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The power of story

Stories are our lifeblood.

We teach and learn through story. We pass on what matters most to us through story. We make meaning through story.

When I was 25, I became extremely ill. No one knew what was wrong with me. My doctors were testing, among other things, to rule out multiple sclerosis and a brain tumor.

The illness would turn out to last nearly three years. During that time, I literally did not know how I would feel when I woke up in the morning. 

On some mornings, I could get up and function at about 50-60% of my previous energy levels. On other mornings, I would wake to a fatigue so severe that I could barely get out of bed for days or even a week at a time. 

At its worst, I could hardly climb a flight of stairs. I would have to stop halfway to rest.

During this time, I heard a story that would forever change me. It was from a sermon called “Don’t Stop on 6,” by Steve Furtick.

Don’t Stop on 6 is a retelling of the story of the fall of Jericho, from the Old Testament.

You may know the story: God tells Joshua that God will give the city of Jericho into the hands of the Israelites. Their instructions are not to fight, but to walk around the city once a day for six days; on the seventh day, they walk around it seven times, give a shout, and the walls of the city fall.

Here’s the kicker: Joshua gave his army their instructions one day at a time.

Soldiers who were accustomed to fighting were told to … walk around the city. Weird.

And on day 2: walk around the city. And on day 3: walk around the city.

They see no indication that what they are doing is having any effect whatsoever on their goal. They have no idea how many days they will be walking around the city.

Their vision – of taking the city – must have started to seem ridiculous.

People must have jeered at them from the wall. 

In Steve’s words: You never know when you are on the last lap. Don’t. Stop. On. Six.

I listened to this story sometimes once a week – sometimes once a day.

It reminded me that I would never know when I was on the sixth lap. I would never know when I was experiencing my last fatigue spell.

This story gave me the strength to keep walking. One day at a time. To keep seeking solutions. To try the next thing. And the next, and the next, and the next, until I found an answer that brought me back to full health.

And I did.

I didn’t stop on six. 

And the strength I found in that story, the strength it gave me to keep going, is the reason that you are reading this email. It’s the reason I was able to start a business, finish my novel, have my kids.

Stories have the power to heal.

This month inside my writing membership, Write Yourself Free, we are diving deep into the theme of narrative medicine.

Narrative medicine = finding the stories that heal.

This means extracting the poison from the stories you’ve been told and the stories that you’ve lived.

And it also means locating the stories that uphold us and carry us through hard times.

Powerful stories are like keys that unlock us from cages we didn’t know we were living in.

If you’ve been considering joining Write Yourself Free, now is the time.

This month is going to be incredibly powerful.

And also, I’m about to raise the price – probably in August. (Current members: don’t worry, you’ll continue paying your current price forever.)

>>>Join us in Write Yourself Free here.<<<

Let’s dig deep into the power of story.

And whatever challenge you’re facing right now: don’t stop on six.

TL;DR. My writing membership, Write Yourself Free, is focusing this month on the theme of narrative medicine. Narrative medicine = finding the stories that heal. If you’ve been on the fence about joining, now is the time. >>>Join Write Yourself Free here.<<<

July 3, 2020

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