Storytelling at Work
December 08, 2019
Raise Your Online Voices High

What if ONE LIT CANDLE was produced this way?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:09 AM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2019
The Digital Art of Evelyne Pouget

What follows are examples of Evelyne Pouget's digital art, inspired by the danzantes of San Miguel de Allende. Her work is an alchemical blend of photography and digital effects.

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"The world is an illusion, but you have to act as if it's real." - Krishna

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"Not everything that counts can be counted; and not everything that can be counted counts." - Albert Einstein

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"When you speak the truth, you don't have to remember anything." - Mark Twain

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"Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller

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"The world is not made of atoms. It is made of stories." - Muriel Rukeyser

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"Just remain in the center, watching. And then forget that you are there." - Lao Tzu

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"Everything you need is within you." - Prem Rawat

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"The world is how you see it." - Baba Muktananda

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"What is there at this moment that you lack?" - Zen Saying

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"I have nothing to say. I am saying it. That is poetry." - John Cage

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"Awareness cures." - Fritz Perls

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"Kindness is my religion." - Dalai Lama

More About Evelyne Pouget
PougetDigital
Evelyne's pet portraits
Evelyn's people portraits
Evelyne's equine portraits

If you are interested in commissioning Evelyne's portraiture services or would like to buy any of her danzante prints, contact mitch@ideachampions.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)

The Robbers

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When I was 13, my sister was 18. She was the proverbial big sister. I was the proverbial little brother. And though she called me "twerp" and I called her "fatso", it was always comforting to know she was in the next room, especially on the nights when our parents went out. I wouldn't be alone. My sister was there.

But when she went off to college, everything changed. Now I was the only child in the house. Now it was just me.

I will never forget my first night alone. My parents, after dinner, casually informed me they were going out for the evening but would be back at a "reasonable hour." They petted the dog, gave me a hug, and were gone in a flash. I stood by the front door, listening, until the sound of their Oldsmobile disappeared into the distance. Then I made myself a huge bowl of ice cream, retreated to my room, turned on the TV, flopped down on my bed, and started doing my homework.

Continue reading "The Robbers"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:49 AM | Comments (0)

December 06, 2019
Barney and the Gatekeepers

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My father, a pharmacist by profession, retired to Florida at the age of 55. His retirement lasted three weeks. After a lifetime's worth of waking up each morning with a PURPOSE, now he had none. Golf didn't count. Nor did watering his lawn or reading People Magazine. In fact, nothing counted.

Without having something to DO that had meaning for him, my father was very much lost at sea. And so, he decided, one fine air-conditioned day, to begin importing exotic foreign cars. The business model was a simple one. Buy low. Sell high.

As his only son, I was impressed. Mercedes were not only way cooler than nose drops, there was a much bigger profit margin. Plus, who knows, it was always possible that one of them might trickle down to me one day.

My dad's foreign car venture lasted six months.

Continue reading "Barney and the Gatekeepers"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)

A Horse of a Different Color

If you are a horse lover, horse owner, horse breeder, or just like to horse around, you may want to commission Evelyne Pouget to paint a portrait of your favorite equine. Oil pastels and oils are the two mediums Evelyne uses to work her magic. Scroll below for samples of her work, as well as some of her other pet and people portraits. Intrigued? Want to find out how to engage her services? Scroll all the way to the bottom.

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Evelyne's Pet Portraits

Evelyne's People Portraits

CONTACT: Mitch Ditkoff (mitch@ideachampions.com)

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2019
Wisdom Circle: El Arbol de la Vida

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More info here
What people are saying about Wisdom Circles
Storytelling for the Revolution
The facilitator

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

November 30, 2019
A Picture's Worth 1,000 Words

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What story would you tell about this man? Drawing recently made by my super creative daughter, Mimi.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:54 PM | Comments (0)

My Father, On the Tarmac

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Years ago, before terrorism, shoe bombs, and 9/11, my father and mother were on their way back home from a vacation in the Caribbean. When my father checked in at the airport, tanned and rested, the ticket agent informed him that the flight was "overbooked" and he would have to be re-ticketed and put on a later plane, along with my mom.

This, shall we say, did not sit well with him. After all, he had a confirmed ticket in his pocket and NEEDED TO GET BACK TO WORK. The ticket agent, following airline protocols, repeated the party line, explaining ever-so-politely that Mr. and Mrs. Ditkoff would need to be re-ticketed, which she would be happy to do. This was not the response my father was looking for. Not even close.

Continue reading "My Father, On the Tarmac"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

DECK THE HALLS: Woodstock Holiday Studio Sale Supreme

If you are looking for some extraordinary holiday gifts to buy your loved ones this holiday season, mosey on over to the home of one of Woodstock's most creative people, Elise Pittleman. A little something for everyone: crystals, birdhouses, paintings, drawings, and old pididdly link jewelry from her personal collection.

