© 2021, Inner Child Dimentions

 

Hello my beautiful fledglings. I can’t tell you how much I miss writing. I promise, I will write soon to let you know where I am with converting my personal blog into a business. The time commitment and learning curve to start a new business has been extremely high and, at times, overwhelming. While doing this, I’ve continued to practice what I preach by balancing personal self-care, being present as a co-parent for my two amazing, beautiful daughters, staying connected with friends and family, and maintaining a full-time career. Yes, there’s been a lot on my plate.

 

On top of this, I’ve also had another project going on in the background.

 

As some of you may remember, April 2020, right when the pandemic started, I joined a daily writing group. This group became my saving grace right when the world went into lockdown. I was emotionally lost and rapidly going downhill.

 

Joining this group was the catalyst to me doing the #75Hard Challenge (today is actually day one of a 2nd round of #75Hard with two good friends of mine – I need another reboot!), followed by an 8 week program with Tommy Rosen. This lead to yoga and meditation becoming a morning practice in my every day life.

 

My writing group has been one of many blessings. I met the most wonderful authors and people, many of whom are now close friends. We’ve shared our personal experiences of trauma, addiction, recovery, as well as our fears, insecurities, and loss. In our sessions, we wrote about extremely vulnerable topics. In fact, many of the authors were working on their personal memoirs (some of them already published since we all met).

 

By sharing our work amongst ourselves, we not only helped guide each other towards improving our communication of the written word, we supported one another through the challenge of reliving painful experiences.

 

Eleven months ago, Chris Joseph and Beth Robinson suggested a group of us should collaborate to write a book on epiphanies.  You know, come up with an “ah ha” moment and write about it.

 

Twenty signed up for the project. And today, our book has finally been published!

 

© 2021, Inner Child Dimensions, LLC.

 

Now that this book has come out, I have someone for you to meet. He’s one of the contributing authors of this book.

 

Meet John Ferreira

Now who’s this John character anyway?

 

The Man Behind the Curtain

~ Wizard of Oz

 

My fledglings, I’d like you to meet the man behind the curtain, the face under the mask, the person I see in the mirror when I wake up in the morning. Hi John!

 

 

© 2021, Inner Child Dimensions, LLC.

 

Ok, maybe not the best picture. But hey, we love the rainbow in the background. You never know what you’ll see when you’re in Hawaii and wake up before everyone else so you can do your morning Sadhana routine peacefully on the beach.

 

Those of you who’ve read this blog, already know this person. This is the “real” me. No longer hiding behind the curtain of a pseudonym.

 

You’ve heard my struggles and you’ve followed me on my journey of growth and recovery. You’ve watched how difficult it was to let go of the inevitable and how much time and commitment I’ve done to understand how my actions, due to my addiction and childhood trauma, affected and hurt the people I loved. And you watched the miracle of transformation when I finally learned to let go and found ways to release the negative emotional energy that was trapped in the cells of my body.

 

Phoenix and John. We are one and the same.

 

However, we feel it’s important to get to know John, as we hand him the baton taking Together We Can Heal to the next level; helping others learn to Rise from the Ashes on their personal journey of healing.

 

 

Phoenix:

John, I can’t tell you how incredibly grateful I am for all you’ve done these past, wow, almost five years.

 

John:

Has it really been that long?

 

Phoenix:

Time flies. That’s what happens when we learn to spread our wings, rise up from the pain of our past, and start to soar.

 

John:

So true. Although, this morning, the internal clench of my gut, is similar to the fear I felt January 2017 when I first started blogging. It’s almost as if my talons are stuck in a molten puddle of quicksand threatening to pull me back into the raging inferno.

 

Phoenix:

Do you remember the fear you felt when you first joined the Launch Pad Inner Circle Writing Group?

 

John:

Not particularly.

 

Phoenix:

Oh, you need a walk down memory lane my friend.

 

John:

WOW! I had forgotten how hard that was for me.

 

Phoenix:

It was a big step. For the first time, other than some of your closest friends, you let complete strangers see your face and connect you to me and your blog.

 

John:

And Rafiki! Oh how he has helped us all these years. I love that man!

 

Phoenix:

You mean mandril.

 

John:

Yeah, yeah. You know what I mean. Even to this day, that wise old “monkey” still holds us accountable and randomly sends important texts out of the blue.

 

Phoenix:

Ironically, those texts come when we’re processing something through our blog. Did you read his text from last night?

 

John:

“We are entitled to our beliefs, not by our beliefs.” His own personal quote.

 

Phoenix:

Which is a perfect segue into what I wanted to talk to you about. What did Rafiki teach us to do when emotions overwhelm us?

 

John:

To take a step back. To take a 30,000-foot view of what’s going on. To become an observer of our story, rather than a victim stuck in the story.

 

Phoenix:

Let’s not let the belief of your fear become the reason to how you will react. You’re entitled to experience it, yet lets not allow it to control you. Instead, accept your fear then figure out what’s really behind it. Do you have any inkling of what that might be?

