The Top 10 Stories of 2020

I’m honored to bring the Women For One community this special blog, which contains our Top 10 Truthteller stories from 2020.

I know that 2020 has been a challenging year, full of uncertainty, turmoil, social unrest, and isolation for many people separated from friends and family due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has also been a year of transformation and compelling truthtelling, of women across the world taking strides toward not just improving their communities and fighting for justice—but also of taking a giant step back and tending their own internal fires.

The authors of these stories are raw and vulnerable when it comes to sharing their observations and channeling even their most painful experiences into opportunities for growth. They are by turns poetic and direct, playful and starkly honest, resolute and brimming over with life’s most important questions—and maybe even some possible solutions.

Most importantly, they are here to send you a powerful message: You are not alone. These are surely divided times, but they are also times for repairing broken relationships and finding unexpected allies. They are times for taking greater risks as we move toward connection and freedom. 

May you always find the courage and support from your sisterhood to step up, speak out, and shine! Let’s make 2021 a year for deep healing through the power of our voices!


Why Women For One Is Moving from Inclusivity to Solidarity
by Kelly McNelis
Kelly McNelis shares why she went from envisioning Women For One as a community for all women to a community for women who share a core of fundamental values—and why the ideal of inclusivity can sometimes get in the way of true solidarity among women.

Words Matter
Angie Moreno
Angie Moreno learned what racism was at an early age, even before she had a word for it. This story is a testimony about how one simple interaction can open wounds and, ultimately, build strength to carry on.

COVID-19: The New Relationship Challenge
Elizabeth Kretchmer
Elizabeth Kretchmer survived decades of life challenges with her husband, a man who’s wired quite differently from her. And now she wonders if they’ll be able to survive the pandemic.

A Letter to My Younger Self
Biola Wyrwas
Biola Wyrwas’s experiences of systemic racism took different shapes and forms throughout her life. This is a letter to her 11-year-old self, highlighting key learnings she would like herself to take out from own childhood experience and to assure her own future self that she will become the strong, successful woman that she is today.

COVID-19: The Ultimate Narcissist
Fabienne Slama
Dr. Fabienne Slama draws a comparison between the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect of toxic relationships. She reminds us of the resilience and inner strength that will allow us to survive any challenging time.

This Means War
Rachel Van’t Land
Rachel Van’t Land found herself in the middle of two battles—one she could win, and one she could not. That’s when a conversation with a friend reminded her of her own resilience and how surrender is the biggest win of all.

Camouflaged Racism
Kieanna Stephens
Kieanna Stephens values sharing vulnerability through poetry, and believes that the only way to a better tomorrow is understanding today. Her goal in writing poetry is to help people comprehend the experiences of others—including the impacts of racism.

Still Beautiful
Vanessa Benavides
Vanessa Benavides experienced a journey of healing from physical and emotional trauma, and its impact on her body. She shares her story of how she reconnected with herself and learned to see herself as beautiful again.

Your Voice Matters, Mama
Kelsy McHenry
Mothers need a community to remind them of who they are and what they’re capable of, in motherhood, work, and life. Kelsy McHenry found that the best way to fill her own cup was to find a way to help other moms fill theirs, too. Her heart and mission align with the common ‘hood that all moms share: motherhood.

Expanding the World Through Women’s Stories: Elizabeth Lesser on the Your Messy Brilliance® Show
Kelly McNelis & Elizabeth Lesser
This powerful episode of Your Messy Brilliance® Show features Elizabeth Lesser, who is one of the most powerful voices in spirituality and human development today. In this episode, Elizabeth discusses her new book, Cassandra Speaks, and the power of women’s stories to change our lives and worlds.

Download the ebook version here.

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About the Author | Kelly McNelis

Kelly McNelis is the founder of global community, Women for One, a speaker, coach, facilitator, and bestselling author of Your Messy Brilliance: 7 Tools for the Perfectly Imperfect Woman. With more than 25 years of experience as a nonprofit and small-business consultant, Kelly empowers generations of women around the world to build the relationships, community, and confidence they need to achieve their wildest dreams. She finds daily inspiration in spending time with her husband and children in her home outside of Seattle.

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