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Ten Holiday Thoughts for Storytellers
By Angela Davis

Editor’s Note: The inspiring storyteller and never-give-up, Angela Davis, sent the following Holiday Thoughts for Storytellers to those of us who are members of the Storytell List. Even though Angela was in the thick of the hurricane Katrina this past year, she never lost her drive or positive outlook. I asked her permission to pass these thoughts on to help us all - not just storytellers - get through the holidays and beyond into the new years with her grace and vigor.

1. Find answers in stories.
Embrace stories from all walks of life. As you go about your daily chores eavesdrop on stories not to listen to conversations, but purely for the advantage of taking a message from the story you are hearing and see how it pertains to your life. Fascinated the way a main character in a children's novel went to a public place to eavesdrop on conversations, I’ve made use of this technique with intriguing results.

The story line was his mother was dead. So he had a regular ritual of going to a particular counter in a shopping mall to “hear” what advice his mother might give to him. It didn’t matter what the person speaking said. What mattered was his take on what the person said. Almost, always he got a sensible and meaningful response to his question. Try it for yourself and see what "answers" you might find.

2. Start a new story tradition this year.
Give the gift of story all season long. Each time you prepare a potluck dish for the many social gatherings you’re invited to, share the story of how the dish’s recipe came to be one of your culinary specialties. Or when giving a gift, imbue the receiver with the tale of how the gift came to be chosen. Either way carries on the wonderful tradition of sharing stories all throughout the holiday season.

3. Celebrate and renew your life through story.
Find a meaningful story for yourself and make it your story for the year! When you’ve found just such a tale, frame it and hang it in a place of honor in your office or near your bed. Let the story source your life with inspiration throughout the year and here's the fun part: Share your story spark with others throughout the year letting it inspire and move others too!

4. Give yourself the gift of solitude with story!
Take time during all the holiday hustle and bustle to escape into the solitude of story. Give your imagination and intuition free reign to decide what story you’d like to embrace. Is it a warm story from your past, or a new story you’re creating in the future? Perhaps you’ve decided to settle on a traditional tale from the season. There are many customs that add rich foundation to your life. Choose one and give it new life with your own additions and family customs.

5. Invite storytelling buddies over for an evening of sharing holiday customs, traditions and stories.
Light candles, play music you absolutely adore, hang colorful chimes where you can hear them and burn aromatic incense, to help your heart be merry and light. Extinguish the momentary distractions that get in the way of being present to yourself and others. As you each present a cultural melee of fun hand out specially purchased holiday ornaments to add to your treasure trove of holiday memories!

6. Bring the world together through the powerful world of story.
Ever been curious about another culture? Become a nomad exploring places you’ve longed to visit. Immerse yourself in the stories of that region's holiday season. Locate a storytelling buddy in that part of the world. As the shortest, coldest days arrive exchange heartwarming tales and as an added bonus share the fruits of your labor locally gifting children and adults with stories you've collected from that part of the world. Emphasize how stories bring us together and share a bit of how you collected the tales.

7. Expect the best.
Things have a way of working out for the best in the long run. Act as if the best story is waiting for you to discover it. A story that will be your signature piece for years to come wants your stamp of originality on it! Following in the footsteps of true storytellers, craft the tale into your very own, marking it in a totally memorable way that feels right for you. Expect the best story every month of the year!

8. Uncover the five best things about being a storyteller.
We each have our own reasons for being a storyteller. Why do you do what you do? Is it the joy you bring to others? Perhaps it is that marvelous feeling of having done a thing well. Maybe you like being a creator and changing story parts to fit your storytelling personality better. It could be telling stories feeds a part of your soul that nothing else can in just the same way. Whatever your reasons take the time to mine your precious jewels and make them known to your heart. (As always, it would be fun to share with others too!)

9. Bring only your best storytelling self into the New Year!
Decide what parts of your storytelling persona will make the trek into 2006. Light a candle, write what parts you like least about your storytelling and simply decide to leave them behind. To symbolize your new decision burn the written discarded parts. Now, acknowledge the best and the brightest of who you are first and foremost and the world will follow suit!

10. Honor the remarkable storyteller in yourself and in all people everyday!
This year if you lost everything, what would be left? The 2005 Story Success newsletter heralded the theme “The Year of the Storyteller.” This year choose to embrace stories that bring out the best in yourself and others. Each day is “Another Storytelling Day.” Everyone has a marvelous story to share - some incredible thing about them worth passing on. Not a day passes for you to miss seeing what a wonderful world we live in through story. Live purposefully - listen to the amazing and astonishing stories that fill our world.


Angela Davis, The Yarnspinner, is a teller of myths, folklore, fables, dramas and legends. As an entertainer and recording artist, she offers a variety of stories guaranteed to nurture the hearts and minds of children of all ages. To find out all about Angela visit her website at http://www.yarnspin.com/ or e-mail her at yarnspinner@mindspring.com

 

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