Harvesting Your Stories - Rancho La Puerta
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Harvesting Your Stories

Week of February 24, 2024

Each one of us lives a life overflowing with stories. Our challenge is to find the time and place to harvest those stories and share them with others.

Well, this week is the time and Rancho La Puerta is the place.

We’ll be gathering in Oaktree – the perfect spot for stories – where you will find yourself telling stories you never knew you knew. Through a series of fun and low-key exercises, Joel will lead you on a journey to discover tales from your life – of the amazing people you have known, places you have been, and gifts you’ve been given, all swirling around moments of grace, laughter, and awe.

As you craft and share your stories you will be honing your story skills learning tips and techniques that allow you to turn the treasures you find into tales you can recount to others. Note that our focus is not on performing – no stress or stage fright here – but sharing, in a way that is both joyous and healing. This is, after all, Rancho LaPuerta.

Bringing Stories Home…

Why Tell Your Stories?
The more stories you find, the more opportunities you will find to share them. Over the many years Joel has been teaching at Rancho La Puerta, here are some of the ways participants have put their stories to use:

  • Connecting to other Ranch guests in lively mealtime conversations
  • Returning home to share them with children and grandchildren
  • Harnessing them in whatever work they do in the world
  • Strengthening whatever work they do in the world, formal or informal, paid or volunteer
  • Healing through finding the throughlines – and meaning – in their lives


It was over four decades ago that Joel ben Izzy set off to travel the world, gathering and telling stories. Since then, he has performed and led workshops at hundreds of locations throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. In addition to recording and producing six award-winning recordings of his stories, Joel is the author of The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness (Algonquin, 2003). Now translated into 18 languages, this memoir recounts his remarkable and unexpected journey into the world of silence, woven together with tales from his travels.

Joel is also one of the nation’s leading story coaches, with a client list that includes The Federal Reserve Bank, Stanford University, and Pixar Animation Studios. He travels to Rancho La Puerta from his home in Berkeley, California. For more on Joel – and videos – see www.storypage.com.