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Five Things I Know About... Storytelling

Our latest podcast Laura the Storyteller is an interview with award-winning storyteller LAURA SIMMS. Below are some highlights from the conversation, where she told us about how storytelling can help inspire and heal, and how she helps people to tell their own stories.

Our lives are endlessly extraordinary. People might say ‘I don’t have a story’, or ‘my life is so uninteresting’. But it’s not true. Everyone has stories.

Every response to a story is different. The way in which someone hears a story and associates, visualises and feels it is unique to their culture, their life experience and who they are. But, at the same time, we loosen our own preoccupations and beliefs in the moment of listening. We become more flexible.

Listening to stories gives us more empathy. When we listen together, everyone is having an experience together, and this helps us to understand each other. The world doesn’t change around us, but our relationship to the world is changed by the listening process.

When I help people to tell stories about their own lives, I don’t ask about the most traumatic or difficult moment in their life. I ask them to talk about a moment or place in their childhood that they loved, where they felt safe. I want them to begin before the trauma, so they can see that it doesn’t have to be the only story in their life.

What is a story? It’s an experience, it’s not information. It’s the event that happens between the listener and the teller. It’s a living place, a structure that we enter; and it’s more than the sum of its parts.

Listen to other podcast episodes here.


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