I am truly grateful to have gotten to spend six of the last eight years around tables with storytellers.
In the Cental American and Carribean nations where I used to live, oral storytelling is a way of life. The artisan women with whom I worked shared stories vividly with emotion and fantastic humor, and as I listened, I cried, I laughed and I was changed. As we worked alongside one another, our hands creating beautiful jewelry around a table full of raw materials and LOTS of coffee, I got to teach them how to read and to write and to dream big, while they taught me not only the art of a good story, but the real power in making room for our stories.
Because what became very quickly apparent to me as we learned from and taught one another, was that the real magic was not in the results, but in the process. As knowledge was passed back and forth, we were creating space for one another to write and rewrite our own individual stories– the stories of our lives, and of our place in this world. By recognizing and affirming that we were no longer defined by the identities forced upon us as victims, we were free to explore and to lean into our new chosen identities as capable, as worthy, and as Beloved.
This would have been impossible had we not allowed one another this space– had we not only listened but truly HEARD the stories of our sisters. Only through the commitment to showing up, listening and holding space for one another’s stories were fear of shame and judgement replaced by dignity, by respect, and by the truth.
This site exists because we need more of that in this world. We need it for ourselves and we need to create it for others. We need kindness, we need solidarity, and we need the space to be weak when we are weak and the room to be strong when we are strong. We need places of retreat to be silent and listen, and we need rooftops to scream from when we need to be heard. We need to be allowed space to write our story. And to rewrite. And to erase. And to start writing again.
“With Her Heart” is an invitation– an invitation to claim, to create, to uplift and to make wide the room for every story.
It is my priviledge to sit around this table with you.
With my heart,