Q and A with a Story Guru: Kimberly Burnham: Embodying a Story of What Can Change

See a photo of Kimberly, her bio, Part 1 of this Q&A, and Part 2.

Q&A with Kimberly Burnham, Question 3:

Q: You said in an interview, “As I write my stories, I see my life in a fresh way. I see what I have learned from different experiences. I see what I have to share that can inspire others. I see the patterns emerge. Writing about your experiences is so important, as is sharing your talents and learning, but ultimately you must have experiences.” How have you seen this story writing and pattern recognition get results for clients?

A: Writing and telling my own story has been so beneficial for me because I have started to see the patterns, the way the peak experiences in my life connect creating a continuity so that each experience gives me a glimpse of what is possible and prepares me for this present moment.

For example, I have a strong connection with Japan. My father was in the US Navy off the coast of Japan when I was born. Twenty-one years later I went to Japan as a missionary for the Mormon church. Finishing university back in the US, I returned to Japan with my girlfriend to teach English. I studied shiatsu, a kind of Japanese body work and learned about meditation and Buddhism, while I was there. I have Japanese pears growing in my Connecticut garden. At Bo Eason’s Personal Story Event, one of the “10 Coolest Things About Me” was, “I speak Japanese.” I am not yet at the end of my life, but I see a current running through it. Japan connects my religious heritage and my chosen meditation practice; it colors my worldview and the way I see the potential in people. I have learned a lot about my inner strength through my connection to Japan. I joke that I am Japanese. The word for a Japanese person is “Nihonjin” and can mean, “land of the rising sun person”, literally “root sun person” but also “two legged person”. The joke is funnier in Japanese, which I speak, and that means — I can do anything.

In Christine Kloser’s book, Pebbles in the Pond, Transforming the World One Person at a Time (May 20, 2012), I tell my story of vision recovery and share some of my experience with clients — the miracles I have seen. Writing my story and then telling clients, family, social-media friends, and perfect strangers about it has forced, or at least encouraged, me to see the gifts in my vision-disorder diagnosis and how that propelled me into a search for answers, which has been, I see now, an incredible journey. The telling has been powerful because I am embodying a story of what can change, and every cell in my body is listening to me reinforce my belief in my ability to heal and everyone’s ability to transform their lives. I believe it gives people hope that their physical reality can change, positively influenced by the stories they tell themselves and the story their nerves and sensory body is telling them.

I often ask clients to send me an email about what has changed, what is better a few days after a treatment session. This request does two things. One: they are consciously connecting experiences and looking for what is better. Two: they are writing, telling a story of what is healing, spiraling in a positive direction. You can get tremendous insights by looking for how you are connected to what is good in your life.

Often the last place I touch on a client is an area that feels good rather than where they have pain. I make that the last place because they leave the clinic thinking about that place where they feel good. And that changes everything.