Storytelling at Work
July 15, 2022
The Chocolate Milk Shake

I have a friend who is in the process of dying. He is on his death bed and won't be leaving it until the men in black suits take him away. In terms of eternity, Warren is going just a few seconds before the rest of us. But it is his time now and one more wake up call for me -- someone who has been bedside to a dying father and a dying sister, knowing that one day it will be my turn.

Warren has chosen not to eat, but he is still drinking liquids. So last week I asked him what he wanted to drink and he told me in the beat of a heart -- a thick chocolate milk shake from Stuarts. Vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.

Each time I visit Warren I bring him a milkshake, hold it for him, bend the straw in his direction and watch him drink. There is something about the moment of a dying man drinking a chocolate milk shake that floors me. Each sip Warren takes is a little bit of heaven, a return to childhood, a mainline moment into the here and now. I hold the straw and feel the coolness of the milkshake passing by my fingers as Warren feels the sweetness on his tongue.

I want to live my life in this milkshake moment. I want to savor each sip as I let the world go, feeling in my bones what is beyond it all, no matter what has happened in the past or what will happen in the future.

We are here for such a short while, a blink of the eye. Now you see it, now you don't. But while we do, we get a chance to enjoy each sip, the sweetness on our tongue and the love in our heart.

Keep savoring my friends. Enjoy it all while you can.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at July 15, 2022 06:08 AM

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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.
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.