STORYHACKING OUR PAST
When was the last time you were frustrated with an unconscious habit that kicked in once again and sabotaged an otherwise wonderful day?
Perhaps it was last week, or yesterday, or even today?
It’s a familiar pattern to most of us certainly.
My flavor of this happens to be along the lines of self-worth. The “I’m not doing enough for this client, being there enough for my family, taking enough time for myself” runs in endless loops through my sub-conscious and semi-conscious thought patterns at some point during almost every day.
That is until I catch it and laugh.
“Oh – that one again”, I find myself thinking. This awareness in itself is often enough to stop the hamster wheel, however, there are times when it is not.
To permanently hack the negative cycle of self-flagellation, I need a heftier tool kit at my disposal. I need to draw on the restorying process to travel back in time and practice narrative alchemy, transforming the lead of these limiting stories into the gold of self-liberation.
Neuroscience and genetics will tell us that 80% of our primary beliefs (stories) about ourselves and the world are formed before the age of 7. These are the years when our brain and nervous system are most ‘plastic’ and flexible, forming lasting networks of mental, emotional and physical patterns that form the bedrock of our story lens. From here on in, whether we are conscious of it or not, these primary beliefs are the things that govern the majority of our choices, reactions and relationships.
Unless we restory them that is.
To hack into the subconscious patterns of our past, we need to bring awareness and a new perspective to the early experiences we had when these beliefs and stories were formed.
We need to story hack.
Next time you find yourself stuck in an old story why not try some of these?
Family Stories – What have you forgotten?
Take some time to reflect on memories from your childhood that still stand out for you today. What makes them special to you? What emotions permeate your memories? How have these experiences influenced who you are today? In reliving these memories, do any others come to mind that have drifted into your unconscious? How has your adult perception of these memories changed your view of them now? Can you restory your old beliefs now you can see them clearly?
Field Trip – Where do you really come from?
Choose a geographic place that you used to love visiting as a child. It may be a park, a zoo, a particular shop. If it’s still there, go and visit it again. If it has disappeared or is difficult to travel to in person, engage the gift of your imagination and journey back there in meditation. Notice what thoughts and feelings come up for you as your journey progresses and your memories arise. What new story does this place have for you now that you have come back as an adult?
Playing in Nature- Have you stopped playing with life?
Take a moment and remember something that you loved to do (outside if possible) when you were five or six years old. Take a couple hours off and DO IT. Enjoy the feeling of being outside playing in nature. Get curious about why you loved this activity so much and consider how it has informed your adult life. Have you forgotten a key piece of wisdom that you were born with?
Storyhacks taken from Tough Bliss: Restorying Life
These practices sound simple. Almost too simple to work right?
The power to change our story and, therefore, the story we live in the world, is hidden in plain sight. The power is found in the subtle beliefs that we have allowed to tarnish our story lens and slowly fog up our view of ourselves and the world. All we have to do is choose to wipe our lens clean of the old stories that no longer serve us.
But we need to choose.
Ignorance or clarity.
Up to you.
If you are enjoying these storyhacks, why not share them with others and tell new stories together? We are partnering with our friends the Conscious Good Network to curate an online stream of storyhacking wisdom and practice with storytellers and makers all over the world.
Pssst – that means you too!