Glenn and I were invited to participate in the Melibee Swarm conference in October of 2014. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was a bit nervous since Glenn and I were speaking and facilitating a couple of exercises. Never the less the conference went well and it was life changing for me.
One of the participants of the conference, shared a TED talk, “The Danger of a Single Story” by Chimamanda Adichie, with those attending the conference. It sounded interesting so I sat and watched the video. Adichie shared about her college roommate experience here in the U.S. Her roommate was surprised that Adichie spoke English and that she knew how to use the stove. Her roommate’s single story was that of Africa’s people dying of poverty and AIDS. Adichie also shared her own single story about Mexican people being the object immigrant. She stated that by showing people as one thing over and over again, that is what they become.
There have been times in my life where I have had “Aha!” moments, as Oprah would say, and these moments have been life changing for me. These moments are the ones that I feel in my bones, when I feel the veil lift and I can see, feel, and know that what I have known and believed suddenly melts away and life takes a whole new meaning.
Watching “The Danger of a Single Story” was one of those moments. I saw how I have had single stories about people, places, and things. They have been so ingrained in me that I have believed my stories to be true. What an awakening this was! Yet the biggest awakening I had was the single stories I’ve had about my own life, the stories that I heard over and over again. These stories have kept me trapped in the illusion of what I thought was true. The endings were always the same. Today I get to write a whole new story with a different ending—an ending that sets me free.
The awakening brought with it the vision of having weekly workshops for women to gather and transcend our Single Stories. As the guidance comes and workshops unfold I will invite you to join me on this journey of acknowledging the roadblocks our Single Stories have put in place and how we can remove those blocks and use them to build beautiful paths for our new stories to take place.
I would love to hear about the “Aha!” moments that you’ve had? What single stories do you have? Please share freely in the comments.