Storytelling is a very important part of our lives. Most of us like to tell stories and share bits and pieces of our lives with others. Ask yourself this, am I usually the one telling the story or do I give people the space to share their stories with me?
Gratitude Tip: Everyone has a story they would like to share. Learning to ask great questions can help someone to open up and share their experiences. We learn so much about each other when we are able to skim over the small talk and share stories. Whenever someone opens up and shares their story with you, give thanks that they chose to open up and share a bit of their vulnerability with you.
Brené Brown discovered that she is an excellent storyteller and when writing her most recent book, Rising Strong, she spent a week at the beach with two girlfriends she had hired (yes, she paid them) to write down her stories as she would share them. Once written down, she would rush back to her room to transcribe them and flesh them out for the book. What ended up happening was that the process of writing became fun and she was in the ‘flow’ so the work came together more easier than it had ever before. Elizabeth Gilbert shares this story in her newest book, Big Magic.
Admittedly, I usually love to tell my stories first and then give people the space to tell theirs. What I have noticed in the past couple of years is that it’s a lot more interesting to allow people to share their stories first and take the time to let them open up before I share mine. I find that sometimes I don’t even take the time to share my own stories and I’m ok with that. As a writer, listening to other people’s stories is what helps me to be inspired in my work.
When I celebrated my 40th birthday with a group of my girlfriends, we spent the evening sharing stories. I don’t actually have a ‘group’ of girlfriends, most of my friends don’t know each other that well and I am the connecting factor between us all. Someone suggested that everyone take turns sharing how they had met me, starting with my BFF Lee-Anne who has known me the longest (well my sister has known me the longest but we all know how we met). At first, I started to tell the story but it was suggested that they tell the story themselves – which was fantastic. It was a wonderful evening of reminiscing and getting to know each other better. Many different side conversations were sparked and we had a lot of fun.
Lately I have been thinking about my family’s stories. My mom did an amazing job of recording her father’s stories, he actually travelled around the world three times by ship! As for my father’s side, I’m not sure that there is a lot of recorded history. My dad immigrated here from France in his early 20s. I find it interesting that I often don’t think about the fact that for my dad, my sister and I are first generation Canadians. I would like to record more about our family history before it’s too late. My husband asked me why it’s so important to me, as the past is in the past and cannot be changed. That’s a valid point, but for me, again as a writer, people’s stories are important. And I want to record them. Who knows? Perhaps someday I’ll be writing a book about the Boyer-Lachance family history.
Day 29 of the #40daysofgratitude. There are a few of us left who are posting daily! Keep going Louise, Cheryl, Angie, Ania and Kathy!! I’d love to hear from you how almost a month of intentional daily gratitude has affected your life. Anyone can join in for the last 10 days, and then why not continue on your own?