Beyond the Crises through Storytelling

Check out this post with Kate Farrell and her book Story Power

During this time of ongoing challenges, the global pandemic, looming economic recession, and social injustice, we experience anxieties on a daily basis. One of the most pressing of these is the unknown: how and when will the pandemic end, the political turmoil, financial uncertainty.

We are in the middle of the story.

Since we, as individuals, cannot determine the outcome of a situation on a global scale, and because we are living in more social isolation than ever before in our lifetimes, we are thrown back on ourselves and our inner resources. One way to see a way through the myriad of challenges that confront us, is to remember how we survived previous tests of character, endurance, and will. Those are the outcomes we know, a storyline we once created, that help us see past the current crises.

Life offers many challenges—not all are the same size or type. Whatever a particular challenge meant to you, you faced it down, and became the wiser. Whenever you tell that story, you hope to teach a life lesson, a moral, and empower others to avoid the same conflict and learn how to overcome it. Some trials are personal and ongoing, such as attacks against one’s identity. Others are born out of external crises, perhaps financial, physical, disaster-related, or a trauma.

PERSONAL CHALLENGES

  • Recall a time when you were personally challenged: your identity, appearance, sex, race, ethnicity, ability, or background.
  • Think of what happened, not simply the instance, but the entire narrative
  • Re-imagine the setting, people, the action, from beginning to end
  • How was the challenge resolved?
  • What is the lesson or the moral?
  • What do you hope will change after listeners hear your story?

The powerful stories of women’s experiences that’ve surfaced in recent years have had a profound impact on social awareness and attitude. When any of us are finally able to tell our personal stories, we provide a platform for those who have remained silent. Many of us are survivors, not only of insults, but of assault and violence. We soon realize that the empathy that comes from sharing personal stories is often a part of our own healing journey. #metoo #blacklivesmatter

Breaking the silence takes courage, but it is far better to find a safe place to speak than to remain in the shadows. As Elin Stebbins Waldal, author of Tornado Warning: A Memoir of Teen Dating Violence and Its Effect on A Woman’s Life, so poetically states:

 “I can no longer stay quiet in this world, I have a voice and I feel it reverberate off my internal walls, making its slow climb upward until its melody can be heard all around.” 

TRIALS OF CHALLENGE & HARDSHIP

We can identify, empathize, and applaud one another as we walk in the others’ shoes. To find your story of challenge:

  • Recall a time when you had to work your way out of a crisis or hardship
  • During that critical time, select a few scenes that depict the problem and its challenging tasks
  • Allow us to experience the challenge with you, through sensory images and key details
  • Keep to the main action
  • How was the crisis resolved?
  • What did you learn?
  • How do you hope to change your listeners by telling this story?

During this time of deep reflection, reach into your life story to find a way out of this moment of great challenge. We are all being tested to not only endure and survive, but to see past the crises with a new vision of what is to come. Share your stories of courage and vision!


Story Power by Kate Farrell

Story power

Secrets to Creating, Crafting, and Telling Memorable Stories

Stories are everywhere. The art of storytelling has been around as long as humans have. And in today’s noisy, techy, automated world, storytelling is not only prevalent—it’s vital. Whether you’re interested in enlivening conversation, building your business brand, sharing family wisdom, or performing on stage, Story Power will show you how to make use of a good story.