"Become aware what is in you. Announce it, pronounce it, produce it and give birth to it." - Meister Eckhart

31 December 2016

Happy New Year

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my clients a very Happy New Year. May the stories you share in 2017 nourish friendships, evoke peace, and instil a sense of wonder in others. May the stories you hear remind you that you are cared for and loved and that this world is still, despite its human flaws, still a beautiful place that we must honour and respect.

What's the story you want to be telling in 2017? Share it with me in the comments below.

Happy New Year!

Michael Williams

29 December 2016

Supervision Sessions in the New Year


Do you work therapeutically with children, young people or adults? Are you a teacher or someone who facilitates learning with individuals and/or groups? Or, perhaps you're a solo entrepreneur who could use some support making decisions and developing your work. If you work with others, it's important that you are supported through supervision.

During my career as a coach, I have sought out talented and experienced supervisors and/or coaches to work with. Their supervision and coaching offers me the opportunity to talk openly about the challenges facing me in my work. I know that I will not be judged but listened to deeply. Supervision offers a safe space for me to be myself. My supervisor or coach does not give me advice but rather invites me to explore and question my own story and experience. My supervisor trusts me to discover my own answers.

Over the past forty years, I've worked in the fields of counselling, education, and business/leadership coaching. My approach has always been rooted in narrative or story. It's through story that we can explore our thoughts, feelings, assumptions, beliefs, values and more. By reflecting deeply on the narratives we tell ourselves and others, we can gain valuable insights into our relationships.

Since 2005, I've developed my narrative-based approach into what I call "story coaching". I've worked with teachers, mental health workers, community and social workers, therapists, business leaders, solo entrepreneurs, actors and storytellers among others. My clients have included Children 1st, Children in Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway Education, the General Teaching Council of Scotland, Macmillan Cancer Research, Action for M.E., Arthritis Care, PAMIS, the Scottish Parliament, VisitScotland, CIGNA Health Insurance, the National Museum of Scotland and many others.

"The best thing about coming to Michael is that he provides a safe space for me to think, reflect, and share my ideas before going out and acting on them. His questions and insights provide me with new ways of looking at my decisions, my habits, and my actions." 
                                                             Solo entrepreneur, Aberdeen, Scotland

If you're looking for a supervisor or coach, consider working with me. I'll only be working with six clients at a time in 2017 so email me now, telling me a little about your work. I'm happy to contact you for a short, no-obligation and free discussion so that you can ask questions and we can determine whether we're a good match.

I offer three types of supervision/coaching sessions:

1. Year-long supervision consisting of 12 monthly, one-hour Skype/Face Time sessions (includes email support).
2. Six-month supervision consisting of 6 monthly, one-hour Skype/Face Time sessions (includes email support).
3. Three-month supervision consisting of 3 monthly, one-hour Skype/Face Time sessions (includes email support).

For more info, email me at iamthestoryteller@gmail.com



17 December 2016

2016 SISF Ghost Story Competition: The Tapestry House by Ewan Irvine



Storyteller Michael Williams tells the story of "Tapestry House" at this year's Ghost Tales competition, part of the 2016 Scottish International Storytelling Festival and hosted by the National Library of Scotland. "Tapestry House" was written by Ewan Irvine of Edinburgh.

18 November 2016

IDEAS 2016 - Telling Your Brand Story

Story Coach Michael Williams at IDEAS 2016
(Lochaber Chamber of Commerce)
IDEAS 2016 celebrates business, education and community throughout Lochaber and is sponsored by the Lochaber Chamber of Commerce in association with West Highland College UHI, the Oban Times, powered by No Fuss Events, and hosted by the Moorings Hotel in Banavie, Scotland.

IDEAS 2016 is a week-long gathering of exceptional talks, workshops, competitions, discussion and networking opportunities. Ultimately, Lochaber Ideas Week is a catalyst to stimulate fresh initiatives and ventures, creating new connections and points of collaboration designed to enhance the area. 

