I love this question.
I first heard Byron Katie ask it years ago and it’s been on my inner radar ever since.
Asking it takes me to a place of ‘being’ beyond any version of my life story and brings me home to deeper sense of Self.
I can see my story in one of two ways: The story that is aligned with who I really am and that evokes my true potential or the story that keeps me stuck with a limited view of myself.
When we begin to wake up to our true nature, the latter begins to show itself. The transformational path we walk, then takes us on a journey of recognising who we are not and rediscovering who we are.
Our ‘heart-work’ as we grow our consciousness is to reveal the stories that have been holding us hostage to suffering and begin to discover the true stories that are aligned with our authentic self – with who we really are. The space in-between is the pure space of being where no story and all potential exist.
So who are you without your story?
You know, the old one that makes it hard for you to feel alive and fulfilled? It’s the one that stops you from
- getting your heart-inspired project or business off the ground
- doing the work you really love
- sharing your authentic voice with the world
- receiving the support and money you need
- fostering the relationships that support and nourish you
… amongst many more. We all have these stories, no matter where we are on the path. It’s a constant process of revealing and clearing what’s in the way.
In the process of clearing, we become more vulnerable. We discover more about who we are. We gather resources and wisdom. We strengthen our core. We open to love ourselves and others more deeply.
What is possible when we open ourselves to this true potential? Who might you really be without your story?
But what is your story?
It’s what you believe to be true. Your ‘truth’ is created from any number of unconscious ‘constellations’ of thoughts, beliefs, images and feelings that bring your story to life. It gets played out through your actions. Bound together, these constellations create a very convincing picture of reality. This picture is evidence for who you think you are and how you think the world is. That picture will either help you or hinder you.
It’s alarming to see how firmly wedded we can be to our stories without realising. Especially the ones that cast a blinding shadow over our happiness and keep us collapse us into old ‘self-identities’ that keep us from living our dreams. These stories are founded in core beliefs that separate us from our true nature:
I’m not enough
I’m not worthy
I don’t exist
This, of course, is the nature of shadow.
We don’t see it because we’re not aware of it. We believe the old limiting stories so wholeheartedly that we don’t even realise that it’s possible to see things another way.
But once we start to see the beliefs and patterns we’re leading from, our conscious work begins. One of my early teachers, Robert Dilts used to say ‘The first step to changing a belief is to doubt it’. Byron Katie says ‘Is that really true?’
I say, if you’re going to have a story you might as well have one that is aligned with who you really are and that helps you to live it. (And, just for the records, as far as I’m concerned, who you really are is an empowered co-creator with life!)
But we can’t just make up our stories – that’s inauthentic and it doesn’t help us to heal. We need to find a way to connect with and live our Soul’s truth – past, present and future. Your Soul’s truth is the story only you were born to be the author of. And you’ve been living it since the day you were born.
The good news is that you don’t need to deny your past.
You can’t deny what happened. It’s history. And it’s important to acknowledge and validate with deep compassion. But ultimately it’s not about what happened then. It’s about how you interpret it and relate to it now. It’s about how you integrate and tell the story of your past and the story of possibility for the future you are co-creating. You need to differentiate between who you were then and who you are now.
Over the years, this has been a momentous excavation project in my inner landscape! It’s ongoing because I still have shadows that I cannot see. That makes me human. But what I’ve learned is that there can be a vast chasm of difference in how I choose to tell my story of the past or future, depending on whether I see myself as a victim or a self-author.
When I am willing to doubt my story and let go of my grip, I find myself in a place of pure ‘being’ without any attachment one way or the other. From that place, I can see a deeper truth and choose who and how I want to be, in relation to what happened.
I can choose the old story (which will bring me the same results) or I can put my trust in the new truth that is revealing itself to me. A generative one that takes the incredible gems from my past and builds a beautiful, potent foundation from which to create my future.
How can you let go of the old story and start living the new?
I’ve been thinking a lot about what really supports this transition. Whilst for many women this is a journey that requires considerably more in depth and nuanced support than I can share in a blog, I want to offer you some of the simple fossils of wisdom that I’ve found in my own deep excavation.
