I talk to everyone. This is something else I got from my mother. I talk to the man who works on our lobby at our 21 story office building, and I talk to people in elevators even when it makes them slightly uncomfortable. I ask real straight forward raw questions, and while I don’t expect answers most of the time I get them. I am pretty much an open book. I tell everyone everything about myself, although I tend to keep my friends deepest secrets very close. Although, I don’t particularly like secrets, because I think they lead to drama. I think there is something about authentic, open, vulnerable every day honest living and friendliness that really invigorates me.
Last night after I went to an awesome Women’s healing circle, and was feeling super charged and full of energy. I somewhat randomly decided to watch a Documentary called The Stories We Tell. This is one of the best films I have seen in my entire life, and I believe it had something to do with the authenticity of the story that was told, all the different perspectives the story was told from. I won’t spoil it for you, because I think if you like storytelling at all, it’s a must watch, done beautifully, and while you will cry your eyes out, you will soothe yourself with much laughter at every turn. It’s a raw story about childhood trauma, and family, and how relationships are hard, but people are human, they make mistakes, and really there is beauty and humor despite the pain.
In the Kundalini Yoga I have been practicing, there is a lot of focus on the breath. Although breathing is an involuntary action, when you consciously take control of it, there is an ability to kind of transcend earthly problems and to connect with something positive that exists because of both your own strength and the strength of those who practice with you. I find strength in the unity of chanting and breathing with a group of women with the intention of focusing on love and positive energy and the light within ourselves and each other.
As a Quaker we look for the light of that with in each person. We believe that there is a light in each person and that their mere humanity is something that gives them the right to exist peacefully. In a Quaker meeting you sit in silent meditation until members in the room feel led to share a personal experience or reflection. People tell personal stories, sing hymns, talk about the Bible, and also just share their reflections. In a sense Quakers are meditating storytellers who are contemplating the what is of enough important to share with others. But we are always seeking to understand others even if we do not agree.
Brene Brown in her book Daring Greatly says, “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” I think what she means is that when humans share with one another there is less need for embarrassment and misunderstandings, and a greater ability for relating to others and creating conscientious positive communities, who are trying to understand each other rather than to fight or argue or focus on their differences.
I think that’s why my mom teaching me to talk to everyone is to key to my dream of being both a storyteller and a comedian. In teaching me to have conversations with everyone from the janitor in my office building, to a coworker in the elevator, to random people I see in public, she taught me that the more you talk to people, and he more you share your story the less barrier there is between you and another person. I am pretty sure Jesus would be all about people focusing on the stories of others and listening with and open heart, than telling them what they are doing wrong. I think if we just listen to people with an open heart and reflect back love and understanding rather than judgement and fear we are truly walking in the light. Christian. Quaker. Guru. Yoga Enthusiast. Unconscious state fanatic. All of that really describes me, and I think that some would think that those things don’t intermingle, but I feel that whether it’s silent meditation, chanting, breathing, or just listening to others stories it all comes down to valuing other humans and having gratitude for the opportunity to learn new things from each other and from ourselves.
Storytelling is important because it helps us to gain new perspectives on difficult things. Writing for myself without a direct audience in mind, I still believe I gain enough new perspective to continue the craft of writing and telling jokes, even if I only am the only one laughing.
You have a story. What is it? Can you share it with others? Does talking to others freak you out or make you feel uneasy? Do you feel like vulnerability it important in every day life? Do you ever tell yourself stories and laugh out loud? Do you love make other people laugh? I know I do.