Thursday morning got underway with a talk on the importance of brand story and storytelling with Story Coach Michael Williams. "If you're not the telling your story," Williams asked the audience, "who is?" Stories, he argued are the most effective way of communicating your brand, its values and principles and your passion and the story you tell is your best way of connecting with your potential customer or client and creating a trusting relationship. "Business is about creating authentic relationships," Williams went on, "and stories do that so well." He engaged the audience in a quick 5-step exercise to create a brand story outline upon which to build a brand-story strategy. Based in Forres, Scotland, Williams travels throughout Scotland, the UK, Europe and Canada helping solo entrepreneurs, businesses, and non-profit organisations tell authentic stories about their products and services that earn them loyal and trusting clientele. "I love my work," says Williams, "helping people who might not otherwise feel confident enough to share their story. I believe in the transformative power of story to change the world and I enjoy helping my clients find their voice and the right story that enables them to showcase their business and service to a wider audience."

For more information on how story coaching can help you and your business tell a story that attracts customers and clients, contact Michael Williams through www.michaelwilliamsstorycoaching.com.

06 October 2016

Day 21 - the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

Courtesy pixabay.com
Today we come to the end of the "Attitude for Gratitude" Challenge. Of course, it's not the end of our practice and I hope you will continue on practising acts of kindness and gratitude both for yourself and well as for others.

I want to thank you for practising along with me. Please pass on this challenge to others and share your experiences.

The last thing I do before falling asleep at night is to think of three things that I experienced that day for which I am grateful. Yes, some days it's hard to think of three things, but gradually you can train your mind to pay attention even to the small acts that we often overlook -- a smile, a word of kindness, a phone call, a letter, a small act of compassion or generosity. And we can look to ourselves to find the acts that brought gratitude to someone else.

Courtesy pixabay.com
So tonight, before you fall asleep, make note of three things in your day for which you are grateful. This is a practice that can be done last thing at night or first thing in the morning (or both). Either way, I guarantee you will have a good night's sleep and a more positive day.

Spread the joy, share your gratitude.

In gratitude,

Michael

05 October 2016

Day 20 - the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

Courtesy pixabay.com
In the coming weeks, both Canada and the U.S. will celebrate Thanksgiving, a tradition going back to the early settlers when they would pay thanks to the bounty of their harvest and the good things the year had brought them.

Looking back on your year, what has the "harvest" brought you? For what are you grateful? What "food" or sustenance or nurturing has benefitted you in the last year? Take a few moments to give thanks and either share your reflections in the comments below or in your journal.

In gratitude,

Michael

04 October 2016

Day 19 - the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

Courtesy pixabay.com
We're getting to the end of our 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge. How has it been going for you? Don't worry if you missed days. You can always come back here to the site and work your way through the challenges at your own pace.

Have you begun to feel a change in your outlook? Do you feel more grateful and appreciative? more positive? Are you beginning to recognise acts of gratitude and kindnesses?

So often we look outside ourselves for sources of gratitude -- a kindness done by someone else. But what about looking within? What has gone well today because of you?

Take a few moments and think about what you have done today to make the world a little better, a little more positive, and a kinder more positive world. What went well because of you?

In gratitude,

Michael

03 October 2016

Day 18 - the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

Yesterday, a very good friend of mine died. I was fortunate that I arrived the night before and had an opportunity to sit with him for an hour. Although he was not conscious, I assumed he was aware of my presence and talked to him, shared stories of our adventures together, and gave him my love. The following day, as I was getting ready to visit again, his wife called to say he had passed away. 

I went to the hospice and sat with his wife, keeping watch over the body. We both felt his presence in the room and sat in that sacred silence, sharing our tears. Later, we also shared more memories, laughter, and yet more tears.

Those hours felt like a great gift, not just in giving my time and presence but also in what I felt I was given -- an opportunity to play a meaningful role in the face of death. Not that I could make sense of it all--I don't have the faith that more religious folk do--but I felt I was joining in that universal human act of companionship and compassion to help make sense of our grief and pain and the chaos that can appear to be around us.

