I’m Learning So Much From You!

roslynYee“I just can’t get over it! It’s amazing every week, going through your outline, reading your book … it’s like you are a master at this stuff! The way you lay everything out, and the energy, and the humour, you really know how people want to hear things! It’s how you say things, and how you communicate so that people are interested, inspired and want to stick around. It’s so much in your head, but how do you say it in a way that really interests people? I’m learning so much from you and I love your energy and I love your sense of humour!”

- Roslyn Yee, Vibrant Health International, LLC

Bored of Your Own Story? Read this.

An Insight and an Announcement …

BoredGirlYesterday I was on a call and a woman who wants to do some public speaking told me her ‘signature story’. With a STUNNING lack of enthusiasm and energy. It was like she was reciting a resume or reading out a grocery list.

I get it – (I have a knack for reading the energy behind a story and how it is being told), and guess what? —- **I’m seeing this more and more*** —- the old stories are dying out. [The Insight]

They don’t have the same energy anymore. It’s like what’s happening ‘out there’, with all the upheavals in the way people think, in the stories they tell themselves, in the collapse of dearly-held cultural myths, is ALSO HAPPENING inside. Old stories have no energy anymore. They aren’t working.

BUT, there’s a struggle with “what is the new story?” “what I am going to say instead?” “what works for me now?”

What you need is a sense of clarity, a new direction. You need to sit down with someone and sort through all the stories, the ideas, the insights and come up with something golden, true, a story that will move you into the next decades and changes to come with power and energy. A story that serves you NOW, not an old story that is stuck on autopilot and not serving you anymore.

This woman is now a client. She’s also coming to my “Your Golden Story” event this fall. [The Announcement, LOL] If you resonate with any of this, just reach out and contact me. This weekend in October is going to be life-changing for a few people, maybe you’re one of them.

Because the old stories just aren’t working anymore.

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Special Offer for Speakers & Workshop Leaders!

DiscoverYourStoryConsultati

I’m excited to announce I’ve opened up more “Discover Your Story” consultation sessions this month!

If you are a business owner or CEO who is looking to move your vision forward, make a big impact and grow your business through speaking, you MUST have a compelling speech written.

But it’s not always easy to figure out what to say, what stories to tell, and how to pull it all together into a compelling presentation.

So why not take advantage of this offer, and sign up for a complimentary 1/2 hour consultation with me where we will go over your goals and help you discover the core story you want to tell .

If You Want to Be out Delivering Speeches or Workshops this Fall NOW is the Time to Figure this out! Sign up Here for a “Discover Your Story” Session. 

Sign up for your complimentary “Discover Your Story” session today – you’ll be glad you did, because getting out and telling your story, getting clarity on your message and passionately being who you are on stage is life changing!!

See you soon, and until then …

“Be a Better Story”

… Diane Currie Sam
Storyteller, Speaker and Speechwriter
beabetterstory.com

Racism, Sexism and the Fight for the Story

I’m reading a fascinating novel right now.  It’s called Lion’s Blood.  It’s by American Sci Fi writer Steven Barnes, and the reason it came to myStevenBarnes attention was because of a Facebook post from Steven critizing the up-coming HBO series by Game of Throne creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss called Confederate.

Confederate is about an alternative reality where the South won the U.S Civil war, and slavery still exists in the modern day.  As you could imagine, Barnes, whose own novel Lion’s Blood turns US history on its head with an alternative world of its own where black Africans enslaved White Europeans in the new world, and often writes/lectures on racial issues and storytelling, is not a big fan of the idea. (See his comments in The Hollywood Reporter here, and buy his book, it’s excellent.).

Reading his comments on the upcoming series, I had an “aha” moment.  He’s right!  No one (least of all black people) needs yet another portrayal of blacks as slaves, and especially as slaves in the modern day.  It’s at best problematic, and at worst racist. He calls it dangerous.

