How to Find Hope in Trauma with Michelle Corrao and Emily Sutherland

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This is a podcast episode titled, How to Find Hope in Trauma with Michelle Corrao and Emily Sutherland . The summary for this episode is: We all walk around with a story. Sometimes we feel alone in our stories and sometimes we don’t know how to share our stories. But if we can be vulnerable and connect with others, we can start to heal and grow from our stories. We can find hope in our trauma, and use our experiences, talents, and abilities to help others in their stories. In this week’s episode, we will listen to Michelle Corrao and Emily Sutherland as they talk about the importance of sharing your story to heal from trauma. In 1996, Michelle was found in the trunk of her own car by an off-duty police officer after being abducted and violently assaulted. With Emily’s help, Michelle has written a book — Found: Found: Triumph Over Fear With Grace and Gratitude: The Michelle Corrao Story — about her story and trauma as a source of hope for other survivors and their families. In their conversation with Rebecca, Michelle and Emily talk about three things: 1. The importance of listening to the whispers and pay attention to the gut feelings we all get 2. How the most horrific aspect of our life and our trauma can be used to help someone else heal 3. The power of connection and community to help us bring our stories to light Listen in to hear more about how Emily helped Michelle tell her story, and how we can all find hope in any sort of trauma we are experiencing.
Introduction to Michelle Corrao's story and her book
01:03 MIN
The three things we are going to cover in today's show
00:27 MIN
How Michelle tells her story with a lens of hope
00:55 MIN
Why we need to pay attention to the nudges and whispers we get
00:26 MIN
Being that hope, affirmation, and inspiration for someone else struggling
01:00 MIN
How Emily uses her gifts, talents, and abilities to serve women who have experienced trauma
01:49 MIN
The importance of talking through your trauma to help yourself heal
00:43 MIN
We need to connect with others to heal from our trauma
00:38 MIN
Finding the good things that can come out of traumatic experiences
01:44 MIN
Why we need to allow ourselves to connect and be vulnerable during times of uncertainty
01:02 MIN
Creating boundaries and making space for the most valuable things in your life
01:09 MIN
Trusting your feelings and taking the time to get to know yourself
01:05 MIN
Treating people with kindness and remembering that everybody walks around with their own story
01:22 MIN

Speaker 1: (singing)

Rebecca: What happens when you're just starting to get your life together after a brutal divorce, and just days after moving into your own apartment, you are abducted, brutally beaten, and left in the trunk of your car for dead? This is the story of Michelle Corrao. She's on the show today with Emily Sutherland. Together, these two have written a book called Found: Triumph Over Fear With Grace and Gratitude. And what you're going to hear today is a bit of Michelle's story, but more of what you're going to hear is how you find hope and life again after this kind of horrendous experience. And we're going to cover three things today in addition to Michelle's story because I really want you to go buy the book. You'll find such hope in these pages. We're going to cover three things on the episode today. One, what about those little whispers we get sometimes, what happens when we pay attention to those? Two, how do we use these struggles and this trauma for good in our lives? And three, the power of connection to fuel our lives, but bring our story where it needs to be.

Speaker 1: (singing)

Michelle Corrao: Well, thank you so much. Really start by saying I did write it because I want people to know what's possible because I didn't realize what could be possible in the darkest days of my life. So that's what I wanted to show in this book. And through my story and just a piece of my story is it comes from being abducted by three men with handguns and thrown in the trunk of my car, and being found.

Emily Sutherland: Pause. That's a big lot.

Rebecca: Pause. Because I know that you can just say that, it's your story, right? But let's just unpack that for a minute. Three men, handguns, attacked, brutally beaten, thrown into the trunk of your car, left for dead.

Michelle Corrao: Right.

Rebecca: 1996?

Michelle Corrao: Correct. Yes.

Rebecca: In Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Michelle Corrao: Right.

Rebecca: And this is story of obviously being found.

Michelle Corrao: Right.

Rebecca: And there's so many aspects of that. Emily, you were going to say something about that.

Emily Sutherland: I just, when you live with your own story, as Michelle has, I think it's easy to forget how powerful it is to come out of a situation like that and be now in a place of hope where you can tell that story with a lens of hope. And the most profound thing about this story is that when you walk out of a situation like that where your life was threatened, you feel very alone and you don't know what to do next. And it's going to be a book and a story for people who are in that place or have been in that place or know someone in that place, you walk out of a scary or you walk out of a story that you've never lived before and you don't know how to take the next step. And she is giving people sort of a roadmap a little bit.

