public speaker

Success

Success is all about perspective.

It is short-lived and ravenous. Its survival depends on the attention span. And let’s face it, the attention span suffers from Alzheimers. Success demands sacrifices. As the offerings become greater, success demands more and more of us. It is fickle. It is moody. Often it is unnoticed when we want it to be seen most. Success doesn’t allow us to see behind the curtain of late nights, early mornings, heartaches, or pain that we bind together in order to feed its appetite. What you see as success, can sometimes be nothing more than chains.

People aren’t always in our corners, even when they say they are. Anyone who has ever put their soul and hearts out there knows how devastating it is when we realize those we think are on our team, aren’t. And we know, don’t we? We see it, even if we don’t say anything in the moment. We can find ourselves proud of how much we have accomplished and look around to see we are the only ones celebrating. We see, but sometimes we are too set on that goal to stop for things that are only trying to pull us down.

The best mindset to have is to live your life for you. Push forward, no matter what, for you. Not for others to be proud, not for others to cheer, not for others to see you as successful, but for you.

I’m really lucky to have had the chance to get to know so many people in my life. Sometimes the least likely relationships grow to be the ones you can’t imagine not having. I cannot tell you all the moments I often revisit that involve so many of you, because I don’t have enough time in this world to try. But many of you do cross my mind more often than you will ever know. Your stories, hearts, pain, aches, they are parts of me now and forever.

So I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has cheered me on, clapped for me, and supported me in any way. I wanted to tell you, you have not gone unnoticed. I wanted to appreciate you for you, for what you mean to me, and for how you have supported me.

I didn’t set out to find myself where I am today, but when your purpose hits you in the face like a brick wall, you are destined to never be blind to it again. Not everyone understands, not everyone cares, not everyone is truly cheering when they say they are and none of that really matters in the end. Because in the end, I won’t be here to see what I leave behind. All I can hope, is that someone out there will remember me fondly. As I will many of you.

We are here for as long as we are allowed to be here. While I am here, I plan on keeping on. I will continue on my path, I have a feeling many of you may have an inkling what that could be. And while I push forward, I hope to continue to know you, to meet more of you, and to help. In whatever small way I am able.

For me, success is doing something greater than myself so the world can seem less lonely and cold because I was once scared of how small I felt.

To those who have bought a book today, I thank you for supporting my work. To those who bought one yesterday, I thank you for allowing me the chance to live my life and help others. To those who will buy one tomorrow, I will continue to thank you for all the hopes you are telling me I can continue to hold tight.

You are allowing me to share pieces of my soul. You are granting me the ability to take better care of my universe in more ways than I can express on this platform. And you are giving me the strength to continue on an all too often exhausting journey. So, truly, I thank you all from the whole of my heart for supporting this human and the humans who belong to me.

Keep your eyes open for several more books coming soon. If you don’t want to keep your eyes open, I hope your dreams never fail to outshine your reality.

The Art of Safe Storytelling

I developed this training and guidebook to help those who asked me for guidance on how to share their own stories. I wanted to share the hard lessons I learned when I stumbled through the frightening world of standing absolutely vulnerably in front of strangers and hoped I wasn’t damaging any of us. I created this book because I realized how important it was for me to take care of my wellbeing while I was trying to prevent suicides and I wanted to encourage others to do the same. I wrote this book because I never felt like a few minutes after a presentation was enough time to share all the important things I have learned in storytelling through my years. I wanted to help others develop their story, care for themselves, and share experiences that just might bring us all closer together.

This self-paced easy to follow guidebook walks any person hoping to share their lived experience through tips on caring for themselves, developing their story, and keeping their audience at the forefront of their work.

It’s perfect for any speaker, new or seasoned!

#safestorytelling #livedexperience #presenter #speaking #suicideprevention #book #mentalhealth #speaker

Message me today for your copy, or to ask about wholesale opportunities.

Or you can purchase your book online here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1078164215/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_he6jDbBH2KRH3

Standard
Book, Depression, Dreams, Help, hope, mental health, national speaker, public speaker, Published, southern fried asian, speaker, speech, Strength, Suicide, suicide prevention, susie reece, Susie Reynolds, susie reynolds reece, Understanding, Writing

Parked in Pain

This post contains brief triggering content displaying a child abuse event and explicit language. Should you feel you need additional support you can connect with a trained volunteer at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-274-8255 or the Crisis Text Line by texting ARK to 741741.

If you or someone you know may be a victim of child abuse, you can find additional resources at childhelp.org or by calling the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) As always, reach out to local resources and supports in times of need.

I can’t remember how long she left me in the McDonald’s parking lot that day.

 

I shouldn’t have been shocked. It had been a good day. Good days were the worst because they made you forget. They made you drop your guard. They brought false hope and having hope was a huge mistake.

We were walking out of McDonald’s. Before I reached the car door, she looked to me and said I needed to go back and wash my hands. I immediately did as I was told. That’s what happens when you are abused, you become compliant. You hope it will save yourself from unnecessary pain. It didn’t occur to me as I walked back in that she had never cared about me washing my hands before.

When I came out, she was gone. My heart jumped into my throat. I walked around the entire restaurant looking for her. She was nowhere. Our good day had just been another lie. I hated myself a little more for falling for her lie, for having hope. 

