My niece, Olivia, is a brand, spanking new, science teacher. (That is oversimplifying the brilliant young woman she is. She is chronicling her first year as a resident teacher here.) At her graduation party she started telling us about some chemistry thing where stuff adheres to other stuff. The word “chelate” came up. My brain began to get tangled. I said, “Tell me why I should care.”
She proceeded to tell us a story about arsenic and how understanding its chemical properties got a murder charge dismissed for a woman who had spent 17 years in jail.
Now I get it.
It makes sense.
Story brings facts and ideas to life. It organizes thoughts and makes them accessible. It translates theory into reality. It can deliver the satisfaction of understanding, even if the facts are not pleasant. It can connect us to our own truth.
We all live from a story. That story has either been created by us or given to us. Either way, if you fail to connect with and evaluate that story, it can be an uneasy fit. If it's not the right story, your actions will be out of kilter. You'll get lost. You'll end up going through life acting out someone else's story.
What’s your story, morning glory?
Is it the story you want to be telling? Living? Especially as you move into and through your second half of life?
Hey, life is too short to be in the wrong story.
Pull out your editing tools.
When I write, I edit to strengthen the narrative. I want to make it more compelling and genuine. I cut out what’s not working and insert what does work. I try to not write around things or embellish. I want it tight and true.
Does it flow? Does it make sense. Is it grammatically correct. Does it move forward a premise or plot?
Or, does it lose the reader (and the author!) in a disorganized ramble? Where the heck is this thing going? It makes no sense!
It’s the same thing with your story.
"At any point in your story, you are free to reimagine the narrative you are living."
Wouldn’t you rather live the story that actually features you?
You can. It’s not difficult. (It’s also not an overnight re-write.)
What it takes is some imagining, deconstructing, reconstructing, reimagining. This brain play, partnered with small steps, will move you forward and soon you will find yourself in your new story. A story you have created.
We can't go through the entire process in one blog post. However, you can start. If I asked you what you’d be doing if money were no object, what would you say? (Now, now, I heard that snorted “as-if”!)
Let yourself imagine. Nothing is holding you back. Go for it!
Let the ideas come fully into your imagination. Don’t rush. In fact, take a few days and ask yourself frequently: What would I be doing if I could be anyone or do anything I wanted? Get to know these characters up close and personal. Cultivate them. Begin to picture bits of them in your life. Take a peek beneath the dreams and look for the “why”.
Find a way to capture these thoughts – a small notebook, the recording app on your phone, a journal.
This is your first step.
What’s the new story looking like?
Tell me, what’s the dream?
Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. – Gloria Steinem
It’s THAT time of year. Yes, winter weather, holiday parties and the feeling of all things business taking a back seat for a few weeks.
At the same time my inbox is flooded with reminders and webinar invitations and online course suggestions to begin planning for 2017.
Actually, this is a really good time for planning. A softer time. As a coach who employs the principles of Kaizen I know I can do this in small steps. I’ve already begun asking myself small questions around how I want next year to look and what are things that will make it happen. And yes, a little dreaming, too.
Kathy Kane blogs about the creative process in the everyday, in writing and in the magical transition to the second half of life.
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