Monthly Archives: February 2013

Storytelling: How to communicate to motivate


Dangerous Old Woman

When was the last time you sat around a campfire, taking turns, telling or listening to stories? Do you miss that sharing? Is it lost to you, or can you open your heart and find that like an ember, that story and many stories are sitting inside you, ready to be lit afire?

This weekend my name finally made it to the top of the list at the library for the CD set, “The Dangerous Old Woman: Myths & Stories of the Wise Woman Archetype” by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés. I first learned of Dr. Estés through her book, Women Who Run With the Wolvesbut I especially enjoy the storytelling on her CD set. If you have any curiosity about the wise woman archetype or simply love stories, I strongly urge you to look into this series. Listening to her work is like being reintroduced to stories around a campfire. So powerful and so rich.

She begins with the fairy tale of Snow White and then goes into depth about its meaning and significance. I won’t spoil the details of her insight and would if I tried, but I will say, what a talented storyteller she is! I became so enchanted and lost in story, that when I awoke from her trance I realized I hadn’t experienced such a feeling in a long time. I remembered how powerful it is to hear story rather than to simply read it or write it. I also recognized how lessons and learnings seem to gel so much better in my brain and in my heart when I hear information tied to a story.

Which got me thinking, why as adults don’t we read fables to one another? Or maybe we exchange stories in a different way, for example, through a TV series or a Youtube video or a 140 character tweet. Regardless of delivery or content, what are the stories we tell ourselves and our children nowadays? What are the modern day fairy tales circulating out there? How has storytelling been cheapened or beautified by the process of globalization? And what is the value of storytelling? Does it still have value? What is it’s purpose? Can stories still offer us life lessons? Can we use stories to motivate others?

Well I am not coming on here to dole out answers nor do I have them all, but I can say with certainty that I need stories to understand, experience and connect to my surroundings, community and myself. Stories are invaluable to me, and yet I do not always praise and honor them. With the fast pace of life I do not often allow myself to tell my story, the kind that comes from deep within my heart. And then it occurs to me, so many of us have buried our stories so deep within us. And, then, because on a daily basis we operate from our minds alone, we lose touch with the heart of our story lines – cutting ourselves off from so many things like our cultural past/present, our highest self and our very life purpose.

Even though some days it may seem like the story is dead within us and the people around us, if we shift our perspective we can see that stories are still alive and thriving and impacting the very way we experience the world. They are not dead but simply need to be rediscovered, nurtured and ultimately transformed in a way that can be shared with others. For those of you who have taken the time to discover and heal and are now ready for the sharing part, you may feel like you have a story stirring in you, ready to come out to the world. So, how are you going to tell it? Is there a right or wrong way? It depends on your goals.

If you want to tell a story to motivate or influence someone, there are some methods to consider.  Infuse your story with a little bit of strategy and you can turn your tale into something bigger that may move others into action or that may move someone to share their own story. When we are all sharing our stories, we begin to be with ourselves and with one another in a way that offers true healing, learning and connection.

To help tell your story, click below for the Communicate to Motivate video from Prevention Speaks:

Prevention Speaks is a storytelling resource for healthy change in communities that is local (from Wisconsin). This website has a lot of great links and there you can pick up your very own storytelling tool kit.

May you be watched over blessing


“May you be watched over”

May you be kept safe.

May you be watched over.

May all the good that you are seeking seek you as well.


And may you know that everything you need

 is given to you in the proportion that you need it.

And may you see the signs everywhere

that help you to understand and to learn exactly

who you are

why you are

and, most of all, that you belong to us,


Tribe of the Sacred Heart…

–  Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés


Why dream, when you can do? Art journals & “collage montage”


Journals and notebooks are used for so many things. Some chronicle world events on a large scale like the newspaper, while others may be used to bring our attention to a smaller, present moment. Others might be a playground for developing ideas and stories. Maybe the journal you know is more of a place for mind dumps and wandering thoughts or maybe yours is beautifully adorned with poetry and other holy insights. Perhaps a journal to you is just an empty page inviting that doodle in you to come out. Whatever journaling means to you, there is a deep and therapeutic aspect to it. Next month we will have a guest blogger on to speak, or I should say write, about the healing nature of writing, and I can’t wait. But for tonight, I wanted to quick plug my love for art journals and the power of image with words as it relates to health and wellness.

2.13.13_CollageTonight I started what I hope to be a habit, the first page of an art journal, what I like to playfully call “collage montage” (a bit redundant, but it rhymes). This isn’t my first rodeo. My first intentional visual art journal was birthed freshman year of college during an interim course called, “Arts, Culture and Context” that took place on Lake Street in Minneapolis. I never finished my journal because of my perfectionist ways – I told the teacher that I would do it later on my own time (so I could do it the right way instead of rush through it). Well I owe my professor a big apology as it’s been 9 years since the course and the journal is stored on a shelf, collecting dust, still unfinished. I’ve made peace with it, mainly because I still have the opportunity and urge to journal in a way that is not just capturing words but images. (I’m still working on the perfectionist thing, but that’s for another post ;))

Images are so powerful. As they say, “a picture is worth a 1,000 words”. Think about how images affect us – some of us can read books with graphic scenes and descriptions but cannot stomach to see it on the big screen. Images have a way of staying with us. But, what happens if we take some control over the images we see – or we put images to the feelings we have deep inside of us? Sometimes there are no words, but there are images that arise in our consciousness. What would it look like if we took the time to explore those images?

Those are the questions I sit with tonight and I hope to sit with tomorrow. How does image impact you? Do you have an empowering image that you keep nearby? Is there an image inside of you? Do you need to let it out?

I dedicate this post to dear Kris and Nan, my original research partners and forever soul friends. I owe this recent revival of interest in art journaling to the two of you. Thank you so much! Please keep all of the MR readers posted on whatever form your deep research takes next. We so look forward to it!