What Children Are Teaching Me About Passion 

child-writing-assessmentWe all want the same thing! To do what we love…

Tomorrow I will teach my second of seven Creative Expression classes at Lauren’s House for Positive Change in East Palo Alto. And as I had suspected, the kids are already teaching me more than I could ever teach them. I have two groups: pre-teen and teen. For the purpose of this piece I will focus on the older group.

I have to admit right off the bat that I’ve never done anything like this. I’ve taught yoga classes and nutrition workshops around the US in my twenties but never children and never writing. In fact, and this is something that became glaringly obvious a minute into my teaching, I’ve held a bias against youth and didn’t know it. I thought that young people were lethargic and permanently annoyed. I was scared of them, I was afraid they’d reject me. And while my hunches were close, there is much more to this story…

I made up the assignment on the fly. Looking at their tired and bored faces, I knew that whatever I had prepared would only make them roll their eyes or worse – exchange quiet sniggers. So I asked them about their dreams. “What are your aspirations?” I asked. “If absolutely nothing stood in the way, what would you like to do with your lives?” They stopped fidgeting at once and the ends of their pencils ventured to their partly open lips. They shared with me their dreams and I bowed to them in my minds eye. These children were listening to me and answering me! That in itself was an achievement.

“Why don’t you explore it deeper? Write about it,” I asked them and they said okay. “Open your journals and try to fill one page using at least three senses to describe yourself in the middle of living your dream. Just make up a scene. Any scene, whatever comes to your mind.”

After ten quiet minutes and more than one page of scribbling, they shared their impressions with me.

“It was cool,” one boy said and the others nodded. “Different that what they ask us to write in school.” His spark of enthusiasm and focus ignited my own.

Sitting across from them, I said: “What if everyone in the world was on fire about what they did? What if we all could do what we desire, instead of listening to other people’s ideas they have for us? What if we dared to be one hundred percent ourselves?”

The first boy looked at me and murmured just enough for me to hear, “That’s the world I want to live in.”

In an instant, my heart melted, all barriers between me and the students shattered and preconceptions evaporated. Here we were, all trying to be vulnerable and true, all wanting the same thing: to be free to pursue what we want.

“Well, you do have the power to make that happen, to create this world. And it begins with you,” I said. Nods and faint smiles appeared across from me.

No wonder most of the time they appear bored and lazy, I thought to myself. What if it’s not ADHD but instead their lack of patience or tolerance for bullshit that causes all the chaos?

Maybe it is as simple as this: They long to be heard. They yearn to be guided… gently within themselves.

Every Quest Begins with a Question

Slide1It all begins with a call. What is the call? The call is a question.

What is the question? The words will vary but the meaning will always be the same. It goes something like this: what have I come here to do with my life?

Have you ever been asked? Have you heard that voice welling from within? Did you pay attention? Are you paying attention? This voice is important. It contains the seed of your purpose. Perhaps you tired to silence this voice, until it became a mere whisper, no less powerful nonetheless. Perhaps it became even more haunting.

“If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself… then truth will not be withheld from you.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

I know I tried to resist the call. For years, all I wanted was a simple and peaceful life. But no matter what I did I could find no peace. I wanted to conform. I wanted this voice to leave me alone, stop nagging me. When the vision of what was possible unfolded before me like a magic carpet, it was enthralling, but it was more than I could take. It was not my life; it was someone else’s life!

But the voice would not leave me alone. To embark on this path would require so much strength, so much sacrifice, so many tests, I knew that already. Thank you, but I’d rather just live a simple life. I’m not a hero, I would say to myself. I cannot do this. I don’t want to do this. But soon it became clear, that if I didn’t do it, a deep part of me that was yearning to surface and bloom would shrivel and die. Destiny persisted. And I finally accepted. And thus, the road of trials began and with it a transformation that gave my life a real meaning.

“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” – Joseph Campbell

Everyone’s path is different but everyone has a path, a purpose. Your fate may knock on your door gently or if you bolt the door, it might sneak in through a crack in a window. As you turn your head and pretend not to see it, it grows in power and beckons on the periphery. It arises from the authentic core of your being. It is the crystallization of your yearning to step out and fully live, live your purpose. Take a risk. Open you mind. Hear that voice.

