I spent my seventh grade study hall writing children’s stories — my favorite escape. Being lost in the world of make-believe was my favorite thing to do. I would have stayed there for hours if that darn bell didn’t ring, signaling me to go to the next class.
As a child, when I wasn’t immersed in my writing, I was reading stories. Fast forward 41 years, much hasn’t changed except I read via Kindle. I only buy paperbacks on special occasions and in 2014, such a time came. Opening the mailbox, I grabbed the small brown wrapped package and immediately tore it open, exposing a bright green book with a beautiful butterfly looking back at me. The book Strengthen Your Wings was an anthology written by 19 women, some friends and colleagues, sharing a piece of their story to encourage others.
Reading one story after another reminded me of my own desire to write and share my childhood memories. Hearing about an information call about writing in a second book, I listened to the details of the Transform Through Writing program I jumped on board. I was ready to take my writing to the next level.
Little did I know, the program would transform me! My coach, Cassandra Washington, took me from the cocoon, and then, with accountability, coaching, and encouragement, she helped me transform into a beautiful butterfly ready and prepared to soar.
Transform in the Cocoon
When we started writing that spring, I was lonely, lost, and still grieving my husband, who died from cancer in July 2013. I felt like I was treading water, trying to keep from drowning in a sea of not knowing what to do next in my life. From the first coaching call with Cassandra, I felt at ease, like I was talking with my best friend. She instantly reassured how important it was to follow my dreams and take care of myself.
I wrote everything I could think of down on the paper. I felt I could have written a novel every week with what I had hidden inside over the years. Writing became very therapeutic.
With each assignment, I gained more confidence and felt proud when I received positive comments. Rediscovering my passion to write, it brought a smile to my face. Others might be encouraged from reading my life stories, too. In my chapter in Emerge: Real Stories of Courage and Truth, I shared my years with Barry, my late husband. From love and romance, to wonderful memories to his death, and how I found my way through grief.
The writing program is part of the One Degree Shift (ODS) community, where I have more access to coaching, learning resources, and support from everyone in the group. As a member of ODS, I can post questions in our private Facebook group and wait for responses, or I can share my ideas on someone else’s post. The women have become a second family as I continue to make new friends and discover how much we have in common.
Discovering My Wings
I am proud to be a coauthor in an Amazon best seller! I wanted to do more to make a difference in the world. Barry’s life had ended but mine was still happening. Cassandra was able to help me peel away layer after layer, both good and bad experiences, through her coaching to help me continue to spread my wings. I loved her process so much that I signed up for the Soar to Success program. I knew it would be easier to open up in a small group, support others, and develop long-lasting friendships. My intention was to be open, coachable, and start writing my own book. I set a goal to write 5000 words a week and was very impressed with my effort to write 65,000 words in 13 weeks.
Writing a book had been a 30-year old dream. Working with Cassandra changed my perspective, teaching me to believe in myself again. I uncovered many doubts and fears along the way, but she has guided me to create strategies to overcome them all. She taught me the value of having empowering beliefs: I am enough and I am worthy of love and success.
Cassandra has a gift of reading between the lines. You can tell her one thing, but she discerns something else which is even more true about yourself. With her questions, she helped me dig deeper so I could fully understand my own perceptions and beliefs better.
Ready to Soar
When the time approached to write the next book, The Call to Soar, I was one of the first writers to reserve a spot. As a featured author, I was excited to share my message with the world. The death of a young friend hit me like an earthquake, shaking me out of my chair. Her courage to come out of the closet inspired me and gave me a message of inclusive love and acceptance. My transformation is ongoing. I continue to be more open, authentic, and true to myself and to God. All it took was that first “yes!” and a willingness to grow.
Cassandra offers a year-long program called Discover Your Purpose. I spoke with two fellow ODS members and coauthors about their experience in the program.
“It was a life-changing program! Cassandra provided a safe place for me to dig deep into my soul. I discovered who I am along with my divine calling in life. If you want to live more purposefully, jump in with both feet and learn the plan God has for you!” — Suzanne R. Duque
“The program was instrumental in helping me identify and understand the depth of my purpose in life. Cassandra used her intuitive gifts to help me put the puzzle pieces together. She helped me create a manifestation plan that enables me to live my purpose each and every day. It’s a beautiful way to live.” — Heather D. Shover
So I am thinking about jumping in too! I want to find out who I am supposed to be by digging deeper. Also, I want to draw closer to my creator, God, and truly know my true purpose and then be able to live it out.
Meditate on these questions:
- Do you have a dream or a message to share with others?
- Do you have fears that are keeping you from obtaining your goals?
- Would you like to discover your true purpose?
If you answer “Yes” to any of these questions, I highly recommend Cassandra Washington to be your coach and mentor. She is an amazing woman, and has designed all of her programs to benefit others. You will not be disappointed!
Join me in One Degree Shift. I will be right beside you to encourage you along the way.
How have you changed lately? Leave me a comment below and share your transformation.