YOUR STORY CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE
We Are Great Storytellers
From the time we are children, sharing is part of our human experience. Communicating our tales is essential to building a sense of community and belonging. With our words, we help shape our cultures, beliefs, and ultimately our actions.
Throughout our lives, our stories get woven together into chapters. These chapters become volumes of books about our experiences. We keep these books on our mental shelves and each day we choose which ones to pull out and focus on. We tell these stories to others. We also repeat them to ourselves in our self-talk. Each time we replay these memories or thoughts about ourselves we reinforce their importance. Sometimes the stories build us up and help us feel better. Other times they focus on aspects of ourselves or our experiences that we wish were different.
Through my spiritual journey and becoming more mindful or aware of my words, I’ve realized that I have the power to choose which stories of my life I want to live in each day. We all have the power to decide which books to pull off or to leave on our shelves. We also have the ability to open to blank pages and start writing a brand new chapter.
Our brains are pretty amazing and can be trained to focus on what we most want. Through practices such as mindfulness, yoga, and meditation, we become more aware of our inner world. We learn to slow down, sit back, and observe ourselves. When we have a bit of space from our typical thinking patterns, we can decide whether to engage in those thoughts or shift to something else.
Deciding On Destinations
I picture our thoughts being like trains pulling out of a station. They tend to head down the most traveled tracks automatically. If we want to make lifestyle changes, we want to know about those most traveled tracks and decide whether we want to go to that location or not. We learn to ask, “Does that route make me feel good?” and “Is it leading me in the direction of my goals and dreams?”
When we start realizing the direction of our thoughts, we can start deciding on which directions they should travel in. You become much like the train conductor switching the train onto a new route. Our ability to change how our thoughts are routed down our neuropathways is what scientists call neuroplasticity. Retraining your thoughts takes patience and practice, but can be well worth the effort in creating more positive thoughts and ultimately stories.
As a Feng Shui practitioner, I understand that the physical environment that we live and work in can reinforce the stories we tell and what we are thinking about. Where we live and work reinforces our concepts of who we are and what’s important to us. Our belongings hold the memories and emotions of when they were collected or given to us. By interacting with them regularly, they keep the stories of that time in the present tense.
As you look around your spaces, your belongings may fill your heart with positive emotions and inspiration. They may encourage the thoughts you want to think and the goals you want to achieve. If, however, your things remind you of times that made you sad, angry, anxious, or other negatively charged emotions, seeing them in your home every day, may keep those emotions running high. In order to move on, you may need to put away or give away the burdensome things.
Feng Shui offers mindfulness for your surroundings. It can help your home support you in positive, meaningful ways. Listen to how your belongings speak to you. Decide if your environment nurtures the thoughts you want to think and the stories you want to tell. Inspirational quotes, meaningful artwork, and symbols of what you are working toward placed in your home or office will support you both physically and metaphysically. With some positive intentions and thoughtful placement of your things, your environment will remind you and anyone who comes into those spaces of your goals and dreams.
Think about the next chapter of your story and how you’d like it to be written. Perhaps, you’re ready for more creative pursuits and you’d enjoy an area for your music or crafts? If slowing down and introspection is most needed, maybe you’d enjoy a meditation or reading spot? Starting a new work venture? Maybe it’s time for a home office or reorganizing the work space you already have? It’s ok to express your passions and creativity and step into the chapters of who you most want to be.
Listen to the voice of your inner spirit. It will guide you. Become an observer of your thoughts and surroundings. With a little practice and supportive spaces around you, you can become your train’s conductor and decide how the next chapters in your story get written.