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How to Become Healthier and Sexier in 2017

Apparently Our New Heritage2Legacy Project Will Help

You might think my headline is a shameless fabrication intended to draw you into reading the thoughts that follow about our new Chasing Fireflies program (The “shameless” part might be true). However, I based it on an intriguing study I came across about the benefits of storytelling.

Before I explain, allow me to remind you about our new Heritage2Legacy resource. This set of ideas and tools is designed to help you capture and preserve for future generations your most important family stories.

For more, check out the Heritage2Legacy tab at the top of our home page – firefliesblog.com.

Elizabeth Berstein writes in The Wall Street Journal, “Since the dawn of language, people have shared stories with others to…make sense of what happened to them and to bond. Research shows that the way people construct their individual stories has a large impact on their physical and mental health.” and this type of communication “…is sexy.”

I have a reason for passing along Berstein’s observations beyond our mutual interest in good health and that other benefit. She offered several ideas for how to start preserving your family stories. Here are three you might find helpful.

  1. Set aside story time. Find a specific time and a place where you are not rushed and have fewer distractions. Agree this is a time to record, in written or audio form, family stories that help explain your history and heritage.
  1. If you have trouble getting started, try talking about your “firsts.”Tell stories about first experiences – dates, kisses, cars, children, jobs, homes, vacations, schools, hobbies.
  1. Talk about the past, present and future. Our first instinct in family storytelling might be to pass along to our children key historic memories. However, include stories explaining present family circumstances. And don’t forget stories about family dreams and bucket list items also explain to future generations important elements of their family’s heritage.

Here is a great New Year’s resolution – let’s ask the elders of our family to tell us more family stories in 2017.  In the process, during the next 12 months we’ll grow healthier and that other thing.

Gil Moegerle

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