“Story transmits deep wisdom and insight through its imagery. The archetypes in the story are a part of the collective unconscious of all of humanity…” says Zette Harbour, award-winning storyteller, life coach, and visionary. So many of us are struggling to create a story that fulfills a deep sense of purpose, but don’t envision, much less write the tales our psyches need. Zette Harbour understands this, and has made it her life mission to empower others to discover their purpose and to live with passion.
What does it mean to be a storyteller? For Zette, storytelling is a time to connect with others, to go beyond mere words and travel into the heart and mind. As she performs at festivals, in programs, and workshops, people are able to experience shared laughter and joy in ways as ancient as humanity. Her stories are as diverse as the human landscape ranging from traditional Christmas tales to native people’s myths to modern women navigating their way through an ever more complex society. But whatever story Zette tells, her goal remains constant: be present.
I remember attending one story telling festival where Zette Harbour performed, my seven-year-old son at my side and my toddling daughter snug in my lap. We sat on wooden benches in the shade of pines as she came up and told of a time before. A time of the ancients. Both of my kids were mesmerized as Zette tiptoed, strolled, and hopped from one end of this natural stage to the other. The warmth and intimacy of that day is a memory I still cherish.
A native New Yorker that grew up in Pennsylvania, Suzette Harbour has always been enchanted by stories and spent her childhood immersed in books. Fast forward many years to 1992 and being a mother reading to four-year-old. It was then that she realized the power story could have and began her journey into storytelling. For the past twenty years she has performed, workshopped, and recorded a multitude of tales all the while honing in on her own personal voice.
In today’s digital world the idea of coming together to listen to a story might seem alien. I mean, why not just watch a video or tune into one of the hundreds of channels now available? Zette has a poignant answer to this. It has been her experience that people are looking for the shared, authentic, emotional connection that participating in storytelling brings to community. Even the word community comes from two principles essential in the human experience: commune, or come together, and unity, make as one.
For Zette that is her story in spades. Create a community and all will feel like one.
For more information about Zette Harbour’s work see: http://www.successfulawakenings.com/ or http://www.zetteharbour.com/