What ritual or ceremony have you take part in that has made you grateful that you were able to be a part of? What has it taught you, if anything? If you'd like, share below in the comments or privately in your journal or notebook.

In gratitude,

Michael

27 September 2016

Day 17 - the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

Gratitude in Nature

The other day I went for a "slow walk" in the woods. Normally, I'm rushing around from one thing to another so slowing down takes me some doing. But it was worth the effort.

I found myself noticing little things like the the patterns of tree branches against the sunlight, the breath of wind over my face, the smell of the earth, pine needles, the fall of leaves in the autumn air. In fact, I found myself experiencing the world in a much more poetic way. I took my camera with me too and took shots at whatever called to me. Some of the photos I kept, some I deleted.

But the point was that at the end of my walk, I felt extremely grateful that I had slowed down time. I felt more connected with the present moment, with my feelings, with my life.

Where do you go in Nature to feel connected? Write about your gratitude for that place and for what Nature teaches you when you slow down to experience it.

In gratitude,

Michael

24 September 2016

Day 16 - the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

"Helping Hands" by Samuel King Jr.
What did you do today that earned the appreciation of someone? In other words, what did you do to bring a smile to someone else? How did you lend a helping hand?

In gratitude,

Michael

23 September 2016

Day 15 - the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

Did you know that people who develop a strong sense of gratitude tend to be happier people? And that happier people tend to live longer?

So, today, what makes you happy? Describe it, photograph it, draw it, dance it. Whatever or whoever makes you happy today, find a way to celebrate and be grateful.

In gratitude,

Michael

19 September 2016

Day 14 - the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

If you've been following my "Attitude for Gratitude" challenge over the last couple of weeks, you will have realised I've missed a couple of days here and there. I was going to apologise for that until I read recently that practising gratitude every day can actually risk you becoming immune to the positive effects of the practice. Too much of a good thing can become more like a chore than an enjoyment.

With that in mind, I hope you enjoyed a day or so off from the practice and are now ready to get back to it.

So, here's today's challenge: think of your past partners or friends; who among them taught you something about yourself for which you are grateful? You might not have appreciated it at the time, but looking back you now see the "light" in what they offered you.

For example, I recall an ex-partner who introduced me to a simple form of meditation, which initially I didn't quite take to. However, years later, I still practise the meditation she taught me and find it very useful. Maybe that doesn't sound like a big deal, but I'm grateful for the learning and it has made a positive difference to my life and well-being.

Who taught you something for which you are now grateful?

In gratitude,

Michael

16 September 2016

Day 13 - the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

Well, we're over half-way through the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge. How are you feeling? Has your attention to gratitude, appreciations, and kindness made an impact on you?

The point of a 21-day challenge of this sort is to help develop a habit or attitude that will make a positive difference in your life. One way I've found that helps reinforce my attitude for gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal in which I note and reflect on those things for which I am grateful. Another habit I practise occurs at the end of the day before I go to sleep. I reflect on my day and identify 3 acts of kindness or people for which I am grateful. I find that I fall asleep much easier with such positive thoughts in my mind.

And upon waking I will reflect on 3 positive aspects of myself or loved ones for which I'm grateful. That helps get me off to a great start to the day. Try it. What do you have to lose?

Have a great-ful day!

In gratitude,

Michael

15 September 2016

Day 12 - the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

Photo by William Murphy
www.streetsofdublin.com
Most of us are aware when someone does us a favour or offers us an appreciation. But how often do we notice others doing a kindness for others?

Today, take note of acts of kindness and gratitude around you. You may be surprised at how appreciative and helpful people can be. And it will help you develop an outlook and attitude for gratitude in others.

Write about such an act that you witnessed today and comment on the impact it made in the comments section below or in your journal.

In gratitude,

Michael

14 September 2016

Day 11 - the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

Have you ever locked horns with someone over some criticism they had of you?

