STORIES - FROM THE RIDICULOUS TO THE SUBLIME
A collection of true life stories compiled by Lynda Wyatt
Front cover designed and painted by Lynda Wyatt.
The mountain represents the steep and rugged terrain of Aotearoa. The stairway represents the awe-inspiring characteristics of the people in this book, who have stayed true to their journey to reach the top. And the shoes represent those worn upon their feet and discarded - the letting go of old ideas and values that no longer serve them.
Some names in this book have been changed or omitted to protect privacy.
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The idea for this book came about through a combination of things. One September morning in 2014, I awoke unable to speak or make any sound. When my speech returned it was unrecognisable and no one could understand a word I said.
Over four years, my speech has slowly improved and people can now understand me. My speech is almost back to normal but, regresses when I am tired or stressed. I had no choice but to walk away from my life as I knew it. With my focus taken away from communication, I immersed myself in writing and artwork.
My mother wrote her memoirs and I published her book. I had it bound and covered in a lovely red hard cover with the title in gold lettering - Nanny’s Story. There were 20 copies only, as mum had written her story mainly for the purpose of handing down her legacy to her grandchildren - giving a good basis of family history and information about their ancestry.
Before mum passed away in July 2006, I organised a book launch at the retirement village where she lived. Close family and friends were invited and mum individually signed everyone’s book. We celebrated her life while she was still with us. It was a very special event for her and all that attended. It was then that mum said to me, “The story is not complete - you must now write yours.” I promised her I would.
My life has been tumultuous and the thought of bringing to the surface the thoughts, feelings and emotions of my life as I write my memoirs, has been too difficult for me to face. By combining others’ stories with mine, I have had both the pleasure of meeting, listening and interviewing a diverse group of people, enabling me to gain the courage to write my own book A Safe Place to Fall (coming soon).
This book contains a compilation of true stories by people who have had major shifts and changes in their lives. These stories are open, honest accounts of remarkable people and their quests to face head-on the changes in their lives - often in the face of adversity.
These stories are diverse and intriguing. The reader is bound to resonate with at least one story in this book. It is my hope that these stories will open hearts and give people the strength to move forward in their own lives.
The stories were recorded during face-to-face interviews, then written verbatim so as to capture the essence of the spoken word (which differs from the written word).
Many thanks to the people who have contributed to this book. I am humbled and honoured that you have shared your stories with me so openly and truthfully. You have brought a lot of joy into my life. You remain in my heart always.
This book is dedicated to all those people who dare to take a leap forward into the unknown, to have the courage and faith to believe that there will be positive outcomes - from the ridiculous to the sublime.
Thank you to the Universe for believing in me - her kindness and support has set the completion of this book on the road to reality.
From Secretary of State to Margaret Thatcher, a humanitarian working in war-torn countries, to returning, settling and creating a Yoga Retreat Centre in the Wairarapa.
Other Ways of Knowing
Dr John Broomfield did a doctorate at the Australian National University (ANU) and has followed a distinguished academic career in various parts of the USA. He brings a wealth of experience in cultures from around the world. John returned to a remote part of the Pelorus Sounds to commune with nature and teach in Advanced Shamanic Training and Vision Quest.
Dysphonia versus Aphasia
Moving away from a life where communication was at the forefront of life’s activities to creating a proactive life with a speech impairment, struggling to be understood.
I Choose Me
Who am I? The story of a little girl lost. Rewriting upon the slate of who I am.
A journey of transitioning from a man to a woman; to building resilience
to criticism and bullying and beating an addition to alcohol.
The Only Way Out is Through
Early menopause at 29…when the change of life comes too early; and
My Life as a Medium
Making a choice between mainstream human life to living in the realms of spirit; to channelling Jimmy.
The Silver Lining
Following a life purpose destiny of mediumship, and saying goodbye
to a professional career in web design and information technology.
A solo mother with two children to mother of five and a wife almost overnight.
From Fat to Back Again
An education in food types, nutrition, health and wellbeing; applying it holistically with self-discipline and determination.
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There was a time when human beings grew up cradled in stories: both the human stories of their family and tribe, and the superhuman stories that gave meaning to the world around them. Our brains are structured to respond to stories rather than to facts and theories, and brain scans show that when one person tells a story and another listens, their brains synchronise. In ancient times this gave us a source of connection with the wider world of humanity, or inspiration to be all that we could be, and of hope that things can be better if we were facing a darker time.
This book, compiled by Lynda Wyatt, gives you a chance to synchronise with nine other human beings and immerse yourself in an extraordinary collection of human stories. They move, as stories always did, from the mundane to the profound, from (as the title suggests) the ridiculous to the sublime, and from stories that will be easy to understand to stories that you will need to re-read and think about to make sense of.
Lynda is a fitting person to compile these stories, both because in her own family, the ancient tradition of storytelling was recreated by her mother. From both sides, she understands how precious this collage of adventures is, and we get a sense as we read them, of her care. This is enhanced by the fact that these stories were not skillfully invented and packaged, but rather were mainly told to Lynda like ancient stories always were.
The field I teach in, and where I first met Lynda, is based partly on the work of an extraordinary American medical doctor, Milton Erickson. Erickson worked as a psychotherapist and his methodology was based fundamentally on the idea that each of our lives is a kind of heroic journey. Here in this book you get to vicariously live some of these journeys and find your own learnings to support you on your own adventure. Even more, for those readers who are New Zealanders, these stories come from our own land and they are shaped by this place too. Enjoy!
New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists
NLP and Coaching Trainer
In a world of on-tap knowledge and information at the fingertips, the art of storytelling is often forgotten or lost. Thankfully, this soul enriching collection of journeys reminds us of how we are all interconnected in life’s tapestry. A real treat. What a fantastic read, loved it. Thanks for the opportunity, very humbled!
CEO Gore Health
A very though provoking collection of stories. It took me a while to get though the book because I needed to think about each story for a few days. The book is an amazing collection ordinary people with amazing life stories . Good on you Lynda for the foresight to put these stories together. It is a must read.
The book is exceptional in bringing together life stories that cover such contrasting journeys. You did a great job collecting them and editing them with such sensitivity. They held my interest from beginning to end without exception. With every one, your empathy and compassion shines through. As I share with you the experience of working with the after-effects of a stroke, I am aware that what you have achieved with the book is doubly admirable. Bravo! Lots of love, JOHN
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