Storytelling at Work
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.

So he went to the gate, found an exit door and, along with my mother, made his way onto the tarmac. Once there, he made a beeline for the portable stairway that other passengers on his flight were boarding. Then, he moved to the front of the line, grabbed both handrails tightly and blocked everyone's entrance. Whatever flight attendants tried to do to appease him did not work. He simply grabbed on harder and stood his ground, my mother, somewhat embarrassed, standing off to the side. My father would not budge, not an inch, his verbal commentary as tenacious as his two vice-like grips on the hand rails.

"No one gets on this plane unless we do!" he barked. "No one!"

And no one did. He just stood there, holding on, taking a massive stand for his rights.

PS: Somehow, the flight attendants found two seats for the tanned and rested Barney and Sylvia Ditkoff. Ah... the good old days.

Storytelling for the Revolution
MitchDitkoff.com

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.

That's one of the cool things about storytelling. Done well, it has a way of helping people experience that which is BEYOND time. Not "out there" stuff only noted in holy books. But "in there" stuff, embedded within each and every one of us.

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And this is precisely what inspires me, these days, about storytelling. Storytelling is one of the simplest ways to spark awareness, community, wisdom, and behavior change. Indeed, it is why I wrote my new book, Storytelling for the Revolution and why I wrote my previous book, Storytelling at Work. It is also why I deliver keynotes, workshops, and Wisdom Circles.

This, of course, is all "well and good", but not all that remarkable -- the kind of life story that could easily be dismissed as one man's attempt to create a cool way to make a living. But that would be a fiction. That is not my ultimate goal.

I'm not just interested in selling books and getting a few good pay days. What is way MORE interesting to me, is sparking a revolution of meaningful storytelling on planet Earth -- the kind of storytelling that uplifts, inspires, and awakens -- a simple way, available to ALL human beings, to elevate the conversation.

Towards that end (and to answer a question I was asked, recently, in a Mexican cafe), I share with you, now, my current vision for how I intend to accomplish the above. If you see yourself plugging into this vision in any way, let me hear from you. I'm just an email way.

1. FACILITATE COMMUNITY STORYTELLING GATHERINGS -- a chance for people to share their most meaningful stories and to begin to process of shaping the NEW story they want to live.

2. GET MY STORYTELLING BOOKS into as many hands as possible.

3. CREATE AN AUDIO BOOK, so people can listen to my stories, not just read them.

4. DELIVER KEYNOTES and WORKSHOPS to forward thinking organizations

5. DEVELOP A MODEL for how schools can leverage the power of storytelling to create community and spark lifelong learning -- beginning with an Islamic school in Australia where the work has already begun.

6. COACH movers and shakers committed to becoming transformative storytellers.

7. TRAIN THOUSANDS of people how to facilitate Wisdom Circles in their communities.

8. CHOOSE TO TELL A LIFE ENHANCING STORY whenever the opportunity arises.

9. CONTINUE PRODUCING my storytelling blog to support aspiring storytellers

10. COLLECT THE FAVORITE STORIES of living sages, teachers, and Masters -- then produce a book of them to demonstrate how ALL spiritual paths are basically telling the same story.

PS: If you want to host/coordinate a community storytelling gathering in your town, village, or city, contact me and we'll tawk soon: mitch@ideachampions.com

Big thanks to Carey Berkus for asking me what my vision is.
Photo: Evelyne Pouget

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What people are saying about Storytelling for the Revolution

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.

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The premise of a Wisdom Circle is a simple one: inside of each and every one of us is a vast storehouse of meaningful experience, insight, and life-affirming moments of truth. What's missing, all too often, however, is the opportunity to share this good stuff with people who are in the right place to listen and respond.

That's what happens in a Wisdom Circle.

A small group of people (8-12) get together for two hours at a time, in a relaxed, skillfully facilitated forum (usually in someone's home), to share their stories with each other. Participation is voluntary. Some people, in the circle, are inspired to share their stories. Others are content simply to listen and take it all in. Both are needed. Both are fine. No pressure. No sweat. No problema. Just good energy.

And while participants in a Wisdom Circle may not necessarily perceive themselves to be sages, wizards, or keepers of wisdom, the stories they tell prove otherwise -- especially when their stories are "unpacked" for meaning and resonance by the other people in the circle.

Bottom line, San Miguel's Wisdom Circles are engaging, fun, healing, mind-opening, provocative, and enjoyable gatherings that enable each participant, through the medium of story, to embrace the totality of what it means to be a real human being.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE: 6:00 -- 8:15 pm pm

December 11
January 8
February 5

COST: 300 pesos

TO REGISTER: mitch@ideachampions.com (no walk-ins)

LOCATION: Centro

First come, first served. Evenings limited to 12 to keep things cozy. Want to host a Wisdom Circle in your own home? Just ask. Have story, will travel.

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Digital painting: PougetDigital
What people are saying about Wisdom Circles
Wisdom Circle ground rules
Opening illustration : PougetDigital
THE FACILITATOR: Mitch Ditkoff

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)

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:

MitchDitkoff.com
Click here for the simplest, most direct way, to learn more about Idea Champions' semi-fearless leader, Mitch Ditkoff. Info on his keynotes, workshops, conferences, and more.
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.
Top 5 Speaker
Mitch Ditkoff, the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions, has recently been voted a top 5 speaker in the field of innovation and creativity by Speakers Platform, a leading speaker's bureau.
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Highly engaging learning experiences that increase each participant's ability to become a creative force for positive change
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High impact certification training that teaches committed change agents how to lead groundbreaking ideation sessions
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Your "best and brightest" are the future leaders of your company, but unless they know how to foster a culture of innovation, their impact will be limited. A one-day workshop with us is all they need to begin this journey.
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Our Heart of Innovation blog is a daily destination for movers and shakers everywhere — gleefully produced by our President, Mitch Ditkoff, voted "best innovation blogger in the world" two years running.
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Innovation is a team sport. Brilliant ideas go nowhere unless your people are aligned, collaborative, and team-oriented. That doesn't happen automatically, however. It takes intention, clarity, selflessness, and a new way of operating.
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