Storytelling at Work
March 29, 2019
When the Muses Dance in San Miguel de Allende

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The first time, in 2003, that Parisian-born artist, Evelyne Pouget saw the indigenous dancers of San Miguel de Allende making their way up Canal to the Jardin, she was stunned. Never before had she seen anything like it, not in her home country of France, nor in the many countries she had lived or traveled to -- 500 people adorned with feathers, beads, body paint, animal skulls, and headdresses, all moving together, with great intention, to the beat of their tribal drums.

Whatever power was calling the danzantes to leave their day jobs and take their ancient mysteries to the streets was also calling Evelyne -- and they became her muse. Although her clothes were different than theirs and the only face paint she wore was on her lips, her heart was beating to the same universal rhythm.

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And so she began photographing and painting them for the next 15 years, experimenting with many creative ways to amplify the beauty, power, and spirit of what they were expressing.

Deeply committed to honoring the indigenous traditions she was learning about, Evelyne began meeting with local elders, wisdom keepers, and a Mayan Shaman. She searched the internet to further tune into what she intuitively knew existed at the heart of the Conchero's dancing -- a physical expression of a metaphysical reality deeply connected to Mother Earth and her own heartfelt commitment to live her life from a place of respect and gratitude.

What she found both surprised and delighted her.

The dances she was witnessing on the streets of San Miguel emerged shortly after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire and were based on the old "mitote" dance -- one that was modified to include Catholic symbolism. While the Spanish conquistadores tried to eliminate as much of indigenous culture as possible, they could not do so completely and much of it, to this day, remains embedded in the dance -- a dance that was created by indigenous tribes to re-enact the Spanish conquest of Mexico.

The more Evelyne experimented with her photography and her painting, the more she realized just how many of the danzantes were participating in the street dances for inspired personal and spiritual purposes. Indeed, many of the tribes, before they dance, gather together to pray, chant, ask their deities for permission to dance, and perform ritual cleansing.

No matter how differently people interpret the origins, traditions, and intentions of the danzantes, there is one thing that cannot be denied: visual artists, like Evelyne Pouget, and thousands of other people from all walks of life continue to be inspired by the soulful expressions of San Miguel's deeply rooted indigenous traditions.

Evelyne Pouget's art, featuring the indigenous dancers and the architecture of San Miguel, will be featured in her March 30th Liquidation Studio Sale, 1:00 -- 5:00 pm, 61 Guadiana in Colonia Allende, between Cinco de Mayo and Las Flores All pieces will be discounted 40-70%.

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

March 21, 2019


If you are an aspiring author or storyteller, but find yourself stuck, spinning your wheels, or needing support to write your book, you are in good company. Most people who want to write a book experience something similar. It's normal. But it's also frustrating -- especially when you know you have something meaningful to share with the world and the clock is ticking.

This is precisely why I have launched Jump Start Coaching for Aspiring Authors -- a simple way for wannabe writers (with a budget) to get their act together.

As an author of six books, I have experienced, first hand, the good, bad and ugly of what it takes to write and publish a book. And, as an innovation consultant to a wide variety of forward thinking organizations since 1987, I also know what it takes to navigate the muddy waters of the creative process. Now I am combining both of these experiences and offering my services to writers on the cusp of a breakthrough.

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Simply put, my job is to get you into the kind of motion that is going to lead to the completion of your book. How I do this is a combination of creative process coaching and creative writing coaching, so you can become the best writer you can possibly be. Not Hemingway. Not J.K Rowling. Not Shakespeare. But you!


1. You and I have a brief chat to explore the possibilities
2. If we agree, you decide which Jump Start Option works for you
3. I send you a Letter of Engagement for your signature
4. You pay my first month's fee in advance
5. You and I have coaching call #1 to clarify the following:

-- Your purpose and intention for writing the book
-- The key themes and message of your book
-- Your audience
-- Your strengths as a writer/communicator
-- Your inner and outer obstacles to writing a book
-- The structure and flow of your book
-- Your creative process (and the discipline required)
-- Support you need
-- Next steps

6. I send you links to videos and articles of mine.
7. You send me a sample of your writing
8. I read your stuff and send you my feedback & recommendations
9. You and I talk again to review my feedback and dig in deeper
10. We have one (or more) coaching calls to continue the process


1. Jump Start Ruby: $500 (four hours)
2. Jump Start Silver: $875 (seven hours)
3. Jump Start Gold: $1,500 (twelve hours)

AND A FOURTH OPTION: If you find value in my coaching and want to continue the process after our first 4-12 hours, we can extend our collaboration at whatever interval works for you ($120/hr.)


