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Move Forward Stronger: An Interview with Author Julia A. Nicholson

Julia Nicholson drew from her own grief journey as inspiration for her new book, Move Forward Stronger: A Dynamic Framework to Process Change, Loss, and Grief. Nicholson offers readers a dynamic framework that equips them with a new mindset and useful tools to confront change and loss in a more positive and productive way. Whether it's adversity or grief, we all process things differently. And your quality of life is affected by how you tackle those obstacles. “Move Forward Stronger” has been hailed as a transformative and life-changing book. Check it out now!

To learn more about the story behind the book, read A Good Book To End The Day’s interview with the author below.

Tell us about Move Forward Stronger and the inspiration behind it.

Using my own life experiences, “Move Forward Stronger” presents a dynamic new framework to productively process change, loss, and grief, and build confidence, strength, and resilience at the same time. This Framework can be used by anyone, no matter what unwanted change or loss they experienced and no matter how long ago it happened.

My inspiration for writing “Move Forward Stronger” came from people asking me over the years how I was able to get through the many its (which is an all-inclusive term I use to mean any unwanted change or loss) I’ve experienced, from a near-fatal car accident to the unexpected death of my husband. “How are you still standing after all the losses you’ve had in your life? How were you able to raise two amazing children? How did you have an immensely successful career? How do you look forward to the future after everything you’ve been through? How can you be happy and feel joy?” I recognized the sad, empty look in their eyes when they asked me these questions—the way their head and shoulders slumped slightly forward and the worn-out tone of their voice. Every single one of them had experienced an impactful it, some more recently than others. What they were mentally and emotionally carrying was heavy. They were unable to see past where they were at that moment. And yet, they hadn’t totally given up. They were still looking for something that might help them live as a part of life instead of existing apart from life. They were looking for hope. Talking with every one of these people was like looking in a mirror; I was them at one point in time. I felt compelled to write “Move Forward Stronger” to answer their “how” questions, to give them hope and a way to productively process what happened so they could move forward stronger with their it. If the 5-Facet Diamond Framework changed my life, it could change their life too. I owed it to them to try!

Why was this the right time to share this message with the rest of the world?

People all over the world are facing an unprecedented number of challenges and changes – global pandemic, economic downturn, unemployment, terrorism, political unrest. As a result, people are hurting. They are struggling because something happened in their life that they didn’t want or expect to happen and they lack the tools or skills to process what happened. It is leaving them feeling stressed and overwhelmed. This negatively impacts every area of their life. The conventional wisdom, such as “time heals all wounds” or the five stages of grief to process what happened, isn’t working. They need something different, something that meets them where they are, something they can start using immediately, something that empowers them, something to give them hope.

Is there a line or passage from the book that stands out to you?

Getting back up after you get knocked down is important, but HOW you get back up, HOW you process an unwanted change or loss is a key determinant of the quality of your life in the future. “Living with my it and living in the initial negative thoughts and feelings associated with it are two different things that can be separated. This is so important. I want to make sure you read this again and really soak in the difference. Living with your it, your unwanted change or loss, and living in your initial negative thoughts and feelings associated with it are two different things that can be separated.” “Experiencing an it does not mean you are sentenced to feelings of grief for the rest of your life.” “With every it you can choose to quit, carry heavy shit, or build grit and move forward stronger.”

Everyone experiences grief in their own unique way. With this in mind, what do you hope readers take away from Move Forward Stronger?

Ultimately, the only thing keeping you in feelings of grief are your own choices. Each one of us has to find our own way, in our own time, on our own path, choosing what role each it will play in our life and how prominently they will impact our future. The 5 Facets of the Diamond Framework shows us there is more beyond where we currently are, how to mine valuable life skills out of the rough stuff of life, and that we can grow and learn through the process.

In the book, you share your own personal story of hardship. Were you hesitant, or did you discover any therapeutic benefits from writing it down?

Initially, I was very hesitant to share my own personal stories. I didn’t want the book to be about me or the focus to be on the trauma and tragedy I experienced in my life. The severity or impact of change and loss are not comparative, meaning the worst thing that has happened in my life is no worse or no more impactful than what has happened in yours. I wanted to focus on the people who are hurting, struggling to move forward after something happened in their life they didn’t want to happen, and give them hope – there is a way through the change or loss to something better. Writing the book was therapeutic from the standpoint that helping people by sharing my own personal stories and what I learned gives my life meaning and purpose.

Do you have any other projects in the works at this time?

I am currently working on an audio version of the book, as well as a study guide for the 5-Facet Diamond Framework, a train-the-trainer manual, and developing e-learning modules for each of the 5 Facets.

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