You’ve been told stories all your life!
So it’s no wonder you, and I, each have a storytelling mind.
- Easter Holy Week in the Christian Church is a story shared annually while every religion has its own catalogue of rich and inspiring stories.
- We love watching film and drama and love our daily fix.
- Advertisements on TV and radio create enticing stories to persuade you to buy.
- Politicians and politics have a body of stories, for you to align with or not.
- And there’s a continual feed of stories in the news, all with their own agenda.
What, if any of this storytelling, do you trust, believe or dismiss?
As a child, you may have thrived on stories and make-believe. As an adult you are likely to still enjoy stories through the realm of film, drama, poetry and music.
Yet storytelling is more deeply ingrained than that. And we are currently in the thick of questioning the validity of much of it in our social media.
Yuval Noah Harari, in his book, ‘Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind’ says, ‘Telling effective stories is not easy. The difficulty lies not in telling the story, but in convincing everyone else to believe it… gods, nations or limited liability companies.’
We take much for granted, we assume an awful lot. Look at how strongly we believe certain things as if they are facts. In truth, we live a dual reality:
On the one hand, the objective reality of rivers, trees and lions; and on the other hand, the imagined reality of gods, nations and corporations … Large numbers of strangers can cooperate successfully by believing in common myths … that exist only in people’s collective imagination.
Yuval Noah Harari
So we have our parables, fables, myths and legends, politics and religions. They have taught us to live alongside each-other and to cooperate effectively. This has been made possible through the power of our created stories.
But it also means humans created the imagined orders and devised hierarchy that we experience around the world today.
The upper levels enjoyed privileges and power, while the lower ones suffered from discrimination and oppression..
Yuval Noah Harari
Humans bought into these stories a long time ago, and we continue to play these stories out right now. Without awareness of this, we are sleepwalking through our lives.
What personal stories do you tell yourself?
You will have your own favourite storylines. Which of your stories do you fall for? They are either from the past or a vague fearful future. They will include situations as well as stories that you believe about yourself.
‘I’m a bit of a failure’
‘I’m no good at that’
‘He hates me’
‘I am superior to you’
Does believing them help you to live a more joyful life?
And many of these personal stories go round and round your head at night. The difficult parts of your life can intrude like nightmares and play out constantly.
This is where your mindful practice and meditation can help to reduce your storytelling mind
It’s an invitation to trust your own intuition.
In-tuition = tuition from a source within rather than an external source
- To develop trust in yourself alone you must start with a willingness to be quiet and still.
- Centre yourself.
- Connect with your breathing.
- Then immerse yourself in this calm space and let your own inner wisdom unfold.
At the same time, you are also cultivating a sense of Mystery.
Mystery cannot be solved, can never be known. It can only be lived … Life is process, and process has Mystery woven into it.
Rachel Naomi Remen
And so you have the choice to stand back from your storytelling mind. It’s a choice to develop trust in yourself and not make assumptions based on world narratives.
With a healthy sprinkling of curiosity you can surrender to the mystery and wonder in your life!
Don’t believe everything around you or in your own mind! Let your mindful self be the curator of your story!
Storytelling Quotes – from an interesting Marketing website
Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
My Grandfather’s Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen
To wake up to the big corporate stories: Naomi Klein‘s work
Yvette Jane – Mindfulness & Meditation Skills at Place of Serenity