Two weeks ago, on a mountain highway deserted late at night with the next exit 40 miles ahead, I rounded a curve. In the middle of my lane — over a dozen small boulders. An oncoming car on the narrow two lane highway flashed headlights and my husband Alan was momentarily distracted trying to figure out the message. My grip tightened on the steering wheel as I stared straight at the message. Boulders. In the middle of the road. In the middle of nowhere as if from out of nowhere.

Try to stop in time by slamming on the brakes? Swerve? Risk losing control with the sheer rock wall of mountain side on my right and the cliff on my left?

I sized up the size of the rocks. None loomed large enough to crash into above tire level. So I . . . kept . . . driving. And driving. Until the car could go no farther. Did not get very far. But we survived. The car was totaled. And we survived.

The engine was smoking. My first reaction was to yell, “Get out of the car! Get out of the car! It might explode!” Alan calmly reached over and turned off the ignition.

Completely unscathed, we got out of the car to assess the damage. Two tires flat. The car sitting on rocks. A hole torn in the bottom of the car floor. Clearly, our rental car was going nowhere from here.

The other driver had stopped hundreds of yards away near just before the road curved. He got out to assess the damage to his car from the one rock he hit that was in his lane. His car was not disabled.Continue Reading

“When We Tell Our Stories We Change the World”

Nothing silences us more effectively than shame . . . in this culture, telling our stories takes courage.” Research professor and thought leader Brene Brown, Ph.D. LMSW powerfully makes the case for sharing our stories in her top-sellling book,  I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame.

Only by breaking silence and beginning to risk vulnerability through sharing our stories can we become free of the illusion that “there is something wrong with ME.”  We begin to dissolve our sense of separation and isolation when we grasp that often the shame we carry is part of a much bigger picture than our own personal and individual selves.  For example, Brene Brown shares that in her years of researching shame, 90% of the women she interviewed felt shame about their bodies, the way they looked.  Clearly, there are more factors at play here than a individual women’s personal sense of inadequacy, inferiority and “not-good- enough”-ness.Continue Reading