STORIES OF COURAGEOUS VULNERABILITY
A book of collective stories from around the world. Each story uniquely different yet all embracing and true to being Courageously Vulnerable. This courage and vulnerability has empowered each author to transform in ways that will “take your breath away”
While we have 38 stories from around the Globe, below is excerpts from just a few!
Each Excerpt reflects only a small portion of the author's story.
"Finding My Voice"
By: Eileen Forrestal in Sligo IRELAND
"I was happy!
Or was I?
I had everything I wanted. I did everything I wanted, but deep in my core I knew something was missing.
Peace of mind.
And without that, I wasn’t free.
What had me trapped was the knowledge that I had no real self expression, and without this I had no real power, no real freedom, and no real peace.
I had no self-expression because I could not speak.
In fact, I was terrified to speak. I always had been. From my earliest memory of my childhood stammer, I would shut down. Just thinking about speaking in public brought back all the adolescent embarrassment and humiliation of a shy schoolgirl.
I had woven my life around this fear. My career was dominated by the fact that I would be ‘found out’. If I became a permanent member of staff, I would have to attend meetings, take on teaching, delivering lectures. No way. That would be impossible for me. I’d rather die.
I had a choice. Stay silent and hidden and ‘safe’, paralyzed by fear or take a huge risk and be inspired by my own courage. I put my hand up. This single act of courage changed my life. When I got to the microphone I looked down at all these people sitting looking up at me, waiting for me to say something. They didn’t know anything about me. I was just another person standing at the microphone about to speak.
I said, “Hello.".....
"Taking a Stand for Women and Children in India"
By: Sushma Pankule Nagpur INDIA
"I joined, Manohar Institute of Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology, as a lecturer of Biology. The college was situated in an Industrial area (MIDC) where there are many small scale factories and a number of unskilled laborers (migrated from the neighboring states) who live in slums around this region. It was not uncommon to see children engaged in household work or working as laborers and thus helping the family to make both ends meet. There is such a colony just near my college. Some of the girls (hardly 8-10 years old) would watch me from a distance knowing that I was a teacher in this institute.
One day a little girl anxiously approached me and asked if I could give her a book and a pencil. When I talked to her, the innocent soul poured out her feelings that she wanted to write and study but was unable due to the financial condition of her family. When I asked her about her friends, she informed me that they too wanted to study, earn money and like me become a teacher, wear good clothes and drive a scooter (during those days I travelled on my two wheeler moped).
I decided I could help by purchasing some books of alphabets in vernacular language (with colorful pictures) and giving the girls some pencils and other stationary item so their tiny fingers would be able to at least write their name. Soon they became my followers and I became their role model. After a few months I decided this wasn’t enough, and I needed to do more for these girls."
Opening Up-Choosing Consciousness
By: Eric Mitchell in Pennsylvania, USA
"I grew up in a “safe” environment where people didn’t take chances. My parents were both from very small towns. They had a very clear way of viewing life as it related to hard work and what job you had, and you didn’t go out or take a risk. We never had thoughts of creating the life of your dreams. You never took chances; security was the only thing that was a possibility.
I did move away from that way of thinking, and developed my own business. Eventually, I bought a business to help train kids to learn to go above what they think is possible for them which is the opposite of what I had. I didn’t have the guidance or more to the point, I wasn’t encouraged to follow my bliss."
"I taught myself to truly challenge ME. My choice is-the road less traveled. I created a business that makes me feel that I am truly living a life based on what my purpose is and I’m excited to show up for my wife and son as a man who lives a life he loves and is living his purpose. And now, I understand, it’s a consistent journey that requires openness and consciousness. As a man, I’m a husband, a father, a coach, a boss, a co-worker, a son. I can be really present to the people in my life."
By: Claudia Pellegrini in Buenos Aires ARGENTINA
"Once I understood this, I named my pain CHARLY. Well, Hello Charly! He had clearly come to stay and to teach me to live in a new way so I had to learn to live together with Charly. The faster he and I understood and accepted this, the better.
Charly is my partner for life. He is a part of me; and as such I had to learn to love and accept him.
Ultimately, this meant I had to learn to love myself. As Charly and I got to know one another on a deeper level, we made a few workable agreements.
I wouldn’t push harder than possible. I would rest properly; work less, eat healthier, go to physical therapy, and do whatever it takes to get better. As I respected my body and the situation, Charly, in return, gave me less and less trouble.
Through this journey with Charly, I discovered that I have a lot of love around me, tons of support and understanding. Family and friends have all helped me a lot and they still do. The major breakthrough was being able to trust myself."
Calling All Angels
By: Donna LeClair in California, USA
“He saw in my baffled eyes that which had been in his own. The bottle destroyed all that there was, and robbed all that could have been; floating along the path of austere nerves where hunger now sinks its teeth into the belly of forgiveness. When sobriety and sanity kiss the face of mortality, conscious quivers and brazenly questions why one would choose the coldness of a bottle over the warmth of the human spirit.”
“Our confessions were an awakening that asked for, and forgave the festering images that now could fade and blur over time. It was life. It was real. It was reality. It was time to heal, time to move on. An omniscient, omnipotent giant who seemingly always held all the cards, had all the answers, and possessed all the power unleashed those two simple words that restored my faith and life, “I’m Sorry.”
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