A storytelling approach
life is a story & stories change lives.
Why are our stories important? Often forgotten but never the less, still, a fundamental core ingredient to happiness, wellness and functioning successful communities. For that matter why are the sharing of thoughts and the encouragement of conversations so vitally important to the future of not just our community, but of the social fabric of our planetary future?
There are answers to these questions. Questions that over time we will explore and answer through a working out loud process as Journal. Suffice to say, the importance of going back to our roots and learning both the value of and remembering how to have, real conversations, sharing meaningful story and feeling inspired, is not to be underestimated. The Big Lottery Fund see value in supporting Journal's for lack of a better word, 'experiment' in community exploration through story and conversations. International Social leadership organization Sea Salt Learning see the value of investing in my own development. How would this come to be if there were no intrinsic important value to our stories?.
I hope that over time we can answer not only these questions but contribute to our communities through the value of story and conversation. In the meantime, I want to just give you a brief introduction to the transformative power of story & conversation.
StoryWork & Community conversations
a brief introduction
Sharing our inspirational story creates a space for transforming lives and communities. Story work is both creative & therapeutic. It is the core root of counseling & psychotherapy. It, in itself, has value, is measurable & effective. Storytelling provides everyday people opportunity to share parts of their extraordinary worlds. Sharing story thoughts and ideas has the power to inspire people to take action to change their internal or external world. Personal narratives can touch individuals & communities sparking the magic needed to change thinking as well as change behavior. Story work is effective in increasing compassion & kindness and as a bi-product can motivate against injustice leading to increased participation in civic and political life.
Resilience & Change
Research demonstrates that story work is an effective way to;-
- Develop, maintain & improve self-esteem
- Improve a person's sense of well-being
- Improve organizational health
- Develop & strengthen community cohesion
- Develop awareness, empathy & compassion
- Improve interpersonal communication skills
Story work has the power to inspire people to take action to change their internal or external world. Sharing insights about life is valuable to both those who speak and those who bear witness. None of us are mundane, uninteresting or unmemorable. It is our rich stories that help others & ourselves to see that. Feeling heard meets one of our most primal needs for connection. The lack of connection with others is a primary factor in poor mental health. To feel seen, heard & acknowledged can inspire change in everything. It provides evidence to ourselves that we exist, that we are of value, that we matter. Stories told by others can transform our perceptions of ourselves, our peers & the world around us. Story work is more than art, it is also medicinal.
Sharing stories has the power to make a real difference on;-
- an individual inter-personal level
- at the community level
- at the wider social level
- at the institutional or policy level
- in both the physical and virtual worlds.
In StoryWork, we combine both the traditional-physical & the modern digital formats. We capture story using a diverse mixture of tools & skills. Examples include; film, oral, audio, spoken word, reflective journals to art, photography & song. We invite you to explore people and community through conversation and to share that with each other and with Journal. Inspire each other to learn from one another. Change begins with the smallest of moments and the humblest of beginnings. Everything, every invention, cause, movement, personal growth, social-political change begins with a thought, that thought is turned into a conversation, a story is created and driven by inspiration.
Chief Tea Drinker at Journal