Nikole, San Diego

We All Have Stories to Tell

Americorps VISTA. Shakti Rising

We all have stories to tell, stories that could fill pages and create great novels. I could tell you many stories, but instead I’ll focus on one.

An equal mixture of excitement and fear surged through my veins as I stepped off the plane on the San Diego concourse and began my year long quest of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA. I traveled from the opposite end of the continental U.S. carrying along my personal baggage; darkness the biggest piece of luggage, hope a small carry-on. I was departing from a life lacking purpose. Finally emerging from the abyss of my lost self and delving into the unknown, I had the intense desire to be of service.

Everything in my life completely changed when Shakti Rising found me. While working in the Transformation through Service program, I began experiencing personal shifts that connected me with my heart and spirit again. On almost a daily basis, I was able to help others discover their passions through volunteering. I soon began working on a storytelling project that ignited a fire inside of me and fueled inspiration. I soon found myself co-piloting a committee that would provide outlets where everyone’s story could be shared and heard – through art, film, writing and social media, I was able to help share the individual and collective stories of apprentices, staff, volunteers, and community members involved with Shakti Rising. Shortly thereafter, this committee created a new and improved version of the Flutter-by e-newsletter, and it has been amazing to witness the stories of transformation unfold!

Shakti Rising came to me when I needed it most. It wasn’t the organization or the charming old house that I had been searching for, but rather the true vision of transformation behind it. It was the community of strong women standing together in their leadership, service and authenticity that was the force of gravity pulling me in. My service at Shakti Rising has not only allowed me to discover my passion for telling stories through writing and marketing, but it has also shown me that I have had wisdom and serenity within me all along. My passion did not need to be searched for because it was already intuitively known. I answered a call to the AmeriCorps VISTA program because I wanted to be of service, I answered the call to Shakti Rising because I wanted to create transformation and be a leader.

* also published in Shakti Rising’s July 2010 newsletter