most part, I didn't express myself much, so you would never know the enormous turmoil I endured from within myself. The automatic self-talk was always negative, and the self-perception was also not positive. Family relations and failures only reinforced them.
I only happened to overhear a conversation and made a phone call to inquire about The Landmark Forum. Because I badly wanted a better life, I voluntarily registered with no one urging me to do so. Unbeknownst to me, this decision would change my life forever. In only three days, no exaggeration, my life changed for the better, and it was the first time I experienced pure happiness generated from within myself.
It was the first time I saw myself through other people like a mirror. I was not lectured, advised, counseled, or informed. I experienced the freedom to discover for myself, like opening a present. Breakthroughs and transformation abounded through the structure of The Landmark Forum and the remarkable woman who facilitated it all.
Let me call her Ms. Powerful. She was full of energy; she actively listened to each person who volunteered to speak. She guided each person towards realizing things they never recognized previously. I suddenly saw my blindspots. They somehow escaped me before, but now I could see them clearly through other people. No one ever pressured me to speak or actively participate. Amazingly, even as a passive participant who sat there and kept quiet, I reaped the benefits beyond measure. Should you take a peek in, you'd see many people sitting in rows facing a low stage. The facilitator would speak, and the attendees would talk voluntarily. It was a large group conversation.
Why do I call this lady and this event powerful? In three days, I experienced joy beyond measure. I always thought something needed to happen or someone needed to do something to make me happy. I was wrong. I can generate it myself, and I don't need a reason to be happy. I can be happy just because I said so. Whenever I got stuck with a problem that wouldn't go away, I always thought I wasn't good enough to fix it or solve it. I was wrong. I always have a choice, and I can choose to be unstuck. I always thought the stories I told myself or the perceptions that I had, were accurate or the truth. In the muddy waters of my life, with the help of Ms. Powerful, I deciphered what happened and the interpretations I gave them. The waters of my life cleared, and clarity appeared.
As powerful as knowledge might be, knowledge alone will not cause life-altering experiences. The Landmark Forum, in its approach and structure, is uncommon. Ms. Powerful, with her personality and expertise, was also exceptional. The combination of it all is not like a lecture to learn something. It is something to experience; peel your layers to unearth what you did not know was hidden within yourself. Like a beautiful butterfly, if you didn't know, you'd never know that it was once bundled up and trapped in a cocoon.
Though it has been over thirty years since I met Ms. Powerful and participated in The Landmark Forum, its effects continue to empower me and give me the impetus to live an abundant life. The tools gained remain to assist me in overcoming difficulties. The ideas learned continue to guide me. Once gotten, they do not escape me. They do not go forgotten or unused.
A friend once asked, "Where do you get all your confidence and courage? Another friend said, "Where do you get all your strength? "Someone else asked, "Where do you get all your wisdom? What is your secret?"
Tickled, I smiled. I used to have very low self-esteem, and without realizing it, someone said I have confidence! Though many people say I am courageous and strong, I often spout out that it was just a matter of survival, but now I acknowledge these positive traits. Although many have said that I am intelligent or wise, I denied it. Now I say, "Good for me!"
What is my secret? My answer is simple. My encounter with Ms. Powerful and my experience with The Landmark Forum together answers the question. From there, I see "I am possible" in the word impossible.
A moment of a perspective called: Happy Moments
Happy moments never seem to last long enough because we enjoy them so much. We wish they would last longer. Assuming nothing lasts for too long, I comfort myself when I have unhappy moments. I tell myself that the bad moments won't last because around the corner will be good moments. Knowing that any moment is fleeting, I am reminded to appreciate and treasure the happy moments and endure and learn from the painful ones.
Focusing on the positives rather than the negatives, I recall, reminisce, and enjoy remembering the happy little moments. The mind is a fantastic place to create whatever you want, whenever you want, and feel whatever you want; you need to choose.
At seventeen, I was madly in love. He was my best friend; he was my soul mate. He could see into my soul. The love I felt was like floating on a cloud; everything I saw was beautiful. Life felt beautiful. I felt tingles in me; I felt love and happiness. You know how wonderful it is when you feel sad that it is a thing of the past.
