Win a copy of Permaculture Design Companion this week in the Permaculture Design forum!
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Please join me in welcoming Matthew Dicks, author of Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling




Read the book review here!

Matthew will be hanging out in the forums until August 9th, answering questions and sharing his experiences with you all.

At the end of the week, we'll make a drawing for 4 lucky winners to win a copy of his book! From now until Friday, all new posts in the Communication forum are eligible to win.

To win, you must use a name that follows our naming policy and you must have your email set up to receive the Daily-ish email.

The winners will be notified by Purple Moosage and must respond within 24 hours. Only the winners who respond within that timeframe will receive their book. Watch for a PM, and a notice in this thread announcing the winners!


Please remember that we favour perennial discussion.  The threads you start will last beyond the event.  You don't need to use Mathew's name to get his attention. We like these threads to be accessible to everyone, and some people may not post their experiences if the thread is directed to the author alone.
COMMENTS:
 
gardener
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Welcome, Matthew!
 
pollinator
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Interesting topic and interesting book! Welcome to permies, Matthew!
 
pollinator
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Welcome Matthew, we're glad to have you here!
 
gardener
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Welcome to permies, Matthew!
 
author
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Ki Matthew, it feels imperative at this time to be able to inspire people who may feel despair about ecological crises, and stories have this power. For a few years, I've been musing on the idea that we need to cultivate a new mythology for an ecologcial age, to move beyond what is, to what if? What do you recommend to us non-story tellers as a starting point to grow a new myth that empowers people when we encounter apathy or despair in conversation or our work with others?
 
Jasmine Dale
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ps I'm interested in anyone's ideas on this!
 
pioneer & author
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Hi Mathew, hope you have an interesting week with the Permies. I might like to get my hands on a copy, I think storytelling can be a useful skill to cultivate.  Only recently I was looking for information on this and what I found was lacking; it is very under reported. I noticed there were some options below available for me to allocate forums so I added it to 'living art' and 'permaculture voices' thought that was reasonable, what do you think ? Good luck with your promotion.
 
garden master
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Welcome Mathew!
 
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Welcome, Mathew.  I look forward to learning something.  I think stories are how we make sense of the world, so the story matters!
 
garden master
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Hi Matthew, welcome to Permies! Glad you're here :)
 
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What a fantastic topic!  Welcome Matthew!
 
pollinator
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This topic interests me so much thanks for being here!

I should not say that I will buy the book or else they will remove me from the give away sorting! ;)

I actually teach a lot with stories already and want to be better at it. I think I have used this method because I am an Aspie, so it made it easier for me.... I have a big access to images, each time I want to tell about a meaning, some story pops up!

Also, I believe we use stories for integrating past events, at both personal and social levels.
 
gardener
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Welcome! I raise chickens and ducks so I often have funny stories to tell. Also, I find if I tell a funny story about healthy ducks hoovering duckweed it gives people a better idea of what I mean by "good food from happy animals" than giving a lecture on how broken industrial agriculture is.
 
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Awesome,
I listened to your Ted Talk. Amazing about the teacher. I was a Boy Scout Scoutmaster and that was what I had with my troop for a short time. I did nothing the senior patrol leader ran everything other than minor consult. That is the definition of a "Boy lead troop".
Stories are awesome. I tell a lot and my buddy tells a ton. My wife calls them "Man Stories" when she gets tired of us telling them.

Welcome aboard to permies
 
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Welcome, and thanks for joining us this week :-)

In true nerd form, and after watching your Homework for Life video this afternoon, I've decided to leverage an online survey platform to send me daily invites to a simple form to input my reflections. Any advice on what the all important prompt should be? Several are mentioned in the video and I'm wondering if you've settled on a phrase to set up the activity?
 
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Welcome, Matthew. I'm looking forward to reading your book.
 
master steward
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Welcome, Matthew

I hope you are enjoying the forums!
 
gardener
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Matthew, welcome to permies! I'm so glad you found us! I haven't even read your book yet, but after just watching your videos (That Dave linked, in his review), I think you may have already had an impact on my life, and my family's lives... Thank you!

Edited to add: Purchased.
 
master steward
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Today, I have a story to tell, and it's a story of four winners. It goes something like this:

CONGRATULATIONS!

Xisca Nicolas
Anne Miller
Travis Johnson
Carol Barta


I'll be sending you each a PM--please respond by Sunday to receive your copy of Storyworthy!
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Thank you!

I would have loved to have more exchanges on the topic, as this is a main one I use for nervous system management, and was part of ancient traditions for this purpose: Creating group coherence, inner personal coherence, and coherence with all the close environment, allowing to "fractal out" into the further environment.

Our life should be guided by our inner wise and body feeling, as I view it as more extended than gut feeling or heart feeling. But our potent human mind needs to not be lost and thus, we make stories as a way to cement the bits of our experiences that are not enough integrated.

Our culture has tend towards the opposite: our life is often guided by our logic mind and then our body feelings manisfest by bursts, causing physical, emotional and mental unease. The best permanent remedy I have found is to exercise my use of my senses so that I let the world come into me through each time more opened eyes, ears etc. In order to integrate what comes from the outside and litterally digest it, I make stories about it so that the world makes sense, which is quieting.


