In Ann Papayoti’s book The Gift of Shift, which is co-authored with Tracey MacDonald, you read about The Gift of Buoyancy.

I couldn’t wait to learn how to swim because then I could be with the big kids. I grew impatient with my dad as he told me I first needed to learn how to float before he’d teach me to swim.

Despite my frustration, I’m grateful for my dad. I’ve since experienced how wonderful it is to float. The sky is above us in full view. We can hear our own breath, and our own heartbeat while we float.

If we keep swimming without recharging and refreshing ourselves, we run out of energy, get fatigued, and may find ourselves in a dangerous situation. Knowing how to float can be lifesaving.”

Ann Papayoti

Ann’s book illustrates well what happens in life when we try to keep swimming without reflective floating.

When Ann and Tracey considered content for their book, they recognized the struggle many people have with self-help books. They decided a book filled with stories of life’s lessons would give the audience real value toward re-discovering their own stories.

At the end of each chapter of The Gift of Shift, there are questions which lead the reader to reflect about their own experiences.

Stop and reflect, then choose a response. Undesirable things happen to all of us, and they come with negative emotions. Creating our experience despite the circumstances is the message of the book.

Ann Papayoti

By answering the questions at the end of each story-chapter, the reader can reflect and be reminded of a strength or character trait that got them though a similar experience. Knowing lessons from the past will give you stamina to get through the current challenge, and the next one.  

Sometimes we get stuck in an old story. The Gift of Shift encourages you to rewrite your story.

Ann Papayoti

Ann and Tracey lead a monthly chapter discussion on Facebook. This is an opportunity to share your stories with others. Sometimes we hear our truth in someone else’s story, too.

One fifty-year-old reader was able to release a part of her story she’d been holding onto since high school. Her story had held her back and kept her from trusting people. She finally let go and sought for help after reading The Gift of Shift.

My favorite part of the interview with Ann was when she shared with me and Todd a story not in her book.

One July day I was in Alabama visiting my mom and walking outside to her barn. Since I was carrying a box, I didn’t see the copperhead rattle snake before it struck me.

At the medical facility nearby I was given a Tetanus shot for infection, but no antivenom. It seems copperhead rattle snakes give a warning strike containing only a small amount of venom.

I was sent home with instructions of signs to look for in the following days.

Two weeks later back in Canada (where there are no venomous snakes, and no antivenom) I began to experience neurological symptoms such as headaches and muscle aches. Then, I had cardiological problems, muscle weakness, pain throughout my body, etc.

It seemed each system of my body was being attacked in stages. At first I didn’t attribute it to the snake bite even though I reported it to several physicians.

By October, poison had been surging throughout my body for three months and I could only watch myself physically wither away.

I finally saw a Holistic healer who explained the fluid in my spine and brain was frozen, like my brain was encased in cement.

In three treatments the healer was able to literally unlock my brain and free me from constant pain.

My muscles had atrophied, and I slowly began to build back my strength and stamina. By the way, the Alabama protocols for snake bites have been changed since then. Anyone who is bitten by a snake gets antivenom asap.

Ann Papayoti

The lesson Ann learned is a beautiful metaphor we all must understand:

Harboring unforgiveness is a venom that eats you up inside. Refusing to forgive is like drinking poison and waiting for the offending person to die. Finally releasing it and unlocking forgiveness in your heart is the only cure.

What has a grip on your heart?

Are experiences coincidences or synchronicities?

Are your experiences causing you to feel negative and powerless? Or positive and powerful?

Ann and Tracey give workshops, for groups, couples, and individuals. There are events you can attend, and a newsletter you can subscribe to.

Isn’t it time you gift yourself a shift? Take time to reflectively float.


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