Stories are my fuel...not just as an actor, but as a human being. And I imagine they serve as fuel for you, too. Telling stories excites me, empowers me, and helps me feel close to others. Listening to stories opens my mind to other points of view, teaches me ways to heal, and helps me negotiate differences with my own thoughts or newly introduced thoughts.
Stories make me laugh, fill me with empathy, and challenge the thoughts that have been simmering in my mind since Kindergarten. Stories instantly elicit emotion...sometimes pleasant, sometimes painful. Stories help me get through the tough days, yet they can also meddle with good days.
STORIES COMPLETELY CAPTIVATE OUR BRAINS.
Each day, we tell ourselves more stories than we realize...and these are the stories that I am currently exploring. The stories that bubble up from our internal world are narratives our little brains write based on past experiences. Sometimes, these stories rock! We learn a new skill or get a dream job or meet a new friend who wants to collaborate and create some cool new artsy fartsy stuff...we are filled with joy and happiness and LET'S HAVE A MARGARITA BECAUSE LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL kind of thoughts.
But other times our brains are filled with shame or discouragement and then our stories start to spin out from our brains like tornadoes. Have you ever had a bad day, and before you know it you feel like you've been hit by a truck because you're brain tells you what a horrible human you are? Have you ever made one mistake and then suddenly your internal monologue sounds like a cacophony of sirens blaring a resounding "you're failing....you'll never recover from that mistake...bye Felicia."
In college, I met a life-changing mentor and friend who introduced me to the idea that the stories I tell myself may not all be true. WHAAAAAAAT. A best friend and I could go out together and write down our experiences from that night...and they could look very different on paper. Based on our past experiences, our brains made different connections throughout the night. That doesn't make my stories wrong or hers right...or vice versa...it just means that stories are not always the most accurate truth-tellers. And yes....y'all know I love to embellish and add jokes in whenever I can so... ANYWAY...stories are my favorite things in the world--- to share, to hear, to re-tell. I just have to be aware of the stories I tell myself about the world I am experiencing each day.
Our inner-monologues are not the gospel-truth. Our thoughts don't become stories until we attach emotion to them. So, I am learning to be diligent with watching my thoughts as they come up, and choosing which stories I embellish, and which stories I have to slam shut and no longer entertain.
The stories we tell others and the stories we tell ourselves are powerful. We must notice our stories and accept them without getting too lost in them. Happy summer, fellow storytellers....become aware of the narratives swirling in your minds, because that is the start of an awesomely mindful way to approach your world.