We all have them. We all make them.
Fairytales, dreams, history, herstory, instastories…
At yet another point of transition- as summer draws to a close and fall waits to descend in the northern hemisphere- I look back at the stories I have collected; I look back at all of the events that have transpired to bring me where I am in this very moment. These cycles let me rediscover tales of my childhood, those of my parents, their parents, and theirs before them. I revisit the stories of my teachers and attempt to trace them back to where they came from: a never ending journey into time immortal.
And it becomes indisputable that every one of those stories- from the minute to the grandiose- has brought me to here, now. That the tragedy or “mistake” in a grandparent’s life is the very reason for my birth as a breathing, feeling, thinking body. That just as much as the synchronistic meeting of two 23-chromosome strands of DNA is responsible for the multiplication of cells that is now “me”, so is every story of ancestors/sages/life that has come before. It’s a ripple of connectivity through time and space- of karma.
When we do the work to understand where we are positioned amidst all these stories/karmas, it reminds us that in so many ways, we are not in control. That there are circumstances we are born into, that have happened to us, and that will not change. Yet it is this surrender to the external circumstance- to the stories we already have/have been given- that gives us freedom to turn inward. To notice our internal tensions, holding patterns, narratives… and ask, “What is it that I can choose within myself, within this moment?”
We can choose to create stories of contraction. Stories that hold, bind, and freeze onto existing patterns. These actions are certainly useful to draw focus inward in times where we feel scattered and overwhelmed- in fact, this freezing is one of three instinctual, reptilian brain reactions when we are met with trauma. It is a primal way of protecting ourselves in a highly sensitive moment.
We can also choose to live through stories of expansion. When we have the courage to create a space of trust and let ourselves explore this unknown story of curiosity, we give ourselves the potential to launch into a realm of possibility where old patterns cease to confine us. We begin to dissolve these loops and patterns- these samskaras– that may have us in dis-eased cycles and free up that focus toward creating a new story (I know, again?) because, well, we’re human.
Regardless of what transpires, accepting what is beyond our control and knowing that through it all, we still have choices is a magnificently human adventure. By directing continual attention to the internal movements in body, mind, and spirit, we become more intuitively aware of the stories we choose to create for ourself beyond the minutia of circumstance and into the infinite pulse of life.
We all have stories. We all make them. Which ones are you writing?
Writing and riding this journey with you.