Today we’d like to introduce you to Masti Lashkari.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Masti. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I’ve always known that I was a writer. I started writing stories when I was nine-years-old. At first, I had an excess amount of “Dear Diary” moments that eventually led to poetry and fictional stories. My journey as an adult was a bit different, though.
While completing my degree in Business-Marketing as an undergrad, I pursued a rewarding career in banking. After years of various promotions and leadership roles in the banking industry, I directed my energy into the pharmaceutical sales world.
Although I had a successful career and met some incredible people, my heart was always in writing and psychology. Writing is an experience. You start with a blank page and find your way as you go. Psychology is an exploration. It allows you to study the human mind and its functions, especially human behavior.
In other words, whether you’re writing or studying psychology, you’re always in search of the story behind the story. It allows me to possess the ability to write articles and books that will evoke a change or put a smile on someone’s face. To me, that’s a life worth living.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Smooth? No! It’s been a journey. The sales world taught me that you could fail and accomplish something you don’t love. However, you can fail at something you love, and you will never regret it. So why not strive to succeed at something you love the most in life?
That’s when I stopped pretending to be anything, other than what I was and decided to make a career change. I went back to school and obtained my masters in Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy. I had to sacrifice a lot while working full-time and going to school full-time.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
While I was completing my traineeship in Marriage and Family Therapy, I was working with families in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Around the 2016 Presidential Election, I noticed an increase in anxiety with children as young as four-years-old. I came across comments such as “If the president can get away with it why can’t I?” Or, “Why doesn’t the President like brown people?”
Some children were internalizing their anxiety, while others were being bullied based on their ethnicity, religion, and gender. It impacted me not just as a therapist, but the fact that I dealt with bullying when I was ten-years-old. So, it was imperative for me to take a higher stand. Had I never been bullied, I might not have found the motivation to write about the one platform that I cared for the most.
That was when the idea of “Emma and the Big Orange Monster: A Tale of Unity and Bravery,” dawned upon me. I was aspired to write a book, so I could teach children the power of unity and bravery. I wanted to educate kids on the beauty of diversity and demonstrate that the Big Orange Monster is a bully and not a man they should admire.
I had access to wonderful therapists, teachers, and parents who read and provided me with feedback so that I could publish a powerful and meaningful book for children of all ages. “Writing Emma and the Big Orange Monster” has inspired me to write more books that help children feel empowered and to overcome their shared social anxieties.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
When my father bought me my first journal, it was pink with rose petals all over. I was nine-years-old, and I started using that journal to write about my families move to California which kicked off my interest in writing.
- Emma and the Big Orange Monster: A Tale of Unity and Bravery – Hardcover $25.95
- Emma and the Big Orange Monster: A Tale of Unity and Bravery- Paperback $16.95
- Emma and the Big Orange Monster: A Tale of Unity and Bravery- Kindle $6.99
- Website: www.mastilashkari.com
- Instagram: @mastilashkari
- Facebook: mastilashkari
- Twitter: @mastilashkari
- Yelp: https://www.amazon.com/Emma-Big-Orange-Monster-Bravery-ebook/dp/B079KGH138/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1537287612&sr=8-1&keywords=emma+and+the+big+orange+monster
- Other: Instagram: @thebigorangemonster