Newport This Week

Stories of 22 Rising Women



“Born to Rise” is not a typical self-help book. In fact, it is a book that shares paths to growth through the stories of 22 women who “come home” to themselves and reclaim their power.

In the book, longtime Middletown resident Kim Fuller shares stories authored by the women to “show us all, that we, too, are born to ‘rise’.” In the book’s introduction, Fuller shares her own life story including moving often with her Navy family, photographing incredible people, meeting the Dalai Lama, adopting a child who was her spiritual teacher, and being invited to deliver a TEDx talk.

More than her physical journey, she hopes that through what she shares in the book and through the organization she has established, Born to Rise, participants will listen to their inner voice and “gain the courage to process, transform, and share” their own story.

Fuller focuses on women, since she says “stories we know as ‘history’ are mostly male stories centered on deeds related to war, conquest, and politics.” She aims to share “HERstories,” focused less on actions and more on feelings.

The book contains four “Rise Into” sections addressing courage, freedom, connection, and grace. While the stories are diverse, each is relatable, touching onself-discovery and growth. Shared below are stories from each of the four sections.

Tashi’s husband announces he no longer wants to be married, which is especially crushing news given the couple had just completed a cross-country-move. But ultimately, Tashi realizes her husband’s courage to speak up freed them both to rise.

Caine loses a fiancé in a fatal car accident and marries Steve nine months later. They have two children. She catches Steve with another woman. He blames her for his unhappiness. When he begins to involve the children in his deception, Caine recognizes it’s time to move on. And that she does. She ultimately remarries…this time to a divorced man with two boys. They form a blended family and grow and rise together. Caine posits, “We have no control over the things that happen to us, but we do have a choice about how we respond to them…Life is an occasion. And I’m choosing to rise to it.”

Michele, a self-described fat, Black, queer woman, whose career and marriage fall apart, shares three lessons: take time for you, don’t spend your life living someone else’s design, and trust the redirections. Never give up, she adds.

Milici, a ballerina who regularly auditioned for the Island Moving Company’s “The Nutcracker” each year, discovers after much trial and error that she has a mitochondrial disease which at times has made her blind, produced seizures and caused her to exhibit stroke-like symptoms. This has taught her to appreciate the little things whether it be watching her dogs play or eating a grilled cheese sandwich. She adds, “Little things are actually very big and meaningful.”

These are but four of the stories. The penultimate section called “About the Authors” shares a biography of each author and a website for most. The book will not disappoint and will provide an inspiration to those who seek to make empowering changes in their lives.

Fuller will appear at Island Books in Middletown on June 8, at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the book. On Sunday, June 11, from 3 to 7:30 p.m., the Born to Rise organization will hold the 2023 Women’s Story Festival and Book Launch at the Rhode Island School of Design Auditorium in Providence. The Providence event will feature the authors and provide guests with new ideas, inspiration, and keys to unlocking their own rising. Find out more at

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