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Annette Simmons

COVID-19: The Stages Before Acceptance

I had taken an early morning flight from Sydney to Melbourne and while I don’t really like orange juice I was bored. So I peeled back the silver foil and drank from the plastic cup on my tray. Later that day a radio announcer caught my attention with a public health announcement that “all travelers on flight

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Annette Simmons

Advice from an 80 yr. old shuttle driver…

New Hampshire is cold in March. I was happy to be heading home to North Carolina. The shuttle driver was napping behind the wheel. The sunshine warmed him through windshield. When I opened the passenger door he stirred, “Thanks for waking me up!” He pointed. “Open that sliding door – that’s it, behind you – and

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Annette Simmons

How telling my own #metoo story helped me build resilience.

  I’d love to hear what you think about this podcast. I share a story of an early experience of sexual harassment and the ways I’ve rewritten and replaced shame stories that left me frozen so I learned how to stay present and protected when it happened again. Today I genuinely feel like I can call out bad behavior without getting triggered so badly I

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Annette Simmons

Narratives That Leave Us Feeling Powerless

“I think it’s because the dominant story in our culture is one that creates a feeling of powerlessness, and it starts with this reductive understanding of human nature.”  Francis Moore Lappe This is from the woman who wrote “Diet for a Small Planet” back in 1971.  That book started a conversation that is now a vital movement

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Annette Simmons

“The Lord’s just showing off today!”

Sometimes I hear a story that I just have to share.  This one came from my mother, Harriet. In this picture taken last week, you see Mom standing with the guys who just repaved her driveway. She saved for two years to repave that driveway and just had to have a picture to celebrate.  I particularly like

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Annette Simmons

The Spirituality of Storytelling…with animals!

Do your stories have a spiritual message? Or…perhaps we should ask ourselves what spiritual message do our stories tell?  Because all storytelling delivers a spiritual message.  The message may be spiritually rich or poor but it is there.  And it seems like spirituality has been at the core of storytelling from the beginning.  A recent article about newly discovered cave

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Popular Posts

Storyteller’s Confession: My Secret Mission

I’ve been trying to infiltrate the halls of power for decades. My secret mission is to increase the diversity of thought by teaching those without a voice how to tell their stories and by teaching leaders how to find and retell stories that broaden everyone’s understanding.

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 8 of 8

We need a Magic School for Storytellers Thirty years before J. K. Rowling created Harry Potter, Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea series imagined a magic school that taught apprentice sorcerers how to avoid abusing the power of magic. Le Guin points out early in the series that “even to light a candle is to cast a

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 7 of 8

Truth in Storytelling When I wrote the first edition of The Story Factor twenty years ago, I began with the idea that people don’t want more information. They want faith in you and your positive intentions. I never suspected that two decades later we’d be discussing an explosion of stories that intentionally undermine this faith. Without

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 6 of 8

The Moral Dilemmas of a Lion, a Scarecrow, and a Tin Man Frank Baum’s original introduction to The Wizard of Oz, written in 1900, made it clear that he felt children no longer needed the stereotypical “old-time fairy tale” that “may now be classed as ‘historical’ in the children’s library.” Baum claimed the time had

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 5 of 8

  Blueprints for Building Trust Learning to drive was fun until I hit the mailbox. I burst into tears, blaming my dad, “You told me not to brake when turning corners!” It wasn’t my fault that he neglected to clarify I should brake before turning the corner so I could release the brakes while turning

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