Excerpt from Dare to Dream, by Faye Kitariev
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out WHY.”
Every morning I do my Sadhana, a set of spiritual exercises, which helps me to energize, center, strengthen, and inspire myself. These exercises also contribute to improving my concentration, discipline, and spiritual connection. One of the exercises is reading a passage from an inspirational book. One day, I was reading Wayne Dyer’s Power of Intention. A quote got my attention:
“You receive what you desire for others.”
I sat with it for a little while, digesting it, then journaled. Nothing special was happening, except I made a note for myself: “Create a set of affirmative coasters for water to charge water with positive affirmations.” The next paragraph in my journal said, “Wrote water affirmations.” That’s it! I don’t remember how exactly I ended up writing the first statement. But I wrote five and cut the paper into five index-sized cards. I then put my water bottle on one of them to charge. I was pleased with myself. I felt that I would finally be able to remember to stay more centered during the day. I had been feeling frustrated with myself for getting distracted all the time by social media, emails, and incoming texts. I needed a different kind of discipline; it felt as if morning Sadhana wasn’t enough for the level of mastery I was seeking. Somehow, I wanted my whole day to be like Sadhana: centered, grounded, and connected. As I took a sip of water out of my bottle, which was charging on “I am unlimited abundance I crave,” I suddenly had a vision. I could clearly see beautiful coasters with different affirmations helping billions of people to stay more focused, productive, kind, loving, wise, abundant, patient, connected, and healthy. My mind was thinking a million thoughts per second, and within an hour, I wrote fifty statements. These statements were not ordinary affirmations. They were intentions. Affirmations were not enough; they were too passive. To create change, one must take action. To take action, there must be the intention. It was October 3, 2016. I didn’t have the slightest idea that it was going to be the day I’d realize my mission on this planet, the day when i’MAGiNT LiFE™ was conceived.
While i’MAGiNT LiFE™ was conceived on October 3, 2016, I’ve been coaching people since 1990; 27 years, that is.
Who am I?
People know me as a coach, author, and speaker. They know me for my passion for unlocking the hidden potential, the greatness that is within every one of us. I did this first as a skating coach, then later as a performance coach. I believe that one of my biggest gifts is the ability to see the unseen capacities within people and the courage to challenge them to bring out more than they believed they could. I help people feel that they have all the resources within themselves to reach their dreams.
When asked what am I most passionate about personally and professionally, it is the same: living an ordinary life in an extraordinary way. Personally, I am passionate about discovering my potential, living my Best Self, being present, and sharing my voice. Professionally, I am passionate about helping others realize their potential, living their Best Selves, being present, and sharing their voice. I am in love with my clients and with witnessing the unfolding of their greatness, the excitement and surprise they feel when they experience the “aha” moments, and the joy and fulfillment that come into their lives as they discover their purpose and voice and align with their Best Selves. With the creation of i’MAGiNT LiFE™, I suddenly saw the possibility of making a difference in billions of people’s lives. I see i’MAGiNTs™ changing the consciousness of the planet. I see children in schools practicing i’MAGiNT LiFE™ and growing into responsible, loving, kind, patient, respectful, willing, courageous adults. I see heads of the governments drinking i’MAGiNTended™ water and making conscious decisions for the highest good of all of the humanity and our planet. I see a new generation of humans raised with i’MAGiNTs™ living in peace, abundance, and unity, being their Best Selves. Is this my personal or professional vision? It’s both. That is all I talk about, and that is all I do with my life. When I am not working, I am networking, taking a power nap, or attending a seminar. Sometimes, I get to see an inspirational movie or live performance. I love Cirque du Soleil. I love seeing people doing seemingly impossible tricks, pushing their creativity to the next levels, performing at their near-the-top capacities. I always look for ways to be inspired. If my week is filled with opportunities to inspire others, then my ideal weekend would be being inspired myself.
I grew up in a Jewish family in Latvia, a former republic of the Soviet Union, a country that doesn’t exist anymore. As a young child, I didn’t enjoy playing with the kids my age. I always preferred the company of adults or much older children. I also liked to play by myself, cutting small animals out of magazines or reading books. When I was 2.5 years old, my mother took me to the Ice Skating Academy. She dreamed of me becoming a figure skating champion. Unfortunately, I didn’t share this dream with her. My early recollection of skating is mental, emotional, and physical abuse. My name was Stupid, Lazy Pig. That's what I was called daily. It wasn’t long before they kicked me out of the skating academy to give my spot to a more promising athlete. My mother’s relentless commitment to my continuing skating changed the course of my life. One day at the public skating rink, she was approached by a tall stranger pointing in my direction. “This talented, beautiful girl, is that your daughter?” she said. “I am a new coach with the Academy, and I would love to teach your little girl.” My new coach, Zhanna, became the most influential person in my childhood and beyond. She was the only person who saw me as beautiful and talented. It was her gift to me and the world to change the way I saw myself and to inspire me to start showing up for my life. Through her loving guidance, I became the State Champion. Winning the State Championship had a significant impact on my life. I realized that I had the potential within me and that everyone had that potential—every single one of us. Realizing this Potential within myself and others became the mission and purpose of my life. This is why I became a coach, speaker, author and the creator of i'MAGiNT LiFE™. This is why I dedicated my life to studying, implementing, and developing the tools and strategies of life mastery - to inspire, empower and teach people these tools - so that we can break free from self-imposed limitations to enjoy fulfilling meaningful lives, realize our dreams, and inspire others to achieve theirs. In 2014, I was chosen for a Member Moment in the Toastmasters International Magazine out of 330k members after sharing my story from Stupid, Lazy Pig to State Champion. My real medal turned out to be the opportunity to inspire people through that story over and over again.