Rebecca: I love that. And so there's three themes that I want to cover today. One is around when we get whispers, are we paying attention? And we'll unpack that a little bit as it relates to the story. The second one is that the most horrific aspect of your life can be used for good and be used as a gift to help someone else heal. And then the power of connection and community about why and how we're all here together having this conversation. But let's talk about the whispers first, because it's a part of this story. So I don't want to tell too much because I want everybody to buy the book, it's so good, but I want to just put a little bit of this tie into whispers. The amazing man that found you was off duty. He's a police officer, but he was off duty that night, right?

Michelle Corrao: Right.

Rebecca: And as he was headed home, if I remember this correctly, he felt a whisper-

Michelle Corrao: Right.

Rebecca: That said... Every time I talk about it, I tear up and get chills. He felt a whisper that said," Go make one more circle." Not even one more circle. It wasn't even on his route. He wasn't on duty. Something, we know it as God, something whispered to him and said," Go pull in that parking lot."

Michelle Corrao: Right.

Rebecca: And then what?

Michelle Corrao: Right. He just listened to his gut and he said," I felt that third nudge and I got back in my car. And I could have turned right or I could have turned left," and he chose to turn right. And it was down that back street of where my car was parked and where those guys were going to rob a restaurant. So that's how he came upon my car.

Rebecca: And you in the trunk of it.

Michelle Corrao: And me in the trunk. Yes.

Rebecca: So whispers are such a big part of our lives and my concern for us as a society and where we are culturally is that we're so dang busy that we're getting these nudges and we're getting these whispers and we aren't paying enough attention to them. Because the reason the book came to be a book is another whisper that you and I had where we just kept running into each other. And finally, we both just looked each other I think in the grocery store one day and said," I just think God must want us to have coffee or something." And we had no idea why. And we got together and that's when you shared with me that you've been trying to write this book and you were just stuck because it's so dang hard to write about your own trauma. And I then said," No worries. I got you. I know a girl," and introduced you to Emily who helped write the book. And then we introduced you to Jenny Robbins who then helped to connect with the publisher. So that whisper of you and I just saying," This is too weird that we're running into each other." Because we'd only known each other briefly from one other business interaction-

Michelle Corrao: Right.

Rebecca: Through our work with John Stagge at Scooch, give him a shoutout.

Michelle Corrao: Right.

Rebecca: [ crosstalk 00:06:55]. So it's just, I think that's a message that in our busy, hectic working women's lives, that don't be so busy that you don't hear the whisper and pay attention to what it's trying to tell you.

Michelle Corrao: Right. Because we can let it sit there. And the couple of times that we ran into," Oh, we should get together. We should get together." And then finally, on that final time," We're going to do this."

Rebecca: Yeah, it's like crosstalk

Michelle Corrao: We are going to make this happen.

Rebecca: Immediately.

Michelle Corrao: And you're so right. I had struggled writing this book for 10 years and I think, gosh, why didn't I meet Emily earlier? That first time we ran into each other, why didn't I connect with you? But it is, I believe, my faith is in God, and I believe that it's all in his timing. And I think the timing probably is perfect.

Rebecca: Yeah. Yeah.

Michelle Corrao: But I will say, again, take the time to listen to those nudges. You never know. I mean, I had no idea sitting there with you what could have possibly happened that day.

Rebecca: I know, when you handed me the book yesterday actually, at lunch, it was just this surreal like it's here, it's tangible. It's no longer this idea. Let's jump back. So whispers is one of the things I definitely wanted to cover. The second thing is using your terrible struggle and awful part of your life for good. So the gentleman that found you, you two have remained very close friends, more than friends, very close in each other's lives. What's his name?

Michelle Corrao: Detective Arthur Billingsley.

Rebecca: And every year I know you post some beautiful pictures and stories of how he's been an integral part of your life. And so, because of the way things were handled and the way that he was able to help you, not just in finding you, but helping you recover, you now help first responders know how to handle situations that help the victims recover and recover more quickly. Is that an accurate way to describe it?

