The Stories We Tell

"…we are the stories we tell ourselves. In this universe, and this existence, where we live with this duality of whether we exist or not and who are we, the stories we tell ourselves are the stories that define the potentialities of our existence. We are the stories we tell ourselves. So that’s as wide as we look at stories. A story is the relationship that you develop between who you are, or who you potentially are, and the infinite world, and that’s our mythology."~ Shekhar Kapur

One of the great perks of my work is that I get to hear people’s stories. I am amazed that this continues outside of my office. Strangers will tell me their life story in the middle of a grocery store. People I barely know tell me their deepest secret (without prompting). I regularly hear, “I’ve never told anyone this!” What intrigues me is how those stories manifest in our lives, particularly our physical well-being.

One of the great limitations of allopathic medicine and symptoms approach treatment is that they miss the link of our stories. In these models, the physical is merely the physical; therefore, if we make the symptoms disappear, the physical is healed (despite any future symptoms). When we dare to look beyond these limitations, we see that what manifests as physical symptoms has been hanging around in our spiritual and emotional realms often for years, possibly even lifetimes.

For instance, sleep deprivation is currently an enormous issue in the US. There are many drugs on the market to help people sleep through the night. Anyone who has taken these or knows of people who’ve taken them, knows that they may help you get more sleep (though usually not deep, restful sleep); but they do not take care of the problem. I often have people come to me looking for the magic pill or potion. That’s not how I work. Sure I have numerous tools that can calm the nervous system and help one sleep deeply and sometimes we use these. However, my biggest tool is “Why?”

Sleep is a vital process for humans and it is also when we are most vulnerable. There are many reasons that contribute to sleepless nights: internal clock off due to working 3rd shift, wifi, electrical wires, consuming caffeine; body stressed, nervous system unable to calm down, anxiety; trauma from abusive parent, particularly alcoholic who came home from binges during the night; other traumas like house burning down, loved one dying in accident while you were sleeping, waking from nightmare as child and not being comforted, sexual abuse; sensitives or clairvoyants seeing ghosts or other spirits in bedroom; the list can go on. The point is that if we want to clear the “problem” of not sleeping (or any other physical issue), we need to get to the root cause. Once that is identified, we can clear and heal it.

Of course, the issue is that often the root cause is subconscious, that’s where our stories come into play. They allow the practitioner to follow the threads, hear what is being said unconsciously and sometimes they require investigative work. My teacher, David Dalton, tells a story about a client who would wake up every night with an anxiety attack. She could not sleep with blankets on her and needed the air conditioning on even in the winter (and this is in New England). As they were working he discovered that there was some sort of trauma that occurred when she was a baby, of course, she didn’t have a cognitive memory of this. When she asked her family, she discovered that she was nearly smothered to death by people putting coats in her crib, not realizing that she was sleeping in it. Imagine that! Had she gone to an allopathic doctor, she would have been given any number of medications to help her sleep and reduce her anxiety, all of which have potential side-effects, including some severe ones. These pills would never have uncovered the subconscious trauma that was plaguing her. Fortunately, she was able to identify it and clear the energetic imprint of the trauma which allowed her to sleep naturally.

While I am intrigued by stories, I recognize that there is also a danger in them. Sometimes we want to be a character rather than the author: we want to be viewed as the victim or martyr, we think that the story is static and unchanging, we wear our wounds as our armor. I see this last example so often in “survivors”, for example a person who experienced cancer wraps her identity around being a cancer survivor. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that this is a powerful and life changing event. I think it is great to embrace the changes and lessons that cancer brings into one’s life and I think it is good to encourage others going through the challenges of cancer. However, when you are forever stamped as a “cancer survivor”, you are forever connected to and continue to feed the energy of cancer.

I heard Tom Kenyon share one of the best examples of a person being limited by her story. He tells of a client he was working with who was paralyzed from the waist down. After working with her for awhile, she was able to stand and take several steps. Suddenly she collapsed. He asked her what happened when she collapsed. She said that she realized if she was able to walk, she would take her mother’s identity away from her, for her mother was her caregiver. This woman made a conscious decision to stay paralyzed so that her mother could keep her identity, her story.

Please know that if you find yourself being stuck or limited by your story, I have no judgment about this, for I have definitely found myself in the same position. I think we have enough blame and self-deprecation in our world and this does not benefit anyone. What I am offering is an awareness and an invitation to chose differently, to become the author, to heal the wounds and shift the energy, and to respond to ourselves and one another with Love, compassion, and forgiveness.

I recently returned from Ecuador, where I took part in a healing ceremony with a Shaman. The message for all of us was, “We are holding on to too much, we need to release our wounds.” I knew that this was true. As a society, we tend to hold on to the wrongs, the pains. My teacher, Rocio Alarcón, calls them our most precious jewels. The truth is that holding on to these creates inflammation and stagnation in our bodies. Many of our dis-eases and illnesses are connected to inflammation. So here is another chance to release and heal.

I feel part of the purpose (and responsibilities) of human life is to learn our lessons, grow and heal. When we are working at a source level, we work outside of space and time (linear time is after all, a human construct). Which means, when we heal, we heal the past (including our past lives and ancestors) and the future (including the future generations).

When things are going “crazy” in our world or events are occurring that I don’t like, I bring this back to my self. I ask, “What can I do?”, “What is it in me that contributes to this?”, “What do I need to heal?”, “What are my prejudices?” See I know that I cannot change anyone else (try as I might), that is their choice. However, I can change myself - in fact, it is my responsibility to change. Racism will continue to exist in this world as long as I have prejudices. Misogyny will continue as long as I expect men to treat women poorly. Am I responsible for all the actions in this world? No. However, as long as these wounds and limiting beliefs exist in me, they have to exist in the world. If I want the world to be healed, I have to heal me.

Again, this does not come from a place of self-hatred or loathing or guilt. This comes from a place of empowerment. I know that I have the ability to change my story and by changing my story, I have the ability to affect my life, the lives of those around me, and my world.

I invite you to become the author of your ever-changing story and to create the most beautiful story and world that you can dream. Hold this vision tight, for in order to manifest it, we have to dream it and believe in it. I know that it is possible!