November 17, 2019

Our first show for 2020 is on January 26th and to bring in the New Year we decided on the theme of “Leveling Up – The Courage to take the next step!”

When you think of the theme… what does it bring up for you?

Do you see images of growth or transformation? Or at one point in your life did you decide to take things to the next level? Or found the Courage and faced your fears?

Where were you? Who were you? What were you doing?

What does the theme bring up for you? And if you feel the desire to share your story, please apply to speak here: http://www.voicestory.ca/apply-to-speak

– Winston
#lovesharegrow

June 1, 2019

It’s been a whirlwind of learning, adapting and growing since we announced that VoiceStory Live we will be moving to The Cultch back in January.

When we were handed the first 5 show dates, our goal was to get everything transitioned over, setup the new space, make it to the June show and then figure things out from there.

I never would have believed back in January where we would be right now… as I am proud to announce that all of the speaker spots for VoiceStory Live have been filled for the remainder of 2019!

I still am in shock and just reading those words give me the chills!

This quote from Feather echoes in my head “What could your life be like, if you let go of what you think your life should be like?

I close my eyes and take in a breath as I feel things continue to unfold.

*exhale*

I want to give thanks and acknowledge everyone that has supported my vision of creating this safe space, free of judgment, criticism and fear, so anyone can just be vulnerable and real while gifting us a moment of their lives… moments that we can learn, be inspired and grow from.

Together we can fight the issue of social isolation, create connection, have deeper conversations and ultimately become community.

I invite you to be part of the conversation and join our Facebook Group and sign up below for updates, as the VoiceStory team starts planning the themes for 2020!

– Winston
#lovesharegrow

April 29, 2019

Again Facebook reminded me of a moment and this time from 2 years ago.

This is a pivotal moment, as a week earlier while I was drafting up what I was going to speak, I looked down at the pages of text I wrote and my inner critic said “Everything you wrote is about you! Who wants to listen to crap? You are such an idiot and will just make a fool out of yourself.”

The pen in my hand dropped to the floor as I sat there hearing these words echo in my mind. Dark emotions flooded in as the dysfunctional beliefs kicked into high gear.

I was invited to speak the the BIL Conference and was excited to take the stage, however, after my inner critic got to me I found myself crafting an email to pull out of the event.

I did pause before clicking “Send” and chose to reach out to Jivi Saran, a speaker I only met 5 months earlier, and the following guidance she gave me changed my frame of mind forever:

“Someone’s soul reached out to your soul to hear the message you are going to share, otherwise you would not feel compelled to share your story.

You are speaking to that one soul, not to everyone in the audience, or the hundreds or thousands that may see the video afterwards… but to that one soul that needs to hear your message.

You do not know which person this soul resides in or where they may be located, however, if you choose not to share your message then that soul will not get the information it is requesting. Information which could help them get unstuck and continue walking their path.”

Upon hearing this my inner critic became quiet, the chatter subsided and I found the spark of inspiration I needed to keep moving forward.

I took to the stage that morning of April 29, 2017 and shared a dream that I made real. Shared the impact I felt after hearing feedback from a student’s mother, as to how the Design44 project “saved my son”.

Choosing to face my dysfunctional beliefs, face the inner critic that I let dominate my self-worth and self-esteem changed everything!

That is when I started tearing down the other illusions, the other stories, that I created and began to see more clearly as I continued walking my path which has led me to where I am today.

– Winston
#lovesharegrow

April 23, 2019

Facebook is great for reminding us of moments from our past, allowing us an oppourtunity to reflect on where we are going and to see how far we have come.

A year ago I took on the show and aligned it with my vision and values – not someone else’s.

I knew a reboot was not going to be easy, however, I had the support of Jenn Mickey (owner of XYYVR) and a small, but growing community. I was scrambling to keep things moving, finding speakers to share their stories and growing an audience to hear them.

Last September, the decision was made to rebrand to VoiceStory in order to focus on what we are all about… finding your Voice and your Stories.

Come December, we received news that XYYVR – the venue that hosted VoiceStory – was going to shut down, so we took this as a sign to find a bigger pot to continue growing in.

Again I looked at this as another reboot. New space, new systems, new challenges… but this time I have more support.

This February, we had the first VoiceStory show at the Cultch. The weather wasn’t in our favour, however, 10 people made it through the snowstorm to support our opening show! 30 people attended the March show and that number doubled for April as it was beautiful to see 67 people in the audience.

Back in January when the Cultch agreed to work with us, the goal was to make it through to the June show.

