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A Writeable Life

I’ve been blessed with a writeable life–a life filled with phenomenal success and very challenging opportunities. From these experiences, I’ve mined some important lessons and shared them with the world. And I show others how to do the same–find the gold in their challenges and triumphs–and share their wisdom with audiences, teams and families.

I know a message when I see it, and I assist other people like me–coaches, speakers, and leaders–who want to be a beacon of light for others. I guide them in broadcasting their messages through a variety of platforms–blogs, books, and beyond–courses, speeches, and more.

My program, The Legacy Keeper–Preserving Our Wisdom for Future Generations, is designed for coaches, speakers, and leaders–who want to share their challenges and triumphs as a priceless legacy. I work with my clients from concept to completion, which includes building a strong platform alongside the message products, such as an best-selling book. 

The Legacy Keeper

Stories Hold Power ~ Your Story is Important

The Legacy Keeper is the Keeper of Knowledge, hard won knowledge paid for through the experiences of life. The good times and those challenging ones are all part of the human experience–all make us who we are today and weave the story of our legacy. Recording the lessons of triumph and lessons of loss and pain–and capturing the gold that can be mined from them–is the mission of the Legacy Keeper.

This is the priceless gift we can leave to future generations. 
Our legacy–and Theirs.
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A Writeable Life - A Blog

By Kathy Sparrow 12 Jan, 2018
The week between Christmas and New Years was a time for me to catch up with friends near and far. We met via FaceTime or Skype or over a cup of coffee at one of our favorite spots in San Diego. We reviewed the year behind us and shared our hopes and dreams for the new one awaiting us.

Many of us expressed that during 2017 we sensed we were being prepared for something that has yet to be revealed––work that requires us to play a bigger game. We’ve had challenges to overcome, lessons to learn, and distractions to dissolve. My year was one that I didn’t plan––my mother’s death created many emotional and logistical hurdles, and my health deteriorated with adrenal fatigue. My friends had their own lessons to embrace.

By far, the biggest revelation that each and everyone of us meekly voiced was that we fear being seen. When I step back and look upon our conversations and who we really are, I chuckle.

Most of us write and speak on a variety of platforms so the confession that we have an aversion to stepping out in a bigger way might seem a bit contrary to how we are perceived. Many of my friends are co-authors in our book Ignite Your Leadership, which became an international best seller and a best seller on Amazon in early 2017. We were seen. We interviewed high profile individuals for our Ignite Your Leadership Summit, including Jack Canfield, Jim Bunch, Lolly Daskal, and others.

And yet some of us are facing the new year knowing something else is being asked of us. It’s time to step up and stop hiding behind what we know we can do well––and stretch into the mission we are being called to do. Gay Hendricks, author of The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and take Life to the Next Level , says that many of us stay in the comfortable place of our Zone of Excellence when we really need to be playing in our Zone of Genius. That probably describes a good many of us.

Speaking only for myself, I’ve been avoiding sharing my insights and wisdom via my writing. I am a writer. It’s all I ever have wanted to be since I was a young girl. And I’ve done a great deal of writing. Yet over the last few years, I haven’t been doing much of my own. I’ve been ghostwriting and editing. I find a great deal of meaning helping others share their message with the world. It warms my heart when I see my clients experience success that they thought was only a dream––perhaps one that was not to be realized unless they enlisted my help.

However, pouring my creative juices into my clients’ work allows me to hide.

Hiding is safe. There’s little risk of failure. No one will challenge my views or turn their backs on me.

And yet, as I listen to myself and others share this fear of falling on our faces, the words of one of my mentors rises above the voice of caution: If it wasn’t ours to do, and if we didn’t have the resources to do it, we wouldn’t have the vision. We would not have been called.

The day after Christmas I was speaking with Jaroslav Průša, who is an executive coach and trainer from the Czech Republic. Jaro and I have been friends for about seven years. We both graduated from Jack’s Train the Trainer program and are Master RIM® facilitators, having trained under Dr. Deb Sandella of The RIM Institute. With all the time we’ve spent together in training rooms over the years, we’ve become comfortable sharing what we might not otherwise speak aloud with others.

As we dove into the conversation about the new year and our fear of being seen, I had a vision of a doorway. Initially, I sensed that if I opened the door I would be met with darkness. Cautiously, in my imagination, I moved toward the door and opened it. A grand vista filled with sunshine lay before me. As I shared this vision with Jaro, we realized that most of us keep from moving into our calling because of the fear of the unknown, of entering a dark abyss.

We simply are afraid to start, take some action, anything in the direction of our calling.

