Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Succulent storytelling

Yesterday morning I was having a conversation in my head. You know, the whole idea that there are no new ideas in the world? That we keep telling the same stories over and over? And how that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t tell them anyway? I came to some really powerful revelations.

First, did you know:
11% of 30+ year olds maintain a personal blog


there are 152 million blogs on the Internet?

What is going on with all these blogs? I couldn’t regularly read even 100 in a day without making it a full time job. Somehow these personal narratives are serving a purpose. And then I envisioned how we live our life in circles. The Google+ developers must have had the same idea.
Christopher David Ryan

We make friends, and we say they are now “part of our circle.” We become interested in, or at least exposed to, the things they are interested in. Suddenly we find ourselves in capoeira class or traveling the world with middle schoolers thinking, “Huh, ten years ago I never imagined I would find myself here.” We are led down a journey of life--experiencing, learning from our mistakes, searching for purpose, loving, and being loved. We seek out the comfort and wisdom of those around us as we create the life we feel we want to live.

And this is why we all need to retell the same stories.

The common threads that weave through our lives guide our actions year after year. Our surroundings shift, and we revise our stories to fit more modern times. Nowadays as “the digital world bleeds into the physical world and personal relationships migrate to the web,” we find ourselves with friends and guides whom we’ve never met in the flesh. These relationships can be as important as the people we see at the office or in the mommy’s group. We can’t predict where our next bit of wisdom may come from or who might need to hear our stories. Our circles are widening with surprising friendships, like bloggers who drive to Canada and stay in the homes of bloggy friends they have never “met.” (Great post from {not your average ordinary}!) I believe that we find each other for very particular reasons. Some friendships last for years and others for just a brief instant, still, they are no less powerful. We have but one job—to share our stories with anyone who cares to listen.

Feeling supercharged, I grabbed SARK’s book Succulent Wild Woman off the shelf to read in my breezy backyard. I have a hard time finishing books (I’m usually in the middle of 9 things at once), so I opened to the page bookmarked with an old receipt. And naturally, here’s what it said:

And if that wasn’t enough to let me know I was on the right track, this Succulent Wild Bird suddenly glided across the backyard and landed in my orange tree, 
as if to say, "Helloooo, over here! Yes, you! You got it!"

[Birds have recently become my personal messengers!]

So, that’s it. No more hiding behind “there isn’t enough time” or “what if it’s not good enough.” It’s time to daringly share our stories, succulent or simple.

I am a storyteller, and whoever wants to listen is more than welcome.

Please...come and join me!


  1. Great post - thanks for the shout out. I think you're right on that we have an intrinsic need to tell our stories. Maybe that's why blogging is ubiquitous?

    An individual is now able to intentionally create a network or audience around herself and the best way to attract an authentic tribe with common attributes is to "show" who she is. Telling one's stories is a great way to connect in this way.

    I'm glad to see you have created a space to tell your stories. We here at the Tree House love knowing what is going on inside your head. More, more!

  2. Thanks for your heart-filling encouragement, you merry grig!

  3. Hi BeccaJ, I have been reading about stories and storytelling for many years and your post is one of the most beautifulvI have come across lately. It goes right to the heart of storytelling. Peer-to-peer storytelling is I believe the essence of our experience economy. We need to communicate heart to heart if we want to connect our message (and ourselves) to the new world out there.
    You touched my heart and have become part of my circle as from now. Thank you for making this happen.

  4. Your post made my morning. We all have stories to tell.... But few can write them as beautifully as you.
    You made me think of this line of poetry from John O'Donohue:

    May the Angel of Awakening stir your heart
    to come alive to the eternal within you,
    to all the invitations that quietly surround you.

  5. Raf-Many thanks for your beautiful comment! I like the term you use, "peer-to-peer storytelling." I agree with you about connecting heart-to-heart, especially in the workplace. I'll look forward to following the progress of your upcoming book, and thank you for inspiring the story in others. Important work!

    Nick--that passage brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing those perfect words. I am forever grateful for all the "angels" in my life!

  6. So well-written, Becca. I have to say, blogging has made me the person I am. My friends have inspired dreams in me that I never knew I had and they support me in so many ways. The world is so big these days; I feel like blogging helps make it a little smaller (and definitely more magical).

  7. Yeah!!! So inspired, great post Becca.

  8. Brandi--I'm all about making life more magical! Thanks for the blog love! You, too, Jamie!