Choose two characteristics that you’d like to reinforce in yourself. Recount one or two empowering stories from your past relating to each of these characteristics.
I am able to synthesize information and experiences, and form meaningful stories that help me to see the, or a, bigger picture and re-story the events of my life into empowering reminders of the choices I have, as to how to see the world in a way that empowers myself and others to become aware of possibility.
At a pivotal time in my life, I decided to write a blog. A blog about my personal experiences, and how I metabolized them. It was a bold move on my part. I always have enjoyed writing and the power of story and had recently become aware, that what i enjoyed writing most, was creative non- fiction. Creative Non- fiction is, defined by Creative Non-Fiction Magazine, this way:
"In some ways, creative nonﬁction is like jazz—it’s a rich mix of ﬂavors, ideas, and techniques, some of which are newly invented and others as old as writing itself. Creative nonﬁction can be an essay, a journal article, a research paper, a memoir, or a poem; it can be personal or not, or it can be all of these. "
There is actually more to the definition, or less:
"True stories well told" or "You can't make this stuff up."
"...the creative nonﬁction writer will show that subject, place, or personality, vividly, memorably—and in action. In scenes."
So I began to share some scenes from my life, in a blog and I found that, in the process of doing it, I found the story I wanted to experience most. The story within the story. I'd found my own little pocket monk inside myself. Ultimately my blogs were an online journal. I gave myself immediate permission to write whenever I felt moved to do so. No rules. No expectations. I'd let inspiration move me. That in itself meant the stories I shared were meaningful.
I called the blog, Digging Deeper.
I use the word metabolize. Ultimately, I'd like to reinforce the ability to synthesize, which means at times I have to step back, as is suggested by Timothy B. Wilson in his book, Redirect, and wait for things to marinate in order to metabolize the experience in such a way that it digests. I have a choice.
"Digestion is the process by which the large molecules are broken down into their smaller subunits. This also means that the subunits can be built back up in different ways, so for example chicken muscle protein can be broken down and built back up to produce human muscle protein, or connective tissue or hair."
Digestion takes time. The small intestine is how many feet long?
As a young friend who likes to read my blog once said, "Oh! It has a lesson!"
Forming meaningful stories takes time. Submitting to time is an art. Somewhere down the line, I changed the name of my blog to "The Art of the Matter."
There were experiences in my life I was reluctant to write about. One was a time when, in the midst of it, I was overcome with "what if." When I did write about it, by the miracle of digestion, some enzymes came along and broke it down for me. And I could see it twenty-twenty.
In order to reinforce, we have to remind ourselves. So I affirm:
I am able to synthesize information and experiences, and form meaningful stories that help me to see the, or a, bigger picture and re-story the events of my life into empowering reminders of the choices I have; as to how to see the world in a way that empowers myself and others to become aware of possibility.
I haven't written in my blog in a while. It's not that I haven't felt inspired. I have. Some things just take time to marinate. To metabolize. To digest. It's an art.
Question: How can I step back to see the big picture so that I can give myself the opportunity to reinforce the skills of synthesis and forming meaningful stories?
Can I create meaningful stories in which I choose to see benefits of a situation, and point to possibility?
(This exercise was taken from The Certificate in Positive Psychology Program I am currently enrolled in through Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.)