All sorrows can be borne if you put them
into a story or tell a story about them.

Isak Dinesen

You, like every human being, are a storyteller by birthright.  You are born with an endless supply of personal and universal themes.  It is important to open yourself to receive the vast wealth of imagery that lives within you.  Build a hearth within you and let it become a circle of protection.  In it your heart's wisdom may ignite and burn.  Ask that all who gather at your fire from your own inner skies, lands, and waters come with goodwill to share their truths in its warmth.

Nancy Mellon

I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work with them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.

Clarissa Pinkola Estés

“You do have stories, Jason," he said.  "We all have stories.  The problem is that people your age never have been taught to tell them.  How can they be taught, when their parents do not tell stories, either?  The sad part is that one day you will have no stories to tell your children or your grandchildren, so they never will have the benefit of learning from your experiences.  That is a shame.”

tom walsh
Three Cavaliers

There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.

Willa Cather


Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.

Hannah Arendt


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The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.

Muriel Rukeyser


A story must be told in such a way that it constitutes help in
itself.  My grandfather was lame.  Once they asked him to
tell a story about his teacher.  And he related how his teacher
used to hop and dance while he prayed.  My grandfather rose
as he spoke, and he was so swept away by his story that he
began to hop and dance to show how the master had done.
From that hour he was cured of his lameness.
That's how to tell a story.

Martin Buber


When we haven't the time to listen to each other's stories we seek out
experts to tell us how to live.  The less time we spend together at the
kitchen table, the more how-to books appear in the stores and on our
bookshelves.  But reading such books is a very different thing than
listening to someone' s lived experience.  Because we have stopped
listening to each other we may even have forgotten how to listen,
stopped learning how to recognize meaning and fill ourselves from the
ordinary events of our lives.  We have become solitary;
readers and watchers rather than sharers and participants.

Rachel Naomi Remen

As with any other great force of nature, there is both glory and danger in
the stories we tell ourselves.  Some are toxic and keep our problems festering.
Others are tonic and bring us beyond the limitations of our previous history.
To be in a life of our own definition, we must be able to discover which
stories we are following and determine which ones help us grow the
most interesting possibilities.

Dawna Markova

Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.

Madeleine L'Engle

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

Maya Angelou

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.

Philip Pullman

We owe it to each other to tell stories.

Neil Gaiman

Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.

Ben Okri

There have been great societies that did not use the wheel,
but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.

Ursula K. Le Guin

What happens is of little significance compared with the stories
we tell ourselves about what happens. Events matter little,
only stories of events affect us.

Rabih Alameddine
The Hakawati


Stories come alive in the telling.  Without a human voice to read them aloud,
or a pair of wide eyes following them by flashlight beneath a blanket, they had
no existence in our world.  They were like seeds in the beak of a bird, waiting
to fall to earth. Or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an
instrument to bring their music into being.  They lay dormant, hoping for the
chance to emerge.  Once someone started to read them, they could begin to
change.  They could take root in the imagination and transform the reader.
Stories wanted to be read.  They needed it.  It was the reason they forced
themselves from their world into ours.  They wanted us to give them life.

John Connolly
The Book of Lost Things


The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that
are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.

Harold Goddard

If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them
away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs
a story more than food to stay alive.

Barry Lopez
Crow and Weasel


Stories are how we learn. The progenitors of the world’s religions
understood this, handing down our great myths and
legends from generation to generation.

Bill Mooney and David Holt
The Storyteller’s Guide

One lesson we can learn from pre-industrial peoples is the power of
storytelling. I am struck by how important storytelling is among tribal
peoples; it forms the basis of their educational systems. The Celtic
peoples, for example, insisted that only the poets could be teachers.
Why? I think it is because knowledge that is not passed through the
heart is dangerous: it may lack wisdom; it may be a power trip; it may
squelch life out of the learners. What if our educational systems were
to insist that teachers be poets and storytellers and artists?
What transformations would follow?

Mathew Fox

We are lonesome animals. We spend all of our life trying to be less lonesome.
One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say--and to
feel--"Yes, that is the way it is, or at least that is the way
I feel it." You’re not as alone as you thought.

John Steinbeck



We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!

A necessary part of our intelligence is on the line as the oral tradition
becomes less and less important. There was a time throughout our
land when it was common for stories to be told and retold, a most
valuable exercise, for the story retold is the story reexamined over
and over again at different levels of intellectual and emotional growth.

Wes Jackson
Becoming Native to This Place

Life rushes us along and few people are strong enough to stop on their own.
Most often, something unforeseen stops us and it is only then we have the
time to take a seat at life’s kitchen table.  To know our own story and tell it.
To listen to other people’s stories.  To remember that the real world is made
up of just such stories.  Until we stop ourselves or, more often, have been
stopped, we hope to put certain of life’s events “behind us” and get on with
our living.  After we stop we see that certain of life’s issues will be with us
for as long as we live.  We will pass through them again and again, each
time with a new story, each time with a greater understanding, until they
become indistinguishable from our blessings and our wisdom.
It’s the way life teaches us how to live.

Rachel Naomi Remen


When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your
story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else.

Iyanla Vanzant


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These are the stories that never, never die, that are carried like
seed into a new country, are told to you and me
and make in us new and lasting strengths.

Meridel Le Sueur

Heirlooms we don't have in our family.  But stories we've got.

Rose Chernin


There can be no stronger proof of the impoverishment of our
contemporary culture than the popular--though profoundly
mistaken--definition of myth as falsehood.

Rollo May



Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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