Have you ever heard a story that profoundly impacted your life?
Perhaps in your childhood or even last week?
What was it about that story that spoke to you?
If you have been trying to solve some big issues in your life, I wonder if you might benefit from hearing a good story?
A powerful story that speaks to you in a meaningful way.
One that activates insights about your life.
All within a space that allow you to speak about what is going on for you.
Being that I’ve worked in schools a bit with young people, I know how effective good story telling can be for capturing and engaging students.
Especially when I am competing with the glittering changing media of the internet for example.
But what can compare to the all to often invisible self-talk of a young person, trying to make sense of a crazy world?
Just think about your own self-talk.
Imagine you are an adolescent male on planet earth in 2015.
What is going through your own head?
What is important?
What is going on for you in your life?
It might be similar for anyone on the gender continuum, but right now, I’m focusing on the young men of the world.
That’s because I recently spoke with Dr. Kwame Scruggs of Alchemy Inc.
When we spoke on Skype the other day, he was in Ohio USA, and I was in Perth Australia.
Kwame and his team work with young urban youth to give them purpose and meaning.
There is power in the telling of myths and fairy tales to young men to the beat of a drum.
Kwame runs his workshops like this:
At key points in the myth storytelling, there is a pause for journal writing and 1 or 2 hour long discussions about what it means to be a man, having a purpose, respect, relationship with the father and many more important issues.
A myth is a story which contains many levels of meaning, allowing the individual to gain some insights in a way that they understand it.
Myths contain metaphors, symbols and imagery which allow the listener to relate to the characters, the action and the issues without it being “about them.”
This creates a space between the story and listener, a space to open up and heal.
It opens up a conversation about the deeper issues and experiences of being a human.
Effective use of ones time in my opinion.
I heard of Kwame and Alchemy Inc through the Joseph Campbell Foundation.
The Joseph Campbell Foundation is one of many organisations that have awarded the work of Alchemy Inc.
Alchemy Inc has also been honoured by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, as recipients of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards.
Now that has to be respectable bragging rights.
I have long been a fan of Jospeh Campbell, especially since he coined the phrase, follow your bliss.
I am now a fan of Kwame too.
One of the best things about Campbell and his book, Hero With a Thousand Faces, was that it inspired George Lucas to come up with the basic plot for Star Wars.
A film that continues to speak to modern audiences.
I.e. Hero leaves ordinary world after meeting the magical helper Obi Wan. Luke leaves Tantooine, learns the ways of the force, makes allies with Han, Leia, Chewy, etc and makes enemies with the Empire, those pesky storm troopers and has to face his greatest ordeal, confront his father, Vader.
Luke is transformed and becomes a Jedi Master.
What does it mean to become a Master in your own life?
Mastery takes courage, failure, refusal, faith and a bunch of supportive friends and allies.
And Kwame and Alchemy Inc have proved to be a powerful ally.
Make sure you listen to the interview with Kwame too.
Kwame’s email: kwame222 AT msn.com