Finding Freedom in Your Voice
When I turned 50, I spent time pondering what being half a century (OMGoodness) really meant. It’s a major turning point for so many people, especially women. In our culture and society, being 50 is often considered “over the hill”. There have been so many people who drop out of things in their 40s, 50s and 60s. I feel like I am just getting started!
Having had the honor and sheer privilege of helping hundreds of people in the last decade share their stories and create a powerful impact on the world, I have learned humbling lessons and empowering ones. I’ve made huge business and personal mistakes and I’ve had beautiful, exquisite and breathtaking triumphs in both arenas. I’ve learned, often through others, how to step into my own power, create internal freedom for myself, and become more confident in sharing my true self. It’s been an amazing journey, and I can’t wait to see what the next decade brings! I’m serious.
I believe that just because there is a prevailing belief or story out there about us as humans doesn’t mean you have to believe it. You can find and maintain this joy for yourself, too. What I would love most of all, is for you to be confident in sharing more of yourself and creating an impact with everyone around you. . .and beyond.
Freedom Comes From Sharing Your Voice
As I have grown older, I’ve tried to do certain things more gracefully. I have learned the freedom that comes from making choices, and using my own voice.
Years ago, when I ran a trucking company, there were a lot of aspects of life that I would keep to myself. I wouldn’t share who “I am” with others–not all of me. I was always worried about offending folks and being politically correct. I mostly just played small. I was behind the pen and computer always highlighting other stories and other people. While I still do this to some degree, I learned that the most important stories we ever tell are the stories we tell ourselves. I was telling some limiting stories to myself about me.
When I started to tell myself a new story, I slowly began letting more of my true self come out. I shared my personality, my warmth, my passions, my joy and my deepest beliefs–with much less fear. Now, I can confidently say that I have done some bold things in my life. I have made my own choices, owned my voice, prowess, skillset, and intellect. I realized that if I didn’t change these things now, when would I do it? After nearly losing my life twice, one thing I do know is that none of us is certain how much time we have on the planet.
Over the last 10 years of hosting the Inspired Writers Retreat, I have incorporated more of myself into these events. We talk freely about imposter syndrome and how to overcome it so you can have the powerful impact on the world you seek. I left my fear of being “professional” and added a powerful and effective drum circle to the very end, as well as other traditions that I know help authors cement the leaving of the old, fearful self and very powerfully bringing in the new self. These things work. More people are overcoming anxiety of their stories and getting their books written, published and launched. What a beautiful, powerful thing for me to witness, when they come alive inside and claim it.
Today, I feel like I can be more and more of who I really am and who I’m meant to be. I care about saving lives, changing lives, and empowering lives. That is my legacy.
So, I ask you, dear reader: What ripple and legacy do you want to leave on the world?
Real, Raw Internal Battles Empower Others
Speaking out and sharing our truth can be difficult. It’s a very real thing we face in our culture right now, this question of: will my perspective be respected or rejected? I see this holds people back because they’re so afraid of getting slammed like too many others they are witnessing in the media. They’re fearful of what happens if someone doesn’t like what they have to say–and especially of something well-meaning turning to hate. We’ve all seen it. Yet, leaders take risks. Leaders learn they must be bold. Leaders raise the stakes for authentic and inspiring living.
My authors come to the table with stories of such courage. I recognize these incredible, compelling stories with the biggest “conflict character arcs” you have ever seen in storytelling–and 95% of them are true stories that can change people’s perspectives and create a better world. Being able to share raw, real, internal and external battles they have faced empowers those that read them and hear them.
I’ve had the privilege of watching people rise beyond the tide of hatred. Hatred does nothing to lift us, or to help us evolve to the next level. Hatred is a power that can annihilate as a species if we’re not careful. We’ve done enough of that in the past many centuries–especially this one.
It is the leaders, the people with sweat, blood, grit, and determination that will change this tide towards compassion and love and understanding. I’ve seen more people quietly afraid of it, but as they explore writing and stories, beginning to have a fire inside them, saying, “I will be a force for good. I will be a force for love. I will be a force for something positive on the planet.”
Powerful Leaders in the Making
I work with coaches, speakers, healers, and leaders. I often get people who were unheard for a time. Someone may have stolen their narrative, or a circumstance stole their power. They have told a lie to themselves or someone told a lie about them. They came from a very dark place and moved into their hero’s journey to a place of significant contribution to society.
I love to witness how they came back with the elixir of life. They’ve moved so far past “victim” that victory is where they reside. Now they have a strong desire to gift the world with a mighty, mighty message, so other people don’t have to feel alone and dark and afraid, by knowing that someone who’s lived this is walking beside them.
At some point, everyone realizes that their story is important. They have something significant to say. They want to create a legacy and the knowledge that they have this gift keeps them up at night–they know they must get their message to the world.
These people are powerful leaders in the making.
It lights up my world to see stories shared that have an incredible impact on others and themselves.