Recently, the Thistle Farms Events Team and I pulled up to small Methodist Church in rural Arkansas. We had driven past bales of cotton and wide open plains where fall takes a pretty wide turn. We were offering a morning workshop on healing, and we were sharing our oils from Rwanda and our Moringa from Mexico. Then we were ready to sell tons of products before we turned right back around for the long drive home.
When we got there, the room was almost completely filled with pink t-shirts worn by young women at a nearby program. They had been invited to come to hear our story. They were from a 12-month treatment program that takes women from all over the United States. We shared our story and our idea that healing is a practiced art that needs to be relevant, practical and ritualized for daily use. We shared stories about the importance of economic freedom in healing and gift of meaningful work.
The young women drank it all up like deer by a water brook. They took every last drop of oil and asked how to get more. They loved the pure Moringa and took all the leftovers. Pretty soon the Graduates began their testimonies, and the all the pink shirts had their hands up asking question after question…
When we listen to stories it changes us. Part of the gift of traveling around the country to support communities of healing is hearing heroic stories, and in the midst of depressing or fearful news feeds, I get to feel inspired by the stories of people love and forgiving one another.
I've never grown tired of hearing a good story. This week I invite you to listen again to the story of a friend or coworker or family member. Listen like you are falling in love. Listen like your job is not to fix or change it, just witness to the story they are sharing. Listen like you will hold their story deep in your heart and be their story bearer.