When we begin to see that all the experiences we have of ourselves are Thought-created realities; stories we tell ourselves, that we’ve made up, that we’ve taken on from other people – school, marketing, parents, then we are free to replace those stories with anything we want to.
What lies beyond the edges of who we think we are is ‘infinite creative potential’ - an infinite number of stories and iterations of ourselves, infinite possible iterations of who we are.
Dread of public speaking
I used to dread speaking in public – maybe because of a negative experience in my past, maybe because of subconsciously absorbing my other people’s anxieties about speaking in public, who knows.
The fact was I had a lot of ‘stories’ about me and public speaking:
‘I get flustered’; ‘I don’t like it’; ‘I’m not good at it’; ‘It’s something other people do, not me’; ‘I’m just not cut out for it’.
When I saw this story of myself was made up by me, and something I’d taken on and made real and ‘true’ about myself, I saw that I could play at creating ‘other’ realities for myself.
Diamonds, horse poo and nail varnish
We’re all constructing stories to keep ourselves and our egos safe, when it’s completely unnecessary: we’re keeping ourselves ‘safe’ from stories WE created in the first place.
My friend Lian Brook-Tyler at Born Happy/Happy School has a brilliant analogy for this:
In a nutshell (or a diamond):
We’re all born shiny diamonds, perfect and whole just as we are with no stories attached.
Being human beings we’re programmed to keep ourselves safe from harm and to use our egos, our awareness of ‘self’ to protect us from being eaten by sabre tooth tigers and to move out of the way of moving buses.
Much of this survival mechanism works in our favour, but as real world dangers have reduced we’ve come to perceive new threats, not to our physical bodies but to our psychological selves.
As we grow up we start to take on stories about ourselves and the way we need to be which make us feel insecure and inadequate (what Lian refers to as 'horse poo').
We then create more stories, habits, standards, rules for ourselves to live by in a desperate bid to cover up this horse poo with shiny nail varnish – so that no one, including ourselves, will ever need to know about our perceived inadequacies and insecurities.
Boy, is it hard to keep the layers topped up and the chips from showing.
AND ALL FOR WHAT?
We are ALREADY whole and perfect and shiny and unblemished.
'Who would you be without your story?'
One of the most impactful questions asked in Happy School is, ‘Who would you be with out your story?’
This used to scare the horse poo out of me, and now I LOVE living by that idea.
Every time I notice a story, I can ask myself: ‘Who would I be without that story?’.
The answer is almost always: peaceful, loving, happy, whole.
Try it for yourself, I’d love to hear your thoughts.