I've had a difficult conversation with someone recently where I had to hear some truths about myself that made me uncomfortable. But I acknowledge that as painful they were to hear, I know the person who shared them had my well-being at heart.

What "truths" about yourself have you had to hear and acknowledge recently? In what way can you be grateful for hearing them? Write about this gratitude and how these truths help you grow. How can we be grateful for the uncomfortable truths about ourselves?

In gratitude,

Michael

13 September 2016

Day 10 - the 21-day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

Having taken a couple of days off to travel back to Scotland, I was very grateful for a bed and warm welcome from an old friend who has offered hospitality for a few days before I head north.

Isn't it lovely how simple things like a cup of tea and a welcome smile can be after a long journey.

What simple pleasures have you enjoyed recently? Feel free to express your gratitude in the comments below or simply take some time to write about them in your journal.

With gratitude,

Michael

10 September 2016

Day 9 - The 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

Patients in a hospital
A couple of years ago, I had occasion to spend nearly a month in the hospital. During my stay, I saw a number of men come and go from my ward, but one in particular left an indelible impression on me for which I will always be grateful. His name was Alf.*

Now, Alf was not the sort of person I'd have sought out to be a friend. He was a rather "rough" sort of character both in speech and manner. Initially, I found him loud, immature, and irritating. He talked a lot and to anyone who happened to be around. He loved auto magazines and when he was well enough to get out of bed, he'd come over to my side of the room and sit on my bed showing me pictures of cars and trucks he liked and didn't like. Being bed-ridden, there was not much I could do except feign sleep or smile benignly. That I was not a motor enthusiast didn't deter Alf as he waxed lyrical about his favourite vehicles. This was his idea of cheering me up. I was not a willing patient.

As the days wore on, however, I began to learn more about Alf. He was in his mid-50s and had worked for the local council as a gravedigger for one thing, and also as one of its public gardeners. Not surprisingly, he loved to water the flower pots on the town's main street as it gave him the opportunity to talk to people. Everyone knew Alf.

Tragically, Alf had been seriously injured, a few months earlier. While he was standing in a freshly-dug grave, a co-worker accidentally backed up his digging machine, pushing a large gravestone and a ton of earth onto Alf, breaking his spine and causing him terrible internal injuries. It was uncertain whether or not he'd live. But after a series of major operations, Alf pulled through. He was registered disabled, and out of work. He lived in sheltered housing and required some care. I also discovered he had epilepsy and several other debilitating ailments and that his mother had recently died.

Yet, despite, these terrible setbacks to his life and health, Alf was one of the happiest people I've ever met. He loved the hospital, he loved the doctors and nurses, he even loved the hospital food. He loved telling jokes and kidding around with the nurses and anyone who came into our ward. Alf loved to laugh, long and loud. And towards the end of his hospital stay, he even applied to be a volunteer in the hospital canteen.

Experiencing Alf was a transformative act in itself. I grew to like him and credited him for helping me to recover from my own poor state. Alf's simplicity was just the antidote I needed to help me rise from my despondency. In fact, Alf became my friend and we have since met on a number of occasions to have a blether, for which I am always grateful.

In her book, The Wealthy Spirit, author Chellie Campbell writes, "Life presents us with many gifts--they're just not always the ones we think we're looking at. Remember to be grateful for your surprise packages."

Alf was my surprise package. What's your's?


* Due to confidentiality, I've changed some of the details of "Alf's" life. "Alf" is not my friend's real name.

09 September 2016

Day 8 - the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Tell your partner or best friend why you are grateful that he or she is in your life? Do it in person, if possible, but if not, write, email, or call them and offer your appreciation. Where would we be without our life partners and good friends?

08 September 2016

Day 7 - the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

Today, I invite you to write a note of thanks to the "negative" things that have happened to you in your life. What have those things taught you about yourself and life, in general. Did they result in you letting go of something you needed to? Did they open the door for something "good" to come into your life? How might you re-frame the "negative" into a "positive".

