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The Transpersonal Element of Storytelling

Updated: Feb 4, 2023

This is the week of storytelling and collaboration.

The first time I witnessed the transpersonal element of storytelling was when I took a deeply personal story and handed it over to the universe. It started during my undergraduate body of work, when I chose to tell the story of my absent father through using a mask as a transpersonal tool to explore the archetypal energy of absence. This transformed the story from being a narrative which ruled the way I showed up in the world to re-integrating the lost parts of self created by this difficult dynamic. Through working with the transpersonal element of the theatre mask, I found a vehicle which connected worlds, the imaginal, past, liminal and creative. This became a written dissertation and underneath the surface, seeds of the transpersonal were being planted. They would not come into fruition until after performing my own story of absence. I handed it over to a director of verbatim theatre (Vicki Galloway Place and Freshly Brewed Theatre) and here I was interviewed about the presence of absence. As an actor and storyteller in the same performance, I also become a voyeur of my own story. The place of the Wise Witness, sat on the edge of the stage, watching from what felt like a transpersonal space, allowing the story to become part of the collective consciousness. What came next is a moment of crisis. My story no longer belonged to me and I felt a sense of loss from this experience. As the year unfolded I was accompanied by a Humming Bird which kept pulling my attention. It whispered "what have you forgotten?". It appeared to me in the desert, outside a theatre and on my balcony. I searched deep within my psyche for the answer and there echoing in my imaginal chambers was the transpersonal. I felt this shiver of recognition and started researching potential courses. I came upon the Alef Trust which offered an MSc in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology and there on their website was my Humming Bird! I enrolled and the bird stopped visiting me. The next three years I became deeply involved in transpersonal ways of being as the course was so embodied and transformative. As a virus descended that fell straight out of a film, I decided to tell the stories of young people who had missed important rite of passage moments during the pandemic. I used mask, story, and ritual to uncover their experiences and then it hit me. I was not only a storyteller. I was a story-collector and a story-listener. Storytelling had been part of my soul story since time began for this being called Mary-Rita and it was time to fully embrace it. So Mysterym was born! A space that would allow my clients to consciously step into their own story through accessing the liminal (space in-between) and imaginal (places in the imagination) spaces, through using a lateral and multidimensional approach. The seeds which fell seven years ago were now in full bloom. It took seven years for the transpersonal to fully integrate into my life. So this is a story, re-telling the story of a story that became transpersonal. Opening up the story to the transpersonal gave my personal story access to penetrate deep into the collective. The Humming Bird did come back... three years later when I submitted my masters thesis. Humming Bird tapped on my window to remind me that I had come full circle.

Check out Vicki Galloway Place on Instagram @Vicki_P and @Freshly_Brewed_Theatre

Alef Trust

Transpersonal: Many definitions exist but one that I feel resonates is Trans meaning "Beyond" and Personal (Persona meaning the mask we show to the world or the outer self) So it is about going beyond the personal and including it in the wider meaning of what it means to be here in a conscious universe.

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