And the Oscar goes to….

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Twenty years ago I would have given my left breast to sit in a room with an Oscar winning screenwriter. I desperately wanted someone who had figured out the system, with incredible talent, to tell me how I could be as good and connected as them, and win the golden statue. I didn’t think about them as people, or even wonder if what makes them tick wasn’t just slogging away every day in an office for eight hours. I didn’t think that they had a deeper understanding of life, which was fundamentally what made them successful. How could I? I didn’t have a deeper relationship with a higher good. It was Kim vs. world and that makes for a lonely fairly uncreative space.

I wasn’t going to sit with anyone who won an Oscar for screenwriting then because it was all about me and not about the full wonder of the whole world. It wasn’t about listening or dialogue between two people who both want to make a movie. It was me shouting at the world and then wondering why it didn’t shout back. It is true that the movie business inherently underpays many people, and shatters a lot of dreams. Every day you wake up you think, if it doesn’t work out today I am going to quit and find another vocation. I can’t tell you how many times I heard people say to me, “If this movie doesn’t go, I’m out.” Then they would be back, because there is that pull to succeed.

I remember the day I said I was out. I died a death. And then slowly, I was reborn.

I was in the storytelling business for all the wrong reasons. I wasn’t there because I was in service. Sure, I wanted to tell the best stories, but I was deeply unsatisfied by what you thought of me or I thought of you. I was lost in the ego. I had not grasped that it was too slow for me to make one movie. I wanted to talk about lots of stories with people. More importantly, I wanted my profession, my calling, my service to align with helping other people as a bridge. Thank God I left the movie business because instead I found a vast container inside me that could come back and help lots and lots of people beyond one movie tell stories.  I could help them write books, and heck, the irony was, maybe one day one of them would be a movie.  But that was no longer my goal.

I no longer cared about Oscar.

A brilliant kinesiologist Jen Cudmore out of Sydney said to me last week, “You are a custodian. You are a custodian to people’s healing through their stories and their writing. Did you know that?” She had been reading my energy about thirty minutes total on Skype and she was confident about this determination.

And I will tell you exactly why I knew she was so spot on it was frightening to admit.

Just that day, this past Sunday, May 29th, 2016, twenty years after I first wondered why no Oscar winning screenwriters had sat with me, I sat across from an Oscar winning screenwriter in his office one on one talking about … no, not screenwriting… but meditation. Sitting in his office with scripts bursting from the shelves, I didn’t even look for his Oscars. The framed gold disc of his movie that proclaimed some incredible amount of box office profit made did not have any meaning to me. Who I cared about was the man who sat before me teaching me about his meditation practice. He spoke to me about his service for the last fifty years in entertainment through his inner guidance… his meditation practice that kept his chakras alert to receive and give. He did not speak about his talent to write, but his ability to tell a story in a way that executives could hear it, and to listen and process with his heart what they wanted.

This Oscar winning screenwriter did not tell me how to go out and be a great story coach, but he led me over a bridge to a new path to be a bridge for my clients to release their stories.  If I was to be a conduit to their authentic voices, I needed to know how to get quiet and listen. When it was all me me me back in the 90s, I was serving no one and I wasn’t serving myself. In order to do as this man does – open his home so that others can sit with him for his hour long open eye meditations and after talks on whatever comes to him that day – I need to be out of the place of it being all about me and my success. It is about how I can use the skills and talents I have to be a custodian to other writers.

I knew with a deeper understanding of happiness and the bigger purpose of being on this earth, in this body, with these experiences, I would be able to help my clients clear the path so they can stand in the power of their stories.  People can accomplish powerful goals, and when they come to me with that desire, they need me to be as open and receptive as I can. The work I need to do is not “work hard” or “bang on a million doors” or “hustle my ass off”. It is simply to stay receptive and trust the work that I need to do to help my clients with their books and publishing their books is to be a custodian, a guide.

To be a bridge.

Kim O'Hara

About Kim O'Hara

Prior to launching her business A Story Inside as a book and story coach, Kim spent her adult life as a producer and screenwriter of independent film, developing countless projects from script to screen. On the never-ending quest to know more about writers and writing, she has taken short fiction, satire and screenwriting classes at UCLA, Stanford Writers’ Lab and San Jose State. To hone her skills in comedy and collaboration, she survived an Improv Intensive at IO West. She was also the Editor of a prominent food journal, charged with the task of making subjects like antibiotics in meat a riveting read. She is passionate about intuitively and mindfully connecting women entrepreneurs to their hidden greatness and help them achieve their unrealized dream to write a book. Her children are the root of her existence, her true teachers.