After I stopped figure skating, I picked up theater as my extracurricular activity. Acting was one thing I became passionate about in my teen years. I could give up everything to be in rehearsals or performances. There was nothing that I didn’t like about acting. I felt that the stage was the only place where I could express myself and share my voice.
My favorite subjects in school were history and math. However, to be honest, I didn’t like school. The Soviet school was like a military boot camp, where everyone had to be the same, think the same, and look the same. I guess I was oppositional defiant and never missed an opportunity to express my liberal nature. This trait made me popular with few teachers and very unpopular with many. I also had just a handful of friends, didn’t have teen-idol, and never participated in the popularity contests. Academically, I was a solid B student, never putting much effort into my studies. I was doing enough just to get by.
People would probably have difficulty believing that as a teen I had very low self-esteem, didn’t have any goals, and didn’t care about studying. I was also upset a lot. I wrote my first poem when I was 12 and was writing poetry until my early 20s. I also wrote a detective novel when I was 16. I didn’t publish it but have several notebooks of my childhood writings still. I think I was depressed, and all of my poems were about sadness or war.
When I was 18 and Gorbachev became the new president, he made it possible for Jews to leave the Soviet Union. My parents took the opportunity to build a new future for our family and to reunite with many of our relatives and friends who defected many years ago. The price for such an opportunity was to give up everything we owned. Within the first couple of weeks of our arrival in the States, I had to get a job to help my family. I never had to work before and was scared. I could barely speak any English and had no special skills. My very first job was accompanying nurses attending to patients in poor neighborhoods of NYC. I was being paid $4 per hour. I had a fur coat that I brought with me from the Soviet Union. The nurse I was partnering with asked me to get a cheap jacket, as she was worried to go with me into impoverished areas and get attacked. But there was no money to get me another coat.
Thinking of the difficulties we had to endure in the early days of our immigration, I feel grateful for and proud of my parents’ courage and faith and their decision to leave. They didn’t speak English and didn’t have an Ivy League education or highly sought-after skills. They were average people with average IQs. But they made this reckless decision to leave all behind and to become successful in the new country. Their gift was courage and relentless commitment to succeed. Perhaps the world knows much more accomplished people than my parents were, but to me, they were the exact parents I needed to become who I became today.
Coming to the Land of Opportunity at 18 meant getting an education that would offer me a stable and prosperous future doing anything I loved. I decided to go to the University of Delaware to pursue a B.S. in Physical Education with a concentration in Figure Skating Science. U of DE was the only university in the United States where I could receive this degree and become a coach like my Coach Zhanna. It was a wild decision, opposed by most of my family members, but I was stubborn and followed my heart instead. Today, I am so thankful for the wisdom, courage, and intuition of my younger Self. She made choices that set up a platform for me to live the life of my dreams and inspire others to do the same. If I could give her advice, I’d suggest that she add some classes on marketing, advertising, and business development. It could have helped me a lot in my entrepreneurial journey. My younger Self didn’t see herself as a leader of a global consciousness transformation movement such as i'MAGiNT LiFE™. She only saw herself as an Olympic Figure Skating coach at the time. I think she would be happy and proud to find out who she became later.
The biggest influence in my career was a legendary gymnastics coach, Bella Karolyi, who produced over 192 medalists in the Olympics and the World, European, and National Championships. I wanted to emulate him. I saw him speak at a conference, and he was so inspirational that I vowed that one day I'd speak at the conference too and inspire others like he had inspired me. It took me 23 years to do that, but in 2015, I spoke at this conference, presenting a speech called Dreams Do Come True and my bestselling book, Choreography of Awakening.
For over 25 years, I coached competitive figure skating. I believed that I had found my passion for life and knew exactly what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. I loved helping children discover their gifts, and I loved competitions where we had opportunities to prove to the world that we had the capacity to be and do more than anyone had expected from us. Ultimately, it was my dream to coach at the Winter Olympic Games. Everyone, including my family and friends, told me that it was a crazy goal and that I would burn out and be disappointed because I would spend my life chasing an impossible dream, lose my life and family, and never reach it anyway. My peers didn't tell me that I was crazy. They did everything they could to set up an obstacle course for my students and me en route to this dream. There were days where I was really down, as I felt that this obstacle course was too much to overcome. I cried, felt depressed, refocused, and came back to try once again. Every time I was pushed off, I got back on with a new strategy. Now I can see how much they were helping me. At the time, I thought they were stopping or slowing me down. However, now I can recognize that they were speeding me up, helping me learn, grow, reinvent, and get stronger and more courageous. Today, I can honestly see that i’MAGiNT LiFE™ wouldn’t exist without their “help.” I am grateful for all of my teachers in disguise.
