Story Guide

As a storytelling guide (facilitator), you encounter all kinds of stories and to cause no harm in your story work. Sometimes with some of those stories emotions happen, and you as the facilitator need to ensure you provide safe space for all, resources, and help if need be.

If you are not comfortable with strong emotions, certain topics, and being able to hold safe space for all the storytellers, maybe being a storytelling guide is not for you, and that’s OK.

There is so much you have to consider when you decide to step into this type of facilitation role; besides handling strong emotions, your language, including your body language, needs to be as neutral as possible, and you don’t offer advice, but instead, ask questions to help guide the conversation. There is also power dynamics within your group you need to be aware of as well as cultural diversity to think about.

You also have to realize it’s not about you. Being a facilitator is NEVER about you, it’s about the learners, the storytellers, and the stories. You also need to understand and respect that each storyteller brings something to the table – so the learning process is dynamic, a 2-way process, and not about how much you know or about your stories.

For me, being a storytelling guide has been one of the greatest works I’ve been honored to participate in. I’ve been facilitating digital storytelling workshops for 10+ years and my story facilitating skills continues to grow as I learn something new with every workshop I’ve done Y and it is something I hope to do for a long-time to come. If I cannot be a storytelling facilitator, then let me continue to be a story keeper or carrier and continue to honor the story and storytellers I’ve met Y

Here’s some resources to help you think about before you facilitate a story workshop:

Transformative Storytelling for Social Change – Before the Story Circle:

Transformative Storytelling for Social Change – Ethical Practice:

UC Davis – Facilitating a Story Circle:

Community Toolbox – Section 2. Developing Facilitation Skills:

5 Things Never to Say to Someone who is Struggling:

And also, you need to take care of yourself as a group facilitator:

Not a link but you should look at your state’s requirement, and your organization’s requirement for “Mandated Reporting” there’s somethings you may hear that require you contacting public safety officials, such as Elder abuse or child abuse.

This is by no means a complete list, just things to help you think about as you start your storytelling journey, and to help you think about what kind of training you’ll need before guiding your first story workshop.

Story on peeps, story on.

  • Laura

Telling Through Story

Quote about Telling

Once upon a time, we shared our stories as a way to share our knowledge to help us all go forward together, to learn, to know what was safe and acceptable, and what wasn’t. It was the way we grew as people and survived. We shared our stories, we heard them, helped where needed, and we all moved on. It provided a cultural framework for sharing our ways of being.

Stories had many purposes in our communities:

  • Established origin of life and values
  • Education and life lessons
  • Healing
  • Humor
  • History
  • Bring Understanding
  • Structure to our lives – understand our place in the world

There are many other purposes of story that have been used in our communities, however for many years, we were silenced and were not able to share our stories. Silence then became a way of survival, of showing strength, of hiding shame, of silencing our way of being.

We need to share our stories to help our communities and those who will come after; to once again learn from our stories, honor our stories, and help us all grow forward.


Native Daughters – Native Storytellers Connect the Past and The Future:

Your Story

In the words of David Walsh, author, “Whoever Tells the Stories Defines the Culture”.


I also like to say “Whoever Tells the Story, Controls the Narrative.”

So who are you letting tell your story? Who is telling your community story?

It is essential for us to share our stories, and to speak our stories instead of letting others tell their interpretation of it. We share our life lessons, knowledge, traditions, and even our humor through our stories. If our ancestors did not share stories, some of us may not be here today. Most of all, share your story, because it matters, you matter, and no one can tell it the way you can…

The Powerful Reason You Should Tell Your Story

Today’s post is going to be a little different. Instead of focusing on the mechanics of writing, I’m going to dive into something more important: you need to tell your story. Here’s why. For a lot of us, this has been a rough year, a tiring year, a painful year.

Something Needed

Image of a single flower in the snow.
Spring Awakening


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

~ Max Ehrmann

This resonates with me today. We all have stories…

p.s. Desiderata is the plural form of Desideratum and means “things wanted or needed”.