“Leap, and the net will appear.” – Julia Cameron

Don’t Wait. Pick Yourself.

LeapYesterday’s Systems Are Unraveling

After a YouTube marathon that included watching some the most brilliant minds of today’s age talking about the transformation happening to our industries and world, highlighting the collapse of old systems and even entire industries, I’m even more convinced that the power now rests with each individual. As this transformation gains momentum, art and creativity are becoming invaluable. Hotels are replaced by people offering their private spaces to virtual strangers, media by Twitter and anyone can become a star if they have a message and are willing to put the time and effort to spread it.

We live in a world that is moving so fast, in order to make an impact, we need to let go of what’s holding us back, plunge in with both feet, and once and for all stop worrying about what others think about us. No matter what we do to try to stop them, humans will go on judging each other. At some point, it becomes a total waste of time.

Be Vulnerable

In a world where daily information fire hoses spit out trillions of data bits, it is authenticity and vulnerability that is gaining in value. To be vulnerable, means putting something imperfect into the world and letting the world respond. If a product is too polished, there is no vulnerability; therefore no real learning can take place. What is of value today is the opposite of what was of value yesterday – people don’t need perfection. There is not time to attain perfection. Perfection, in case you still are wondering, is an illusion. Especially in a world that is moving at the speed of light.

People who are walking the tight rope are the ones getting the attention. It is those who have the guts to take the risks. But even that is not really as hard as our brains make it seem. We have a built in mechanism inside that is there to protect us from danger. But it was hardwired into our circuits millions of years ago when people died at thirty from a simple cut and encounters with lions were commonplace! It is not the case these days. There is so much less to be afraid of. And yet we hold off, we hesitate, get old and turn rigid as the world moves on…

“We are too focused on – how do I avoid criticism? And not focused enough on – how do I make a difference?” – Seth Godin

Focus on the People Who Listen, Ignore the Rest.

It can be hard to be inundated with crude comments and negative feedback as you are trying to gain a foothold in the world. So why not simply ignore it? Again, there is only so much time we have to do the work we came here to do and negativity can be a serious creativity sap and focus detractor. Why not focus on the people who support us and can benefit from the work we do? There will always be those who will judge, criticize and dislike what we do. We must accept this fact and move on.

Don’t Wait for People to Pick You. Pick Yourself

Wanna write? Wanna do music? Wanna help people? Wanna start a business? Do it. The gatekeepers are leaving the gates. The long lines to get inside the VIP lounge are dissipating. Now everyone can become whatever they want with enough focus and perseverance.

“Do You!” – Russell Simmons

We live in a world when new channels of communication are opening daily. There are really no excuses to not do what you want to do. You don’t need the security. In fact, where there is security, there is too much clutter and density, too many watchdogs and too much red tape. Find you own way, build your own gate or bridge to your dream and please, please do not fear rejection. Go on, cross it.

“Polarize People. When you create a product or service that some people love, don’t be surprised when others hate you. Your goal is to catalyze passion—pro or anti. Don’t be offended if people take issue with what you’ve done; the only result that should offend (and scare) you is lack of interest.” – Guy Kawasaki

Acknowledge the Fear and Go For It!

What people are trying to avoid is not so much failing, as then other would likely not even notice, but rather admitting to themselves that they are no good. And the moment shame kicks in? Adios art and creativity. It creates a resistance to trying something new and recoiling into the comfort zone. The key is not to run away from those fears and feelings but to face them and acknowledge them. That simple, tough not necessarily easy recognition will help you soften inside and the feeling to pass. It is like stretching yourself a little more each time, building more space, more tolerance for discomfort until true agility kicks in and they you will go looking for challenges because overcoming them will make you feel more strong, resilient and confident. So don’t pretend the fear is not there. Listen to it, feel it, and do what you have to do. It will make you shine. In fact, you can make yourself be so on fire, that your obstacles will become your fuel.

