New Normal and Healing Stories

Once again I find myself inspired and thinking after listening to Krista Tippet’s On BeingOn May 3rd her program with Matthew Sandford offered terrific insights.  Matthew is a Yoga teacher and has been paraplegic since the age of 13. He shared his unusual take on the mind-body connection — and his wisdom on knowing the strength and grace of our bodies, even in the face of trauma and aging. Matthew is author of Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence and the founder and director of the non-profit organization Mind Body Solutions.

As if that is not enough to get you thinking, Matthew talks about “healing stories” and his two lives – one before the accident and one after he became a paraplegic.  As I listened it struck me that I have often referred to a “new normal”. For instance, after having a baby, there is a new normal in the family – life changes from what it was before. There are stories before and after baby arrived. Matthew refers to stories people tell in the process of healing. Seems self explanatory.

Then I thought of how we as nonprofit professionals share story. Our work is all about story telling – preferably in first person about the change we are facilitating and/or challenges met by our mission and vision. We have stories of the “new normal” all the time. But I liked Matthew’s reference to healing stories and how we can use it in our work – as a page on a website, column in an electronic newsletter, title of a blog, chapter of an annual report. Seems to the point to me. For many nonprofit organizations – healing is what we do – in some form or fashion. Whether our work impacts an individual, family or community – healing is something our audiences can understand. Maybe healing stories aren’t shared all the time – they might be special stories.

Obviously I am still working this out in my own mind – but I felt inspired by Matthew’s story, his thought process and path to his new normal and his ability to articulate it. There was a lot more to the interview and I highly recommend a list to podcast.

As always your thoughts and comments welcome.

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