How Sharing Stories Can Enhance Your Life with Dianne McCoy
Meet today's guest:
partners with her clients to help them be more effective leaders in their life, career and business. Recently she released her first book "Finding Your Voice; connecting the stories that shape your life" which has launched her into a new chapter of her life exploration through stories.
Her own story involves many interesting twists and turns including; working internationally (in Europe and the Middle East!); becoming an Associate Faculty member at Royal Roads University in BC; assisting others through change in various areas of work including government, oil & gas, electricity, financial services, etc.; as well she has been guiding others to find their own voice through her extensive time and role with her local chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. Dianne is a speaker, facilitator, coach, grandmother, mom, daughter, granddaughter and so much more.
Despite this, it was finding her Grandma's bible that awakened her to how our stories shape who we are and how valuable it is to share these reflections with our family members.
Do you have a family story that is told over and over again?
My family doesn’t have one…my dad has several. In fact, other family members and I sometimes share a look when dad starts recounting the same story he's told a million times, before resigning ourselves to listening to it just one more time.
What had never occurred to me until this interview however, was how quickly that story might have faded from memory if it wasn't shared so often or how many emotions are stirred by the telling of these stories.
Sometimes I think we get so caught up in the mundane world of everyday life that we forget we are creating memories with our loved ones every single day.
My guest this week on Vibrant, Powerful Moms, Dianne McCoy, recently released her first book, Finding Your Voice; Connecting the Stories That Shape Your Life, and our conversation gave me much to think about.
You see after deciding to capture some of the stories her paternal grandmother shared with her she discovered a love and connection to these memories that she hadn't anticipated.
I'm the oldest daughter in my family and I had a really close relationship with my paternal grandmother, but really it wasn't until I was raising my own children that her and I got together on a regular basis and I heard stories that captivated me in terms of my ancestry.
This resulted in Dianne collecting stories from three major women in her life; her paternal and maternal grandmothers as well as her mother. The process taught her much about these women and caused her to reflect on pieces of her own life that connected her to these women she previously had overlooked.
Sharing the draft of my book with my mother opened up a wonderful discussion of her life growing up. Some of the things I had written about indicated in the stories really resonated for her and it connected her to (was sort of like it woke her up)to another part of a story that she was able to share with me that I hadn't heard before. It [this process] also helped me get to know my [maternal] grandmothers a lot better.
I was impressed by the courageousness of my paternal grandmother who I had a really close relationship with and that relationship helped me to look at my maternal grandmother who I didn't know that much about (she was in my life but not to the same degree as my paternal one) as well as my mother, who obviously I knew because I was (being) raised by her.
I tell stories around their courage and that was really important for me because what came out of that is I began to reflect on how I was courageous. The thread of that courage was woven throughout my life yet I hadn't really reflected on that before.
The benefits didn't stop there as Dianne discovered that she could use these stories to connect more with her own sons and her grandchildren.
I have two sons and there just isn't the kind of sitting around and talking about stories as often as I would like. So another reason I wrote this book is to connect with my sons who can take this book and share it with their children, my grandchildren, so they know some of the things that came before them – what a wonderful legacy.
I have a 7 year old, 4 year old and 3 year old grandchildren and sharing some of my stories with them has an interesting reaction. They suddenly become still – spellbound –especially if you're sharing something that involves their mom or dad.
In response to my own story about the death of my uncles causing me to ask my mom questions I'd never thought to ask before, Dianne pointed out,
…this process helps you realize the many things about these people who have been in your life that you never knew about. It helps you appreciate them and honestly because you are the story teller here there is an element of yourself that you're putting into every one of your stories. It's a great process.
Dianne and I talked about the different themes that came up while writing these stories; the sort of roadmap they created; phases of life for women; clues that emerge; and how a mother of young children might use this process now to preserve her stories for her kids.
We follow this map of emotions, and attraction, and what's next, and hardships – that's all part of our life and just going there and exploring some of those hardships – that's what makes this all so fascinating.
Listen to the podcast to hear more of Dianne's story, including a short reading from her book as well as an excellent tip for tapping into stories of your own.
Find out more about Dianne at her website www.spiraleffects.com
There has been a brief technical delay with her 10 Reasons For Collecting Your Stories handout, but we expect the link to be up shortly.