The Man (or Woman) Who Thinks They Can by Walter D. Wintle


If you think you are beaten, you are;boy with super powers
If you think you dare not, you don't;
If you'd like to win, but think you can't,
It's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you're lost,
For out in the word we find
Success begins with a fellow's will,
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you're outcasted, you are;
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

Setting Out on a New Journey & Leaving the Shore Behind

river art journeyIt feels amazingly freeing to blog for a second day in a row. In order to climb my mountain of self-discovery, I must return to my purpose. Wildly enough, this  includes pouring my soul out to strangers, those who have known me for a lifetime, and everyone in between.

I truly believe that within each of our beings (if we are quiet enough) we can hear soft whispers that reveal what we are meant to do and who we are meant to touch. Throughout my 37 years, sometimes a whisper ignored has turned into a sonic boom that has forced me in a new direction.

Setting out on a new journey can be frightening. We leave behind the "comforts" and assurances that have been our security blankets for so long and set into the unknown with a hope and a dream.

I'll never forget the day I left home for the first time. Mom accompanied me to college, stayed a couple days in town, and then left with a hug, a few tears, and a wave. I watched her drive away and felt an urge to run after her. That evening I tried my very best to stifle my fears. At one point, I panicked and felt my world spin on its axis.

As the days progressed, I began to pour myself into my studies, met new friends, and explored the campus. My being expanded and a new sense of courage arose. I found my smile and giddy laughter once again.

Such is life.

"A life without a cause is a life without an effect." Yesterday, I shared these simple yet profound words by Paulo  Coelho.

This morning I this why there is so much unhappiness on Planet Earth? Are too  many of us without a true cause? Are we ignoring the whisper of our souls because we are too afraid to expand and grow?

For me, one of the first pains I felt in life was when my parents tried to wean me off of my "blankie." My completely worn blanket that I took with me everywhere I went. When I was tired, I sucked my right thumb and held my blankie  to my face. Oh the pain of trying to sleep without it for the first few times!!

As hard as change can be for us all, I'm certain failure to grow to new heights leads to suffering in one way or another.

Courage is the answer.

Whether this means turning off the TV and going outside for a run -- throwing away the fatty crap that sits within a fridge and replacing it with veggies -- leaving behind what is familiar to explore the world, a new occupation, etc -- or freeing ourselves of patterns and relationships that are killing our souls -- we must heed the whisper (or the sonic boom) within if we are to find our smiles again.

Thomas Bayancya, Elder of the Hopi Nation once penned a powerful poem on personal progress. Here is the part that I love most:

There is a river flowing now very fast,
It is so great and swift.
That there are those who will be afraid,
They will try to hold onto the shore.
They will feel they are being pulled apart,
And will suffer greatly.

Understand that the river knows its' destination,
The elders say we must let go of the shore.
Push off into the middle of the river,
Keep our eyes open and our heads above water.

Namaste to you, and me too!

- Jen Engevik

The Truth About Love, Pain and Miracles

I was lucky enough to listen to author/lecturer Marianne Williamson on Monday in Los Angeles. Having never attended one of her lectures, I didn't know exactly what to expect.

My reason for going was that I had recently read a couple of her books and wanted to hear her firsthand. Also, I have  been going through my own personal challenges and needed some inspiration.

Marianne entered the building from the lobby, not a posh greenroom that is removed from those who came to hear her speak. I was instantly impressed by this, as she revealed her willingness to connect with others and not hold herself as superior. Being that the evening was a day before the 2012 election, she spoke on the history of the United States and why it has long been a place of opportunity. Marianne also shared the importance of standing up for what is right and taking action when needed. And if for any reason that there is an injustice committed by the government, we should get out in the streets and make our voices heard.

Following her inspiring speech, she allowed for members of the audience to ask questions. During this period, she stepped down from the stage and stood near whomever was asking the question at a given moment. Seeking to connect with those she took questions from, she looked them in the eye and listened so very carefully. For me, the exercise was a demonstration as to how I should listen to others and offer support.

