In fall 2018, three things happened to Kyrus Keenan Westcott.
First, he and the woman he intended to marry broke up. Several days later, he ruptured his Achillies and was unable to walk or drive. One week later, Westcott received the dreaded news that his best friend passed away.
“October and November of that year was, to say the least, very rough for me emotionally and physically,” he told The Times. “For those months, I was just in a dark place. And when the new year came around, I had a choice. I could either continue to wallow in my own sorrow, or I could choose to be happy. I could choose to do something about it.”
And that’s exactly what he did.
The Trenton, New Jersey native and newly promoted director of social messaging at 1SEO Digital Marketing in Bristol launched “Good Vibes with Ky” on all social media platforms. On a daily and weekly basis, Westcott creates videos, blogs and posts, all aimed spreading positivity to others experiencing similar struggles.
“I’m careful to make sure I’m not one of those people that’s like, ‘Today’s going to be a great day, the sun is shining!’ It’s more than that. It’s more of, ‘What are you doing today to make your day better? How are you helping other people today?’ People were really responding to that,” he said. “I realized that if I could help one person, if I could make one person’s day better, then all of this is worth it.”
Examples of Westcott’s videos and blogs include “3 ways for you to celebrate YOU,” “3 ways to manage a bad week” and “3 steps towards forgiving yourself.”
“Everything that I talk about are things that affect me, some things that I still to this day struggle with. I never pretend like I’m perfect, that I have the answers to everything. So I usually get the topic based on things that happened to me that week,” he said. “I do that because it’s easier for me to empathize with people and it helps for me to say, ‘Hey, if you feel this way then you’re not alone. There’s a lot of people that feel that way.’”
Recently, his work and “good vibes” mantra caught the attention of the Young Professionals Committee of the Lower Bucks County Chamber of Commerce, which invited Westcott to be the keynote speaker at its Professionals Summit on Wednesday, June 26, at Woods Services Training Center in Langhorne.
The topic of Westcott’s keynote was “Spreading Good Vibes & Positivity through Your Professional Network,” which he crafted to encompass more conversation than lecture.
“I want people to learn from my experiences, but I also want to learn from other people’s experiences because we all go through different things,” he said.
It goes without saying that Westcott is currently in a much better head space than he ever thought possible a few months ago. When life incessantly kicked him while he was down at the end of 2018, he never envisioned himself promoting positivity to people, let alone as a keynote speaker. Friends, family and social media followers now turn to him for advice, and it’s something he’s learning to embrace.
“I love the fact that people are affected by it. To know that there are some people that look to me for some sort of inspiration, I take on that responsibility. Admittedly, it’s hard sometimes because I am human and I do have emotions and feelings and I do go through things. But there are people that really look to me sometimes,” he said.
In June, Westcott’s newfound “good vibes” mantra was put to the ultimate test when his close friend Cat Tierney passed away at 31. According to Westcott, Tierney had just visited his apartment several days prior to watch Kevin Hart. Suddenly, she was gone.
Although he was deeply grieving the loss of his friend, Westcott recognized the importance of not only spreading positivity during happy times, but when things get dark.
“That’s when people really, really need it,” he said, explaining how his “Good Vibes with Ky” content helped a number of mutual friends cope with the loss of Tierney.
At this point, Westcott is open to any and all experiences life wants to throw his way, good or bad. In retrospect, he understands the trifecta of last year’s awful events was the “best worst thing” to happen to him. He came out on the other side of the pain with a fresh perspective, one he anticipates will open new doors for him…like an eventual move to California.
“I figure, give it a shot. I’m not married, no kids. Just go for it and spend a year out there and if I don’t like it, worst comes to worst, I’ll come back,” he said. “We have one life to live and it’s like, what are you going to do to make the most of it? Are you going to play the woulda-coulda-shoulda game, or are you going to give it a shot? You may fall on your face. You most likely will fall on your face. But you did it. You did it and you learned something.”
Until he packs those bags for the west coast, Westcott will continue to put his heart and soul into “Good Vibes with Ky.”
“My overall goal, I just want people to live their life to the best of their ability. You don’t have to feel the way that you feel. You can do something about it” he said. “Happiness is a choice. Sometimes it’s hard to make that choice because there’s other factors that come into play. But I truly believe you can take the steps that are needed to find that happiness. And it’s worth it. It’s hard, but at the end of the day, it’s so worth it.”
Keep up with Westcott and “Good Vibes with Ky” at kyruskeenan.com ••
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org