Listening can be a compass

listening story activist story as a map Feb 10, 2024
Compass on top of a map with the words

This past week, someone gave me the gift of their listening. My friend told me he was interested in my work and would listen to support me finding my next path forward.

To anchor our conversation, I dug out a map I'd made in 2022. I'd made it to get some clarity about what I believe are the facets of what working with storytelling has to offer. Of course, this kind of thinking can be overwhelming to people used to seeing one single clear product offering, as all the marketing gurus advise.

I can get lost myself. I found someone listening with intention and empathy helped me to be clearer about what I know.

I saw five clear focal points for using story:

  • Storyteller/StoryHolder: This is about finding and telling a better story; working with my stories so they become the fuel propelling me forward, rather than the hidden force in the driver's seat.
  • StoryCatcher/Story Steward: Finding, working with and tending the stories in people and systems
  • StoryShaper/StoryMaker: Leading together with stories/the partnership of story and hosting as a leadership capacity
  • StoryWeaver: Holding and hosting story space; hosting brave & transformational space
  • Story Activist: Story as transformer; Hosting stories into the world

Around each of these points I mapped everything I've either done or dreamed of so far. You can see a simplified version of this on my home page.

To add to this complexity, if my work were a tent people could step into, it would have two tentpoles -- story and hosting -- each of them intrinsic to my work and partnering the other. These are the things I love to do. I've always wondered if anyone understands how much I can bring to any space I'm in.

Being able to speak all this to my friend reminded me how much I've learned, experimented with and brought to my practice fields. It showed me I have a solid body of work to build on.

His listening was a glimmer of how I could set a new compass to guide me through to clarity of "What now?"

Since COVID, I feel like I have been a spider in the middle of this web, waiting for the vibration to tell me which way I should move with the rich vision I'm holding. In the meantime, I demonstrate my eldership by stewarding the fields of the Art of Hosting and the Flow Game Host field, and I work with my story community in THE STORY DOJO. These are expressions of my deep caring around practices of consciousness in these times of chaos and uncertainty.

Perhaps you are feeling this too. It feels like something significant has ended, and yet the new has not yet been born. It is coming.

It is indeed a gift to offer both listening and wisdom council to each other on how we can bring our unique gifts to bear in support of others who want to make a difference.

We can lend each other courage. We can offer strength. We can help each other feel like the deep waiting and time for integration has purpose. We can be a light to each other's path. We can offer a compass to find a new path.

This is a vote of gratitude for those I can do this for and who continue to do it for me. Thank you.



Isn't it time to have a brilliant ally on your side?

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