In The Motivation Manifesto, Brendon Burchard, says, “When we allow fear as a constant in our lives, our ambitions and behaviors become small and constrained. We become timid and stressed. We withdraw. We become cowards.”

As Jaro and I concluded our conversation, we acknowledged that despite our fears, it was time to step confidently into the new year. For Jaro, his desire, one that I’ve heard him mention for years, is to bring his Change Navigation program to the United States. For me, it’s about writing daily and sharing my ideas on my blog, in magazines, and a book or two awaiting my attention. With three decades of experience in the publishing world, I have no excuse. I know what needs to be done, and I know how to do it. I’ve done it before, many times over––and I help others achieve publishing success.

The guidance I receive, and have for many, many years is that I need to write, to write about my life––and write as if my life depends upon it. And it does.

I’m happiest when I’m writing, diving deep into ideas that help me discover more of who I am, what challenges I may be avoiding, and even uncover solutions to some dilemmas. I also know that in sharing my stories, someplace, somewhere, someone is gleaning exactly what they need to find––peace, understanding, and encouragement.

So as 2018 gains momentum, I am committing to being seen, and it is through my writing that I’m pulling back the curtain and wondering what we all might discover as I voice my words into the world.

And I ask, what are you willing to do to be seen?

By Kathy 02 Nov, 2015

As Halloween approached memories from my childhood are bubbling up to the surface. One in particular captured my attention.

When I was about five, my Uncle Ed created a costume for me. Tradition was that we dressed up, went trick or treating around the neighborhood, and then the community gathered at the local firehouse for cider, donuts, bobbing for apples, and the costume contest.

 That year, a pair of my light blue cotton pajamas became the backdrop for all of my uncle’s fireman medals and badges. I wore a mask–a man’s craggy old face and atop his head was a fire hat. I was the hit of the night, and the delight on my uncle’s face brought a smile to my own. I can still hear his cackling laughter echoing from the past.

 Recently, I shared that memory with my friend, Anita, who was visiting for the week with her husband, Kit. As we sipped our morning drinks, I recalled walking around the circle with all of the adults laughing and smiling at all the young people dressed in our costumes. I, in particular, felt noticed, and later was awarded first prize for the best costume.

When I completed my story of that event in my childhood, I was stunned at what I had just discovered. Remembering the feelings of being noticed and being elated that I was finally visible to those around me, I suddenly recalled the sense of the mask on my face.

Behind the rubbery facade, it was safe to be seen. And I wasn’t really being seen for me. I was portraying a character that was far from who I really am. There was a certain comfort in that. And I also knew I was winning the approval of at least one person who was close to me.

That pattern of seeking approval from those around me continued far past my childhood, and it’s taken some discipline to overcome that habit. It’s a practice to show up as who I am, no longer worrying whether someone likes what I said or didn’t say, did or didn’t do––and trusting that it’s safe to be seen for me.

There is some risk in this. Potential lovers fade into the background as I adamantly lay down my deal breakers. And many individuals who knew me from the time that I wore many masks are unsettled by my confidence and authenticity. At times, I find our relationships shift and some distance is often required to preserve any of our common ground. It’s necessary to remember as my friend Hilda once said, “Stay in the present. Meet people where they are. And respond appropriately.”

 The biggest hurdle of showing up authentically has been to no longer expect my mother to see me as who I am. She never really could, and I struggled for years to change that, often making poor decisions so that I would be seen by her, or surrogates that reminded me of her. There’s a relief in letting go of the need for approval, and with that, I’m able to call her weekly, to check in, to see how she’s doing, rarely sharing details of my own life. I merely listen to hers and answer the questions she has about my kids. In other words, I do stay in the present, I meet her where she’s at, and I respond with kindness.

 On a recent trip to New York, one in which I was helping to prepare my mom for a move to my sister’s, I was visiting an old friend. Kathi and I first met when I compromised my values and stayed in a marriage that created an unhealthy environment for my children and me–all because I was trying to please my father, who condemned me for “breaking up the family.” To his credit, he didn’t know just how bad it was; to his discredit, he cared more about upholding the dogma of the church than my happiness. He didn’t trust my judgement, so to ensure his love and approval, I stayed another five years, until finally, I threw that mask away.

 I hadn’t seen Kathi for a few years and during our visit, she remarked, “You’re finally comfortable in your own skin.”

 And that I am. Occasionally, that old-but familiar–discomfort arises, I quickly assess what mask I’m wearing and why. It doesn’t stay on long, and it reminds me that being comfortable with who we are is a practice–and a journey. Like snakes, we must occasionally, shed our old skin as we make way for the greater potential of who we really are…one season at a time.

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