The Stories You Tell Yourself and How To Get Unstuck

My daughter and I were talking recently about the day’s plans and I asked her,

‘What would you like to have happen?’
She said, ‘Something fun, exhilarating and out of the ordinary.’

We played with this for a while and discovered this would require her to be playful, courageous and willing to take risks. When we delved into what might be stopping her from doing this, the biggest factor was the fear of experiencing the emotions associated with the stories she might tell herself about what her friend’s potential ‘No/sorry I’m busy’ might mean about her, if she asked them to join her.
I then asked,

‘What if you could ask and not be attached to the story you might tell yourself about what the outcome means about you? Could this free you up to take the risk of reaching out and asking? Could you experiment with detaching and seeing your friend’s responses as more to do with them (their availability, emotional state, preferences etc) than anything to do with you?’

I wonder if there are situations in your own life, where you’re holding yourself back from taking action, because of the story you’re attaching to either your desire to take the action or what the potential outcome might mean about you?

In a recent painting session I was facilitating, a painter came upon a block. She was avoiding painting a particular image and all sorts of resistance was bubbling to the surface to keep her from going towards it. We discovered the resistance boiled down to a story she was telling herself, ‘If I paint the thing I have energy for on my painting (and am avoiding like the plague), it’ll mean I need to take the action I know I need to take (and am avoiding like the plague) in my life’.

I asked, ‘Can you let yourself paint what has energy for you, without making it mean anything about you or what you need to do in your life? Can you let go of the complication of what this must mean for you and about you? Can you break it down and just take one step toward the action that has energy, without trying to see into the future or know the outcome?’

This unlocked the block for her, she painted the thing she’d been avoiding and she experienced the biggest surge of energy she’s ever experienced during the painting process as a result!

Stuart Cubley (process painting facilitator) asks, ‘Is the story painting your painting or is the painting painting the story?’ In other words are you so attached to what you think the meaning of your painting/life experience is, you’re letting the story dictate what happens or are you open to the story unfolding as you paint/live true to what has energy for you?

Can you detach and tune back into your body and feel what has energy in this moment?
Can you let it be simple?
Can you take one action at a time? e.g. in the painting process, what image, shape or colour do I have energy to paint next? In life, what do I have energy for, in this moment?
Can you let go of needing it to make sense according to what came before it or what might come next? Can you let it be in-congruent and not need to fit with anything? Can you allow the unexpected to surprise and delight you?
When you drop your need to control, plan, work it out and know how it’s all going to pan out, you open up to the magic of what wants to come through you. When you enter this zone of openness to magic, you become a channel for energy to flow through you and your brush to reveal the truth – the essence of what’s true for you in this moment.

This, I believe, is the secret to experiencing vitality and aliveness (aka 'something fun, exhilarating and out of the ordinary').

Email: hello@creativecovenarts.co.uk
Telephone: 07367 964679
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