I am a Changemaker: Meet Michelle Ayuma, using stories to break boundaries and inspire change in Kenya.
Michelle comes from a family of storytellers in Kenya. Originally she found it difficult to let go of opportunities because they did not allow her to stay true to her passion for storytelling.
For Michelle telling stories is a natural way of communicating. She was about to give up but she did not:
I now feel confident enough to apply myself fully to what I do because I chose to stay true to one of my core values. If there is something that I long for in this world, it is stories — breaking boundaries while connecting and inspiring others.”
Find out more about Michelle’s journey and the practices she uses to bring forth her full self into her daily life.
I am: Michelle Ayuma
I live in: Nairobi, Kenya
In March 2016, I almost gave up on my changemaker journey. There I was, a struggling changemaker who couldn’t pay her bills and not many people I met cared about storytelling the way I did. After applying for jobs to be sustainable all that I received was, “No.”
I felt like a failure and I started thinking that maybe I am not as lucky as other changemakers who figured their way out on their journeys. Last resort, I gave myself permission to use my own story coaching to figure out my next steps. Those 15 minutes helped me realise my inner voice screaming, “Keep Going!”
If I don’t tell my story, someone else will. As a Storytelling Coach, I have received the gift of watching my coachees bloom into story-enabled people. It gives me such great joy to wake up to each day to do more of this good work.
Every morning I wake up, I try my best to say a gratitude prayer. After mentioning the things I am grateful for, it programs my mind to see opportunities everywhere as I go about my day. By being content with what I have, I am able to live each day at a time, story by story.
A changemaker taps into the power of authenticity, a real story, a real connection with real people who are equally passionate about making a difference in the world and not just exist.
I’ve learned that it’s important to lead our own lives and journeys by first telling our stories, because chances are someone else will. Even when all else fails, we’ve got a story to tell as a great resource to inspire change. Crawl if you must at first, but never ever give up on your own story.
We can only give the best of what we’ve got within us.
So if we are to change the world with love, let us start by loving ourselves. If we are to change the world with good health, we can start by taking care of our own health. If we are to change the world with happiness, we can start by finding what makes us truly happy.