Randi-Lee and I had an engaging conversation about strategies to improve mental health. She picked up on the word acknowledge. It is important when we are stressed and unhappy to take a first step to acknowledge that we have a problem or challenge. Once we acknowledge our stress, unhappiness, or poor coping strategies, then we are one step closer to seeking out support and resources. My conversation with Randi-Lee allowed me to reflect on how life is like a narrative or a story. When we can examine our story, we get an opportunity to look at our life from a different perspective, and then we can explore new narratives for ourselves. Instead of living out a story where “I always do this unhealthy activity or think these unhealthy thoughts or seek out unhealthy relationships,” we can gain a perspective on our life by talking to a therapist or a skilled friend, journalling, reading, or listening to podcasts. We might discover times when we didn’t always think and act in unhealthy ways. We find the exceptions, where we made a choice that had a more satisfying and healthy outcome. Armed with this self-awareness, we are equipped to choose a different narrative. I can restory my life. This is a highly simplified explanation of a form of therapy called Narrative Therapy. As writers or readers, we have the advantage of using our imaginations to live many different kinds of lives through the characters we read about. Our imagination, thus inspired, offers different options for ourselves. Many people have risen above their troubles through their ability to imagine a different life for themselves. Characters in stories become role models, mentors, and heroes. Because the main characters are flawed, it makes them even more accessible. Or we can read about a character and realize that’s not what we want for ourselves. I love to go on horse adventures and so I have written a novel about a young woman who goes on a horse adventure. In Thickwood, the main character overcomes obstacles and challenges and develops inner strength. I wrote the kind of story that I love to read and imagine. I feel privileged to be able to write, share stories, and live a life of adventure and challenge. We are all on a journey to create our own story and end up satisfied!
My writing experience of “What If You Could?” fills me with gratitude and humility. This book began as an idea that wouldn’t leave me alone. Price Pritchett’s words convinced me to take it to the finish line. He writes: “What if these are not just ideas, but divine inspirations searching for some mortal soul- YOU- to give them a fighting chance to become realized. That they are seeking to recruit someone who will embrace them with enough passion and courage to bring them into a material existence. What is regrettable is that each one of us has discounted and dismissed many wonderful possibilities only to see someone else embrace them and live out their magic.” I am so glad I decided to listen and allowed this book to be realized.
Today, “What If You Could?” was awarded a GOLD MEDAL from the Global Book Awards. This is a great book for every age, and a portion of each book sale will be gifted to jack.org in support of youth mental health. Thank you for sharing the love. For more about Lynne visit www.lynneharley.com
Discovering Your Identity – A rebirth from interracial struggle – this is the first book that I published. Like many, writing a book was always on my bucket list, but I didnt think I would have fulfilled this goal so soon. I guess when you do manifest your goals, things really happen!
I was inspired to write my book after reading a similar book called Confessions of a Brown Girl by Saleha Mirza. I remember approaching the author and asking her for guidance and the reasons behind her book publication.
After speaking to her, I was determined enough to publish my first book. My main goals in writing this book were for self-accomplishment, to heal myself, and to share my story of being a South Asian girl born and raised in a western society. Unfortunately, the cultures of the west and east often clash culturally and women really suffer because of societal norms and double standards. With this book, I wanted to share who I really was and why for all these years, it was hard for me to fit in. Sometimes we get mistaken by people because there is so much we keep in and there is only so much we show to the world. With this book, I wanted to make someone feel less alone if they are struggling to fit in.
For me, the process of writing was very therapeutic and I got positive reviews from many of the readers who picked this book.
Some words of advice:
1. Don’t perform to fit in – It will come at your own cost. If you decide to do that, It is a lie you will live for the rest of your life where you chose others before choosing yourself. Remember- happiness and joy start from you first and then spread them around your surroundings.
2. Being unique is a celebration – You don’t need anyone’s validation for your actions and what you do. What counts is who you are inside and what you bring to this world. You are enough for what you can give and you don’t need to sacrifice your identity and who you are really to blend in. Diversity is richness.
3. Life is a work in progress – We are not born knowing everything and we are constantly changing and evolving to be who we are meant to be. For someone struggling to fit in especially when you are a third-culture kid, you don’t need to check that box; you are the box. It is up to you to create it. Whatever you do in life, just follow your instincts and you will be who you are meant to be.
Writing Septemics: Hierarchies of Human Phenomena presented several major challenges, but before I tell you about that, let me introduce you to Septemics.
Septemics is a philosophical science based on the fact that many phenomena related to Human Beings occur in a sequence of seven levels. Septemics comprises a collection of scales or sequences, each of which breaks down various human phenomena into a hierarchy of seven steps. There are thirty-five such scales, which span the spectrum of human experience, by which I mean any situation in the life of any person can successfully by analyzed by one or more of these scales. There are twenty-four scales which apply primarily to individuals, and eleven which apply primarily to groups. Each of these scales provides the user with an infallible way of determining the salutariness or beneficialness of any group, individual or activity. If the group, individual or activity moves persons or groups up these scales, it is beneficial or positive; if it moves them down, it is detrimental or negative. More importantly, just finding out what level you, another person or some group, is at is, by itself, enlightening and beneficial. Finally, once you know the actual level of a person or group, you can improve that person or group by moving them up one level (at a time). Each scale is an axis against which to evaluate human behavior. Combined, they empower one to understand, predict and manage human affairs to a degree hitherto unattainable by most.
First, I had to discover the Septemic phenomena. This took several decades. When I realized I had discovered an entirely new subject, I saw that I could go from helping people by the hundreds, which is what I was doing as a Human Development Engineer, to helping people by the millions, by sharing this discovery with them.
I then faced the task of constructing a practical philosophic system from the data I had uncovered. This took twenty years.
Next, I had the burden of expressing this data in a way that would make sense to the average reader. This required many years of rewriting. Overall, I spent twenty-five years writing this book, measured from the point when I realized I had discovered something revolutionary. To find out more, visit Septemics.com.