Speak Your Truth by Sharing Your Story
It was the mid 70's, I was in the 9th grade and our school was listening to a woman speak at one of our school assemblies. Her message was clear; drugs can ruin your life.
As I sat there listening to her talk, sharing her very personal journey of pain, drugs, jail and prostitution I could FEEL her passion to help us understand her message. This woman stood in front of hundreds of people, speaking her truth and sharing her story in an effort to empower others to make different choices than the choices she had made. I remember thinking, "How can she tell us these things that are so private?" Secretly I wished she would keep her story to herself to spare herself the pain of being judged by all of us in the room and yet, I was mesmerized by her story.
As I sat there listening to her speak, I suddenly felt something very powerful inside of me and I KNEW, that I wanted to do what this woman was doing. For a few brief moments I felt such a surge of Inner Strength and I wanted to be able to stand in front of hundreds of people and speak my truth by sharing my story, in an effort to empower anyone who felt a lack of self-confidence, low self-worth or a loss in their value of "self".
As soon as the thought entered my mind, I immediately dismissed it. After all, who was I kidding; even if someone was interested in hearing my story, there was no way I could tell it.
I was raised in an Italian household where the golden rule was, "you don't talk about what goes on inside our home with anyone outside of our home and you'd better think twice about talking with anyone inside our home as well!" In other words, "Keep Your Mouth Shut!"
Fear kept me silent. Fear of what was happening inside our home, fear of someone finding out, fear of me being the cause of someone finding out and fear of what would happen to me if I was the cause of someone finding out. WOW, that was a lot of fear for a teenager to process on a daily basis.
I remember the day I finally spoke some of my truth and shared some of what was going on and I was SO amazed that the ground didn't open up and swallow me, lightning didn't strike me dead on the spot or that retaliation for my words was not swift and life threatening. In other words, all those fears that had been keeping me silent weren't so powerful any longer.
At that moment, I was FREE, I felt a huge burden lifted from my soul and I felt empowered to keep going. I continued to speak my truth and share my story and as I did, I found others who were looking for opportunities to speak their truth and share their stories in an effort to regain their self-confidence, self-worth and value of "self"!
Any woman who is truly ready to understand her purpose and why she is here on this earth will, at some time, speak her truth by sharing her story. Too often we're afraid to speak our truth for fear of being judged. Have you ever asked yourself, "who is judging me and why does their opinion matter so much?"
It isn't what happens to you in your life that matters, it's what you do with what happens to you. Every event in my life has helped create the person I am today. Every hurt, every trauma, every slight, every win, every success, every joy, every sadness, every hurdle, every milestone gave me the experience to be of value to the people I help. Every experience in my life, both negative and positive has made me a better teacher, Sensei, coach, author, writer, podcaster, speaker, mentor, friend, daughter, mother, woman and spiritual being living this human experience and relationship with myself and others.
Once I started sharing my story and speaking my truth, I found myself standing in front of audiences that I could never have dreamed of speaking to and sharing the stage with some of my mentors who are also sharing their stories. Then I created the Choices 4 Women podcasts any woman who is ready to share her story can speak her truth in an effort to empower anyone who needs to hear our messages.
You will never truly know what you are capable of until you take a leap of faith and step off the ledge where you believe you are safe, for the vast open space where opportunity awaits.
Today, not only do I share my story to give Empowerment CPR to women around the world, but I have also created a platform to give other women the opportunity to speak their truth and share their stories. If you would have asked that 9th grade Nancy Mueller if she could ever see herself doing what I do today, I am sure she would have felt fear at the mere thought of speaking up about anything at all.
So I would like to leave you with these questions:
Nancy Mueller ~ Empowerment CPR Sensei for Women