How to transplant your Energy into others through Story-telling.

“The Idea” painting by Ryan Seslow 2011

I love to tell stories, it is a very important ingredient in my teaching practice.  I have discovered this in my reflections, but only recently. It took a few pages of unedited allowance writing to discover this. If you know me personally, you may not believe that, but I do feel this way, it just hit me. I had to answer a few questions that I prepared for myself. One of which was: “What do I love most about teaching?” The answers, one: the feeling that I have before, during and after I prepare content and explain the information to people. Two: the feeling that I have before, during and after I make a connection with another person as they are learning something new. Three: the feeling that I have before, during and after watching another person demonstrate what they have learned as they personalize and create their own style. Four: the feeling that I have before, during and after I learn from that same person through our exchange. Five: the feeling that I have as I am humbled by the experience as a whole. These interactions are based on a series of stories that are told along the way. I love to tell a story. Stories fit in well as I present factual or even subjective content, or if I talk about a show I recently attended, or a new art form or artist that I am inspired by, or simply by the magic of life itself. It feels fantastic. In process, I am enthusiastic, energetic, and happy. This radiates out of me. I am aware of this, and this self-awareness seems to expand. This affects my physiology in a very positive way. I feel alive, I’m aware of how good the mind, body and souls feels, all working together in harmony. Why wouldn’t I share that? So, what is a story, and how can they be used to help people learn, or just help others in general? These are two questions that I wrote down immediately after I answer the first one about teaching. A story is essentially a work of art, It is an ancient, very beautiful art form. Story telling requires one to build a technique and style, and then stay true to that style while adapting to your listeners. The intuition has fun with this, and it will surprise you quite often. Stories have the power to create and carry the imagination. A subject that is NOT taught in any school, anywhere on this planet, well not yet, I am working on that. Stories, and the way that you tell them help others create mental visions and images. They are scenes and situations of potentiality being transferred through the energy and enthusiasm of the teller. As an educator in the field of art, this is my greatest asset. I didn’t realize, when I sought out on my journey to become a college art professor, that I was in training to become a super communicator, and a router of information exchange and facilitation. More importantly, I have learned, the importance is in HOW that information is being transferred and communicated so that each person will retain it, and hopefully apply it. I have had some really good practice with this idea of story telling as a means of inspired communication. Not only with students, but with colleagues, administrators and fellow human beings in general. I have learned so much teaching 6-8 different courses each semester simultaneously between four colleges since the fall of 2004. I average about 70-90 students each 15 week semester, and another 30-45 over the summers. I have been taking notes about my interactions with people, and how they learn! I am in the business of dealing with real people, online and offline. I love that. I am happy to, and will share my experiences on this blog, but back to the subject at hand. You can teach people interesting facts about  anything by telling stories, one’s own personal stories, experiences and discoveries, or by sharing the stories of others that have and do inspire you. Question, how often do you share information that inspires you? Sometimes? Never? Here’s why you should, you can open another person’s eyes to color and processes, natural and synthetic contrasts, one’s unquestioned beliefs, and life changes for the better. A story can awaken something in someone, something that they did not know existed inside of them. That story can be the catalyst for someone to take action! Motivated, energetic action. Story telling is an art, it is also a form of entertainment because of the effects it leaves on others. Not only do stories create mental images, but they evoke FEELINGS! A strong mental image + an inspired feeling = action, inspiration and most of all creativity. Your human potential is written all over that. Much like a play, or through a film, a stories immediate purpose is intended for the pleasure of the person listening. This pleasure fuels the formula stated above. When one’s eyes meet with the gaze of the listener naturally and constantly, expression responds through natural rapport, sometimes even with little effort, the connection can be immediate.  The story teller who has given the listener pleasure has added a fact, idea, feeling, or philosophy to the content of their minds.  Something has been added to the essence of their souls, a doorway opens, a light switch become visible. Learning through a story telling approach gives others an exercise opportunity for the emotional muscles of the brain and the human spirit. This is a wonderful habit for one to form. I promise you that this will open up new windows to the imagination. The imagination is another resource with which I will be writing a lot more about here, I view it to be our greatest human asset. As an educator, and a humble service to other fellow human beings, it is my intention to inspire and enrich spiritual experiences in others through learning, to stimulate and induce healthy reflective exercises with measurable results. This essay is one half of a two part post. Part two will re-cap some of the reflections and break down the step by step process of using a story telling strategy as a teaching method.

Chris Guillebeau is a fantastic writer and author who I have recently discovered on twitter. This lead to me subscribing to his blog, downloading his manifesto and resonating with his inspiring material. He is a fantastic story teller and educator on lifestyle design. It has fueled and induced me into taking inspired action to create this blog post. Thank you Chris! Please by all means take a look at his blog here::×5/


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