This morning I am inspired by a poem by my dear friend David Christopher, author of The Holy Universe.
Mind your stories.
Mind your stories; question them often.
Nourish those that serve.
Change those that do not.
Far easier said than done, yes?
For many of our darker stories
have cut grooves in the primordial stone of our psyches—
and the river of mind all too easily turns back into these dark and shadowy valleys.
So mind also your story
about changing your story;
be quick to forgive
both yourself and your world
should the story be slow to change.
(Read the rest of the poem here.)
To a large degree, who we are – as a species and as individuals – is based on the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Our conflicts with each other are fueled by the stories we tell ourselves about the meaning of the other person’s actions. We interpret what others tell us through our stories about them and about ourselves.
When we work together with others – no matter what we are trying to create together – one of our group challenges is to manage our stories. We each come with our own stories about the why and the what and the how of what we’re trying to accomplish, which may be very different from each other. In order to create a new, collective story, we must first notice and share our stories, making them visible. We must listen deeply to each other. Finally, we must be willing to LET GO of our individual stories in order to birth the collective story.
Tools like improvisation and graphic facilitation can help us make the stories more visible more quickly…which I why I love them so much!