Join Lisa as she takes you on a four-part journey through the creation of Harvest – her story of grief and love and the harvest she has reaped.
In Part One she delves into the art of figuring out what the story actually is.
Everyone has life events that shape them, everyone has a story – but how do you find it? A former boss was instrumental in Lisa becoming the story-teller she is today and she shares the question that he asked her relentlessly in her time as a journalist and TV producer.
Lisa delivered Harvest as a spoken-word event and in this episode she reveals exactly why.
Tune in to Part Two as she shares more about the writing process, the events that were unfolding behind the scenes, and what it felt like to write her story.
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Prefer to read? Access the transcript here
Hey, it’s Lisa Corduff. Welcome to the podcast where you can expect inspiring, raw, energising, and transformative conversations with people on the path of personal evolution. I’m here to really live my life, and if you are too, these conversations are just for you. I’m really glad you are here. Enjoy.
There. We have been on a little bit of a break on the conversations with Lisa podcast and I, to be honest, I haven’t even known how to start this conversation with what’s been going on because I don’t even know what’s been going on in many, many ways. Listen, the last podcast that I recorded was a conversation with my amazing friends, Amy and Sam for International Women’s Day, and that was a long time ago. It was actually at the start of March, and March ended up being a really, really tricky month for me and my health. I, I’ve shared on socials, but I had this operation. It was meant to be an in-and-out kind of thing. It wasn’t, I spiked a temp. I had to stay overnight. They didn’t know why I had had a temperature. They sent me home. I was really not okay, and I didn’t know why.
I ended up having some sort of an infection that they killed off with some pretty hardcore drugs, and that made me feel really, really crap. A month later, I still couldn’t properly take deep breaths. It was pretty bad. It was really, really not that great. And I decided to stop doing lots of things. I decided that when I am all about the stories of our life, the meaning that we give things, and I actually decided to give meaning to this moment for myself. I was kind of incapacitated in a few different ways, and I just thought, you know what?
I’m going to stop. A big, big thing was I’m just going to get quiet with myself. I know that this is something, something’s here, something’s here for me. My body is not okay. And I always think there’s so much guidance that we get from our bodies, so much that we can listen to. And because of the pace of life, we often ignore it. I couldn’t ignore what was going on with my body, and so I got really quiet. And as I’ve shared on socials, I sort of switching off from that was a really, played a really important role during that time for me because there’s just so much distraction. There’s so many ways we can continue to occupy our minds when really sometimes they need a rest and they need to get in touch with that internal guidance. And I was definitely feeling called to that in many areas of my life. And so I did, and it’s absolutely ridiculous what has actually happened since I decided I committed to myself that I’m not going to show up unless I really want to on social media. Now, this is from a person who began blogging back in 2012. I actually had a blog before that I was working on with a company.
And so I’ve actually been doing this since about 2009 and which is crazy, oh my God. But I have, I’ve shown up. I have just continued to show up through all sorts of things that have happened in my life because social media has built a business for me, and I actually genuinely love connecting with people. When I started, that’s all I wanted to do. I wanted to reach out to people beyond my home where I had babies and toddlers and was just in the muck of that daily grind of early motherhood. And connecting with people in really genuine ways was so fulfilling, and I felt myself losing that over the last maybe year or two when I was sort of uninspired by myself. And I was definitely uninspired by lots of what I see online and I was like, oh, gross. Am I part of that kind of machine? I don’t want to be that. That’s not what I’m here for, but I don’t necessarily know what’s coming next. And I knew I was looking for some sort of reset, some sort of like, ah, I feel different to the version of Lisa that started all this and I don’t know how to play the game anymore. I don’t know what I want to say anymore.
There was a huge infiltration of people online during the covid years, which is just so wonderful. More voices, more opportunities to learn from interesting, clever people. But what I sort of felt in myself was I really just sort of had to take a moment and think, if I’m showing up here and I’m sharing things and I want to teach or connect or communicate and create conversation, what is it that I actually want to say now? And it’s been a really interesting journey. When I first started my food blog back in 2012, I remember it was probably 2013, and I went to this sort of bloggers meetup thing. And I remember saying to someone there, I just, who was much further down the path than me and had established herself, and I said, I don’t really know what I’m saying about food that’s different to anybody else out there.
