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The Original Email

From: Kinzie
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2001 12:03 pm
To: undisclosed recipients
Subject: I am home

I flew in from New York City last night.
I have never felt so lucky to be home.

Join me in prayers for patience and understanding
as we all recover from the shock of this tragedy.

Join me in celebration of the power of community as we witness the
spirit of the people coming together to help each other in recovery.

Join me in prayers for compassion and strength of the human heart.

Join me in prayers for understanding in our world community in the
coming days as our leaders try to make sense of why this has happened.

Join me in prayers to move forward in love not fear or anger.

Join me in prayers that the world will see this opportunity
to come together to support peace in a spirit of cooperation.

Join me in prayers of understanding for those who see terrorism as a solution.

Join me in celebration of the strength of humanity shown in
acts of heroism on the streets of America and around the world.

Join me in prayers of gratitude for all that I have and help me
to see ways that I can share what I have where it is needed.

Join people everywhere in our belief in tomorrow as we choose to see this
as a reminder of how fragile our life is on this planet we all call home.

Join me as I light a candle for friends and family everywhere
to help us to help each other heal from this tragic awakening.


I sent this postcard to my parents from JFK airport on 10 September 2001 ...

... and heartbeat started

I had spent most of the summer of 2001 in Canada with friends and family before flying off for my first visit to New York City. It was a short business trip and I hadn't finalized a date for my return to Hong Kong. At our first meeting, I asked for tourist tips and my clients advised giving the World Trade Centre a miss – saying it was highly over-rated. At the time, I had no idea what they were talking about so I followed the advice. My week was spent exploring the city with my trusty Pentax K1000 loaded with black & white film. The weather had been perfect and I fell in love with the city.

I got my first glimpse of the towers from a boat tour late Sunday evening, my last night in the city, I realized I had discovered the best vantage point for views of the entire city. I immediately started thinking of how I could reschedule my flight so I could take a trip to the viewing deck. With clear blue morning skies, I imagined the shots I could get from the top of the city in the early morning hours. I realized, however, that I would have to miss my 7am flight the next morning to call the airline and try to reschedule for Wednesday morning and, since I would be on the phone Monday morning, that would leave Tuesday morning, 11 September 2001 to could go to the Top of the World for my early morning photo shoot. After lots of back and forth, I decided that it wasn’t worth the risk of not getting the flight on Wednesday morning. By then I was really missing my own pillow at home in Hong Kong and I would be back. At 2am, I began packing my bags for the airport.

I flew out of JFK in the early hours of 9/10 and was on the plane just hours from Chek Lap Kok when the towers fell. By the time I arrived in my flat, CNN had just completed the final edit of the famous footage and I was stunned – my brain struggled with the fact that the scenes in front of me were news and not just another Hollywood action movie.

I started writing a short email to let everyone know I was home safe and this is the message that resulted.

The response to the email from friends and family led to the birth of heartbeat a few short weeks later.

I find it helpful to re-visit this message from time to time.

Love notes

"Lovely newsletter - very focused - congratulations and keep up the good work." Helen

"Liked your message this week, keep up the good work, it's appreciated, even from afar." Chris

"I always love your heartbeat emails ... really strike a chord." Lindsay

"I just had to let you know that I am a big fan of your essays. I am crazy busy with a full time job, 3 little boys and a green group in DB but I always have time to stop and read your emails - I have often found them just spell bounding. You are clearly a very gifted writer so just a wee note to let you know how much I enjoy them and how often I find such food for thought in them! Really fresh and interesting and entertaining so thank you!" Kate

"One of your best articles ever." Jeff

"Well done. I like your conscious words." Linda

"Another great post. Thanks." Ashley

"Absolutely true-nail on the head! Paul

"I'm now living in UK, but still enjoy reading heartbeat!" Sam

"Good article." Joel

"Nice one!!" Bobsy

"Thanks for that reminder!" Ellen

"I found these events and activities most fascinating." Darrion

"Great writing!" Jeff

"Your emails have encouraged me since 2001." Shiori

"I'm now living in UK, but still enjoy reading, All the best to you and well done with heartbeat!" Samantha

"Thanks for keeping me in the loop with your newsletter, which is getting better all the time." Carola

"I get so many emails and yours is the only one I read every week, without fail, wherever I am. Thanks." Colin

"Love your newsletters ... always very positive and inspiring! Congrats." Cornelia

"I love everything you write - always personal, always inspired." Lynda

"What a writing gift you have. Each time I read your pieces they are so inspired. Keep up the great work." Lynda

"Nice E letter." Bruce

"great stuff." Koko

"Great newsletter." Isobel

"Nice!" - Lara

"Great article on not giving up! Really inspiring. Thanks a lot." Jacqui

"You are such a good writer !!!!" - Sandi

"Maaaan, your message is right on! Thanks for this. I just saved it in my 'quote' file." xxx Kumi

