Put a story to work, make friends, cultivate trust, shout your cause, and more.
Read a short sample story. (with my underlying cause, Breast Cancer info.)
Remember the golden days when we were able regularly to get out into the world?
What was your pleasure? Did you use this time to "gather inspiration?"
Did you treat yourself to a walk, perhaps pop into a coffee shop and decide to sit at the communal table with cohorts or strangers and write?
Or was it your pleasure to plan your next course, or did you enjoy thumbing through the New York Times?
Over a steaming and fragrant beaker of brew, did you strike up a chat with a friendly-looking stranger?
Imagine doing that now.
(Keep in mind why you are writing: What is your purpose? Who is it for? What do they receive?)
Let's put your observations of a few vivid people from your life into a piece of writing where you have complete control, and the "lesson" bends to your purpose.
What is the first thing you say to them? And where does the convo go from there? Do you find yourself sharing, teaching, recruiting, curiously listening?
How much do you listen to vs. talk?
What character (perhaps a family member, friend, famous person, or client) is wearing the face of The Coffee Shop Stranger of the Day?
Will you tell the story of someone you recall from life or work? Or are they a new creation?
Along the way, there may be certain people you want never to see again, yet they are sooo fascinating, are they not? Excellent!
You've just glimpsed a real-life pathway to becoming a Master Storyteller. So keep putting your gifts to work for you!
TO REAP THE MOST IMPORTANT BENEFITS:
I journal every day, so I know I can put my gifts to work for good–
[The following journal piece comes from October 26, 2020. I'd taken my notebook along for my follow-up appointment at the Breast Clinic Medical Office.]
Shifting a pile of "scrumpled" newspaper sections, I sit nearest an end table. Pulling my pen and journal from my bag, I look for signs of kinship or contrast amongst the souls wearing personalities in the waiting room with me.
One restless gentleman in khaki pants, a cambric shirt, and Sperry Topsiders is the poster child for BORED.
An older woman two seats over tends to a rosy-cheeked toddler. A sinewy Hispanic man of indeterminable age cleans his fingernails with the slender blade of a penknife. (Yuk. My dad used to do that.)
Across the room, a wizened woman leans out over the edge of a faux leather waiting room chair. I can see she has lost a good deal of weight recently as fatigued skin on her neck and arms hangs in folds beneath her threadbare cornflower blue dress.
Foreboding Stories roll through my head here in the All-Souls Waiting Room of the County Breast Health Clinic. But I don't need to write those stories yet.
The woman in faded blue captures my attention simply because she has a look on her face like she has something to say. No one else looks up when The Blue Lady seems to speak to the air in front of her face," Dear, you have two densities." she says.
I listen, but I try not to make her self-conscious with blatant staring. But then, selfishly, I want her to keep talking! Such is the life of a word-sketch artist.
So back to the clinic. They use the term "densities" when you have an "abnormal result" in breast tissue, and I gather that Miss Blue and I have a "result" in common. Like her, I am even talking to myself, only on paper.
I involuntarily judge her as "crazy" for speaking out to no one in particular as I self-importantly scratch something significant into my journal.
"Who are they? Who are they? Who are they?" She chants with a sassy mantra-tone, "Two small dark areas in my life. They have names, they have names, but I don't speak the names because they would be so happy to know they are making me ill."
I sneak a look from the corner of my eye.
I scratch the word "synchronicity" into my journal– The lady in blue speaks my thoughts with uncanny detail. How does she know my life? I, too, knew who My Densities were when I saw them in my mammogram consultation last week. I nodded when the doctor said, "As you can see here, there are two densities in your left breast. "
And I am not completely surprised that this inner-outer synchronicity thing is happening either. In past weeks, I have begun to notice aspects of my inner feelings showing up symbolically in the physical world around me.
"Ok, you've got my attention," I accidentally say out loud. The lady in blue sharply pivots her body away from me. I notice the other people in the room staring at me. Why? Do they only hear me, not her?
Blue Dress Lady is agitated; "They are speaking to me, these Densities." She grabs her right breast with her left hand.
In a sarcastic, childlike voice now, she says, "I am Small Density, waiting for you to die so I can be free." She seems to have slipped into time travel mode.
To my amazement, she sang a little poem:
"I remember, I remember, I remember.
The day a man came up and held a gun to my head.
After that, I never did what I wanted to do, and still, I never do,
And so now that I have densities killing one breast,
They might as well remove the other one, too."
I slash my pen across the smooth surface of my journal to write healing affirmations for this suffering soul dressed in threadbare blue:
#1. "I am One Small Density, and I ask you to forgive me as I forgive you.
#2. I am the man who may have held a gun to your head, but it was to remind you to do what you want to do!"
I write more affirmations for her but, I realize they are for me, too! So, when I finish writing, I begin in a whisper,
"I forgive and release other people's energies.
I forgive and release other people's energies," repeating in a murmur until the room echoes with my voice. And now the voice of Miss Blue joins the chorus with me, and we are chanting for all women.
"I forgive and release other people's energies.
I forgive and release other people's energies," we chant together until the nurse comes out to call Miss Blue by her name, "Miss Engle?"
(A peep at Google whispers that her last name means "Messenger of God." Woah!)
Miss Engle disappears into the imaging room to don a paper shift, the latest fashion for Abnormal Result Club visitors.
I'll be next.
Coda: Back for a follow-up, I asked the receptionist how Miss Engle was doing. I know they are not supposed to give outpatient information, but the medical clerk says, "I'm glad you asked because, unfortunately, Miss Engle did not come back in. Do you know how to get in touch with her?"
I don't, but I hope she received healing or care somewhere.
Do you know or have you seen a woman who needs physical or mental care?
Is your mom "afraid" of getting a scan? Have you, yourself, been "putting it off?"
Wearing pink is a great way to raise awareness of breast cancer and show your support for a loved one with the disease.
However, wearing a pink sweatshirt won't help eradicate breast cancer. That takes completing research, creating a cure, and empowering self-care!
THIS IS MY CAUSE- Did you know you can Donate miles and rewards points? I didn't either. Here are some details about new ways you can support Breast Cancer Awareness, Treatment, Cures