The Greatest Gift of All

It was a stiflingly hot day.
The traffic had been terrible.
The air conditioning was a relief…a noisy
relief.

The women gathered.
The elders; they may laugh at the title, but it
was clear to me.

They were happy to see each other, in a shy
appreciative way – I could see and feel their
connection. They were brought together some
years ago, so that they could help others by
volunteering for Bereavement and Grief counseling.
Their own painful stories are often heavy in
their hearts. These women have seen life.

We sat in the story circle and began.

They may have been guarded and skeptical but that
soon fell away with the charm of the story.

They may have been wary and closed because of the
weight of their own experience, but that soon
melted.

They may have been apprehensive and a little
worried but the safe space of story made it
possible.

There was laughter, tears and that knowing glance
shared between people who have suffered but feel
the presence of truth around them. It was the
true magic of story.

Storytelling and story listening is a gift…to
the teller and the listener.

I was honored to be in the presence of such pure
hearts and minds that allowed space for our
stories. And I’m truly thankful for that.

And I walked away reflecting upon how we create
powerful connection through story.

And this changes lives.

Seriously, I’m not exaggerating here.

Here’s what we’re talking about: Engagement,
Inspiration and Empowerment.

That’s what storytelling is all about.

Through powerful, authentic storytelling we
ENGAGE people to our cause. It may be in
organizations, in communities or in families.
Having a clear and authentic story is so important
to keep people engaged. In this era of
unbelievable distraction and choice, engagement is
one of our biggest challenges.

Since the beginning of time, artists and writers
have sought INSPIRATION. There seems to be a
strong desire to be creative, how many people do
you know who say they want to write a book and yet
they lack inspiration. The strange this is that
inspiration is all around us, it’s in our stories.

There is nothing more inspiring that a heart
centered, authentic story.

This is also a time where positive, EMPOWERING
role models are often hard to find. I see it in
our kids; living in a world of instant
gratification where so much is disposable, if can
feel disempowering. When you get a chance to have
your story really heard, when you listen to
someone else’s story, it is empowering. As simple
as that.

Stories open up possibility. As you follow the
journey that the hero undertakes, you can see your
own journey more clearly. You begin to envision a
different perspective, you begin to believe in the
possibility of a new outcome. That is what is
empowering.

When have stories engaged, inspired or empowered
you?

When have you heard or told a story that made a
difference?

I would love to hear that story.
Please share it here.

Together we can spread these powerful stories and
really change lives.

Best wishes and best stories
Lisa

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