“Our inward power, when it obeys nature, reacts to events by accommodating itself to what it faces – to what is possible. It needs no specific material. It pursues its own aims as circumstances allow; it turns obstacles into fuel. As a fire overwhelms what would have quenched a lamp. What’s thrown on top of the conflagration is absorbed, consumed by it – and makes it burn still higher.” – Marcus Aurelius

If You Are Alive, You Have a Purpose

beautiful_butterflySo many people, and I surely used to be one of them, are struggling with finding their purpose these days. But what if they are trying too hard? Looking back, I certainly would overthink it to death before giving up to give into a life of routine, boredom and eventual frustration, only to start again. It was like trying to build a house that didn’t want to be built only to realize I already lived in it. So when it finally hit me, I realized that all along the answer was closer to me than the contents of my next inhale.

I will share with you how I discovered it, or rather what were the two breakthrough tools that “illuminated” my tired brain, but first I want to quote a remarkable statement. According to an American bestselling author, coach and healer, Carolyn Myss, there is no one in the world who doesn’t have a path or a purpose in life, both of which are essentially the same thing. “If you have life, you have purpose,” she says (and yes, as much as I don’t use it often, I Tweeted this a couple of days ago). She goes on to say that it is the same at all scales, every atom, every tree, every blade of grass has a purpose that arises from its essence. It cannot be otherwise.

So, before you go around scratching your head thinking about what to do with your life, change your question and ask yourself – what’s my essence? What am I about? The Greeks had it right when they carved the worlds in stone at the Temple of Delphi – KNOW THYSELF. It all starts there.

Now, onto the more pragmatic things. It took me over a decade and about a thousand exercises to hone my self-awareness. But most of the things I did to try to get there were offshoots that lead to nowhere. The best gems were these two: Tama Kieves’ millionaire exercise and Julia Cameron’s morning pages. What are they?

The first one is a bit of a genie-in-a-bottle I whip up when I meet strangers and the conversation flows. Once the exchange enters a deeper territory I ask them THE question. It goes like this – if you had a million, ten million, whatever the sum you desire that in your mind would free you from having to ever work another day in your life – what would you do with your time? There. Ask yourself that. Better, have a pen and paper ready and go to town.

I’ll tell you what my answer was and remains to this day – travel and write (the more selfish– nothing wrong with selfish, by the way – or as I prefer to say hermit-ish stuff) and then for the rest of my time hang out with the people I love. That’s it. Simple. Your purpose therefore is what you will do when you no longer need to do anything. It’s what remains when the demands are stripped and pure desire remains. Guess what I’ve been working on the last five years, since the day I figured it out? Ya. I rolled up my sleeves and got to work immediately. And even though at times the practice of writing a book would become daunting and would leave me exhausted, I persevered because it was the only thing I kept staying excited about for the long haul. So yes, I love the answers people give me when I ask them the millionaire question. Usually their answers are very simple and when they finally say it, something that is less threatening to tell a stranger, their face lights up. It’s an awesome sight to behold. It’s like they come alive. Most never before considered even imagining that possibly. But the possibility is real and it starts in your head. Plant the seed. Ask the question and have fun exploring the answers that arise.

The morning pages is a practice, a daily practice to unload your brain, which like a garbage container, please excuse the choice of analogy, but it gets darn close, gets filled with stuff, most of which is useless static and repetitive regurgitation of things past and mostly no longer relevant. If you have a regular meditation practice, you may skip this step. Or not because actually it can be really fun and reveal things to you that hours of stillness never will. You guessed it – morning pages are my form of mediation. But it has to be done longhand. No typing allowed!

Every morning, as I settle down with a steaming mug of brew cradled in one hand, the other one is busy scribbling all the nonsense that is on my mind right this very second. Try it; you will be amazed what goes on inside so automatically, you no longer even notice! The exercise accomplishes two things – it sheds that static and also slows down the thinking, as writing is slower than thinking. Watching as you write will reveal how chaotic thinking actually is, with fragmented thoughts like loose particles slamming into each other. When the thinking slows, something magical occurs – the thoughts start to arrange into novel strings and there are even pauses between them, like periods in a sentence. Sigh. Yes, it can be really refreshing, and even illuminating, like a ray of sunshine in foggy London. After you do this for some time, you will find clues to what it is you were born here to do. But this time you won’t have to read between the lines. It will be on a page, black on white, or blue on yellow, right in front of you.

Happy Purpose Hunting!