And she gave me the best piece of advice that I have put into practise again at this sort of turning point for me. She said, just start writing and you’ll figure it out. And I did. I really did. I posted on my blog weekly. I have done a weekly newsletter for oh eight years. And that consistency, that commitment to a craft, that commitment to showing up, that commitment, to figuring out what I was trying to say has served me really well. And I hope it has also served you because I was writing it to figure out how to help in the best way possible. And through that writing, I figured out what I was saying that was different to what a lot of other people were saying about food and how everything that I had learned working in behaviour change before I started food blogging, was helping inform how I was creating change in my family’s life and what might be helpful to other people.
And so I’ve kind of just decided in March when I was looking around and I was thinking, I can keep doing this, but is there something else that I need to say? Is there something else waiting for me? Maybe I’m just going to show up when I actually have something that I really do want to say, whether it’s funny, whether it’s interesting, whether it’s reflecting, whatever it is, I have to really want to say it instead of just being on the treadmill of posting content daily or as often as you can. I mean, I’ve just never been someone with a social media schedule of post this on a Monday, post this on a Wednesday. Oh God, it’s like the death of me when I am tried. When someone tries to put me in a box like that, I’m literally can’t do it. It destroys it for me.
And I would probably be a lot further down the path if I’d been able to do something like that. I see other people doing it quite well, but I also think we’ve forgotten how to be social on social media. And honestly, if you are trying to build a presence online, I would strongly urge you to reconsider being so regimented with your routine and instead post when you feel something, when you’ve got something genuinely great to say post, then I have so much proof, so much proof that works a million times more than your nicely poised and perfectly presented and curated content that just doesn’t touch people in the way that they are looking to be touched right now. So anyway, I’m sitting with all of this and I’m trying to figure it out. And then I got invited to the Public Speakers Association Awards night where my amazing friend, Christie Goodwin took away Breakthrough Speaker Award, which is hilarious because she’s been working her butt off for years, but was presented as the Breakthrough Speaker here in Australia last year.
And I encourage everyone to go and check Christie out. She’s exceptional at her craft of speaking and engaging with people around the issues of our digital habits. I mean, yeah, she’d written a great book, Christie’s amazing, and I sat there and it was so inspiring. And I mean, I was public speaking captain of my high school from years eight to year 11, and then I was school captain in year 12 where I got to put all that practise of public speaking and debating into play. I loved it. I love writing speeches and delivering them. It’s just, I don’t know why I feel tortured right beforehand, and then it’s the best high I can ever imagine afterwards. And I sat there and I was inspired by these people who had made businesses speaking and I thought, maybe this is the next part of it for me.
And then every single winner got on stage and was like, I’d just like to thank my rock. I’d like to thank my person, my husband or my wife or whatever, for keeping the home fires burning. This job takes you away from your family so much, and I couldn’t have done it without you and all the support and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Literally everyone. And I thought, oh dear, I can’t leave my kids in that way very often. In fact, probably, oh, maybe three or four weeks after this, I had to go and collect my daughter from my parents’ place. We were just trialling, again, her staying over with them and she couldn’t do it. It was just too distressing. And I find it, I frustrating. I find it deflating. I find it feel, it feels like in some ways clipped wings, but it’s also okay.
It’s also okay for that to be a reality. And on that night at the awards night, the next day I was like, man, this is rough. I want to get out there. I want to be on stages. I want to do the things I want a lot to say, and I think I could do a good job at this. And then I felt like it’s just not possible for me, but because I know that we get to choose, there are many interpretations that I could have made from that night. And while I think it’s really good and essential to acknowledge feelings, all feelings, the whole spectrum of them and be in them, feel, actually, feel them. I kind of knew I had something happened that night and I got to make it mean what I wanted it to mean, and I wanted to make it mean. That was my point of seeing other people doing something that I want to do, and I’m going to have a crack. And I didn’t know how it was going to happen. I just decided it was time to start speaking. So I figured that I’m not really good at waiting for things. And I do get invited to speak on other people’s stages, which is absolutely lovely, and I probably should share more that I do that.
