The first few days of 2015 have been amazing – some wonderful ahas, starting with with what I shared my last post, Seeing Yourself in a Different Light. Come along with me today and see what you think!
Heatherash Amara, in her book Warrior Goddess Training: Become the Woman You are Meant to Be, says:
One day, as I was sharing the story of my life with a new friend, I had an epiphany. I realized that my story was not a factual collection of words describing my life. My story was a heavy anchor I ws dragging behind me while trying to catch the wind in my sails.
If you follow this blog at all, you know that I am fascinated by Story, and how the ones we tell ourselves and others – which strands of our life we choose to focus on – affect individuals, communities, societies, cultures, the world. If you want to change any one of those stories, find the main strands and change them. There is always a strand that has been left out to make the story better. Always.
The problem becomes that once one strand it pulled, other stands come loose with it. So you might want to change just one aspect and suddenly find yourself in the midst of a huge transition you weren’t counting on. That can land you somewhere on the scale of uncomfortable to terrifying.
Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life (Schlitz, Vieten, Amorok) says: “When transformation requires some kind of sacrifice – whether of a cherished belief, a comfortable habit or something you think you can’t survive without – you may avoid it until there is no other option…One of the gifts of intense suffering can be a newfound willingness to make significant changes…painful and frightening experiences [can] loosen our control and dissolve our identities.
…The further you get from your values or purpose, the more painful life tends to become…many of our respondents [to interviews for the book] used the word ‘surrender’ to describe the moment when suffering becomes so great that a person just gives up.”
“However, the book goes on to note that “not all doorways to or catalysts of transformation are filled with pain…equal numbers…described [the transformative process] as very pleasant.”
Although neither reading directly says so, how the transformative stage feels to us may well be based on the story we have immersed ourselves in. So, it pays to be aware of what you are telling yourself and others about who you are and what is happening in your life.
If you want to live life as an adventure, you know you are going to hit spots where you run into the unknown. In fact, isn’t that what an adventure is: learning new things by being exposed to new experiences?
What if, instead of telling yourself a story where you already know the outcome because you are basing your projections on past experience (which may have nothing to do with what is presenting now), you decide that not only do you not know what is next, but also that it is okay not to know. And instead of telling yourself a story that you don’t know and that’s scary and dangerous you instead drop all stories and let the story tell itself. Be curious and ask questions as you run into new events and experiences. Stay open to the inquiry of what’s happening right now in front of you – not what has happened in the past or *might* happen in the future . Approach new information with a sense of exploration.
What questions would you ask? And how might that change your life?