Slowly, but surely, and at the most basic level, I am beginning to understand that my entire life is built upon the foundation of stories. The stories I have been told and the stories that I have taken on as my own.
Being who I am, where I am, and HOW I am, I’ve been on a quest as of late to understand where my stories come from and why they exist for me in the way that they do. Equally, how do my stories shape my beliefs, affect my decisions, and ultimately create the world I exist in?
As children, we learn from our parents, our teachers, and our culture at large what is acceptable and what is expected. We are TAUGHT how to act, what to believe, and consequently, we begin to shape our understanding of life based on what we “know to be true”. But then, ultimately, it’s up to each of us to decide what is real and what isn’t.
I’m deep into discovering what is real for me right now. What are my stories and where do they come from? Why do I believe some things and not others? The more I get into it, the more I get into it 😉
What is my story regarding what a family looks like? Or what a relationship is supposed to be?
How do I feel about money and work and the integration of passion and joy?
Do I FEEL free to express myself and say to say YES to life with open arms or do I see the world as one huge limitation?
How do I show up for myself and others, and is it FINALLY time to drop the old story that in order to stay safe I have to stay small? (Yes, it totally is.)
Can I let go of the story that just because I don’t have it all figured out right now that I never will or that I am incapable of doing anything worthwhile, ever?
So many stories. And perhaps my biggest, most limiting story of all, that I have been told on a spiritual, soul, karmic level by my own self, my family, my culture, AND my ancestors is this idea that wealth is limited, that money is difficult to make and even more difficult to hold onto – that money creates struggle. Where’s the story that fulfillment and joy are the very BASIS of work, that financial ease is EASILY attainable and that it IS possible to align my purpose, my vocation, and my passion?
Oooh, that’s a big one. I can feel it even as I write it. There is SO much there for me.
I’ve learned a lot in my life. I’ve learned and I’ve learned and I’ve learned and now it is time to UNLEARN IT ALL. I believe that in order to gain a clearer understanding of anything at all, we must unlearn everything we know. And right now I’m all about it.
Had I been born into a different country, a different culture, a different FAMILY, or at a completely different time on this planet, ALL of my stories would be different. And if my stories were different, then MY LIFE WOULD BE DIFFERENT.
What are your views on wealth? Did you grow up with parents who knew how to manage their resources and saw the financial world as their playground, or did you grow up in a family where there was never enough, where money created struggle?
What stories have you created from your experiences? And how much of what you believe belongs to YOU versus to the people around you?
What about drugs, y’all? A very large part of our population believes it is 100% ok to consume sugar, caffeine, and processed foods on the regular. Tobacco is also widely accepted, if not approved of, and increasingly, marijuana is taking it’s place on the mainstream stage. But plant medicines and psychedelics? Holy moly, stand back, no way, that sh** is bad. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.
It goes on and on. EVERYTHING IS A STORY. Everything is a creation of our beliefs.
The story of what are we are afraid of. The story of how do we feel in our own bodies. The story of whether or not we are excited to be alive. Why or why not? What have you ALWAYS told yourself out of fear or limitation or expectation that, upon further inspection, isn’t actually true?
The more I unpack this stuff, the more I realize just how surface level my understanding of pretty much EVERYTHING is and even though I don’t know squat, it sure is fun finding that out.
There are worlds upon worlds out there, my friends, and it’s time we stop creating our own limitations on what we are allowed to experience.
I went to dinner with a friend a couple of weeks ago and we went deep into dreams and desires, purpose and passion, mission and vocation, what makes us feel alive. What do you want to do? Why are you here? What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had? What are you working on? What is one thing you want to accomplish? It’s conversations like this that keep me going. All I want to do is to GO DEEP. And then laugh and play.
I was describing to this man what my biggest dreams are right now. I told him with conviction that I knew it might takes years and years and tons of hard work to get where I’m going, but that I was 100% committed and would keep going no matter.
With a sparkle in his eye, he kindly and quietly made the comment, “That’s a story”.
I didn’t even catch it at first. I just kept talking. But then, after a few moments of time when my busy brain finally caught on to the subtle beauty of what he had said, I paused and considered it. “What do you mean?” I asked. “What’s a story?”
“The idea that it will take a lot of time and hard work to get there. That’s just a story. It doesn’t have to”.
And just like that, my entire world fell apart all over again. Just when I begin to think I have the slightest clue as to what’s going on, everything I think I know comes crumbling down and I freaking LOVE IT.
He was so right. I had in my mind this idea, this STORY, that earning a living from writing, from sharing my experiences and adventures, from traveling the world and CONNECTING with people, from being a part of an effort to transform the world and to figure out what works best for us human beings, would take a VERY long time.
And you know what? Maybe it will.
And equally, maybe it won’t.
It’s all just a story.
It is when our stories become our identities, when we believe them as truth, that things get tricky. We grow attached to who we think we are and what we believe life to be.
I’m examining my own stories because I want to shed them. I want to see beyond the curtain and step into the world unlimited possibilities that I know exists out there for me.
I’m doing the work, and contained within it is the opportunity to choose freedom in every moment.