Balancing Courage and Fear with Humanitarian Cara Yar Khan

Are you ready to explore the magic in finding your balance between courage and fear? 

Cara Elizabeth Yar Khan is an entrepreneurial humanitarian and disability advocate who has had an invigorating career, spanning ten countries, so far. In 2001, Cara embarked on her international travels to work in Ecuador for two years with the United Nations World Food Programme before another two years with corporate giant Dell Panama where she managed Corporate Communications. 

For 10 years with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Private Sector Partnerships Cara had assignments in 7 different countries. In Haiti, Cara also took on the additional role of disability focal point during the Earthquake Emergency Recovery Operation. This role led to a successful public speaking career and agent representation with Seth Dechtman. To accompany her Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, Cara is gifted in languages, fluent in Spanish, conversational in basic Mandarin Chinese and has a working knowledge of French and Portuguese.

Born in India and raised in Canada by a multi-ethnic family of Indian Muslim, British Anglican, and Chinese Buddhist immigrants, in 2006, Cara was diagnosed with a rare muscle-wasting disease, called HIBM, that leads to quadriplegia. Since then, Cara has used her platform to advocate for the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities. As part of her advocacy work, Cara is producing a documentary film, directed by Celia Aniskovich with the legendary award-winning filmmaker Sam Pollard as Executive Producer. 

Cara is also writing her first memoir with the Carol Mann Agency in NYC. The highlight of her career, to date, was speaking at the 2019 TED Women conference. Her TED talk, “The beautiful balance between courage and fear” has been viewed more than 2.2 million times since its release. Today Cara lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband, U.S. Army SSG. (Ret.) John Masters and Southern cats, Bubba and Moon.

In this episode, we open the show and talk about how ableism still affects people with disabilities. Also, we discuss why it’s so uncomfortable to talk about past traumas and the reason we need to destigmatize these deep and necessary conversations. There’s so much shame associated with them. When in reality, there shouldn’t be any shame, and there shouldn’t be any discomfort. As a collective, we need to work on giving each other grace for our imperfections. 

Later, we dig in and speak about the healing power of nature, especially in the Grand Canyon. When we get out into nature, there is a transformation that can happen on our healing journey. Nature will give us the space to find more clarity within our lives. Plus, we talk about the importance of mindfulness and staying in the present moment, especially when soaking in our lands’ majestic scenery. Tune in as we dive into relationships and what it feels like to find a soulmate. 

In This Episode:

  • About Cara Elizabeth Yar Khan [ 1:40 ]
  • How our courage lives within us [ 11:30 ]
  • Why it’s uncomfortable to talk about past trauma [ 19:00 ]
  • How the power of forgiveness can guide us on our journey [ 21:50 ]
  • All about working in the Grand Canyon [ 30:05 ]
  • About the healing power of nature in the Grand Canyon [ 45:45 ]
  • Why we need to stop questioning each other [ 50:40 ]


Quotes:

  • “I’ve been privileged enough to somehow find courage, to live just as a productive, happy, fulfilled life now and proudly as a woman with a disability.”
  • “I hope that together as a collective, our war of imperfection will be a great sense of pride.”
  • “In the Grand Canyon, you realize that it’s a place holding so much spirit.”
  • “The Grand Canyon is a wonderful place to kick your ego’s ass.”
  • “My life isn’t all about me; when it’s about others, that’s where I shine.”

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