Here's what they're saying...
Writing a book may seem like a solo effort, but actually its's a community endeavour. 365 ALIVE! had a launch team of 612 people in over forty-one countries around the world from all walks of life. They read, digested, experimented, got provoked, and saw themselves in a new light. Here's what some of them said about the 365 ALIVE! journey.
Reader reviews from around the world
“The first time I heard the term ‘Story Activist’ was when I discovered the work of Mary Alice Arthur. Her work in the world embodies that activism. While we all know that story is powerful, this book empowers the reader to truly be a Story Activist in their own lives — and in the process, story the world into a better place. I love how it is easy to dip into this book, learn something new about story and then be offered actionable ways to take that knowledge back into my own life. Wherever you are in the field of story, you will discover something new.”
Cate Friesen, TheStorySource.ca (Canada)
“Mary Alice’s book reminds us all of the important role that stories play in our lives — how they can help shape, build and form everything from how we think to what we see and feel. She digs deep into the therapeutic role our personal stories can play in both evaluating our past and envisioning our future. Her use of provocative questions and reflections at the end of each “chapter” really kickstarts your storytelling possibilities! A wonderful read whether weekly or just straight through and a great reminder for everyone of thepower and significance of the stories they carry.”
Shane Meeker, author of StoryMythos: A Movie Guide to Better Business Stories (USA)
“There are so many elements and levels to this book that it surprised me. But of course, stories create our lives and make sense of our lives. As Mary Alice writes: ‘Change your story — change the world.’ As a sustainability advisor I have learnt the power of stories, the power of imagination. If you want to create a sustainable world you must first imagine it, create the story about and of it. Then you can realise it. 365 ALIVE! is a great practical guide to work with stories from the outside in and inside out, where you become wiser as you immerse yourself in the story universe. Our world needs a new story, a new dream. 365 ALIVE! can help facilitate it.”
Karen Blincoe, Ph.D., Advisor Sustainability, FRSA, DD (Denmark)
“In 365 ALIVE! Mary Alice Arthur is your coach taking you on a guided meditation over fifty-two glorious weeks, immersing you in your stories. By the end you know yourself in a new way and appreciate the stories that flow through and around you. Mary Alice’s global experience, nuanced understanding of all things narrative, and her beautiful stories take you deep into your own experience, resulting in a meaningful and delightful adventure.”
Shawn Callahan, author of Putting Stories to Work: Mastering Business Storytelling (Australia)
“Simple, deep, and inviting, 365 ALIVE! is a gift of wisdom and a spark of inspiration for a world in urgent need of both. Mary Alice guides us on a journey to unearth the stories that influence who we are individually and collectively. She offers a treasure chest of prompts to surface how story influences the ways we live, and she calls us up to choose the stories that will carry us forward. Anyone seeking to make sense of life in a discombobulating world will find a creative path in 365 ALIVE!”
Wendy C. Morris, Founder and Principal Consultant, Creative Leadership Studio (USA)
"A unique book full of exquisitely wrought and extraordinarily powerful questions, guiding you on a journey into your own life stories and back out into the world again. Mary Alice's wise, provocative and generous counsel is the companion you need if you long to be helpful in this critical moment in our world but are not sure how. "
Jenny Blagdon, Social Entrepreneur (Australia)
“365 ALIVE! invites us to probe into, question and become wiser about our own stories and those around us, so that we can become more aware and free to choose the life we want to live and the world we wish to create. When we open this book we embark on a journey that could last a whole year as we reflect on and find our own answers to Mary Alice's questions. She has paved the way for us through her deep work and rich experience with storytelling, but each one of us have to find our own way through the wilderness of our personal stories and those we share with our culture. I love this about 365 ALIVE! - we have to dive in ourselves and do the work to change our stories - and when we do, the rewards are amazing."
Anne Christine Hagedorn, facilitator and author of Your Inner Climate (Denmark)
“I had no idea this book was missing for me, until I started to read it. Now I will have it close to my heart to develop my personal life story. I will use the questions in the book to develop my peers and loved ones. And, I will use it in my profession as a facilitator to change perspectives, move forwards and change the world.”
Jonas Roth Sjöblom, PhD - Space Creator and Master Facilitator (Sweden)
"Imagine the feeling Dorothy had upon first stepping into Oz or the wonder of walking in a closet into Narnia, Mary Alice Arthur’s 365 ALIVE! exhibits that same wonder when she shares with us the power of story. The book is more than a text, it is a doorway to not only experience how story can help one realize and actualize our relationship with the world, but also the deep connection to who we are.
