When I first heard about a book project Lisa Shultz was putting together about inspiring women I knew I had to write my story. I had hidden behind my personal story professionally for many years, only letting close friends and colleagues know about the tragedy of my childhood.
Synchronistically, I had just worked with a business coach, Alexi Sebasttien who had helped me to share my story in a private and safe group setting so I could work through my memories of how they all tied into where I am in my life now. Prior to that experience I never saw the link between the events of my past and how they have influenced who I am today and the people who are attracted to me and my work. Alexi’s coaching gave me the confidence to stand in my truth and revisit some darker parts of my path that I had always avoided sharing with others.
As I wrote my story in more detail than I ever had shared before, the tears poured out of me and I began to feel a huge weight lift off of my shoulders. A sense of freedom enveloped me in knowing that I didn’t have to keep this bottled in anymore. The majority of the details in my submission had never been shared with others before. Not even my mother knew that I remembered parts of those events. I was excited to be a part of a book project where I was able to share my story and hopefully inspire other women to author their own story as well and choose their own destiny despite their path.
At the time of my submission I barely knew Lisa. The little I did know was that she was a powerful connector, well known in the community, and highly respected by others. I knew instantly from meeting her that she was doing big things with her life and it wasn’t long before the two of us began to develop a partnership and a mutual respect for one another.
Months after my submission Lisa approached me about hosting a writing workshop to help the women who were interested in submitting chapters for the book. I excitedly agreed – I knew after writing my own story the power that could come with it and how much I enjoyed the process. When over 30 people registered we knew that the book project was on a roll and the women were getting excited. During this time Lisa approached me about collaborating on the book project with her, and without hesitation I said YES! We quickly set some deadlines for submissions, outlined the timeline and were shooting to have a finished book released in the fall of 2010.
As the stories began to pour in, we received over 50 submissions by the deadline – the specific number that Lisa had set as an intention just a few months earlier. When the book started we didn’t have a working name, but as we read the stories we knew there was no other choice for a title than Speaking Your Truth: Courageous Stories from Inspiring Women.
My desire is that both the contributing authors and the readers of this project find hope, courage, and inspiration to share their stories and release the pains of the past in order to find a new direction that brings them joy, peace, and fulfillment into the life. My wish is that these stories empower others to let go of what’s been holding them back in life, allow them to stand in their power, and ultimately speak their truth.