You Got This

From Cyan James:

You know that moment when you realize things maybe aren’t really OK? That you, or someone you really care about, is struggling? And you don’t know what to do. But somehow you keep going.

Let’s not pretend it easy. But let’s talk about how amazing that is—we somehow find the little moments to keep us going, and maybe it’s not completely OK, but it’s more OK, and we go on…

Please join us for an evening of stories about those moments. We’ll have a featured group of seasoned storytellers go first, and then will be the open mic when it could be your turn on stage.

We’re looking for your true stories five minutes or under, practiced ahead of time or told in the moment. If this isn’t your night to tell a story, join the rest of us in listening and in helping scrub away some of that toxic stigma that surrounds talking about the tougher times. We can’t wait to see you there.

7pm, Friday, October 24
Roy St. Coffee And Tea | 700 Broadway E., Seattle, WA

For more information, contact Cyan James at cyan.james@gmail.com.

MORE ABOUT THE EVENT
Once in the middle of a Michigan winter I thought I couldn’t be any colder. Or more depressed. The heat had turned off, I’d lost a job I cared about, I couldn’t find a therapist, my best friend had moved out, and I didn’t know what was coming next. I put on the whole works: boots, double layers of stockings, my biggest coat, mittens, scarf, hat. For an hour I walked around the ice-glazed streets and watched the little plays unfolded in the bright windows of all the other houses.

I watched an old man slowly get up from his kitchen table. Steam rolled upwards from the spout of his kettle, and I imagined the kettle was gently shrieking. He poured himself a mug of tea—apple spice, I imagined. He cupped his hands around his mug and leaned his face over it. He drank slowly, staring off at the wall, and we were both alone, but he didn’t seem lonely. Watching him, I didn’t feel so alone either. I was still going to be depressed for a long time. It wasn’t a moment that changed everything. But it was a moment of relief and beauty I needed.

What moments have gotten you through during those wrenching times? Maybe you’ve wrestled with cold, heavy depression, too. Maybe you hear things no one else does, or you can’t see those ways you matter, or you just can’t turn off all the whirling, exhausting thoughts. But you kept going. You’re still going. Tell us how you did it. Or join us and listen to how other people did. You never know how much a stranger can help!

For this special storytelling showcase and open mic on mental health, we’re looking for ways you felt really challenged. What did you do? What helped you out? What do you wish others had known about you during that time?
We’re looking for true, personal stories that still mean something to you days, months or years later. I hope to see you at our next show on Friday, October 24, 7:00pm at the Roy St Cafe.

I’m representing an organization called Emerging Leaders in Science and Society (ELISS). We’re partnering with Paul Currington’s Fresh Ground Stories to hold this special event showcasing mental strength.

Rules & Guidelines: http://freshgroundstories.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/storytelling-rules-and-guidelines/

Warmly,
Cyan, Paul, Eva, and the rest of us at ELISS and Fresh Ground Stories

Image by Daren Newman

Fresh Ground Stories – Being Humbled

Fresh Ground Stories: Being Humbled

 

So far this year I think I’ve been humbled about 173 times. That may seem like a lot but it’s less than my personal record setting pace last year where I ended up being humbled approximately every 15 minutes for 365 days straight. This includes sleeping. If there was a bump in Pfizer stock last year it was probably from my personal intake of Zoloft.

 

The good thing about all this is that I made it. A big part of making it was deciding I had to tell the story. I knew the last step was to try to make something beautiful out of the worst time in my life.

 

And that is what I’m asking you to do. Dig down into your secret stash of comeuppances and tell us about a time you were humbled. Tell us how you got through it and what you learned from it. I know this is a hard one but it’s going to be worth it. Every story you tell at this show will make it easier for someone in the audience to deal with their own humbling experiences. There’s nothing like shared embarrassments to make us all feel better, right?

 

Let’s hear it for the learning things the hard way! Humblefest 2014!

 

The rules for stories are below but you know the kind we’re looking for: true stories that happened to you that still mean something to you days, months or years later.

 

I hope to see you at our next show on Thursday, July 24, 7:00pm at the Roy St Cafe.

 

Rules & Guidelines: http://freshgroundstories.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/storytelling-rules-and-guidelines/

 

Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

 

Paul

freshgroundstories@gmail.com.

