Retelling your Story - Resting in the Heart
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Retelling your Story

Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film Rashomon revolves around the details and minutia of a criminal assault which has taken place in samurai-era Japan. A samurai lays dead, his wife dishonoured by the killer. However, four separate witnesses claim to have seen the crime, and none of the stories quite match up. As the story is retold again and again, recurring points begin to help us draw a more complete image.

Aleister Crowley once wrote of an interesting game one can play by themselves; ask yourself what you are doing, then answer. If you answered “sitting at a desk reading,” ask ‘why’, and then continue to ask ‘why’ to each subsequent answer. It’s not long before you’re discussing the formation of planet Earth or the evolutionary progression of human beings. When forced to provide narration and exposition, humans have an incredible gift for lending gravitas and significance to details which at first glance might seem meaningless.

When we retell our stories in another way we can change the way in which we think about the things that have happened to us. We can reframe the events that have scarred us, caused lasting trauma and painful feelings such as shame and anger. In healing ourselves and pain carried through from the past, including that of our ancestors, we have the potential to heal our families and that which might have been passed onto future generations.

Retelling or reframing a story takes practice and a great deal of patience and begins with telling the story as it is understood in the present time. Once it has been told, it’s told again but this time although the events won’t be changed the way in which it’s recounted will. These new stories need to be told again and again, the process requiring a great deal of patience. They will need to be refined and polished as any good story would but with practice they will be heard.

The subconscious mind, which is always listening, is reprogrammed and will release old self-limiting beliefs. It is not an easy process but a worthwhile one as with commitment to the retelling of your story you will be able to release the things that have held you back or might have held you back in the future.

IN PRACTICE

  • Write your own story as you understand it today, include where you were born, time, date and how and where you were raised, continue up until the point you are now as an adult, including all the good and bad bits, leave nothing of significance from your story.
  • After reading your completed story, you will write it again. But this time you begin with the phrase ‘once upon a time a child was born’ consider then how you would tell this story if you were to tell it to a child.
  • Tell the same story without altering anything, but change the way you speak about the things that have happened in your life to date.
  • Tell your story as if you are the hero or heroine, add vibrancy to each scene and remember to find humour where you can.
  • Explain how each event transformed you continuing as if you are interacting with a child, keep it heroic.
  • As you tell your story continue to ask yourself how you became the person you are today, see each event as the stepping stone to the present moment.

 

And now, just think for a moment or two, the difference you can make to your future when you practice the art of telling stories.