Featuring: Pashmina P., International Best-Selling Author
Female Fingerprints is a monthly feature created to highlight women around the globe who have had an impact in their local communities and beyond. Each month throughout the year I will share some of the best and brightest stories of women who are making a positive and lasting imprint on our world.
Without doubt, writing is one of the hardest professions in the world. It may not seem that way to those who don’t write on a regular basis; but even the simplest of emails can become an emotional and mental tangle, if not carefully crafted. To make writing a lifelong pursuit requires resilience, commitment, persistence, fortitude, passion and patience.
There are two other elements that almost every writer must experience, before he or she crosses the author’s threshold. First, an ability to recognize and react to an “epiphany” when it occurs. Second, a little bit of fear. The results of which drive the writer to deliver works that leave a lasting mark.
Acting on Pivotal Moments
Pashmina P. is someone who truly exhibits the quintessential qualities of an author, including that keen sense for acting on the pivotal moments in her own life.
Pashmina was born in Thailand and pursued her University studies in the UK. She is a speaker, coach, teacher with an M.Ed. in International Teaching in Performing Arts. She has leveraged her education, knowledge and the experience of her life’s moments to author internationally bestselling books.
Her books have influenced countless readers around the world, as well as budding authors (more on that in a moment). Her compilation of works include:
Red Lipstick Never Hurt Anyone — Get Your Book Marketing in Sync, recently released and featured in New York Weekly.
The Cappuccino Chronicles, An International Best-Selling Trilogy.
What is a Gupsey?, an endearing and heartwarming children’s book.
But Pashmina did not stop there. She went on to pursue her goal of launching more titles into the world that would mimic the success of its founder. Today, that online network, now known as Online Author’s Office, has created a multicultural membership from three continents, namely Europe, Asia, and North America.
Charlotte L. Taylor-MA (HONS) Psychology, Senior Literary Project Advisor for the Online Author’s Office (OAO), describes OAO as “a happy place to hang your hat as an author and a collaborator because everyone is respected as an equal leader. Collaboration is pivotal in order for everyone to grow together. As a beacon in the marketing world, Pashmina guides writers to center stage as the curtain rises.”
At OAO, Pashmina and her team hang up their own “author” hats and practice team building as they host Readers Theatreand writing workshops for students. This helps to build confidence amongst young writers as they witness collaboration and teamwork.
A true storyteller herself, Pashmina fosters and advocates care in each book through OAO, as though it were her own. And isn’t this what is required to make an impact? To enter into the heart of a person’s story?
Some authors write for themselves. Pashmina writes for others. The inspiration and impetus for her children’s book, What is a Gupsey?, was created so that school teachers would have the opportunity to utilize her book as a Readers Theatre Tool, to foster teamwork, action and reading in the classroom.
The Power of Now
Pashmina is one of those unique women who has learned to live in the moment which she defines as “the power of now”. I asked Pashmina about how she has acquired this ability.
“The premature birth of my first child shaped my life immensely. She made me understand what the power of now really means. As I was ready to deliver my second child, my lungs prevented me from breathing, from exhaling and living a life of purpose. Being thrown into ICU for four days whilst the physicians drained fluids out of my body, felt like exorcism.”
The sheer emotional pain, coupled with the physical equally, had left Pashmina drained and paralyzed in fear. Her fear was not for herself but for her daughters; a fear of the unknown. “How can I leave my beautiful daughters behind?”
Coping with Fear
It is during these times of adversities that Pashmina was able to understand, learn and cope with her fears,. This coping ability serves her well. As every author will attest, the dreaded “writer’s block” creates a stultifying fear, where an author can barely see the way forward. Too often it isn’t so much the “block” in the way, but facing the fear of not overcoming it. This is where Pashmina draws on past fears to derive her strength.
The beauty of living in the moment is that it provides opportunities for becoming aware. Epiphanies can be instinctive, intense, intuitive, giving us joy, hope, confidence, and strength. When we are able to see what is in front of us, what needs to be done, and how we will get thru our adversities, its as if doorways open up to us to create and blossom.
