Change the Story
We have quickly come into the spring season and have seen the end of shorter winter days. So often, spring finds us cleaning out the cobwebs- both figuratively and literally. Because winter is a time to turn inwards, gather our resources and be quiet, it can be exciting to look towards to the longer, more active days. There can also be some anticipation around making some shifts into new projects or routines in our daily lives.
This is a natural time to evaluate what we want to put more energy into growing and what we are ready to focus on a little less. This evaluation can extend beyond work or even social engagements. I have recently been doing my own "spring cleaning" and evaluating what truths or stories shape the decisions I make on a daily basis. I have been evaluating the beliefs that I have understood to be truth and asking myself, "Does this still stand true for me?" For example, I am reevaluating any statement that starts with, "I am," or "I always," or "I'm supposed to." Maybe at one time, that statement was true and it helped me in some way. But, is it still true? I'm finding that some of these "stories" or beliefs are keeping me limited and holding me back. I liken it to changing the lens that I look at the world through. What happens if I rewrote the story or changed the glasses I look at my day through? What happens if I choose new beliefs that fit me best at this stage in my life?
Some of you may be familiar with the now viral video about Slomo, aka Dr. John Kitchin who decided to rewrite his "story" while living an amazing life that looked great on paper. He realized he was not living for the values that were most important to him. Rather, he was living more to the values that his culture, friends and family expected him to find important. On changing his story, he was aware that many people wouldn't understand his decision. And, it didn't stop him. The result: a simpler life that is right for him, at this stage in his life, and struggling much less on a daily basis.
A story like Slomo sounds wonderful, but it can be really hard to make these changes, or even to just start asking the question, "Is this true for me anymore?" And then what? How do we even begin to think about making those changes? I suggest starting small. The changes don't need to be huge. Even small changes can shift our lives in dynamic and meaningful ways. Maybe it means taking a different route on your morning walk. Maybe it means changing what you eat for breakfast. Or, maybe the new story says that you are capable of being brave instead of telling yourself you are not brave.
Yes, it takes some strength to rewrite stories, as it may lead to some challenging discussions and difficult decisions. But, as the energy of spring encourages us, we can choose to be brave, compassionate and accepting of how we want this new story to be written. Start with the small stories and see where it goes!
Write your own story
as it needs to be written. Write it honestly and tell it as best you can. Im not sure there are any other rules. Not ones that matter. ~Neil Gaiman