Select Page

Highlights from “Storytelling for Leadership:  Resiliency Skills to Turn Your Passion into Action”

Thank you to all the powerful women future leaders who came to my workshop at the AAUW National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL)

PowerPoint Recap!

You can view the key points I discussed in the PowerPoint presentation I gave.  Make sure you take a look at the slides –  I didn’t get a chance to go through each one, and there are a TON of great resources here!


What are some other highlights I mentioned? If you click on the hyperlinks, you’ll find some more fun articles and tips.

CREATIVITY is the best container you can find.

In this storytelling workshop, we learned that the best way to find the story within YOU is to think about the “detours” you’ve had in life.

And what’s a detour…? Find out here.

Here are some DETOUR links that I referred to in my presentation:

Do you have a DETOUR story you’d like to share?

Find out how to share your DETOUR story on my blog every week for WHY NOT WEDNESDAY.

How I Told My Story: Musical Theatre, Comedy, and “Guts”


Learn about my one-woman musical, Gutless & Grateful, and send me a note if you’re interested in having me bring my show to you!

OH, and did I mention I just graduated college too? Yep, 30 years old – it’s never too late to start, end or continue any detour.  Check out “Why Starting College at 25 Was the Best Decision I Ever Made,” and also the article “How I used my detour to help other college students.”

I also talked about the “Four Hard-Core Skills to Resilience.”


What are these four “hard-core” skills?

You can check out my tips for each “hard-core skill” here! (And much more on my blog)

  1. Gratitude (Make an A to Z Gratitude List)
  2. Hope (Lie to yourself…seriously!)
  3. Creativity (Doodle for five minutes, then rip it up – it’s just for you!)
  4. Sharing Your Story (Not ready? Read about someone else’s)

If you try any of these tools, I’d love to hear what it was like for you! Be sure to send me a note, or tweet me @amyoes!  

Other Helpful Resources…

So many more articles, where to start?  Well, I mentioned the book Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine, resources on art therapy, trauma, and healing.  

  • As a survivor of sexual assault, I found a way to move through the “freeze” response in trauma which I feel can not only help other survivors, but for anyone who has felt “frozen” by a traumatic event.  Check out my article, “It’s OK to Freeze.”
  • Not sure exactly what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is, or what a better understanding of it?  Read my article, “PTSD: The Illness I Couldn’t See.”

You can find those mental health articles specifically in my Selected Articles archive:  But definitely search around my site to find much more!

“But I’m Not an Artist…” NOT TRUE!

I also mentioned that I discovered art by accident.  I found art accidentally on my way to healing from physical and emotional trauma, and have learned that it is one of the most rewarding, forgiving, beautiful ways to find my way through the darkness and into the light.  

Anyway, there’s a ton more, but I’ll leave you with this for now.  Send me a note if I can help in any way!  

Free Stuff and Awesome Worksheets!

Some worksheets I mentioned…

  1. Detour Navigation Worksheet (my favorite way to get your own story started!)
  2. Hero’s Journey Worksheet (that was the big circle chart we talked about!)
  3. Draw Your Messy, Beautiful Detour
  4. What is Creativity?  These are some great creative exercises to start seeing obstacles differently – and having fun in the process!

Free E-Books!

  • Not sure where to start with doodling, art, or creativity?  Get a free e-book to finding your own creativity at
  • Many of you mentioned that you were also interested in public speaking – check out my free e-book to getting a TEDx Talk at

And a ton more if you subscribe!

Detourist Wrap-Up…

Remember, anything you’re feeling is just energy.

The good part about that, is that we can transform any “energy” we are feeling into a force for good.

THAT’s what makes a leader!

Storytelling, since the beginning of time, has driven change, created movements, and launched careers. We all have the ability to change the world and eliminate stigma through our stories, through connecting to others on a deeply personal, universal level.

The spoken, sung and written word have the power to transform our lives, our community, shape our world, cultivate self-love and compassion. Our stories transform our personal experience, enrich our community and teach others the lessons we have learned for ourselves.  Through expressing our stories, we reframe the seemingly random events in our lives by stringing them into a singular narrative, making meaning in the process.  Through sharing our stories, we embody our role as “author,” as we both uniquely define ourselves and create empathy through our common threads.


Stories allow us to find not only the commonality in our struggles, but also in the shared life skills needed to navigate any life “detour”, physical or mental health obstacle.

After surviving a decade of trauma, I discovered this storytelling “survival strategy” as a lifeline, roadmap and anchor to myself. These storytelling skills might be easily confused with whimsical phrases on gifted journals you’ll find at the bookstore.  That’s what makes these growth skills so great — basic, long-term mindsets that anyone can foster, enabling us all to mentally conquer any obstacle we face.  I will share how these skills fostered the resilience which enabled me to thrive after my own near-death experience, and how we can utilize these skills to overcome any obstacles, turning life’s detours into the path of our dreams

So it was definitely an honor to share with you all emotional and persuasive power of telling an authentic story as an essential leadership, self-development and resiliency skill.

Have any pics! Send ’em over, I’d love to share them!

Safe travels, DETOURISTS!  Enjoy the journey (detours and all) and don’t forget to write!

Check out my speaking reel here:


%d bloggers like this: