What is the Title for the Book of Your Life?

Have you heard of narrative therapy? I recently learned about it, which led me to do a life story exercise that you might enjoy doing also. In this blog article I’ll share my experience with this fun tool. If you do the exercise, please let me know how it goes!

So, on the night of the Spring Equinox, I lay in bed feeling as though I had come to a dead end in my life. As I ruminated about how my computer barely still works, and about how ten years of hardships have culminated at this dead end, suddenly I had a breakthrough moment in which I took responsibility. I said to myself, “You chose to come to this dead end for some reason.”

Remembering that everything happens for a reason helped to ease the pain and sadness, and within a few days I felt myself opening again to the Field of Infinite Possibilities. I affirmed that I needed to gaze around 360 degrees and see the world with fresh eyes. Right about that time, a friend sent me an article which led me to learn about narrative therapy.

From that article I printed out the Life Story exercise. The first task is to write your Book Title. Well, I started out with a bang… without thinking much, I wrote, “Teja’s Story of Coming Full Circle to a Dead End.” Sighing, I asked myself, “Would it be possible to reframe that title in a more positive light?” Nothing positive came to me right then, so I continued on, and wrote the seven Chapter Titles, along with their descriptions. The goal of the exercise is to review your life in brief, so as to not go too deeply into any memories, especially if you are working through any traumas. (The exercise is written for healing trauma, but anyone can benefit from doing it.)

It was so neat to see the seven chapters laid out like that. It was especially wonderful to see that I really did come full circle, from Chaper 1: Life in the Nourishing Roots of Indiana (Wholesome and healthy family, religion, and farmland with lots of love and nurture) to Chapter 7: Returning Home to Roots of Indiana (Wholesome plant-based living with loving parents, writing, regrouping, and reinventing while doing daily spiritual practices and facing the realities of HSP*-ness).
*Highly Sensitive Person

The third task is to write the chapter title and description for “Into the Future” which I wasn’t able to do that day because I have no idea what I’m going to do in the future! So at that point I had to stop the exercise and eat some dark chocolate, lol. This was actually in keeping with the “Time Out” instructions at the beginning of the exercise: “Always reflect on your inner state and notice if you need a break from the exercise to find your inner calm.”

While enjoying my chocolate time out, I reflected on the beautiful perspective I had gained through that writing exercise. It gave me a deeper understanding, which helped me to say, “I forgive and bless my whole past. I forgive and bless my whole life story and all the characters in it!”

Well, a few days later when I was feeling calm and positive, I finally got around to reframing my Book Title. I am very pleased with this new version: “Teja’s Story of Coming Full Circle to Her Happy Place, Reaching for Orange!” Orange is a joyful, happy color, and on the Hindu Yoga Path it represents the fire of renunciation, of renouncing worldly attachments and desires to focus on the Happiness within oneself. Through my daily spiritual practices I experience that happiness, so my “happy place” is right here inside my very own self.

I’ll end this article with a quote from Lisa Smartt, from her book Words at the Threshold: What We Say As We’re Nearing Death… “The happiest lives are framed by narratives that allow us to imagine we have made progress…”

Do you feel that you have made progress in your life so far?

 

image courtesy Public Domain Pictures

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Your Future Self: A Visualization Practice

Where would you like to be six months from now? On September 10th, 2019 who would you like to be?

Visualizing your future self is a powerful practice that can help you to achieve your goals. First, write down your visualization, and then read it out loud daily until you memorize it. Once you memorize it, then you can just think it in your mind, or continue reading it out loud if you prefer. Either way, include multi-sensory aspects, such as how you feel in your future self’s body, as well as what you are seeing, hearing, smelling, and tasting in the body of your future self. Continue this practice daily for 3-4 weeks, or until it begins to feel complete.

Here is an example of my future self visualization for six months from now. I wrote mine in third person, but you could write yours in first person if that feels more comfortable to you.

On September 10th, 2019, Sister Teja is a StarFire Superstar Dynamo! Sri Rama healed her nervous system and re-calibrated her body so that now she is able to handle doing a lot of work with ease and grace. She is stronger on every level, and now she efficiently runs all that energy that surges through her. She is harnessing the positive aspects of being an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), through her work: offering spiritual care to the dying and their families; posting helpful blog articles; leading StarFire Healing Circles in which she shares do-able spiritual practices with others; AND happily promoting her new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, and Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life. Through it all, she is enjoying the Happiness & Radiance of the Spiritual Life. Her body feels vibrant and healthy. She sees the Divine in everyone and everything. She enjoys the color orange, the scent of vetiver, and the taste of hot black coffee.

Sharing your future self visualization can give it a boost of energy. When others witness your vision, that gives it even more power. So I encourage you, if you feel comfortable, to share your future self vision in the comments below, down where it says “Leave a Reply.”

May All Beings Be Happy!

 

image Courtesy NASA Goddard

The Power of Intention is StarFire Awesome!

In a recent blog, “Guided Imagery Exercise for Difficult Emotions” I shared that I am carrying a deep grief in my heart. Well, the last week of February I got slammed with a grief wave that affected me on every level. I felt miserable, with back pain, neck pain, exhaustion, headaches, upset stomach, extra sensitivity (even more than my usual HSP-ness!), dizziness, depression, irritability, and anxiety. I cried often and I felt quite a bit of despair, fearing that I will never recover from the grief.

Have you ever felt that miserable?

So then on March 1st, I was feeling a tad better and I gathered my wits and set some intentions. I posted my “keywords for March” on Facebook: Acceptance, Forgiveness, Peace, & Grace… And then… something amazing happened. The very next day I felt those keywords actualizing in my being. I truly felt Acceptance, Forgiveness, Peace, & Grace… I felt so much more clear about everything, and I felt at peace with my whole past. I said out loud, “I accept and bless everything that has happened in my life.”

Gratitude was ringing in every cell. It was as if I had passed through a dark portal, like a brutal shamanic journey through excruciating pain, and popped out the other side into the radiant orange light!

Wow, I am telling you, if you don’t already know (and reminding you if you do know), that the power of intention is StarFire Awesome! The next time you’re going through a dark portal, remember to set some positive keywords (and share them with others to give them even more power), and then be amazed by the results! Holy Coconut Shells, it is so awesome to feel at peace with your past. I wish this for you also.

And, we are human and ever-changing. Our emotions rise and fall like ocean waves, which means that I may still have more work to do on Acceptance and Forgiveness. But for now I’m enjoying this state of Peace & Grace… And I’m feeling hopeful, willing, and curious for what is next…

How are you feeling today?

 

image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech