With the publication of the Second Edition of the Biggest Little Book About Hope, it is impossible for me not to reflect on my hope journey. Other than being published by Morgan James Book Publishing, what is different about the Second Edition?
This time, my own story is front and center. My own suicide attempt and what led me to realize that understanding the root cause of suicide was the key to saving my own life. As that is my purpose, first and foremost, as I can’t support others if I can’t first support and save myself.
Up until I was 18 years old, I thought my purpose here was to make my dad smile. To get him laughing. To fix those moods that set in and seemed to take over that just wouldn’t shake. I wanted nothing more than for him to just be happy.
We had SO MUCH FUN together when it was good. He was a brilliant businessman. He took me everywhere, introducing me to some amazing, inspiring people that were working to change the world. I spent my early years learning retail from Sam Walton, floating down the river at the annual meetings, and attending Saturday morning meetings. I was always so inspired and imagined a long life of launching mission-driven products with my dad.
At 18, my purpose as I had thought it to be ended, as I ultimately failed. During my freshman year at college, my dad died by suicide. And my life as I knew and understood it abruptly ended. Everything I had imagined life to be was gone, in an instant.
It has been a long road, one that I have often resented traveling without him. It took me a long time to understand he has always been with me. And that it was his path, and nothing I could have ever controlled. You can’t heal other people’s pain. You can give them tools and skills, yet they have to want it and do the work. It is a hard lesson to learn, especially when you love deeply.
Never in a million years would I have thought my initial idea of rebranding depression would turn into teaching the “how-to” of hope around the world. Yet as hope is a known protective factor for anxiety and depression, that is exactly what I decided to do. And in the 10 years since launching my first ever curriculum for kids, Hopeful Minds, I haven’t looked back.
It is bittersweet that it has become my purpose because I would trade it all for a day with my dad. Yet also what an honor. I’m so very grateful to all that have supported me along the way including Daniel G. Amen, M.D. for being an incredible doctor and my advisor Dr. Myron Belfer, and so many, many more.
I’m excited to share that the Second Edition of the Biggest Little Book About Hope is now available for purchase. I’d love for you to purchase it if so inspired, and share it with others.
I was not born hopeful, it is a skill I had to learn and practice and grow.
Like me, you can develop the skills to get from despair and helplessness to positive feelings and inspired actions. You just need to remember to SHINE for hope.
Learn more by purchasing the Second Edition of the Biggest Little Book About Hope today.