Narrative and Identity

—Our lives are our possibilities: we are what we have yet to become.

sprout_earthThe foundational thinking and inspiration that informs all Naridus narrative and identity development processes is rooted in the existential and phenomenological tradition, most specifically European Continental philosophy of the mid- Twentieth Century, and even more specifically from Martin Heidegger and those influenced by his work.

From this perspective, and underlying our narrative and identity development programs—Strong Leaders, Strong Stories; From Perfection to Passion; the Personal Narrative Process; Narrative Intensive; and Ingenious Workplace—is the belief that we are social beings who live amongst others in a shared context. We are not isolated individuals. We live in relation to a common world that is already rich with meaning and everyday understanding.

Sense making of this everyday world arises through the contextualizing power of narrative. Social identity and individual identity are interlocked. Yet as individuals—this is the existential influence—we have the opportunity, the agency, to disclose and create a life rich with meaning and import.

Our lives are our possibilities—we are what we have yet to become. Our lives are not fully preconfigured; we have situated freedom. By being reflective, by looking at the things we do, we each continually narrate, disclose, and tell the story of a life to which we can attest and which is filled with meaning.

Narrative and storytelling reveal individual agency, and allow each of us to take up our project—our individual identity—within the social context. Narrative provides life with continuity and integration. In a lived way, our narrative—our story—articulates and generates a sense of self; it ties the past, present, and future together in ways that promote sense making, connectivity, direction, and meaning.

Generally narrative serves two functions: to provide sense making for our everyday collective situation—the world in which we find ourselves—and, secondly, it helps us configure and ground ourselves, our individual identities, within the larger context.

Naridus narrative and identity development processes are a guide to narrate/disclose individual identity, individual agency, or organizational intent. Naridus offerings apply the existential philosophical belief that we are our becoming. Each of us has the opportunity to make choices—configured as they may be by the social/historical context—to be someone who says, “yes,” to the possibilities before him or her, and choose to be responsible (response-able) for the freedom to fully engage life.

Again, individual identity—while never separate from the social context/era—allows each of us to realistically project our imagination of whom we want to be into the world, and to disclose those possibilities that address the human questions of vulnerability, risk, commitment, and meaning.