Telling Our Stories

Dr Peggy Marshall

Telling Our Stories
By Dr Peggy

“Your story is your Life”
-Jim Loehr

Dr Peggy

Dr Peggy

Last month we began our journey of “Living Inside Out”.  Did you start your journal?  What did you notice about your passions and your dreams?  This month, we are going to focus on the stories we tell ourselves and others.  Stories are incredibly powerful.  They have been a major way of communicating since time began.  Cultures have stories.  Families have stories.  Even corporations have stories.  However, the focus of your work this month will be on your story.

A colleague of mine, Karen Gilliam, from Antioch University wrote about storytelling in her dissertation.  She commented that “stories tell us who we are, what we do, where we come from, how we live, and occasionally they tell us why we live as we do”.   Stories fill in the blanks for us-they help us make sense of things when we find it difficult to navigate in life.  By their very nature, they include assumptions we make about our world.

Jim Loehr in “The Power of Story” explains that “our stories profoundly affect how others see us and we see ourselves, too few of us even recognize when we are telling stories, or what they are, or that we can change them”.  The last statement, “that we can change them” is what gives us our power back.  When we understand that the stories we tell are “our” stories, we can begin to examine them for truth and purpose.

This month we are going to begin by gently unearthing our stories focused specifically in three-five areas; health, happiness, work, family, and relationships.  In your journal, begin by writing about a story in the area that is causing you the most angst.  Don’t edit yourself as you tell the story-put as much emotion and detail into the story as possible.  Allow the story to flow without checking for grammar, spelling or how it might sound. Once you finish the story set it aside.  Then go on to the next area/story.  Let’s shoot for three major stories this month.

As you think about your stories throughout the month, go back and add more details-even draw if you like.  Next month we will use the stories to set ourselves free!