One of the most powerful tools available to us for bringing our storytelling to life is the engagement of our own inner warmth and wonder.
Warmth of soul lives in us like a loving embrace. When we look at a little child we love, it rises up and we become better people. What brings up warmth in your inner being? It is a fundamental health giving part of us. It softens our hard edges. We become kinder. We become generous, hopeful, happy. For some it is love for another, for a beloved pet, the activity of creativity, helping others. Warmth has the element of Fire in it to a greater or lesser degree. We can be enthusiastic, excited about something, alive with interest! Warmth is there when we care about something, whether it be another, our work, it can also live in the details and skill of daily life.
Wonder is something of a sister to Warmth. I am referring to a quality of experiencing something that fills you with awe and reverence and respectfulness. It is something that surprises you and makes you pause to just look at or ponder it. Wonder can move your soul and inspire you. It can be magical, and make your eyes twinkle with joy and laughter. It can be a deep truth that opens your heart so wide. It can be soft and gentle like an amazing sunrise, that holds you for a time just to look at it and feel the presence of something bigger than yourself. We can tap into our storehouse of feeling wonder, and use that to alter our voice when telling our stories. For this we also bring warmth along as wonder's best friend.
The Pueblo people knew of the healing and goodness of storytelling so much they developed the Storyteller dolls. They embody warmth and wonder, and see how the children are drawn to them.
Contemplate these two qualities of Being, Warmth of Soul and Wonder, as powers living within you. What generates and awakens these powers inside you. Use this to clothe your voice in their richness.
1. First practice Warmth, feel your heart, let it guide you. Imagine someone you love before you, say Good Morning to them in an ordinary voice, then offer that warmth you feel toward them and let it stream out of you and fill your voice with it. Say Good Morning with warmth in your voice as well as your Heart. Do this 5 times, speaking in an ordinary voice, pause, then with warmth filling your voice. We are building soul muscles of warmth and practice of bringing it to life in our story voice. Practice is good.
2. Now Wonder. Contemplate something that helps you feel Reverence, Gratitude, Awe, Wowness. As with 'Once Upon a Time', we can feel it is bigger than ourselves. Speak this phrase empty of wonder and warmth. See how we can speak it clearly but in an everyday way. Now fill yourself with the amazement of how many times it has been spoken in the world since story began, it is grand, profound, wonderful. The word Wonderful comes from ancient wisdom meaning Filled With God, or Filled With Spirit. Speak that Greatness when you say the phrase again bringing along your inner wonder of it. Go back and forth from ordinary voice to wonder voice 5 times. Each time free yourself a little bit more to become Wonder yourself. We are practicing how to welcome our inner powers to fill our voice
3, Now we will put it to practice in a story of your choosing. One that you really love. Tell one paragraph of the story imbuing your story voice with these wonderful qualities of warmth and wonder. Keep it alive all the way through the whole paragraph. Bravo.