Author Archives: Jane Bailey Bain LifeWorks

About Jane Bailey Bain LifeWorks

Author & Creative Coach @janebaileybain

Myth & Music

Ever since the first people sat around their campfires, we have told stories. People tell tales to explain events and to justify their actions. We see how one thing led to another, and wonder what might happen next. We learn … Continue reading

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Telling Your Story

“So what do you do?” It’s a question that most of us answer badly. We fall back behind a label (‘I’m a doctor / lawyer / accountant’). Or we relate what we’ve done in the past, a list of tasks … Continue reading

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Walk In Their Shoes

* Social reporting is a collaborative way of curating an event. Leaders and participants are all invited to contribute. The record may include words, images, links and video clips.* Anthropologists are fond of a technique called ‘participant observation’. You join … Continue reading

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The Power of Story

Tell me your story. Let’s start at the very beginning. Where in the world were you born? What name did your parents give you? Do you have brothers and sisters? Where did you go to school? In other words, Who … Continue reading

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Archetypal Figures

Are you a clever girl or a wise woman? A hero or a trickster? There’s more to you than meets the eye, but you have a certain personality. And this persona tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your self-image affects … Continue reading

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Labyrinths

Labyrinths are often seen as a metaphor for confusion. Theseus chases the Minotaur through a labyrinth; Jung talks of the labyrinth of the unconscious mind. Actually these are examples of mazes, not labyrinths. A maze is a web of tracks … Continue reading

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Plough Monday

Plough Monday traditionally marked the end of the midwinter festivities. The Twelve Days of Christmas were over: on the Monday after Epiphany, it was time to return to work. But in medieval England, it was an excuse for agricultural labourers … Continue reading

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Christmas Customs

Have you written your Christmas cards? Made some mince pies? Put up the tree? On these cold winter days, we need a festival to feel good about life. Our midwinter customs go back a long way…. Christmas really began in … Continue reading

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Numerology

What’s your lucky number? According to numerology, it might really have a secret significance. The first numbers were just mnemonic symbols to record trade transactions (The Story of Writing). We use a decimal system, but how many digits do we … Continue reading

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Hallowe’en

Hallow’s Eve: the night before All Saint’s Day, when dark things walk the earth. Good folk need protective rituals to keep their houses safe from harm. People may call it Fright Night, but actually the things associated with Hallowe’en are … Continue reading

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Hiawatha

In the old days, the braves were always fighting. Summertime, and the living was easy: what else was there for a boy to do? Quite a lot, actually. The Iroquois tribes who controlled lands along the Atlantic coast were renowned … Continue reading

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Lughnasa

Lughnasa (1st August) marks the beginning of harvest-time and the ripening of the first crops. In Irish mythology, the festival takes its name from Lugh, the god of light. According to the Book of Invasions, Lugh was a boy hero … Continue reading

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The Hero’s Journey

Do you know about the hero’s journey? The one where you set out on a journey, and meet a wise man, and fight a dragon to gain treasure? Of course you do, because you’ve done it. The monster you fought … Continue reading

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Boudicca: Warrior Queen

Boudicca was a striking woman: tall enough to look a warrior in the eyes, with russet hair tumbling to her waist and a voice that rang out like a bugle call. She was married to the king of the Iceni, … Continue reading

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Mermaids: A Fishy Tale

Do you believe in mermaids? A beautiful woman with a fish’s tail. Sometimes they come out of the water and sit on the rocks combing their hair. Sweet-voiced and slippery, they are hard to catch. In Shakespeare’s time, the term … Continue reading

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Saint Valentine’s Day

Valentine was purportedly a priest who lived in Rome around 270AD. The Emperor Claudius II issued a decree forbidding military recruits to marry, in the belief that single men make better soldiers. As a Christian, Valentine believed marriage was a … Continue reading

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Saint Brigid’s Fire

Brigid was a slip of a girl with a mass of red-gold curls. It drove the nuns wild, that hair, for however much they combed it sprang back into a cloud. The girl ran wild too, although she had such … Continue reading

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The Story of Writing

Ever since the first men sat around their camp fire, people have wondered about the meaning of life. Who am I? Why am I here? One of the ways we answer these questions is to tell stories… ‘LifeWorks’ In the … Continue reading

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New Year’s Resolutions

What are your New Year’s resolutions? Not the ambitious ones you announce, slightly tipsy, when someone asks you at a party on the big night; nor the virtuous ones you make, feeling slightly wistful, when the next day dawns and finds … Continue reading

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Is Santa Claus Real?

St Nicholas is busy this month. In northern Europe, children put their shoes neatly by the door on 6th December. If they have been good this year, St Nicholas fills them with sweets and toys; if not, they will find … Continue reading

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Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving is a time of praise and plenty. Surrounded by friends and family, we celebrate the fruits of the past year. But what did this feast mean to the first inhabitants of America? The Pilgrim Fathers landed at Cape Cod … Continue reading

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LifeWorks: Welcome

Welcome to LifeWorks: an alternative, ad hoc and occasionally aspirational look at using stories in everyday life. ‘LifeWorks: Using myth and archetype to compose your life script‘ (2012) Published by John Hunt (O-Books) ‘StoryWorks: A handbook for leaders, writers and … Continue reading

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