Telling stories

     Ospreys, White-throated Sparrows, the first Yellow-rumped Warbler, a Hermit Thrush, and soon the Monarch butterflies -- these small beings have traveled heroic journeys to return to this land we share, and I have been waiting for them. They have stories to tell, and I wish so much that I could understand them. 
     I love stories. Telling stories is  the way we share experiences, and if we listen with awareness, it is the way we build wisdom.  We tell stories around a dinner table, on a walk or bike ride with a friend, when meeting up for coffee or a beer. We listen, and a natural response to that listening is to respond with our own story.  
     But do we listen to ourselves? 
     Each of us has lived a life that is its own heroic journey. We have the jewels of our own inner wisdom in our life's stories. Sometimes they are buried, sometimes we just never looked at them clearly. A few we tell over and over. We are rich with beautiful stories. But we often need a little prodding, a supportive community, some structure, to help us bring those jewels out.
      When I first heard about Guided Autobiography (GAB), I recognized it was something I wanted to get involved in. A few months and an intensive training class later, I became a GAB instructor. I love that this way of guiding people to rediscover and tell their life's stories doesn't use timelines, but instead uses evocative themes. That you write in your own voice to tell the story, not to have a perfect product. That the group becomes close, and everyone listens to everyone else. That it's fun. That every person's life is rich with jewels of wisdom. And I love that I get to witness these stories every time I run a class.
     I am about to start a nine week class that runs Wednesday mornings from 9:30-11:30 at the Merrill Memorial Library in Yarmouth. The first class is April 27. A couple of openings remain: if you are interested in one of them, contact me directly or at guided(dot)memoir(at)gmail(dot)com. Cost is $150.
     Meanwhile, I'll head outside to listen to the bird songs. This is my favorite time of year, and I want to be in the midst of it all.