When we follow our passion, amazing things happen. We meet the people we’re meant to meet, and we are presented with all the right opportunities, at just the right times.
This is what began happening to me, when I first started One Thousand Trees in 2010. At the time, I was doing a lot of volunteer work, but the majority of that work involved sitting on committees. I was tired of sitting in meeting after meeting, so I resigned from everything.
Because I feel strongly about the need to give back, I had to find something else to replace all that committee work. Given my background in publishing, and the fact that I had always dreamed of publishing a magazine, One Thousand Trees became a reality. At the time, it was just going to be the magazine. (Well, we all know what happened to that plan!)
Walking my dog on the trails surrounding my subdivision is when ideas come to me. One day, several years ago, I started thinking about all the amazing writers who had been submitting articles for the magazine. “You should do a book,” was the message I received. I reached out to several writers, and within a very short period of time, Volume 1 of the Sharing anthologies was a reality. I had 24 women from around the world included in that volume, and my story was among them.
A (male) friend read my story, and that of another woman he knew. “You should do a men’s book,” he said. (Again, my plan was to do just one anthology, nothing more.)
Upon seeing my somewhat perplexed expression, my friend said, “I know it would be a different tone than the women’s book, but I think there’s a need for it.”
That was all I needed to hear. I secretly told myself that if my friend would agree to write in the men’s book, I would go ahead with that project. The rest, as they say, is history!
The feedback I received from the authors in Volumes 1 and 2 was fascinating. Without exception, the women from Volume 1 expressed gratitude for the opportunity to share their story. The men in Volume 2, on the other hand, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to be vulnerable. It has been an incredible honour and blessing to be involved in these projects year after year, and I will continue to publish the anthologies, as long as I have people interested in sharing their story and speaking their truth!
You Are Not Alone: stories of hope, by Lisa Browning