Three years ago, when I first got the idea to publish an anthology of women's empowerment stories, I would never have imagined the impact this project would have ... on me, on my writers, and on the people who purchased and read the book.
As an example, here is a comment from someone who read the first volume:
The title of this book could not have been more appropriate. I found it truly amazing that so many women have shared their heart and soul in the well-written stories they have chosen to share with others. Writing these stories must have been both difficult and cathartic at the same time. Congratulations to each and every writer in this book, who was able to put pen to paper to share their story in such a way readers of your book can relate to. My blessings to you all; your stories are powerful and thought-provoking. I would recommend this book to anyone who is having difficulty in their life journey. I believe part of healing is being able to understand others have had similar experiences.
And from a writer whose story was included in Volume 1:
This journey of digging deep and sinking in has been utterly transformative ~ allowing old wounds to see the light of day and finally heal. I hope the words of these women resonate deeply and support others on their journey.
I had never intended on publishing a men's volume .... that is, until a male friend of mine, who had read the women's book, suggested that I do so. "Are you going to write for me?" I asked him. When he unhesitatingly said "yes," I knew that a men's volume would become a reality. (Thank you, David!)
While the greatest gift, for the women in Volume 1, was the empowerment they got from sharing their stories, the men in Volume 2 were grateful for being allowed to be vulnerable:
I am very grateful for your book because it has offered men a place to share their personal stories with the greater community. This is a rare offer and one that I hope continues to grow around the globe so that more and more people can see that men are heart centred beings too, and can be vulnerable. This is a new story about men.
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It feels like a step into responsibility and accountability for me as a man to share my story with others. I want men to know how powerful, freeing, and 'manly' it is to feel and express one's emotions through life's journey. The world is a safer, more authentic, and more sacred place when men are empowered to share all of their heart with the world.
I am so glad that I made the decision to produce a new volume of Sharing every year, and I am as blessed by the women in this, our third volume, as I have been by both the men and women in Volumes 1 and 2.
My vision, and my passion, were summed up well by a dear friend, whose words struck me to my core (Thank you, Cathy!):
Your work is important, but it isn't work as much as it is a calling. It's a calling to bring together the power, the strength and the healing of others, so that they can be all that they can be.
This is why I do what I do. I trust you will be as touched and inspired, by the stories in this book, as I have been.
You Are Not Alone: stories of hope, by Lisa Browning