In 2006, my dream of coaching an Olympic competitor came true. Suddenly, it was no longer a dream. I was training Sasha Cohen, an American favorite, a 21-year-old protege expected to win the Olympic gold. My opponent-peers turned into friends, and my family bragged about how they helped me. At the time, I thought that I had made it. However, very quickly, I learned that the Olympics wasn’t what I wanted or expected. Sasha lost the gold and got silver. I wasn’t passionate about being at that competition. My passion was about unlocking one’s potential. About discovering one’s personal best. I realized that you can be an Olympic silver medalist, one of the best in the world, and still not the best version of yourself: unfulfilled and unhappy. When we live anything less than who we really are, we cannot feel whole and joyous. Finding ways to fulfillment and happiness became my new passion.
Today, I love leading a community meet-up group called “Make the Impossible Possible,” where I share some life mastery tools with people who need help to make a change in their lives. I also speak in schools to inspire children to believe in themselves and to follow their dreams. As i’MAGiNT LiFE™ picks up the momentum, it is my vision to create a non-profit organization for children and teens all over the world to teach them life skills of nonviolent communication, compassion, understanding, forgiveness, and acceptance. In this organization, older children will be learning facilitation skills, and they will be teaching younger kids. They will learn how to operate their minds and how to live in their Best Selves. I believe that children should learn from each other, as they learn more from their peers than from adults.
My role model in life is Gandhi. A quote is etched into the wall of my office: “My life is my message.” I want to be remembered in the way Gandhi is remembered. It is a tall order, and living at such high level of integrity and commitment is challenging. I believe that God or the Universe has given me a job to contribute to the evolution of the Universal Consciousness through developing, teaching, and spreading i’MAGiNT LiFE™ globally. It is my responsibility to become a highly tuned instrument, capable and willing to live this mission. It is my wish to be remembered as an “Avatar of Lord’s Peace, as Gita’s Daughter and Beloved Student.”
I have a daughter. My goal as a parent is to be a role model for my daughter to follow her heart, live a life of purpose and meaning, and trust that Spirit has her best interest in mind. As a parent, I hold loving space for her to discover who she is and support her in finding her own path.
I lost both of my parents. While my life wasn’t sugarcoated, and I had to fight for the approval and acceptance of my mom and live through episodes of escalated disagreements and arguments then years of healing different issues associated with my upbringing, I wouldn’t change anything. Their death, especially my mom’s, made me see things in a different light. I learned to see my parents as people with their personal struggles, wounds, and wins. I learned to see them through the eyes of love and compassion. If there is anything that I want people to learn, it is to see their parents as Spiritual Beings living through the challenges of human experience and to appreciate that before it is too late. I also learned that my parents are my Angels, and they are here with me and find ways to communicate their presence. This is one of the reasons my publishing company is called Gita’s Press. Gita was the auspicious name of my Mother. I realized that I am Gita’s Daughter, and as such, I have a special mission to carry forward.
If I could live in a different historical era, other than the present, I’d choose to live during Jesus’s time because I want to know what was special about him, what exactly was he teaching, how he lived his life, and how he became who he was. And if I had a time machine, I would then move to a time to meet Gautama Siddhartha. I think we would have a fabulous conversation!
My definition of happiness would be living my life’s purpose to the highest potential. Happiness is knowing that I am making a difference in the world. Happiness is being aligned with Higher Power. Happiness is having the energy to give all of myself every day. I must say that I do live in proximity to my definition of happiness.
I don’t believe in death. While we shed our bodies, consciousness takes the form of energy. I am not meant to know what that means, yet I do enjoy contemplating it.
While I do not follow any particular religious dogma, I believe that Earth is a school and everyone signs up for their own curriculum. Resolving and clearing this curriculum to realize my Highest Self and the Loving Essence of God is my religion. i’MAGiNT LiFE™ is exactly that.
I learned many lessons in my life and continue learning daily. Perhaps the Law of Reflection is one of the biggest lessons I learned so far. Maybe the day will come when I will be ready to share this lesson in its entirety with the world.
I am an ordinary being, choosing to live an extraordinary life, pushing my limits every day, living what I believe is my mission and purpose. There is no magic in my life, other than that I chose to follow my heart and be present to Divine Guidance that every one of us has.
“What the outstanding person does, others will try to do. The standard such people create will be followed by the whole world.”
It is my mission to transform myself into that outstanding person, using i’MAGiNT LiFE™ as a tool, and inspire others to follow in this pursuit. Just imagine what our world could become! Join me on this Path of Transformation!
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