I am wired to feel everything around me...and everything within me. While many people can divorce themselves from their feelings, I have been given a heart that bleeds. For years I have tried to learn to toughen it, but I was told by a very wise woman named Elli the other day that my heart is what makes me who I am. "You don't need to be tough Jen," she said. "You need to be strong. There is a big difference between being tough and being strong."

And so it goes...after being in the presence of Marianne Williamson and listening to her speak, I realize that it is OK to allow for my heart to lead me. She teaches there are two main elements in this world: love and fear. In the end, love is truth...and fear is an illusion. Fear encompasses all of the lies that we tell ourselves about the world in which we live. This is why children are so very amazing. They have the ability to live see the world in all its glory and pour themselves into the moment.

I feared loss recently and that's what I received on so many levels. But, I have learned over the past couple of months that boldness for me is standing firm and offering the best of me that I can give...regardless of whether or not I get the same in return. And out of my willingness to give, there will arise a beautiful future.

Marianne suggested that we ask ourselves the following questions:

(1) Who am I?

(2) Where should I go?

(3) What should I do?

When I apply these questions to myself, my initial (lazy) response is, "I have no clue." But in all reality, my answers are...I am Jennifer Engevik...I have a bleeding heart...and my heart allows for me to write and to connect with others in a special way. I should go where ever my path leads me...where ever it unfolds so that I can do what I'm meant to do...see the things I'm meant to see.  I'm thinking I am meant to share all sorts of thoughts and not try to bury my bleeding heart. Rather, I need to be true to love...the ultimate truth. And through that love, I will become strong and help others to do the same.

Toward the end of the evening, I asked Marianne a question about soul mates. I had long craved a soul mate and thought I had finally met mine...and so I asked her how I let go of this being I have loved so deeply. She looked at me and said, "you need a miracle Jen."

Last evening, I went to bed a wreck after learning that one of my USC classmates had died unexpectedly of a seizure. I had seen him just a few months ago and he gleamed when he spoke of his wife.

On his Facebook page, yesterday his wife of less than a year wrote the following words:"Joel and I had the absolute fun time together and it was simple and easy. I had never met anyone just like me. I had never believed in soul mates until Joel and I met. From the day we met, we were never apart. I am completely and utterly lost without him. Thank you to my best friends for feeding me when I could not and refused to eat and trying to hydrate me. There are only a few times in one's life when you find a true best friend and someone you want to share your life with. Love your friends and significant others. Life is precious and short."

For nearly four hours last night I wept for her, for me, for anyone who has ever lost someone they adore.

In my rawness and pain, I am seeking boldness to carry me forward. Marianne suggested that I need a miracle...and after learning of Joel, I realize that the miracle for now is that I am alive writing at this very moment. This miracle will then turn into another...which will turn into another.

May I and everyone else that I know...and don't know...dare not to bury our pains  and our hearts. Facing pain hurts like hell...but when we dare to stare it in the eyes...our tearful sobs make us ready for what is to come and who we are meant become.

- Jen Engevik

Love Like Water By Poet Mark Nepo

Water in its clear softness fills whatever hole it finds. It is not skeptical or distrusting. It does not say this gully is too deep or that field is too open. Like water, the miracle of love is that it covers whatever it touches, making the touched thing grow while leaving no trace of its touch. True, the faces of shores and the arms of cliffs are worn to the bone. But this is beyond the water's doing. This is the progress of life, of which water is but an element.

Most things break instead of transform because they resist.

The quiet miracle of love is that without our interference, it, like water accepts whatever is tossed or dropped or placed into it, embracing it completely.

Of course, we are human and are easily hurt. But we waste so much of life's energy by delivering who and what shall be worthy of our love when the deepest elemental sense, these choices are not in our province, anymore than rain can choose what it shall fall upon.

Certainly, we need to make decisions: Who will I spend time with? Who will I learn from?  But beneath all that, the element of love doesn't stop being elemental. It does not stop covering everything before it. And over a lifetime, the pain of withholding this great and quiet force is more damaging than anything. For love, like water, can be dammed, but toward what end?

