Story up was created to help me heal. In all honesty, it was my last ditch effort to survive. Story up isn’t a forced dose of positivity. It’s a simple redirection of resources focused on serving your greater good. It meets you where you are with words and meaning that your mind, body and spirit understand.
You are way more powerful than what you give yourself credit for. Maybe, just maybe, your power has been misdirected or underutilized in the past. Stop wasting your energy and resources on thoughts and actions that keep you stuck or even worse prevent you from sharing your gifts with the world.
You want better?
Expect better. Do better. Live better. Don’t wait for it to happen, go out and make it happen.
Now’s your time. Regardless of where you are and what you want, now is always a good time to start.
We are conditioned to look for the negative. Throughout the history of mankind, it has helped us survive. Life teaches us lessons. Fire is hot...Not everyone is kind...Snakes can climb trees... As we learn more we store it and retain it for future reference. It becomes useful information to help prevent us from experiencing harm - one of the many amazing ways our body and mind continue to work together to keep us alive.
Not only do we look for the negative but our brains also like stories. Stories help us process, retain and recall information. So with a tendency to look for what could go wrong and the habit of building a story to understand and retain this information you have a recipe for imagining negative or even worse case scenario. We spend a lot of time using our imagination for worry and stress. So, what do you do about this?
First, become aware of what’s going on. Understanding that you tend to look to the negative (we’ll call this storying down) is an important fact to know about yourself and your fellow humans. Becoming aware gives you an opportunity to make a choice. When you notice yourself storying down stop and ask yourself these 2 questions:
1. Is the story you are telling yourself true? Not could it be true, but is it true? If not, then why are you creating this information?
2. Is the story you are telling yourself serving you well? Does imagining negative outcomes, worst case scenarios or stuff that makes you feel bad serve your highest good? I’m guessing your answer is NO. So, why are you spending your time and energy experiencing an imaginary story that doesn’t support what you want to see and experience in real life?
I’ll give you an example. When I was sick there was a point that we didn’t know if I would live or not. I laid there in bed and thought...processed my options...made up story after story about what was going to happen and imagined what life would be like on this path I was on. At one point, I was so sick that my prayer became “Please don’t let my son be the one to find me dead.” Yep, that’s what I was focused on. That’s where I was. Talk about worst case scenario.
After saying that prayer one day, I felt horrible. Not just my health issue horrible but a heavier almost disgusted with myself horrible. The words felt horrible. The thought of it all felt horrible. So, what was wrong? I decided to have a little chat with myself and check in to understand why I was going to such a dark place. As I explored and asked myself if this was true or not I immediately answered yes but... But what? Yes, it could be true. Yes, it was a possibility. Yes, I was sick. Yes, I might die that day. But outside the story I was telling myself, was it really going to happen? Probably not. Just because it’s a possibility doesn’t mean it will happen.
I was imagining this horrible story. Why? Was it serving me well? Nope. It sure wasn’t it. I was using my imagination for worry. Laying there helpless thinking about all the bad things that “could happen” didn’t help me at all. As a matter of fact it made me feel worse.
Realizing I was telling myself awful things and that I could choose differently was an eye opener for me. It was a turning point in my healing journey and helped shift me from victim of circumstance to empowered.
When I caught myself storying down I would immediately evaluate, wordsmith and change the story to serve me well on my healing journey. I wasn’t lying to myself, I was just using my imagination to story up. After all, if I was going to use my imagination to make shit up, then why not choose a good story instead? So that’s what I did – I storied up.
From the conversation you’re dreading with your boss...
to the story you tell yourself about the homeless person standing on the corner...
to the excuses you make when you think about going back to school...without realizing it you're making up stories as you go.
Are they positive? Are they true? Do they make you feel better? Are they serving you well?
The choice is yours. You can feed worry, stress and use your imagination to strengthen pathways in your brain to create negativity or you can choose a more positive path and Story Up.