Her story continues to inspire and move people in growing proportions. On the surface, it’s a story that triggers envy for some because it signifies freedom and a wealth of possibilities. Once you dig a little deeper, however, you’ll find a hefty price tag tied to a story of heartbreak, hardship and hope. At its core, it’s a testimony to the power of intuition, an unwillingness to settle for the status quo and a whole lot of courage. Simply put, it’s a story that stems from the power of choice.
Many of you may be familiar with this person I speak of and I am proud to say that she happens to be my dearest friend and sister, Terri Wingham of A Fresh Chapter. I refer to her story, not because she’s my sister and I love her deeply, but because her story is so powerful and continues to change the lives of people everywhere.
It all began on October 27, 2009 when Terri was diagnosed with breast cancer at the mere age of 30. Suddenly, her successful career was brought to a halt and Terri was forced to give up everything that shaped her identity (or so she thought at the time). Throughout a painful journey of numerous surgeries, chemo and a crippling identity crisis, Terri slowly began to make changes within herself and her life. Her choice to follow her intuition and step out of her conventional world has led her to volunteer in Africa, start writing a book and now to travel the world to build a non-profit organization for cancer survivors looking to start a Fresh Chapter by volunteering overseas.
Here’s the catch: Terri must face uncertainty every single day and constantly rely on mere faith. No longer able to return to her cozy apartment in metropolitan Vancouver (as a result of giving up her home and all her belongings), she must push forward with the conviction that she has made a choice based on possibilities. With no guarantee for success, the fears are real and self-doubt continually pays her a visit. By choice, however, faith wins…hands-down.
For those of us who are ‘settled down’ and rely on a steady income, a place to call home, a predictable routine and daily comfort, it seems hardly plausible to do what Terri’s doing. I must confess I dreamt last night that I was travelling alone in a foreign country and let me put it this way: I was absolutely terrified! All I wanted was to return to my home, my kids and my tempur-pedic bed! Waking up was actually a delight this morning (not normally the case at 6 am)!
While most of us may not be able to give up all of our belongings and travel the world to make a difference, we certainly can do our part right here at home. My question to you is this: do you have the courage to live your life to the max? Are you following your intuition and going after what you really want, even when it seems implausible? Is there a deeper calling within you that you’ve been ignoring for some time? And can you find the courage to open the door to a higher version of YOU?
I am grateful that my little sister is out there reminding me, time and time again, about the power of listening with the heart. And I continue to do my part by pushing myself up the steady incline of building a business. There are moments where I sit my rear end down and cry, but as tempting as it may be to walk back down the hill, I must continue the journey upwards. My higher purpose beckons!
I am embracing my calling and the incredible joy and fulfillment that comes from doing so is exhilarating! I invite you to revisit your life and your purpose – why on earth would you settle for anything less?
Visit www.katysuik.com/current-offerings/ for some great ways to get started!
Thank you, Terri, for reminding us about the power of living with purpose and making this world a better place just by having the courage not just to live but to be fully ALIVE.