21. Storytelling

“Great stories happen to those who tell them.” – Ira Glass

Sunday morning I completed a 10-day meditation retreat. One aspect of the retreat included a nightly discourse where the teacher would explain the theory behind the meditation we had worked on that day. His favorite way, and more importantly his most effective way, to drive home a point was through telling stories.  Storytelling has been and will most likely always be the best way to transmit a message to an audience. 

I was reminded of this again on Tuesday afternoon when Change Your Life Friday crew sat down with an amazing woman and shared our story.  It was a tale of friendship, evolution, support and most importantly inspired change. The four of us sat around a table for two hours and allowed the story to flow with her questions. We had the chance to see how our life had played out over the last four years through new eyes.

As the week rolled on I was listening to The 3 Tenors with my grandfather. He loves opera music and while sitting with him he shared a story of how he started singing at 15. I knew he had sung for his church at one point, but I did not know this was a lifelong endeavor he enjoyed so much. I was shocked because at 28 I feel extremely close to my grandfather and thought I had heard ALL of his stories. 

Who cares? The point is storytelling is one of the most powerful things we have in society. It can be used to learn or teach a new skill. Storytelling can help us connect with others and grow in relationships. Sharing a story or listening to a story can also add a new perspective to your life. What is your story?

Affirmation:  My story is ever changing, ever growing and always playing out exactly the way it is supposed to.  Today I love the story of my life. 

Call to Action:  What is your story?  What is the story that you tell yourself about your life?  Is it a tragic tale of loss and lack or is it an amazing adventure of growth and change.  Take some time today and see if the story that you play for yourself serves you.  If you feel that your story is boring or uninspired and as a result you see yourself that way, refer to the quote above.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.

10 thoughts on “21. Storytelling

  1. Another inspiring post. My sister was recently in Phoenix and we spent an evening cooking dinner with our mother. Our mother has never been one to share stories of her childhood but this night was different. She told us about her grandfather and how they would celebrate his birthday. The story was that her mom (my grandmother) and her aunt would put a gold flag in his cake every year. He was born in Ireland and he would pull out the flag and get irritated and the grandmother and aunt would laugh at the joke. Our mom was young and never understood what was so funny.

    Both my sister and I enjoyed her story because we did not have the opportunity to meet her grandfather. It also provided us with a bit more insight into her upbringing and the important people in her life. It was a rare gift that she gave us that night and we both commented later that we enjoyed hearing the story. It was an uplifting conversation.

    • Karen,

      Thank you again for another great comment. We really love your weekly contribution to the website. Stories from parents and grandparents are extra special. I know when I hear a family story I feel a little closer to my ancestors.

      Change Your Life Friday Crew

  2. I have the opportunity to take my 88 year old dad shopping – at first I would be irritated that I would hear the same stories over and over again. I then started paying more attention to his words and the location of the stories and began to see that having been born and raised and living here all but 10 years of his life my father’s stories are connected to geographical places in town. Now I realize that I am internalizing his stories and the places in town that he connects with – to share them with my own children-grandchildren. What a glorious heritage I have been blest with……..

    • Momma Dukes,

      Thank you for another enlightening comment. We here at CYLF love your weekly contribution to the site. Make sure your dad stays out of trouble when he is shopping.

      Change Your Life Friday Crew

  3. I look forward to your blog posts every Friday. My story is how your affirmations and positivity enhance my journey to “change my life” and try to affect the lives around me. This weeks post particularly speaks to me.
    I had an idea to hand write a journal, filled with my life story and thoughts. I copied it 50 times and I’m now on an adventure sneaking them onto bookshelves across America for random strangers to find. The point has become that everyone has a story and we are all connected through them.
    In my journal I wrote about my little brother being an addict. A stranger in Alabama found my book in Barnes and Noble and randomly opened to that page where I begin talking about his addiction. Being an addict himself (6 years sober), he instantly related and contacted me. Now, I’ve heard his stories and I’ll go so far as to say, we’re friends. Good friends.
    I wrote in my journal about running away from my house at a young age. This guy in San Fran found a journal and with in the first 3 texts when he contacted me, he opened up and told me about being forced to leave his home when he was 16 because he was gay and his parents didn’t approve. Although my reason for leaving home young was different we were connected through our stories. Another new friend.
    I don’t really know you or your whole story (although my brother does and he’s told me a bit). I relate to your quest for inspired change and through that we are now connected.
    It’s almost like stopping to smell the roses. Stop to listen to the stories. It really just fascinates me.
    Thanks for this post and thanks for listening to my story.

    • Thank you CYLF crew I love the post this week! Madison I love your Guerrilla
      Project!!! It so perfectly aligns with how I am spending my weekend, on a retreat in the desert listening to a master story teller relate his experiences , which simply are stories about how our interconnectedness can be experienced on many different levels, and in the telling and retelling of our stories we are given the opportunity to look at our every day comings and goings afresh, thereby opening our hearts and minds to embrace the world and each other in ways that unite and support rather than separate and isolate us.
      A little poem by Mary Oliver which are instructions for living a life:
      Pay Attention
      Be Astonished
      Tell About It

      • MPB,

        Another great addition to the site. The Mary Oliver poem really opened my eyes. She keeps it simple and gets the point across.

        Thank you for everything,
        Change Your Life Friday Crew

    • Madison,

      This is an amazing and inspiring story. Thank you for sharing this with us and the CYLFriday community. Tell your friends in Alabama and San Fran hello. Stories are powerful things and we can obviously use them to make some deep human connections.

      Inspire On,
      Change Your Life Friday Crew

  4. Perhaps the most wonderful part of storytelling is the ability to write your own. This is a wonderful and tremendous responsibilty, but empowering.

    • Krista,

      Such a true insight and statement about our power to not only write our story but rewrite the stories we tell ourselves. It is not an easy responsibility but a liberating one. Thank you for your comment.

      -Change Your Life Friday Crew

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