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STARTING A MOTHERLESS DAUGHTERS GROUP

By Mary Ellen Collins

Step 3 – Telling Your Story

Go here for Step 1 and Step 2

We each have a story to tell. Our life’s experience – our book—so many chapters. Think about your story and how you would share it with someone else. Telling your story takes a lot of thought. While this is something you will not use until your group begins, start now so you can rehearse it until it flows from your lips easily. Your story is long, involved, and painful. This is a challenging step and you will need time and reflection to get it right. This is your story for your motherless daughters group.

Think about how you would respond to the following questions:

  • What is your story of mother loss?
  • How old were you?
  • How did this happen?
  • How many years ago was that?
  • Why did you decide to come to this group?
  • What are your expectations for this group?
  • What are other significant life events you have had?
  • What are your expectations?
  • What are your fears?
  • What are your gifts?

Rehearse it in front of a mirror. Record yourself. Listen to it over and over again. Then try it out with someone you trust. Your story must be genuine. Your challenge is when you share it in your group, you must be able to be succinct. You will be modeling and others will repeat the method you use.

I created an opening exercise called, Telling My Story for the Motherless Daughters Ministry. Every program uses some variation of this in the opening of the group. Notice on the second page it looks like the document is divided into four quadrants. Ask people to write their responses on this sheet and bring it with them to the first time you meet.

When you meet, ask them to transfer their information to a large piece of flip chart paper, just creating bullet points for their story. They can use their paper to talk from. Put their chart on the wall so everyone can see someone’s story and how they may connect to each other. In fact, another exercise we always do is a Connections Exercise. Ask, “How are we connected as a group? Who do you connect with?” Sharing everyones’ stories will the group come together.

As people enter your group, they will wonder how they fit. Hence, every group needs to have some kind of introductory exercise.

I will talk about group management tools for you to use to help your group be successful later but one tool I want to mention now is a timer. You must give everyone equal time to speak. Equal. Use a timer on your phone so you are not monitoring it. Make it audible. That way you do not have to keep looking at it and can listen to the speaker.

Want to know my story, here is a blog I wrote about being a motherless daughter. What’s your story?

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