Karen Jordan, national speaker and published author of the book, Words That Change Everything, encourages others to tell their stories. Through personal experience, and her work with others as a writing instructor and speaker, Karen shows people how to tap into the healing power of writing, as she teaches them to tell the stories that matter the most.
Karen tells of a young woman who sat in one of her classes. The woman had been the victim of long-term abuse, and over time, Karen helped the woman garner the courage to share her heart-rending story with the class. Karen said, “Everyone was just crying. She came up to me after the class and thanked me. She said it was the first time she’d ever told her story, and she told it to a whole classroom of strangers. I could just sense the healing that took place in her.”
Telling stories helps people process their emotions, so they can look at their own situations more objectively and factually. Dealing with emotions in a healthy way is important for anyone who hopes to tend a dream, whether your dream is writing, singing, painting, having a happy marriage, or anything else.
When asked what she would tell her younger self, Karen said, “First, I would say don’t get discouraged and don’t give up. A lot of authors and writers weren’t published until they were in their sixties or seventies.” She recounts several famous authors who didn’t succeed until later in life.
When you share your stories and encourage others to tell you theirs, a shared healing takes place. How can you use your stories to help others?
Some of the most powerful gifts we have to offer others is to let them know they matter, at least to one other human being. Never discount your word of encouragement—not only will it help someone else, but in turn, it could come full circle to help you in your own dream tending efforts.
- How can your story make you relatable to other people, and help them fill their needs?
- When someone is struggling or in conflict, encourage them to write out advice, ideas, and thoughts, as if they were giving it to someone else. What would they tell someone else to do in a similar situation?
- How can you pass on the lessons you’ve learned?
This episode’s Dream Tending Tips:
- Remember that stories are the most powerful form of communication.
- Allow storytelling to help you vent a build-up of pent-up emotions.
- Pass on the lessons you’ve learned to help others.
- Speak encouragement to yourself regularly.
- Encourage others, we all need a lift sometimes.
- Life circumstances will get in the way of your dreams, but don’t allow temporary disruptions to become permanent roadblocks.
- Prune those things associated with tending your dreams, that are not bearing fruit. Don’t let unnecessary leaves block the sunlight necessary for your dreams to grow.
- Don’t forget that dream tending is a long-haul process. You have to deal with all the things you’ve always dealt with, plus the added responsibilities that come with making your dreams come true, and maintaining them when you do.
- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Yes, you need to push, but if you take it too far, you could break your own spirit.
- Understand that others in your life may not understand what you are going through. Show them grace.
- Don’t forget to maintain gratitude for the dream tending you “get to do.”
- Statistically, people who have an active faith in God or a Higher Power, are more successful in making their dreams come true.
- Don’t take your family and friends for granted. Tending your relationships make your dreams brighter and your life richer.
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