Sunday, June 19, 2016

Tip #15 Challenge yourself to tell YOUR story.

The Tip:
If you've been reading along, you've probably figured out a common thread in the tips I've been sharing. You've probably figured out that the real secret to good storytelling is not making your older adult bud tell stories a certain way, but getting yourself to listen the right way. Well, this tip puts a spin on your role because it challenges you to up your listening game by... ready for this?... turning into a storyteller yourself and forming your own circle of listeners! Here's how. Challenge yourself to (a) reflect on how your life has transformed through the listening process and (b) share your reflections with friends and family on your own social media pages. When you do this, you will go back to your listening process with even more passion and clarity. You will inspire your family and friends. And most important of all, you will empower your older adult bud by showing him or her that you are the one who is really being helped, not just the other way around. Oh, and don't forget to tag us on your posts so we can give you a shoutout! (Facebook/Instagram: @bestdayofmylifesofar) (Twitter: @bestdaysofar)

So guys... we've come to tip 15! Woohoo! With the next blog post, I will return to posting my buds' stories for you. Still want more tips? You got it! I will be giving out more tips via video tutorials for you!!! Get sneak peeks on the content and on my video production process by subscribing to our newsletter and also following us on your fave social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.)

The Moments that Inspired This Tip:
When we first started talking, I was quick to notice that my grandma was happier and happier from our conversations together - think it took just a couple of calls. But I think it took me around ten weeks to admit to myself that my conversations to my grandma was having an effect on me. The phrase "Best Day Story" to me has two layers. At its core, it's a younger person's loving collection of many little moments from an older adult's past. But soon, the act of collecting - the act of  loving, the process of collecting as a gesture of love - becomes a story of its own. And THAT story grows bigger and more beautiful with time.

Similarly, when I started the first Best Day group, it took me 3-4 weeks to know for a fact that the participants' lives were changing in front of my eyes, but 3-4 months for me to wrap my head around the fact that my life was changing, thanks to their friendship, as well.

Who's "Best Day" is it then? Who is the one calling today, "The Best Day of My Life So Far?" To a listener starting out, he or she will probably be quick to answer, it's the best day of the older adult telling the story. But if you stick with the process and keep listening for some time, you will soon realize that it's your best day too. The ultimate story is that of your own transformation. Whenever you're ready to tell it, the Best Day community is ready to listen, and I will be your biggest, loudest fan cheering you on.

The ultimate moment that inspires this tip is YOUR Best Day Story that is waiting to be told. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tip #14 Celebrate milestones.

Want more tips and inspiration? Get them Here

The Tip:
As you share stories, what you are really doing is having meaningful conversations and spending quality time together. Soon, you will discover THE Ultimate Best Day Secret: the the "real" story you are sharing is the one that is unfolding of your growing friendship with your older bud. So go ahead and celebrate the milestones of your friendship. This can include the day of your first conversation, or the day your bud tells you a heart-baring story for the first time (which may or may not be during your first conversation), or the day your bud gives you permission to write down his or her stories, or the day he or she picks up a pen to write down him/herself, or the day you open up your ongoing conversations to a larger group (this could be the older bud's family). All of these are worth celebrating and remembering because they mark how far you have come, together. There is no need to do anything spectacular or spend any money. Just snap a photo and post about it on your own social media pages, to record it in the virtual timeline of your life while inspiring your own friends.

The Moment:
The moment that inspired this tip? Well, it's tomorrow! Tomorrow I will be attending one of our satellite groups' 2nd anniversary party and am SO EXCITED! In our original group, we have celebrated 6 anniversaries and are getting closer to our 7th. Every anniversary is not only a milestone in itself but also a time to acknowledge all the big and small milestones that has happened throughout the year.

The Story:
Thought this would be a good time to "dust off" and freshen up a blog post that I wrote on our original group's 3rd anniversary on Sept 24, 2012…

3 years ago today, this project was born.

It needed a name.

The Best Day of My Life So Far were the only words big enough to encompass the positive spirit of my grandma, and the deep joy her stories and friendship make me feel. I had started calling my grandma on the phone in 2006, at the age of 25. On these phone calls, she would tell me stories from her past, opening up to me about her deepest hopes, fears and dreams that she had never expressed before. I wanted to share this amazing experience with people all around me, old and young - so I started a storytelling group blocks away from my house, together with a blog, and called the project, The Best Day of My Life So Far.
What I didn’t know was that this string of little words are even more massive than I realized, stretchier by the day to welcome more stories, more lives, more friendships. I didn’t know how many people this project would soon connect - and I mean truly, emotionally connect - from older adult storytellers to their families, to volunteers and readers of all ages worldwide. Turns out we were never just collecting stories. Turns out this project is the ultimate intergenerational story – of strangers coming together from diverse backgrounds to become one community, one family joined by deep joy and love – and you and I are all a part of it.

What better time than our shared 3rd birthday, to bring back 30 of the most memorable moments from our shared story… so far? Click Here to celebrate each and every one of them!

Want more tips and inspiration? Get them Here!