Michelle Corrao: Right. Right. Well, it's such an alone feeling. And I know what I left the hospital, there were two things on my heart. And I looked out the window and I saw cars passing by and wondered what they were going through because I wondered if somebody thought what we were going through or what I was going through. And then I thought I've got to find somebody who's been through something similar because there is no hope in my future. And that's how I felt, I felt very lost. So Found is much bigger than just being found in the trunk of my car. So I went in search of that person and something that is going to make me not feel so alone. And that's why this book came about too, is could I provide that for somebody and could maybe that help them get through some of this quicker? Maybe it could affirm, be an affirmation, be that hope, be that inspiration for somebody that you're really not going crazy, but this is normal in this abnormal situation.

Rebecca: Well, and on this podcast, we talk all the time about using your gifts, talents, and abilities to serve, and that our gifts and talents and abilities are unique and they're meant to serve someone else's needs. And then I also include your struggles and these kinds of situations can serve someone else. And I know Emily and I have talked a lot. You unfortunately have a gift to be able to help people tell really traumatic stories.

Emily Sutherland: Thank you.

Rebecca: Yeah, I know, right?

Emily Sutherland: Right.

Rebecca: I almost feel bad about that, but it's true. You've done this for other women where you're able to just help them get that story out.

Emily Sutherland: Yes. I believe it is a gift and it is a privilege. It's a sacred space to be in someone's story at the depth that I have had the opportunity to be in, in the middle of Michelle's story and other women and stories that I've written. And there is such a unique thread that every story has in common. Every person whose story I've written that has been through trauma thought that their reaction to that trauma was somehow wrong, and it was hundred percent normal and natural and healthy. And they thought they were losing their minds, when really, their body and their mind was trying to help them out of it. And that has given me sort of this heart for women with stories that are hard because they at one point or another thought," I'm doing this wrong." And-

Rebecca: Therefore I am wrong.

Emily Sutherland: Right. Right. And there's a lot of shame around it. And to understand that there is no wrong reaction to something that should never have happened to you, right?

Rebecca: Right. Right.

Emily Sutherland: It's interesting just to be in that space with somebody and to be trusted with that kind of story and to be able to draw out and to compare. Every woman who's been through a tragic story, A, has come to understand that talking about it and processing those really negative feelings are a natural and good part of this. It doesn't mean that they're going backward when they begin to feel emotion or have triggers that they come in contact with. It doesn't mean they're doing it wrong.

Rebecca: Absolutely. We as human beings are personal, emotional, and social in all situations. In our day to day work, we've lulled ourselves into this thought that we're just supposed to be like machines producing work every day. But our ability to process emotions needs to be in a social way. That's the healing part, right? So our brains are wired for us to be in community. And I think in trauma, the first thing that we do, right, is retreat and try to just hide it and process it and figure it out. And it's that process of being able to come out and talk about it with others that finally gives you some of that healing. Is that a fair description?

Michelle Corrao: Yes. Yes. And I just want to say I have never met somebody that... I mean, Emily has a gift, a true gift. And when I sat down with her, even I held onto her number after you gave it to me and I thought," Really, is this going to..." So I'm just telling you, listen to those whispers, for sure. Because we could have been met each other two months sooner, but anyway, a true gift. I knew the moment when I sat down with you, Emily, that you were my soulmate in writing this book.

Emily Sutherland: It was a beautiful experience for both of us.

Michelle Corrao: Yes. Yes. Yes. And then Rebecca introduced us. So, I mean-

Emily Sutherland: Thank you for that.

Michelle Corrao: Yeah.

Rebecca: Absolutely. And that's the part that, again, I think most of this beautiful outcome of our stories and of our struggles, and even of our work, gets buried under busy, and we keep so much to ourselves, whether we're just feeling burnout, exhaustion, vulnerability, we're feeling isolated, we're feeling imposter syndrome. We're just feeling, and without the ability to connect, we never can get past it, whether it's the trauma of this profound nature or whether it's just feeling like there's got to be more in my life. We need each other to get us there.

Emily Sutherland: For sure.

Michelle Corrao: And the connection with you too, and Jenny, I mean, I didn't know that this was actually possible. I mean, I kind of felt like it was, but I couldn't see it.

Rebecca: Too close to it.

Michelle Corrao: It wasn't in front of me until, yes, you inspired me and said," You can do this. This is..." Yeah.