We can recognize in us the tendency to make more stories from unprocessed emotion than from unprocessed sensory inputs. Who has not been ruminating about experiences, mixing emotions with many questions starting by "why"? When this happens, here is something that can be tried out of curiosity… Connect with the present moment through your senses, notice what you notice around, let it come to you more than you try to go into it. Let is come into you through your eyes and ears and nose and skin. What story starts to form? Maybe you notice the heat of the sun and bees buzzing and you then see that a plant would need water and you make a story about those flowers turning into almonds or oranges thanks to the bees and your care with watering. Or maybe you notice it is windy and refreshing but that the wind is too strong for the bees and you then go on and also wonder about local pesticides and you start to imagine what other flowers you can sow for having more bees be safe at your place...

The story goes on in your head and starts processing what you feed it. Grass fed is better! Slow chewing is also required. This is what happens in group when we share stories and vibrate at the same level. it slows down the mental process so that our different inner parts can also vibrate at the same frequency and create coherence. When we lack group or time for this in the group, things go to fast. Then you can help yourself with writing down your stories, because writing also slows down the process.

And a permies forum is the perfect intermediate: not as close as a local group but making stories about a way to see the world that can feed our sensory inputs much better. Because obviously, for the best sensory experience, we choose nature. And if we have extended our consciousness through storytelling, we do not see nature as a just going trekking to a national park while forgetting about the monocrops that fill our pic-nic bag. We connect to what is out of sight through storytelling. We listen to the stories of those who have seen and heard it with their eyes. It is real experience, and the story creates in us the same experience, as if we had lived it.


Storytelling is infectious! Choosing stories is like choosing a strain of probiotics!
 
master pollinator
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Story Telling can be practical too.

A few years ago we bought my father's farm, and the bank where we got our loan, the "story" for the loan was hugely important. That is because they were a bank geared to develping Farmers/Fishermen/Forestry only. About 50% of the loan approval is based up fiscal numbers, but about 50% of it is also based upon your "story".

For us, it was easy because we have been farming here for 9 generations, my children making the tenth. Officially we started in 1746 when the King of England granted us this farm for my Great-Grandfather's loss of life during a battle with the French, but we were settled here before that; around the mid 1600's. Prior to that we came off the Mayflower. Due to the age of this farm, and some milestones like being the oldest sheep farm in New England, being the first sheep shearing shed in New England, having the first sheep in New England, etc; we have been featured in many publications. This is not something I write about on here much though because I know many Permicultural People are new, and I do not want anyone to feel like their story, their farm, is less than stellar. And in some ways new farmers have it great because they get the excitement from looking, searching and researching a place; me...I knew what i was getting when I was 4 years old. This is all I would ever have; some good things for sure, but also some bad things...but it was all I would get.

Every once and awhile I still discover things, like an old sheep watering pond build in the 1850's here. You can see where they dug a channel from a stream, dug a pond for water to pool, then an overflow embankment. I happen to know the year because it shows it on my deed as they had to get "water rights" from a neighbor to do this.

This is a picture of that sheep watering station from the 1850's on my farm. You have to really study it to make out all the details because at foirst it does not look like much, but this was a major earthworks project back then, and kind of a first in water conservation during that era.

DSCN0569.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSCN0569.JPG]
1850's Sheep watering Station
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Travis Johnson wrote:Story Telling can be practical too.

And in some ways new farmers have it great because they get the excitement from looking, searching and researching a place; me...I knew what i was getting when I was 4 years old. This is all I would ever have; some good things for sure, but also some bad things...but it was all I would get.


I believe indeed they are always practical!

I measure the balance you put between the excitement of not knowing and the somehow stuck feeling of knowing. I see your story as very practical here too, because relating to so many generations is helping you to stay here and be related, connected. I guess it makes you feel that you chose what you might also have felt was not a choice.

I am happy to know this story and to imagine what it feels to be related to a place both spacially and timely!
 
Jasmine Dale
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We found combining 'The Work that Reconnects' (Joanna Macy) exercises with story telling a great resource on some of our permaculture courses. We took the particpants for a walk up a local mountain, framing the exercise with the idea we are all on the journey together and that 'something bigger is pushing us all up the hill'. We then selected folk stories/made up our own, to marry with 4 aspects of the journey from despair to empowerment, roughly 1)appreciating what is. 2) witnessing feelings of grief around ecosystem destruction. 3) seeing with new eyes/ vision for a positive ecological now/future. 4) reinforcing the resources within us each to go forth empowered. Hope this pattern is useful for others too!
 
eric fisher
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We found combining 'The Work that Reconnects' (Joanna Macy) exercises with story telling a great resource on some of our permaculture courses. We took the particpants for a walk up a local mountain, framing the exercise with the idea we are all on the journey together and that 'something bigger is pushing us all up the hill'.



Hi Jasmine, don't know if you've come across the work of 'Carlos Castenada' but your comments above made me think of him because they look  to be going in a shamanistic direction.
 
Jasmine Dale
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eric fisher wrote:

We found combining 'The Work that Reconnects' (Joanna Macy) exercises with story telling a great resource on some of our permaculture courses. We took the particpants for a walk up a local mountain, framing the exercise with the idea we are all on the journey together and that 'something bigger is pushing us all up the hill'.



Hi Jasmine, don't know if you've come across the work of 'Carlos Castenada' but your comments above made me think of him because they look  to be going in a shamanistic direction.



Interesting Eric, I think we've all got a shamanic seed in us and harnessing events in our lives, making meaning from them in conjunction with the landscape and mythologising them into story is deeply wired into the human psyche. I'm interested in 'Storyworthy' for specific tips and structure to boost this skill up. Compost teas always lend me to think of alchemy, that would be my shaman's story when I think of your work. I've always made anaerobic comfrey teas and wonder if my inner story/shamanic sense could do with some aeration!
 
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