I wasn’t born Christine, but I’dang
Khao I’dang is the name of the refugee camp where I was born, one week after my family managed to escape their home country at war. In the run for survival, my parents lost twelve of their relatives, including two of their children. My very birth, which many would see as a miracle, was an excruciating burden to me. For many years, I considered myself unworthy of life. Too many people had to die before I came to the world, I would never be able to make it up for all of them. This kind of thinking, part of my inner talk, is what we call a limiting belief. Something I would learn many years later.
Growing up in France where we sought refuge, I evolved in the challenging context of having to find my identity in a confusing mixed environment. I became a kind of third culture kid, minus the privileges of the middle class expatriates. Unable to find that sense of belonging that makes you whole, I soon developed a split personality, a shame, which slowly grew into self-loathing, depression and eventually self-destruction.
I became a storyteller at heart because I needed to build up my own universe, a world in which everything was simple and non-dual. Something I couldn’t find in the real world.
“When things get desperate, you have nothing more to lose.” (Philippe Leang)
Imagine you’re in a pool and for some reason you’ve stopped swimming. You’re going down and down… and you hit bottom. At this point, you have two choices: either stay at the bottom and let yourself drown, or push hard on your feet and make your way up to the surface.
It’s all about making that one step. I believe my family history and life circumstances made me a natural fighter. I also believe that when you make the shift and look at things with different lenses, you start attracting the right people, those who will teach you what you need to learn.
“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” (Chinese proverb)
If you’re looking for something but don’t believe in its existence, you will never find it. I was looking for peace and happiness but didn’t believe they existed. Crossing the path of Master Fu in Yangshuo, China, was a life-changing encounter. While staying at his martial arts school, I understood that the first step to getting closer to your goal is to believe that your goal exists and is reachable. Through a year of intense body and mind training, I learnt that if you want to, you can do and you will do.
“Make baby steps, but keep walking. Slowly you’ll get there.” (Michel Leang)
In September 2013, after years of relentless efforts, my first book was published. As this major achievement happened and my dream came true, I was reminded that I am a storyteller at heart. I then discovered that I could spread my messages not only through written words, but also spoken words, in front of large audiences or to private coaching clients, by building emotional bridges using authenticity.
Keep focus and choose courage.
For many years I was fighting an inner war. I finally won the battle and made peace with myself. This strive to survive gave me the strength to choose courage. What drives me now is a constant wish for self-improvement and a deep connection with like-minded people, so that together we can inspire others to be more creative, mindful and empowered too.
Today, I am Christine, I am I’dang. Whatever my name is, I am happy and proud being myself, and I am grateful for the opportunity to share my personal story, experience, tools, and help you – not find, but create your own identity and meaningful life.
Copyright © Christine Leang 2014
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