Rebecca: Because that was our first meeting is I said," Just tell me everything that's in your head." And I just started making notes and putting things into different buckets and categories so you could connect back from that reflection. And that's the name of this podcast is Reflection and Connection because: We are so close to our struggles or our innate gifts and talents that we can't see them until we start to give them away until somebody else can hold up the mirror and help us reflect and see ourselves. And I remember the look on your face that day like," Oh my gosh, it's an actual thing." I saw lights go on that day. I called Emily after our meeting and I was like," I hope she calls because I think she sees it now, at least a little bit closer."

Emily Sutherland: Right.

Michelle Corrao: Yeah.

Rebecca: Yeah.

Emily Sutherland: And she was ready to write it.

Rebecca: Yeah.

Michelle Corrao: Yeah.

Emily Sutherland: Not everybody is ready to write their story at any given point. And we've talked often about how even though it took 10 years after starting the process of trying to get the story out, we have to believe that everything happened in the timing that it should and that the timing of you being ready to tell that story as we did was perfect.

Rebecca: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, and the ripple effect of connection continued because yesterday, after you invited us to lunch to sign our books and to just celebrate that they were tangible books in our hands, I had a meeting with a client that afternoon who has a story that she's just now starting to think she might want to tell. And so I was able to just lay that book in front of her and say," It's possible, you just have to step into it." And of course I said," And I got a girl who'll help you write it."

Emily Sutherland: Yes, ma'am.

Rebecca: But that's the thing, I think back to the first decades of my career. And partly because I was raising kids and just trying to survive, but I was frenetically busy, to the point where I remembered sitting at stoplights counting the heartbeats of time, like," I'm going to be late to pick up from daycare and it's a dollar a minute," and just how many seconds waiting for the stoplight to turn. Like my life was down to the nanosecond, right? And I remember driving at times and thinking about," I should call so- and- so," or," I really think I should connect with so- and- so," or," I have this idea." And I think about how many missed opportunities that I had in those decades of frenetic busy- ness because it was just a thought. I didn't act on it. And I think those are the times that if we get that feeling, that we should reach out because somebody probably needs us too.

Emily Sutherland: I can definitely relate to that. I remember feeling like I don't have time for any more friends.

Rebecca: We've talked about this crosstalk

Emily Sutherland: Isn't that terrible? I mean, I feel like I actually had that thought, like," I am stretched too thin." I too was raising kids, trying to finish my degree, all those things, and I just remember feeling like I don't have time for any more people. And when you get to that point, that's a big red flag, guys. It's time to hit the pause button and think," Okay, how can I adjust some things so that I have time for connection?" Because it's so life- giving and it gives so much perspective that we just can't get in a vacuum.

Rebecca: Yeah. Yeah.

Michelle Corrao: Right. Right. And I think for me, it's I knew I was going to die that night and I don't want to have any regrets or any missed chances. So after that, I did, I took the opportunity and reached out to some people that I hadn't. But I also, the other opportunity I found in all of this was I got the opportunity to really set boundaries and have people in my life that are very valuable. And the ones that weren't so helpful or healthy, that I could have that boundary with them. So my life is so enriched by... So many more good things have happened out of this than bad, certainly, but it took me a long time to see. So that's the other part of being found, because once that trunk opened and I was found, that's when a lot of the nightmare began for me, is to try and search for my way out of it, going through it and feeling that pain and living that pain instead of going over and under and around it. because we're too busy to deal with that pain, right?

Rebecca: And it's hard to look at?

Michelle Corrao: Exactly.

Rebecca: If I don't make eye contact with it, maybe it'll stop hurting.

Michelle Corrao: Right.

Emily Sutherland: It doesn't stop.

Rebecca: It doesn't.

Michelle Corrao: Right.

Rebecca: It festers.

Michelle Corrao: Right. Right. And in the 20 years of working with trauma, people in trauma, I've seen that over and over again where people have waited 10 years and then something happens and it's triggering and they've never really dealt with it. So now, 10 years later, it's about going through it. And that's what I tell everybody. It is so hard. You can find somebody to go through it with you, but you have to go through it instead of dodging it.

