Last week I was sitting through an interesting workshop in office called “Story telling with data .” Why such an oxy moronic sounding workshop? Because somewhere the corporate world is fast realizing that fancy presentations and slides crammed with data tables , graphs and pie charts don’t register with the audience, as much as a well narrated personal experiential anecdote does.

Stories are the most powerful media to convey a message , to preserve a memory and to inculcate a value or concept .  Stories inspire and transform. Stories  make you walk in the feet of the characters and feel the way they do .And that is why story telling is an integral part of every culture and civilization.

Personal stories and  anecdotes enable the writer to tell their story, to unburden themselves and go through a catharsis by revealing their deepest and darkest truths . On the other hand their anecdotes can inspire a reader to transform their life and uplift a drowning soul And that is one of the reasons I took anecdote as my theme as a Samurai. I have told many personal stories and anecdotes on this forum -some even my family is  not aware of -but this kind forum enabled me to be my authentic self and embraced me with kindness love and compassion .  And from herein comes my inspiration to request all members to share their story and their truth as they see it . It will set you free as a bird -and you never know who or how many your story might inspire .

Coming back to stories , life is a story and we remember different periods in life and even history as stories too. For instance 2020 and 2021 were years of Covid and so many amongst us would have stories of loss , of grief and of resilience ,kindness and strength that would define these years. How would you define 2022? The year of inflation ( oh blame the economist in me !) the year of invasion?, the year when Messi snatched his victory in the face of a glorious fightback from Mbappe? The year of opportunities  when unicorns thrived and the year of the funding winter?

2022 for me was a year of transformation . I visited the ashram for the first time end of December 2021 . The subtle impact of it turned around my life in 2022 – I found new friends , redefined my personal relationships , found the courage to share my stories with the world and also to pivot at work towards more meaningful responsibilities. I tilted more towards seva and sadhana and found the culmination of it in doing the Sri Suktam Sadhana and finally getting initiated by Swami ji.

As we march into the next year, I would love to read how was 2022 for you? What is your story ? Remember your anecdote can inspire many others. Here are some anecdotes that had me hooked in the last few days.

Attachments: This eye opening post from Swami ji opens our eyes to what our true attachments might be and they might not be what you think they are. He also highlights how you might be unconsciously grabbing attachments and what the way out is . “After all, the whole point of intelligence, of discerning wisdom, is that you can choose your attachments”- an amazing thought to reflect over.

Are Marriages Really Made in Heaven : Rekhanshu talks about his harrowing  journey – discovering an extra martial affair and fighting a spate of false court cases . He however kept his faith in the Divine Mother – and amazingly holds no grudges despite life’s many unkind knocks . His story is an epitome of kindness , forgiveness and faith.

Pain is Good: Swati shares her interesting writing journey and how she discovered that there is no shortcut but the journey is much easier when there is someone who walks alongside like her PhD supervisor

Adi Shankaracharya -Quiet Quitting and Bossism–  In this enlightening post Akshay weaves the diverse threads from the story of Adi Shankaracharya defeating Mandana Mishra to the podcast of Brene Brown and Adam Grant to say how “finding balance” is taken differently across different levels of hierarchy.

Reading Recommendations:  I was reading the Human Element  by Loran Nordgren that Swami ji quoted in his last post Resistance and its a very enlightening read peppered with very engaging anecdotes from all walks of life. For those who love reading Hindi and mythology- I recently rediscovered my love for Mahasamar – a 9 volume series by the legendry writer Dr Narendra Kohli – who brings alive each character and each story of Mahabharata .

Enjoy reading and don’t forget to share how your 2022 was . I look forward to reading your stories in 2023 . Also, please follow me if you wish to receive a monthly round up of anecdotes  Wish you all a very happy new year !