What is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?

We wrote The Sunday Story Club to show others how to facilitate good, authentic and vulnerable conversation. We live in an era when, even in a face-to-face conversation, the person opposite you may not be listening. You know what they are doing. They are scrolling through emails or text messages on their phone.

Sick of chitchat, we started our Sunday Story Club to encourage a deeper conversation. The results were so uplifting and moving we wanted to share both some of the stories and also how to run your own story salon so others can experience this magic too.

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What we sense & What we fear.

Many of us have experienced premonitions, but it is so difficult to put faith in an ethereal dream, a fleeting vision or that little voice in your head.

Have you been informed by something you have sensed? Several storytellers in The Sunday Story Club explore this theme.

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Raw & Unfiltered: Why you must speak your truth!

In the Sunday Story Club, we ask questions that sidestep prepared narratives to open up a conversation in new and refreshing ways. We want readers to run their own Salons to experience these extraordinary conversations.

We all carry stories within us – wrenching, redemptive, extraordinary, and laced with unexpected and hard-won wisdom. A meaningful conversation has the power to enlighten, heal and transform.

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When parenting becomes competitive, try a different conversation.

My co-author Doris Brett and I had a wonderful conversation about non-competitive conversations with Shevonne Hunt on her FEED PLAY LOVE podcast when we were in Sydney recently.

LISTEN HERE:

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In the era of fake online personas, you need to talk.

The Sunday Story Club. We all carry stories within us – wrenching, redemptive, extraordinary, and laced with unexpected and hard-won wisdom.

Your curated online persona, be it funny, adventurous or fake, is not you. You need to talk.

This book reminds us of the power of conversation to enlighten, heal and transform.

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Aretha Franklin: RESPECT!

by the Sibyls

Arethra Franklin Quote Sibylesque

Despite all her fame and success, Aretha Franklin has not had an easy life. Her mother died when she was only 10 years old. She was first pregenant at 14. She’s had 2 marriages, one involving domestic violence, given birth to 4 sons and struggled with weight gain issues all her life.  In 1979 her father C. L. was shot at point blank range in his Detroit home. Aretha moved back to Detroit in late 1982 to assist with the care of her father, who died 1984. Yet, despite all of her struggles, Arethra has bounced back again and again. This is Arethra Franklin singing and playing piano at the Kennedy Centre for President Obama in 2015.

Aretha Frannklin 1942 – 2018

We, the Sibyls, salute Arethra Franklin not only for her sublime artistry, but for her gutsy attitude to dealing with so many of the tragedies and difficulties life can throw at you.

Aretha Franklin: RESPECT!

by the Sibyls

Arethra Franklin Quote Sibylesque

Despite all her fame and success, Aretha Franklin has not had an easy life. Her mother died when she was only 10 years old. She was first pregenant at 14. She’s had 2 marriages, one involving domestic violence, given birth to 3 sons and struggled with weight gain issues all her life.  In 1979 her father C. L. was shot at point blank range in his Detroit home. Aretha moved back to Detroit in late 1982 to assist with the care of her father, who died 1984. Yet, despite all of her struggles, Arethra has bounced back again and again. This is Arethra Franklin singing and playing piano at the Kennedy Centre for President Obama in 2015.

Aretha Frannklin 1942 – 2018

We, the Sibyls, salute Arethra Franklin not only for her sublime artistry, but for her gutsy attitude to dealing with so many of the tragedies and difficulties life can throw at you.

A Year of Wisdom

The Sibyls

A Sibyls' SalonWe do not know if, around the world, 2016 will blessed with outbreaks of wisdom. But we the Sibyls, can only live in hope.

We can also, in many small ways, apply what we have learned in life. Here are just a few thoughts that have bubbled out of the Sibyls’ Salons:

*  I was thinking about fear and overcoming fear. Fear comes with possibility. Not knowing. I find that attractive. Leap into the unknown.

*  To find yourself you have to become unmoored.

