Stories, like life, are filled with infinite choices . . . to keep, to deliberate, to hide, to stuff, to revisit, to camouflage, to excavate, to refurbish, to refresh, to retell or to let go. Stories, the meaning we attach to the events of our lives, as we attempt to process or to make sense out of what happened: . . . OK it did happened . . . I don’t know how I can go on from here . . . It’s not fair . . . I didn’t do anything . . . What right do they have . . . How can people be so happy, don’t they get it . . . ? The list goes on.
These responses and the feelings we put behind these stories make them feel real. They can also make it feel as if what happened is still happening. Almost leaving us wondering if what happened will never really end. In moving beyond the immediate story and its impact on our lives; we get to choose. We get to choose the story of our experiences. We get to choose how and how often this story is told. We get to choose where and when this story is told. Where we tell it. We also get to choose when to change it or when to let it go.
One way to refurbish and retell an old story, especially a painful one, is to briefly revisit the experience. If the story still feels overwhelming, just ask yourself; Right now, in this moment, am I safe? In revisiting the experience of the story, look for and identify things that went well, that went better than expected, that prevented a bad situation from getting worse or that you or someone else never imaged or expected you could do. Things such as: . . . Remaining calm in the moment . . . Supporting the people around us with certainty and clarity when we ourselves were facing indescribable amounts of fear and uncertainty . . . Acknowledging our strengths and our courage . . . Identifying something we never imaged we could do but we did it such as: Going back to work the next day . . . Reaching out for help . . . Standing up in court . . . Making a decision that lessened the impact of what was happening Here too the list goes on.
So let’s take a moment and give ourselves this much desired credit for being remarkably exceptional and awesomely great. Sometimes we forget how unexpectedly courageous, incredibly strong and creatively resourceful we truly are.Now, herein, lies an amazing story to tell.by Grace Wolbrink with no comments yet
Story is a powerful tool that all of us use and experience everyday. In story – Life is as it is . . . change happens . . . life will never be the same again. Now what? . . . A new normal unfolds. Story is also the meaning we add to things we have experienced. The most powerful stories of our lives tend to be ones that we attach a great deal of emotional impact or significance to. These type of stories often focus on significant losses in our lives . . . loved ones, our own health, jobs, relationships, material wealth . . .
When faced with sudden or unexpected change in our lives we immediately seek to somehow “make sense” of what has happened. To find or add meaning and significance to an event that we have experienced; often painful, but not always. People frequently replay the images of what has happened over and over in their mind’s eye. Images of how they remember things happening. How they might have happened if something was different or what could have happened if only they would have known or done something different . . .
When we step into the power of story, we step into the reality of story. Folktales, fairy-tales, based-on-true-stories and personal stories are all real. The power of a good book, a story well told, a great movie . . . is it’s ability to engage audiences in the reality of the characters’ experiences and the world they live in. We see their world through the images in our mind’s eye or projected on a screen. We experience our own feelings and emotions based on the story of our life experiences as we interact with the reality of the characters and their story line.
When we tell our own stories, especially ones we have told over and over, we too bring others into the reality of these stories; the reality of our perceived life experiences. Our listeners may experience the reality of our stories through the images in their mind’s eye and the experiences of their own lives.
A story is a series of images that we attach meaning and emotional significance to. It’s ours to tell, to change, not to tell or to stop at any given point. In the end, aspects of these stories become our story(s) – whether we are telling it, reading it, listening to it or seeing it. Through the power of story and the impact of its images, we become a part of the story and as parts of these stories become a part of our personal stories – in essence a part of our living reality. Because of this, it is ultimately our story and our choice.
The power of story impacts our lives. Whether it is through personal conversations or some type of entertainment, books or even a newscast, ask yourself . . . Is this the kind of story I want to be apart of right now? Is this the best kind of story for me in my life right now? Is this the kind of story I want to continue sharing and being a part of right now?
Until next time . . . Changing Stories – Impacting Lives.by Grace Wolbrink with no comments yet
No one expects to witness or to be involved in robbery, to witness violence or death, to witness the far-reaching loss through acts of nature . . . but it happens. Now what? The first step is always acknowledging what has happened . . . yes, it really did happen. Acknowledging and naming: I am so sorry that . . . has happened. Give yourself a chance to grieve, to tell a trusted person. Give yourself permission to seek out people who will be supportive to and of you. This may or may not be your family, close friends or inner circle of co-workers, for their ability to listen and support you might be hampered by their love and concern for you, or their fears of what “might have happened if . . .” While these concerns are real feeling surfacing inside of your family and friends. As a result of what you experienced, the people close to you may also need some support; this is not your job. It is OK for you to acknowledge and focus on what you might need at this time. What happened is not your fault. You did nothing “wrong”.
