Monday, August 5, 2013

Life Stories

Everyone has a story.  Sometimes in my work I am beyond lucky to interview some fabulously interesting people, and sometimes I'm lucky enough to interview some everyday people.  And the thing they share in common is that everyone has a story and there is always something interesting in their stories.

We just have to take the time to listen and to question and to uncover the gems that make up their story and that have created the richness in their lives.

I was lucky to go as a "plus one" with my clever friend Sarah to a morning tea hosted by the National Mental Health Commissioners as part of the Commission's Contributing Life Conversations Project.  It was a busy day in Sydney for the blogging/writing community with quite a few functions on.

But this one was a little pocket of thoughtfulness and sharing, of connection, and of listening.  There were stories shared, intimacies revealed.  This wasn't about goody bags or networking.  This was about genuineness and stretching our thinking.

Of making time to really talk and to really truly listen.

I have a couple of running buddies, and those that know me, know I am notorious for running on my own, in my bubble, head phones on.  But finally I have realised the pleasure from running and chatting.  In particular one of my friends and I solve life's problems and many of our own as we run.  I look forward to sharing.  I look forward to listening.  It's all about being in the moment.  (and don't you think this is an expression we all use but sometimes haven't experienced?).  I do when I'm in the bush running with her.

That is our space.  And we connect.
I'm a shocking small talker.  I don't know how to.  I'm either silent and introverted, or blurting out my deepest darkest secrets as the person I'm talking at, looks nervously around clutching his or her glass and sausage roll, frantically looking for an escape route or person.

But talking, as in really talking and really truly listening fits somewhere in between.

My eldest is transitioning from kids conversations to more mature ones.  He's a little shy too.  "Just ask questions buddy", I told him. "People like talking about themselves and it makes them feel good that you've asked and that you're interested".

We just need to find that space, take the time, ask the questions, share our stories, and listen, and those little pearls that make that person special will be uncovered.

And we'll find that not all conversations are the same.  Some can be just a little more special than others.

When did you last have a special conversation


  1. The last real conversation I had was with my best male friend over a few drinks. We each unloaded confident that the conversation would never ever be referred to again. In the vault.

  2. I'm a good talker and a good listener, so conversation has a habit of finding me. I'm loving eaves dropping (I know it's bad) on my kid's 'conversations' with friends lately. Like yours, they are just at an age where more esoteric communication starts to happen. It's a joy. x