Listen to your Mother and the stories we share

This past weekend I was privileged to take part in the first rehearsal for the upcoming LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER Austin show.


It was… overwhelming.  As I sat in the room at Book People, on the third floor, away from the patrons, I scanned the room of faces I’ve only previously known through the book of face.  I felt as I often do in settings with strangers – socially awkward and wishing I had my security blanket with me. 

I was thankful in that moment that our fearless leaders and co-producers Kristin and Leigh Ann were their to corral our insecurities and guide us through the foreign territories.  Plus they gave us daisies… which we almost all proceeded to put in our hair… because… Duh.

LTYM Austin 2015 Cast

After a brief round of introductions, we began to share.  From the moment the first words were uttered, I felt a calm, accepting presence that reminded me that I was among friends…although we had only just met face to face. We each took our turns reading aloud the stories that Leigh Ann and Kristin heard on audition day.  Each story different from the last but I finally understood the idea behind how LTYM casts their shows…

LTYM casts based on how stories fit together, not on how much we love your (or any) individual piece.

Think of a playlist or a quilt; it comes together because of how the pieces compliment one another, not based on the awesomeness of one singular piece.

Your story may find itself into this year’s playlist. It may not. Your story is awesome because it is YOUR unique story, regardless of whether or not it’s right for this show, this year.

We all have a story to share… and every single one of the tales gifted in that room was full of heart and emotion.  I felt as though we were hugging one another in spirit and embracing the uniqueness that shapes who we are.

There was a bravery there too… it takes great courage to put your story out there in such a raw and unfiltered way.  To expose yourself* and stand there vulnerable in front of – for most of us – complete strangers. {we won’t be ACTUALLY exposing ourselves on stage of course… we’ve established clothing is NOT optional}

Each story that was shared that day – and will subsequently be shared with all of you on April 25th – was beautiful and majestic in its own way… highlighting aspects of motherhood that are at the same time unique and completely relate-able.    

It’s no surprise that I cried… a few times… I’m a crier… but these women I was surrounded by were trusting me with their hearts and souls.  And I, in turn, was doing the same.

After the last words were read and we all went our separate ways, I sat in my car completely inundated by a flood of emotions.  Compassion… love… excitement… and fear…

Fear that I am an impostor in the midst of such amazing talent.  Fear that I would get an email later that day telling me it had been a mistake to place me in a cast of this caliber….  fear that my story is the block of neon orange in a quilt of pastel pinks and greens… 

I texted a close friend once I arrived home; although I honestly don’t remember the drive – still swept up in the emotions of the day.  I expressed the awesome nature of the rehearsal and shared hints of my insecurity…. and without prompting or prodding, he reminded me of words he’s shared before and helped to quell the “Negative Nancy” in my head.  His sentiments were echoed later that day as Kristin apparently read all of our minds…. and I had to laugh that the same insecurities I was facing, others were as well. 

For those who are in the Austin and surrounding areas – I sincerely hope that you will join us for one of the two shows.  Tickets are only $15 and the shows WILL sell out.  If you aren’t in the Austin Area, check out the other 38 shows scattered across the country this year.

I am honored to be a part of such an eclectic and beautiful group of women who exude strength and grace and love.

I’m in awe over the local sponsors who believe in the beauty of sharing our tales and have elected to sponsor the show in real and meaningful ways.


I’m proud to know beyond just the sharing of stories,  LTYM also gives back to local causes and the Austin show will benefit Hand to Hold whose mission is to provide comprehensive navigation resources and support programs to parents of preemies, babies born with special health care needs and those who have experienced a loss due to these or other complications. 

I’m thankful for the National Sponsors who are creating a platform for people across America to share and be heard… 

And most of all, I’m blessed at the outreaching of friends and loved ones who have already excitedly shared that their tickets have been purchased and they can’t wait for the show.  I hope to see you there.  There’s something in these tales that will connect with you like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  You may laugh… or cry… or both… but you will be moved.  It’s not something you want to miss out on.  And I hope to see you there!



 In other news… April is tomorrow and once again the Axis of Ineptitude is challenging you to write with us.  Join us on Facebook to keep up but there are really no rules!  Write what you want… when you want… link up when/if you want… And as always – the prompts are merely suggestions!

April Blogging Challenge - Axis of Ineptitude



  1. You said it perfectly! I felt the SAME WAY! Your telling was beautiful and so moving! I’m excited for our big day. 🙂

    • Isn’t it funny how we all felt insecure and none of us felt the others were outta place? I’m so excited. And scared. Still scared. 😉

  2. Love this, Shelley. Kristin and I are truly the lucky ones getting the opportunity to watch you all share and come together as a cast. It’s one of my favorite parts of this gig.

  3. I was honored to hear your story. All the stories but I told Brooke that yours resonated with me the most. For obvious reasons. I have heard “the other side ” before but never quite like that. We will have fabulous shoes and waterproof mascara!

    • What amazingly kind words. Thank you. Yours touched me so deeply. For obvious reasons. But all the stories shares were so compelling and beautiful. So glad that we have this amazing opportunity to share and connect through.

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