 

If you enjoyed this post, please leave me thumbs up! And if you have questions or comments, please let me know. I’m here to help as much as I can.

Image by vanessyca71

Want Results? Grow Some Balls.

Black-3d-ballsThis morning as I was getting ready to get out of my place and start the day, I was listening to one of the coolest TED talks on my laptop. The talk was so cool in fact, and so well pertaining to my bubbling interests in the moment that I once it was over, I wanted more. So I started to click through this link and that, which led me to an article so great, I was compelled to share it. The article is called: The Simple Guide to Growing Some @#$%ing Balls. And it delivers exactly that.

You are of course welcome to skip my take on its contents and go directly to the source. Or both. The fact is that I have not much to add to the original because it is so good and stands on it s own. Below are just few scanty impressions, mainly to solidify the message in my own mind, i.e. motivate me to stop waiting for the perfect weather conditions and do more of what I love.

What struck me most about this post is the fact that unless we grow some balls, the world will never see what we carry inside. It will never have a chance to experience our contributions and therefore, the world will be poorer because it will be missing our gifts. Who knows, maybe what you carry inside can help someone else find their way? What if this whole inspiration/community connection thing is one big domino effect waiting to happen? Why wait or be a missing link?

I originally started writing my blog (link) because I wanted to motivate people to take action, taking ownership of their lives by spreading the message of daring to begin anew each day, beginning to live a life of dreams. I was the one who needed t hear this message, so I became my own preacher. Julien and I are clearly on the same page:

“The reason that I tell you this is to remind you, in absolutely every circumstance, what the consequences of having no balls actually is– a silent consequence because it is just an absence of results. But don’t let this persuade you that nothing is what was fated to happen. In fact, the opposite is true. Something is always possible– but rarely does it actually happen, because no one is willing to put in the fucking work!!!”

He also puts down the idea that occurred to me some time ago and made me so much less self conscious about doing uncomfortable things or making a complete fool out of myself. In other words – the idea that busts the fear. It is crazy simple and so obvious! It’s the very fact that we are all soon going to be dead anyway so who cares? Or if you prefer a bite size morsel of this truth, here it is: in an hour from now, or few days or weeks (if your deed was THAT impactful), no one will remember. But you will have grown some skin, some character and some balls.

In the words of Marcus Aurelius: “Forget everything else. Keep hold of this alone and remember it: Each one of us lives only now, this brief instant. The rest has been lived already, or is impossible to see. The span we live is small – small as the corner of the earth in which we live it. Small as even the greatest renown, passed from mouth to mouth by short-lived stick figures, ignorant alike of themselves and those long dead.”

Check it out. It is worth your time.

And if you like this post, please give me thumbs up : )

www.ewazwonarz.com

You Already Have Everything You Need + Black Bean Soup for the Soul

Pema-Chodron-quote-hd

In the last couple of days, I decided to start blogging more regularly on things that matter, that could help inspire new ways of looking at things and hopefully even start interesting conversations.

On the first pages of her book “Start Where You Are,” a Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron, dishes out a compelling idea. She says that every one of us already has everything we need.

It is a provoking thought in my view, especially given the pervasive cultural tentacles of lack that threaten to stifle us at every corner, triggering an important conversation, I hope gets more attention. Because let’s face it, as more people are awakening to their truth, an ocean of us still listens, willingly or otherwise, to the mighty voice of the media, trends, advertisers, parents, authority figures, ego voice or what have you, that the truth is exactly the opposite – that we lack more than we have. As a result, life, instead of being a personal quest for self-realization, becomes an endless chase after something we can’t ultimately get, because even when do finally lose that weight, or lift that weight, or get that raise or title or whatever, a moment later we are onto the next thing, climbing the next mountain, conquering the next nation.

That’s because the attitude of lack, which is the core massage of the selling magnates of the world fighting for your dollar, promising that what they have will fill that hole, permeates our society the way ink seeps into paper. And worse of all, it is infecting young, impressionable minds. I remember when I was in college and we studied the exposure of children to television ads. It is getting progressively worse, with kids between ages of 2 and 11 seeing 25,600 ads per year. Can we recognize the impact this is having at shaping their sense of identity? What kind of future culture are we creating?

