There’s a sacred connection to campfire storytelling and it lies in pulling the veil back so that you share a piece of yourself by the crackling flames. You share your struggle, your fears, your hopes, your dreams. The connection is made in the stillness of your truth. And in doing that you find that truth is universal. Dreams are shared. Fears bubble under the surface, synchronized to the rhythm hearts, everywhere.
When you give voice to these aspects of yourself, by a campfire, you don’t just invite others to share the journey with you, you also learn how similar all journeys really are.
So as you write and blog and work and tinker and dream and grow your business day in and day out, don’t forget the power of the campfire. As you go along in your day to day, remember that the campfire of your business can’t burn very bright without you seated by the fire. Don’t be intimidated by the hundreds of people, gathered from all corners of the world, seated in a circle ready, willing and eager to hear the story of your business as it relates to you. It’s the personal connection that makes the connection. Infuse it in all you do.
It’s easy, you just need to…
Show up on good days and on bad days, be honest and authentic. Don’t get too caught up in “crafting” the perfect story. Instead, spend your time crafting the real story, that’s the story the world needs to hear. This is the story that brings your products, and the promise within each of them, to life.
S’mores anyone? Offer a little sweetness any way you can. Sometimes this is a smile. Sometimes it’s a treat. Your circle of customers love to be rewarded in little ways. It could be as simple as taking the time to send a written thank you note or as generous as a special discount for repeat customers. Whatever you plan to do, share wisely.
Listen, very, very carefully.
When you share your story, your customers share theirs. When you listen to their story you find the opening of where your stories connect. Somewhere in that opening is a way for you to improve your customers’ experience around your campfire. You just need to open to the process of receiving this information.
What is the real story of your brand, you know, the one where you actually share the love and passion that you invest in every waking, working minute? Are you telling that story right now? And if not, why not?
Oh Tracey, I love this! Only a few weeks ago, I was at my first ever family Circle Way camp with Native American Indian elder Manitonquat and his wonderful wife Ellika in Cornwall. It was a heart-opening (and boundary-pushing for me!) weekend of supportive listening, sharing stories, playing with (and learning from) the kids, and celebrating life. And your post really resonates with that.
The three core values of Manitonquat’s Circle Way are:- respect (understanding that we are all connected – healing ourselves heals others, as does respecting ourselves and the planet around us), the circle (encouraging closeness – between us and others, to nature, to creation – supporting each other in circles, and listening, listening, listening…), and celebration (giving thanks and remembering to perceive the wonders around us)… Which all fit beautifully with what you describe.
For me, the Oh My Handmade community is one of these precious circles where we come together and support each other. We may not have a talking stick, but the forums allow us to have our voice when we feel the urge to speak. This is a space to celebrate all that we create and co-create (it does need more cake, mind., and I’d love to try a s’more…). It’s also a space where we can inspire each other to respect the planet, ourselves and each other. It reminds us that we are all connected, and cared for, and our stories have a welcome home. Thank you for reminding us to stoke the campfires in our heart. xx
Pippa, thank you for sharing your experience with Manitonquat…it sounds amazing. The three core values you shared are deeply moving and yes, they resonate with this beautiful community so much. How lucky are we to have this space to help ground us on this journey?
Good morning lovelies! Thank you for this beautiful comment Pippa-it warmed me just like standing around a campfire with you would! Circles of friendship, respect, trust and support are the very heart of community and I think a joyful life. Knowing that we are connected, our stories have value, and that we are part of a network of life gives us meaning. You so perfectly articulated the core values I treasure & am drawn to + the reasons I so adore you and Tracey. Thank you for being my campfire sisters & bringing your special sauce of warmth and truth to the circle <3
“The connection is made in the stillness of your truth”. Love!
Hola beautiful! That line really struck a chord with me too-when we can be still in our own truth we can be open to really hearing & connecting with others. Have an incredible time at WDS!
I just love this, Tracey.
“…you also learn how similar all journeys really are.”
I can’t tell you how long it felt like no one understood me / my dream / my purpose…it wasn’t until I dug a little deeper into what I was hearing that I understood the universal struggle.
People I love would ask about ‘the future’ or my ‘long range plan’ or what I was ‘going to do about school.’ All very well intentioned questions, but hurtful because they didn’t support my choice to be an artist + creative. I didn’t make sense to them.
Then one day, I decided to share my story differently. I was honest + vulnerable. I explained how this was my passion, and that school (while enjoyable) never quite fit, and that I’d probably change my mind – as I often do – down the road, but for now I had found my happiness.
I felt their support instantly…and they began to share their stories…and that’s when I realized that even ‘traditional’ folks are searching, and struggling, and striving to feel of purpose.
None of us is exempt from the journey. My struggle is not unique. My collection of motley merit badges can be of service to other adventures, be they corporate or indie, traditional or progressive, children or adults. Now, instead of feeling misunderstood, I feel connected. All thanks to that campfire! <3
Oh, Darice, your collection of merit badges is far from motley. This is life, right? We are human. As you beautifully state, it’s the connection that wipes away the misunderstanding that there’s ever anything separating us from each other. xo
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