memory

Stories create your legacy. Stories connect you the now.

Stories help us... Understand the past Anchor in the now Shape the future We tell stories to understand the past. We tell stories to anchor you in the moment. We tell stories to transform the future. This is the story behind Because He Was a Writer: A Memorial Day Story.

It's also an invitation to tomorrow's Story Triangle webinar - the free online event that will help you understand the inner workings of story so you have insight into that superpower you already possess: storytelling.

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Your Next Story Is Hiding In Your Favorite Little Details

Your next story is hiding in your favorite little details, #365StrongStories by storyteller and writing coach Marisa Goudy | therapists | healers | content creationSome people remember exactly what everyone ordered during that special meal. Others have a vivid recall for the phase of the moon on an important day. Personally, I have fashion memory. I can tell you exactly what I wore from head to toe the night I met my husband. (And yes, I still wear that denim jacket twelve years later.)

The shoes I wore to my unexpected date with destiny just hit the bottom of the trash can, however. During the last big rain I realized that the cosmetic issues on the soles were in fact structural deficiencies. Turns life is too short to wear leaky shoes - even if they do have great sentimental value.

The details make the stories

What little things do you tend to notice? Those observations form your unique point of view. They allow you to tell the authentic story that only you could tell.

My husband wouldn’t remember my outfit and he certainly wouldn’t remember what he’d worn himself. But now, the story of how that redhead at the end of the crowded bar in New Paltz knew there was something about that guy with the sweet smile - even though he wore a tie-dyed Harley Davidson shirt, tapered legged jeans, and boat shoes - that’s essential to the “how Mike and Marisa met” legend.

Your favorite details also inspire your stories

The details that are special to you can also help you decide which stories to tell.

Though my first date shoes are long gone by now, I was reminded of them when I tripped over another pair of sneakers that have been sitting in middle of the hall for much too long. If “the clothes make the man” is true, then apparently “the shoes make the memories” is valid too.

What little details stand out to you? How can you make a practice of noticing these details and put them to work in the stories you write?

The Shame of Shushed Story

The Shame of a Shushed Story, #365StrongStories by Marisa Goudy
The Shame of a Shushed Story, #365StrongStories by Marisa Goudy

“Oh honey, let’s not tell that story.” The words flowed easily from my lips but they were terribly hard to hear, hanging there in the air. I’d delivered them as kindly as I could in the voice of a woman with too many worries and too little sleep. All I wanted was the oasis of a quiet shower and to make it to my first cup of coffee before anyone pulled hair or screeched or required a bandaid.

But I know that silence and distrust and disconnection are born of distracted admonishments. This was a tiny sin that hinted at a deeper darkness.

My six year-old was remembering the beach house that the family rented for several summers. Her memories of eating a dozen clementines gave way to remembering when one older family member had fallen and knocked out a tooth.

I don’t like that memory. It was upsetting and it wasn’t pretty. I felt the pain and the worry of that Cape Cod morning. The guilt that I hadn't been very helpful at the time was (my excuse was morning sickness, but that seems paltry now). None of these thoughts were going to ease me into what was going to be another challenging day, so I shushed her and kept moving.

As I dive deep into what it means to tell stories, I'm learning just as much about how to receive and keep stories. Stories need to be held and reviewed when they bubble up. When they are stifled they become the monsters of shame and doubt and fear.

In trying to protect myself from unresolved hurts, I create new ones for my daughter. In trying to stifle the pure, spontaneous sharing of memories, I am creating new ghosts that are bound to be much more ghoulish the next time they come around.

I am a storyteller. I ask people to walk into the shadows with me so that we can appreciate the light. That means I also need to allow others to tell me their stories - even when I find them unsettling or inconvenient, even when I want to wish the memories away.

Learn how to tell your own stories with greater sensitivity and awareness. Join the free online class, The Story Triangle, on April 5.

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