She Knew a Story
Life happens. Unexpected twists and turns of unplanned events, unexpected appointments or maybe dark moments, days or weeks that demand to be dealt with. We all have those times. It all becomes part of our life story and those stories matter.
But in the middle of the detours from our plans and goals, the negative monkey voice inside begins to holler instead of chatter quietly – white background noise turns to blaring stereos. How in all of that chaos or blues can I keep my passion alive when I begin to wonder if I even know what it is anymore?
I must admit that I have had times where I wanted to pull the blanket over my head and hide. I could not see how to move ahead. I did not know which direction I should even be looking, let alone moving in. Stories seemed bleak and often wanted to hide at the far recesses of my mind.
Over the years, I have found a few things that help reset the course, lift the mood and regain the passion I have for telling stories and helping others find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
I have to give myself permission for self-care. This can take a few different forms. It might need to be a visit to a counsellor if the darkness threatens to engulf. It might mean time with friends, sharing stories, laughter and even a few tears. Giving myself time, a trusted person to confide in and then looking for the bright spots, the glimpses of joy in the ordinary changes the outlook on life’s happenings. It is the first step.
Regaining the passion for storytelling and being able to help others share and preserve their stories means taking time to read or watch a movie but most often the book wins. Sometimes it will be a light-hearted, easy to read, predictable outcome fiction piece. Then I do not need to think deeply. I may pick up a mystery and read until my eyes get blurry trying to find out who done it. These help me get lost in someone else’s imaginative world. They take my mind off the tough stuff in my life and sometimes even give me an ah-ha moment as well.
The other night I felt like someone had turned an off switch. Physically exhausted, mentally drained and wanting to hide I made myself go to a writer’s group I meet with. Sometimes I just need to give myself a pep talk and go join others who are storytellers, writers, mentors and friends. Their input and encouragement, and helpful tips on pursuing what I love to do gives me a push from the stagnant waters that lack creativity and into the sparkling freshness of adventure.
To keep the passion alive of telling stories to encourage others, help them find their voice and reach their fullest potential I need to take time to look after myself, listen to some music, read books and hang out with encouraging friends who help me remember why I do what I do and that I have been gifted to do.
Then I need to sit myself down and write, write, write. I need to push myself to share what I’ve written, find places to tell the stories and enjoy the journey.