Why is understanding story so important?
Most people believe that stories live in the pages of books, but the most important stories in the world are hidden. They live inside us. They are created through the meaning we make of our experiences. Day by day. Moment by moment.
The stories we hold are our lens on the world. They frame what we see and who we can be as a result. They determine our agency -- our ability to take action and make impact.
Whether you see possibilities or problems, competition or potential colleagues depends on your story. Most people aren't even aware their story is in the driver's seat and they are being taken for a ride, all the while wishing desperately to go down a different road.
Here's the thing: We live in a story and that means we can change it.
Changing your personal story is the first step towards living the future you want. When you claim your story, you learn to trust yourself and your impact expands. You shine brighter and the world will beat a path to your door.
When we change the stories we live in collectively -- when they are more positive and generative -- life gets better for everyone. Work becomes more fulfilling, community becomes more connected and everyone benefits.
The power of transformation lies in the stories we choose to activate. It's time to tell a better story.
The aspects of great storymaking
Telling a better story is about more than technique. SOAR works with five core aspects to bring story to life within individuals and the systems they are part of.
Together these aspects form a potent strategy. When you work with your own stories, you build personal and interpersonal capacity. When we work with stories together, we increase our capacity for collective wise action.
Whatever the change you're seeking, story is the key.
Read the book
What's the most important story in the world? It's the one you tell yourself.
The stories alive inside you influence whether you feel powerless or powerful, color your success and happiness, underpin every action you take. When you wake up to the stories at work in your life, you suddenly step into the position of power. Story stops being what defines you and becomes your ally.
If you're longing for a larger, more authentic life, let 365 ALIVE! be your guide.
Join the Community
THE STORY DOJO is a community for exploring, ideating and practicing all aspects of story. Whether you are a new story enthusiast or a seasoned practitioner, we have something for you. Let us host your story to life!
- • Vibrant conversation
- • Hosted exploration of how story works
- • A safe space for your story to grow & change
- • Digital Learning Library
- • Worldwide Community
Everyone is welcome -- come and check us out!Find out more & join us!
Start 2022 at the Story fire
Starts January 17: Love Stories
The past two years have been tough. It’s easy to focus on the drama of it all, but I’ve decided that I’d rather live in a love story.
Sharing stories is a great reminder that we already know how to love and reminds others how they’ve sparked love and learning in us and for others.
The more we share, the more love there is. So here's an invitation to join me in sending out small stories to people who've made a difference. We CAN change the world. One love story at a time…
It's simple and easy.
Every day for 28 days, you'll receive a digital postcard with a short prompt.
Use it to think about a memory, a story or an appreciation. Write it down and send it to someone you care about. Say something that's in your mind and on your heart. Spread the love. There's no better time then now.
The perfect lead up to Valentine's Day
65 ALIVE! is back February 1 - 5, 2022
Start your year warmed & inspired at the story fire. Five days on storymaking & storyshaping. We feature a new theme and new story practitioners, thought leaders and artists every day.
- Story as activism: When we change our stories, we can change the world. What does that look like in practice? With Chris Corrigan & Donna Brown
- Letting the wolf in: Thinking about and working with difficult stories With Elizabeth Ellis & Loren Niemi
What is the future story of work? With Samantha Slade & Ed Hoffman
Women & men & power With Annette Simmons & James Navé
The spirit of story -- how the past fuels the future With Annie Ruth, Judith McCray & Elissa Yancey
- And featuring artists Julia Thornton & Don Kirkpatrick, Dave Rock, Peet Morrison & Stephen Jacob
Join for one session, more or all!
Starting Feb 16: The Secrets of Extraordinary Hosting
Beyond Facilitation: The Secrets of Extraordinary Hosting is a series of short courses taking you into the heart of hosting to deepen your skills, your awareness and your practice.
Based on the Art of Hosting practice field, take a deeper look at the methodologies and maps that underpin the leading edge of participatory group process. We put a special emphasis on how story can become your most trusted process partners and I show you how story is the "secret sauce" to extraordinary process..
Choose the whole four course meal or select "a la carte." Discount for groups of 3 or more.
February 16: Mastering the Fourfold Practice
March 2: Navigating the 8 Breaths of Process Architecture
March 16: Story: The secret sauce to great hosting
March 30: Finding the Gold in Lived Experience -- Applying the Collective Story Harvest method
With Amy Lenzo
I'm Mary Alice & I'm a Story Activist
I've been travelling the world and going in and out of organizations, systems, communities and cultures for decades. In working with both individuals and groups, I realized STORY is the secret superpower of humanity. The stories we tell are creating the world we're living in. Every moment. Every day. Story by story.
YOUR STORY IS YOUR FOUNDATION & YOUR KEY TO THE FUTURE -- the roadmap for enabling your purpose in the world.
Your story acts as a beacon lighting the way. What most people don't realize is that you aren't stuck with the current situation -- you can make the choice to activate a better story.
I guide people longing to live a larger and more authentic life to uncover and craft the story that compels them to live that life. And I work with groups to find the stories that will bring their vision and potential into focus and action.
JUST FINDING YOUR STORY IS NOT ENOUGH, YOU NEED TO BRING IT TO LIFE -- especially if the story involves others.
Taking action to live your own story -- and working with others to help a new story take root in the world -- is vital. And there are so many stories that need changing now! I'm a great storyteller, but I'm even better at coaching people to hone the capacity to activate and empower stories to life.
How you take action, especially with others, matters. And with a story and skill, anyone can make change in themselves and in this world!
My book, my story community, the programs I offer and how I work as a Story Activist are the ways I'm making my contribution to grow our individual and collective futures.
I just love working with groups! Here's Brian Tarallo's harvest of my workshop "Change Your Story, Change the World" at the Power of Visuals Week-a-thon.
Inspiration & support to step out with your story!
Subscribe to my newsletter -- The Red Thread -- for news and tips about the power & practice of story.
"I turned to Mary Alice for support in a critical time in my work to successfully navigate a difficult merger and rebuild the team. I consider the coaching and support key factors in the success of this project. Her warm and wise presence by my side empowered me and impacted the entire organization with lasting results."
Consultant & coach, Slovakia
"Mary Alice has been a guide on our journey of service transformation in different ways over seven years. She brings crisp clarity, sharp focus, deep wisdom and a collection of stories that create space for potent conversations and insights."
Strategic Partnerships Manager, Uniting Care, Queensland, Australia
"Mary Alice has the sort of grounded presence that can hold a group of any size. I experienced her leading one of the best conferences I've attended. Many people are competent and skilled. Mary Alice has that extra spark that makes her truly inspirational."
Founder, The Grove Consultants International, USA