Here are the things you need to grab before we start:
- A small stack of 3x5 cards, or a post-it pad, or take a sheet of paper and cut it into eight pieces. I use all of the above, plus the backs of envelopes, napkins, cardboard boxes...
- A handful of pens, sharpies, pencils, crayons, or whatever it is you prefer to write with.
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Once upon a time...
Okay, so I'm retelling a simplified version of a fairytale, but I'm going to be interjecting a lot. Putting my own spin on the story. Let's start with 'Once upon a time,' and let's imagine the time is now, rather than long ago.
There was a young woman named Ella. She was beautiful and intelligent, but after the death of her father, her step-mother and step-sisters took over the household and treated her like a slave.
Now let's imagine that Ella is you and me. As children we knew we were strong, smart, brave, quick to learn. It felt like we could do anything. But then things happened to us. Situations and circumstances we could not control. Even though we knew we were beautiful and intelligent, worthy of love and encouragement, some people treated us as if we were not.
Because they made her sleep in the kitchen, where it got very cold at night, Ella would curl up near the fireplace. By morning she was dirty from the soot, and never really got the chance to wash it off. Her step-sisters would mock her, calling her Cinderella.
I don't know about you, but when someone tells me negative things for a long enough amount of time, it's hard not to believe those things myself. It gets to the point I start thinking, What's the point of washing the soot off? Am I even worthy of being clean and happy?
The young girl's life was very difficult.
Pretty sure I don't need to elucidate on this, much. All our lives are difficult, in very different ways, for each one of us.
But then there was a call for all eligible women to come to a ball where the prince might pick out his future bride.
Oh lovely hope. Here is a reminder that we are not stuck in our current circumstances. If we have a hope, a dream, or even the hope of a dream, we are not entirely empty. What are the chances Ella will be picked to be the next queen? Her's is a hopeless situation, if there has ever been any, and yet? And yet... (click here to continue)