Anyway, back to Pema. What does she mean when she says that we already have everything we need? In her own words: “All these trips that we lay on ourselves – the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy, and the addictions of all kinds – never touch our basic wealth.” She goes on to say that while they may seem real, these thoughts and dark, painful emotions that stem from them are merely clouds that obstruct the sun of our true self that perpetually shines. We already have all that we seek – the lightness, the warmth, the luminosity and the love.

“We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake.” – Pema Chodron

To further her message, Pema states that we don’t even need to work on ourselves. Self-improvement is not necessary because underneath that cover of clouds we are already perfect. The inner dialogue of not having enough or not looking good enough is nothing more than static, a dusty coat that serves no purpose and is essentially not true. But rather than fighting those thoughts, or denying that they are there, Pema suggests getting curious about them, looking at those fears for what they really are. Knowing what’s inside of us, seeing the anger, the rage, the resentments and envies is in itself a healing, the awareness and acceptance of their presence dissolving the grip, and ultimately chasing away the clouds.

Today I dare to ask – what would our world look like if we lived believing we are perfect as we are? What if we became kinder and gentler and dropped the heavy artillery aimed we keep aimed at ourselves? It might be hard. But I’m willing to try.

Will you try with me?

 


A RECIPE:

By the way, last night I was feeling a little under the weather so working with limited supplies, I accidentally made a really delicious black bean soup. Keeping with the Buddhist theme, it is completely vegan. Took me about 5 minutes.

In a small pot, combine the following and bring to boil:

½ can of organic black beans

1 shredded zucchini

1 chopped tomato

¼ chopped belle pepper

Coconut aminos* and/or salt to taste

*the aminos give the dish a sweeter, more flavorful taste. I’m completely hooked on this awesome product.

A Moment of Truth

Quotation-Elizabeth-GilbertOver the last few weeks, no months, further back even, to the day of this blog’s inception on a massage table, even earlier perhaps, to the time before this blog’s existence, I’ve been pondering the relationship between me and the rest of the world. I wanted to know what it is that I had inside that someone would want. Is there a message that lives within me that could bring value to another? I didn’t know it then but those QUESTions got me started on the quest to uncover the meaning of my life. And this quest is an ongoing, daily, moment-to-moment journey through a labyrinth that hopefully, if I’m lucky, brave and persistent enough, will bring me to still pond in the center, the mirror of my soul. Or so I hope.

While I still don’t have the ultimate answer of what it is that I am here to give, which will only come though knowing myself on the deepest level and cutting the crap of who I think I am, I believe I’m getting closer to the door at least. There reason it is still the door, an outer shell rather than an open chamber, is because the truth that dwells within me is still shielded. Because even after years of incessant questioning and prodding, I still have not broken down the wall. If I did, I would know it.

But what I do know is that there is something in me that’s askew, like a line that’s bent, a column about to crumble. And I don’t know what that is. Maybe, just maybe, it is better to let it just crumble and fall? Maybe I need a proper breakdown and stop using bandages on a shabby house, clear a slate and build a palace?

How did I end up here? Maybe it took me getting to the point where I cannot find anyone or anything to blame for my lost predicament? Maybe I’m finally growing up, entering a new phase, much like the world seems to be, a right of passage, a mythical moment of reckoning that eventually catches up with us all? Maybe it is happening now because I’m finally ready, over the years having grown a skin thick enough to withstand the shock of the truth that awaits me on the other side? Maybe I have exhausted all the bullshit, the lies I’ve been telling myself. Or maybe I am simply exhausted. Whatever it is, I am ready to shed the masks, and get vulnerable so that may truly able to give of myself for the sheer joy of giving.

To be continued…

Motivation in Times of Deflation

top_of_the_world2If you ever enjoyed the sweet taste of accomplishment, you will understand what I am trying to convey in this post. I love that feeling. In fact, it can be quite addicting. The sense of completion that comes with meeting a goal is unlike anything else, including the integration that follows. What’s truly fantastic is that once the process becomes fully integrated, it becomes a part of our character, something that nothing or no one can ever take away.

But some goals we set for ourselves can take a very long time to drive through that finish line. Keeping that in mind, I’d like to pose a couple of questions and attempt to answer them:

What do we do when the going gets tough? Where do we get the motivation to carry on?

