Sam Feldman - graduation - being kissed on the cheek by her mother and father, Enrique Feldman

The Woman Who Lived

There are certain people who are placed in your life, and upon recognizing the opportunity, you fully embrace the challenge for yourself to truly grow into a new skin. One which most likely, you did not even envision. For me, one of these people is Sam Sierra-Feldman, my daughter. She is more than my daughter. She is my:

  • Friend
  • Colleague
  • Fellow Artist
  • Thought Leader

I thought I new all about the following concepts when she was a little girl.

  • Equity
  • Equality

I thought I new, and I did, at a very basic level. Fortunately, because of previous mentors who modeled humility, asking great questions, and being open to lifelong learning, I was a willing student to this “young” teacher.

Hold on a minute! Am I saying that my 24 year old is one of my mentors? Yes I am, and really, she has been what I would call a non-traditional mentor of mine for many years. The trauma and grief she has experienced in many ways during her teens and even today, has created many moments where I had to reexamine and sculpt my beliefs and my concepts related to how to help humanity move forward.

First Awakening

  • I had to realize I could not help Sam get over her trauma.
  • I had to trust that unconditional love and authentic affirmation would help, and it did.

Second Awakening

  • I had to realize that the only concrete thing I could do was model being the very best version of me I could envision.
  • I have done this and continue to do this, no matter how tired, sore, mentally drained or frustrated I am.

Third Awakening

  • I have realized that focusing on myself is “selfish” by society’s definition.
  • I have realized that only focusing on others would be “selfish” because it would allow me to hide behind the mantra of “I have to help everyone else over their own stuff”, so I don’t have time to improve myself.
  • I have recommitted to myself that any definition “by society” is unimportant if we are to inspire others in authentic ways, and create new paradigms.

So… equity and equality… how did Sam teach me so much of these concepts? With a statement she made when she was four years old.

  • “Daddy, I’m tired of the books you’re reading to me at night.”
  • Fortunately, I asked, “What do you want to do?”
  • Sam responded, “I want to make our own stories.”

And we did and continue to do so. While the Sam the Ant children’s book series embraces many of these concepts which I am referencing, it is the many conversations Sam and I have had related to the crafting of this long series of scaffolded and bilingual children’s books. So many conversations about letting the readers choose the many potential perspectives which exist in the stories, how perspectives for varying genders differ, and so much more. For this, I am eternally grateful to Sam, and I am also so happy that I chose an affirmation that ended up being a lifeline for Sam.

“You are a Champion!”

“Campeona!”

And she is, has always been and will always be. So am I and so are you. When you’re ready to fully accept the responsibility of being a champion, you will notice a surge in energy. You will redefine what you call “busy” and simultaneously you will free yourself from the matrix-like Monday - Friday grind. Your days will meld together, and even when their is pain, you will sense the joy right around the corner. You will also notice, especially if you suffer from depression, that you will begin to catch glimpses of actual happiness.

Happy Catching,

Enrique

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