Cultivating Roots & Dreams
“Writing your stories is a gift to yourself – telling them is a gift to others.” Dan Allender
I love a good story! Knights and dragons, mysterious cupboards, rescued orphans, wild horses, as a child I couldn’t get enough. I credit that love to my Granddad and the farm. As we sorted produce in the red barn during the long hot summer days he told me story after story, sharing his adventures and the lives of those around him. I grew to love a good story on Locust Lane Farm and I’ve carried that passion into my coaching, helping people cultivate potential and purpose by examining their own stories.
Roots & Dreams™ combines story and structure to give you a panoramic view of where you’ve been, where you are, and where you want to go. I designed this interactive timeline to inspire writers, speakers, coaches, heritage builders, and legacy leavers to record their history and look forward with an accurate view of the time they have left and what they want to accomplish.
As a life coach, I work with people every day who ask me questions. They’re going through a transition and they ask me “What’s next?” or they want to change a pattern and ask “What now?” Using Roots & Dreams™ we work through those questions together.
In a Roots & Dreams™ workshop we map out your past, your “roots,” on a chronological timeline and from those experiences determine where you are now. What are your strengths, talents, and abilities? Then using the work you’ve done, we look toward your dreams with greater clarity. Where do you want to go? What do you bring to the future? It’s a way to record your story while giving you an intentional view of how to use your God-given best to pursue your goals in the days ahead.
What I love about this discovery process is that it’s so hands-on and colorful. I can’t do the single screen on a computer thing; I’m just too visual. So we get right to it with an eight-foot paper timeline, pre-set titles, colors, symbols, and photos. We layer in life experiences, historical events, cultural trends, and memorable moments. Through the guided questions, you’ll gather the bits and pieces of your story, past, present, and future. Everyone has stories, but not in one cohesive place.
We start with your full name and birthdate. Do you know how many stories there are right there? Are you named after someone? Where were you born? Who was there? I love my birth story because my grandparents never took a vacation from the farm. But on the day I was born, Granddad declared a farm holiday so that everyone could clean up and drive to the hospital to meet his first grandchild. And with your birth story you’re just getting started!
Moving on with a decade-by-decade approach, your personal timeline gives you an opportunity to look at your life through multiple lenses. I love to look through a faith lens. Our Heavenly Father formed you in your mother’s womb, talk about a birth story! He knows all the days he has ordained for you. Looking at key spiritual moments, when you heard from the Lord, or when a particular verse meant a lot to you, can you see where God has been leading and where you might go from here? It’s a wonderful way to validate your life.
There’s also an opportunity to acknowledge the points of pain and struggle in your roots. When we reflect on past pain, we tend to see it as all bad, but when we look through God’s eyes, we see what he might want to do with those moments in your life, using them to help others or increase your faith to fulfill the purposes he has for you.
I’m thrilled to be presenting Roots & Dreams™ at Speak Up because so many speakers, authors, and influencers need to pull their illustrations and stories together and I find that chronologically is the easiest way to start. You can stop at a particular story noted on your timeline to journal or incorporate it as part of your content. It’s a great place to revisit for material. It’s a wonderful way to see how God has put his fingerprint all over your life and what he’s been doing through it.
Christ calls all of us to share his story through our own and this is a fresh way to answer that call.
Anne Denmark is the founder of Life Discovery Coaching. She glorifies God by creatively cultivating transformational growth in people and relationships. Her emphasis on scripture and insightful questions encourage others to reflect Christ’s joy amidst constant change, tough challenges, and increasing choices.