624. Star of Stage and Screen, Pain Be Damned
Cindy learned as a little girl that the cards were stacked against her. The casts on her legs, the scars and pain drove home the point. But somewhere inside, she knew one day the world would hear her roar.
By age 3 Cindy Ashton was already wearing sequins, singing classics and dancing around her living room to her growing audience of fans. Since then she has worked with countless others, gracing thousands of stages. After over 20 years as a singer and entertainer, she is now the TV host of Cindy Uncorked on e360tv, syndicated worldwide on 186 million screens. Bringing her flare for stage craft to the speaking world, Cindy is also a professional speaker, presentation strategist and CEO of Speaker Stardom Booking Agency. She has received awards from former president Obama and Queen Elizabeth II for her lifetime of volunteerism, and has appeared in multiple media, including Investment News and Inc. Magazine.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“I would say, when it comes to dancing and performing, it wasn’t a choice! I’ve known since I was a fetus that I was meant to perform. My earliest memory is jumping on the table, wearing a little shimmer dress with sequins, singing, “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar.” I’ve always been a natural performer. It’s always been the gift I’m supposed to express on this planet.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“I was born with heart failure and a 20% chance of living. I had my first heart surgery at 11 days old. But I knew very early on that my destiny was to be a performer. After one surgery, the doctors told me not to do anything beyond walking. I didn’t just walk. I started dance lessons and went on to perform multiple shows eight times a week as a singer, dancer and actor. I’ve pretty much defied all odds. And, it’s been a lifetime of living with horrendous, chronic pain. Though it’s not horrendous anymore, it’s been a life-long journey of living with illness. It’s been a huge blessing, extraordinarily difficult and beautiful at the same time.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“Many people are comfortable living lives that are just OK, until their discomfort becomes extreme. I’ve thought about this because I was born ready to die. Because I’ve lived with illness my whole life, and when you spend your entire life not being well, then you fight a lot harder. I think a lot of people haven’t been pushed onto the ledge where they are forced to sink or swim. Part of the reason I am so grateful is because I’ve been pushed that way from the day I was born. That makes me fight hard to find my truth. There is nothing more important than finding your authentic self and expressing it in the way that is uniquely yours.”
Steps to Success from Cindy Ashton
1. Stop several times a day just to be quiet and breathe deeply for five minutes. Set aside the distractions and be with yourself.
2. Learn to distinguish your own inner voice from all the competing voices and pressures around you. Then, learn to listen to that voice.
3. Many people are not even present in their own bodies. Childhood trauma may be preventing them from returning to themselves. Find help to work through those hidden wounds.
4. Find your authentic self and express it in the way that is uniquely yours.
On Her Bookshelf
Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons in Theory and Practice, by Howard E. Gardner
Connecting With Cindy Ashton
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