 

John:

I never wanted to go public with my real name. By maintaining a pseudonym, by staying hidden behind the safety of a mask or curtain, I could protect the three people that meant the most to me. I could protect my ex and my daughters from the naysayers and questions others might ask because I became open about my own internal issues. I had already caused enough collateral damage in my marriage and subsequent divorce. I didn’t want to cause any more.

 

Phoenix:

That has always been a deep fear of ours. And it’s ok to have these fears. That’s what being human is all about. It also helps keep you aware and conscious about your intentions and motivation.

 

John:

I try to remind myself of what our business coach, Ruth Soukup, says about blogging. She says, “Don’t blog with an open wound.” Much of our writing has been with an open….

 

Phoenix:

Hmmm. Sorry to cut you off, John. Let me see if I understand. I think we might be onto something. When you were writing as me. You know, writing as Phoenix. You were writing from an open wound. Your writing was focused on understanding, healing, and growth.

 

John:

Ok. Continue.

 

Phoenix:

And now, the direction you have in your writing, or what you would like to do in your business, is not so much as from a wounded place, but to pass on the gifts you’ve learned so you can help others.

 

John:

I think what really ends up happening is that my mind goes back and forth. Do I really have what it takes to help others? Do I even have gifts I can pass on?

 

Phoenix:

Didn’t you doubt your abilities to be a flight instructor back in the day?

 

John:

Oh, you’re going there, aren’t you?

 

Phoenix:

Hey, I’ve been taught to search for patterns of behavior and then learn to change that which is unhealthy. Doubting one’s abilities is one of the most damaging personal negative thought patterns we can have.

 

John:

How in the world did you get so smart Phoenix?

 

Phoenix:

Because of you my friend in the mirror. Now stop trying to change the subject!

 

John:

Oops.

 

Phoenix:

How long did it take for you to believe, to truly believe, that you had what it took to be a flight instructor?

 

John:

Five years.

 

Phoenix:

How many hours did you fly during that time after you had earned your commercial pilot’s certificate?

 

John:

Ten.

 

Phoenix:

And what excuses did you use to work at Ben and Jerry’s, the Spaghetti Factory, and on the ramp for American Eagle when you could have easily been flight instructing making twice as much money?

 

John:

I was in college and had to focus on my schooling.

 

Phoenix:

So why after college did you go back to Round Table Pizza as a shift manager for over a year instead of jumping right in to doing what you wanted to do for the rest of your life?

 

John:

Fear of failure. Fear of not believing I had what it took. The comfort of doing what I knew and not having to risk failure.

 

Phoenix:

And what prompted you to finally step in and face that fear?

 

John:

A very close friend and fellow aviator/flight instructor told me I had to teach his ground school class. He pretty much kicked my ass.

 

Phoenix:

How long did it take to become a flight instructor once you made up your mind?

 

John:

I did a few flights in the right seat to feel proficient and comfortable. Taught this one ground school a couple of times. Then completed a week long, compressed, quickie course. 22 hours of flight time, one on one ground preparation, then passed my five hour oral and practical CFI exam. By the next day, I was teaching students how to fly.

 

Phoenix:

When you look back at your experience as a flight instructor, honestly, what would your students say about your abilities? How do you feel about your time teaching people how to fly?

 

John:

That was the most rewarding part of my career. A few students had no desire to be professional pilots, yet ended up working towards an instrument rating only because they wanted to continue to fly with me. I mean, like anything in life, it took a while to really get the hang of it, but eventually, I had instructing dialed in. In fact, I had one student wait three months to get on my schedule.

 

Phoenix:

Speaking of this student, what did you do when you gave two weeks’ notice that you were taking the next step in your career and leaving the flight school?

 

John:

I did everything I could to get five private pilots and two instrument pilots passed within those two weeks.

 

Phoenix:

One of those five private pilots waited three months to get on your schedule and you refused to leave until you finished him up. Poor guy did five cross-country flights in five days. You even had him plan one of those flights on the drive to a Steve Miller and Stevie Nicks concert the night before!

 

So, back to patterns John. It takes you a long time to step out of your comfort zone. You have a lot to offer others. And when you do finally make the leap, you literally soar!

 

Over the past year, what have other people, co-workers, and friends you’ve talked to said when they feel comfortable enough to become open and vulnerable about what’s been difficult in their life?

 

John:

They explain how appreciative they are that I was there to listen and guide them. I watch them grow and change and I’m reminded I do have something to offer.

 

Phoenix:

Do you remember what was said to you when you ran an online virtual church group for Your Move?

 

John:

It was something about how impressed they were with my missionary work. I remember the first thought I had when I heard that was that my blog is not religious based. I was quite confused by what they meant.

 

Phoenix:

A missionary is nothing more than a person undertaking a mission. What is the mission of Together We Can Heal?

 

John:

To help others learn how to love and parent their inner child, give them hope to help dispel the negative patterns of belief that keep them stuck from true growth, and to build a supportive community to let them know they aren’t alone. Love, hope, and connection.

