Brooke Axtell

In today’s episode Brooke and Grant unpack with Brooke Axtell, author of the recently released Beautiful Justice, the ways in which writing can be a salve, an instrument for change, a way to give voice to that which seems unspoken. Brooke Axtell talks about her journey from poetry to prose, her work around gender-based violence, and how writing saved her. A powerful episode to share with anyone who’s looking for the courage to share, to speak up, to be heard.


Brooke Axtell is the Founder and Director of She is Rising, a healing community for women and girls overcoming rape, abuse and sex-trafficking. Through her mentorship programs, retreats and workshops, Brooke helps survivors become leaders. She is passionate about inspiring young women to reclaim their worth and express their power to create a more compassionate world. Her work as a human rights activist led her to speak at The 2015 Grammy Awards, The United Nations and the U.S. Institute for Peace. Her work as a writer, speaker, performing artist and activist has been featured in the New York Times, LA Times, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, Wall Street Journal, and CNN. Brooke is also a poet and a musician, a woman of many talents and with a powerful voice and message.

Writing Action: Writing Shame to Release It

Pinpoint a moment in your life that’s connected to shame—an embarrassing moment, a mistake that you made, or maybe something that’s connected to a trauma or an abuse. Enter that space and write no more than one page about the shame. No more than that because writing about traumas is triggering, and you never want to write for long periods of time on these topics. After you’ve written your page, take a look at what you have. Then write a full page that starts with the words: I am courageous because… Think about how you’re courageous because or despite of this experience, how you tapped into your courage to change your circumstance, or to survive. Give yourself a moment to write a page about your courage. Then decide what to do with that writing. You can save it, trash it, burn it if you must. But see what happens when you let it out, when you give yourself space for these stories—but in small increments and always with an affirmation.

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