What matters in our life is not what happens to us
but how we respond,
transform the difficulty into advantage
and tell that story.
My Life As Compost
The garbage of our lives (disappointments, perils, adversities, failures, upsets, set-backs, and the like) is actually compost for joy-filled, purposeful, flexible worlds, identities, and self-expression we have yet to create. You might be saying: I have the garbage, but how do I get there? As a card-carrying member of the Sh*t Creek Survivor Club I have learned the way forward: going up and back no paddle.
Welcome to My Life As Compost, a gutsy woman’s inquiry into life’s mishaps, experiences, outcomes, and genuinely useful stuff.
I’m here to create a space where we can take a look at what happened when life threw us a curve ball, figure out what’s next and tell that story. Something was and then something changed. That’s a story. What happens next? That’s up to you. And we can do that together.
About This Blog
My hope? The stories and connections we share here will work down deep, in your gut, resonating with you intuitively. The sorcery of stories is this: they help each of us to be seen and heard, to understand and be understood. The images you carry away into your day will help establish solid ground to stand on, frontiers to explore, starlight to reach for, and the inspiration to grow and thrive once you let the compost of your life do its fertilizing, nourishing thing.
So, if you’re looking for a place of belonging this might just be what you’re looking for. A place to wander through stories that differ from or resonate with your own, get out of your comfort zone, tell a new story, create some magic.
What happens next? To find out, come back each week.
Meanwhile, please feel welcome to leave your nice words about how the blog posts make you feel. And, stop by the Quarter Moon Story Arts website to learn more about Engaged Storyism® – narrative that works on a deeply human level to profoundly and positively shift our awareness, behavior and culture – and how you might benefit from developing your story skills. While there I invite you to tune in to my weekly podcast, Stories From Women Who Walk. As we say on PodBuffet: “If you like it, share it!”
About Diane Wyzga
Remember the first time you rode a bike and took your hands off the handlebars – maybe not all the way – maybe you left a few fingers on – so you could grab the bar when you needed it? And then because it felt fun and daring you did it again – and again – and again – until you were riding down a hill with the wind blowing in your face and your hands up over your head screaming, “Look ma! No hands!” Whether you crashed and burned and saw the inside of the emergency room with a busted arm or sailed safely through the intersection – you showed up, you did it.
Professional Me: I’ve been letting go of the handle bars and showing up all my life through an array of professional careers chosen to help people: US Navy nurse, businesswoman, storyteller, lawyer, professor, public speaker, workshop leader, coach, litigation consultant. I’ve done spoken word presentations, coaching, focus groups, and problem-solving with clients and audiences all over the US and Canada. I’ve learned first-hand how everyone has experiences that need the “right” questions and coaching (aka listening out the stories). Deep listening and mindful questioning are key to crafting personal and business stories in compelling and empowering ways. That’s the professional me.
There’s also a Story Me. For 30 years I’ve been a skillful story doula employing deep listening and mindful questioning to midwife the stories that need to be heard. I’m a story artist. I translate images into action. My pilgrim path has led me to the next phase of my portfolio career: the Founder of Engaged Storyism®. I help people, corporations, communities, and organizations listen out the important stories that need to be told and heard to positively shift our awareness, our behavior and our culture. I coined the term Engaged Storyism® to share my belief: when we rediscover fundamental storytelling principles and techniques we can relate to and connect with people on a deeply human level. Human connections encourage us to be seen and heard, to understand and be understood.
But who’s the Compost Me? The compost me that has struggled to find her way through, over, under, and around life’s curve balls. The compost me that informs the steps I’ve taken to grow and become. They say, “Comedy is tragedy plus time.” Well, I have the tragedy if you have the time. I’ve learned the hard way that life isn’t fair, people can cheat, you get betrayed, marriage vows are broken, loved ones die too early, the goldfish get flushed down the toilet, and rabbits eat the carrots in your garden. But a long time ago a wise friend pulled me back off the ledge by saying, “You are supposed to go *through* the Valley of Death and not set up housekeeping there.” I bet you can tell the place I was in back then.
My venerable teacher Thich Nhat Hanh says, “No mud. No lotus. Lotus won’t grow on marble. Only in mud.” And that’s the lesson of life garbage becoming compost. Compost has potential as long as we look at it that way and not a trash heap of metaphorical egg shells, orange peels and coffee grounds. We can transform the garbage of our lives into something beautiful. I know. I’ve been there. I’m still at it.
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