Rebecca: And all of this, we're talking about it in the frame of trauma, but if we look at the macro of what we're talking about, it's uncertainty, I don't know what's going to happen. And we have that same uncertainty. If we think about starting a new career or get a new boss. Uncertainty, we've felt it big and bold in 2020, and we've always had uncertainty. So I hope the lesson that we can come through this year with is that this is a natural part of the human experience is we don't need to feel like we're in control all the time. In fact, if we can allow ourselves to connect during those times of just immense vulnerability or trauma, it's that connection that gets us to the other side of, I call it the sea of uncertainty because you feel like you're just treading water or just going to drown in it and it's somebody else that can help you to the other side, most of the time. Maybe all the time. I can't really think of a time where I've done it on my own.

Michelle Corrao: Right.

Rebecca: Right?

Michelle Corrao: Right. And it's about, we just had that conversation about allowing people, but you have a choice to pick that person. And part of my book is part of that, who I chose to walk with me in this.

Emily Sutherland: With you, right.

Rebecca: And you, your career then went on to working with trauma victims, right?

Michelle Corrao: Right. Yes. I finally found what passion I wanted. Yes, I get the blessing of serving people every day. So, yeah, it's been a huge blessing to really find myself and find what that passion is.

Rebecca: And can you imagine if we didn't have people like you that were standing up to do this kind of work? So thank you for stepping into that gift that you have.

Michelle Corrao: Thank you. Thank you. But it is a blessing. It is. I love just serving.

Rebecca: That's obvious.

Emily Sutherland: Right.

Rebecca: If you're with Michelle in any amount of time-

Emily Sutherland: For two seconds-

Rebecca: She oozes gratitude and connection and all the beautiful things that you want from humans.

Emily Sutherland: That has probably been one of the most powerful things in working with Michelle on this story. I told my husband and kids the other day when we were talking about the book and my husband got the chance to meet Michelle when we did the podcast for Love Better. And we have talked so many times about Michelle, and so they finally got to meet. And we all have just agreed that for having the story that you've had, Michelle, the gratitude that oozes out of you every minute of every day is such a choice that you have made that has been redemptive in so many ways. And it's not false. It's not a," I'm not willing to look at hard things, I'm just going to be grateful for the good things," but she has actually been grateful for even the hard things because of what they've taught her and the empathy that they've given her for what people are going through. And there has just been so much that I've learned watching your gratitude, watching the way that you live your life. You don't forget people. A lot of people, you meet and you're like best friends for five seconds, and then you move on and you kind of lose touch or whatever, and she does not lose touch with the people that have walked with her through the heart of this. And you said something a minute ago about control, we want to control when we're in uncertainty. And what you said, Michelle, about boundaries, you know, we do get to make choices in our lives that give us a say so, and we get to create boundaries so that we are making space for the best stuff and the helpful stuff. That's a little bit different than just trying to control everything and everyone.

Rebecca: Oh, I'm so glad you clarified that. Our friend, Alex Perry has this saying where she says," If you want a life of freedom, create boundaries."

Emily Sutherland: Right.

Rebecca: So it's not about control, it's about release.

Emily Sutherland: Right.

Michelle Corrao: Yes. Yes.

Rebecca: It's about that freedom to be who we really need to be.

Emily Sutherland: Right.

Michelle Corrao: Yeah.

Emily Sutherland: And making sure that you're making the most space in your life for the people that you connect with on the deepest level and that you have the most trust with. And that is a huge choice that we all get to make.

Rebecca: Absolutely.

Michelle Corrao: And I think appreciate... Part of my book too is it talks about bits and pieces and those people that walk into your life for a reason. Whether it's a good reason or a bad reason, we learn from that and we grow from that if we allow it to be open to that.

Rebecca: Right. Right. What kind of tips or advice would you give someone on creating boundaries?

Michelle Corrao: Oh, wow.

Rebecca: Hot seat question.

Michelle Corrao: Well, you know what? I would know yourself. Take the opportunity to really get to know yourself. What do you value in somebody else? Who do you feel healthy around in those conversations.

Rebecca: That idea of feeling, I'm actually writing a book right now which is a love/ hate journey as you both know.

Emily Sutherland: That's totally normal.

