A few years ago, I had the urge to tell a story that was pivotal in my personal and spiritual growth. An experience that has defined me as an adult.
It was also an experience where I learned such a valuable lesson that has helped me navigate my life and is central to how I make choices when it comes to my business.
This story was BIG to me.
I started by telling the story to inspire people personally and spiritually at my church. My minister asked me to talk about love, and this story has the power of love right at its heart.
I crafted a sermon based on this story, and that inspired me to go to seminary and become an ordained interfaith minister.
The story is so traumatic in nature that, for years, I hesitated to tell anyone other than close friends, because I didn’t want the point to be overshadowed by the intensity and drama of the experience.
As my life and work evolved, I opened up the circle a little — telling this story to friends, family, and, then, in a sermon. Yet it was hugely vulnerable, beyond any other experience of my life … and I could fit the learning into a context when told to these audiences.
To tell it as it connected to my business seemed like a big stretch to me.
The story is about being kidnapped and held hostage as a teenager. How could that possibly be related to my coaching business?
The urge wouldn’t go away, though. I knew I had to tell this story to my own tribe of coaches. There’s a message I want to convey that’s at the heart of the story — a message about miracles and trusting in yourself even when the odds are against you.
Once I decided I would take this leap, the perfect opportunity presented itself. I was hosting a retreat for my Women’s Alchemy Coaching Circle. I had been wanting to tell them about the shift I had made in my business.
I wanted to tell them about a new structure for our work together, and why I was making this change — why it mattered so much to me. I hoped I could find a way to tell them all this and inspire them to join me in my new venture, to inspire them to believe in their own miracles and to trust themselves.
I told the story at this retreat, and I watched as these women I loved were touched. There were tears and laughter and nodding heads as I described the years I had sold out on the very lesson I had learned during this traumatic experience.
At the end, I felt this amazing warmth and connection in the room. The women told me how they had related to my story and were uplifted.
We all want to know how to face our challenges and how to overcome them, don’t we?
I think this is especially important now — as we are facing challenges on a global level — to tell the personal stories that connect us all. That help us learn and grow in our compassion and understanding of each other.
What is your story? I would love to know. Perhaps now is the time for you to share it with others.
What is a story that you have, and have felt was too vulnerable or not connected to the work you do in the world?
What is one experience you have had that is personal yet has a universal message?
I encourage you to tell that story to those you serve.