*  The hardest thing for me to learn to do is ‘keep quiet.’

*  You can have theories or children.

*  Learn from other people’s mistakes because you do not have time to make them all yourself.

When we take time to think and feel and talk in a safe, non-judgemental forum, wisdom gets a chance to bloom.

Artwork: By talented Sibyl Elizabeth D.

If we are wise, why don’t we celebrate?

By Jacqueline Hope
Sibylesque Jacqueline Hope Quote

Wise Woman Ceremony for Nicky

These are the words I read as celebrant at the ceremony.

The Reading:

“To each and every one of us here we hold special memories, of this remarkable person who has stepped ever so gently into our hearts and lives and left an indelible footprint, and we honour her for that.

She has many titles daughter, sister, auntie, cousin, friend colleague, neighbour. However she is also a wife, extraordinaire and awesome mother to the joy of her life her beloved sons ….

In these aspects of her persona she has often shone brightly and ever so occasionally there has been some lack lustre. But nothing a fag and a cup of coffee couldn’t sort out! Eh boys?”

Sibylesque  Wise Women Ceremony” It is in her persona of Midwife, she has dedicated the majority of her energy, expertise, joy, love, and wisdom. She has been practicing her ‘wise woman’ skills for more years than she cares to remember.

These hands have been privileged to welcome many, many souls into this world, with tears of joy, and relief!!”

~~~~~~~

The Ritual:

The circle of woman join hands and circle to the left and the right of Nicky as the drum is beaten they chanting or singing

“I am the maiden, the Mother, The Crone. (Which ever applies) and we honor and love you Nicky.

One by one the woman jump into the circle and spin around with Nicky until all are within the circle.

~~~~~~~

Picture 2

Jacqueline Hope is a very young gorgeous 64-year-old divorcee and forcibly retired midwife, who has worked in England, Dubai, Australia, and Peru. She is a marriage celebrant from WA and has a practice in intuitive counseling whose motto is H.O.P.E  – Hold on pain ends. She is the mother of two grown adult-children a son, who, it seems, are rarely are dazzled by their mother’s, brilliance.   (No prophet is recognized in their own land sigh!) She is saving the ‘pennies’ in the hope of swanning off for another adventure.

Dancing photo source: Unsourced.

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If you learn how to die, you’ll learn how to live

Sibylesque Being Mortal quote

BEING MORTAL: Medicine and What Matters in the End

By Atul Gawande 

Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt & Company, 2014.

Review by Kerry Cue

Atul Gawande

Atul Gawande

The reason this book is so meaningful, so compelling and why it ranks as a rare must-read is because, in telling the story of how to die a good death, it slowly addresses an equally important question namely ‘how  are we to live a good and meaningful life?’

Sibylesque The three fates

Atul Gawande, surgeon and writer for The New Yorker, dreams of new ways of caring for the frail and old. He questions the bureaucratic nature of aged care institutions where the elderly are kept ‘safe’, but hardly ‘alive’. And he rails against the invasive, painful and ultimately futile medical procedures inflicted on the dying. Yet this book is no dry academic tome. Gawande tells the storxy of dying and death of his father, also a surgeon, from first discovering the tumor in the spinal column, through the family’s struggling with medical options – operate? His father might become a quadriplegic. Don’t operate, he may become a quadriplegic! – to his father’s final days.

There is one strong and clear message from this thoughtful exploration of the end stage. Patients could have good days even when dying. But to achieve this goal they must be asked, or think about, at least, ‘what are your greatest fears?’ and ‘what are your current goals?’ Simple questions but from the answers patients discover how they are to live in their final days and, eventually, die.

Gawande has managed to take the fear away from our modern, Western view of dying, which, in many aspects involves, an impersonal, sterile, ICU bed intubated with a tube down the throat and a total loss of control. Dying need not be like this. Gawande shows how the human spirit can flourish and life can be fully lived to the very end.

curlicue

Photo source: Unsourced book review blog, Tapestry held in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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