In truth, the more we let love flow through, the more we have to love. This is the inner glow that sages and saints of all ages seem to share: the wash of their love over everything before them; not just people, but birds and rocks and flowers and air.

Beneath the many choices we have to make, love, like water, flows back into the world through us. It is the one great secret available to all. Yet somewhere the misperception has been enshrined that to withhold love will stop hurt.

In truth, it is the other way around. As water soaks scars, love soothes our wounds. If open to, love will accept the angrily thrown stone, and our small tears will lose some of their burn in the great ocean of tears, and the arrow released to the bottom of the river will lose its point.

-Mark Nepo - from The Book of Awakening

Let Your Passion Feed Your Future by Jen Engevik

We have many choices in life, even when we think we don't. It's quite easy to fall into the trap of thinking we have to follow some sort of script or do the same thing day after day. What would happen if with laser beam focus, we were to hone in on what really thrills our souls?

"Build it and they will come"...that oh so famous voice in Ray Kinsella's mind in the blockbuster "Field of Dreams" pushed him to mow down a part of his corn field to build a baseball diamond. Those around him thought him crazy...they assumed his vision would one day land him in a psych ward. Yet, he wouldn't be moved. He listened to that voice within and created something of value.

Have you ever felt your heart thumping within...thump...thump...thump...when an inspired idea comes into your mind? And then you think at night..."what if"..."if only"...

Maybe you've shared your passionate idea with someone you love and their response is a roll of the eyes or a "that can never be done." And throw the idea out the window and decide to sit down on the couch and become immersed in someone else's dream.

That someone who created the show you are watching...well he or she probably rolled into Hollywood one fine day and dreamed that his or her show was going to be an instant hit. And rejection after another pushed them to the brink. He or she most likely lived on a dime a day and slept on couches (or in their car) until finally someone said "yes". Yes!!

When we have visions that are buried, we often just sit around and settle for dullness. What if, though, we were to let our passions fuel our future?

Steve Jobs was known to many as a crazy man. When he shared his products, his eyes would light up and he practically jumped out of his skin because his inspiration could barely be contained.

I'm thinking we were born to be creators and innovators. Also, we were given bodies that were meant to be lean and mean (not mean in spirit but vibrantly healthy!!).

Sometimes we think success is only meant for the Steve Jobs, Ashton Kutchers, and Madonnas of the world.'s not so. It's meant for every living creature. The only way it can be done is through vision, hard work, sweat, and tears.

What is  your passion? How about figuring out a way to make it your future?

- Jen Engevik

Founder of Project BE Bold and

Christine Schwab on Bold Living, Overcoming Obstacles, and Rheumatoid Arthritis

One day, I came across an amazing woman when searching for  bold individuals to feature on Project BE Bold. My hope was to discover a being that couldn't resist but follow his or her inner voice/passion in an effort to make the world a better place. My search led me to the Website of Christine Schwab. A pioneer in the TV makeover world, she has worked to inspire people seeking a new lease on life via Live with Regis and Kelly, Oprah, Entertainment Tonight, the CBS Early Show, and more.

In her recent book Take Me Home from the Oscars: Arthritis, Television, Fashion, and Me, Schwab shares the harrowing discovery that she had developed Rheumatoid Arthritis and the events that shaped her life up to that point. Her heartfelt and inspired book reveals the fighter within who has dared to inspire others to live their dreams and overcome their limitations.

I hope the following Q & A session will inspire your heart. Please pass this interview on to anyone you may think will benefit from Christine's wisdom and inspiration:

1. What were your earliest recollections as a child and how have they helped shape you as an adult? Being boarded in foster homes. I think the insecurity of my life then turned into the impetus to succeed, as I became an adult. I always wanted a better life and was determined to work hard to achieve it.

2. When did you know that you wanted to be a part of the entertainment world? I didn’t. I started out working part time doing makeup and became interested in the entire package of a person. I opened a day spa where we took that entire person into consideration, hair, skin care, clothes, make up, exercise, and diet. It was very successful and ground breaking. We got a lot of media attention, one form being TV and somehow it came naturally to me and I just clicked. After seven years running the spa and doing TV to promote it, I sold the spa and decided to give TV a run as a full time career.

