Welcome to Quyn’s Empower Newsletter for October!
Beautiful stories to open and strengthen your heart…
Personal Update: The Power of Faith
As I am reflecting on some of my personal updates to share with you, I realize I want to write about faith in this newsletter. I want to write about how having faith in God or in a Higher Power as well as having faith in yourself has really helped me to face many challenges that have come up in my life from time to time.
In my previous newsletter, I shared with you about feeling very disappointed that I seemed to not be able to secure an important career opportunity. Yet I was really struggling with continuing with my current position as the Stopping the Violence Counsellor. I asked myself, “Is this what I went to college and university ten years for? Is this what my life is all about?…” After being in my current position for over a year, I realized I have much more to give to the world!
In pondering these questions, I decided to make a very risky step. I gave my employer a one-month notice of resignation. It was a very difficult decision to let go of a permanent full-time job with benefits. It was somewhat my security blanket. Also I live in a small town with a population of sixteen thousand people and is surrounded by ferries on both ends. So I knew that finding a job was not going to be easy. Yet after making the decision, I felt strangely relieved and free. Deep down, I had faith that I wouldn’t be off work for too long. I was reminded of how in my previous job, I had to take a leap of faith and resign from the position first before I got a new job. I was reminded of the saying that we have to let go of the old to make room for the new. I was fortunate that Hans was supportive of my decision. I have seen how many people in this small town desperately hang onto their jobs because of financial and family obligations despite the fact that they are very unhappy in their jobs for years. I am fortunate that I don’t have children to support. So although this decision is not for everyone, it is also not too unmanageable for me.
At some point, I asked myself “Was this a mistake to take this job in the first place?” After all, Hans and I moved here because of my current job. For me, the answer is a resounding “No!” I am very grateful to have found this job. It has allowed Hans and I to change our lifestyle. We wouldn’t have thought of this place if it wasn’t for this job. We love living in Powell River. We appreciate having a home of our own. Almost every day when Hans gets up, he describes to me the beautiful ocean view outside our bedroom window. Every time I lie on my day bed listening to birds singing outside the window and feeling the sunshine on my body, I am reminded of how much I love my life. Every time we go for a walk and I hear the waves of the ocean and smell the fresh ocean air, I am reminded of how wonderful life is. In this job, I have had a chance to work with women with different types of serious issues. This type of work has broadened my skill set tremendously and has given me a different outlook in life. I believe I have had a chance to help many women make positive changes in their lives in this position. Moving here has also allowed us to be able to purchase two properties within six months of living here, something that we wouldn’t be able to do in the lower mainland. So as always, I don’t look at decisions as right or wrong. I don’t see outcomes that are less than satisfactory as failures or mistakes. Rather, every unpleasant experience offers an opportunity for change or teaches me some very important lessons.
About two weeks after my notice of resignation, I received a call from the place that I thought I didn’t get the position earlier. They offered me a job that I applied for and my starting date will be on Dec. 3! This means that I will have about four weeks to relax before I start my new job. I am very excited! I will be starting a new job at Canada’s leading men’s addiction treatment center located right in Powell River. This is a wonderful career opportunity for me! This position will allow me to work with a team of excellent professionals at a workplace that values empowerment, respect and dignity, values which are in line with mine. What’s more, the position offers excellent opportunities for personal and professional growth as well as great benefits, substantial financial security and great vacation time. Although nothing is guaranteed until I actually start the position, I want to allow myself to enjoy this and trust that things will work out.