Looking back at what happened . . . How did you handle this experience at the time it happened? What did you do to help someone else? How did you make things easier for the people around you? What kind of positive, courageous difference did you make at the time of this crisis? Make a list of how you helped out during this un-imaginable experience. Through answering these questions you may find that you have significantly impacted someone(s) live(s) for the better. You might also become aware of some new strengths and skills that you were not aware of. It takes strength and courage to move through a traumatic experience. It takes strength and courage to move on with your life. You have an amazing wealth of strength and courage inside yourself. How do I know? You are here reading this blog post. Acknowledge the gifts, skills and strength that is truly apart of who you are and what you have to offer, even in the mist of a traumatic experience.
Until next time . . . Story Impact: Changing stories – Transforming lives.by Grace Wolbrink with no comments yet
Unexpected events happen in life. Banks, stores and people get robbed. Tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and other acts of nature happen. People suddenly, unexpected die. Wars have been and are a part of this world’s reality.
“I wasn’t there . . . this type of thing never happened to me . . . I almost feel guilty that I can not relate . . .” What do I say? I know they hurt.
You might start with saying: I am so sorry this (say the name the event) happened. I am so sorry that (say the name of the person) died. I am so sorry that your were robbed. I am so sorry that your house is gone . . . Then listen. Don’t worry about what you are going to say. Listening is not waiting for your turn to talk. Listening goes beyond what your ears are hearing. Listening it is simply listening. Listening involves being fully present and focused on the person who is talking. When we are truly listening to another person, we often intuitively just know what to say to this person.
If you have the time, the energy and the desire to offer to help, do so. In offering your assistance it is often most helpful to the other person if you are specific about the kind of help that you have to offer:
“I am going to the story tomorrow, what would you like me to get for you?”
“I am going to our meeting Thursday, would you like me to pick you up at three o’clock?”
“I just made an extra big batch of soup, would it be OK to bring some over after six o’clock tonight?”
Just offering your help and a telephone number might be too much for a person in crisis to process. Making what you are able to do for them and what might be helpful to this individual makes it easier for them to accept or decline your offer.
If appropriate, give a hug. Always a nice way to let another person know that you care, especially when words just don’t say it all.
Until next time . . . Story Impact: Changing stories – Transforming lives.by Grace Wolbrink with no comments yet
Albert Einstein emphasizes the power of imagination in our lives. Image, the basis of imagination stems from the physical image of ideas and events in our lives. Stories are simply the meaning we attach to these images. Is seeing believing? Yes, we have already begun to see and experience the reality of this idea or image through the story we have put around it.
Aunt Allison’s nose scorching pancakes might be one of those images. The aroma coupled with the spontaneous explosion of flames ascending from her electric store top is still as fresh in your mind’s eye and olfactory senses as the day it happened.
How about your impending trip through the Bermuda Triangle? Whether it’s you or your friends, the story baggage already exceeds an ocean-bound freight liner’s storage space availability and weight requirements and you haven’t even left home yet.
Then there is the dream car that you have been drooling over for the past few month. You dream car, its images plastered on every computerized device and every mirror in your home. The 3-d model strategically placed over Seeing an image in our minds-eye, believing that it is true; that it is real and tangible . . . this image becomes a road map to the next step in our lives.
The images of trauma, the aftermath of an experience that is unexpected. The sudden realization that life has changed; forever . . . These images are real. What we choose to focus our attention on is just as real. The haunting images of trauma are real. For most people, these images diminish with time. For others, this “time” maybe longer than expected or even anticipated. Replacing these haunting images with images that we choose; images and their new story. A story that will take us on our next step of strength and empowerment as we re-craft the painful images of trauma.
Look around you . . . your home, your office and even your car. What do you love about the things in this space? What don’t you love? If you love it, keep it. If you don’t love it, give it away or throw it away. Keep things . . . images of what you love around you is automatically uplifting. When we allow the love, the joy inside of us, we rise higher than the painful images of our past. Find a picture, something in nature or another object that you love looking at. Put an object in every room . . . a place that is easily seen. When the mind chatter of haunting images begins making noise, tell your mind: “Shhhh . . . Then look at what you love. What we focus on, the images around us represent who we are and what our next step in life is likely to be. The images of the past are real, but so is your choice in dealing with them. Through the power of your imagination; change the focus . . . to change the images . . . to change the channel in your mind’s eye.
Love yourself. Love the things and people around you. Love yourself enough to know that you are more than anything you have experienced in your life. Use the power of the images, through the power of your imagination, to move beyond the painful images; the experiences of trauma.
