About you now: how you might tell your story.
In a moment, you might sit down with a blank piece of paper and draw out this grid. In the tiny boxes in the center you might write four words: daily, mood, lesson, hope. You might add today's date at the top.
Then, you might fold up the page and slip it into your pocket and go about your day. Or you might slip this page into a folder with all your other daily papers, or simply close the notebook where you’ve drawn out this grid, along with all the other thoughts and ideas you record, to leave this page behind to steep.
Tonight, as you empty your pockets of the day's treasures and you take stock of the day’s discoveries, as you come down, you might pick up your phone and plug into the digital sprawl.
Or, you might be called to action by this piece of paper. You might fill out the grid to truly take stock of your day, to put it down on paper, to make it real, to understand exactly what happened and why this day is, and will remain, significant.
And then at some point, hopefully, you might sleep.
If you can't sleep you might try this breathing exercise: fill up your lungs, pause, then audibly count to 10 as many times as you can until you run out of air. Expel every last molecule of breath. At first, you will speak at a normal volume, but quickly your voice will be whittled down to the faintest of whispers. Get rid of all the air in your lungs. Now inhale slowly through your nose, and repeat this cycle five times. You might lower your anxiety, you might drop out of that “everything is a bear” fight-or-flight mode, and you might break free from the catastrophic thinking.
Tomorrow, you might draw another grid and you might fill it in and you might then do this each day for the next 30 days, at which point you might look back and introduce yourself to your story.
You might begin to understand that finding your voice is not only an exercise, it is not only a matter of importance, it is a means to survival and peace of mind. Finding your voice is essential because your story told from your perspective in your voice leads to growth, strength, and belief.
Whether you strive to become a writer or not, tell your story. This single act is the most crucial element of your future, and mine. Please don’t wait another minute to start paying more attention to your voice and your story.
Your story is essential to my growth and development, to the growth and development of my daughters, my friends and my family, to our shared communities, and our collective futures. Your voice matters in the here and now. Don’t wait. Your story must be told right now.
This journey toward defining your story and finding your voice can start with a simple action that will take you less than two minutes. Before you leave your house, find a blank piece of paper. Draw the grid. Go about your day.
Your story doesn’t start here. But your belief in it does. Get going, keep going.