Stories can be many things – a vacation from reality, an insight into someone else’s life, but the stories that are truly impact us are those that are shared by women who have overcome a challenge or adversity.
You may not believe that you have a story, or that your story is valuable or important enough to share. Our ancestors understood the importance of storytelling. Quite often they’d have us sitting on the edge of our seat or be great lessons we could learn without having experienced the same adversity. For a long time telling stories was a lost art. I used to think it was an art because I heard relatives telling stories that would take me right there with them, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting everything exactly as if I was right there too.
Going through my own challenge didn’t feel like art at the time. In fact having found myself in a situation “no intelligent woman would ever find herself in” I was embarrassed and ashamed that I could even allow myself to let it happen. It happened so gradually that I never saw it coming. And of course I was in love so how could I see it coming. I wasn’t listening to those whispers Oprah talks about.
It wasn’t until I found a positive community of support that allowed me to awaken from the life I had fallen into, that I could forgive myself and others so that I could shift from surviving to thriving. Letting go of the thoughts and beliefs that kept me back in that space took time.
Creating new beliefs that were mine, learning new skills and strategies to become a THRIVER gave me hope. Bearing witness to those positive changes, not being judged by my community and being recognized for the good qualities I embodied, brought me much joy and a lot of
The first time I was asked to share my story freaked me out. Me? My story?? I failed to understand the value it could bring anyone. Not to mention I still wasn’t comfortable at sharing my story with others. With some encouragement I did. The shame and embarrassment faded
when other women approached me afterward. They saw themselves in my story and my journey was giving them hope that they too could have positive change in their lives.
Since that first day I shared my story, I’ve heard others share theirs and witnessed women stepping up and saying “yeah, me too”. Letting others see they weren’t alone was one thing. Connecting them to the resources that could help them in their journey was another.
Thriving Forward Ottawa was born.
Building a bridge of hope to a caring community where women from all walks of life come together in a safe, welcoming environment to share stories of challenge and triumph.
But it doesn’t stop there. Valuable resources that are found and invited to share their stories of success and how they help our community as they are on their journey. Thriving Forward facilitators share our stories which include a small actionable called “Your Next Step” that our community members can implement in their lives. Our gatherings are where the conversations begin. Our Private Facebook Community is where the conversations continue. We are building relationships that bind and support and spread love.
It takes a village. We are building ours and invite you to join us.