The ‘aha’ moment wasn’t only that Barnes was right to be critical of this potentially hugely flawed idea (which he was), it was more that his criticism of it seems to be gaining traction. People are jumping on it, mostly everyone in agreement with his concerns.  What he’s doing, and what a lot of other people are doing, is challenging the story. 

It’s another confirmation of a trend I see happening fast and furious in our culture:

The breaking down of the dominant myths of modern western culture.

And the fight for the right to shape the new myths.

What Barnes is saying is essentially “enough is enough!” – can we stop tellling the story of the founding of the United States and the Civil War through only one lens, from the perspective of white people? Enough is enough! There are other perspectives at play that are very, very important to be telling right now.

Wow.

He’s fighting for the right to shape a new ‘myth’, one that is more fair and balanced, or even one that competes directly with the dominant myth. The fight for the story.

And I call it a fight for a reason – it has all the feel of a battle. People get offended when cherished beliefs are challenged, when new perspectives and ideas emerge that challenge them. Storytelling is deep stuff.  Stories define us and are not easily relstatueofcornwallisinquished.

Another example? Check out the “Removing Cornwallis” event on Facebook.  Read the comments. This was a protest group, spearheaded by members/supporters of the local Mi’kmaq nation,  that managed to get a statue of Edward Cornwallis removed from a city park in Halifax, Nova Scotia. (In 1749, Cornwallis issued an infamous scalping proclamation promising a bounty on Mi’kmaq scalps, and had been considered the ‘father’ of modern Halifax.).

They were challenging the story. Fighting for the right to tell a different version of it. Like Barnes, they were saying “enough is enough”.

What’s interesting to me is that from what I can tell, there wasn’t much of push-back, and most Halifaxians seemed to shrug and say ‘go ahead, take it down’.

But there was a little bit. Although there was some out-and-out racism, the push-back was pretty mild, and mostly in the form of caution, worrying about what other Mi’kmaq version of the story would replace it. Something along the lines of “ok, we’ll back off from the ‘Cornwallis as hero’ version of the story, as long as you don’t replace it with a “all white people were evil genocidal conquerers and you were innocents” version.

Fair enough, history is always full of shades of grey. Real stories, real history is full of dark and light, heros and villians.  And if we don’t like or agree with how someone is telling a story, then challenge it. Tell the truth as close to accurately as you can.

Activist Sarian Carson Fox, talking about the need to hear Indigenous voices, says it bluntly in this video: “Stop Telling Our Stories for Us!”

Oh, and I mentioned sexism in the title too, so here goes – I see this same trend in how women are fighting to tell their stories in their own voices.  Think of the introduction of the word “mansplaining” into our lexicon. A few years ago, I’d never heard of that concept. But now, I see it being called out all the time. Frankly, women are tired of men speaking for them.

I see it also in how many writers and commentators are challenging the “John McCain as lone hero” narrative coming out from the recent defeat of the ‘Skinny Repeal” bill in the US Senate (an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act).  They are pointing out that Senator McCain was only one of three Republican senators to oppose the bill. The other two were women. Women who had more to lose and put up with more harrasment to cast their ‘No’ votes. I’ve seen article after article coming up fighting for an alternative narrative, a story that is more balanced and true. We are done with being silenced, or as in the case with Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, being cast in supporting roles aside the male hero.

It’s part of that same underlying urge Steven Barnes is writing about, that the Mi’kmaq are protesting. It is arising from being silenced too long –  “enough is enough. let me tell my own story in my own voice’. Stop speaking for me and start listening to me.

Challenging the popular, dominant version of the story.  Fighting for the right to shape a new myth.

We are in a period of massive change, change that it is happening at breakneck speeds.

Power is shifting.

Myths are collapsing.

And if you want the new world that is arising to be fair, good, compassionate, if you want to be heard, then get ready to fight for your story.

Because there is no new world without new stories. New myths will arise to replace the old.  Now is the time to speak up. Because if the ‘lightworkers’ and compassion seekers of the world don’t fight for the right to be heard and to have their stories told, then others will …

and you may not like the stories they will tell.

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