You have asked for ways to get more creative and we are listening. Chris Cade (Inscribe Your Life, Spiritual Short Stories) has agreed to work (play) with us – providing us with a series of training articles to get us involved and active in writing our stories.
For those of us just looking for a way to get in touch with what we are holding inside – this work will be fun and transformative.
For those of us who are interested in writing and sharing what we write with the world – this series will give you an opportunity to do that as well – because each of the sessions after this one will include writing assignments – with the opportunity to submit your work for potential publication on Chris’s Spiritual Short Stories site – and (drum roll please) we are also working on a plan to have one or two (or three?) published on the Evolution Ezine as well.
Your only assignment for this first article is to leave us a comment and let us know what you think (Chris gives some more details at the end of the post).
Writing – both for myself and for all of you – transforms my life – over and over again. It feels so wonderful to know that it will soon be doing the same for you
You’ve probably read a story that was both entertaining and insightful. Maybe it was the classic Christian story, “Footsteps,” perhaps Aesop’s fable “The Tortoise and the Hare,” or my childhood favorite, “The Little Engine that Could.” When you discover stories that connect with you personally, you hold them and their lessons in your heart for your entire lives.
For centuries, spiritual sages have told short stories to enlighten and inspire others, and counting the stories that Jesus and the Buddhas have told might take a lifetime. In fact, it would probably take several lifetimes to fully integrate the wisdom within those stories. And the reason people continue to tell, and love, short stories is because stories are the most effective way to communicate incredibly powerful ideas.
Plato understood this in 388 BC when he asked the City Fathers to ban storytellers, and today’s spiritual leaders like Dan Millman, Eckhart Tolle, and Paulo Coelho, also understand this power and continue the storytelling tradition.
Whether you’re consciously aware of this or not, you intuitively think in narrative structures. This could be talking about your day, connecting with a friend, or reflecting on your experiences. In fact, during a study of the language patterns of a particular two year old known as “Emily,” it was discovered that before going to bed, the little girl’s seemingly irrelevant babbling revealed a powerful secret:
Even before she could construct full sentences, her language patterns showed that she was babbling about what she had done that day and was even planning what she was going to do the following day! Now take a moment to imagine that in your own life – Like that two year old, you intuitively understood your daily experiences as stories before you knew all the words to communicate them to others.
As you can see, stories imprint themselves into our brains naturally from your earliest years. Stories are how you understand best, so when you understand the nature of how stories are created, adopted, and shared, then you begin to transform your life in miraculous ways.
When you take the next step of writing stories, then you directly access the deepest parts of your psyche and soul. You can reach inside and pull out the subconscious imprints that are most valuable to your personal development, and then put them on paper for your conscious mind to see and work with. This process of bringing your subconscious into the conscious can result in rapid and significant personal transformation.
Few people recognize the utmost importance and value of understanding their stories and so they continue remaining stuck in their old limiting and disabling life stories. They don’t realize that the tools and opportunities are available for them to literally become the hero of their life stories.
Even more unfortunately, is that most people never try writing stories because they don’t think they’re good enough. Sometimes it’s because they think they aren’t creative enough, or won’t do it right, and many people have a fear of rejection that underlies much of what they do in life (including understanding and writing stories).
It’s a classic paradox because without trying they’ll never feel good enough. Having fears about writing is normal for most authors, and it is rare to come across a writer without them. My own fears were only overcome by actually writing – by “being” a writer.
The thing about writing is that none of us are writers until we are writing. “Who” and “what” we are changes from moment to moment. We may identify with what we do in life; for example we may call ourselves computer engineers, energy healers, writers, teachers, or the many other labels we give ourselves based on what we do.
But we can only associate with that label while we are doing the associated action!
Think about that for a moment. While driving a car, are you a writer? No. You’re a driver. Understanding this distinction is imperative to overcoming a new writer’s most basic objection: “I’m not a writer! I’ve never even written a story!”
And you’re right.
Until you’re writing, you’re not a writer. Therefore, the first piece of advice I offer is to ignore any fear and just start writing (don’t worry, Cyndi and I are going to help you with this). More importantly, remember this:
Every single fear you might have about writing is based on your belief that somebody will judge you.
Read that sentence again. Maybe read it several times. Afterwards, challenge yourself to find a single fear you have about writing that does not distill down to the fear of judgment. Also realize that one simple perspective shift eliminates that fear instantly. You see, not all stories are meant to be read. Sometimes writing a story is like a journal and you might write it as your own internal monologue to help you work through issues you’re having or to explore topics you’re curious about.
“Write for the pleasure of writing. As the pen traces out words on the paper, your anguish disappears and your happiness remains. For this to happen, it is necessary to have the courage to look deep inside yourself.” – Paulo Coelho
As long as you write first and foremost for yourself, every single fear disappears instantly. Understanding the more personal elements of writing enables us to get past fears you might have about being a “good” or “bad” writer. Only after the story is written does the question arise, “Do I want to share this?”
“Sometimes the story finds the storyteller. Not the other way around.” – T.L. Pearson, from the movie Neverwas
The other biggest reason why people never write stories is because they say they’re “not interested” or because it “isn’t for me.” I know that all too well because I never intended to write stories either. I had absolutely no interest in understanding stories, and especially not writing them; but what I discovered over time is that there were stories within me that wanted to be told.
I had experiences that my heart wanted to share with the world, but because I wasn’t “interested” and because I didn’t identify with the label of being a “writer,” I dismissed those heart’s wishes. In fact, it wasn’t until I came into direct contact with another “accidental story writer” that I even became aware that my heart had stories it wanted to share. This wasn’t a path I consciously chose.
Even so, without any prior knowledge of story structure or writing I stumbled through this process of converting my heart’s wishes into words on paper. I fumbled with my own writing, and I battled with my doubts and fears until I finally accepted that there was a storyteller inside me who I never knew. It also took me several months of writing stories before I realized how much this process of writing stories was transforming me into the very person I wanted to be. The hidden blessings continued to compound and enable me to become the person who shares his experiences and insights with you today.
What I ultimately discovered is that writing stories is an expression of our holistic selves connecting both with our selves and sometimes others. It allows those of us who have never considered ourselves to be “story writers” to find great enjoyment and meaning in writing our own stories. Writing stories enables us to quite literally re-write the stories of our lives in a way that is both intuitive to the way we think (which is why it’s so effective).
One of the assuring aspects of writing stories is that it’s a guaranteed winning situation. In the worst case, you gain some experience and throw away a story as most authors do hundreds or thousands of times. The best case is that you write a famous story that impacts the lives of millions of people. Usually you will write a story somewhere in between: one that impacts yourself in a meaningful way and also touches the people who are close to you.
Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you how to apply an understanding of stories to various aspects of your life. We’ll explore concrete actions you can take to empower yourself with more creativity, success, and abundance, so that you can re-write the story of your life.
my audio titled, “Think Without the Box®”. It’s about 30 minutes long (you can also download the PDF transcript), and here’s just a little bit of what you’ll discover:
After you listen, please come back here share your thoughts and experiences with Cyndi and I. We’d love to know what you think of this topic about understanding and writing stories, and we’d especially like to hear about some of the ways you think this kind of work might be able to support you in living your own ideal, empowered, and abundant life.
|Your Partner In Transformation,