Fresh Ground Stories: Confrontation – Stories of facing up to it

This may not come as a surprise to anyone but I’m pretty non-confrontational. In fact, if I had a superpower it would probably be my ability to pretend something isn’t happening. Relationship going off the rails? Oh, we’re just going through a rough patch. Car sounds worse after I get it back from the mechanic? Oh, it’s probably just a rock in the tire. People often mistake this attitude for some kind of zen-like acceptance. Nope. I just have a special talent for emotional procrastination.

 

Luckily, you guys get to show me what I’ve been missing all these years. April’s show is about confronting something or someone in your life. Was it the neighbor whose dog won’t keep it in his yard? Was it the idea you got when you were a kid that you weren’t good enough?

 

Every day we have to decide if we should confront something we’d rather not. Think back to a time when you just couldn’t take it anymore and did something about it.

 

Whatever your story is, come by Roy Street April 24th and tell us about it.

 

Don’t forget, in an effort to get more people onstage, we’re shaving the time down to 8 minutes. So practice your story on friends and pets to make sure it’s somewhere between 5-8 minutes long.

 

The rules for stories are below but you know the kind we’re looking for: true stories that happened to you that still mean something to you days, months or years later.

 

I hope to see you at our next show on Thursday, April 24, 7:00pm at the Roy St Cafe.

 

Rules & Guidelines: http://freshgroundstories.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/storytelling-rules-and-guidelines/

 

Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

 

Paul

freshgroundstories@gmail.com.

Fresh Ground Stories: True Love – Lost and Found

Lynda Barry said, “Love is an exploding cigar we willingly smoke.” I don’t know how many exploding cigars I’ve smoked but I hope there’s at least one more in my future. I keep telling myself THIS time it won’t blow up. THIS time it’ll be different. Fortunately, Lynda also said something else I try to remember, “If it is your time, love will track you down like a cruise missile.”

And that’s the theme for next month’s show. Love, in all it’s thunderous glory. Is it weird that both quotes describe love as something that blows up? Oh, well. Better to blow up than fizzle, right?

Bring a story about love. Did it work out? Did it blow up in your face? Did you embarrass yourself trying to hold onto someone you should have let go? Did you stumble into love just at the moment you had given up?

Whatever your story is, come by Roy Street March 27th and tell us about it. Remember, love is lovely but in order for it to be a story it has to have a beginning, a middle and an end.

Also, in an effort to get more people onstage we’re shaving the time down to 8 minutes. So practice your story on friends and pets to make sure it’s under 8. I had to bump 4-5 people last time and I’m hoping next time we can everyone onstage who wants to tell a story.

The rules for stories are below but you know the kind we’re looking for: true stories that happened to you that still mean something to you days, months or years later.

I hope to see you at our next show on Thursday, March 27, 7:00pm at the Roy St Cafe.

Rules & Guidelines: http://freshgroundstories.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/storytelling-rules-and-guidelines/

Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Paul

freshgroundstories@gmail.com.

Thank you!

So many beautiful, sweet, funny stories last night. Thank you all for coming out and sharing your lives with everyone. I don’t know where all the new people came from last night but I’m happy you found us and hope you keep coming back.

Kimball, Lany, Tim, Becky, Steph, Bill, Raleigh, Kris, Aimee, Danielle, Scot, Graham, you guys were fantastic. I hope I didn’t forget anyone! The meetup site doesn’t let me write enough to thank you individually but each one of you helped make this a special evening. Thanks for having the courage to go onstage and tell your stories.

Even though we went half an hour longer than we’re supposed to we still didn’t get to everyone who put their name in Mr. Coffee. I’m feel bad every time that happens. Sometimes I wish we could do a three hour show but I think that might push the limits of the human spine and bladder. But maybe that’s just me. I hope the folks who didn’t get their name called will come back.

I’ll get next month’s show announcement (Feb 27th) out later this weekend. The theme is Spontaneous Combustion.

Thanks again to everyone who came out and special thanks to those who shared a story. I haven’t listened to the recording yet but if it all went well I’m happy to send anyone who told a story the audio of their performance. Write me at freshgroundstories@gmail.com if you’d like that.

Paul

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.