"I look forward to every call and meeting with Mitch. His warmth, humor, presence, and insights build my trust that I have something to say that matters. The quality of support, interest, and presence that Mitch brings to our work together boosts my enthusiasm and self-confidence in my writing. Mitch has helped me understand how to differentiate and integrate storytelling and message. Since we began working together, I feel more relaxed in my writing process and am experiencing renewed juicy writing flows. Mitch's coaching has also helped me have greater clarity about how to visualize and organize the book I am writing."

- Roberta Wall, author of the forthcoming, DANCING AT THE INTERSECTION

"What I like about my writing mentor, Mitch Ditkoff, is his way of triggering buried memories. It is true that I only meet Mitch through the Skype screen, but his warmth, smile, and concern for me travel miles in split seconds across the globe, warming up my heart and unwinding all of the locks to my inner being. He always begins with 'Tell me how Sadika is -- Sadika the human.' That simple question is enough to draw a smile on my face. How many people look you in the eye today and inquire about your well-being? Mitch is one of those rare persons who really cares. He is exactly what a mentor should be -- a human being who has shed all of the labels society, culture, and religion tags us with. I am so grateful to have Mitch as my mentor!"

-- Sadika Kebbi, author of the forthcoming BEING HUMAN

Want to schedule an initial, 20-minute call to see if this is a good fit?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:48 AM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2019
The Visual Storytelling Raffle

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Stories can be told in many ways: oral, written, and visual being three of the most common. Indeed, a picture is often worth a thousand words -- or in the case of Linda Laino, way more. A giclee of the Mandala above can be yours for just $10 if you enter (and win) Linda Laino's super cool raffle, just launched today. The drawing will be on April 9th. All you need to do is go to, enter Linda's email address (, and pay $10. Simple. PS: The mandala she is raffling off retails for $175. Support the arts (and the artists who make the art). Give yourself a chance to win a beautiful piece of art!

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

March 18, 2019
The Science Behind the Healing Power of Story


Excerpted from Native Hope

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2019
How the Inuits Use Storytelling to Teach Their Children


Click here to learn about how the Inuits of the Arctic Circle use storytelling to teach their children. Curiously, a recent study has confirmed that good storytelling skills, among 89 tribes of indigenous people, are prized more than hunting skills or medicinal knowledge. Wow!

Big thanks to Carole Clement for tuning me into this.
Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling at Work

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

It's Never Too Late to Choose Life

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My mother died at 83, on her way from her favorite chair in the living room to the bathroom. Her falling, explained my father, didn't make a lot of sound, other than the clanking of the oxygen machine which had been her steady companion for the past three years. The doctor said it was a heart attack that killed her, but the heart attack was a result of her emphysema, which was a result of her smoking unfiltered Chesterfields since the age of 15.

Magazine ads in the 1950's actually declared that smoking was good for you. They did not mention the fact that nicotine was just as addictive as heroin. Nor did they mention the fact that tobacco is the leading risk factor in 22% of all cancer deaths. In 2018 that would be equivalent to 2,100,000 people wheezing their way to the grave.

My mother, who loved to play canasta, do cross word puzzles, and hug me, had a heart of gold, but that heart of gold gave out one Tuesday evening in West Palm Beach. It beat for the last time and I would no longer have a mother. Nor would my sister have a mother. Nor would my three nieces have a grandmother. And my father would live alone for the rest of his life.

Ten years after my mother's death, it was my sister's time. She was 70 and had been smoking Salems since she was a teenager. The first time my father discovered she had taken up smoking he took the entire pack of cigarettes and jammed them into her mouth. His "quit smoking" technique didn't work. My sister continued smoking, even after she was diagnosed with lung cancer at 66 -- a cancer that later migrated to her brain and killed her.

Two years after her death, I got a call from Phillip Morris, the makers of Marlboro, Benson & Hedges, and yes, Chesterfields. They had heard about my work an innovation consultant and were wondering if I was available to design and facilitate a big offsite for them.

It was not a difficult decision for me to decline their invitation.

Looking back, I wish I had made more of an effort help my mother and sister kick the habit. That is one regret I have in life -- one I am still in the process of forgiving myself for. But in their memory, it is not too late to reach out to you and all the people you know who are addicted to cigarettes. There is help out there. There is.

Just a few weeks ago, I learned that my good friend, Joseph Bennett (a former smoker for 32 years) has created an online course to help people kick the habit once and for all. Joseph is one of the most committed and soulful people I know. He is a man of great passion and integrity, a man who has understood that one of his purposes in life is to serve.

