Story for Transformation
How to gain a deeper connection with self at any given moment.
Stories are everywhere and yet we often only think of them as a means to connect other people to other people – but what if we turned those powers of connection towards ourselves? What if we connected with our story in order to connect with ourselves more deeply? How would that make us feel?
There’s a beautiful quote by writer Christina Baldwin that says “How we remember, and what we remember, and why we remember, form the most personal map of our individuality.”
Are you taking the time to remember? Are you taking time to form the most personal map of your individuality? Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be stressful and you can do so in small, simple moments – we’ll show you how you can do just that in just a few minutes! This special blog post is a follow-up to the Instagram Live Self-Search chat I hosted with Jordyn Kerr, Storyteller, Strategist, Marketer, and Founder of Creatively Wired Co, and if you want to see our faces and the full conversation head here to have a watch.
Why Seek My Own Story?
“Tell me a fact and I’ll forget, but tell me a story and I’ll remember forever” – as an ancient proverb goes. Stories catch our attention, bring us in, make us lean closer, and bring emotions to the surface. Just think about the last good book you read, the last great movie, or piece of news that really grabbed you — what made it so good? Story.
But how often do we think about stories in regards to ourselves? When we seek to acknowledge (even this first step can just do wonders), hear, and understand our stories those same transformative powers of connection, empathy, understanding, and inspiration can land on our lap.
Discovering our own stories can help us:
- Be calm and clear your mind
- Raise self-awareness and reflection
- Improve memory
- Set intentions
- Boost mood and sense of well being
- Inspire curiosity and creativity
- And connect to ourselves more deeply (a mind-body connection)
And as Jordyn, Founder of Creatively Wired Co. explained in our Instagram chat, people often think they “don’t have a story” or “aren’t interesting enough” but time and time again, through a few simple questions they start to see maybe there is more to them, their daily lives, and what makes them unique.
I know personally, after over nine years of researching other people in a variety of settings, from jury research to consumer market research, to organizational research, and now with my coaching clients, I see the same thing play out. I meet them, and they offer some insight that they really don’t have much to offer “their life is not that interesting” but after spending time with them, much of it asking them questions they’ve never been asked or even asked themselves before something magical happens. Their demeanor starts to change, their eyes brighten up, they begin offering up more about themselves as they feel the effects of what a little curiosity aimed at them can do for their body and mind.
Acknowledging our story (at any given moment) is allowing ourselves to be heard vs suppressed.
It’s in the details, the nuances, the seemingly mundane that we can most honor ourselves.
As the writer, Eudora Welty said “The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance, to ourselves, they find their own order, a continuous thread of revelation”.
But how do we get there? We have to get curious first – which requires a pause. We get there by asking questions, being patient, and observing our own life.
If you’d like to hear more of what Jordyn and I talked about from her favorite story of an 80-year-old woman she had the pleasure of interviewing in India and how that affected her and OneSight, the nonprofit she was working with, or to hear about what it’s like to be living in Columbia (at the moment – she is a nomad) as one of the only “pale, white, blondes”, or ways she brings curiosity to her own wellness journey, or to hear one of my favorite research stories about a mother who went to see movies secretly, by herself, after dropping the kids off at school – hop on over to see the full chat – we have stories to tell!
An Exercise to Connect – at any given moment.
Now is the time to take a breath, give the next few moments to yourself and honor what comes up.
This year has been especially unique and tough in many ways. We can become so much about doing and surviving that we find ourselves going through motion after motion after motion without taking a breath. Has this past year felt like one long gasp for breath? It’s time to exhale.
Spring is upon us. This exercise is really meant for us to honor this past year’s story, as we welcome what’s to come. Let it be an experience for you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Notice what comes up for you. And, I know we women have a tendency to downplay our emotions (someone always has it worse). But for this moment, just acknowledge whatever comes up for you. Let what wants to come out, come out.
SELF-SEARCH – Discovering & Honoring Stories Within Exercise.
Take a deep breath in and let it out.
Step 1. Take each prompt in, then think about it and what it means for you – make it your own.
- First state your name, your full name – how often do we get to connect with our full name these days? Say it out loud; there’s something really special and intimate about it. Feel the way it comes to your mind, and rolls onto the paper/off your tongue.
- In 1 or 2 words, describe how this past year has been for you.
- (Complete this sentence) My days don’t seem so _______At first glance.
- Describe what a typical “day in the life” looks like for you?
- What are some daily challenges for you lately? This past year?
- What has brought you joy lately? This past year?
- Dream for a moment. Describe if you could be doing anything or be anywhere you wanted right now, what would that look like?
- Where do you plan/hope to be a year from today? Really see it in your mind’s eye, what would you be doing/where are you/what do you smell/see/taste/who is there? Explore all senses of it.
Step 2. Now let’s put it all together! Write this part out by following the format below and inserting your answers – don’t worry if you change words, make it your own.
My name is [#1].
This past year, 2020, for me has been [#2}. And now we are in 2021. My days don’t seem so [#3] at first glance. Typically, it looks like [#4]. And sometimes when I get into a rhythm, no day seems to feel all that different than the next. But when I take a moment to pause and look closely, I can see that there are daily moments that have challenged me and brought me joy. Lately, my challenges have been [#5] and my joys have been [#6].
Sometimes I daydream and think about if I could be doing anything right now, it’d probably be [#7].
