November is a gift. It is a time when we naturally slow down and take stock of our surroundings. There is a pregnant pause in the air as we collectively wait for the busy Christmas season ahead. We are gifted a moment in time free of expectations. It is a perfect opportunity to dive inwards, reflect and plant deep seeds to nourish us all winter long. For me this is the time of stories!
In ancient times our work for the year is done. The light is waning and we retreat to the fire to share stories to keep the dark at bay. We tell stories to entertain, to teach, to learn, to inspire and connect with our world in a very authentic way. In the modern world we fill our time with activity, rarely stopping to reflect on our lived story or actively listen to another's. We move through our days distracted, making it hard to regulate and ground. I invite you this November to take a moment engage with idea of story as a tool for exploration and healing.
What is so great about stories?
Storytelling can provide an emotional connection to your life. Through telling your story you can develop self compassion, rewrite your narrative in new ways, practice seeing an old problem from a new viewpoint and weave the threads of your life together. We tell stories everyday but rarely practice mindfully connecting to them.
Take a moment and reflect on your idea of story...
Is it something you like to read?
Or do you gravitate towards listening?
Do you like to write stories?
Where do stories naturally fit in your life?
If they don't exist are you interested in changing that?
Below is a list of simple ways to start engaging story in your life.
Start a journal practice- visual or written
Illustrate a treasured memory.
Explore your genealogy and learn a family story.
Write a chapter of your life story with you as the hero.
Explore the lyrics of your favourite song. What do you love? Why?
Create an altered book- use an old book as a sketchbook to hold new stories.
Compose a piece of music as if it is telling a story. Use your instincts over skill.
Call a friend and just listen to their story. View their story as a gift.
Draw your child's favourite memory of the day. Let them describe it to you.
Create a story map. Many books have maps at the beginning showing the landscape. What would your story landscape look like?
Share your favourite book from childhood. Read it aloud to others or yourself.
Create new narratives inspired by old photo's or collage
Create a comic strip of a life event. Alter the ending.
I hope you all take a moment to let story inspire you. Our stories assist in defining our lives, communicating our values and beliefs, allow us to view things from a new perspective and give voice to our imagination. It is a powerful tool to understand and witness our world.
Be well everyone!