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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. In life, at work: 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.


November: Rediscover & reclaim the power of your AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP


 Too many of us have been putting on a brave face, wondering where our power disappeared to and what we can do to get it back. Does this sound like you...

  • You have so much to offer, but you stop short, even self-sabotage. 
  • You feel discouraged by the leadership you see around you and long for less focus on competition and scarcity and more collaborative models.

  • You've been tapped for leadership but you're hesitating because you wonder what else you'll have to give up.

  • You feel unrecognized, even silenced, or burned out and overwhelmed. You're  wondering what it would take to claim your powerful seat at the table.

Find out more & register!

There is a way for you to reclaim your authentic power so you step into the world with joy and meet challenges with confidence! We start on November 7.

What if you could change how the world sees you?

New online workshop starts September 7th 

There are five SIGNIFICANT STORIES you need to be able to tell to answer your call in life. 

How you tell them makes all the difference. 

That's right -- out of all the thousands of stories that make up your life, just five are so key that they are the foundation for your future.

Join Story Activist Mary Alice Arthur & online host extraordinare Amy Lenzo to shape the stories that shape your future.


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.

Receive a free shot of weekly inspiration
Find out more & download a free chapter

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!

We offer:

  • • 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!

2022 is the year of Story

Here's how your stories can change the world

 The past few 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 for us to remind each other who we can be together.

Join the Love Stories Team

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!
See all digital offerings

Play THE FLOW GAME & gain clarity & courage

Give yourself -- or someone you care about -- the gift of a powerful future. Playing a Flow Game is exactly the support you need to put the foundation under your next steps.

This four hour experience is a powerful combination of coaching and deep reflection. Focusing on what matters most to you right now, your questions become the the entrée into the Flow Game -- a fun and easy tool that creates wise council for your burning issues.

Now is the perfect time!

A Flow Game 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 

Find out what others say about their experience... 

Learn more

65 ALIVE! is a wake up call to the power of story

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.  

2022 themes:

  • 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, Peet Morrison, Meredith Graham & Stephen Jacob

The recording package includes a PDF copy of my book "365 ALIVE!" & discounts for BEYOND FACILITATION & membership in THE STORY DOJO.

Find out more & purchase

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

Register NOW

Until Jan 15: IMAGINE free for young people

These past two pandemic years have been even more than challenging. It has be so easy to feel depressed, despondent and deprived. Where'e that brilliant future I've been hoping for? I feel stuck!

We created IMAGINE to give you the tools and mindset to make your dreams a reality no matter what else is happening in the world. Now we want to give it away.

Imagine an online adventure that sets your potential on fire. 

What if 2022 were your best year yet – a time when everything comes together, when your passion and purpose ignites, when you have the courage to shine and manifest all you can imagine for yourself?

Between now and January 15, 2022, we’re offering all young people up to 30 years of age free access to IMAGINE, our eight-day online adventure. 

And everyone else can pay what they choose. You’ll find a range of options. The most fun? Do IMAGINE together with someone else and you both fly!

Find out more & register

Fire up your future with IGNITE

Are you at the point where you know there's more, but you don't know how to get there?

A mastermind is a fast and effective way to get traction on the stories you're living in and so you can step into your most successful future. A Mastermind  group can support you put the finger on exactly how to make story your ally to ignite your dreams.


  • Personal attention from Mary Alice
  • The weekly Hotseat where we focus on pouring wisdom and targeted practical advice into each participant in turn
  • Deep connection and community to support you in taking the next steps with confidence
  • Weekly personal inspiration to meet you where you are and lift you into the future you desire

Wise coaching. Expert advice. Group wisdom. Personal attention. 

Learn more about IGNITE


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.

More about me
See my TEDX

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."


Nora Ganescu

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."


Penny Hamilton

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."


David Sibbet

Founder, The Grove Consultants International, USA

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