If you don't know where to start...Start with today.
It's Sunday today. I do love Sundays they have always been my most favourite day of the week. It's a pattern, a story that I picked up as a child living in poverty. There are no bills or debt collectors on a Sunday. If your living in that position now, I cannot urge you enough to have a day off from the constant grind of 'poverty letterbox door knocking worry'. Enjoy the day finding peace with yourself and your family. Make up a few sandwiches and get out for a walk. Change begins with the smallest and what at first, seems like unconnected steps.
So yes, its Sunday and I am writing this with headphones on, music loud and a cup of sweet Indian Tea. My name is Kane Dodgson, founder & tea drinker at Journal, a community not for profit, kind of project. A project is probably not quite the right word as that would imply that we have some kind of long-term strategy or plan with clearly defined goals and outcomes and measures and statistics and all that. Something purposefully avoided, for good reasons that I will explore at another time and space.
A better description would be to explain that we are a multimedia storyteller organisation and we are, kind of, but not fully that. A more detailed professional explanation would include my psychotherapy background and the therapeutic stuff going on behind the scenes. To explain our exploration into ideas and thoughts for personal and community social change, or our roots in asset-based community development and co-production, but I would rather not. After all it's Sunday and I am listening to 'Disco Devil' by Lee "Scratch" Perry.
So for now, this kind of sums up a bit of what we do;-
What's the purpose of not having any fixed long-term plan?
The process itself is cathartic for all involved, it is therapeutic. All meaningful conversation and stories are. You only have to immerse yourself in any story with a David versus Goliath archetypal theme or metaphor to know how powerful a meaningful story is. To feel how it changes your own perceptions about yourself, something or someone else. The very process of feeling seen, heard, understood and accepted is validated through meaningful conversations and storytelling.
There is also something quite overlooked today and that is;- The solution to all our personal and community problems comes from within, they are buried deep inside us unheard and unseen. We can change the very nature of how we feel about ourselves and others by sharing a story from differing positions and perspectives. We can turn our stories from one of weakness to one of strength.
So I mentioned we have no plan and that is true in the traditional sense. Our plan for what Journal will be and will deliver in the future is to be determined by the people we meet and those that participate in our exploration of community story. In short, we will build and shape things from what we learn from sharing stories with our communities. It's my plan to share all this learning and our own reflections openly and to encourage all to add to their own and our own story through a "Working Out Loud" process.
If you have a story to share, an idea to improve life or community or would like to tell us what matters most to you, please do. Link up with us on social media, leave comments there or here on the blog, sign up for our irregular newsletter, take part in our workshops. We will be offering both on land and online opportunities as this exploration into community unfolds.