A Phoenix native, I was born to a Vietnamese mother who immigrated to the US in the 70s, and an American father born in Delaware, Ohio. As a child I was fascinated with people: meeting them, talking with them, knowing more about them. I would keep a tally in my head of how many new people I talked to that day (this actually is a habit that stays with me to this day). I would be remiss if I did not include that I became a black belt in hard form kung fu at 10, classically trained pianist by 15, a leader in multiple groups and organizations throughout high school, Bible Study leader at 16, cheer captain at 17, and West Point candidate by 18.
...All of this did not keep me from intense emotional and physical hardship in my 20s. Without going into details here, I can say that I had to wander quite a few dark valleys before I was pulled up to see the light of day, by His grace. It is through these challenges (to put it lightly), that I was able to TRULY know my God and His grace and healing, even though I was saved and put my Faith in Him many years before when I was eight years young. It is also through these challenges that I grew into the Ciara that is writing this today: confident in vulnerability, healed and still healing, and an encouragement and confidant to women all over the world.
Healing did not happen quickly, however, there were parts that did. I wrestled through a good amount of this on my own. Although I felt alone through most of my "teachable moments" as a young adult, I learned my own way to rehabilitate, I put myself on different emotional/mental regimens to find stability, and failed many times along the way to finding "the way" that I use to help others through my life coaching (I prefer to call it Life Empowerment).
[The story below is one particular way that I experienced a fail in the midst of my growth]
Right after I put myself through my "rehab", I started a blog to act as a source of accountability in life and a way to feel connected and battle my feelings of loneliness. After finding some amount of fame (unexpectedly) from starting my first blog in 2010, I went on to pursue reaching more on more people to hopefully, inspire and motivate them.
There was a time about 3 years ago (2013) when all my social media accounts started growing at a rate I couldn't believe. I started seeing over 1K new followers a day on my Facebook fan page, started selling more posters, created a "sexy" website that had over 9K subscribers. I was able to leave my full time job and work only from home. After about a year, however, I gained over 100K Instagram followers that cared primarily about my body. That was about it. I had a bunch of people that "supported" me, but only if it was of sexier pics that floated their boat. This left me realizing, after I reached the peak of that "fame", that I was almost as lonely as when I set out in 2010.
Over the past 10 months, I've been actively pushing against the "empire" that was built purely around my sex appeal as that was never my intention. Furthermore, I wanted/want whatever images & posts of my body that was shown to be shown in a way that truly gives encouragement to women, to promote a better understanding that skin does NOT equal sex, and some other reasons that I'll focus on in blog posts to come. I've really been harnessing all that I have in me to help women, share what I've learned so that it can save others some struggle/pain, and do so in a way that can continue to reach people...just in a more lasting and meaningful way.
Truth is. We all will hit our own hurdles, that does not mean we stop.