Stories: we tell them to ourselves, to the people we’re getting to know, and to those closest to us. But spending time investing in these stories, whether out loud, in our own minds, or with our actions, can stunt our growth, hold up our progress, or just take us out of what’s present now. The present moment is rich with opportunity for learning, growth, depth and pleasure, but when it’s adulterated by the stories we’re attached to (past, imaginary, future), it loses some of its potential…and so do we.
I would love to spend less time in my stories, to be where I am, be observant, present, and engage with those around me in a meaningful way. So why do my stories keep getting in the way? Or maybe the better question is: Why do they keep coming up?
Though it may be misguided, I believe they are trying to protect me, to keep me safe from feelings of loss, abandonment and loneliness. The problem is, they’re just not very effective. So I want to do things a little differently.
Next, I’m committed to being more aware of my stories and exploring some of these questions in the moments they arise. You can work with them too!
Why am I telling this story right now? How does it limit me and how does it serve me? Is this story important or is it trivial? Why?
Does this story always come up in certain company or situations? What’s the trigger? How do I feel when I’m telling the story? What about before I told it? And after? Why did I feel compelled to relive this story? What did I gain from the experience?
The final step will be to allow these changes to really sink in and make a difference in my thought patterns, behaviors, and actions. Below is a meditation that helps to integrate the energy of that shift from storytelling to truthful awareness. Please enjoy the sounds of nature that accompany the meditation and excuse the wind when it takes over.