Yeah, new website coming and we’ll have a speakers page, but it’s not something that I kind of promote all the time. It’s just when people want me that they can come and find me. And I love it, love, love, love. But I didn’t want to wait for that. So I just thought, I’m just going to tell my story and I’m going to find a stage and I’m going to invite people along and see if they want to go. It doesn’t matter if there’s three or four people in the audience who I know and just come along and listen because I need to figure out my story. I need to write it. I, I can’t even tell you, I’ve started four books. Four books, and I keep changing my mind about what it is that I want to say, and I, I’m just so over it.
So I thought, I’m going to write and I’m going to speak the words. And I decided to have a spoken word event, and I decided I was going to write my story. Now, I had this boss for three years, three or four years, maybe four years. He was a brilliant man, and he was the executive producer of the seven 30 report when it was seven 30 report. He’d won Walkley Awards and Logies done, brilliant, brilliant journalism. And part of what I was working for his multimedia production company, and part of the work that they did was manage the news at Channel 31 here in Melbourne, which is a community news organisation. So I ended up becoming a cadet journalist with him apart, and I did quite a few other things with him. He was an extraordinary boss, but the best thing that he ever taught me, this question, he would ask me all the time, anytime I presented him with something to cover on the news that day or when we ran our TV show and we did 26 half hour episodes of content, and I would have to come up with all the content ideas, all the different stories for this lifestyle program.
He’d be like, yeah, Lisa, what’s the story? I’d be like, well, I think it’s a very interesting, Lisa, what’s the story? This question goes over and over and over in my mind all the time. I believe that I’ve been able to be successful online and have organic reach on my social media that other people just flip out about because I can tell a good story because I know what the story is. And I always have asked myself this question before I post anything, what’s a story? Why literally, why would anybody care about this? And it’s why I have sat on my story for a really long time because I didn’t think that I had perspective enough to see it to the events of my life through the lens of a good story.
I was just living it for so long. I still am living it. But the bits that I wanted to share about, I needed perspective in order to be able to find the story. And it’s so funny. I mean, I couldn’t see it, especially a version that would feel inspiring to listen to as opposed to just an expression of a woman as a hot mess, which is not a bad thing to share. That was never the story that I wanted to tell. And anyway, I was talking to my bookkeeper one day and I said, I want to do this, and I don’t know if it’s going to buy a ticket, but I feel like it’s just something that I want to do. I feel the urge to get this story down. And we were talking just about lots of things on that call. She’s a fantastic woman.
I mean, I would say that we talk about the books and the money, about 5% of the conversation. Anyway, she used the word harvest. She was using it to describe women at a particular stage of their life. And as she was talking about a harvest ceremony that she’d been to and all sorts of things, and this word harvest, it just stood out to me. I just thought, that’s the story. The story is stuff happened, but a harvest has been reaped. I didn’t realise that seeds were being sewn throughout that time of things that I could then call on things that were making me a new version of me.
It was harvest. It was there. It was suddenly just there when I had the word, I knew the story, so I’ll always be grateful to you, Cindy, if you’re listening to this. But then I needed to find somewhere to tell the story. And I didn’t want a big event space or anything like that. I knew how I wanted people to feel when they were listening to the story. And so I started looking around for spaces, and I found one at a four minute, three minute drive from my house. And when I walked in, I knew that that was where I would tell the story, and I knew the story would be called Harvest. I booked the venue, I put tickets on sale, and we held the event. Oh, what? Three and a half weeks later, four max. I don’t think I gave people four weeks notice. I can’t even remember. I just wanted to get it done. I just wanted to prove to myself I could, and for all the people who I did not give enough notice to and are Melburnians and want another run, we might just do that. We’ll see. I found the story. I found the venue.
I discovered that I was ready. I was just ready. And I wondered though, I did wonder if I could be that vulnerable. I wondered if I could be as open as I wanted to be. I wondered if it was going to be the experience for the audience members that I really wanted it to be. Because while a lot of this was being done for me, and I think I want going to be sharing about that in this little series, it was also F, there was an absolute intention that I wanted people to not only feel the story, but to get in touch with their own. I wanted to move them. Could I actually do that? Could, I mean, I was flipping myself out. I knew I had to try and I did it. Tickets went on sale and people actually bought them. In the next episode, I’m going to share with you a little bit about the story of writing. I’ll see you there.
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Hey! I'm Lisa
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