3. How did you get your first career break? It really came through press for the salon. As the buzz increased, TV came. My first show was a morning show in LA with Regis Philbin. I worked for 25 years with Regis on national TV. It was a great match. I also learned to think on my feet working with him, which came in really handy for live TV.

4. What is the boldest thing you ever have done within your career?  Give up my salon and go for TV. It was so scary and unknown. Up to then I had only appeared on TV to promote my salon. The decision to just work in TV was bold and many said foolish, and yet it worked and I loved it. Not managing 60 people anymore, just putting together segments was so much more creative for me.

5. What were the first signs that you had Rheumatoid Arthritis? My feet started bothering me when I was in New York doing a week of makeovers for Live. I thought I had just overdone it on the treadmill but as the week progressed, my pain became worse and moved up to my knees.

6. How did the diagnosis affect you mental well being in the beginning? It floored me. And I returned to my childhood method of denial in order to keep my career going. I knew I would lose my career if the word got out and so I made sure it didn’t…for twenty years. And the denial helped me to cope. I refused to read any books on arthritis, refused to talk about it except to my doctor. I lived in the same fantasy-land that enabled me to survive my childhood.

7. When did you come to the conclusion that you could make a difference for others with Rheumatoid Arthritis? It came to me. I never set out to be an advocate. But the story was brewing inside my head and I finally put it down on paper. When it sold to a publisher, I knew my secret would be out. I contacted the national arthritis foundation and the rest was history. As I started speaking out, the feedback encouraged me to speak louder. The reason I didn’t come out was because of the negative connotation about arthritis. I became determined to change that stigma.

8. For others diagnosed with arthritis, what advice can you provide on staying strong and gaining appropriate treatment? Be aggressive in finding a good, progressive doctor. Someone who gets you. I dedicated my book to my doctor at UCLA because he got me and kept me moving forward with promises of new medications coming in the research pipeline. He never gave up on hope or on me.

9. What is Christine's Kids and how can others get involved? Christine’s Kids is one of my Facebook pages. I started it because in the beginning I never knew that kids got arthritis too. I thought, like most people that it was a disease of the old and disabled. Not so. When I started meeting these kids and their families I was shocked. Their plight is so difficult. These kids fight daily for their childhood. I wanted to create more awareness for them and let the world know that this disease knows no age boundaries. Each week I feature another child on Christine’s kids. They are superheroes to me. Others can help by coming to my Facebook page and clicking on “like” and then sharing it with friends. The more people we reach, the more awareness we achieve. The link to christine’s kids is

10. What advice can you give to those seeking strength in today's world? I would encourage anyone who had any adversity in their life to read my book Take Me Home from the Oscars. It is honest and insightful, and mostly offers hope. I had to overcome adversity. I know it can be done. Otherwise you let the adversity win, and that is just not acceptable. How do we best harness our bold selves?  You have to believe in yourself. Whatever it takes, for me it was education. Learning to be a writer, learning to deal in business. And of course working in television gave me great confidence. Don’t settle, keep growing and improving. We are never finished, there is always more to learn and do in life.

11. Please share your favorite quote(s) of all time...

"Thoroughbreds wear blinders and they run their own race."

This quote has gotten me through so many tough times. I have willed myself to just get out my blinders and keep going forward!


Thank you Christine for your inspiration and willingness to share! For more information on Christine, please visit

- Post By Jen Engevik of Project BE Bold

I Quit My Job To Travel the World!

By Angela M. Petitt

“Are you crazy?”
“How can you afford that?”
“What do you mean you want to quit?”
“We are in a recession!!”
“Did you win the lottery?”
“That is a bold move!!” 
"Do you really have the guts and finances to do that?”
“Can you live without a paycheck?  Do you really want to?”

