content='index,follow' name='robots'/> Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom: Plain Talk

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Plain Talk

In my earliest childhood memories at my Grandmother’s I can remember family gatherings around the kitchen table and it wasn’t just to sit down for a good meal. We sat down for a glass of lemonade or a cup a coffee and visit to catch up with what everyone was doing. Sometimes, late at night when I was little, my cousins and I would have to go up to bed and the adults would remain sitting around the table, laughing and recalling events and telling stories. I wanted to be a part of it then and I do now. I carry the feel of that gathering with me throughout my entire life. It seems when people get together like that around something as simple as the kitchen table is when the barriers go down and something real emerges. It isn’t so much what is being said as it is the energy and the connection everyone has with one another. The conversation takes on a life of its own and you don’t know where it will end – it is like this invisible force takes all of you on an adventure.

To me this exemplifies my connecting roots; it’s when I feel most comfortable being alive. I think this is a place where, if we allow ourselves to participate, our authentic selves are truly revealed and accepted. It’s like Ram Dass explains in his book Still Here where he says,

“This is an opportunity for people to share their own wisdom and to contribute it to the collective group wisdom. Many people flower in the richness of this process, as the group becomes aware of how each person holds some part of the complex mosaic that is elder wisdom.”

Stories are told and the lives of generations of people are kept alive by the conversations at gatherings similar to sitting around the kitchen table. For the youth, as we listened to the adults, we learned about our ancestors, what they did and how they lived. As time went on, I had my own stories to tell and I passed them onto my own children. Before the printed word, stories were the only means of communication.

Christine OKelly in her recent posting in Self Made Chick, “How I Ditched My Job and Never Had to Come Crawling Back” asks, “What do you do today that is “second nature” that others would gladly pay to know?”, which is an interesting topic alone to ponder. I thought about that for myself and what I came up with is what Stephen Hopson is doing in his blog called “Adversity University” where he shares his personal stories. Immediately upon reading his story called, “How I Almost Let FEAR Stop Me From Accepting a $4000 Engagement” I was transported back to that kitchen table. It had the same feel of authenticity as I read his personal accounts of how he arrived at the decision to accept the engagement and what he felt and how he struggled. I didn’t feel like I was alone in questioning myself only to experience and share my own personal accounts of how God showed me the way. Here was someone with a different set of situations sharing their own story on how they followed Divine guidance - and I felt connected.

Stories are how we relate to one another. They’re different and somehow the same and even though the time and circumstances are poles apart we can come together as if we had the same experience. This is the energy, the life of the adventure you are taken on when you share around a kitchen table or put it out there in the internet world. We feel the connection to one another through stories.

Looking at it from a different perspective than what I was talking about, Andrea Hess recently had an interesting post on her Empowered Soul Blog entitled, “What’s Your Story?” She talks about the stories we tell about ourselves - are they are true or not and how you use your story to either continue your pain or use it as an excuse to not live your life fully. I can see how stories are used to further our cause particularly if we want to draw attention. And Slade in an older post, expands on Andrea’s thoughts on how we use our stories in his Shift Your Spirits Blog post on how to release “The Stories That No Longer Serve You.”

It’s all good. That’s what stories do. They give us different perspectives so we can participate and offer our piece. It's neither right nor wrong. It just is what it is. Let’s gather around the invisible kitchen table of the internet world and connect and allow ourselves to take the adventure of our lives.

From the kitchen table - Pat
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Patricia Singleton said...

I went to an Al-Anon meeting tonight and told how when I first started going to Al-Anon meeting in 1989, that I identified myself as an Adult Child of an Alcoholic and an Incest Survivor. I told them that today I work to live my life from an attitude of gratitude and that I now today that those are just stories and are not who I am. I liked your article.

Pat said...

Patricia - I'm glad you've moved through the story of identifying yourself as an Adult Child of an Alcoholic and an Incest Survivor. If we listen closely to the stories we tell, we can realize where we're at and how much we've grown. It sounds like you've grown in leaps 'n bounds by the story you tell today. Good job!

Christine said...

Pat - wow... your story took me right back to my grandmother's kitchen table where my family would gather round once a year. You reminded me of the importance and empowerment of this 'plain talk' on a day when I needed to be reminded of it very much... thank you for this wonderful post ~

Pat said...

Christine - thank you so much for your kind comments. It warms my heart when someone can relate to something I wrote and that it may have helped them in some way. I treasure our connection through the internet and learn a lot from you with all the success you've had. Til we gather again - around the kitchen table.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for contributing this post to this week’s Carnival of Family Life, hosted at A Child Chosen. The Carnival will be live on Monday, February 5, 2008, so I hope you and your readers will stop by and check out all of the fabulous entries included this week!

Pat said...

JHS - thank you for commenting and also for including this post in your wonderful Carnival of Family Life edition. To be sure, I'll be checking out all the good reading.