 

Phoenix:

That is our mission. We are missionaries of this vision. The problem is, blogging as me, as Phoenix, can only take you so far. If you truly want to build this into a community of people being a light in the candle of someone else’s darkness, you need credibility. Credibility only comes by taking off the mask.

 

John:

But here’s so much comfort in that mask!!

 

Phoenix:

I know. Trust me. I really do. Unfortunately, that mask keeps you stuck. Without a kick in the pants, you do what’s comfortable. Without having an accountability group or accountability partner, you give up. If you don’t take off the mask, you won’t be able to follow through with your mission.

 

Think of your past successes. Think of when you were a part of Heidi Le’s Transformational Challenge. Think of your Moment on Fire events. When you just DO IT, your success exceeds your wildest imaginations. I mean look at where we’re having this conversation! We’re on the balcony of a hotel in Waikiki. You got this!

 

© 2021, Inner Child Dimensions, LLC.

 

John:

It’s so easy to forget those Moment of Fire events in our lives.

 

Phoenix:

It is. That’s why we need to have a way to get ourselves back to those moments; so, we don’t get stuck.

 

Speaking of stuck, guess what?

 

It’s been almost five years since you started your blog. The same time it took for you to become a flight instructor. Keep doing what you’re doing!

 

I want to leave you with one final thought. What’s the motivation, the kick in the pants, that’s currently causing you to step outside the comfort of the curtain?

 

John:

By agreeing to be a published author in The Epiphanies Project.

 

Phoenix:

Exactly! You’re being pushed out of the nest and forced to fly. I understand your fear, John. That fear shows how much you do care for your girls and how much you still care about the well-being of your ex.

 

Remember what a dear friend texted you a couple of hours ago when you disclosed how your emotions were out of whack. “I understand. You want your integrity to shine above all else. You’ve done the work, John. You’re no longer ‘guilty’. You are free!!” 

 

Remember, the future of Together We Can Heal is not about rehashing the past. You’re no longer writing from a wound. It’s taking your life experiences and using those lessons to help others. That’s your gift and that’s your mission. Truly, my friend in the mirror, that is a mission of love.

 

It’s been almost five years. So let’s do this!!

 

 

 

The Epiphanies Project

 

 

I’m one of twenty authors who came together virtually through Zoom every day during a time of social isolation, when most of the world was quarantined to the confines of their own homes with their only companions the people they lived with.

 

We come from all walks of life, stepping outside the comfort of our deepest internal conflicts and sharing them with the world with the hope that everyone will find at least one story they connect with.

 

Through our journey, we’ve helped one another, challenged each other, and become good friends.

 

Our stories may seem different on the surface, but really, deep down, they are the same. They show the complexity of what it means to be human. They show how we carry wounds from our past into the present. They show that without healing from our past, we’ll not only continue to hurt, but we’ll continue to taint our relationships and hurt others.

 

Most of all, they show hope. They show that we can Rise from the Ashes of our darkest secrets. If the twenty of us can learn, change, and grow from the messy circumstances of life, so can you.

 

The Epiphanies Project is a book that really is the foundation and what I had envisioned Together We Can Heal to be back in January 2017.

Love

Hope

Connection

 

I highly recommend this book, not because I’m one of the authors, but because I’m positive there’s bound to be at least one story that resonates with you.

 

Thank you for continuing with me on my journey of healing and growth. Thank you for your continued support and love.

 

If you’re new to my blog, welcome. A lot will be coming in the future.

 

May you too rise from the ashes of your deepest wounds.

 

May we all come together.

 

Together We Can Heal

 

 

~ John Ferreira (aka: Phoenix Emery)

 

 

“The “Epiphanies Project” is a compilation of life lessons very personally told. Any of the 20 authors could be your friend, your sister or brother, a co-worker. Straight and not preachy, each essay ends with an honestly shared moment of awareness and understanding that is a payoff for page turning into the next author’s reflections. Some of these are brutally straight encounters of loss or a dramatic life change, others are softer, but all share a thread of growth and hope that is the heartbeat of this project started from a Los Angeles based writer’s group. Highly recommended.”

 

“Before I even read it I loved the idea for this book, because aren’t we all looking for our own epiphany? Something to put us on track, shake us up, or at least make us look at things in a new way? What surprised me was how hard-hitting the essays were, and how well I feel I know the authors after reading them. They have gotten past some horrendous difficulties and found hope, or at least a path forward.”

 

“Read this collection of essays if you need to be reminded that while our paths and stories may look very different, all of us have beating hearts that can be bruised, broken and, it turns out, mended. These are tales of suffering, pain, and sometimes terror, but ultimately, these stories are about the capacity to love (both ourselves and one another) and how that emerges when we let our hearts break all the way.”

 

1 reply
  1. Bret McIntyre
    Bret McIntyre says:

    I’m fairly certain Pride is one of the Seven Deadly Sins … but it’s what I feel for you right now, John. Great job ALL THE WAY AROUND. I’d fly from Oz in your balloon any old day … even to Kansas, but especially to Hawaii. <3

    Reply

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