On difficult passageways and more in this month’s issue of “Tell Your Story Newsletter”

January 2022 Vol 4 Issue 1

Tell Your Story Newsletter (TYSN):
Specializing in Entrepreneurial and Organizational Storytelling
Let me tell your story!

Welcome Mid-January, 2021!

January is often said in Western Canada to be the cruellest month of the year: the tilt of the earth’s axis in December brings us winter, with the coldest weather and the shortest daylight hours of the year. (Scientists remind us that we are actually closer in distance from the sun in winter than we are
in summer, but that truth brings only cold comfort!)

And yet the month of January can also be a time of planning, renewed growth and development–and not only for those who make new year’s resolutions!
As I write this issue of “Tell Your Story Newsletter,” we have gratefully passed a nearly month long, arctic cold spell , with temperatures (including windchill) dipping  to -50 degrees Celsius! The good news is that we’ve now had a reprieve of nearly 50 degrees in the other direction, even if we know that such fluctuations are not healthy and reflect our global climate crisis.

Just as it has been difficult to pass through such cold so early in winter and to see so much snow, the theme of this month’s issue is difficult passageways–those negotiated by entrepreneurs, artists, writers and other creatives.

Along with our murky passage through the environmental crisis, the fourth wave of the Covid pandemic (Omicron) is wearing on us all, worldwide. Talk of a fifth wave has begun. Although we are thrice vaccinated (or waiting to become so), the pandemic puts distance between us all. And we languish, wondering how and when Covid will finally recede.

Amidst these difficult passageways, I trust, good readers, that you are digging deep to keep yourselves, your family and colleagues safe. I wish you strength and blessings for this difficult passageway, when our journeying continues without certainty of a goal

As the old adage says, “keep on, keeping on”–and know that Covid will eventually recede, however much later than we would like.

Storytelling Communications



ARTICLE 1: Entrepreneurial wellness: Taking small steps on the difficult passageways of life
Folksy idioms: Word teasers


Article One, on Entrepreneurial Wellness: Take small steps on the difficult
passageways of life

My long-time mentor and friend, Monica Kreuger, Chief Visionary Officer of the Praxis School of Entrepreneurship, posted recently over Facebook a brief but breathtaking meditation. It comes from the bestselling Russian writer of detective novels, Elena Mikhalkova. With a nod to Monica for her exquisite taste, I quote Mikhalkova’s meditation here, applicable when we find
ourselves on difficult passageways through life:

“My grandmother once gave me a tip: In difficult times, move forward in small steps. Do what you
have to do, but little by little. Don’t think about the future or what may happen tomorrow.
Wash the dishes.
Remove the dust.
Write a letter.
Make a soup.
You see?

Advance step by step.
Take a step and stop.
Rest a little.
Praise yourself.
Take another step.
And then another.
You won’t notice, but your steps will grow,
more and more.
And the time will come when you can think
about the future without crying.”

Some of the challenges that would be a backdrop to Mikhalkova’s (and her forebears’) lives may have included these:
• living in 20th and 21st century Russia, under leaders including Vladimir Putin
• being raised in a home where the study of sciences and mathematics was privileged above literature
• living a creative life in a communist culture and the ensuing hardship (financial and emotional) that would bring
• enduring the challenges women often face in earning livelihoods independent of their male relatives (regardless of which country the women call home)

Mikhalkova’s meditation resonated with me when I read it in the first days of 2022, because the holiday season renewed my contact with friends who find themselves struggling with relationship pain and loss; poverty and financial challenges; job insecurity; prolonged elder care; and long-term
illnesses. The holidays are rarely a “ho-ho-ho” time for people journeying through such difficult passageways.

Mikhalkova reminded me of the tendency thoughtful people often have (my friends and me, included) to overthink or (even worse) ruminate about life, when we face such obstacles to our health and happiness. As psychologists and psychotherapists have said and written, to become “lost in one’s thoughts” in trying times threatens to undermine a calm, conscious and persevering frame of mind. Ruminating or obsessing over difficulties only weakens our capacities to persist through life’s difficult passageways.

