A moment to pause to check responses.
This is the brief moment of ‘sitting with the experience of a meal of tacos’ stage. Blink, and you might miss it.
In storytelling, it is the pause you take to observe what is happening for your listener. For the storylistener, it is the moment you use to listen to yourself (your responses/reactions) and to Holy Spirit (discernment/prayer).
Story pause SB05>>
Sitting with a meal of tacos, this pause is the space in which you might hear from others or a deep part of yourself, “Yummmmm” (with a smile) … “Best meal ever!!!” … “oooohhhh” “aaahhhhh”, or “hmmmmm.” Some of these expressions may not even quite capture the sensation we may be feeling. Sometimes it’s also a good place to pause and give thanks for the meal and for other things those gathered might be thankful for in their lives.
In this mealtime moment, someone might jump to say, “Time for a cleanup!!” This may cause a rush from others to clear the table and the mess for whatever’s next. Try to resist this move. Gently discourage this if you can. Encourage everyone to dwell in the moment!
The first 3 parts above were for the storyteller to include or leave out. The Pause is mainly for the story listener. What happens in you, the story listener, when you hear the story is important. And even though it is important, this is sometimes the most difficult part of a story process. Maybe, as a listener, you are already jumping in, or the storyteller is already moving on. Appreciating this moment is an art and a skill. It takes intentionality and practice to get this bit right. But why?
Story listening [The Pause]:Here is the opportunity to appreciate what is happening in you as you as a result of what you have heard. Are you responding with any thoughts, emotions, or sensations? Has it triggered something in you and is causing a reaction? A story listener, in touch with their own thoughts/feelings/senses, has the opportunity to monitor this. It is important because you are giving yourself to be completely present in the story being shared, to monitor what’s happening for you; to acknowledge that and to deal with that as necessary in the event of adverse reactions that have been triggered, and to be prepared for the next step.
So … what was your response/reaction to the story you heard? Any thoughts? A lot or a little emotion? Did you experience a hunch, inkling, vibe, or sensation in your body? Positive? Negative? None? How would you describe this?
Storytelling [The Pause]:But even as a storyteller, you can also acknowledge this moment and, importantly, allow your listeners to process this part of your story. Here is the opportunity to appreciate what is happening in you as a result of sharing the story. You can take this pause to gauge any response in your listener regarding their thoughts, emotions, or sensations. (Are they puzzled/thinking? Maybe showing emotion? Perhaps squirming and holding their arms? Do you need to use this pause to get a sense of what to do regarding the next step of storytelling … story listening.
So … what was your response/reaction to the story you just shared? Take a check of yourself … Any thoughts? A lot or a little emotion? Did you experience a hunch, inkling, vibe, or sensation in your body/spirit? Positive? Negative? None? How would you describe this? Nothing? That’s OK too.