These pauses are what help me to realize that every single day and detail ladders up to the bigger picture of my story. It is an ever-evolving one, but it’s mine. And a year from now, I could see myself [#8]. But like any great story — the best is yet to come.
Step 3. Once done, read it back to yourself and honor all those feelings and moments. Let it soak in, and just let it be heard.
- Notice how you feel afterward. What if anything changed?.
- How, if at all, has your appreciation for things in your life (challenges and joys) changed?
A Few Things & Our Stories.
While Jordyn and I are leading very different lives right now we each got something out of this exercise. So we’re providing ours below to show you how different stories can be (do note how “routine,” Jordyn says her days are and I go completely off about the idea of “a typical day” lol. If I’m being really honest, Jordyn’s routine sounds amazing right about now – but then I did gain a deeper appreciation for my routine and all that I’m doing.). Jordyn said she completed hers in the morning, from the comforts of her nomad life in Columbia. Me, I completed mine (for the third time) at night — after a really beautiful day with my kids but a hard day for work –feeling as if I excel in one I’m not excelling in the other. Have you felt that way before? It should be noted that I’m just about to start my period (hormones are dipping!) — but, I got these things out. As trivial as things may seem just get them out. And you know what? I felt better afterward! I felt more grateful and lighter.
My name is Jordyn Kerr.
This past year, 2020, for me has been a whirlwind. And now we are in 2021. My days don’t seem so dull at first glance – but they are far different than what they used to be. Typically, my days look like working out at the gym, running my biz out of cozy coffee shops, and rounding out the day with dinner and good friends. Before 2020, there was such a stronger sense of unexpected adventure. I never knew what would come next. But these days things are pretty routine.
Sometimes when I get into a rhythm, no day seems to feel all that different than the next. But when I take a moment to pause and look closely, I can see that there are daily moments that have challenged me and brought me joy. Lately, my challenges have been determining what’s next for my business, finding ways to stay connected with family and friends while being thousands of miles apart. And simply finding the energy to face each day and whatever it brings. 2020 was a doozy. But I’ve found joy in so many of the little things. Getting to sit in a cozy cafe and write. The morning workouts that I have to drag myself out of bed for, but which leave me feeling exhilarated. Having the best friends in my circle, near and far. And the joy in the life I get to live. I can never take this lifestyle for granted.
Sometimes I daydream and think about if I could be doing anything right now, it’d probably be cozying up in a cottage in New Zealand with a cup of coffee, my laptop, and a big blanket.
These pauses are what help me to realize that every single day and detail ladders up to the bigger picture of my story. It is an ever-evolving one, but it’s mine. And a year from now, I could see myself in a wildly different place than I am now — both physically and mentally. Perhaps in that cottage in New Zealand or in the bustling city of Chiang Mai. My business further grounded into my greatest passions. I don’t know where or what I’ll be doing, but something about that feels exciting. Endless possibilities lie ahead.
And like any great story — the best is yet to come.
I’m Dina Marie Haggenjos.
This past year, 2020, for me has been a broken-open year for me in the hardest way and in the best way. And now we are in 2021. My days don’t seem so organized at first glance. Typically, it looks like …wait, which day are we talking about?! I have no typical. This past year has been anything BUT typical — every single day we have a different schedule. Every single day. While each day has some predictability, it is not in the sense that I enjoyed in years past.
And sometimes when I get into a rhythm, no day seems to feel all that different than the next. But when I take a moment to pause and look closely, I can see that there are daily moments that have challenged me and brought me joy. Lately, my challenges have been …sigh. Starting a business (and all that comes with that in the midst of a pandemic), managing schedules with a family of 5 and two business owners, a sledding accident with my daughter, an injury that keeps me from being able to do one of the things I love and destress the most with (running), and the shifting back and forth between mom-mode to work-mode and back and forth — the challenge of feeling like I’m doing exceptionally well at any one of them.
…and my joys have been the way my kids say “momma”, the feel of Pete’s hand in mine while we take a snowy walk after dinner with the whole family, taking the leap to start my business and the daily rituals I’ve been trying to incorporate – that I get to own, the texts/calls/notes from friends and strangers about my daughter and her healing, the meaningful coaching work with my clients and being invited in to help them on their journey, and seeing my kids’ faces light up when they see I’ve made them one of their favorite breakfasts in the morning. And also, of course, my journal – I just started a new one.
Sometimes I daydream and think about if I could be doing anything right now, it’d probably be a quiet retreat – just me, my laptop, some books, and my running shoes and mat for a week, maybe two – and have my family join me the second week.
These pauses are what help me to realize that every single day and detail ladders up to the bigger picture of my story. It is an ever-evolving one, but it’s mine. And a year from now, I see myself smiling at my desk, with a tea in hand – and feeling a great sense of ease between my work and home life. My calendar blocks are clearly marked, my boundaries more clear, with travel and time off, and work is flowing – the juggling has become a little less, my movements and thinking more fluid.
But like any great story — the best is yet to come.
Thanks for sharing time and space with us, but most of all sharing time and space for yourself.
If you’d like help discovering your story, and a fierce personal nurturer of a woman’s power, coaching and educating you either in a group or one on one – helping you elevate your wellness and life contact me or schedule a free discovery call where we can see if working together is a right fit! To see ways in which I work with clients check out My Offerings.
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