Holding a Mirror: Storytelling Sundays – 17th February 2013

Theme: The Story of Your Name

Story: Brigid’s Story

Origin: Kildare, Ireland

Creative Opportunities: Writing and decorating a greetings card to yourself, writing and telling the story of your name.

This was the first Storytelling Sundays session to be held at Beanzz Cafe, and it was a huge success!  The idea had been to guide people gently into the art of storytelling, by using stories and settings with which they felt comfortable and familiar.  So the session was focused around the story of your name.  It seems that everyone has a story to tell about their name – the feelings it evokes, the reasons and meanings behind it, a personal quest to find acceptance, satisfaction, connectedness…  The workshop really brought that home as people shared the highs and the lows of their own personal journeys with their names.

What I had hoped would be comfortable and familiar was, for some, challenging and uncomfortable.  The workshop became quite an intense personal discovery on many levels.  But everyone agreed that it was very, very rewarding.  Struggles with our own names can cause deep rifts within our selves, as the mere sound of who we are irks us and makes us shrink away.  Gently approaching those old wounds, in a safe and loving way enabled people to find new layers of acceptance for themselves – love, appreciation and gratitude for who they truly are.

As for the stories – we’re all storytellers, naturally.  And this was the central axis of the workshop.  Chatting with others in groups and partners, co-listening and sharing over a lovely cuppa (there’s a reason we were in Beanzz!) was all part of the process.  We all tell stories all the time.  The stories of our own names, our own selves, can be shared intimately as well as publicly.

The name stories that were shared publicly with the group at the end were incredibly powerful and moving.  Some had rich and gorgeous fairy tale qualities, some were tinged with the heartbreak and healing of gritty reality.  All the tales were a poignant snapshot of a moment in time – timeless and fleeting in the stories of our lives…

Next time: Sunday 17th March 2013

Theme: Stories of Place – bring a picture, object, etc. connected to your favourite place.

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