(Inspired by Storyteller Berber Hidma)
We are all made out of stories.
The stories we tell to ourselves and the stories we tell to others play a big role in the way we form our identity and how we construct our reality.
Some stories have been extremely damaging to our personal development and follow us like a ghost through the night, shading our (self) perception and holding us back from unfolding our true potential.
Stories shared in a safe environment with the right guidance and facilitation is nourishing and healing and can change the reality of kids (and adults) from one instant to another.
Every Monday, the girls gather in a circle on a blanket under a tree in the forest.
They collect things from nature, build a little altar and choose an object that will be used as a talking stick.
Together, we explore the theme of the day.
Before we start with the storytelling I invite them to close their eyes, to breathe deeply into the belly, to feel what is alive in them right now, to take a moment in silence.
Then we open the circle for the stories to come and let the magic happen…
May some of our stories be also medicine for you!
Monday February 7th 2022:
Today’s theme was ‘Being in love’:
I opened the circle by asking them the following questions and invited them to freely, popcorn style, bring in their answers:
- How does it feel to be in love?
- Where in your body do you feel it?
- Does it remind you of an animal or any other sensation?
- How do you know the difference between ‘liking someone’ and ‘being in love with someone’?
- Can a girl be also in love with a girl or only with a boy?
- What are the different ways of kissing and which type of kissing do we do within our family and with our friends and which type of kissing do we want to do when we are in love?
- Who has kissed someone before and what type of kiss?
- Where in your body did you feel it and how did you experience it?
- What do you do when sth doesn’t feel right in your body?
- Can you express when you don’t like sth/ when sth hurts you? (not only related to kissing of course, can be hair pulling, hitting, painful words etc.)
From there the stories came out like fountains! All of them had a lot to share and the talking stick became the most wanted object. But they were also all great active listeners and authentically engaged in each other’s stories.
When it was my turn, I shared a story of myself when I was a girl around their age. I was in love for the very first time with an older boy from the other class. His name was Tobias and I liked him so much that every time I saw him I would get butterflies and a warm feeling in my belly and goosebumps all over my skin. One day, on my way home, one of the older girls came to me and asked me if I was in love with Tobias. I was very shy but somehow I had the courage to say yes. She looked at me and said: ‘Well, then you better forget him because he would never fall in love with such an ugly fat little girl like you.’
Those words stayed with me for a long time and I really thought that no boy would ever fall in love with me because I was ugly and fat.
That story brought up a lot of touching stories from all the other girls too.
One of them told us her story:
‘One time in my old school someone told me that I have an ugly voice and that I would look retarded and funny when I dance. Since that day, I don’t dare to sing and dance in public anymore even though I so much would love to.Anonymous 8 year old
At the end we did a little shaking exercise to shake out all the stories from the past that don’t serve us anymore, that make us feel small, ugly and stupid and that hold us back from being who we actually are.
There are 3 important messages we took home from our storytelling today:
- words of others have only as much power and importance as we give to them
- always share a painful story with someone you trust so your heart does not have to carry the weight all alone
- we are all beautiful, we are all singers and dancers and we are all worthy to be loved