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.
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.
Have you been wondering who you are now in the face of so much change?
With so much stripped away, it can be challenging to know who you are any more. You know there's something else out there. You're longing for a larger, more authentic life, but you don't know how to get there.
Your story makes all the difference to whether you believe you are facing a crisis or an opportunity in disguise. It is the foundation for your future, the audacious spark of your unique offering in the world. Now is the time to make it your greatest ally!
If you've been wondering how to to take the first step, let 365 ALIVE! be your guide. It's like having a personal story coach supporting you all the way to your goals.
The world needs to hear your story -- let's bring it to life!
Set in the lens of story, Mary Alice’s questions can be playful, provocative, challenging, and laser-like on target. I'm a lucky guy. I've been on the other end of her questions, whether sitting at our kitchen table, attending a workshop, or reading from her brilliant book, 365 ALIVE! They often stick with me for days, prompt an "aha", or a reflective silence -- all of which come from the space of her loving curiosity and support. Thank you, Mary Alice. You have been a treasured gift for me and so many others.
-- Richard Durning, USA
Join THE STORY DOJO and find your online story 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
We focus on a different theme each month and offer two community events -- our signature FIRESIDE CONVERSATION and our monthly Story Café.
Everyone is welcome -- come and check us out!Find out more + how to join us!
Take your story in a new direction in 2021
There's so much more to learn about story!
Amazing self-paced learning experiences are waiting for you right now in the digital library!
Learn at your own pace, when and where you want.
Ideal both for those beginning their story journey and advanced practitioners.
Our offerings include:
- IMAGINE is the support kit you need to create your greatest year ever. Take the step-by-step journey into your new future.
- FREEDOM invites you to recognize that freedom is not a matter of state, but of mindset. It offers potent and mind expanding steps towards creating more freedom in your life.
- STORY THE FUTURE & 65 ALIVE! together include 50+ hours of self-paced learning about story with interviews from over 80 international speakers.
- Download "The 10 Practices of Story Activism" e-book
- More content on the way!
There's nothing like an event to make stories come to life
Explore the power & practice of story in upcoming live events. There's always so much to learn and explore, but even better than that? Sharing stories with others and being hosted to find the gold in your lived experiences and in your dreams for the future.
You'll experience new processes and techniques, interesting and dynamic speakers, and riveting topics.
Happening online and in-person. Coming up next:
- OCTOBER: Claiming the Queendom is a deep dive into story and archetypes to support you in reclaiming your feminine power.
- NOVEMBER: A series of short courses on story and the elements of participatory practice. Learn how story can help you support the groups and teams you work with into greater success.
- Want to add the power of story to your own event? Invite Mary Alice to create a special offering or host the group.
Open the door to your next chapter
It has been a long time in pandemic-exile. Who are you now?
We've all been wondering about the shape of the future. If you have been in transformation or you know something new is coming in your work and life a Circle of Clarity & Courage can be exactly the support you need to put the foundation under your next steps.
This four hour experience takes your story and turns it into a potent question. Our questions become the the inquiry in the Flow Game -- a fun and easy tool that creates wise council for your burning issues.
A Circle is ideal for:
- Colleagues who want to innovate together
- Life partners wanting to explore an aspect of relationship in a new way
- A team needing wise council on a current or planned initiative
- Anyone seeking personal inspiration and a lift into their desired future
Click to hear what they're saying...
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