WHERE: 347 Zena Road, Woodstock, NY
WHEN: Saturday, 12/14; Sunday 12/15; 11:00 am -- 4:00 pm

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ElisePittleman.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:22 AM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2019
My Vision for Fostering a Revolution of Inspired Storytelling

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Although I have been deeply involved in the world of storytelling for the past seven years, I think it's fair to say that I am relatively new to the game. Anthropologists tell us that oral storytelling emerged about the same time as language -- approximately 100,000 years ago. Based on my calculations, that puts me about 99,994 years late to the party. Oh well! Better late than never, eh? As I understand it, Grandma Moses didn't start painting until she was 64 and Abraham didn't get circumcised until he was 101. Some things take time, I guess.

Continue reading "My Vision for Fostering a Revolution of Inspired Storytelling"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2019
Evelyne Pouget People Portraits

If you are looking for someone to paint your portrait or the portrait of a loved one, you have come to the right place. The artist is Evelyne Pouget and she is now accepting commissions for 2020. The process for engaging her services is very simple. All you need to do is send an email to Mitch Ditkoff, her Agent/Rep (mitch@ideachampions.com), and he/me will get right back to you with all the information you need in order to decide if her portraiture services (oil pastel or oil painting) are right for you. See below for samples of her work.

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NOTE: Evelyne also specializes in pet portraits
And horse portraits

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2019
Fire, Gratitude, and the Full Moon

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Wonderful photograph by Colin Pence, taken at the Full Moon Ceremony at the Charco, on November 12th, in San Miguel de Allende.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:01 PM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2019
Let Your Inner Animal Out!

Just a quick heads up to let you know about a great new service being offered by Evelyne Pouget -- one that might be right up your alley, especially if there is (or has been) a special poochie, kitty, horse, or other soulful animal in your life.

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"I LOVE the painting! It is so lifelike and I truly feel Sparky's presence in the house. It's truly remarkable. I'm so very grateful to Evelyne for creating such a timeless treasure. The painting will be displayed prominently in my living room for all to see. He's watching over me still. So much gratitude to you!" -- Suzanne Leon

Evelyne is an extraordinarily talented artist (oil pastels, oils, and digital paintings) who also does commission work. The process of engaging her services is simple. All you need to do is email her a jpg of a photo you want her to work from. Depending on the composition of the photo, size, and medium you want (oil pastel or oil painting), she will quote you an exact fee.

Assuming you want to proceed, I will send you a more detailed summary of her process and a Letter of Agreement for your signature. Super easy. No stress. And the product you will receive will totally delight you.

See below for more examples of Evelyne's pet portraits:

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"The oil pastel work Evelyne created of my dog, Kaya. is one of my most prized possessions! She truly captured Kaya's essence -- her sweetness, bright spirit, and loving nature. This beautiful piece is something I will always cherish." -- Sarah Jacob

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Evelyne also specializes in people portraits
And horse portraits

CONTACT: Mitch Ditkoff, mitch@ideachampions.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:51 PM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2019
Wisdom Circles in San Miguel

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San Miguel de Allende is famous for a lot of things -- its diverse culture, colonial architecture, hot springs, cobblestone streets, affordable living, great restaurants, town square, benevolent people, and Writer's Conference, just to name a few. One thing it is NOT famous for, at least not yet, is its Wisdom Circles.

If you have not heard of Wisdom Circles, you are in good company because they are a fairly new phenomenon in San Miguel. Created by Mitch Ditkoff, organizational change agent, and author of Storytelling at Work, and Storytelling for the Revolution, Wisdom Circles are a fascinating way to build community, inspire, elevate the conversation, and transmit wisdom one story at a time.

Continue reading "Wisdom Circles in San Miguel"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:22 PM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2019
When Your Last Story Is Told

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Let's assume for the moment that you are intrigued by the notion of telling your own stories. Fantastic. Great. Excellent. So you begin thinking about your memorable moments of truth and begin writing them down -- at least the titles, that is. The more titles you write, the more stories you remember -- stories from your childhood, travels, work, relationships, quest for meaning, accidents, disappointments, visions, victories, breakthroughs, synchronicities, near death experiences, strange lights in the sky, and so on.

Let's say you top out at 85 titles. But let's take it one step further. Let's say you actually write your stories. But not only write them -- you tell them, too, until every story of yours has been told. You could, of course, choose to tell your stories again to other people in other ways. You could choose to turn them into screenplays, novels, blog posts, songs, sitcoms, workbooks, iPhone apps, or webinars. But you don't. You feel complete, every story in you having been told.

