Once upon a time, in a land far far away, an ordinary person lived an extraordinary life. What is storytelling? Why is it important? How do the written and the verbal unleash powerful forces within?
The Australian Pocket Oxford Dictionary says a story is the course of life of a person, a narrative, a tale, an account, myth or legend, an anecdote or plot. To tell is to relate, utter or divulge.
So what exactly is story telling? Story telling invokes feelings to act, repel, think about or share. It brings forward an emotional response – laughter, amusement or tears. Through stories we may understand ourselves better. Stories have many guises.
In 2016, Pen to Power helped people in the Dubbo region find their voice in a creative way. Collage, film, photography and sculpture sat beside poetry and verse.
In sport, it’s the dialogue and picture reel before the game. The rivalled history of two teams as the hype is built before the big match. It’s the coming together of the club and the fans in a promotional video or social media post that delves into the personal or the explanation around people or events at the club.
In business, it extends from the company culture to the connection felt between the customer and the provider. You may have noticed in increase in story telling in marketing and advertorial campaigns from some of you favourite retailers.
In reconciliation it provokes powerful messaging. In history it brings the human forward.
But how does story telling help you?
Engaging in positive story telling not only activates the creative functions of the brain, feel good endorphins release through out the body in a satisfied embrace. Actively engaging your creative voice with an eye on recovery or positive mind set will unleash a powerful force within.
Positive charge sparks forward momentum. Awareness grows. Change follows a shift in focus.
Authentic story telling activates healing. It creates a pathway to recovery. A positive focus, steers your direction and a way out. We used this technique in Pen to Power by utilising mind maps.
How do you find your authentic voice in story telling?
Stop. Listen. Pause. Feel.
Practice connection through breath. Have the honest conversation in your head, in your heart, on the page. The uncomfortable is a moment. It will pass. Like the breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. Turn your attention to it. Long inhale. Longer exhale.
But the purpose of today is not to map your way through a difficult challenge. The focus is the process of creativity. Not judgement. Not a competition. Write for mind relief. For a laugh. Find some joy. Write because you can.
Stuck on where to start? Try these …
A man walks into a bar … (this one I actually used in my first book, Serpent Song)
“What do you call this then?” He asked, to which I responded …
There once was a cat called …
And my old favourite, once upon a time, in a land far far away …