- Final Thoughts
- Trust Yourself
- The Role of Imagination
- Story vs. Drama
- Use Your Body
- Stories Tell Us About Ourselves
- Four Questions
- Reclaiming Your Own Definitions
This is a very important distinction. I am not advocating wallowing in your drama. When we think we are our stories, it’s a dead end street that will take you into a narrow and numbing old age quickly. What I am asking is that you lift yourself out of the old drama and look with new eyes at who you are in the world. Stories transform when we realize we are not our stories, but instead, that we can learn from them about what it is to be human. Keep asking questions like these: What has a particular loss taught me? What did it take to make it through a hard time? How were you able to love in ways you never thought possible when you were younger? Who is that strong soft woman who keeps emerging through it all?
A good story has a...
Your body was made to move, touch, taste, see, feel, laugh, cry, holler, breathe deeply and love. Use your body to unlock your stories. Your body will release the stories carried in its bones, its blood, its strength, its injured muscles, its aches, its quickness, and its slowness. Your body will tell you because it is wise and it always tells the truth—if you listen. Your inherent beauty will come forth if you are willing to see.
If you don’t listen to your body, you are not alone. Our culture does not encourage it. Our bodies may gently whisper, “Rest,” “Stop,” “Get more exercise,” “Love me.” We rarely pay attention, however, until they whop...
Stories tell us about ourselves. From them we can learn what our passions are, our themes, our obsessions, and our essential values—if we’re awake. Then, when life demands whatever it does of us, we may go forth, enchanted by our stories, into the unknown to meet our challenges, delight in the magic, wrestle with our losses, and design new futures.
Your stories need not be heroic. Simple stories of the day to day return us to the enchantment of our own lives. They are explorer stories. As Pat says, “There is no time off. It is all here in the moment. Even the littlest things can make a big impact—if we’re awake.” If we’re not, we wait for someday, hoping to ...
According to Angeles Arrien, anthropologist, storyteller, and author, when someone came to an indigenous healer with dis-ease, the healer would ask these four questions:
- When did you stop singing?
- When did you stop dancing?
- When did you start being uncomfortable in the sweet territory of silence?
- When did you stop being enchanted with the stories, especially the stories of your own life? 2
The many responsibilities of midlife, life changes, physical changes including menopause and relationship changes, can all create a sense of dis-ease. Therefore, it’s important to take a closer look at each of these questions:
- When did you stop singing?
Metaphorically speaking, when did you stop using your voice to carry your ...