There are times when I feel as though I live in an alternate reality. I probably engage more people in a week than most do in a lifetime. What seems surreal to me is the reaction that so many people have to storytelling. I have lived long enough to know that I am only an ingredient in the recipe that makes for a session of successful storytelling. On some levels, when people gather to share words, it ascends to something much more ritualistic than performance.
Let me give an example. One of my rules is to only share stories that touch me deeply, emotionally. I’ve always felt that if a tale resonates profoundly with me, then there are others it will do the same for.
Yesterday I shared, for the first time, a story that has been stored in my mind for years. I can’t even tell you why I haven’t. I just haven’t. Something about the people, the atmosphere of one of yesterday’s sessions inspired a need in me to finally tell the tale.
When you are passionate about the content of the words you’re speaking, it is like setting a bird free from a cage. I build upon my relationship with the audience in front of me but never lost sight of my own emotional attachment to the story. Even when tales are sad, or unpleasant, I find beauty in their ability to create personal change. I finished telling the story.
As the audience was exiting, I was approached by one of the women present. Her face looked troubled. I could see that she had just had an emotional experience. She came to me and hugged me. As she was hugging me, she said, “That story made me cry, I felt her pain,” and then, while making deliberate eye contact with me she finished with, “thank you for giving us that.”
I am honestly in awe of the power of story. These types of things are occurring more and more often. Each and every time, no matter the content, I am filled with an indescribable joy to be doing what I do everyday.
I am thankful to be living a purpose-filled life.