Rebecca: I know. I love it today. And one of the things I wrote about today was getting back in touch with feeling. Because work, career women especially, control, measure, and optimize is the name of the game for business. And it should be, strategy, goals, all the things. But we are humans here to live a human experience. And how many times have you just had that feeling that you should change [inaudible 00:25:40]? Or you've had that feeling that this isn't a good choice, but you might ignore it because you didn't have the data or the validation or the proof? And I think if we don't get back to trusting our feelings, we'll never really know ourselves. And people always come and say," I want to know what my meaning is. I want to know my purpose. I want to know..." But unless you're willing to feel it, you can't Google this shit, y'all. Like it doesn't show up Amazon Prime. Like you've got to feel your way through it.

Emily Sutherland: Right. Yeah.

Michelle Corrao: And you have to take the time for you. I mean, I got the opportunity through my assault. There was no other way out of it. I had to really dig deep and sit there in it to heal.

Rebecca: That's a topic that comes up in so many other conversations I have on this podcast. And I had an experience where I had two months of pneumonia where I was too sick to leave my house. And it was the most profound time of reflection for me that I would do it again because taught me so much about me. I am who I am today because I was forced to be sick for two months, looking at who I was and who I wasn't and what I wanted to be and who I wanted to be in my life and what the people around me were giving and taking. And that time of reflection to just sit in it, we're not doing enough of that and I don't want it to wait until you get trauma or sickness to be the catalyst, right?

Emily Sutherland: Right. I think our bodies, it catches up with our bodies when we are out of touch with ourselves. And sometimes it takes our body saying," Ho, ho, ho, time up. We're going to sit and heal." And if we don't choose it, sometimes we're forced to do it. And however we have to do it, it's worth doing.

Rebecca: Well. I had Jen Petro on, oh gosh, last year sometime, and she has a download for taking a personal retreat by yourself, personal retreat. And she started doing this out of trauma. Her husband was diagnosed with cancer. She had little kids. She was trying to... She really thought," I'm going to lose my mind if I don't get out of here." And so she went away to a little bed and breakfast down the street from their house. I mean, it wasn't even like she went away away. She was just like," I'm leaving this house. I'm going to that house down there." And it was so profound that now it's a practice that she teaches as a part of her business. I'll put a link in the show notes, because I think if we don't take that time, it's going to be given to us somehow, either through sickness or something that we don't want. So do it proactively.

Emily Sutherland: Yeah.

Michelle Corrao: Right.

Rebecca: Yeah. For sure. Tell us, I cautioned you before we started, I'm like," Don't tell everything in the book because I want everybody to go buy it," but is there one or two things, just nuggets out of the book that you really want to emphasize today?

Michelle Corrao: Well, I said it at the beginning, what is possible? That's certainly one. And that there is hope. There is hope in any sort of trauma that you're going through or anything that's happening in life. Everybody walks around with a story. I think for me, I wanted this book to also be a show of kindness that we all do walk around with a story. And maybe somebody's not reacting how you want them to react, right? And so how are we bound to treat them if they're not being nice to us. But if we show kindness, that can change their whole entire life. And I mean that with all my heart because I was there. I was there in the trauma and the ugliness and I didn't like myself. I didn't like who I had become. I was angry and in denial. I mean, I say three of my best friends were denial and anger and fear, and I walked around in that. [crosstalk 00:29: 38 ].

Rebecca: That because your brand and your identity through that.

Michelle Corrao: Yes. And so that my responses and my reaction to people. And I think about that. I thought about that a lot and I journaled a lot through my trauma and have gone back and read it. And treat people with kindness. No matter what it is, you don't know the impact that can have in somebody's life. Because if somebody were kind to me, that made all the difference in the world to me.

Rebecca: And it's that human experience, I have an experience called Rise and Thrive where, at the end of the experience, the women that go through it tell their story in a seven minute TED- like talk. And the event is called Stand Tall In Your Story. You can actually go to that site and watch these talks. And the reason I put that experience together is because when we stand tall in our story, we give others the courage and the permission to do so. And I don't know how many times throughout this seven months when these women were preparing their stories, they would say," Does this even matter? This feels uncomfortable." And I said," If there are two people in that audience that you can impact, will it matter?" and that's what got them through. And then to see that evening transpire where there were standing ovations and tears and laughter and the hugs afterwards, I could cry just thinking about it.

Emily Sutherland: It was beautiful.