Still seventeen, I got into the college of my choice; it was sheer joy when I received that letter of acceptance because it was my ticket to freedom, to a future, and to escape the prison I was living in at home. My head cleared, my head weighed less, and my face was full of smiles. You could only appreciate that moment of joy if you knew what it felt like to be imprisoned in a place where you didn't belong.
Soon after graduating from college, I got an apartment of my own. As I moved into an apartment of my own and sat on an old couch, I felt ecstatic. I was twenty-one years old, and it was my first home in my life where no one could say I didn't belong there. If you were homeless or lived where you felt you didn't belong for the first twenty-one years of life, could you imagine the joy and comfort of having a place you could finally call home?
A year after college, I started my career. I interviewed at three places, and two of the places wanted me as their number one choice. I was thrilled! I was beginning a career and secured a full-time income. I could walk to work, and I got the job of my dreams. After a tumultuous childhood and constantly worried about having the ability to take care of myself, my endurance and persistence paid off.
Several years after starting a career, I took The Landmark Forum, a personal development seminar, and that was the first time I was happy beyond my dreams in life. It took a quarter of a century, but it happened. From the mirrors of seeing myself through others in the program's structure, it was the first time in my life that I discovered and experienced that my happiness was in my hands. And I didn't need any forces outside of me to make me happy. I didn't need to accomplish certain things to be satisfied. I didn't need certain things to happen to make me happy. I just needed to give myself the right to feel content. I didn't need to have a reason to be satisfied; I just needed to choose to be happy! What a relief! Happiness is a choice! Most powerful about Landmark Education and the breakthroughs one finds there are the tools you access for the rest of your life. From the deep ditches of darkness and pain, you can jump out of them and free yourself.
After getting a divorce, I remember going to get a car wash; I remember going to get a take-out dinner. These might seem like minor things anybody can do, but they were things that I didn't often do as a married person, so I was happy that I could do them because I was not allowed when I was married. I had to wash the car frequently; I couldn't bring it to a car wash place once in a while. I also couldn't get take-out food. I always had to cook dinner or get a free meal at a restaurant paid for by my in-laws. Some little things like these were freedoms taken away from me when I got married. Getting married was not a happy moment. Getting a divorce finalized was a happy moment; it was a relief, it was a time to take back my freedom in life.
After going out of business, losing my home, and going through a devastating breakup, I moved abroad to live and work. Not knowing what life would be like abroad, I just took the plunge. Fortunately, things turned out tenfold better than I could have dreamed up. I had the best boss in the world, I had the best job in the world, and I got to travel all over Asia frequently and cheaply. I was in paradise for four straight years. I was carefree and worry-free. I worked long hours, but I also vacationed and played hard too. Life was good. It was heaven on earth with many happy moments. And when you have had too many bad moments, you have to rejoice at the happy moments.
In a worldwide pandemic, I wore a mask to walk in the park and received a call from a teacher and friend from China. As I shared with her about a particular language partner, she said, "You are in love, and I am jealous." This statement was strange to me because she was getting married. But she was not in love. She was getting married because it was the thing to do at some point in life. She said she wished she got to experience what I was experiencing. As she said it, I realized that I was in love because I recognized the feeling of the first time I truly fell in love. It is a tingling feeling inside; it feels light-headed and high, although I never took drugs to know that feeling. All I can say is it is like floating on a cloud. She said she never experienced it, and here I was, getting to experience it two times in my life. How wonderful it is to have such a happy moment! You can only truly appreciate such happiness when you have also experienced the great pain of a breakup.
As I searched to recall happy moments, I also reminded myself that I could create joyful moments, too. I need to choose them because happiness is a choice. Sad moments are around the corner, and our fragile life has an unknown expiration date, so it is urgent to choose and enjoy happiness.
Though I am not one hundred percent free from fear, I have the satisfaction in knowing that it is mostly made up in the mind; I can confront it, tell it to shut up, and move forward.
Though I was unhappy and had low self-esteem for a quarter of a century, I participated in the Landmark Forum, and my life was forever changed for the better.
Though I have had many bad moments, it is because of them that I can fully appreciate and enjoy the happy moments.
Next week, you will hear three new real-life stories called Life at Stake, Nagging Grandma, and The Three Little Words.
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