From one day to the next – mind you, with a lot of almost backbreaking hard work in between – I went from being a Storytelling Apprentice to one of the 13 certified Chiefs Storytelling in The Netherlands. Thanks to Mieke Bouma and Henk Hoffman of the Storytelling Academy!

The French philosopher Paul Ricoeur says that we are by nature, storytelling beings who shape our identity using narratives.  And I?

                                     I’m the sum of my stories.

Who am I? What is my meaning? Thus my story begins.

 

I am in the Koepelzaal in Het Huis Utrecht. I talk about my belief that work in the 21st century is not about job titles but about the value you add – meaning. That, the more we digitize and robotize, the more we value human meaning as opposed to artificial meaning. That means authentic, meaningful and impactful in how we think and act, (find) work, do business and build relationships. That’s why personal life stories are important. Back to the source of your own meaning.

I talk about being the daughter of absent parents. About my nomadic existence as a child and as an adult. Going from place to place, from house to house, from study to study, from role to role, from Guyana to the Netherlands. Searching for meaning.

 

I talk about becoming a mother and my burnout. About the return to the renewed meaning of my stories. I talk about how my life unfolded as the three acts of Joseph Campbell’s – Departure (Ordinary World), Inauguration (Special World), Return (Ordinary World).

My mouth is dry and my heart is racing. My story is revealed by words drawn in the air and pacing feet on the floor.

I talk about how, as a child I dreamt of becoming an artist and a journalist. About how, with the help of a self-developed coaching model DEI @Impact Stories (my thesis), I now help clients see the beauty of their own words and stories, be proud of them and using them to improve their impact in work and business.

 Aligning the human you with the professional you!

As a showstopper I played a self-produced, storytelling video film  of my new company Impact Stories. Not forgetting to mention that the film music was composed by my son JeDonq. Yet another part of my story.

The end.

Comments

Deafening  silence! And then…

“You are able to tell your story with so much power. Your story has transitioned into your profession. I am speechless. You are aligned. Thank you! “

“You have turned your vulnerability into your strength. You touch me, inspire me and force me to think. Thank you.”

“I hung on your every word.”

“You practice what you preach.”

“You have this profound and sharp ability to connect head to heart.”

“I want to work with you.”

“When are you signed up for TEDX? This is a Ted Talk. “

 

After these kinds of reactions it is pretty hard to remain modest.

My heart is full!