Rebecca: And people saying," You don't know how much I needed to hear that tonight." And so when you stand tall in this story, which is filled with pain and trauma, what it gives to someone else is what I'm most excited about, seeing how this ripple effect, changes your life in even bigger, bolder ways because I know it's going to be significant for so many people.

Emily Sutherland: For sure.

Michelle Corrao: And if it can change one person's life, then I am so grateful.

Rebecca: Yeah. Well, let me also give a shout out to Emily who has a podcast called Love Better, which you have also, we just said, you've been a guest, and these are a lot of the topics that you talk about with Love Better as well. So crosstalk

Emily Sutherland: Lovebetter. world is our website. Throughout the month of November, 2020, we are doing daily videos on YouTube, just to... Little subject matter. And this week, we talked about the ways that our story informs our choices and how to look at that with empathy. Because when we look at each other in times that are divisive, we can think," Oh, I can't imagine why that person believes what they believe." But if you know their story, it makes so much more sense and you can start finding common ground.

Rebecca: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Emily Sutherland: That's the kind of stuff that we're marching around right now.

Rebecca: Yeah. Most people don't take the time to know the context of the story and what's happening behind the scenes, right? So what's the YouTube channel again?

Emily Sutherland: Love Better.

Rebecca: Love Better. Awesome. And you are available, Michelle, for speaking engagements, which Zoom virtual I'm assuming right now?

Michelle Corrao: Right. Right.

Rebecca: I know I can't wait to be on a stage someday really, really, really soon.

Michelle Corrao: Event are coming back, guys, someday.

Rebecca: Yeah. Yeah. They need to. They need to. But for now, if someone was looking for a speaker, you absolutely are available to do that crosstalk Michelle?

Michelle Corrao: Absolutely. Yes. And I have a website too. It's MichelleCorrao. com.

Rebecca: Awesome.

Michelle Corrao: Yeah.

Rebecca: Awesome. Ladies, I love you so much.

Emily Sutherland: We love you.

Michelle Corrao: Oh my gosh.

Rebecca: Thank you for-

Michelle Corrao: I love you both so much. And Jenny, really listened-

Rebecca: Jenny Robbins, oh my gosh. Let's shoutout to her.

Michelle Corrao: Yes.

Emily Sutherland: Yes. Oh my gosh. What a powerhouse.

Michelle Corrao: Yeah.

Rebecca: So let's do that real quick because Jenny Robbins is one of those quiet confidence people that doesn't jump out and tell her story enough-

Emily Sutherland: True.

Rebecca: But she has the connections and the ability to help you take this story and the publisher that you used and her connections. She's brilliant. And so she's ignitetoday. com is her website. I'll put that in the show notes too.

Emily Sutherland: She does a lot of good work.

Rebecca: Yeah. She's helped me in big, bold ways. So keep doing all that you're doing and changing the world, ladies.

Emily Sutherland: Thank you.

Rebecca: It matters.

Emily Sutherland: Thanks for this.

Michelle Corrao: Thank you. Oh my gosh. This was a blast. Thank you so much.

Speaker 1: (singing)

Rebecca: Thank you so much for being here and I'm going to put a link in the show notes, and go buy Michelle's book. Do it now. You won't be sorry. Thanks so much. Please subscribe and share with your badass friends so they can be a part of this experience too. Make it a great day.

Speaker 1: (singing)


We all walk around with a story. Sometimes we feel alone in our stories and sometimes we don’t know how to share our stories. But if we can be vulnerable and connect with others, we can start to heal and grow from our stories. We can find hope in our trauma, and use our experiences, talents, and abilities to help others in their stories. In this week’s episode, we will listen to Michelle Corrao and Emily Sutherland as they talk about the importance of sharing your story to heal from trauma. In 1996, Michelle was found in the trunk of her own car by an off-duty police officer after being abducted and violently assaulted. With Emily’s help, Michelle has written a book — Found: Found: Triumph Over Fear With Grace and Gratitude: The Michelle Corrao Story — about her story and trauma as a source of hope for other survivors and their families. In their conversation with Rebecca, Michelle and Emily talk about three things: 1) The importance of listening to the whispers and pay attention to the gut feelings we all get 2) How the most horrific aspect of our life and our trauma can be used to help someone else heal 3) The power of connection and community to help us bring our stories to light. Listen in to hear more about how Emily helped Michelle tell her story, and how we can all find hope in any sort of trauma we are experiencing.