Life Itself

Beautiful Brains change tomorrow… today by Thy-Diep

Yip Thy-Diep has released her book called Beautiful Brains change tomorrow… today, which is a collection of personal conversations with young and old change-makers from business and society. Diving into their personal transformation stories, this book goes beyond the ever-present call for more compassion and globalized ethics in today’s world full of chaos and fear. You can read below a extract of the interview with Sylvie Barbier.

Find out more about the book:

Here is a little excerpt from our interview for the book:

What topic is currently on your heart?

My heart… I’ve recently embarked on a powerful personal transformation journey. I have come to realize that what I wake up for in the mornings is to find ways of transforming fear into unconditional love in myself and all around the world. To see people being united. Not only united in the sense that I bring people into my heart, but also physically united — united with family. I put families first because how we relate to our parents, brothers, and sisters is often the blueprint of how we relate to other human beings. When you can transform families, you can transform anything. It’s a miracle, and as long as we’re alive, miracles are possible. I went to meet my brother for the first time in fifteen years of separation. His relationship with our dad was strained, and I remind him of our dad. I grew up feeling incomplete, because part of my family had disappeared from my life. It always felt like something was missing, and I felt powerless, not knowing what to do about it. I would tell myself: “One day, some day, my brother and father will heal their relationship and then I’ll get to see him.” But that one day became one year, two years… and before I knew it, it was fifteen years. So about three years ago, I was experimenting with my self-development, and I attended this course called “Landmark Forum.” There I literally saw how people would transform and begin talking to family members for the first time in a long time. This struck me. If they could do that, there was hope that I could do that too! To be fair, my breakthrough moment didn’t just happen overnight. It was a challenging journey. After the forum, I started to write letters to my brother. What made it difficult, was that I had this mindset, “It takes two to tango.” We hear this everywhere, this 5050 mindset: We expect that we only do 50% of the work, and that the other person will chip in the other 50%. This is not how life works! Besides, I find it to be imprisoning. It implies putting our freedom into the hands of others. With this mindset, if I wrote a letter, and my brother didn’t answer, the natural reaction for me would be to stop my activities. But I had been longing to be reunited with my brother, and I didn’t want to be stopped. So I was looking for something that would enable me to go all in. I needed to find a way that would allow me to still feel complete, even if my brother wouldn’t answer. And I started by declaring that I’d go all in with this relationship. And I had to understand, if I wanted to have this extraordinary wish fulfilled, I’d need to stop being normal and step up to become extraordinary.

So I wrote a letter to him that said: “Hey, I do want to know you. I want to be in your life. I want to get to know you. And so I’m coming.” When I rang the doorbell, my sister-in-law opened the door, and she was surprised. I saw three little girls running around joyfully; three beautiful souls that I had never met because I had always been so scared. I was overwhelmed by the emotions that came when I realized I had missed out on six years of their lives, and on fifteen years of my brother’s life, because I had waited for the tango to start. What is even more powerful is this experience has also helped me heal the relationship with myself: I now know I am fearless. Just the mere fact that we stood face to face is something I consider a miracle. It was a tangible experience — not a whimsy of my mind. For the past few decades, it has been my biggest fear to see my brother. And now, having gone through it, it feels like whatever comes next in life will be easy.

Find out more about the book:

By Sylvie Shiwei Barbier

Sylvie Shiwei Barbier is an Artist and Co-founder of Life Itself