Pashmina’s second epiphany was received when she had the privilege and honor to be invited by The Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama’s blessing to her at the pilgrimage touched her soul. “He said to me ‘Be Good’, as though he could see inside of me! I experienced gratitude and learned what it truly means to practice this.”
Pashmina reexamined herself after the soul-touching visit. She knew she had driven everyone crazy during the three months of trial in the hospital. The memories of her baby girl on life support were still vivid.
“I had mastered the art of causing panic in the ICU. I had gone down the road of guilt, shame, blame, and pain. I had asked, ‘why me?’”
Pashmina was rescued by a nurse who helped her to look beyond what was in front of her. Her acts of kindness towards Pashmina, a tormented young mother, caught up in a whirling vortex of emotion, who could not fathom this cruelty, were well received by Pashmina.
“The message of ‘Now is all we have’, sank into my thoughts and heart that had once been full of negativity. I started to see everything and everyone around me, even in the cafeteria, looking at patients and visitors as though for the first time created change.”
“I even started thinking about my husband for the first time, memories of him holding me close, saying he loved me, taking care of me, he had been with me throughout this ordeal.”
Her First Book
“It was at this point that I started seeing characters in my story for ‘Cappuccino Chronicles’”, ideas that had been tucked away in journals for 16 or so years. This crucible of moments served as a launchpad for Pashmina’s first book.
“My inner resilience became steadfast and strong, as though I was made of steel. My premature baby girl, Michellie, also started to grow and heal as did my heart. My writing became a source of healing as I understood the power of prayer, chose to be thankful for the smaller things in life, and learned to look beyond of what is in front of you. Epiphany for me was faith, a burning desire to wake up, take risks and look beyond.”
It is a small wonder to see why and how Pashmina became the person, the author, the entrepreneur, a young woman of substance who wants to inspire and encourage others by means of her work, her diligence, seva and humility.
Pashmina, who influences as a teacher, a loving mother to Michellie and Myla, a devoted daughter to her mom Laxmi, as well as an equal to her husband Willian, who has always been steadfast in helping her raise their children with dignity and grace. A wise woman!
Learning to be Vulnerable
“The magic of being an author, is when you can often time project your vulnerability to the world”.
“I want to inspire and motivate children, to meet new people, to be a connector, provide service. Gratitude and compassion are two parts that make me whole. My goal in life is to make sure that I stand out as a steadfast role model to my girls.”
Who is your role model/mentor?
“Mom encouraged me to be the best version of myself. Only person who can help me make a wrong a right. Sometimes we may not agree but in the end her advice pays off. Most forgiving & resilient mom. She raised three daughters as a single parent, which made me see that resilience was the key to her success. I have indeed adopted a resilience in my life that can sometimes make me look like I have a hard exterior. Bringing up my children, conducting myself in both private and public, are the sum of my upbringing.”
What would you say to new writers?
“Refuse to give up, we all have a story inside of us, our story will be a legacy piece one day, never forget the power of a written or spoken word. If you want to become published, focus on being disciplined with yourself.”
How do you practice self-care, especially with your busy working mom lifestyle?
“I have been living on an island since the past 8 months, the best choice for my family, nature heals. I choose to be thankful for the smaller things in life.”
What are some of your current projects?
“My sixth book “Am I the One”, a collection of 9 short stories, which has been in the pipeline since 2016. A monumental piece for me in terms of my literary talents. I also have an option agreement for a TV series for Cappuccino Chronicles Trilogy and the ‘KISS Program’.
Leaving a Lasting Impression
Preeminent writing is curated from the hearts and minds of those brilliant writers who have a calling. This is why I tend to consciously read works that are noteworthy, so I too can learn from them.
The writing that leaves an impression, the words that can influence, it is then that I know it came from a special place, a special person who was created to enrich lives by their work.
I especially enjoy reading memoirs, waiting for the perfect dance where the literary language laid out, transports me to the path where the author has sojourned. It is here that I can relate and take away what I need to put into application in my current situation.
Pashmina’s fingerprints are easily identified in all of her books and the phenomenal work she has done in all the areas of her life. Her legacy to her daughters is rich and much to be desired! The “power of now”…continues to drive her life forward.