And in pandemic times like ours, and with challenges yet to come, difficulties will arise. But as Mikhalkova’s words indicate, if we don’t focus on the problems, but move through them by taking small steps, one at a time, one day at a time, our “steps” will indeed “grow.”

They will take us to a future that offers us relief and joy beyond measure.

And now it’s your turn: Do you find Mikhalkova’s meditation helpful as you face another (pandemic) day, week, month, winter (etc.)?

Please share your thoughts on my “contact” page at storytellingcommunications.ca . I’d be delighted
to hear from you.



STORYTELLER’S CORNER: Words, Stories, Riddles and Jokes on Writing and Editing . . .

This month: Folksy idioms

It’s been reported in the news that word games like “Wordle” are gaining popularity in these late pandemic days. Ready for some escapist fun?

Figure out the idioms from the following five teasers, by sounding one letter at a time (move over
The answers follow, below




(1) Add insult to injury
(2) Throw caution to the wind.
(3) Don’t cry over spilt milk
(4) Every cloud has a silver lining
(5) Don’t give up your day job
Do you have a story, riddle, cartoon or joke on any aspect of communications? Please share it with me; I’d be delighted to use it in an upcoming issue.



Full disclosure: As an alumna of and occasional teacher (facilitator) at the Praxis School of Entrepreneurship (but not as a paid affiliate), I’m delighted to promote the school’s new “Self-Employment Program for Persons with Disabilities.”
Do you know of any aspiring entrepreneurs with business ideas who also have self-assessed disabilities (whether physical, sensory, psychological or other)?

Might they, like most budding entrepreneurs, lack the knowledge to develop their ideas? Have they faced challenges such as lack of funding, unemployment and limited awareness of their own potential?

These are more of the kind of difficult passageways that I acknowledge in this issue! I urge you and your contacts to learn more about the new “Self-Employment Program for Persons with Disabilities.”

The school’s Chief Visionary Officer, Monica Kreuger; Chief Ideas Officer, Brent Kreuger; facilitator and group coach, Deanna Litz (principal of Powerful Nature Coaching and Consulting) and their team have operated earlier versions of this programming for more than 30 years, involving nearly 1200 entrepreneurs, including me!

The Government of Saskatchewan produced this video about the program. I urge you to consider it for yourself or someone you know!

And the PSE team, including PR specialist and alumna Christina Cherneskey, created this podcast about the program.

The last infosession for the upcoming program term is on January 20th and registration is well underway. For the details, contact the wonderful (and approachable) administrator, Elaine, at the PSE: (306) 664-0500, or elainem@globalinfobrokers.ca
Thanks and warmest regards go to English professor emeritus, Beth Daugherty, of Westerville, Ohio, who contacted me over the holidays, some 20 years after we last met.

Beth showed her characteristic kindness by sharing details of her ongoing academic research (pursued even in retirement), and by kindly mentioning me in her forthcoming book on Virginia Woolf’s life and work. Thank you, Beth, and I look forward to the book’s release!

Finally, thanks and kudos go to those who care for seniors and the homeless in these trying times, providing necessary stimulation, emotional support, good nutrition and who meet other basic needs, even when the pandemic limits our energy and funds.



Between 2011 and December 2018, Elizabeth Shih Communications chronicled the stories of B2B marketing and communications on the Prairies and across the country.

Effective January 1, 2019, I have rebranded as “Storytelling Communications.” I now teach English as a second language that helps new and economic immigrants to secure better jobs; I write communications documents that help SMEs to close more sales by communicating more effectively; and I write ebooks and chapbooks that help major companies share their legacies.

Interested in learning more?

Please contact me through my CASL-compliant
website (www.elizabethshih.com).

After I receive your message, I’ll be pleased to discuss projects with you!
Please visit my website for more information (www.storytellingcommunications.ca)