1) Be inspired. Connect with and honour your dream for the future you want to author.
Allow space for your dream to be present. Feel the deeper inspiration in your heart and your desire to express it. You have a beautiful vision, so acknowledge it. Give it space to be expansive and possible. Trust it’s yours but that it’s also part of something greater than you. Give yourself permission to have the inspiration without attaching to a specific outcome. This is your creative potential waiting to be lived. It’s life’s natural impulse to express itself through the unique vehicle of you.
2) Be open. Acknowledge where you are now, with compassion and appreciation.
Slow down. Open your eyes to where you are now. Be honest with yourself. Don’t pretend you’re anywhere other than where and how you are in this moment. Ask yourself: what is the story I am currently living? Attune mindfully to what is present under the surface of your experience: What beliefs, images, feelings and narratives are you aligning with? What is the impact on you and others? Don’t judge, just see and feel. Be present to yourself as a witness with compassion and appreciation. Trust the perfection of what is.
3) Be grateful. Gather the ‘gifts’ from your past and be willing to let go of the old story.
When you are in touch with the story that no longer serves you, be willing to let it go. But FIRST please give yourself time to recognise and receive the gift it has brought you. What power and strengths have you received from it? What wisdom has been imbedded in your heart? What positive purpose did this story serve? You’ll know when you’re received it. It will be a relief. So give THANKS to life for the gift and find a way to mark your commitment to let go. Create a ritual. Throw a stone. Burn it. Bury it. Ask life to transform it.
4) Be focused. Anchor the new story you are choosing to align with.
Feel the true story that is emerging and write it down. Remember it’s the one that brings all your gifts to the table. It seizes the power from your past and weaves the beauty of your vulnerability and strength together. Commit to it with intention to live it. Tune into the deeper purpose and passion that has arisen from your past experience and the wisdom that you now have to share. What mission are you on now that your life journey has been preparing you for? Which ‘deeper truths’ are you choosing to re-align your life with now?
5) Be resourceful. Find new practices and resources to help you to embody your new story.
Tune in to your new story and ask ‘how can I truly live this?’ What is needed for you to embody your new narrative and embed new ways of being that make it real? What resources do you need to help you sustain your commitment? Give your own well-being priority and create daily ‘self care’ practices that strengthen your mind, body, spirit and emotions. Take time to be in nature and tune-in to what you need. Allow yourself to receive. It’s time for you to be supported.
6) Be collaborative. Become a co-creator and trust that Life has your back.
Remember you’re not alone or separate in the universe. You are part of a much bigger picture of co-creation. Life wants you to play your part – to be and express who you are. But you can’t do that easily on your own. Let life support you. Reach out for help and collaboration with others. Invite others in to co-create with you. Let go of control and pushing, that’s the old way. Trust the flow of right timing and right relationship around you. Ask life ‘how do you want me to serve?’ and stay open to all forms of guidance.
7) Be courageous. Take inspired action that is aligned with your true story.
Don’t hold back. You’re the author of your life story. Step up to lead it, but don’t expect to feel ready. Tune into your heart and feel the inspiration that is there. Ask ‘What is life asking of me now?’. Contemplate. Be at choice to follow your heart with the actions you feel inspired to take. They will take you out of your comfort zone, because they’re new. So expect it to be scary and unfamiliar at times. Consider the impact on you and others; are your actions congruent with the future you want to co-create?
8) Be aware. Guard your energy and keep it bright.
Pay attention to how you feel and create space for the important transition you are in. Remember you are changing some deep patterning. There will be lapses. Triggers. Moments of doubt. Overwhelm. Runaway emotions. Tears and exhaustion. Stay aware of your process and take time for your inner work so you can keep clearing the path. Get support for your transformation. Above all hold a container of love and appreciation for yourself as you take this journey. Remember, you are a pioneer, re-authoring your beautiful life!
I hope this helps you as you turn over your new leaf. Feel free to let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
With love and bright blessings,
Click here if you would like to find out more about how you can get support from Joey to live your true story.