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The Magic of Storytelling

Stephanie Y. Cole, Master Storyteller, Caregiver, Podcast Host


Welcome to my special blog post inspired by a recent episode of Navigating Cancer TOGETHER. This episode aired on June 19th, recognizing both Juneteenth and National Cancer Survivor Month. I was joined by the incredible storyteller, Stephanie Y. Cole, who shared her profound insights and personal experiences highlighting the importance of storytelling, especially in the context of healing and connecting with others.


The Healing Power of Storytelling


Stephanie, a native New Yorker, draws from her rich life experiences, including caring for her mother with dementia, to create a tapestry of engaging and healing stories.


Stephanie believes that storytelling is a universal connector, stating, "Storytelling for me is the universal lubricant...even if you don't necessarily know the culture, there's a universal human experience that we all share and we can find each other, I think, in storytelling." She elaborates on how storytelling can bridge gaps, foster connections, and provide therapeutic reflections for both the storyteller and the audience.


A Personal Journey: The Pandemic and Pink Slippers


One of the most touching moments in the episode is Stephanie's recounting of her experience during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stephanie's mother had to be put into a care facility, and the isolation policies meant Stephanie couldn't accompany her. Holding her mother's pink slippers, Stephanie navigated a heart-wrenching journey through the rain, reflecting the fear and helplessness felt by many during that time. She shared, "I just remember walking home slowly in a daze, carrying these pink slippers in the rain."


Storytelling in Action: Middle Seat Matchmaker


Stephanie also shares a lighter, delightful story from her time commuting on New York City's transit trains. She recounts how she played matchmaker for two strangers on the train, using a notepad to pass messages between them. This story not only showcases her flair for storytelling but also her genuine desire to connect people and spread joy. Stephanie's actions brought smiles and perhaps even sparked a new romance, showing the power of small, thoughtful gestures.


The Role of Caregivers: A Deep Dive


The conversation between Stephanie and I touches on the often-overlooked emotional journey of caregivers. Stephanie's candid discussion about the fear, anger, and eventual acceptance she experienced while caring for her mother is both poignant and enlightening. She emphasizes the importance of giving oneself grace, stating, "It's about doing the best that you can within the situation and making peace with that."


Stephanie Y. Cole is a master storyteller and podcast host.

"Stories don't have to necessarily be glossy and shiny and picture perfect. It just needs to connect on a deep level, sometimes a place that you didn't even know you needed connection." - Stephanie Y. Cole

The Unique Perspective of Cancer Survivors


Stephanie eloquently discusses how cancer survivors have unique stories of courage and resilience. She believes survivors are uniquely qualified to speak about facing immense challenges and emerging stronger. "One thing cancer does not do is discriminate...they know things about going in and coming out the other side that no one else can possibly know," she shares.


About Audio Oasis Storytelling Podcast


Stephanie's passion for storytelling extends to her podcast, Audio Oasis Storytelling. She describes it as "a place where you can stop by, listen, think, laugh, but most importantly, rest." The podcast features short, engaging stories designed to provide a brief escape and a moment of joy.


Conclusion: Embracing Your Own Stories


My conversation with Stephanie is a powerful reminder of the importance of sharing our stories. Whether it's a story of illness, caregiving, or everyday life, each narrative has the potential to connect, heal, and inspire. As Stephanie beautifully puts it, "Everyone has a story that someone can relate to because the universal connector is humanity."


It's a Wrap


Thank you for taking the time to read this special blog post. Listen to the full episode on Navigating Cancer TOGETHER to experience Stephanie's captivating storytelling. Please share this blog and the podcast episode with anyone who may benefit from them. And remember, you can find Stephanie's "Audio Oasis Storytelling" on all major podcast platforms.


Let's continue to navigate cancer together with open hearts and shared stories.

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Reflection: How did this episode make you feel about all those stories you've got inside of you that you haven't shared yet? Your story might be the connection someone else needs.

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