The most important lesson learned from our guest this week is that our stories matter. We have stories from our youth that are still relevant and perhaps even part of our life’s mission.

When a very young girl Rebecca Murray wrote a story about a bird and a hippo. She very likely related well with the bird who wanted to get to Hollywood, but instead crashed into a tree in Africa where she met a hippopotamus.

It was only a few years ago Rebecca recovered her story long since forgotten. In asking her mother about her memory of the story, Rebecca learned real details of her life she did not know.

This little story was written during the most traumatic years of my family’s life. Divorce, loss of home, mental illness, threats of murder, an escape to Africa, and living in hiding underground.

This threw me into the most intense grief. We had never talked about this as a family before. I didn’t even know where my dad was buried upon his suicide. So many details are connected to the story I wrote without a recollection of them.

It’s amazing to me how emotionally effected we are by details of life we didn’t know during our youth.”

Rebecca C. Murray

Learning about her father and his mental illness filled Rebecca with sadness, yet she was also inspired to share her story which soon became a children’s book titled The Bird and the Hippo.

People said, you need to publish this. You need to publish this. In the back of my head, I thought I should listen to them.”

Rebecca C. Murray

Rebecca has since added a workbook so young readers can consider who they are as they read the book and learn to act on their own values.

Soon after her first book was written, Rebecca decided to published a story she’d written about a real-life tragic event related to animal cruelty.

Pasado The Heart of a Donkey is now her second published children’s book told through the eye’s (and heart) of a donkey killed in 1992 by three young boys.

Although the story of Pasado is tragic, in the state of Washington, animal cruelty is now a felony instead of a misdemeanor.

The boys who committed the misdemeanor crime were given very light sentences, and that alone caused an uproar and impetus for change in animal cruelty laws.

The law in Washington state said Pasado was not a being; he was a thing (like a hairbrush is a thing). Within two years a new bill was written, and the new legislation enacted is called The Pasado Law.

Pasado the Donkey before his tragic death

Pasado’s Safe Haven is a foundation set up in Pasado’s name which now shelters domestic pets and livestock for adoption. They are filled to capacity right now and in need of your support.

It’s amazing how stories can get us through tragedies, give us new perspective, and even change laws. I encourage you to discovery your long-forgotten stories and begin to share them.

Rebecca is soon facilitating a workshop called The Art and Craft of A+ Stories. She teaches her 5-step process to create our legacy stories. Find out more here:

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