The Power of Story to Change and Transform By Laurie Benson

I’ve just returned from a trip to the border of Arizona and Mexico, where my personal experiences reaffirmed that not only is story powerful, but when our stories overlap with those of others – we are changed. 

I was staying in Ajo, AZ with the intention of visiting the Quitobaquito Spring in Organ Pipe National Monument, to see first hand how much it had been impacted by the border wall since my last visit in February.

I had my camera and equipment to gather more stories for my project, A Hundred Voices, which focuses on opening the doors to reconnection with ourselves, each other, and the planet. Simple enough. I knew it would be an emotional trip, but was in no way prepared for what I experienced.

Our border communities are truly sitting at the center of all of the issues plaguing our global communities right now. They are impacted by threats to endangered species and wildlife habitat, migrants and human rights, Indigenous rights and freedom, environmental destruction, and government policy and spending. 

Standing in the center of it all I realized that these issues do not exist in isolation, but are all interconnected. We are all interconnected.

On the second day of my trip, I witnessed two teenage girls and a baby getting picked up by ICE in Organ Pipe National Monument. The look of fear on their faces will stay with me forever. I rolled down my window and smiled, it was all I could do. One of the girls smiled back and then tears began streaming down her face. I have never felt so helpless in my entire life. I pulled over on the side of the road and joined her in her tears. 

After that experience, I found myself completely consumed with the question – What can I do? So I turned to my practice, the embodiment work I’ve been focused on for years. In this silence and awareness, I found my answer – I needed to stand in my strengths and put them to work. I would bring the voices of those on the front lines to the rest of the world. Shine a light on all that is happening here through story. So, I got to work and Larger Than Borders began to come to life. 

I know that we learn through story. Our experiences have shifted who we are, impacted the way we move though the world, and created incredible a-ha moments. It is through the sharing of these stories that we create opportunities for them to support others on their journey as well.

When you sit quietly, slow your breath, and feel into your heart space – what is there waiting to be shared? What story will be your gift to the world?

by Laurie Benson, Laurie was recently introduced as a Voice for the Voiceless and the title stuck. She has dedicated her life to opening doors to reconnection with ourselves, each other, and all living beings. The question, “What story, or deep wisdom, is living inside of you ready to be shared?” guides her work.

Focused on embodiment and the sharing of stories, Laurie believes these two paths lead us to our deepest inner truths, and create a path forward toward unity and compassion. Embodiment Work – www.InwardBoundWomen.com Story Projects – www.AHundredVoices.com and www.BorderCollective.com

 

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For me, voice is not only synonymous with truth and standing up for justice, it is a full body experience. For people to truly hear my voice, it must come from a heart space, not from my head. When I sat down to write that letter to the President of the corporation, I had no idea how it would turn out. Would I get fired? Would I be asked to step down and out of my position? The outcome didn’t matter. Using my voice for justice, because my heart was guiding me to, was the only thing that mattered and there was no stopping the words that burst from my fingers and onto those computer keys.