Make Room For The Stuttering

My Greatest Gift – Episode 51

Posted on: April 4, 2011

Episode 51 features Mary Wood, who hails from Fort Wayne, Indiana, via Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Mary is an ordained Unity Minister. She went back to school at age 66 and was ordained in 2005. Mary recently celebrated her 74th birthday!

I met Mary last year at the NSA Conference in Cleveland. She did a workshop called, “I Need Your Love. Is That True?” I joked with her that it was one of the few workshops with an 8:30am start time that I have actually remembered attending! A friend introduced me to Mary after her workshop.

The theme of the workshop was fear of rejection. We go through life needing people to tell us what a great job we have done, so we can feel worthy, affirmed, loved. But the basis for Mary’s workshop, and her recent life’s work, is that we really only need to believe that about our selves. We don’t need for others to tell us that we are good. Easier said than done!

Listen in as Mary shares some of the compelling questions she has asked herself (and then others) as she learned more and more about the connections to stuttering and self-esteem. She has asked herself, “What is it that I don’t like about stuttering?” She has found it to be that fear of rejection that we all know, even though it may be hard to admit.

We also discuss replacing negative thinking with positive thinking and how stuttering became like a self-fulfilling prophesy for Mary. We talk about involvement in stuttering support, Toastmasters, and how Mary knew that she was supposed to be speaking to people every chance she got.

Credit for the podcast safe musical clip “Echoed” goes to ccMixter. Feel free to leave comments or questions for either Mary or me. Feedback is a gift!

3 Responses to "My Greatest Gift – Episode 51"

Just yesterday I had a short conversation with this random guy in a Starbucks while waiting for my friend to get there. I confided in my friend (once the guy left and I started crying) that I was afraid of what he thought of me because of how much I was struggling. Even though I was really struggling he still wanted to talk to me. He kept the conversation going until my friend got there. I was surprised guy never kept good eye contact and never finished my sentence for me. That was quite the experience.

I first heard Mary speak in 2001 in Boston. She was talking about blaming others in our past for today. What if ….. kind of workshop. That day was the best and yet the most fearful day. I wanted to speak with her when she was finish, stood inline and left without talking with her. Mary has taught me so much. I tell first timmers don’t forget to get your Mary Wood fix. Last year I talked to her about doing a workshop on my own and I will try this year. Glad you had her on.

Thank you, Mary, you are amazing. I can relate so much with what you shared. I discovered it in a different way, after many sessions of NLP, but the roots of my problems were the same – my deep fear of rejection, my fear to fully express my emotions out of fear of offending someone – what if they won’t like me. Changing my thoughts changed my speech. This is not an easy way and I am still not 100% fluent, but just understanding of this fact that my stuttering was in so much part driven by my fear of rejection – helped me immensely and eliminated my fear.

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