Igniting The Light In the Dark

by Mic Pineda (LEAP 33) September 1, 2015 Top Stories

          Losing a loved one is never easy, not only for oneself but one’s family. I consider it as the darkest time of my life and my family’s life. My dad was the glue that held our family together and he was the one we counted on to keep us together. Losing him made our family drift apart from each other. Many dinners were held with nothing but the sound of the clanking of our utensils. There was simply nothing to talk about and nothing to do together. Everyone had his or her own way of coping and trying to force out the memory of my dad’s death. I focused on the other aspects of my life, I was just in the middle of the hustle and bustle of medical school and most people know how toxic that can get. I felt as if there was not enough time to do anything else but study and as a way to relieve stress, hang out with friends. This was the life that I had gotten used to.

            Almost two years after my father’s death, an old friend by the name of Haidee Hsu, messaged me and told me that she had something for me that I would most probably like. She was inviting me to take this leadership program that she attended that changed her life. I was very skeptic at first having attended a lot of these programs back in college. Hesitant as I was, I still gave it a try. This started my journey in OCCI, after taking the FLEX; I learned something very important, leadership of the heart. Most of the time, the leadership trainings I attended focused on the know-how of leadership, but this was something very new to me. I instantly became intrigued and continued my journey with ALC and finally, LEAP. LEAP was the biggest stretch of my life as it motivated me to make most of the time that I had. First thing it allowed me to do was reconnect with my family. It wasn’t easy task as my family members still had their opinions about me. It was hard to change the way things were but with persistence and lots of communication the hardened hearts started to chip away. One by one, my family also took the program and finally, the warmth of being a family could be felt again.

          The miracle didn’t stop there. Eventually my whole family finished the LEAP program and eventually became life coaches as well. This radically changed our family dynamics and it made us more open and trusting of one another. We were able to accomplish several milestones as a family. January of 2014. I was able to head coach LEAP 59 IGNITE, which was truly a family effort as every member pitched in to help as inside and outside coaches. In April of 2014, my family was able to go on vacation out of the country again. I consider this as a milestone since usually our family would not go together but this time we made sure that we all traveled as a whole with no one left behind.

          Looking back on my OCCI journey, some can say it looks like a simple one. However, I consider it as the most meaningful journey of my life. I could never measure the amount of gratitude I have for this life-changing journey. The only way I could begin to repay this is by becoming an OCCI facilitator and paying it forward by inspiring others as well. With this, I believe that my journey comes full circle. As OCCI ignited the light in me during my time of darkness, I believe it is my honor and privilege to ignite the light in others.