So there you are with no more need tell a single story (not even the story of why you are no longer telling stories). Like small puddles evaporating after a storm, your need to tell your stories has disappeared. Now there is only solid ground beneath your feet and a cloud floating by. Your friends and fans, accustomed to your delightful story telling, are keenly disappointed, but you say nothing. You say nothing because you have nothing to say. You have no point to make. The words you would normally use to populate your tales have gone south for the winter. They are vacationing somewhere on a remote island, cocktail party chit chat for the night.

Your last story has been told.

Though you are fully awake and can see many things happening, you have no need to connect the dots, no need for a plot, characters, conflict, or a resolution. Everything is what it is. You are what you are, breathing slowly, wanting nothing, enjoying the time before the first story was told. You think of telling that story, but don't. You let it go. Like the milkweed floating by. Or the leaf.

Excerpted from Storytelling for the Revolution

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:15 AM | Comments (0)

October 31, 2019
DAY OF THE DEAD ART SHOW

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In honor of San Miguel de Allende's indigenous traditions and architectural beauty, local artist, Evelyne Pouget, will be hosting a DAY OF THE DEAD art show featuring a selection of her original oil paintings, oil pastels, and digital paintings.

WHEN:
Saturday, Nov 2, 1:00 -- 5:00 pm
Sunday, Nov. 3, 1:00 -- 5:00 pm

WHERE:
Tenerias 16 (Centro, between Jesus and Codo)

NOTE: Only non-alcoholic drinks will be served.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:34 PM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2019
To My Mother on the Day of Her Funeral

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NOTE: The following eulogy I read at my mother's funeral 18 years ago. Ten minutes ago I rediscovered it, quite by accident. I offer it to you now in honor of all our mothers.

What can I say about my mother -- the one I called "mom" and "mommy" and "ma" and "Sylvie" -- the one through whom I was born, who fed me with her own blood before I entered the world?

There is something about the mother/son relationship that can never be explained -- a relationship that is way more about feeling than thinking -- and I thank my mother for awakening feeling in me, even when she was unaware of it in her self.

I have very good memories of my mother -- the woman you came here to honor today -- not so much for the things she did, but for the being she was, an advocate for love, appreciation, and simplicity.

Continue reading "To My Mother on the Day of Her Funeral"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:28 PM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2019
Leonard Cohen on How He Got His Song

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:40 AM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2019
Learning to Face Your Opponent

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Sometimes, in life, a single word or a single sentence can make a huge difference -- an unexpected communication that penetrates to the core of your being and then radiates from the inside out for the rest of your life. I had one such moment 35 years ago when I was a novice Aikido student in Los Angeles.

Here's what happened: In the dojo, while practicing a new technique with my partner, my teacher walks over to me, observes briefly, looks at me, and utters these eight words: "You have to learn to face your opponent."

I had no idea what she was talking about and just looked at her blankly. Then she stepped forward and gently rearranged the way I was standing, noting that I was standing a bit too obliquely from my partner -- a posture I had taken that was eventually going to require me to OVERCOMPENSATE in order to complete the move, an action that had the potential, she explained, to injure my partner and myself due to all of the unnecessary twisting and turning likely to happen.

Continue reading "Learning to Face Your Opponent"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2019
Every Song Is a Story

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:00 PM | Comments (0)

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ABOUT THE BLOG

Storytelling at Work is a blog about the power of personal storytelling – why it matters and what you can do to more effectively communicate your stories – on or off the job. Inspired by the book of the same name, the blog features "moment of truth" stories by the author, Mitch Ditkoff, plus inspired rants, quotes, and guest submissions by readers.

Order the book:

Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling for the Revolution is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling to elevate the conversation on planet Earth. Provocative. Evocative. And fun. YOU have stories to tell. This book will help you tell them.
Storytelling at Work
"The world is not made of atoms," wrote the poet, Muriel Rukeyser. "It's made of stories." Learn how to discover, honor, and unpack the stories of yours that show up "on the job" in Mitch Ditkoff's award-winning 2015 book, Storytelling at Work.
FAQ
Do you want to know more about the book before buying it? Click here for Mitch's response to frequently asked questions about Storytelling at Work – the perfect book for people who think they have no time to read.
The Workshop
Storytelling is an "unconscious competency" – an ability we all have that all too often remains inaccessible to us. Enter the Storytelling at Work workshop – a simple way to activate this powerful, innate skill.
Wisdom Circles
Want to establish a culture of storytelling in your organization or community? Looking for a simple way to help people to share their meaningful, memorable stories with each other? Here's how.
Podcasts & Videos
Click here to view and listen to a series of interviews with the author of this blog. Go beyond the written word. Listen. Feel. Elevate the conversation. Understand what the big deal is about personal storytelling.
Blogs 'R Us
If you like this blog, you might also like Mitch's other two blogs: The Heart of Innovation and The Heart of the Matter. Mitch is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.
Idea Champions
When Mitch isn't writing, he's captaining the good ship Idea Champions, a leading edge innovation consulting and training company based in Woodstock, NY. What their clients say.
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