Examining the stories within provides a powerful tool for awareness.

 

And what if we want to change the stories?
How do we do that? 

 

Here are some tips I use & teach clients.

 

Last week, in Part 1 of Neuroscience & Story Telling, I shared how a writing course taught by an author who recently published a book on The Science of Storytelling had so much valuable stuff to say about our brains on stories.  {missed it?  read it HERE}

How dang much story influences us.  How they are essentially the programming that runs our lives choice by choice.  And how incredibly easy it is to just let these programmes run totally unchecked.

I provided a few simple exercises to help us dig into the stories within, to begin to really expose them to our conscious awareness.

And naturally the next question is…
What if we want to change the stories within? 

How do we that?

Here are my 6 tried & tested tips for this journey:

{*if you can’t be bothered to read right now, but you know you need support with this, you can book a free 20 min chat with me to discuss working together HERE.}

1.
The essential first step is to look within with compassion & curiosity.

*With any soulful work of this nature, we enter into it with the utmost love & compassion & acceptance for exactly where we are now.  Don’t even think about beating yourself up for having a story running in your head that was planted by some school bully years ago…everyone has these…it’s OK to unearth some less than clever stuff within, that’s the whole point…so go gently.

Meditation practice makes holding space for yourself so, so, so much easier.  Use my freebies here on the blog or work with me to instil a regular practice that suits you, your life & your goals.  {link for more info at bottom under resources}

2.
Know you are the author of your story;
however, a story that has been there for a long-ass time will put up a fight. 

Stories within are like habits.  First they are just something we do one day with the conscious mind, then we repeat and repeat enough and voila, we have a habit, at which point the behaviour moves into the unconscious mind and we perform/obey them without thinking.  This is really helpful for things like driving, not so helpful for things like getting highly triggered by certain comments from our partner or authority figure.

We encounter a “vibration of change” when we change habitual behaviour.  A story is hard-wired, so to speak, in the mind and when we move to change them; our minds will second guess us.  Think of the jolt you get if you are driving on the wrong side of the road for example.  It’s at this point that people shy away from change because it “doesn’t feel right”.  Researchers from Harvard have even named this biological response to change “the vibration of change”. 

If we know to expect a little second guessing from the brain, we know that this is part of the process ~ we can then stand firm in our decision to revise our story and remind the brain of our decision.  The brain has plasticity, it can rewire, relearn.  {I noted a great book on this is the resources at the bottom of the page.}

But know, deeply know ~ you are in charge.  Not the habit.
The brain is a tool, your consciousness (or mind) makes the rules and directs the choices.  

3.
Look into the origin of the story ~ then you can transcend it.

Something happens, we interpret it a certain way and create a story.  Often with a cause and effect.

This can be illustrated by a personal story…
I went through my entire education
as an undiagnosed dyslexic.  Throughout this ordeal I picked up/created several stories about myself and my abilities that were incredibly disempowering and likely sowed seeds for later depression.  My perfectionism even sprung out of this.  But mostly, a lot of fear and a lot of self doubt. 

As an undiagnosed dyslexic, I had countless encounters with teachers telling me I “wasn’t working hard enough” & regularly reporting to my parents that I was “not working to potential” while I was busting my ass compensating and using elaborate work-arounds to do what for others was really, really easy.  I was very quick & bright with certain things and totally abysmal at others.  Like any student & child, I wanted to do well and please my parents & teachers.  Yet I had very unpredictable grades.  Some really, really bad ones despite putting in tons of frustrating effort; but then I would easily get a solo or a lead role or write something allegedly good.  It was a rollercoaster.  I lost trust in myself because I felt I was letting people down and frustrating others…and I didn’t understand why.

I was good at hiding it & luckily always had amazing friends & family around which offset; but the story that got in there & got in there firmly was “not working hard enough to measure up”, “not enough”, “not good enough” & “unpredictable & irritating”. 

Yeah, not so nice.  And it was bullshit.  I was working ridiculously hard, just with a dyslexic brain.  But at the time I didn’t know this and would push and push to prove myself with still the same results of highs and lows. 

However, looking at the origins of the story, it becomes understandable how the story took root and how the roots grew very deeply as the story was reinforced for years and years of education. 

