When Caroline Kohles, Senior Director of Health and Wellness at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan and the new curator of the WBI/JCC Online Positive Psychology Hour, invited me to join her to kick off the 2023 series, I was thrilled. As part of both the Positive Psychology Hour and the JCC’s Books That Changed My Life Festival, I’ll be sharing from my memoir, SOARING into Strength: Love Transcends Pain


As we stand in this liminal moment at the beginning of a new year, who among us doesn’t want to bask in the transformative impact of reading, hearing, and sharing stories that can elevate and transform our lives? In the webinar on Tuesday, January 10, at 12:00 pm ET, we’ll unpack why our brains are wired for stories and discover how the way you tell your story has a direct impact on elevating or hindering your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. 


I should know because I’ve spent the past 22 years inspiring more than half a million people to take active roles in their self-healing to experience greater resilience and agency. This was a journey I started long before founding Soaringwords, however. Looking back at my life trajectory, I can see the story unfold in hindsight …


Since I was a child, I wanted to help. Whether it was rescuing a blind duck at a park or defending my younger brother against bullying when he experienced severe asthma attacks—I always found myself in the role of a helper during times of crisis. As an adult, a phone call at four o’clock in the morning launched a trifecta of trauma that changed my life forever. Three experiences with death and illness occurred in my family in just 10 months. My beloved brother died suddenly of an asthma-induced heart attack, my father was battling lymphoma, and my son became catastrophically ill. When my family’s world imploded, I felt as if I had become irrevocably damaged. 


Instead, I discovered my calling during a sunrise walk along the beach at the height of my son’s illness. I heard the word “Soaringwords,” and suddenly knew why I was born. I channeled my passion and resilience into a global movement that would inspire millions of people to never give up. My lifetime of experiences helping others through trauma, grief, illness, and setbacks—combined with my own personal experiences—led me to found Soaringwords, a not-for-profit organization with the mission of inspiring children, families, adults, seniors, and healthcare professionals to take active roles in self-healing to experience greater physical, emotional, and mental well-being. 


Today, I am a positive psychology practitioner devoted to sharing easy-to-implement interventions that anyone can use. That’s why I wrote my book: to remind you of your inner strength, regardless of circumstances happening in your life. Wherever you are in your journey, my greatest hope is that my memoir and our time on the Positive Psychology Hour together will provide illumination and inspiration as you seek to become the most authentic version of yourself, even in the face of overwhelming obstacles.


While many of life’s greatest difficulties are unpredictable, our ability to gain agency through narrative is a potent way to reclaim our power and allow hope to endure. As I wrote my memoir, I found myself revisiting the most exhilarating and also the painful moments of my life. Yet, telling the story on my terms allowed me to gain a sense of agency and peace surrounding those difficult times. And it also afforded me the great honor of being able to share this story now with you in hopes that it will also inspire you to become the hero or heroine of your own life.


The Mishnah, the ancient commentary on the Torah, says, “Words from the heart enter the heart.” I hope these stories of transformation fill you with a sense of gratitude, wonder, hope, and inspiration to activate your ability to never give up!


Join Lisa on January 10 at 12:00 pm ET to discuss the books that changed her life and dig deeper into how positive narrative and storytelling can frame and direct our thoughts, emotions, and motivations. Register here.

Lisa Honig Buksbaum

Lisa Honig Buksbaum

Lisa Honig Buksbaum, CEO and founder of Soaringwords, author, social entrepreneur, and positive psychology thought leader, is a passionary: a visionary driven by great passion and action. An intuitive healer, well-loved inspirational speaker, and expert workshop leader and facilitator, Lisa has shared her wisdom with thousands of people throughout the world. Her personal experiences with loss inspired her to launch Soaringwords, a not-for-profit organization that has grown into a global movement. Since 2000, Lisa has led Soaringwords’ SOARING into Strength Positive Health Initiative workshops and presented at numerous international scientific conferences. She is the author of SOARING into Strength: Love Transcends Pain.