Your Story Will Change the World
We all have our favorite stories that we love and believe in. But are they stories of possibilities or limitations?
When willing to dive deep to explore our stories, we recognize patterns we might not have seen before. We realize when we’ve got some mad skill sets to rise beyond whatever comes toward us. We’re more resilient and enigmatic. We are more of everything we’ve ever dreamed of.
And that’s a beautiful thing.
My story with stories began as a child. I was an avid reader and always thought it would be beautiful to be a writer in the mountains, which is exactly what I am now. But honestly, I didn’t think that was a profession I would really go into!
Then, I had two amazing things happen. One, I had a near-death experience. I was in the hospital listening to the nurses say I wouldn’t make it until morning. A presence came into my room and told me I was being given a second chance at life.
It completely rocked my world!
When I was able to leave the hospital under very miraculous circumstances, the beauty was that I could look in the mirror and see love there for the first time in my life. I could also look into anyone’s eyes and gifted the possibilities and love there.
After, I worked with gang kids, high-risk youth, and people from all over the streets, but I wasn’t afraid of them. Instead, I would love people and their stories. I could see beyond the barriers of belief.
The second thing amazing thing from that experience was that I became pregnant. I was told early on that I wouldn‘t be able to have any kids at all, so no one was more shocked than my doctor and me to find out!
My husband and I were both very career-oriented. We had to discover our priorities and where we wanted to spend our time. Eventually, I was able to develop a business at home with my young daughter doing PR and writing. It was a very natural skill set.
Miracle after miracle took place with this new ideology and philosophy on life. I had a second chance and wanted to fulfill the measure of my creation and see humanity for what it is and the power of my story.
Those two things commenced an incredible journey.
The Stories You Tell Yourself Matter
Anyone who has done work in psychology or psychiatry hears all kinds of stories. They see what we believe about ourselves and how the world around us dictates how much energy we put forth into a job, project, relationship, etc.
If we believe the story that the whole world is against us, that is how the world is going to show up for us. We will only see those negative people, situations, and circumstances.
But when we believe that we’re here for a purpose and we start to do the work on ourselves, the whole world will open up. When you reflect on the patterns and where they had hard lessons, did you learn something and overcome it? Did it take a couple of times before I got it? You will begin to say, “I like me better now. I understand me better now.” The shame and judgment will walk off the court. You’ll focus on the victories that you have won. You’ll become more enlightened in the present and future because you recognize the gifts you bring to the table and the gift you are rather than thinking of yourself as a curse.
If someone is struggling to want to be alive, I know that if they begin to work on their story, they will be transformed. They may need therapy to deal with the feelings behind those circumstances at times, but they will also heal powerfully through writing.
Research has proven that writing by hand (and sometimes on the keyboard) takes your story from survival and fight-or-flight to something really beautiful. Because you are seeing it, you’re witnessing what you went through almost from a third perspective, giving yourself credit. It’s fantastically healing and incredibly powerful.
Story and Opportunity Create Community
Part of the premise of the Inspired Writers Retreat is to create a safe place for people to explore their stories and express themselves. It helps them figure out how they will outline and formulate their book and the myriad of ways we have to publish these days!
We talk about the business aspect and spend a great deal of time on experiential exercises. We write about deep and rich experiences, including some hard things. What is beautiful about that is that often, whether consciously or unconsciously, we’re afraid to express, especially on paper, some of our deepest “dark”. We get afraid it might be used against us or that people will no longer accept us.
But when you can write and be transparent in a supportive community (whether at the retreat or another community), it’s healing. You’ll find that you are a messy human, but so is humanity, and this is part of the messy human journey. You can come to love and accept and be compassionate for yourself. Suddenly, you’ll have power over your story instead of your story having power over you!
That is the magic that takes place. No matter what spectrum of life you have come from, it opens huge and amazing doors when you do this work.
We had a beautiful Native American from one of the tribes on the West Coast come to one of our retreats. He was one of the leading players at Standing Rock. When he shared his story, he said, “I came here thinking I was going to be around a lot of rich white people and that we would have nothing in common. I realized from story that we have everything in common. Story was taken from us and our tribe. We were not allowed to tell stories, keep our culture, or continue with our beliefs.” Then he paused and said something that made us all cry. “I’m taking story back. I’m reincorporating it into our culture.”
That was his transformation and the gift he took with him.
Power in Becoming Visible
No matter how magnificent your book is, it will only get out into the world as far as you allow yourself to be visible.
When you are working on your book, it’s also important that you are visible in the world. While figuring out what the elixir of life is and what your gift is, let your social media grow and reflect that. Gain more followers because more followers mean more readers and people already interested in you when your book does launch.
You don’t have to be a social media maven. You don’t[ have to be on every single platform. You don’t have to be on TikTok if that’s not where your avatar you’re writing your book for is hanging out. Just pick one or two places where you can really shine.
You can even get a college or high school student to help if they hear you and can adequately represent your voice. (I also advise them to be careful about grammar and spelling.) This could be a simple way to elevate your visibility while you are writing your book.
We live in an extraordinary time where anyone can write a book and get it published. You can buy an ISBN tonight and be published by tomorrow on Amazon. The power at our fingertips is incredible to get our voices into the world.
Navigating those waters can be a little scary because if you Google “How do I write a book?”, you’re going to get thousands of resources, and they don’t all agree with each other. It can be hard to discern who really knows how to navigate the publishing world and who created a course because they had one successful e-book.
Many vanity publishers focus on making money from the author rather than making money from promoting and selling your book.
I recommend finding a mentor or program with an excellent reputation. Talk to referrals and see what their experience is. Ask a lot of questions. Do it the right way with the right people who want to get your story into the world.
If you have a book or an idea, our Inspired Writers Retreat is fantastic. We can take you from the very beginning to understanding your best steps for publishing. We have the mechanisms and leadership to help from the very beginning all the way through publishing. The retreat is held at a beautiful turquoise lake in a gorgeous cabin. There are personal chefs to take care of your food needs. You have three and a half intensive days and nights to focus on your book and a community of like-minded individuals who are all ready to change the world. It’s transformational.
Learn more about our upcoming Inspired Writers Retreat.
To listen to the whole interview, click here.