Until next time . . . Story Impact: Changing Stories – Impacting Lives!by Grace Wolbrink with 1 comment
The news of our daily lives centerpiece the day’s conversations. Favorites often include relationship sagas, financial epics, home improvement conquests, entertainment analogs and health chronicles and individual heroics. Like any of us, we talk and write about the adventures, events and characters filling our lives. Having friends in jail has brought forward a new sense of awareness. Awareness about the value and impact of simple images, often taken for granted images, also marking the events and familiar backdrop of our lives; such as, trees, roads, ducks, hail, clouds, variety in architectural structures . . . salt and pepper shakers . . . various colors and shapes of personal care products . . . colors and styles of clothing . . . The things strikingly absent for incarcerated inmates caged inside metal doors.
Writing to a loved one, a child at camp or a get well card seems easy, even effortless. Yet writing to someone behind prison walls somehow feels different, even daunting. Really, what do you say? How is day going? What’s been happening in your life since we last saw each other? Do you share your latest outdoor outing, vacation plans or updates on the mysterious soap slugging vampire rampaging your bathroom? Knowing too, people are living where no matter where they are.
Growing up I remember the enchanting magic discovering bright, colorful post cards with images of faraway places showing up in the mail. Their fascinating, yet informative snippets of information peeking out from behind the card. Then too, the daily news of its magnificent sender. Stepping into these images of intrigue, adventure and connectedness, I hit the local stores and truck stops collecting a wide variety and geographic range of postcards. Now filling them with short snippets of the day’s adventures I packaged them up at five or six at a time and mailed them off either weekly or bi-monthly to friends behind bars.
Letters handwritten on standard, faded white paper found their way to my mailbox. Paper filled with stories about images themselves. Stories about positing them on darkened, blank walls. Stories of others coming around to ask still more questions are the images on the cards and sharing their stories about their adventures. Later learning this colorful collage of postcards had become a gathering point of communication and connectedness. A place for people to meet people. A place to share stories. A place to see “what’s new” inside a predetermined world. Images and the meanings, the feelings and the stories we attach to them often become the focal point and cornerstones of our lives.
Until Next Time . . . Change a story; Change a life.by Grace Wolbrink with no comments yet
Kaa-pow! In a lengthening moment of stunned disbelief, it hits. What, no one is really knows. Yet everyone is sure it did. Something did happen. Putting an id tag on what we think happened or what society says happened, doesn’t begin to describe or identify what actually happened. The feelings, the fear, the trauma, the event . . . It’s all real. While we cannot change what happened; we can choose and change what we are going to do next.
Sometimes it feels easier to ask another person “what should I do now”? Family members and friends affected by your experiences willingly, and vocally, talk on about their fears, their concerns and their questionable advice . . . “You could have been killed . . . Look what happened to her . . . The Dr. said, he knows . . . Tt isn’t fair, it should have happened to me. . . I know I can deal with this better . . . I don’t have kids . . . If only I had been there . . . Except these other people were not there; and if they were, they are not us.
What ever happened, happened. Whatever you experienced, it is over. Whatever you felt at the time is has past. What you are experiencing at this moment is not what you experienced then.
Take a few minutes. Acknowledge what happened. It is real. Acknowledge how you are feeling. Then decide what your next step is. You can choose to live in the story of what has happened or live a different one. We all like to prove ourselves right and find things that people say or things that are happening in our lives to prove ourselves right.
We can choose to make it hard to move on and prove to ourselves we are correct. Or we can choose to move on and experience our lives in a new way. Some people find it helpful to keep a small journal to write down a goal about something you would like to experience. Then, briefly, writing down the really cool things about their day or that are happening in their lives. As well as the things or people helping them, or you, to make their goals happen. Here is where your new story begins.
Until next time . . . Story Impact: Changing Stories – Impacting Livesby Grace Wolbrink with no comments yet
[This series of blog entries will be an overview of the workshop given by Gary Young at the 2012 Young Living International Grand Convention.]
Is writing old-fashioned? Not hardly! Gary will teach you how to tap into your emotions so you can reprogram those you wish to change—and the key is writing.
Put your iPads away, put your laptops away, get out the pad and pencil—we’re going to do it the old-fashioned way. Yup, sorry. The old-fashioned way. There’s a very specific reason for it. The mind does not connect to emotion through electronics; it connects to it through energy that is produced from the nimble movement of your fingers wrapped around a pencil shaft. I’m not saying that you can’t put it in your iPod, your laptop, or whatever later; please do so that you can put it in a file, save it, and never look at it again. That’s what we do, isn’t it? But for this class, please, I want you to write, not type; you’ll understand the reason one day if not before class is over.
A lot of you are going to connect with some very deep emotions today, and I really desire for you to experience that, because there’s a reason for it, there’s a need for it. As you do, please just write, write, write. That’s how you get it out, by writing.
Typing on a computer will not allow it to erase out of the mind; only when your hand is in motion with the feeling of the energy and moving and inscribing will it erase. What you are basically doing is reversing the action of the transcriptase enzyme that does the encoding on the MRNA [Memory RNA], so that’s why this is really critical. Many of you have been in my classes when I’ve talked about writing, writing, writing.
