once upon a time ...

… there was a wise woman who heard a baker singing a lovely song. Now, the wise woman generally did not stop to share and dispense her wisdom, but she was captivated by the baker’s song and wanted to be helpful.

The baker was delighted and offered the wise woman a cup of tea, she was told her song would be even more beautiful if she sang the words as they’d been written.

Grateful for the advice, the baker began to sing the song just as the wise woman advised and her life changed.

A year later, the wise woman heard a troubling song on one of her walks from here to there – it hurt her ears to listen. Turning the corner, she was surprised to see it was the baker. Oddly enough she was singing the song exactly the way she’d been told, but somehow it was not right – not right at all.

The wise woman didn’t know what to say and wondered whether her advice had helped or harmed. She went on her way without stopping.

Eventually the baker stopped singing songs that weren’t hers to sing and began singing a new song that graced the village, as did the wisdom of the wise woman for many years to come.


“May you sing, may it be your song, shared in your true voice.”


Did the baker’s and the wise woman’s personal stories serve them?

Maybe yes, maybe no. You might feel the wise woman shouldn’t have given the baker advice in the first place. Then again, perhaps a wise woman becomes wise because of the choices she makes and the consequences of those choices. Possibly the same is true for the baker. Of course, there are as many interpretations as there are readers, listeners and leaders among us.

Our ability to make decisions, to self-direct our lives, to lead from within is often served by the personal stories we choose to share, live out, create and/or change.

Story and play are tools for personal leadership and creativity – tools that we all need to have in our back pocket.

Questions about story and play work click here.

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