Those were the reactions I got when I mentioned my plans to quit my job during the throes of the recession to my family and friends.  Although they meant well, I just felt that there was more to life than a winning corporate existence.  Moreover, life is just too short to not do what you want to do.  So, my response to them was “If not now, when?” I knew that even with a successful career in information technology and an MBA, I wanted more…I wanted freedom!

Wheels up!!
Hello…My name is Angela Petitt and I am a 44 year old native Houstonian.  During the recession in August 2009, I took a bold step of faith - I quit my corporate IT job to travel the world.  In spite of the concerns and economic climate, I knew I had to make a bold move in order to make change to see my dreams come true. Yes, I know that this is something that Europeans or young adult backpackers do...not an established over 40 professional with a winning corporate resume.  But in the words of author Jim Rohn, “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”

Making the decision to opt-out of corporate America for a while was the first step in my journey. The notion of quitting was several years in the making, being fueled more and more every time I went on vacation. When I came to the realization that I really wanted to see the world and was ready to move beyond the cubicle, I knew it was time to make a change.

As a single professional, I wanted my sabbatical to be different.  I did not want to sell anything to make it happen. So in my planning, I made sure I had enough to cover my mortgage, car, expenses for my teenage nephew, and other responsibilities.  I wanted my sabbatical to be a true rest from the ordinary and an escape to the extraordinary. For me, that meant living life to the fullest and making time to do the things that I enjoy.  Actually, when I made the final decision to quit and put in my resignation, I really had no clue as to what was next. But, a few days after my last day at work, I was on a plane going to Italy!  And, I haven’t looked back!  It seemed like once the decision was made, opportunities opened up!

Initially, my sabbatical was only going to be 6 months. Then, that turned into 10 months and now it has been 2 1/2 years and counting.  I have flown a Cessna airplane, learned (ok, learning) to play golf, attempted horseback riding - twice, joined day time bible studies, sharpened my photography skills, and have volunteered in my community.  I even returned to school and am pursuing my Doctorate in Organizational Leadership.

Beyond my wildest dreams, I never imagined that I would embark on a different trip almost every month!!  It has been an amazing sabbatical!!  My travels have led me to awe inspiring destinations such as China, Siberia, Egypt, Israel, Colombia, Panama, Honduras and many other exciting places. I have zip lined in Cabo, narrowly escaped the earthquake in Japan, went cave diving in Punta Cana, played with monkeys in Roatan, glared into the mouth of a steamy volcano in Nicaragua, stared in amazement at the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, got caught in a downpour atop the Acropolis in Athens - twice, received a huge surprise bouquet of flowers from an admirer in Italy, and had many other awe inspiring experiences.  I visited the 30th country of my sabbatical on a Mediterranean cruise visiting Croatia for the first time.  By the way, Croatia is absolutely beautiful!!
In addition to my travel adventures, I was presented with the 2009 WHS Wall of Honor Service and Leadership award by my alma mater, recently featured in ESSENCE magazine as a "Power Player!", and was invited as aguest speaker for the national Meet Plan Go! Career BreakTravel conference that inspires others in their quest for sabbaticals and extended travel.

So yes, I learned to live without a paycheck and budget accordingly. Recently, I read that uncertainty isn’t a cost but a catalyst for creating a better future.  I can attest to the truth of that as it captures the heart of my journey.  Granted, it has indeed been scary at times and several unexpected things happened. But, it has been worth taking a chance on me rather than continuing on in the ordinary daily grind. I have no regrets.

Since starting my sabbatical journey, I have grown in courage, faith, confidence, and wisdom.  More importantly, I have come to understand my God given uniqueness and that life is truly precious and too short to waste. Furthermore, my time away has instilled in me the renewed desire not to merely survive, but to authentically thrive!

With hopes of inspiring other people to be bold and go for their dreams, I have been blogging (and speaking) about my experiences (good, bad, and otherwise) at http://www. One thing for sure - "with God ALL things are possible!"  Where will your dreams take you?

"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step." - Martin Luther King Jr.
Now that is BOLD living!


Learn more about Angela's Journey in the following video!