Since I was a little kid, I’ve wanted to help people. As I grew older, I wanted to help people all around the world. For someone born in a trailer park in small town USA, this desire seemed a little strange. What did I know about the world? But language, culture, history, and political systems fascinated me, and it became my life mission to learn more about this big world I found myself a part of.
And I did it… against all the odds, I was told. No one knew what to do with a sixteen-year-old girl who said she wanted to negotiate peace between warring factions and create better living and working conditions for people around the world. With a lot of divine support, I found the road less traveled, and it opened up everything to me. I became a Rhodes scholar state finalist. I became the only American chosen for a full graduate scholarship in Notre Dame University’s prestigious peace program in 1998, which had been endowed by visionary philanthropist, Joan B. Kroc. From there, I was given the honor of being the first fellow with a non-governmental organization working on free and fair elections.
Soon I was working for the greatest humanitarian and development organizations operating around the world. My training might have been in peace, but I soon discovered it was equally important to mitigate and stop conflict. I worked in the Middle East exclusively after 9/11 and then globally on some of the biggest conflict-affected areas out there: Lebanon, Colombia, West Bank/Gaza, Pakistan, and Congo. On a daily basis, I faced ethnic and religious hatred and social and political inequalities and their impacts on people’s lives.
After working for almost fifteen years on these issues, I was mired in the weeds of genocide, poverty, and intractable conflict. I didn’t feel like I was making much of a difference anymore, and it broke my heart to see what people were enduring while politics and greed seemed to rule the day.
On a singular night in Sierra Leone, I realized I needed to write a new story for my life. I’d written stories since I was a young girl, and the act had always made me happy. I realized I wanted to be happy. And so I began writing that first book.
A few years later, everything seemed to be leading to becoming a published author and letting go of my old career. And I did so in 2013, walking away from a successful six-figure career working around the world. People called it the bravest (and craziest) thing they’d ever seen.
But I knew it was the right thing.
I wasn’t wrong.
Now I’m reaching people around the world through my stories, spreading messages of love, community, and yes, peace. I remember the first time I learned I had readers in Saudi Arabia, Ghana, and Lebanon… you get the picture.
You see, I’ve been a global awakener for a long time, since I cared about people around the world and wanted to connect with them.
We awaken the globe by being ourselves and realizing everyone is human—just like us. We all want love. We all hurt when we experience loss and suffering. And we all laugh when there is something to celebrate.
We’re all global awakeners when we want the best for humanity regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, class, etc.
I’m happy to declare I’m a global awakener.