If you’ve looked at my new website you might have noticed the image on the landing page has a quote (from me!) across it. It says, Our Stories Travel With Us. So what do I mean by that?
Well for me at the most fundamental level stories are the way in which we make sense of our experience and recount it, first to ourselves and then, if we choose to, to others. The funny thing about stories is that sometimes our subconscious makes a lot of choices about them. There are stories that we remember often. Sometimes those are the good things, the special moments and the things that make us smile.
Sometimes too we choose to remember the things that went wrong, that we weren’t good at, the day the other kids laughed at us or the time we really upset our parents. Other times the things that are truly most painful and traumatic are actually erased from our memory. When this happens, I believe that very often we still carry those stories with us even though our thinking mind has forgotten about them.
Traumatic stories are often locked in our bodies instead. Peter Levene writes about this in his book Waking the Tiger which describes a somatic approach to understanding and healing trauma. Reminding us of our animal nature Levene looks at how the experience of trauma can get stuck in our bodies even when we don’t remember the details of the stories themselves.
In this way I think that the stories that travel with us aren’t just the ones at the forefront of our minds. Our lives are made up of experiences which we make sense of through stories and carry around with us, whether it be conscious – one of the stories which frames our reality in an obvious way, or sub-conscious – the stories we have chosen to forget. And though we may not remember much about them these can still have an impact on our bodies and our lives.
Sometimes in amongst the stories we have been telling ourselves are some that are no longer serving us and the first step to working out which ones we don’t need anymore – and changing the stories we tell ourselves about our own lives – is to delve deeper and explore the stories we are travelling around with. What are you telling yourself about your life? Who you are? And what is possible for you? Where does that story come from? How might it be serving you? Or holding you back?
My StoryPower Course is open for registration from today and starts 28th May. It costs £120 for 12 weeks but if you sign up now you can get one third off; and pay just £80.