I’ve been a writer for most of my life. I wrote corporate speeches, a couple of children’s books, and helped friends here and there with speeches for weddings and celebrations.
In May 2014, I decided to share my writing with a broader audience, so I started a blog called “Buddha ******” (rhymes with carbie).
It took months to build the site and even longer to create the brand. I was nervous but knew I needed something different to get noticed amongst the millions in the blogosphere.
I posed in a traditional Indian saree dress for professional pictures and spared no detail.
The day it launched, I attended a local baseball game for my son. Not one single parent mentioned it to me. Here I was thinking to myself,
“OK, maybe nobody got the chance to read it yet.”
That is, until …
One brave dad walked over to tell me how well my son was playing but that nobody else could focus on the game because they were all too busy talking about my blog.
As he’s talking, his wife, who was within earshot, proceeds to punch him in the arm and tell him to “shut the **** up.”
Isn’t it great when your community is so supportive?
While I know that the blog picture itself was somewhat “out of the box”, I never could have imagined the reaction it actually caused. I was always very secure with my writing style and knew it would substantiate the picture in time.
And as time went on, it did.
But I guess during that particular interim, I never really understood why people were not more supportive of one of their females working hard to get a writing career started.
I mean c’mon, I was dressed in a saree on the grounds at Cranbrook Museum, not in some back alley staring in a porn called, “Karin does Kentucky”…
I’m thinking it’s because it wasn’t a traditional path and people struggle with what they are not familiar with- and that’s ok. I’ve never been one to care what ANYONE thinks of me-ever.
I know many laughed and some even mocked the blog initially. But the goal was to gain more readers and convey my message in the very competitive blog world.
And it worked.
I mean, it REALLY worked.
I’m talking about half a million readers in less than two years.
Fact is, I knew exactly what I was doing (although many did not and openly shared their ambivalence and trepidation).
“Buddha ******” seemed like a perfect name to show that spirituality can come in any form.
Think “ying to the yang.”
But all of a sudden it was hit by a sonic boom.
And I don’t mean a SMALL little boom, I mean a major boom, the type that takes out not just the farm but the village and the neighboring town, too.
Think an EF5 tornado, ruby slippers, Dorothy and Toto.
This giant (corporate America) storm threatened my blog name, the trademark I had been granted, and challenged everything that I had built from the ground up.
I cried a little (OK, a lot) but decided to just suck it up and get a new name, as fast I could, to keep up my readership.
Kind of like what people do when they break up or get divorced and marry a new person 15 minutes later. (You get the drift.)
I came up with “The Relationship Realist,” which never really felt like the perfect fit, only to be hit by a series of events, one after another, that wound up basically knocking me down to the ground.
Think Rocky vs. Clubber Lang.
(Rocky III in case you have no idea what I’m referring to.)
Besides losing my blog, within a 16-month period I was struck by the shattering deaths of my father and my aunt (both Holocaust survivors), experienced a variety of betrayals within my own circle of trust, and recovered slowly from a serious jaw surgery followed by a bone infection.
Life seemed as if it couldn’t get any more challenging.
And to top it all off …
I lost my desire to write.
I’d like to share a story my father used to tell me.
A little boy found a caterpillar. He carefully took it home and asked his mother if he could keep it. He got a large jar and put in plants to eat and a stick to climb. One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The mother explained that it was creating a cocoon and was going to go through a metamorphosis to become a butterfly. The boy was thrilled and watched every day, patiently waiting. One day a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out. At first, the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard, it seemed it couldn’t break free. The boy decided to get scissors and snip the cocoon to make the hole bigger to help. As the butterfly emerged the boy was surprised. He expected that at any moment its wings would enlarge and expand to support its body.
But it never happened.
The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with shriveled wings. It never was able to fly. As the boy tried to understand what went wrong, his mother took him to a scientist at the local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, pushing its way through the cocoon’s tiny opening actually pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly.
I’ve come to realize that we are all meant to struggle.
It’s our struggles and adversity that build character, strengthen our spirit and teach us to fly.
During that difficult time, I began to remember the stories about my own father’s struggles.
I started to think back to what he endured during his childhood in the Holocaust, his tales of betrayal and loss, grief and adversity.
But what stuck out most during this time of reflection was the reoccurring theme in all my father’s stories.
His innate ability to bounce back and become stronger with each and every obstacle.
My father was a survivor for a reason.
And I have come to realize over and over that I am my father’s daughter.
Not just because I look like him but because I too can bounce back, get off the mat and stand up after being knocked down.
With the incredible love and support of my boyfriend, children, family and genuine friends, I am stronger and happier today than ever before.
And with this strength and new wisdom I’ve decided to write again, but with one caveat.
I changed the name of my blog yet again.
“A Sample of Love” is in memory of my father, Sam. I’ll still be writing about life, love and relationships, but moving more into a space of inspiration, empowerment and resilience.
I’ve been invited to host my own radio show for Body, Mind, Spirit radio (http://bodymindspiritradio.com/)beginning in January. (Details to follow soon!) I will be writing for their magazine, as well.
Throughout the last couple of years, I’ve learned firsthand about resilience, perseverance and the significance of adversity and strength.
I’ve lived it. I’ve healed from it. And now I’m thriving.
I’ve come out on the other side, with stronger wings than ever before.
Thanks for your continued support and patience. I look forward to providing you with amazing things ahead.