07 September 2016

Day 6 - the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

Quick, don't think too long about this -- what are you grateful for right now? Write it down in your journal, draw a picture or sketch of it, something to celebrate the fact that you are developing an attitude for gratitude.

06 September 2016

Day 5 - the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Yesterday, we offered gratitude to a young person. Today, we offer our appreciation to an older or elderly person. Might be a relative, a neighbour, or a stranger you've encountered. Again, think of a kind word or action an older person has offered you or your community and show them your thanks with a card, a smile, or a word or two in conversation.

Day 4 - the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

Photo courtesy Pixabay
On this fourth day of our 21-day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge, offer your gratitude to a young person who could use a vote of thanks for the work they do, a kindness they've shown, or a service they've rendered.


03 September 2016

Day 3 - the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

"Can you imagine us
Years from today,
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange
To be seventy.
Old friends."
                
                     - Paul Simon

What would we do without our friends? They've seen us through thick and thin. They've laughed and cried with us. They've challenged us and supported us.

I'm grateful for the many good friends I've had over the years and open to the friends I've not yet met.

Today, why not write or call a friend that you haven't seen or spoken to in a long time. Reconnect. Feel the gratitude that goes with being friends, regardless of the time and space between you.


02 September 2016

Day 2 of the 21-Day Attitude for Gratitude Challenge

Day 2

An A-Z of gratitude: inspired by the challenge shared by the folks at gratitudechallenge.com, I've taken up their idea of making a list of things for which I'm grateful. Make your own A-Z list and share on your social media or with family & friends.

With thanks,

Michael

Check out "A Practical Guide to Gratitude" at Unstuck.

01 September 2016

Day 1 of the 21-Day Attitude to Gratitude Challenge

Day 1

What are you grateful for?
Make the commitment to show up for the next 21 days. Write down why you've chosen this challenge and how you hope to benefit from it.

With thanks,

Michael

p.s. Leave any comments or feedback below.

Defining "Gratitude"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gratitude

31 August 2016

An Attitude for Gratitude: the 21-Day Gratitude Challenge

Tomorrow, September 1st, my friend Lindsay Gale will be at her local Tesco store meeting and greeting shoppers with gratitude. Lindsay is the founder of the Global Gratitude Connection, a project which connects communities from around the world through people's experiences and stories of gratitude. As Lindsay's research shows, gratitude is a game-changer. Bringing an attitude for gratitude into your life can have a profound and positive impact on your health and well-being.

Many people I know keep gratitude journals, recording the experiences in their day which have made them thankful. I've done this myself off and on over the last few years and I can attest to the fact that doing so does make me feel better. And when I am remiss at writing, I make it a habit to recall three things in my day for which I'm grateful -- a sort of prayer before bedtime. Last night I was thankful for having an opportunity to sit quietly with my brother on his front porch watching the sun set; thankful for my oldest son inviting me to visit on the weekend; and for my sister inviting me to go out for breakfast with her later in the week. Getting into the habit of gratitude at bedtime certainly helps me fall asleep a little easier. In fact, I've begun enacting the gratitude ritual upon wakening too and already, it's helping to put me in a more grateful frame of mind. A grateful way to start the day.

Of course, habits take time to embed, which is why starting tomorrow, I'm going to undertake a 21-day gratitude challenge. Each day, I will share an idea or task and invite you to join me in developing an attitude for gratitude. If you do, you can leave your feedback in the comments below.

So, get a journal, diary, file on your computer ready and get ready to be grateful!

But what does gratitude have to do with storytelling? For me, storytelling is my "spiritual practice". By developing a more grateful outlook on myself, others and the world, the stories I tell begin to reflect this beneficent attitude. This in turn, has an impact on my relationships and my sense of well-being.

What's to lose? Join me in the 21-Day Gratitude Challenge, starting tomorrow September 1st. We'll finish up this challenge on September 21st, which is the International Day of Peace. Isn't that a challenge worth embracing?

Meanwhile, why not check out Robert Emmons essay "How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times".

