When I created the new tagline (“lovely things, kind words, stories of grace”) on my re-branded website this past year, I had a very strong vision. Each word I chose is meaningful and deliberate in alignment with that vision. My work was changing after a period of true sabbatical and meditation. I was finally listening to my intuition after a long period of ignoring her.
That is not to say that I had some clairvoyance about my future or that I was even brave enough to admit it to some of my closest friends whose stories and struggles I share. Beyond knowing my vision, I even knew what I was supposed to do and what I should and should not worry about. However, I couldn’t figure out how I would build my vision into fruition in an honest, authentic way. This scared me from telling people who cared and supported me; I felt like I had to have answers before I could proclaim my intention. Inside, though, I knew that I would figure it out; my intuition told me just to start doing it.
Stories of Grace is a piece of my vision that I have dreamed about and something that I have been working on and writing about privately for a couple of years. I worked on this in the moments of joy as well as the darkest times of deep sickness. The #ClimbYourOwnLadder project is part of the SoG vision. The other part of SoG is a framework for supporting our evolution through storytelling.
SoG is the pouring of my soul into an activity that is the most meaningful to me. SoG is my heart on paper, and that is why putting it out here is scary. It feels so vulnerable; and yet, there is an honesty about what I am writing that feels really good. But, I still kept everything to myself. I was too scared, even though my intuition told me to put it out there.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” -Brené Brown
My word for 2015 was grace. I had a Giving Key necklace imprinted with the word “grace” on it - I had bought it in December 2014. Privately, I meditated on grace. I wrote about it in my journals. Late in the summer, I finally felt worthy of the word.
Then, September happened. A contract. An opportunity. A move. Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. And for all of them, my intuition was flashing a brilliant green. Each of them required me to show up, do the work, and be courageous (in big ways and small). I have been hiding this long enough, so it’s time to share the wisdom, bring the story to the light, and get moving. Grace showed up, and I realized it had been there the whole time. It was time to make something.
Stories of Grace is a three-part framework:
- Your Story: You are a SuperHero
- Our Story: We are brighter when we shine together
- A New Story: Power, ritual, and the grace in choice
I am currently in the process of writing a book about this framework with associated activities to help all of us tell our stories, become visible to ourselves and to others, and to begin writing a new chapter in our lives. It really is going to be my heart on paper, y’all. It is years of hard work and soulful meditations on the power of storytelling in our lives.
The first participants in the SoG vision are the inspiring creators of Work With Soul, Rebecca Niziol and Kellye Kuh. Their company is a community-driven program for women looking to create soulful, meaningful change in their careers. They have been working on their own book for the past year for Work With Soul - activities, reflections, meditations, and wisdom. Additionally, Rebecca and Kellye had been working on a live event with the theme of your soul’s story and they reached out to me to help them by bringing my storytelling ideas to their upcoming immersion retreat. These two amazing women are helping some of my own dreams come true while they are living theirs and lifting up others. If you are unable to join us this weekend in Chicago, follow their work on Work With Soul and check out the program. (Full Disclaimer: I get no monetary compensation from telling you about this. I get the joy of supporting my sisters, part of writing Our Story so we shine brighter together.)
Working with Rebecca and Kellye over the past 6 weeks, I have taken the general SoG framework to help fit their vision for Work With Soul and this weekend’s participants. So, what I am working on with the brave women at this retreat will be slightly different than what I share in the book that I am working on. However, my story is the same, the essence of who I am and what I am here to say still stands.
Stories of Grace is my heart on paper, and my soul in the room, with an infusion of bravery.