The Alchemy of Story

Story has the capacity to create more space than it uses. Every good story creates space.”   -Wm. Paul Young

My husband and I had the opportunity to host William Paul Young, author of The Shack, in historic Rugby, Tennessee for a writers weekend earlier this year and his quote has resonated for me since it fell across my ears. As the days grow shorter and the stress of having enough time to accomplish to-do lists seems to be impounding my body, I try to remember that story holds the capacity to alchemize and expand into the spaces of my life which seem far-reaching. A good story can transport you to a joyful occasion, forge stronger relationships and drive motivation to checking-off those lists. So you tell yourself a good one or rewrite a better ending!

I am stoked that this golden age of storytelling is raising the awareness of how we can harness our personal narratives to live up to the lives we desire. I discovered early in my coaching career that the story my clients were telling themselves were being used as confidence boosters or career crushers, regardless of high productivity, benchmarks achieved or even a strong paycheck. If my clients held a tiny space for their story in how they worked, than they weren’t able to live up to their maximum capabilities—resulting in frustration, lack of enjoyment and sometimes dropping out of their careers. The clients that embraced their story to its fullest and authentic capacity found bountiful opportunity and used it to rapidly build relationships with their own clients.

On your own time, never underestimate the importance of a good story and that you can re-write the ending! Keep stress at a minimum by using a daily “5-Minute Bookend” writing exercise. Start your day writing out expectations of what you want to accomplish and why it’s important, and finish your day reflecting on what you actually experienced and how it helped you. Recognizing the unexpected moments life gifts you can help combat the stress of having to control all the outcomes and give you a fresh perspective. And if you’d like a sounding board and customized approach for discovering the transformative power of your story…I’d be honored to be your coach!