When I was pregnant with my daughter Natalie, I shifted from a long-time role in special education to teach a classroom of precious first graders. Oh, how I loved those children – especially after lunch and recess when I sat down in the rocking chair and read picture books out loud to calm and settle them.
On Fridays, as a special treat, I made up a story that involved children from the classroom. You could hear a pin drop as the children hung on every word, waiting to hear their name, or their friend’s name, and what shenanigans they were up to that week in my imaginary world.
When I finished telling the story, the children did something unexpected—they would clap. And not just a polite clap – it was a full-on, enthusiastic clap that both delighted and intrigued me.
I’d always wanted to have a beautiful singing voice—it was (definitely) not meant to be. But I was a storyteller – and a good one at that.
When I told stories from the heart, my voice got calm and low. I relayed the exciting parts with passion and energy. I could make stories come to life.
Several years after teaching that precious class, I found myself speaking in front of groups of people as an author. Although it felt far outside my comfort zone, I received positive feedback about my voice and my delivery that spurred me to continue accepting invitations to speak.
Late last fall, I shared a video of me on my back deck reading a daily intention I often say to myself. The overwhelming response from listeners indicated I had an offering I could bring to the world.
For the past several months, I’ve worked on creating a collection of stories, reflections, meditations, and intentions that I thought would be helpful for people to hear in the new year – stories about healing, self-compassion, and small steps to becoming who we are meant to be.
But even before that gift was ready to share, I couldn’t help but see the valuable story within the experience.
When the producers arrived to record, I immediately wondered how the two young men would respond to the content—I mean, this could be a long six hours, I thought to myself.
But just after three readings, one of them said, “I feel like I should clap whenever you get finished with a reading.”
Tears sprung to my eyes.
This was a full circle moment – a “remarkable thing” that I believe is worthy of sharing with those who might be feeling the inadequacy that often comes with a new year, perhaps a decade gone by and yet, their dream still sits somewhere on a shelf. Perhaps you don’t even know what your dream… your purpose… your passion is anymore.
If so, here’s a tip…
As our world feels more and more maxed out… as our souls feel more and more depleted and disconnected, we must notice remarkable things – the remarkable moments that fill our eyes with tears … that spark unexpected laughter… that bring peace to our breath.
Pay attention to those moments. Because they are telling you something critically important about yourself. Even more, such moments are telling you something about the kind of offering you are born to make in this world.
Your gifts… your calling… your purpose… whatever you want to call it … is important and it must not be abandoned.
And you can begin your search to retrieve it today by noticing.
Who knew that reading books to first graders eons ago would indicate what I was supposed to do with my voice in 2020?
Who knows what activity… what gift… what offering you bring to your quiet corner of the world that someone else needs to see or hear in the new year ahead.
I hope you find out.
Dear friends of the Hands Free Revolution, the recording experience I wrote about in today’s post is now ready for you. It is part of the collection of pre-order bonuses I made exclusively for those who pre-order LIVE LOVE NOW.
Pre-orders make a tremendous difference for authors by creating buzz among booksellers and media, which helps raise awareness and visibility of the book for new readers.
So, to thank you for this important early support, I’ve poured my heart and energy into these tools for connection:
- Anyone who orders 1 copy of LIVE LOVE NOW will receive exclusive access to four of my most effective connection tools that can be immediately downloaded or printed. (click here to see the 3 beautifully designed printables and phone lock screen.)
- AND to encourage readers to think about someone they know who’d benefit from the message of LIVE LOVE NOW, anyone who orders 2 or more copies will receive everything listed above PLUS my brand new “21-Day LIVE LOVE NOW Self-Care Audio Series.”
This is a powerful collection of short, daily reflections I wrote and narrated to help you begin the new year with messages of healing and self-compassion, and to guide listeners through small, positive steps toward becoming the best version of themselves. This audio program is not yet available for sale but is free to you right now when you order two (or more) copies of LIVE LOVE NOW.
By clicking my book page, you can see all the pre-order bonus details, pre-order your book, and redeem your gifts. Everyone, no matter where they are located in the world, are eligible for these bonuses.
A couple of important notes:
SIGNED COPIES – Due to your incredible requests, arrangements have been made for a limited supply of signed copies of LIVE LOVE NOW to be available! Click here (link is also on the book page) to pre-order a signed copy.
UNSIGNED COPIES – LIVE LOVE NOW may be pre-ordered from any of the following retailers:
Barnes & Noble
If your Amazon order was recently cancelled, it was because they mistakenly listed a paperback version of LIVE LOVE NOW that is actually NOT available. I am deeply sorry for that inconvenience and hope you will re-order from any of the above retailers.
My friends, THANK YOU for your early support of this important book that sheds light on the biggest challenges facing kids today. I truly believe there is something in this book for everyone. The stressors and obstacles young people are facing are stressors and obstacles we are ALL facing—but, if we are willing to live a life anchored by truth, connection, presence, acceptance, and if we are willing to live love, there is great hope.
My hand in yours.
I just want to say thank you, Rachel, for your blog post and for the amazing work you are doing in the world. I am moved to tears by practically everything you write. The way you communicate is such a gift and your words and stories continuously inspire me and lift me up. Today’s post really spoke to me because I have been struggling for many years to discover my “purpose”, something that is extremely important to me, yet continues to elude me. I’m not going to give up though in my quest to figure it out. Happy New Year to you and your family. I look forward to reading your new book and hope that you will continue to write for many, many years.
Rachel Stafford says
Wow! This is truly a GIFT to my heart! Thank you, Kim! I would LOVE to know how your journey progresses! Don’t give up! The world needs the gift of you!!!