I hid near the back of the building beside the dumpsters because I didn’t want anyone to know. If anyone saw me, they might ask questions. Questions could get her in trouble. If she were to get in trouble, there’s no telling what she would do. I hid. I cried. And I prayed that she would come back for me. It’s all I could manage.

I don’t know how long I sat waiting. The sun had been out when I realized she was gone and by the time she came back it was dark. As time progressed, my silent sobbing had grown alongside my fear. The sobbing sharply stabbed my stomach and had me choking for breath. I used all the energy I had to muffle my sobs so no one would hear me. 

She pulled into the parking lot and I rushed to the car so she wouldn’t have to wait. It’s ironic looking back. I climbed clumsily into the passenger side still shaken, trembling and softly sobbing. Her first words to me were “shut up.” I tried. I desperately tried to calm myself but I couldn’t. She screamed, “stop fucking crying.” As if that would calm me. I could sense her anger growing as she drove, but by this point, there was nothing I could do to stop. My fear was growing because when she was angry I never knew what she would do.

It’s odd, the things your mind clings to through the years. I remember walking to the car, hiding, and the tree. I can’t recall the color of the car, how long I sat there praying, or so many other details but the ones I do remember will stay with me forever. It was black out by this point. We were on a two lane road as the car slowly climbed up a slight hill. I looked through my tears to my left and saw this enormous tree towering over us. The branches and limbs reached slowly beyond the edge of the road. It’s trunk large enough to seemingly withstand any force. I saw stories in my head around that tree. Imagining happy children playing underneath it. I don’t know why my mind went to that tree like it did. Maybe I was trying to distract myself. Maybe I fell too often into my own imagination when I was afraid. I don’t know. But it has stuck with me all these years. 

As the car neared the top of the hill, she stopped suddenly right in the middle of the road. She turned to me while we sat underneath those gnarled grasping branches. Her face bright red and her eyes full of hate. She shrieked in my face, “get out of the fucking car!” I did as I was told. 

Still sobbing, I grabbed the door handle and put one foot on the ground, the other still inside the car as she began to drive again. I screamed out, “please, please stop.” Frantically I wailed. My hands turning white as I held on with all I had. She kept going. By this time both my feet were outside the car. This little 8 year old girl begging, pleading, screaming for mercy but nothing made her stop. My heart was pounding inside my chest and ears. I didn’t know what to do. Should I try to get back inside? Should I just let go and hit the ground? Before I could figure out what to do, she slammed on the breaks and I slumped forcibly against the door. I stood up quickly, confused, panicked. Blood rushed to my eyes and for a brief second the black night became a blinding light. She said, “get in the car and shut the fuck up.” I did as I was told. 

It worked. You can’t deny that. She scared me silent. I didn’t say a word the rest of the ride home. You see, I was taught not to cry. Tears were unacceptable. Had I been quiet when she picked me up, I wouldn’t have been dragged behind the car. It was my fault. Just like it always was. This lesson was etched into me over and over in hundreds of different ways through the years. Crying is for the weak. Crying deserves punishment. Crying is never allowed even while you’re being dragged outside of a moving vehicle. Tears were not allowed. 

I remember the first time I openly shared a fraction of the experiences I have endured. I sobbed the entire time. My words and hands shook as my eyes read over the notes that guided me. I shared about my loss. How it changed my life. I shared about the meaning I searched for from pain. Those moments of openness left me feeling humiliatingly vulnerable. Tears fell unwillingly against my cheeks and that little girl screamed inside. Even though I was no longer a child, I was still waiting to be punished. Punished for speaking about the things I was taught not to acknowledge. Punished for crying so openly. 

As difficult as this story may have been for you to read, it can be even harder for a person to share something so intimately personal. I have never spoken publicly about this specific incident because to this day the thought of doing so cuts deeply in ways I cannot describe. When I share, I do so intentionally. Not only to help others understand but to never leave myself so vulnerable that I unintentionally hurt my own heart or healing process. I’ve learned the importance of safe storytelling the hard way over the years. Some stories are powerfully purposeful when shared with the public. Some stories leave us overwhelmed and confused as to what we should do. There are stories that would be most beneficial when shared intimately. And some may always need to stay locked within us. Only the storyteller can decide which of these options is right for them.

Our stories are a part of us. They help define pieces of our souls and can set us on a fulfilling path. Sharing takes courage and will. If this is the journey we want to embark on, we owe it to ourselves to be ready, to have safeguards, and to incorporate care for ourselves. 

Oftentimes after I have spoken to an audience, people who want to share their own stories ask how they can begin this journey. I realized long ago that a few minutes is simply not enough time to teach them anything of value. So I developed a training program from my experiences and lessons learned so others won’t need to struggle through the painful process of coming into their truth on their own. Thinking beyond my program, I crafted a guidebook that could work as a stand alone tool for those who want to know more but may not be ready to participate in the program. 

This book can walk any person through the basic components of safe storytelling creation. The purpose is to make my hard earned lessons more accessible to everyone.

What happened to you doesn’t determine who you will be. What you do with what happened to you can.

 

 

Find the Art of Safe Storytelling Guidebook on Amazon today.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1078164215/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_he6jDbBH2KRH3

For a short overview you can find 7 Tips on Safe Storytelling the eBook on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V5D35ZS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_NiwjDbYVR3K6X

Standard