While at a festival that Glenn and I participated in this past weekend in Virginia, I became more clear and aware of the stories I have believed and relived on a regular basis.

While preparing for our trip, there was much excitement and anticipation of what gifts might come from the weekend. Glenn was to speak about his book SHIFT, do a signing, and have a booth to sell his book. We arrived early morning to register and set up our area. Our intention was to create a welcoming space.

We were under a pavilion, along with other vendors and their booths. We met the vendors that were to either side of us, briefly introduced our selves, and shared how far we had traveled to come to the festival.

The first day, Saturday, was a beautiful day. Many people visited our booth and we had great conversations. Glenn and I took turns tending our booth and walking around enjoying the festival. We also offered to our neighbor vendors that we were available to watch their booths while they take a quick break.

Sunday was also a beautiful day, although not as many people attended the festival. It was then that I realized that I had not visited with the rest of the vendors that were in our pavilion, and I felt it was important that I did. Not only was it important to visit their booths, but also to ask them about what they were offering. So off I went to visit with the other vendors.

During this time I felt guilty as if I was doing something wrong by not having visited the vendors the first day. I felt as if I didn’t have the correct vendor etiquette, and was concerned as to what the others were thinking, as they most likely did.

On the drive home, reflecting on the weekend, I became aware of what I had just experienced in regard to the vendors. I visited with each of the vendors and asked them about their products and services, which they gladly shared. Yet, not one of them asked about why we were there and what we were offering. So why was it that I felt I was in the wrong for not visiting with them in the first place?

When I was a child, it appeared that I was always to blame for whatever went wrong in our home and was punished for it. I came to own this story and throughout my life I came to believe that no matter what happened, it was always my fault—that I must have done something wrong. I thought I had transcended this single story, and yet I revisited it again this past weekend with the feeling of being in the wrong by not visiting the other vendors.

Wow! How powerful and subtle our stories and beliefs can be.

During my reflection I also came to the understanding, not only of the power of the distortion of our single stories and beliefs that limit us, but also the transformative power of our awareness, clarity, and truth about our stories. This is where the transcending begins.