And so, In honor of my mother, Sylvia, and my sister, Phyllis, I invite you, from the bottom of my heart, to see if Joseph's online course -- which he calls Quit in 21 resonates with you. And if you, yourself, are not a smoker, but have a mother, father, sister, brother, friend, uncle, aunt, neighbor, grandparent, teammate, co-worker, or child who is, consider forwarding the link to them.

It's never to late to choose life.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:21 AM | Comments (1)

March 11, 2019
Wisdom Circle Testimonials

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A Wisdom Circle is an enjoyable two-hour gathering of 6-12 people for the purpose of sharing meaningful, personal stories with each other -- stories that convey insights, deep feeling, and moments of truth. What follows are a sampling of testimonials from some of the people who have attended a recent series of Wisdom Circles in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and Woodstock, NY.

"I didn't know what to expect when I first attended the wisdom circle; I had brought pen and paper, prepared for note taking and homework. Half way through the evening I found myself spell bound by the spinning of tales and stories, notebook forgotten. What if, in every day life, we paid attention to the stories of our peers with the same focus and respect? What would happen if we gave a child, a friend or and spouse 10 minutes of undivided, uninterrupted attention? At the closing of the Wisdom circle that night, I felt that I had been given the opportunity to glance at the human soul, under the gentle guidance of Mitch Ditkoff." -- Carole Clement

"I attended one of Mitch's wisdom circles for the first time last night, and left feeling uplifted, connected, and heard. Sitting together in community, listening to others' stories and unique perspectives on life, and bearing witness to one another's experiences is not only powerful, but healing. These circles are a microcosm of how I hope society at large might one day function -- truly seeing those around us, valuing them, and recognizing we are on a journey together in our shared humanity." - Karen Kinney

"There is no doubt in my mind that Mitch is offering a service to the community that is of enormous value through his facilitation of the Wisdom Circles. There is indeed great wisdom in exploring our own stories; in speaking them, sharing them and allowing them to be witnessed. The feedback, insights and questions from Mitch and the other participants open a door for us to reconsider from different perspectives that which we too often have only seen from one angle for too long, perhaps causing an inflexibility in our attachment to our story. It is quite possible to hold something too dear and too tightly; to offer that up to a group is to open to a larger picture and to yield to the process of letting go. I much admire the ease and gentleness with which Mitch creates a safe container for that offering and release. I admire how he cherishes the offering with his careful listening and how he facilitates its blooming through his kind and keen questions. I highly recommend the Wisdom Circle to anybody who feels that they have a story to tell, especially if they feel that they don't." -- Carlos F. Chancellor

"My Wisdom Circle evening was a heartwarming event. The remarkable stories we heard created an instant community of trust and empathy. I felt embraced by everyone. I went with one story to share in mind, but the stories others told tapped into a very different place in me, and a story that surprised me emerged from me. The experience gave me a new insight that stunned me, or really, it was an old insight that I had forgotten about and was deeply happy to have back. The Circle was a beautiful, totally engaging evening." -- Susan Page

"I went to my first Wisdom Circle with some interest, but as the first session unfolded, my interest piqued. Mitch is a wonderful, caring facilitator and he draws out the best in people. I am hooked with the experiences that I am receiving in The Wisdom Circle. I find that days after I leave The Wisdom Circle I am still reflecting on the stories told. I had no idea that someone else's experience told in a story could affect me so deeply and would have an impact on my future thoughts. Mitch is interested and caring in his duties as the mediator. I love going and look forward to the experience with great anticipation." - Robyn Johnson

"One of the biggest takeaways I had from the Wisdom Circle was the importance of listening. I couldn't help but notice how my mind was constantly wanting to interject during other people's stories. Whether it was a joke, a comment of acknowledgment, or even just wanting to say 'yeah sure'. But through the process of listening to each person's story, really paying attention, and clearly hearing what it was that they had to say, I found that it was not only an enriching experience, but also something I've begun to implement in my day-to-day life." - Jon Jeffers

"I went to Mitch's Wisdom Circle last week. It's really a storytelling circle. It was wonderful. This was my first time attending a storytelling gathering where I would be participating. Mitch is a great facilitator. And the space was loving and safe, with wonderful people, none of whom I had met before, but two hours later felt like I had six new friends. It's an inspiring environment that naturally evokes the sharing of stories. I'm going again." - Sharon Jeffers

"The Wisdom Circle evening I attended was not only stimulating, but conjured up stories of my own I hadn't even remembered, until my memory was stirred by the others in the circle. Mitch made us feel safe and appreciated in sharing our stories and created an evening of ambiance, gratitude and mutual appreciation -- a place to be real.' -- Sher Davidson

