Freedom Writers

Toastmasters to honor Erin Gruwell of Freedom Writers…


You know I joined Toastmasters last fall, right? This year at the International Toastmasters Convention, renowned educator Erin Gruwell will receive the Golden Gavel Award—honoring her work bringing the Freedom Writers’ message to the stage. (And yes, Toastmasters played a role preparing the young writers to tell their powerful stories from the stage.)

The article prompted me to go back and view the movie “Freedom Writers” again. What a powerful story! A powerful story about the power of sharing personal emotional stories.

I’ve been writing about Confidence and Conscious Community lately. Here’s how they fit today: when you share your emotional personal stories with a trusted community, the bonds of trust and affection grow. You feel more seen in the wake of revealing truths about yourself. Others feel connected to you more deeply. Bonds become woven at the level of the heart. Respect and trust deepen. Friendships form. Everyone starts wanting to be a part of this community—and all because you dared to share an emotional personal story!


Freedom Writers —The Movie

It’s those very personal, emotional stories that create the magic in “Freedom Writers”—transforming a classroom of suspicious, disconnected high school kids to a group that insisted on keeping their teacher for their final two years of high school. That classroom, the tightknit group of students plus Erin Gruwell, had become their “place.” The one place they could “chill,” and really be themselves. It became home for those kids. It was the place that allowed all of them to defy expectations, graduate from high school, and attend college. 

Their outstanding scholastic performance demonstrates my second point: by revealing your powerful stories, those personal, emotional ones, and becoming connected to your Conscious Community, your confidence grows. How could it not? Not only are you seen as you really are, you feel accepted—in essence, you feel the power of unconditional love. There is nothing more powerful when it comes to growing Confidence!


Coach’s Challenge:

Share one of your stories in one of your communities. You have a million stories you could tell. They seem boring or insignificant to you, but any vignette from your life will be something new for others. It will give them a new view of you. The more personal and emotional your story is, the more power it holds to move others. Take a deep breath, and share a personal emotional story this week. Let me know what happens when you do…

Lindy MacLaine of is a Life Purpose Coach whose messages empower and inspire those in the second bloom of life to reclaim their dreams, reignite their passions and rekindle their joy.

She is the author of the fantasy adventure series Piper Pan and Her Merry Band, for those ages 9-109 who loved the Neverland and who long for adventures that matter.