In the photo above, I was telling my niece a story taken from the Holy Odu OyekuL'ogbe. It reminded me of the days when all the children were bright eyed, little babies.
I am an accidental storyteller. When my children were very young, I would tell them bedtime stories of the Orisa. Later on, when my eldest was in kindergarten, I was asked to read a story to his class. In an effort to spend quality time with my children, I started a summer camp where I had the students dramatize Yoruba folktales.
In the process, I had to sort through all the different stories, so as to tell the most appropriate tales for school aged children. I inadvertently made a profound discovery: There are stories for every occasion.
Because of a twist of fate, I ended up working as a corporate trainer. Much to my surprise, I still found myself telling stories on a regular basis. I was fascinated by the fact that Fortune 100 executives responded to stories in much the same way as children did at summer camp. They listened attentively. They laughed out loud. They shook their heads in amazement.
Of course, I didn't tell the executives same stories that I would tell the children. In the same way that there is a story for every occasion, there are also many different types of stories, depending upon the setting.
When told properly, all stories have one thing in common: They are easy to remember.
Even if you cannot remember all the details, you are bound to remember the way a story made you feel. This is in keeping with a popular saying, "People will forget what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel."
Stories, like songs, convey deep emotion: Happiness, fear, confidence. All of these can be captured beautifully by a well-delivered story.
Until now, I have never tried to teach storytelling. It's not something I was taught so I am admittedly uncertain about the breakdown of "How to tell a story."
None the less, as I work to cultivate a complete learning experience for my students, I have come to appreciate how important it is for them to master the art of storytelling.
So, in the months to come, I will start to integrate storytelling lessons and techniques into the Orisa Lifestyle methodology.
Learn more: Visit OrisaLifestyle.com
Live the Medicine
Obafemi Origunwa, MA
Thought leader, Ifa priest and author of four definitive books, Obafemi Origunwa inspires metamorphosis through living the medicine that will heal your life and heal the lives of the people you're destined to serve.