"The whole experience renewed my interest in listening to, writing, and telling stories." -- Jean Paul Peretz

"I appreciate your orientation -- that sharing our stories with one another is a beautiful way that humans support and teach and enrich one another. It is also a way to build community. Most of all, in hearing one another's stories we are aware of our shared, flawed, exquisite humanity. I feel you do a very good job of bringing all this forward, of inspiring, of creating a space for this to happen." -- Diana Kuper

"I found it immensely moving to listen to people's core narratives at the Wisdom Circles I have attended. It deepens my appreciation of who they are and what their inner life looks like." -- Ruth Garbus

"Mitch Ditkoff's Wisdom Circles are SO MUCH FUN. Under his alchemical guidance, each and every storytelling gathering is a safe, encouraging, inspiring, profound, and creative opportunity to more deeply connect with myself and others." -- Lynda Carre

"I was invited to to attend a Wisdom Circle with my daughter and we spent a wonderful evening of storytelling and enlightenment. Sharing insights and bringing people together made it a memorable evening." -- Jean Buchalter

"The Wisdom Storytelling Circle is a simple, alive form that brought forth my deep narratives. Working within a theme, focused and strengthened my voice. Knowing that Mitch was watching over and guiding the time, I relaxed, took in other's offerings, stayed engaged, and found my moment to speak. This is an ancient activity, arising again, in amazement." -- Barbara Bash

"Participating in a Wisdom Circle is uplifting, empowering, bringing forth empathy, trust and intimacy, sharing, learning, real listening, digging into and sharing one's own life and memories, community-building. It is so enriching to mind and soul -- truly rewarding. Am looking forward for the next one!" -- Eldad Benary

"This aspect of gathering the troops ad sounding the clarion call, is a way to say Let's Do This... Let's Connect... Let's Inspire and reward each other with heartfelt experiences. In our very busy lives, filled with all sorts of calamitous news, Wisdom Circles are a serene way to escape, for a few hours, back to oneself." -- Jan Buchalter

Mitch Ditkoff's Wisdom Circles make space for the human spirit by creating space for shared human experience. How unusual it is in these modern times to to gather in a circle of friends and strangers and have the opportunity to share personal stories of growth and transformation in an intimate, safe and supportive space. Mitch is a gentle and enthusiastic facilitator whose one-pointed devotion to his medium mushrooms in the hearts and minds of his participants and reflects in how organically stories are shared and dialogue flows. The format is simple, but the impact—profound. I always leave full of new perspective, insight and feeling a deeper connection to my fellow storytellers and story listeners, but most importantly, a refreshed relationship to my own life path and deeper connection to my values, voice and truth." -- Akka B.

"Upon meeting Mitch and the other Wisdom Circle participants, I felt that I was reconnecting with people I had met before. Sharing and hearing our stories brought tears to my eyes and laughter from my heart. In the Wisdom Circle we were connected in our common experiences of grief at our mothers' deaths, the insecurity with using Another Tongue as a Second Language, and the power of carrying a strong voice and presence in response to imminent danger. The following morning I shed tears of loss and love as my story continued to grow in the meditation hall of the Tibetan Buddhist Monastery on Overlook Mountain that sits above the cottage where the Wisdom Circle grows. As I headed home along winding roads of Woodstock, Paul Simon shared with me his 'Mother and Child Reunion' -- a story sure to be right at home in our Wisdom Circle." - Fred Szczesiul

"Mitch Ditkoff's Wisdom Circles are transformative. This is what my life has been sorely lacking for a very long time. I am so glad I stumbled upon his group. Through the process of storytelling, using thoughtfull selected themes, we each delved into aspects of life that are not generally discussed or deeply considered. The questions and discussions that follow each story, facilitated by Mitch's keen insight, inspire the storyteller and other group members to tap into our own wisdom, with surprisingly wonderful results. Mitch's warmth, wit, and hospitality are an integral part of the group, setting the participants at ease, and creating an atmosphere of safe camraderie." -- Alan Powitz

"My first Wisdom Circle was a very personal, energetic, intimate experience. I enjoyed meaningful stories in a small group and received validation that we're all connected and could see the me in all of us. And I was 5,000 miles away in the middle of the Pacific Ocean! Instant connection without visual distraction on a cellular level." - Casey Holt
Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling at Work

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2019
The Afghani Cab Driver


A four-minute story of a moment I had with an Afghani cab driver in Minneapolis that changed my life and the way in which I looked at the world.

Excerpted from this book
Storytelling for the Revolution

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2019
Are Your Stories Serving You?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:43 AM | Comments (0)


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.

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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.
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