Here’s how my life changed and how my book quest journey unfolded…

Life is neither stagnant nor constant. The fact that life continuously changes is inevitable. It’s not easy for most people to manage. I think it’s the ambiguity that comes with change that makes so many people uncomfortable. If change is sudden or dramatic, as mine was, it can throw your entire world into a downward spiral. Learning how to accept and adapt to life’s changes and challenges is vital to survival and success.

Here’s how my life changed and how my book quest journey unfolded…

I grew up in Philadelphia, in a typical American family, the eldest of five. I was brought up with good ethics and taught to aspire, which I did. My home life and growing years were relatively normal. There wasn’t much drama, other than the usual teenage growing pains. My parents, especially my dad, a veteran and a teacher, valued education. They sacrificed to pay for 12 years of private schooling, then I was off to college.

I married my high school sweetheart Jim. We were fortunate to have good friends, many still in touch with us today, which is truly a gift. Over the years, we’ve supported one another through cycles of ups and downs – marriage, divorce, children, sickness and death. Early on, Jim and I had no idea that our idyllic and carefully planned life would be in the spotlight for so many of these whirlwind rotations.

It began with the traumatic birth of our first child. Unexpected at my young age, Lauren was born with Down syndrome and fighting for her life with a lethal heart defect. From that day on, and for five unrelenting years, my life was indelibly changed. From then on, it was often a “tale of two cities” with events and emotions bouncing from life, laughter, love and positive energy to death, sadness, cruelty, and dark forces.

As each adversity challenged me – medical mishaps, battles with bureaucracies, life threatening encounters, and finally a diagnosis of breast cancer while pregnant – I learned valuable life lessons. Particularly about mystical angel moments that swooped in to warn or save me.

No doubt I struggled to survive and to keep my semblance of my former self alive. But, I was tenacious. Although I was repeatedly knocked down, I always got up. What helped me was advice from a wise philosopher. He assured me that my happenings were my destiny and they could not be prevented. On the positive side, he made a prophecy that my misfortunes were meant to be shared so that others might be inspired and learn from them as well. More than 20 years ago, he hinted that my book quest journey would happen. And so it has.

My numerous chance encounters with fate have created permanent marks on both my soul and my physical body. They are tattooed badges of courage. Most important, I retained the valuable lessons from them. I share the intimate details of them with you in my book.

Over the years, I survived and thrived. I’ve learned the importance of a holistic approach in keeping the mind, body and spirit in synch for optimum health. I am an avid yoga practitioner and have become more spiritual and healthy because of it. I’m also an author, speaker, and an award winning career mom of two grown sons. I have been a guest on radio and television sharing my transformational journey of becoming a Champion by Choice.

I invite you to read my book and my blogs. In the future, I’d like to write about other everyday Life Champions. I know that there are lots of great stories out there, just waiting to be heard. I welcome your feedback and referrals of them to me so that I may feature them on my blog.

Liz Barker Changed by Chance