Yesterday I started writing my book and if you’ve heard that before from me it’s because I have a few books going – it has been equally as frustrating for me, but you know how I say, Sometimes the story tells you, and sometimes you tell the story“? – well, this is one of those times.  I’ve been looking for the legs to the title of this book for a year or so and every time I thought I found it, it would sink weeks later into the sand and vanish, that is until I stumbled on to this.

My Core Story.

I won’t go into it much because it’s something you kinda just gotta surrender to. To be brief it looks like this.  You have two questions to answer, and as much as possible, you have to let yourself answer them as plainly, honestly, and without decoration as possible (which is hard for us mind-centered, or feeling based people because we think we’re so beyond that, ahem… as if we could be).  The one thing we all have in common is a primal need to be seen, heard and most importantly known – or as some self-helpers call it:  to belong, and we’ll do anything and everything in our power to protect that possibility, including lie to ourselves, or worse, sugar coat it all so that we bare absolutely no responsibility for the possibility that someone in our 360 degree global peripherie ever feels like they might…not…belong.

From my perspective, none of us ever truly belongs and only in allowing the incredibly daunting human truth of that to be so will we ever tumble into the sense of belonging that we’re all scrambling to find.  We gotta let it go because there is no proof. We can make some up, throw some names around, some labels, some arrows, some bullet points, share some aha moments and more… but the reality is, the only belonging we can every truly ‘prove’ is our very own personal sense of it, and even then only we, individually, can ever really believe it to the level that it seems real….

How bleak right? Oh gawwwwwd we’re all alone….?

Yep and in that, it’s how we’re totally not. That’s humanity. That’s where our connectedness is. That’s how our sameness shows up.  It’s in our fragility matched only by our magnitude that our beauty is realized. How frickin’ gorgeous is that? And damn confusing I might add.

So I have two questions to help us identify how we don’t belong so that we can belong. At this point I’m either making you nuts or you dig my message. Wanna stay for more?

Two questions – that’s it and trust me when I say, they’re ridiculously simple to answer and insanely challenging to be known.  I’ve been offering inquiry sessions with people as I develop this work and I can tell you, out of the countless people that I’ve chatted with, only three have been truly willing to answer the questions with all masks down right away and those that did let their core story tell me before their mind could (an example of ‘when the story tells you’).  For the rest of us, most of the time we can tickle out some clues over the hour, like breadcrumb words we’re following to get there.  Sometimes our core story shows up as expressions first before we can nail the one phrase that gives us goosebumps, or knocks the wind out of us.

It’s truly amazing when it happens. It’s beautiful to witness for sure.

So… now I’m writing a book.  Forty five years of this story chasing me and now it’s ready to be given to the world.  It’s not an autobiography, though it will be peppered with personal stories.

Okay, but before I do that, you’re thinking:  What are the dang questions???? Well here they are, and if you struggle to find an answer, drop me a message below and we can book a complimentary inquiry session okay? I just may be able to help you out with that.  Anything you post in the comments below go directly to my email – I don’t publish them.  Now, if your core story does reveal itself to you and you don’t know what to do with it, also let me know and we can book a call to follow the thread together.

Here are the questions:

Question #1:  What is the one thing you always give people (and the world) no matter what?

Question #2: In your deepest, darkest moments, what is the sentence you have always said to yourself ?

Here’s a clue:  They are usually the opposite of each other, but not always.  For example, my answers are:

Tina’s Core Story:

Core Love:  You matter

Core Pain: I don’t matter, nothing matters, this is stupid, why bother. 

I’ll explain more later… but for today, here’s an excerpt from the opening of my book that is all about this work and how it arrived for me:


an excerpt from You Matter – Identifying your Core Story

…So there’s this thing that you run from right? I do. I have most of my life. Even in my forties when I think I’ve stopped running, I forget, Oh yeah, I’m human, I run from everything. I think we’re master escape artists which seems kinda strange doesn’t it? Why would we want to escape the very thing we’re here to live. I suppose none of us had a choice in the matter and somewhere deep down that bugs us. Because we showed up here kicking and screaming, well some of us did, others came into the world all wide eyed and peaceful – I’m sure that I wasn’t one of them. I bet I came into the world fast – like a blow torch afraid I’d lose my flame if someone wasn’t holding me.  Foooooosh, scorching the doctor as I came out.

I was premature. My mom was only sixteen when I was born. I joke about it now, well, not really. I joked about it when I was a kid. Adoption is one of those things that isn’t weird or hard, or difficult, it just is.  When you’re a kid, it’s just part of the clothing you forget on the bus because it’s truly so irrelevant. When you’re a kid you don’t care how you came into the world, you’re just so damn glad to be here. Wow, look at that tree!  It’s HUGE!  Holy smokes I think I could climb that!  Hey! I got a lemon twist for Easter! Watch me! Wait a minute how come my hair is so twisty and tangled and hers so straight?  I like music. I sing all the time. Like all the time. I’m still singing la la la la la… I live between three churches and nobody in my house prays. How come? My dad is French Canadian and he likes to make home-made wine underneath the stairs. Sometimes we have fruit flies… See?  Who cares if you’re adopted, you have lots of other things on your mind, at least I did. I used to tell my friends in highschool that I was a ‘back seat baby’ – I mean, where else do you have sex when you’re 15 years old right? I thought nothing of it. Of course, now I’m a mom to three of my own children, and I’m really close to my mom (biological), we’re kinda like sisters and I never, ever, ever blamed, judged or was angry with her about giving me away even when my mom (adopted) died when I was eight… Truly. I actually always knew that I was chosen some how – but still… that’s the mind, not the body.  And you know, I still don’t care if I was conceived in the back seat of a car, but I do care about the rest of stuff.

The adoption thing became a traceable pattern. It was the first mirror of how this human experience was giving me exactly what I needed for who I am to expand (but that’s a whole other conversation, we’ll get there later).  It was the first time I was experiencing my core story that I don’t really matter. It was the very first time, on a cellular level, that my body wasn’t sure if this place was where I was supposed to be.  It was the first time my eyes couldn’t make sense of a moment, of a missing hand, of a warm chest, as I searched for the eyes of my mom, and the scent of her body.  Yes I was only six months old and I could totally be making this up, but I’m not. Because we know stuff we don’t want to know.  On some level, that’s what was going on for me, I just didn’t have words yet, but I understood that I didn’t matter.

More to come…



TinaO is a Core Story Specialist, a writer, speaker and the founder of TinaOLife – a hub for all things worth living for, and the workshop Live Your Best Story. She’s also a professional network marketer with a decade in the industry and  she teaches: selling isn’t slimey and marketing isn’t make-believe. You can be yourself and be successful in Direct Sales.