Please, please don’t tell your story…

Aug 21, 2017

Despite all the glorification of personal story-telling as a way to connect and heal, please, please don’t tell your story…


…to the entire internet, especially when your story is still raw
when it may fall on judgmental or even cruel ears,
and you do so in fear, pushing through in the name of our all-hallowed Vulnerability.


Please don’t tell your story…

…when it is not in service, or in healing, of yourself or others.

…when re-telling your story is re-traumatizing to yourself or those who hear it
and especially not when you label that re-traumatization as an altruism; a way to prevent what happened to you from happening to others.


Please, please don’t tell your story…

…for the number of “likes” your pain will receive on Facebook, for the attention your bravery will garner,

for others’ pity and voyeuristic curiosity, disguised as support and community.

Please, please don’t tell your story…

…when it is a thinly-veiled way of putting yourself on the pedestal of success and triumph-over-adversity, leaving others wanting what you have
(and, in the process, ignoring the fact that there actually is no “formula” for what you’ve got).

…and especially when you are telling your story to profit from your perceived now-knowingness or all-knowingness, from people’s sense of insecurity in their ability to find their own way.


Please, please tell your story…



…to those who truly know how to hold it. To those who know the power of silence, to those who withhold judgment or even superficial comforting. To those who can hold space for your pain and your growth.  (These people, I have found, are rarer than you might think).


Please tell your story…

…in a way that promotes learning and healing and processing. In a way that takes your story and does something with it, so that you can carry it forth with a renewed perspective and deepened understanding.


Please tell your story…


…when it is truly of service.


And if you’re not sure, keep holding fast to it as a sacred piece of yourself

only to be shared with exquisite discernment and incisive truth.


Tell your story..

…when telling is healing, and healing is telling


(which is what happens when you find yourself growing and seeing new things in the telling, and not merely in the act of telling itself).


Tell your story…


…when it is bursting inside of you, when it longs to be told, when you know it has ripened and the time has come, for you and for the carefully-chosen witnesses to your process.


Tell your story…


when in the telling, you and those around you



The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!