When I was little I would beg and beg my father to tell me a story at bedtime. Not read, tell me. I got so excited about the adventure of it all, the spontaneity and could feel immediately connected in some way to the characters.
Today I’m equally curious about people’s stories. I’m drawn even more to those who share openly, authentically, and don’t hide the stuff they’re most afraid of. These are the stories that make me feel immediately connected and that I belong—acknowledgement that we are all human beings moving through our emotions and experiences in life. We all have our high days and our low days. There’s always so much more behind the picture, the face, the photo.
At our Creating a Life You Love Balance workshops we open with a conversation about balance and what brought people into the room. I’m mesmerised by this—the gradual yet deliberate shift in energy in the room as each individual shares a short snippet of their own ‘story’. Shoulders relax, there’s a release of breaths around the room, a slight smile emerges or a simple nod, and the eagerness of energy starts to rush to someone’s cheeks.
The penny drops.
“If they feel like that too, then maybe it’s okay for me to feel this way”.
In NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) one of the core principles in human behaviour is that ‘perception is not reality’. i.e. Just because you perceive everyone is against you, judging you or that there is no possible way to change your circumstances, does not mean it’s REALY. Or a fact.
Questioning the validity of our brain’s autopilot responses (which create our perceptions) can unlock a whole world of possibilities, or realities you may have been missing.
Which is why I particularly love the power of a great story, shared vulnerably—it completely shakes up and challenges your perception of your world. You’re immediately forced to take into account the ‘reality’ that you’ve been missing: other people feel this way too. It’s okay. I am good enough.
So how can you be your own reality curator? To use the power of a great story to shake up your perception of your current reality? Doing so will get you unstuck, moving forward, connecting in with yourself.
Being in a state of curiosity means completely removing all judgement. Of yourself, of others. Believing that there is no such thing as right or wrong. Instead of casting a judgement or view automatically on a situation, choosing to bring curiosity. Every morning for a week, start your day by writing out: Today I choose to be curious. Then just notice what happens. Observe your thoughts throughout the day. From a space of curiosity.
To dig up and observe more reality, you are going to have to actually start digging. Start journaling your thoughts that come up when being curious. Anything will do. Put pen to paper and just write whatever comes out in that moment. One word. One page. Anything. Remember, there’s no right or wrong. Even if you kept this practice up for one week, you will have uncovered lots. When journaling, it’s like you are excavating an archaeological site and simply placing the artifacts to one side, in a chest to examine in more detail later. Dig, pick it up, place in chest. Move on.
At the end of the week, start to review your journal of curated thoughts. And start to challenge them: Is this really the case? What else could be true here? Just like you would be sitting down to chat with your best friend, consider what you might say to them to bring compassion and kindness, sprinkle this same level of attentiveness to yourself as you go through your journal. If it helps, pause for a moment before sitting down, close your eyes and literally picture your best friend in front of you. Feel the love you have for them. Notice where you feel it in your body. Then hold that feeling as you open your eyes and start observing your own thoughts. Once you’ve challenged them and done a ‘reality check’, write out the first three things that come to mind that you would tell your friend in this same situation. Say those three things OUT LOUD to yourself. Over and over and over again. Keep referring back to those things during the following week, bring more and more compassion and kindness to yourself.
Want to bring even more connection into your life? Our next two workshops will be focusing on helping you to prioritise yourself more in life, reduce overwhelm and bring in more self-love so you can truly start experiencing your life more fully. Check out our events page for more info: www.thedaisypatch.co.uk/events. And if you’ve loved this post and got some insight into your own life, please do share.