Lindsay Gale's "Global Gratitude Connection" Facebook site and Global Gratitude Project web site.



03 July 2016

Helping VisitScotland spread the news - Scotland's got #ScotSpirit

Storyteller Michael Williams
speaking at VisitScotland's
 "Spirit of Scotland" event in
Edinburgh, Scotland
The Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh saw the launch of VisitScotland's "Spirit of Scotland" project on Thursday night 30th June 2016.

The project invites anyone with a story to share about their experience of anywhere in Scotland to share it with a photo and story on the project's new website. In particular, those in the tourism industry are encouraged to become "ambassadors" to promote the project. Although still in the "beta" stage, the project already has hundreds of partners. The project will go live next week.

Fiona Hyslop, Scotland's Cabinet-Secretary of Culture, Tourism and External Affairs helped launch the project, reminding us what a rich, story-filled place Scotland is and how powerful these stories are when shared around the world, bringing tourists and business to our shores as well as stimulating business abroad.

StoryCoach Michael Williams closed the night with an equally inspiring speech about the power of story to create community, sharing his experience of how story convinced him to move from Canada and make Scotland his home. Michael concluded, "The truth is that Scotland is a rich story-filled place. There’s hardly a place in this country that doesn’t invoke a story or has one ready to share with you, even the wild places. The Scottish people are proud of their villages, towns and cities, proud of their natural heritage, proud of their history. And they love to share stories. What a rich resource to tap and share with others."

Learn more about the "Spirit of Scotland" and how you can contribute by going to the VisitScotland web site.

11 June 2016

Ben Okri on the importance of storytelling

Ben Okri
(photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
On the 23rd of August 2013, novelist Ben Okri gave a talk at the International School of Storytelling at Emerson College at Forest Row in England. That speech was later published in a small booklet entitled The Mystery Feast: Thoughts on Storytelling (2015). It's a wonderful collection of Okri's thoughts and feelings about the transformative power of storytelling and its importance in our salvation. I quote a typical passage below:

“No civilisation ever became great on knowledge alone. Indeed it is the imaginative dimension of civilisations which gives them distinction. What would ancient Greece be without its tragedians, its Parthenon, its Homeric epics? What would ancient Egypt be without its pyramids, its temples? Imagination dreams what that which knowledge makes real. It could be said that imagination is the porto-reality. A people can only create what they can imagine. If in some mysterious way we fall short of the ancients, it may be because we have long ceased to cultivate, to the highest degree, the fruits of the imagination, of the spirit. That despairing cry from the Bible should always haunt us. “For lack of vision my people perish.” . . .  How do we awaken imagination? How do we awaken vision? One of the ways, passed down to us with cunning simplicity by our ancestors, is storytelling.” 

Ben Okri, The Mystery Feast: Thoughts on Storytelling, “Under the Sun: a meditation on stories, notes to a modern storyteller” (Claireview Books Ltd, 2015, pp. 14-15).

10 April 2016

The Art and Science of Storytelling with host Michael Williams


THiNKSPOT.CA is proud and excited about its upcoming special event, "The Art and Science of Storytelling". Storyteller and storycoach Michael Williams from Scotland will be in conversation with three unique and innovative artists -- Patricia Pearson, Ralph Benmergui, and Walt Rickli -- with the aim of drawing out the narrative patterns from their life and work and exploring the relevance of these stories to our lives and the stories we tell ourselves and each other.

Patricia Pearson
PATRICIA PEARSON - Patricia Pearson is a critically-acclaimed independent journalist whose work has appeared inThe New York Times, the New Yorker, the Daily Beast, the Daily Telegraph, the Globe and Mail, and otherwise hither and yon. . . . She recently oversaw the research for a History Channel documentary on “The Science of the Soul,” and went on to publish a book about what people experience when they die, Opening Heaven’s Door (2014), which became a finalist for the B.C. National Book Award. The documentary version of her earlier book, A Brief History of Anxiety…Yours and Mine aired on the CBC in 2012, and won a Rocky Award from the Banff Global Television Festival. She has also won three National Magazine Awards, and the Arthur Ellis Award for best non-fiction book of 1998. Patricia and Michael will talk about storytelling and death and dying.