Back in January I would not have believed, in fact I would have laughed in disbelief, at the idea of where we are today:

Three shows in and we have filled the venue to 80% capacity.
The shows from July to December have 90% of the speaking spots allocated.
People are asking what the themes for 2020 are going to be!

Most of all the impact that the themed shows are having, the emotional energy in the room is amazing!

I would like to take this moment to thank the speakers that have taken the VoiceStory stage. I appreciate you for being truly authentic, vulnerable and real in sharing a moment of your lives with us. In addition, I would like to acknowledge those who came to be part of the audience, for your support of the speakers by creating a safe, empowering space free of judgement, criticism and fear for them to express.

I could never have imagined VoiceStory would be where it is today. With your help in creating connection and building community, I look forward with excitement and anticipation of what will become.

– Winston
#lovesharegrow

April 8, 2019

We wish to thank everyone who has applied to share a story and the shows are are now 50% filled up from July to November!

This means there are only 3 speaker spots available each of those months and one of them can be FOR YOU!

You do not need to have any previous speaking experience!

You only need to have the “feeling”, this desire that is forming, buzzing… burning within you to free and embrace the power of YOUR VOICE, of YOUR STORY.

The VoiceStory stage is not about speaking perfection, voice pitch and physical poise.

It is all about feeling safe and empowered to be authentic, vulnerable and real in a space without judgement, criticism and fear.

Our vision is to give everyone the oppourtunity to share part of their story, a moment in their life, that can inspire someone who is stuck in the “Sea of Suck”, feels that no one understands and is all alone.

Every one of us has stories stored within us, but their impact can not be felt until they are shared.

If this makes you feel like you want to take the stage and share a story of your own, then I encourage you to apply to the theme that speaks to you the most.

Apply to speak on our website and if you are curious about the selection process, check out the FAQ at the bottom of the page : http://www.voicestory.ca/apply-to-speak/

July – Shame
August – Grief
September – #tellthetruth
October – Mental Health in the Workplace and the Impact on Self
November – Vulnerability
December – Family

March 2, 2019

As I look at the tickets I have just been handed I think back to my childhood in East Vancouver. Growing up in Strathcona with my grandparents, playing in the park, going for walks to Chinatown, hearing my grandfather’s voice as I look up and see his face in the sunshine.

I remember the walks to Woodward’s and looking at all the wonderful things on the shelves. Imagining how they would taste, how they would feel if I tried it on, how fun it would be if I could play with it. I imagined, as we couldn’t afford to buy anything.

But I am not aware of this as a child. That’s just how life was. Always dreaming, imagining, wondering of what life could be.

I remember the day that I shared my dream… that one day I would buy the building with the “W” on it and it would then be the Winston building.

I remember my uncle laughing and telling me “good luck with that silly idea.”

I flip through the bundle of tickets in my hand and think back to high school. Remembering trying to fit in. I’m still dreaming, imagining and wondering about the world… but not as much. As I’m asked “What are you doing here?”, “Why are you here?”, “You don’t belong here! Go away!”

I don’t share my dreams anymore. I keep them to myself and share my determination to prove to the world that I belong. That I am good enough!

The dreamer inside me grew quieter, the bright spark of potential dimmed as I chose a darker path to walk instead.

From being told I could be and do anything, to being slowly conditioned that I’ll never amount to much. I’m not good enough so don’t bother trying… those dreams are just fantasy and will never come true.

It was around then when I chose to listen to the noise of the world and let it fuel the fire within me. I let go of the dreamer, armoured up my heart and chose to take on a dysfunctional battle to prove the world wrong.

I didn’t understand that there was no war to win. That I made it all up to rationalize my shift from joy to pain.

I hear footsteps walk by and thins brings me back to the present. Standing in the lounge at The Cultch.

Standing inside a place I only dreamed of visiting as a kid… but I couldn’t afford to.

I close my eyes and feel the ambience, imagine the stories the walls have heard, visions dance in my mind of the fun contained in this space.

That’s when the dreamer inside me returned. Painting beautiful, vivid images of possibility. Because at that very moment I, we, understood one thing.

This dream became real. It’s happening!

So I have come full circle from that moment when I was told “good luck with that silly idea”, from letting go of my dreams to manifesting them. From proving to the world that I am worthy, to understanding I always was.

I look back down at the tickets… I imagine the people in the audience, I imagine the speakers sharing their stories, their struggles, their dreams.

I imagine the energy of these moments being absorbed into the walls of this space. That is my contribution to the community, to the world, as VoiceStory isn’t about me.

It is so much more.

– Winston