But I reprogrammed the story, firstly with understanding & compassion for all involved.  It was a mistake, a misunderstanding and I get to choose a different story to move forward with.  This took consistent effort & compassion & awareness and I still slip up, but I am so freakin’ glad I am running that old programme.

The new, more empowering & truthful story, isn’t about comparing myself to others, pleasing teachers or whoever…but doing things my way and getting support for the things I find tricky.  That I, just like everyone else, have a unique capacity that is neither better or worse than anyone else.

I needed to look at this story, tenderly, in order to see it’s false origin and rewrite it.

4.
Use your imagination.

Everything you have ever done originated in your imagination.
You decided.
You created.

From getting up to get a drink of water to buying a house or going on a holiday, deepening or ending a relationship.  You thought of it first.  

We hallucinate stuff into our reality constantly.  The clothes you are wearing, the job you are doing, the food you are digesting.  

You can use this tool, this amazing imagination of yours to create what’s next with a different story at play.  Ask yourself things like, “What if there was a different story, a more empowering story?”, “What would that story feel like?”, “What choices would flow from that story?”.  See what you come up with, play with it, draw it, speak it, write it in a journal or on a scrap of paper.  Explore it.

*know that there will be back-talk from the ego about why you can’t have a different story and that change is dangerous, that’s part of that vibration of change ~ reassure those voices, tell them you are going to try something else.

5.
Invest in your new story.

Buy something or make something that will remind you of your story.  Put it somewhere you will see it.  Bring it into 3D.

A few examples…

> Do you need to chill out a bit & stop pushing yourself so hard?  Like cats?  Want to be more cat-like?  Want to allow yourself to take naps & then hunt or play with a 100% all-in vibe like a cat?  Get a cushion with a cat on it or a mug or a Cartier panthere bit of jewellery 😉 or just draw one.  Get cats, as a reminder into daily life.  {You will also start to see them everywhere if you do this.}

> Time to ditch an old story of being available or productive all the hours of the day?  Totally need some wind-down time for a better sleep?  Want to allow yourself more time to read before bed rather than screen time?  Time to up-level the beauty of the bedside table.  Make it lovely and all about rest, relaxation, being grateful for the past day.  Books, a candle, essential oils, a crystal, nice reading lamp ~ whatever would make you feel good. 

> Or is there a rotten story about appearance that makes you susceptible to diet culture and is taking all the joy out of food?  Time to buy a new bowl or tea towel or linen apron and make a date to visit the farmers market to get the berries you love.

You get the idea…

This is the rubber meets the road stuff.  The actions you take in daily life, over and over again to re-invest in the story of your choice.  Invest with your time, your money, your energy, your attention and it will grow and grow and grow.

6.
Finally,
don’t ask for permission, but do get support.

You makes these choices and only you can do this for yourself.
Nobody needs to give you permission.

Nobody.

However, support will help. 

Support is different from permission.  Support sees you, listens, helps you bring out the wisdom within & see things differently.

You know who you can trust ~ the friends or family members you can have juicy, deep conversations with.  Call them, see them.

Read books, take courses.

Or work with me ~ I do this stuff with clients all the time and absolutely love seeing how it shifts things in real life.  {More info & options in the Resource links below.}

So, that’s my 6 tips!
Was this helpful?
Let me know in the comments & any insights that may have come up for you.

And here’s to you & your most beautiful stories.  

Love & light,
Meredith x

RESOURCES:

Read related blog, Part 1 of Neuroscience & Storytelling HERE

Working with me ~  learn to meditate and do it daily info HERE.

Working with me ~ personalised programmes for change are HERE.

Free guided meditation:
> 5 min for morning HERE
> 10 min meditation for busy minds HERE
> 12 min deep chill meditation HERE

Great relevant books:
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
~ surrendering to now is where our freedom lies, such essential reading when we feel stuck or want to change something, Oprah says: “The Power of Now can transform your thinking.  The result?  More joy, right now.”  It’s a classic & can be read & re-read.

The Plastic Mind by Sharon Begley
~ if you like your scientific data + a forward by the Dali Lama, this is a great on how we can rewire our brains, aka “plasticity”, one of neurosciences biggest discoveries of late.  And understanding the difference between the mind & the brain ~ bigee.

 

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