Ralph Benmergui
RALPH BENMERGUI - Ralph has spent his professional life in the public eye — as a performer, as well as an award-winning current affairs journalist and documentary-maker, most notably with the CBC. About seven years ago, Ralph left the media to enter politics as a strategic communications adviser to the Green Party and later as an adviser to the Canadian Liberal Party. He's also been a key adviser in the field of education, particularly with Sheridan College. More recently, Ralph has been exploring the world of spirituality, and his latest project "The New Sabbath Project" provides inspiration and practical advice on how to grow community and make your life more meaningful. Check out www.newsabbathproject.com.


Walt Rickli
WALT RICKLI - While working with his family’s landscaping business Walt Rickli became intrigued with the potential of natural stone. Curious of the possibilities he began by experimenting with the creation of small stone Basins. At the Guild Institute for Stone Masonry in Whitby, Ontario, Walt started his training, and quickly recognized that he had a natural ability. Walt then discovered the Celestial Studio in Barre Vermont where he was mentored by three of North America’s greatest stone sculptors. Fuelled by enthusiasm and knowledge he left the family business after 25 years to peruse a vocation in stone sculpting.

Combining his training and talent he developed a large carving studio within a quarry using old world wisdom with modern technology. Over the years his studio has become the facilitator to thousands of wonderful stone sculptures and its design to crest sculptures from 200 pounds to 100,000 pounds has provided him with the ability to work in a limitless environment.

Walt also created a public sculpture garden in his home town that showcases his work for people to enjoy year round. The Sculpture Garden is visited by hundreds of people each month and is a popular venue for events, tours, aspiring artists and individuals alike.

Debra Pickfield, founder of THiNKSPOT
THiNKSPOT.CA - Too often, knowledge can be perceived as power and easily withheld from others. THiNKSPOT.CA was founded by Debra Pickfield. Her commitment to the study of collaboration evolved from her experience in organizations where the need was great to share knowledge, but the motivation to do so was lacking. Debra discovered the possibilities that develop when people are given the right environment to engage with each other – Things start to happen! ThinkSpot provides the key elements for individuals and groups to build relationships which stimulate the sharing of knowledge, insights and collaborative thought to have amazing ideas and solutions unfold! The efficiencies of this process make ThinkSpot the preferred choice for productive meetings.


10 March 2016

The Biology of Story

A fascinating new interactive documentary led by Amnon Buchbinder leading us into the lively world of story where life is a story and story is alive. The following "Biology Of Story: Morgan & Reiner's Guide To The Perplexed" is a sort of prequel to the documentary.



Testimonials

"We have received only very positive reports of your workshop, and must thank you for being so flexible and responsive both before and in the course of implementing the workshop. It has been lovely to work with you. . . . We are hopeful this project will give rise to future storytelling endeavours, and would be very happy to work with you again if the opportunity arises!" Muireann Crowley, At Home in Scotland, University of Edinburgh, May 2014 ("Storytelling, Research and Public Engagement" workshop)

Michael Williams is a a storyteller of compelling skill. He is also a fine human being who engages in all situations and draws people into the warmth of communication and shared experience." Donald Smith, Director, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh Scotland

"Michael's understanding of storytelling within a leadership and business context has helped us provide a great service in helping leaders determine their personal and organisational destiny and legacy. Working with Michael is inspiring and fun; and pulls you to be fully engaged from start to finish." Norton Bertram-Smith, Managing Director and Leadership Consultant for On Purpose.

Kamink: the little boy who grew into a giant of a man

Blues and Roots Radio

Blues and Roots Radio
Check out my weekly storytelling radio show, The Teller and the Tale on bluesandrootsradio.com.

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland
I'm grateful to Creative Scotland for its support.