The times we’re living through now will become the stories we tell each other for generations to come…
There’ve been times lately when how to move forward felt like an inscrutable thing. There are a lot of people out there who believe they have the answer, that protecting big business and the economy will be our saving grace.
Personally, I believe our stories are the single most valuable tool to dig out from this moment.
StoryMuse was born in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. I kept hearing that the reason the election was so surprising to so many was because technology has driven us to operate in silos, virtual bubbles, that we cannot hear each other across lines of difference. In that moment, I knew that getting real with our stories was the key to help us rebuild our empathy, to both listen within and to truly listen to each other again.
Since then, I’ve witnessed the power of this work to change hearts and minds, to bring people together, over and over again. I’ve seen it in the work around reflection, resilience, and response at Virginia Tech after the shootings. I felt it to my core in the opportunity to coach Anne, a Maasai young woman from Sub-saharan Africa, a victim of female genital mutilation, who wanted to tell her story to raise awareness about the physical and psychological trauma of FGM.It was embedded in the light and darkness that co-existed in working with girls who’d been sex-trafficked at Devereux. It was there in the deep and meaningful Truth & Consequences, which then led to one of my latest projects, Stories of Transformation.
The Story Stimulus Package
In 2020-21, StoryMuse is launching the Story Stimulus Package, a tour of listening, speaking, and creative engagements with workshops, coaching, public storytelling events, and ongoing change actions.
It’s all based on certain principles:
- The stories we tell articulate our values—more often than we recognize.
- The stories we tell have the power to manifest the future.
- The stories we tell have the potential to move us toward action. Those actions then feed our subsequent stories, making for even better stories!
Growing a Storytelling Culture
I’m looking for collaborators, not clients. I’m interested in co-creating a remarkable process, not just a product.
I have very few limitations on when and where I travel. I may return to communities and organizations I’ve already served. I hope to find new places to bring the work as well. Some engagements can even be entirely virtual.
At the end of the day, my goal is to support your work and help grow a storytelling culture wherever you are, whatever your needs.
But what does growing a storytelling culture mean, Shannon? It can mean a lot of things, and it might depend on who you are, where you are, what your work in the world is right now…
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!
- Are you an individuals who needs to turn to her stories for personal and professional development, to understand herself and her relationship to the world, and to practice reflection and discernment through organizing and (re)telling your life experiences? We should talk about coaching.
- Do you work for an organization that could benefit from a fresh exploration of storytelling? Perhaps we should dive into the use of storytelling as an everyday, internal communications tool for staff and board reflection, evaluation, hiring, etc., as well as external communications and resource development. Let’s talk about bringing me in for workshops or a residency.
- Are you a part of a coalition or community organizing initiative where your actions would be augmented by a storytelling component as an initiating factor or reflection point? You should bring me in for a multi-day residency, including my public lecture/dialogue on “The Transformative Power of Storytelling.” Or, perhaps an issue-based show with planned dialogue would be a great idea.
A Call to Story-Based Action
My point here is to proactively plan for what comes out of our stories, to use the act of storytelling as both…
- investigator (what our stories uncover) and
- instigator (what our stories inspire).
Let’s get started.
Shannon M. Turner