The Art of Storytelling
What is your story? Everyone has a story, all 7 billion of us today, and billions more who have already walked and left this earth.
While storytelling has been a pivotal form of communication since the beginning of time, it is only in the last few decades that it has been pinned as an ‘art’. Cavemen, clans and tribes spent hours around campfires hearing stories from elders recounting daily happenings, community news and generational traditions, as a way of passing down invaluable information about their culture and heritage. Storytelling included moral lessons, legends, rituals and myths as part of their legacy for the longevity of generations to come.
How would we have learned about religion, moral beliefs, values and customs had it not been for the quintessential storytelling communicated in the Bible, Quran, Torah, Vedas and Tripitaka? How would we have known about life in ancient Egypt had the story not been depicted laboriously through Hieroglyphics? Or the incredible stories of Indigenous communities through unique Dreamtime Stories of the Aboriginal culture?
Storytelling is not only recounted and passed on with spoken word, but also via other communication mediums, including drawings, paintings, visual and sign language, written, print and digital space. It is used in a personal and professional context, as an educational, persuasive and therapeutic tool. The application style and modality highly depends on the desired outcome, and how the individual wishes to differentiate themselves from others in order to highlight their individuality.
The commonality in all forms are the importance of authenticity, honesty, establishing credibility, engagement and emotional connection with the recipient of the story. Stories influence people; stories connect generations; stories create a sense of belonging to a universal force. Personal stories are unique and the telling inspires a courageous journey to self-discovery.
Our story is the unique footprint of who we are, where we have come from, how others in our lives have contributed to shaping us, and most importantly how we have taken the resources made available to us to make relevant choices to the best of our ability. The choices we make, the outcomes they bring forth and the effect it has on our life will then become a permanent part of the repertoire of the next generation. A story is about inspiring change as we set the scene, stimulate a sense of wonder and create an atmosphere for the recipient to care and therefore learn from.
There is a natural storytelling need in each of us. The nurturing of this intrinsic impulse can bring about self-actualisation with positive results. Storytelling can be a valuable therapeutic tool, as it gives us a courageous voice, taps on to the now, shines clarity on our past and current life, and enhances optimism to plan for a desired future. It provides an opportunity to look inside ourselves, giving us the permission to express values we feel deep down in our core and validate our existing resilience.
Our motivation is powered by what we know and what we have experienced, as we draw strength from pain and adversity, celebrate joy and success. The true path of self-development and envisaging a desired future can have an extremely enlightening and healing effect. Navigating through the complex dark jungles of our mind and coming into the bright pasture of hope promotes an incredibly empowering sense of well-being and freedom.
What is your unique story? Trust your intuition and start telling it today. It’s not just art, it’s your gift to future generations.
One in seven billion, Uniquely Me…