"Thanks for the good thoughts!" - Graeme Bradshaw

"Thanks for keeping me in your newsletter loop. Your personalized email is very impressive." Lawrence Oh, Kamalaya

"Thanks for all your emails - some thought- provoking stuff I must say -  do keep them coming." SCMP Listing Editor

"I really do wish to thank you for all your wonderful work and your smiling energy you send to everyone. it means a lot and is well appreciated." Ming

"Your mail is very informative and extremely helpful with small details of the programs taking place in Hong Kong." Art of Living Society

"What a wonderful idea this is! Well done to you!" - MC

"Love your introduction paragraphs – always thoughtful and insightful." SS

"Absolutely dazzling, as usual!" AG

"My little thing for today is to tell you this is a great email series you are doing. Keep up the good work!" - MM

"Love what you shared and thanks for sharing. I love your sentence -
there simply isn't enough time to f@#k around. In fact I talked with a
girlfriend who is over half a century old. I told her she does not have
much time to go and so choose to focus on serving others.

The key is to focus by keep asking yourself:

What am I focusing on? And know that we always have a choice
And whatever you do, choose to do it and also keep asking yourself:

For what purpose.

You know what one can do is to ask:

Is there any place I would rather be? Is there any things I rather do?

If not, then you have made the best choice for yourself.

Wishing you every success in your heartbeat work. Yes, make it global,
think big. It is important to have a vision or us to move towards.

May the blessings be."

Cindy Ng (27 jan 05)"

"Your courage is amazing ... so many people are touched and transformed by your honesty. Thank you. Love, B" (19 Nov 04)

"A pleasure to read yet again. Thank you for reminding me. Love, VM" - (19 Nov 04)

"That was Great .. thanks again, for sharing your heart with all of us ... Gratefully, VK" ( 19 Nov 04)

"Excellent insightful stuff ... just what I needed on a Friday morning! - Love, R" (5 Nov 04)

"I'm amazed every time I get your message. The theme is always exactly what I have been tackling - - it's just so relevant. And I enjoy reading your sharing. Thank you very much! Cheers VY" (5 Nov 04)

"Just wanted to let you know you really inspire me to be my true self, for myself!!" - A (29 Oct 04)

"I really resonated and appreciated what you wrote, and I felt inclined to reply ... So thank you for sharing your truth, and I look forward to the next issue of heartbeat. love and blessings, S" (10 Oct 04)

"To be completely truthful is never easy as we are often attached to what we perceive as the outcome. Listening to your heart's messages is respecting your soul. I admire your strength in the constant search to move forward." L (10 Oct 04)

"I appreciate the courage it took for you to send this. It's so much easier to point out faults in other people rather than confront our own truths ... It's very true - we learn the hard way to follow our own truth, follow the process and not become attached to the outcome. I wish us all happy learning!" - S (7 Oct 04)

"Hi! I have been a recipient of your messages in the past 2 years or so. Though I have no clue who you are, I have been profoundly comforted by you sharing your experiences as they have proven to have close resemblance to my own situations as well. Somehow, whatever is happening to you is happening to me. This one in particular is very timely ... Just like you, I'm now committed to touch base with my REAL self again and speak the truth in my heart ... Thank you for reminding me to trust the process. Cheers, M" (7 Oct 04)

"loved your message this week! Authenticity is a big issue for me too (surprise surprise!) I acknowledge your courage in telling the truth. Love and a big hug and a shower of rose petals." K (7 Oct 04)

"Thanks. This is your best message yet! I applaud your courage in saying what is in your heart ... and for continuing the process of change. Warmly, J" (7 Oct 04)

"You are brave to post such a message. So don't hold back. People will always judge you. What is important is that we are true to ourselves. I myself try to be true and speak what my heart feels which at times has made me very undiplomatic, however I have endeavored to do so. I speak what is in my heart every day to friends and loved ones and I really enjoy being expressive and showing my feelings of love and gratitude. Always be TRUE to YOURSELF and OTHERS." love & peace, F" (7 Oct 04)


Maybe it's fate. Just at lunch time today I read a chinese article on being truthful with yourself and others, the message is very similar to yours except that it also talked about how people are never entirely honest with each other in order to appear rational and mature, and that creates a delusional world for us if we don't honestly contemplate the real world with our heart. I was so touched by it that I decided to send it to everyone I know ... Thanks for sharing and listening. Stay in touch." Namaste and peace, D" (7 Oct 04)

"Thank you, you are great, I love to get your e mails ... I actually do not know who you are yet I feel I do when I receive your mails ... " L (16 Sept 04)

"I go along with your comments 100%. Have you thought of it this way: that Emotion is really E[nergy- in- ]motion and removing the blockages to that free flowing motion (mainly 'fear based thinking') is the fastest way to ease and clarity. And right there you have INtuition....learning from the inside. Keep up the good work." C (3 June 04)

"Congratulations to you the 100th landmark of your focused energy turning into matter. I enjoy reading your heartbeat messages, and look forward to be inspired by and be part of your unfolding creativity." A (12 March 04)

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