In my last newsletter, I also wrote about starting my radio talk show, Quyn’s Empowerment Hour. I am very pleased to share with you that it has been going very well. I feel very strongly that this is one of my passions! I have also learned so much about myself and from my guests as I am going through this process. During the first week or two of doing the show, I got many rejections from potential guests I wanted to invite to my show as experts. But again, I had faith in the process, trusting that I will soon be able to find people who are enthusiastic about coming onto my show. At present, I have guests scheduled to appear on my show up to February, 2016. I have been very fortunate to be able to invite therapists, psychologists, authors and individuals with inspiring stories to my show. I feel very honoured that they see the value in my show. These are the topics of the show I have covered so far:
- Finding Light in the Dark: Journey of a Blind Psychotherapist Fleeing from Vietnam by Quyn Lê Erichsen
- Anger and Aggression in Men: Recognizing Unmet Needs and Vulnerable Emotions, with Dale Trimble
- Renewing Sexual Intimacy with Your Mate: Ways to Spice up Your Sexual Routines in and out of the Bedroom, with Dr. Renee Lanctot, Sexologist
These are some of the topics I will cover in the next few episodes:
- The Dance of Anger: How Women can Transform Anger and Resentment in Their Important Relationships, with Dr. Harriet Lerner, Psychologist and Author
- Christine Ha: The Incredible Journey of the Blind MasterChef Winner
- Men Surviving from Sexual Abuse, with Perto Herrera, a Sexual Abuse Survivor and Don Wright, Founder of B.C. Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
To listen to previous episodes or to see upcoming guests and topics, please visit
Quyn’s Empowerment Hour
Christine Ha: Blind MasterChef Winner
Recently I interviewed Christine Ha who was the blind MasterChef Winner in 2012. As an only child, she lost her mother at the age of fourteen. It was a huge loss for her, as her mother loved her and pampered her very much. While she was in university she started losing her sight. As if that wasn’t enough, she also was paralyzed on both sides of her body up to her neck for nine months. She felt very helpless as her friends and family members had to feed her and bathe her. For nine months, she had to cope with the fear of the unknown, learn to let go of her pride and allow others to help her, and learn to walk and do things all over again. Although she eventually regained control of her body, she lost most of her sight. While she was competing on MasterChef, she felt very discouraged at times. Yet she always tried to do her best. When asked what kept her going during her darkest time, Christine shared that it was her faith in God and believing that she can handle whatever comes up in her life. She believes that God has sent people to help her whenever she needs help. I felt very humble and inspired listening to her story. I learned a lot from her. To hear more about Christine’s incredible journey in her own words, tune in to Quyn’s Empowerment Hour, Saturday Nov. 14 9PM PT.
Believe in Yourself is the Way to Success- My Story of Transition From Academia, by Ping Xiao
(I dedicate this story to my friend who is one of the readers of this newsletter.)
“Once upon a time, there was an eagle that grew up with a group of chickens. He thought of himself as a chicken too, enjoying a routine life the same as everybody else. His master was very angry when trying various methods to get him to fly, but he couldn’t.
Finally, one day, his master brought him to the top of a mountain and threw him down the cliff. He was surprised, sad, and confused. He thought, “Oh God, my master is going to kill me, I don’t want to die.” While he was struggling, he opened up his wings and, all of the sudden, he felt a strong force that took him up. The more he extended his wings, the more he could rise. Well, he started to fly.
For the first time, he saw lots of different things: blue skies, white clouds, green trees, and gray. He felt freedom. Since then, he could never go back to the same life as a chicken – he could not stop flying.
Have you ever had a similar experience and feeling? Have you ever thought you might be an eagle? Getting thrown over the cliff by someone else may not have been a bad thing? I was.
I was a good student, in the typical Asian definition of “good student,” from the first day I went to school. Life was sweet, life was easy, life was smooth and successful all the time. I got used to school life, got used to listening to my Professor telling me what to do. The feeling of being praised by others felt really good.
I didn’t know what to do without school, but after finishing post-doctoral training, there was no more school. My life seemed to be stuck to an end. I did not really seriously look for a job because I didn’t know the world outside of school.
While I was still dreaming of being a Professor, and staying in school, the school door was shut for me. I was kicked out by my Professor because the research funding was finally gone and the U.S. was facing 9/11 and the wars in Iraq, etc.
It was a black out world for me at that time. I could see nothing and didn’t know which way to go. I knocked on all the doors I could. And, for the first time, I learned how to write a resume. Thank God, I did not waste my time sleeping and crying at home.
I went out to join various scientific conferences, met people, and learned something new. I also volunteered for various activities and enjoyed helping others. I experienced so many different things and explored a much bigger world. I also found many hidden talents that I didn’t know existed, which also surprised me a lot. I could never go back to my old life.
I ended up being an international regulatory professional in the medical device industry , which I had never dreamed or planned, even when I was studying regulatory science at USC. I wasn’t planning to work for industry at all. I have to say in this highly competitive job market, there is always somebody that has skills that are better than yours. So, if a door opens for you, take it, even if it is not what you saw yourself doing. First, you have to put yourself out there and let others choose you and not refuse any opportunities coming towards you.
In conclusion, believing in yourself is the way to success. Self-improvement means self-discovery and self-trust. If you don’t try, you will never know if you can. I hope that everyone does not suffer life as I did, but trust yourself and challenge yourself for new things which can bring you a new life. Although it takes tremendous courage and energy to get out of your comfort zone for something new and unknown, just try and just do it. There is nothing to regret if you put in the effort. Believing in yourself is the key to success.”
If you’d like your story to be featured here anonymously or publicly, or if you know of anyone whose story you want to share with us, get in touch with me.
Words of Wisdom
“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. – Saint Augustine
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Questions for Reflection
Are you about to make an important decision and the fear of the unknown has kept you from making it?
During the bad times in your life, have you found it tough to have faith — either faith in God, faith in a Higher Power and/or faith in yourself? If not, is it your self-doubts or your negative thoughts and beliefs that have hindered your faith?
What does it take for you to trust so that you can venture beyond your comfort zone?
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