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

10 December 2010

Stories of Gratitude

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of attending the end-of-term banquet put on by the students from the 'Wisconsin in Scotland' programme at Dalkeith House, near Edinburgh Scotland. I had been invited to speak after dinner on the importance of storytelling and to lead the students in an interactive workshop.

Prior to my introduction, many of the students took turns standing and addressing the audience themselves, each taking a few minutes to pay tribute to someone in the room: a room-mate, a friend, a teacher or other staff member. In doing so, each speaker shared a story, a reflection of their gratitude for a kindness shown, support and friendship.

I was deeply touched by this expression of gratitude from so many young people. Every tribute was sincere and heartfelt, accompanied by laughter and tears. These were stories, I thought, that will become treasured memories in years to come.

The young woman who introduced me--Melissa--did so with a similar expression of gratitude. These folk were genuinely grateful that I had made the effort to struggle through a snowstorm to be with them. Basking in their warmth, I glowed and shared my passion for storytelling, encouraging them to honour their experiences and transform them into meaningful stories. But then, they didn't really need me to tell them that . . . they were doing it in their tributes to one another.

We say 'thank-you' many times in a day, but how often do we express our gratitude with such awareness as these young people expressed? They reminded me how important it is to pay tribute to our friends and mentors, to say 'thank you' mindfully, not as a simple pleasantry. For that reminder I am truly grateful to the students of the 'Wisconsin in Scotland' programme.

27 November 2010

T:AP: Transcend: Art and Peace Network

I'd like to introduce T:AP, the Transcend: Art and Peace network. It's a network of like-minded artists and musicians (and storytellers) using their art for peace. My page is here http://www.tapnetwork.org/tappers/michael-williams/ but you'll find lots of other artists doing wonderful work around the world. Click and learn more.

24 November 2010

Healing Words podcast from June 2009 on ReStorying the Earth Blog

Here's a link to storyteller Alette Willis' ReStorying the Earth blog where I gave an interview last year after returning from the Healing Words storytelling tour in the Holy Land. Go to http://restoryingtheearth.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/podcast-added-michael-williams-speaks-about-healing-stories-and-the-middle-east/

While on Alette's blog, check out the other posts....lots of interesting material on storytelling here.

18 November 2010

Talk at Annual Canadian Storytellers Conference, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland

This is a link to a recording of my contribution to the panel discussion 'Storytelling and Peace' at the 2010 Annual Conference of Canadian Storytellers, held at Memorial University in July, St. John's Newfoundland.


30 September 2010

Storytelling Cafe: Health and Healing 13 October 2010, 7-9pm

An evening of relaxing, healing stories in an informal café setting. Sit back and enjoy - or join in with a tale of your own. Hosted by storyteller Michael Williams this is sure to be an engaging evening for everyone. Part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival 2010.

Venue: Scottish Storytelling Centre Address: 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR
Contact: Scottish Storytelling Centre
Telephone: 0131 556 9579
Email: reception@scottishstorytellingcentre.com
Fee: £4

02 September 2010

Ottawa House Concert


Michael leads the audience in a peace round during his 'Healing Words' storytelling 'house concert' in Ottawa on 28 August 2010.
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Host Dean Verger introduced Michael at his 'Healing Words' performance in Ottawa, Canada, 28 August 2010. 
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More photos from Michael's 'Healing Words' storytelling house concert in Ottawa, Canada, 28 August 2010. 
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24 August 2010

Healing Combat Trama: Storytelling for Healing


Lily Casura's blog offers information on Native American storytelling for healing...in this case, for veterans of war.

07 August 2010

More Optimistic Today Than Ever: A Talk with Pete Seeger

I've admired Pete Seeger for many, many years. Over the years, his songs have gone a long way towards helping to heal the wounds in our society. During the Civil Rights struggle, people sang his songs in protest, in prison and even while being beaten. At 90, Seeger is still a vibrant force and a great storyteller. In this interview, he continues to inspire as he looks back on his life and ruminates on his current projects. Truly an inspiring human being. More Optimistic Today Than Ever: A Talk with Pete Seeger

The Fork in the Road

Just completed a week of storytelling and multimedia work with a group of young women. Out of it, they created this short film, 'The Fork in the Road'. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. http://museartspace.blogspot.com/2010/08/teen-multi-media-week-comes-to-close.html?spref=fb

02 August 2010

Check out this video based on Tanya Davis' poem 'How To Be Alone' ....I think it's amazing....an example of healing story through poetry and film making.

BUZZon - Storyteller in Residence

BUZZon - Storyteller in Residence

Click on the link to learn more about my work in Prince Edward Island this summer at MUSEartspace Gallery in Charlottetown.

11 July 2010

So, first question: What is a healing story?

How would you define a 'healing story'? Does it have something to do with the nature of the story or the telling? or both? What is the relationship between a story and health?

I invite you to share your experiences and thoughts on the subject.

Welcome to Healing Words where storytelling is a pathway to peace and well-being. I believe in the power of story to heal and transform.

As a therapeutic storyteller, I have combined my counselling, teaching and storytelling experience and skills under one umbrella. Whether I'm telling stories to school children, advising teachers in their professional development or facilitating peace education classes, I see myself primarily as a storyteller. I share stories with others, encourage others to share their stories, and listen with an open mind and heart. Throughout my work, I see story as central to my interactions with others.

So, what is a healing story? I created this blog to provide a space to discuss and debate that question. I hope that you will become involved in this discussion and share your thoughts with me. Give me feedback. Share stories, reflections and resources.

I look forward to hearing from you.



"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.