Stories, Listening, & Love

A few weeks ago, I went to a storytelling event in Portland, The Moth: True Stories Told Live.

The emcee was a comedian who had the crowd of 300 or so laughing as he cracked jokes and described the evening ahead of us. 

Then he got sort of serious as he spoke about story telling:

"When we tell true stories about things we experienced,  we connect. When we connect, we understand. When we understand, we love more deeply."

He then spoke of the courage it took for the 10 storyteller volunteers to show up and share a 5-minute story on the night's topic, 'mystery,' if their name was pulled from the hat as the evening went on. 

He created a gorgeous space of brotherly love and empathy. It felt like those of us attending just to listen were glowing with support and admiration for our fellow storytellers.

Then he spoke about the role of everyone else in the audience that were there to listen. He said,

"We are going to do something tonight that we ALL need to do more of. Listen."

My mind went immediately to Mary Oliver's quote: 

"We all have much more listening to do."

He got excited as he explained that as audience members, we all get to relax and just listen. There's nothing we need to do, he told us. We don't need to -- nor CAN we -- share our opinion. Or give a critique. Or share OUR related story -- or be thinking of any response at all, as we often automatically do in our day-to-day life. 

Tonight, he said, our only job is to listen. To connect. To understand another's experience. To love others more deeply.

"How great is that?" he asked. 

Listening, connecting, understanding, and loving more deeply is what Write to Glow Circles are all about. Boldly sharing in our safe circle things we experienced, or are experiencing in the moment. Listening to others with presence and connection.

And like the emcee who got excited and giddy just talking about the sharing and listening that was about to unfold, so too, do I, and the women in the circle, feel more energized and alive! It's such a delicious wellness practice.

I'll leave you with this quote about listening that knocks me o:

"To listen is to continually give up all expectation
and to give our attention, completely and freshly, 
to what is before us, not really knowing what we
will hear or what that will mean. In the practice of
our days, to listen is to lean in, softly,
with a willingness to be changed by what we hear."
                       ~Mark Nepo

With love,

Want to write?
Take a pen & prompt journey:

writing prompt

Describe a time when you listened and connected deeply to another.

Grab a pen & notebook. Write the prompt at the top of the page.
Set a timer for 10 minutes. Or 5. Or 2!

Write whatever arises in your thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
Don’t stop to think or edit - keep your pen moving.

Accept ALL that you write - the pretty & ugly; absurd & boring.
Discover what wants to be felt, known, expressed, released...