Oaxacan woman

Traditional dancer, Ubud, Bali

Victor in front of Victoria's Secret, Union Square, San Francisco

Family praying on beach, Pemuteran Bay, Bali

About Resilience Stories

     True stories are the heart of Hearts. Of course, truth is relative, a product of our personal perspective. And memory has ways of deceiving us, dropping or changing crucial details to fit the larger story we tell ourselves about who we are and how we relate to the world. Our meta-stories strongly influence what we believe we can and can’t do and how we feel about ourselves and others. The aim of the resilience stories in Hearts Broken Open is to be as honest with ourselves as we can be, understanding the limitations of our perspective and memory, in order to learn most from the raw evidence of experience and reveal the deeper truths waiting to be recognized. There is no fact-checking in this storytelling; you are your own conscience. But we all learn more if we tell the truth as we know it. In an age when truth is stranger than fiction, stories understood to be true are all the more compelling because they actually happened.

     We’ve chosen to utilize the medium of storytelling because we’ve found it the most compelling and universal language in which to convey both information and insight. Ever since our prehistoric ancestors sat around campfires at the end of the day, they shared stories of their days’ adventures and their mythic imaginings as their primary means of communicating with one another and making sense of their experience. So today, with the new tools available in multimedia, we can return to the truth-telling, wisdom-seeking nature of storytelling to help us better endure life’s vicissitudes and refine the crude ore of raw experience into polished gems of insight and illumination.

     We’ve created three categories of stories to capture a wide range of dimensions in which resilience reveals itself -- personal, social, and natural -- but in practice they overlap in important and illuminating ways. We learn to be resilient as individuals in part by living in a web of mutually supportive relationships with other open-hearted individuals within communities rich in culture and connections. And we learn from the natural world around us, be it in city parks, rural landscapes or wilderness, how nature recovers from death and loss in a constant cycle of renewal that places our own trials in a broader perspective.