Reading this visual, personal, and evocative guide allows us to connect with how story creates meaning. It is a personal, powerful, and even painful journey when we experience the 52 skillfully designed instructional landscapes that Arthur presents to us. She is there to remind us this is a journey worth taking. "
Kevin D.Cordi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Literacy and Education. Ohio University Lancaster (USA)
“365 ALIVE! offers us an invitation. We can, if we choose, become more aware and more awake. We can move from being a reactor to a creator. We can become the author of our own life story. It provides a clear weekly framework to work on ways to live a deeply conscious life, aware of our own stories and the stories of others. Resting on a solid theoretical base using the collective wisdom of many historical and cultural traditions, this book is a call to action. The author has done so much of the hard work for us. So, even though it is a book of challenges, we, like heroes in the old tales, are offered many helping hands, gifts and surprising suggestions along the way. Following the path set out in this book would be a rewarding way to spend a year but the process itself is an enriching work with enough actions to last a lifetime.”
Gill Di Stefano, Professional Storyteller (Australia)
You would hardly think it, when you are holding an acorn in your hand that it already contains all the potential to become a magnificent oak tree. And the beauty of it is, we are all like the acorn. The “oak-treeness” is already within us.
In 365 ALIVE! Mary Alice helps yo become a Story Archaeologist, to uncover the stories that surround you and the stories you tell yourself. Then she helps you to become a Story Explorer. What stories could you also be telling about yourself if you dare to look at your potential and try it on for size? What majestic tree could you become?
Then you become a Story Activist, someone who unleashes the positive power of story for and with others. Because listening to others, says Mary Alice, is an intensely compassionate act. You are reinforcing the value and worth of that person, helping them become the majestic tree they have in themselves.
Esther Barfoot, Communication Activist (The Netherlands)
"Rich, rich, rich -- that's what I call this book. It's rich in content, rich in ideas, and rich in specific steps you can take with your stories to add richness to your life. This is a masterful work in using stories for your personal development and growth. Many people talk about using stories in this way, but few actually give you concrete steps to do it. And this is the only book I've come across that offers new ways to think about your stories, discover your stories, and use your stories so thoroughly. You'll go deep and wide. You will come out of the experience transformed. This book landed on my desk the same day I was putting together a 1.5-hour workshop on working with personal stories. You should have seen me jumping up and down for joy because now with 365 Alive! I can offer this book to people. They can continue to explore and dig into their stories to spark meaningful growth. I've wanted this book for years. Grab it today. The time you put into this exploration will pay dividends for life."
Dr Karen Dietz, business storytelling author, facilitator, coach (USA)
“I have been looking for a single book which gently guides the journey of living deeply into our story, and Mary Alice has written it! As a professional storyteller for 30 years, stories continue to amaze me with their dynamic nature, plot twists, layers of meaning and magic. I’ve realised that it’s not the stories themselves that have the power, it’s our relationship with them and our reflection of them. There is no one way, or right way, but there are patterns of thinking, systematic questioning, a curious mindset and an evolving consciousness, that help our stories to speak more strongly to us and through us. This is deep process work. Mary Alice has immersed herself in the story journey, synthesising a world of experiences and ideas into one book, 365 ALIVE!. Aptly named, the book, and the journal pages, are an offering, to get you started on your story journey. I love Mary Alice’s quote 'We live in a story. We can change it!'.
365 ALIVE! is a comprehensive synthesis of deep story work processes, for everyone who wants to live more authentically in story, practising the craft of storying life. Working with stories, within a story framework, helps us to make meaning of our lives, and to find a sense of interconnectedness with people and nature. 365 ALIVE! is designed to be read in parts, many times, as you’re guided by Mary Alice’s questions, invitations and insights.
I love this book! It’s open, empowering, enlightening, passionate, informed, organised and full of practical ideas, to help us understand ways of working and living with our stories. I’m sure that this book will guide many facilitators, teachers, community workers and storytellers, in the process of working deeply with story, creating a conscious community of storytellers, story makers and story listeners. Grounded in contemporary interdisciplinary theory, Mary Alice combines her personal intention to grow a storied culture, with collective wisdom from decades of facilitated story workshops around the world.
In these troubled times, the year of 2020, 365 ALIVE! offers hope, excitement, joy and many “aha moments”. Mary Alice helps the reader to reclaim what is rightfully ours, so that we can navigate and transform our lives with story wisdom. As Mary Alice says, ‘YOUR STORY MATTERS!!’.”"
Anna Jarrett, Professional Storyteller (Australia)