745. Living Her Best Life, Honors Her Lost Daughter
“I don’t want to lose my life just because Kirby lost hers…so I say to people all the time, ‘We cannot bury ourselves with our children. We have to live the best we can.’ And I feel that I want to live with her passion for life, my sense of purpose and her ability to experience incredible joy. That is what I’m supposed to be doing, living with this purpose, passion and joy and trying to help others see that it is possible even though it’s hard.”
Virginia Brown, LCSW, is a therapist in private practice serving individuals and families addressing healthy family dynamics. She has written and delivered psycho-educational programs for various agencies in the New York tri-state area. Following the death of her daughter at a self-help retreat in 2009, she founded SEEK SAFELY Inc., a 501©3 charity to educate the public about self-help and promote safe and ethical practices in the self-help industry. As a result of this tragedy that created international coverage, she has been involved in numerous interviews and media productions in the US and UK. She gives seminars and workshops teaching self-empowerment.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“I have been blessed to experience a lot of ‘sweet spots’ in the course of my life where I could use my talents. I felt that way when I was home with young kids, trying to juggle family and money and figure out what worked and what didn’t work; also during my work with the Archdiocese of New York, where I set up a dispute resolution center and then in Orange County where I created a curriculum for parents whose children had been removed because of neglect and then a program for adolescents on probation.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“My daughter, Kirby, was highly creative and a life-long adventurer, always trying to improve her life and grow. She lived in Baja, Mexico, where she had a decorative painting business, surfed the big waves, hiked mountains and rode horses. In October of 2009 she went to a self-help retreat run by James Arthur Ray, and at the culminating event of that retreat—a sweat lodge activity—three people, including Kirby died. I founded Seek Safely, Inc., to help educate the public about the self-help industry and to promote safe and ethical practices.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“My dear mother-in-law said to me early on—whatever happens today you need to learn from it, because you are going to need that knowledge for tomorrow. And that is so true. We also need to be quiet and pay attention to our inner voice whether it is through meditation or what I do, which is connecting to nature: pay attention to the sunrises and sunsets, give yourself a chance to look at the beauty in the world and let it resonate within you so that you can develop the gratitude that whatever is going wrong, and no matter how difficult things may be, there is endless good and beauty to empower us.”
Steps to Success from Virginia Brown
1. Own your best self. We spend far too much of our time and energy looking outside of ourselves searching for recognition or money or power.
2. When you understand who you are, then reflect on what you have to offer that can make the world a better place.
3. Continuously learn and listen to those that have knowledge and wisdom to share with you.
4. Understand that change doesn’t happen immediately. Much self-awareness must take place for people to make changes they can sustain throughout their life.
Connecting With Virginia Brown
Your website: http://www.seeksafely.org/
Your Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SEEKSafely/
Your Twitter: https://twitter.com/seeksafely
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