After some soul searching recently, I’ve concluded that if I’m going to continue down this path of children’s empowerment book writing, I need to come clean with the state of things in my life. When I first started developing the concept of Timothy Tao and the Owl of the Woods (Affirmations), I began with a question: What do I wish someone would have taught me when I was a kid? As some of my friends and family know, I went through a rough time in my early twenties. I was lost and became very self-conscious. This escalated into a barrage of negative thinking that eventually evolved into chronic anxiety and panic attacks. In retrospect, I’m certain that if I had been given the tools to nurture a healthier mind when I was a child, I could have handled the challenges in my life with much greater ease and confidence. As it is goes, habits are easier to prevent than they are to change, especially when you don’t know how to change them. Although affirmations and visualization were essential in giving me hope again and getting me to see my potential, I was never able to fully move beyond the anxiety and panic. They became more like background static that I would sometimes let sneak into my mind. It’s not a very clear-cut issue, and those who struggle with anxiety don’t always experience it in the same way. To this day, it comes and it goes with varying degrees of intensity. This has been a source of great shame for me and something that I’ve tried to keep hidden my entire adult life. But it’s tiring holding onto that pride. And so, I’ve decided to take a leap of faith in hoping that through my own honesty and transparency, that I will be able to help a lot more kids become happier and healthier adults.