Re-creating Worlds

Category: Mindfulness

You Want Change? Transform Your Story

Have you found yourself feeling like your life has hit a dead end? If so, it’s time to step back and look at the story giving you the wrong directions.

Giancarlo Esposito, the actor who plays Gus Fring in “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” is Italian and black. In early auditions, directors rejected him. His skin color didn’t match what they expected to see based on his last name.

Feeling worthless and defeated, he just walked away. Finally, Esposito decided to change his story and said, “Why not give me a try, why does this character have to be white?” He drove out of his dead end life. Esposito transformed his story and helped directors and casting agents see beyond race and name into his humanity and talent.

Your story isn’t inside of you. It’s you, your voice, your manner of dressing, how you walk, what you do, who and what you listen to, and how you look at the world.

When you step back, you see everything in life is a story, from how you were conceived to the person you’re sleeping with, to your last job. Your failure to see life and events as stories can result with you becoming a character in a story leading to a dead end.

Transform your story to transform your life.

Trapped in a dead end has made you forget the story of the life you’ve dreamed about, once had, or aspired to live. It’s never too late, or too early, to transform your story.

Changing your story isn’t easy. The process involves

  • recognizing attachments to overcome your fear of loss
  • contemplation, meditation, and reflection on yourself and what is most important to you
  • finding equanimity to achieve balance
  • being compassionate with yourself and generous to others
  • recognizing your abundant talents and gratefully sharing them

Carol Goodman, the author of the novel, The Seduction of Water, explained how the power of oral storytelling influenced her writing and life.

It’s what my mother gave to me through a lifetime of storytelling: the ability to make sense out of one’s own life and, out of that sense, craft the best life.

Next time you’re feeling trapped, depressed, or limited, make time to listen to the story you’re telling yourself. Look for the tools, resources, and people you may need to help you transform your story into one you want to tell and to live.

If you don’t need to change your story now, maybe you know someone who does. Share this article with them. And comment below on how your life changed when you transformed your story.

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Fears and Doubts, Obstacles or Incentives?

Preparing to start a new venture is like jumping off a diving board. You’re flying off into space with the trust of a graceful landing.  Like a dolphin at play, you’ll burst through the water’s surface.

But some dives aren’t a cinematic success. I didn’t learn to swim until I was in fourth grade and jumping off a board was scary. But I did it, as I headed toward the light of the surface, I opened my mouth. The lifeguard pulled me out of the water before I choked to death. But, I never jumped off a diving board again.

Throughout my life, I’ve followed a cycle. I dove into learning a skill or subject I was interested in and as soon as it became uncomfortable or challenging, I dropped it. I didn’t know, until recently, that this implicit memory kept me in a holding pattern.

Essentially implicit memory is a memory that you don’t realize you are retrieving from the past.

Debra Burdick, in Mindfulness Skills Workbook, further explains that perceptions, emotions, bodily sensations, and behavior contribute to implicit memory. When implicit memory is tied to past trauma it can emotionally “hijack” you in the present.

My fear of drowning left me standing at the shore. The beauty and mystery of water appeal to me but I never went snorkeling as my youngest sister did. And now, as I reflect on my life, I see how this one implicit memory kept me from fulfilling my deepest dreams.

In high school, I wanted to be a doctor until I took a biology class. My dislike of dissection and feeling sick from the teacher’s vivid descriptions of burns and other physical illness led me to abandon that ambition. But forty years later, I became a nurse.

I began college with a major in dance and drama. Feeling alone and isolated, struggling with movements, and gaining weight, I dropped those classes after the first semester. Yet most of my thirties I was a performing artist and in my forties earned a degree in storytelling.

Since I was in third grade I’ve been writing. In my twenties, I worked as a writer for brief periods. But when the work didn’t come easily and rejections piled up, I sought other ways of sharing my writings by performing.

A gypsy lifestyle, combined with an unconscious implicit memory, prevented me from reaching a level of stability and consistency recognized as a success. Still, I was fortunate to have many interesting and creative experiences even if they didn’t make for an impressive professional resume.

Often when you articulate your frustrations, your doubts and your fears people think you’re weak, struggling, confused. Unless you see the obstacles blocking your way can’t find a new path or remove the barriers.

Sometimes you don’t know you’re going in the right direction, you just know you have to try another route. When I began blogging in December 2011, I had no idea it would be the compass leading me straight to my life destination. I am a writer and storyteller.

What forgotten traumatic experience, in your past, prevents you from doing what you know you were put on this planet to do?

Photo by Laurie-Anne Robert on Unsplash

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