While affixing a magnet to the fridge with a line of mojo could provide an espresso shot of enthusiasm, it will not take us all the way. For that, we must draw on much deeper resources; a process that might require we roll up our sleeves and dig through layers of coal before we reach the diamonds.

 

Diving In…

Accomplishing a goal is much like planning for an adventure. We must pack the right stuff and in the right amounts, should the luggage prove too heavy for the uphill trek. While volumes could be written about this, and indeed have been, for the sake of brevity and respecting people’s time and attention span, I shall distill the process to three steps.

  1. Know Thyself, Dear Traveler

In order to make the trip to the summit a success, the journey needs to be sustainable, and I don’t mean packing green-ware and Kleen Kanteens. I mean having the right character traits. In the event that storm would hit or an avalanche strike from above, we must know what kind of assets we have at hand to deal with the unpredictable. Are we ready to face the unexpected?   Do we have what it takes to overcome the fear of failure or even success? Are we agile enough to alter the course, if needed? Do we have the lifestyle and endurance that will carry us over the humps? Here is where we make that assessment. This is where we make the list of our strengths and weaknesses and take a good hard look. It is my firm belief that we all have what it takes; we just all do it differently. Know your way so that you can chart your course properly.

  1. What Is It That You Want?

It all starts with an idea, an object of desire. Unless the journey is of a spiritual nature, where a specific goal is not necessary and the expedition is primarily for its own sake, it helps to know what we expect to find once we reach that peak. And the more detail we have the better. If you want to buy a house, what does it look like? If you want to make a movie, what is it about? If you want to start a business, what will you be selling? If you want a new body, how will it feel to have it? This is where the power of the imagination really shines. Make it fun! I like to go on walks in nature with my headphones on, listening to the music that uplifts me emotionally while seeing in my mind’s eye all that I wish to make come true. And the clearer the picture, the clearer the steps.

  1. Why? Why? Why?

Are you clear about why you want what you want? If this goal requires daily nurturing, it is crucial we know the reasons. When those obstacles rise from the ground, and believe me they will, understanding your motives will give you the power to pull through or even glide over them. The true reasons as to why we do anything can be found at the brilliant place where core values and dreams meet. At this magical intersection dwells a plethora of delightful feelings and vistas. It is a place of perpetual spring where everything is possible. Knowing the whys will keep you on course, or should you trail off, help you return to the path. It will also help deal with doubts and criticism that tend to creep in at various junctions. Keep asking yourself and you will keep moving!

The three steps above, while super general, can provide a high-level perspective for setting navigation towards a goal while tending to the reasons for doing so. This is where I go when I set off towards a new target. And if I am not able to answer the questions what? and why? and feel vague about my own sense of readiness or timing, I drop the goal to make room for a new one. This is what helps me stay grounded and clear about my priorities. It also helps me spread my limited resources more effectively. And finally, it provides a glimpse of that big picture even before I claim the mountain.

brucelee

 

Hope you enjoyed!

Onwards and upwards…

 

 

Image credit: myblueheart.org

 

NEW RELEASE: “Moonchild” is Now Live

With deep humility and gratitude I present to the world my first novel “Moonchild,” a blend of real life events from my teen-hood, apocryphal myth and esoteric fantasy.

Writing “Moonchild” has impacted me on so many levels, the consequences of which inevitably got encapsulated on the pages of the book and reflected in the main character’s journey.  Its release I can compare to giving a birth to a living capsule of memories and attributes that now will get to re-live a new life in the minds of others. That thought alone is incredibly thrilling as it speaks to the transcendental nature of human experience, which again, was something that I had endeavored to capture in “Moonchild.”

I hope that you will peek inside. And when you do, you and I shall meet and experience a journey unlike any other.