Thank you D. Gary Young, Founder of Young Living Essential Oils in D. Gary Young’s Blog!
Wow! How wild crazy cool! How powerful – a pencil or pen and paper. On a coaching call, Manny Goldman, co-founder of “It’s All About Woman” suggested that in the evening to talk out some paper and just write what ever comes to mind for 20 minutes. Don’t read it, just dispose of it when you are finished. Doing this is reported to help clear the mind and the body of mind chatter and underlying emotions, feelings and beliefs.
Until next time . . . Story Impact: Changing Stories – Impacting Lives!by Grace Wolbrink with no comments yet
I recently had the incredible honor to be of service to a close friend and former colleague. Not more than a few weeks ago, the words spilled from her lips “I am alive, most people in a head on collision die.” Her story continues as we talk about the sounds, the feelings of uncertainty, her experiences in the emergency room, her husband’s reaction . . . Carrying around the pictures of her now totaled car in her pocket. Fearing that people would not believe her. There was no evidence of such a major collision. There are no broken bones or fractured disks to report. Only the grief of losing the life she once knew . . . the anger at the person who hit her. The initial fear of not knowing if she was alive or dead. Her desire to return to work but being physically and emotionally unable to do so. Wanting to talk about what is happening, while at the same time wishing she never had to speak another word about it again. Feeling the guilt over what her Mother and husband are feeling, yet filled with gratitude and appreciation of their loving support.
Than the questions: What next? When will the workman’s comp checks come through? Will they get here in enough time? Why doesn’t my hand work like the other one? Why did part of my face hurt so much and not the other side of my face? Why don’t the hospital staff prepare you for what might happen? These an other answer-less questions loom heavily in the mist of her uncertainty. Short term memory challenges serve only complicate this quandary of uncertainty.
Hmm, what is next? . . . “I haven’t heard a good joke since this all happened,” she exclaims.” Sometimes you just need to laugh to feel better!”
Laughter is an incredible expression that allows us to release fear and anger, strengthen’s our immune system and facilitates clearer thinking processes. Plus, hey it’s fun! Nothing like a good belly laugh to help open our perceptions about our reality.
A joke in tribute to a great friend:
What is the longest work ever?
There is a mile between the first letter S and the last letter yes!
Thank you Thiri, 10 years of age, from Burma!
Until next time . . . Story Impact: Changing Stories – Impacting Lives.by Grace Wolbrink with no comments yet
Most of us have been here. Life is going along. Life is good, it might even be great. Then it happens. Through a single act or event, life completely changes. A telephone call . . . a text message . . . that tells the news of . . . violent storms, gun shots, car crashes, uncertain prognosis . . . it happens. It has happened. But wait! No this isn’t true! Then it hits. Reality crashes in on us like a falling piano splintering through our bodies. Feeling broken and bruised, wondering if we will ever walk again . . . Now what? The terrifying, even haunting, images of these words swirl uncontrollably through our mind’s eye. Fear . . . anger . . . guilt . . . grief . . . even the numbness of apathy can seep into the crevices of our being.
Somehow life doesn’t seem real. A world . . . what world? Everyone has to know, they just have to know. An overwhelming desire to smack the next person who dares smile, as if they don’t know about or feel the pain inside. Tears of emotion steam on endlessly . . . wondering when and if they will ever stop. Now what? Someone, anyone has to do something. How did this happen? How will I ever make it? Where do I go from here.
The initial shock, the suspended disbelief, the endless scenarios of what this could be or what it could have been; are normal. Allow yourself to be in the moment. To feel your emotions. Allowing them to pass through you means that you are letting them go. Breathing through your abdomen with the feeling of your emotions can allow them to pass through you without you resisting them. This can also establish the feeling of emotions being a part of you, not over all controlling you.
Ask yourself what would be helpful right now. The answers will come. Being with truly supportive, non-judgmental people may help feelings of isolation and helplessness. Accomplishing a simple task, from start to finish . . . washing dishes, purchasing an item from the store . . . could help establish feelings of being in control, of decision making, of self-care. You know yourself better than anyone else does. Allowing yourself to take a few minutes to step off to the side during the course of the day to take a deep breath, to talk with friend, to walk outside . . . just to do something that is supportive and helpful to yourself and your body as you move forward with your day. The intensity of emotions, feelings and images do change. They get less intense, less frequent and less overwhelming with time. If you feel as if these feelings, emotions and images are still too intense and overwhelming it may be time to consult with a member of your health care team.
Until next time . . . Story Impact: Changing stories – Impacting lives.
Tagged: Images, Meaningby Grace Wolbrink with no comments yet