Category Archives: Storytelling

A new year … a new story to tell

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A new year … old stories coming to a close … new stories being seeded and beginning their journey towards emergence and abundant manifestation.

Even in our perfection, just as we are right now, we are always in the process of becoming. Every breath, every beat of our heart, heralds the re-creation of our bodies and our human existence in this plane. 

Tonight, as we farewell the old and prepare to welcome the new, I urge you take time … ‘kairos’ time … to reflect deeply on who you wish to become.

What aspects of self do you wish to nourish? What aspects can finally, gratefully, be set aside as you grow into the fullest and most consciously loving version of yourself?

Tomorrow is another new day.  You get to decide who you want to be. Make it an authentic choice … become the author of your own life.

Blessings to each of you.

Gaslighting

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A friend has sent this link to Yashar Ali’s article ‘A message to women from a man:  you are not crazy. ‘ … gaslighting is a term often used by mental health professionals … to describe manipulative behavior used to confuse people into thinking their reactions are so far off base that they’re crazy.’ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yashar-hedayat/a-message-to-women-from-a_1_b_958859.html

At first I thought “Yes, yes, yes, I know … it happens all the time …” and then as I continued to read, I began to realise how his words not only resonated with my own experience, but how deeply they effected my emotional state. I found myself back in so many situations in the past where my thoughts, suggestions and objections were trivialised and ridiculed by another. My face was burning with the same sense of shame and unrecognised injustice I felt in the face of such indignity.

I’m afraid I’ve probably been guilty of being a ‘gaslighter’ myself at various times, and over the last months and years I have been slowly implementing new strategies into my life to address this. My aim is to raise my consciousness … to develop a higher awareness of myself, and of how my words, actions and behaviours impact on others. And in dealing with the words, actions and behaviours of others, I am working to cultivate a conscious space where I can have a bit of leeway before I either melt into a trembling mess, or charge in with vitriolic comments in defence.

In the article, Yashar quotes Gloria Steinem, “The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.” (interestingly, incorporated in my recent thesis) and I am drawn strongly to this notion. We need to become aware of what we have learned about ourselves … to recognize the truths that resonate for us … and to identify the author of these truths. Often the comments that come from others (whether conscious or not) are veiled attempts to oppress us – to control us in some way. My experience is that through taking time to reflect on the story of our lives – on the people and the circumstances that have influenced the construction of our identity – we are able to unlearn some of our conditioned responses to such situations, and to respond in a way that empowers all to grow in authentic strength and truth.

Take some time to read the article if it speaks to you, and see what response you have to Yashar’s thoughts

On the road to change …

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In the months since completing my Masters thesis, I have been very happy to sit back quietly and allow the pressures of completion and examination to drift quietly away, and to permit the experience and subsequent learning to sink gently into my bones.

This last week has provided opportunities for some fabulously critical conversations about the transformative value of storytelling. I have been reinvigorated.

I believe that coming to know and become the greatest version of oneself – and identifying and utilising one’s capacity – needs to begin with the story of the self … facilitated by experienced, skilled and knowledgeable practitioners.

From this beginning point we can begin to identify and critique the external structures and influences that have contributed to our perspective of self, of others, and of our place and potential in life.

As the last week’s conversations have highlighted, it is only when we begin to recognise the assumptions and externally imposed constrictions that have guided our choices and life circumstances, that we are able to more fully recognise the importance and potency of our own authority – and take on authorship of our own lives. We can then begin to exercise our own voice and stretch our muscle towards determining the most authentic way forward.

We are always an individual within social, cultural and political constructions … but we also have a choice about how we perceive and respond to our environment. My experience is that once individuals begin to emerge from the haze of unexplored assumptions, they start to see through new lenses, and to uncover incredible power, both for themselves, and for others who have also lived in the ‘haze’.

So my first challenge is to pick up again on the research to identify the measurable benefits from this methodological approach; then to identify how we can incorporate professional development to awaken  personal knowing in our educators, and lastly to generate the necessary  support and resources to imbed the methodology into practice within vocational education and training (VET) and Adult Community Education (ACE). Hopefully then each individual might have the opportunity they deserve to shine in their truest light.

The conversations I’ve been having over the last week have certainly stirred and re-affirmed my passion and commitment to changing the system, and I extend my thanks to my peers for their challenge and interest in my work. The time is coming to explore PhD options …