MoonChild_FrontCover

Zwonarz’s coming-of-age tale functions on multiple levels: vision quest, family saga, spiritual memoir, paranormal mystery. Rich and sensuous descriptions of nature and the inner life, give the storyline a velvety lushness, which is deftly blended with page-turning suspense. If Nancy Drew and Rumi would have had a love-child, and raised her in the land of Oz, she might have looked and felt a lot like Moonchild. – J. Biscello, Author of Freeze Tag and Broken Land

Layered with both the mysterious and the mystic, the twists and turns in Zwonarz’s Moonchild will keep you guessing, and keep the pages turning. An impressive, original debut novel. -B. L. Bruce, Author of The Weight of Snow

Ewa Zwonarz superlatively weaves a story tapestry in her breakout debut novel Moonchild. The chilling dreams her main character experiences become more shockingly real for the reader as they turn each new page. – R. J. Jeffreys, Associate Editor of the Tiferet Journal and Executive Producer of Tiferet Talk Interviews Radio

In this coming-of-age tale that blends myth, mystery, and the magic of storytelling, we enter the world of a fifteen-year-old seeker named Eve. Growing up in rural Poland, Eve’s small-town existence is radically transformed by a series of lucid dreams, influenced by the moon, in which she is exposed to Sariel, a fallen angel. Sariel’s cryptic messages, and demands for Eve to free him, draw her deeper and deeper into an ancient story of love, loss, and redemption. Eve’s desire to heed the callings of her inner-life are confronted and challenged by family secrets and growing dysfunction, and her increasing alienation from her peers at school.

Determined to find out who she really is, and the truth about her family legacy, Eve undertakes a quest, guided by a strange boy who calls himself Punk, in which dreams and reality merge, and a buried past is brought into the light.

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EWA ZWONARZ is a Polish-American writer and an avid researcher of myths, mysteries, and unified sciences, with the aim to uncover the truth behind human origins. Ewa is a recipient of several awards in journalism and film production, a published poet, and a blog author. She graduated valedictorian with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and works as a strategic analyst for a Silicon Valley startup. When she is not working, Ewa is traveling the world, collecting morsels of inspiration for her future projects. Moonchild is her first novel.

AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK FORMAT AT
AMAZON and the CREATESPACE STORE

AVAILABLE IN E-FORMAT AT KINDLENOOKKOBO,
iBOOKS, and GOOGLE PLAY

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Reaching for the Moon: Reflections on the Value of Achievement

DreamIt was December 7, 2009 when I wrote the first scene of my upcoming book “Moonchild.” Five years later, almost to the day, what used to be a dream, a mere possibility, is becoming a reality, as this is the day when the book will be published. Five years. But so it is with big dreams and visions. While they come to us in a flash, they can take years to cultivate before an idea can bear fruit.

In today’s society, where the “now generation” dictates the market and the world revolves at a breakneck speed, the old adage still stands – they take time and toil, those things worth working for. But first, we need to know what it is that we want…

Desire. Before we can achieve anything, we must truly want it. Desire thus is the foundation of any accomplishment. But in order for it to sustain and fuel a process that will no doubt be testing and trying, it helps when the desire reaches deeper yet, beyond the thrill of reaching the outcome. Its scope then can expand to include an aspiration such as to become a more self-realized human being, an achievement that can never be taken away by any force or entity.

Action. We can have all the desire in the world but it we sit and wait for the results to come to us and never take action, we might as well wait forever. Just as everything we see around us was once an idea, a thought in someone’s mind, none of it would ever come to pass unless the dynamic force of action transmuted the thought into something tangible. Looking back, I find that the first step I took five years ago was indeed half the journey. If I could write one scene, I thought to myself, I could as well write another. This attitude changed everything. Six months later I had accumulated over 300 pages. They might have note been very good, but the frame was set. Action begets action.

Perseverance. Obstacles are guaranteed to spring up on the path. Suffering is bound to arise and fear along with its cousin doubt are often spotted walking alongside the seeker. All those are but tests that have a refining effect on the character, much like heat and pressure that transform coal onto diamonds. What kind of an attitude overcomes such tests and power the will to persist? I believe it is a mixture of enthusiasm and faith in oneself.

Standing on the precipice of the culminating moment of this climb, it feels strange to have arrived. The view is spectacular, the sense of achievement unbridled, but the air here is still and quiet. There are no standing ovations, no laurel leaves and no gold medals. In fact, any outside consequences would pale in comparison with the effect my attaining this goal has on my inner world. What pulsates gently at the center of this experience is the realization that the journey itself was the prize because it changed me and instilled within me the belief that with enough desire, time and focused action, we can achieve anything.

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