I have always been a huge believer that every one has a story to tell. As each day I meet more and more people I am always amazed at the lives that we all live. I love asking questions and seeking why people are the way they are. I love to listen to what is being said, and what I find even more fascinating is what is the story that is not being told.
Some of our stories from our youth are painful and the thought of writing it down and “reliving” those memories are enough to stop people in their tracks and never pick up that pen.
My question to you is what are you afraid of? Are you afraid of realizing the truth that you are an amazing person? We all have areas in our lives that are hard to look at. The important aspect of writing is that when you look at your life you will see yourself more clearly.
I do believe that every one should write the story that wants to be told. We all have those stories. They may be the fun times of our youth or you may have a painful story that needs to be released. You don’t ever have to share your writing with anyone, but the important piece is writing and releasing. You may be surprised what it feels like to release that burden and load you have been carrying around for years.
It has been a joy and a privilege to lead so many women (and now men) in the journey of writing their memoirs. I will begin teaching my Leaving a Legacy Series in October as well as a new series. I will be posting my schedule in the next few weeks.
Why don’t you start now in the privacy of your journal and see what story comes to mind…
Yesterday I sat my water mug down on the ground and when I returned there was Courtney with her nose buried deep in the mug. If you look carefully you can see her nose down in there…there was barely any water left, but she stretched her tongue way to the bottom to get the last drops. As I watched her try harder and harder to get her whole face in the mug it made me think about the things I have “thirsted” for.
Like most things I tend to bring all thoughts back to writing and thought about those times I have really thirsted to want to write my story. A thirst is a desire to write and write. If you are writing your memoir you may come to those writing times when you have a true thirst and a desire to write those stories. If you are truly thirsting to get your story written what is stopping you from completing your task?
With my writing I want to be diligent as my dog Courtney was in getting each and every drop. It wasn’t easy reaching way down deep to stretch to get that last little lick. As so it is with writing. Sometimes it is not easy stretching and digging down deep into our memories to get those little drops of memory. But once you do, it is so worth it!
Dive deep into those memories, quench your thirst with the knowledge of knowing you will be a better person once you have reached down deep and discovered who you really are!
One of the things I always teach in my workshops is the fact that reading other memoirs helps you to see how others have shared their story. Sometimes you may read a memoir and have it resonate with your soul other times you may read a memoir and decide that is not the way you would like to write your story. What memoirs do you like to read? Here is a link to Carol Brown’s article that was recently published called “30 Moving Memoirs Every Student Should Read.” Check them out and let me know which memoirs you especially like!
This morning I had the awesome privilege of attending a Bikram yoga class with my friend Melanie. It had been 4 years since I was in a Bikram yoga practice up in San Jose. Stepping back into the hot room was exhilerating. My first thoughts were one of wondering if I could do this again. So much has changed in my life since I first started doing Bikram. (For those of you who don’t know what Bikram Yoga is, it is hot yoga. The room is heated to 105 degrees and the 90 minute class does 26 postures). What did surprise me was how much I remembered and how good it felt to be back in a room with other like minded men and women.
I think Bikram Yoga reminded me of the tool of getting back to basics in your life. What are those things that you would like to get back and remember. Maybe it is getting back into a yoga or a stretching routine. Maybe it is spending some time in meditation or contemplation each day. The way to get back to the basics is to sit with yourself and really think about what are those things that make your soul sing. I would like to encourage you all today as you spend some time writing about your “back to basics” contemplate on the things that can bring you back to center, back to the place of pure joy. For me, happiness comes when I am snuggling my dog Courtney, or sitting at Melitas’ house listening to her tell me a story, or riding my bike or hiking. Maybe your back to basics may be to make that phone call you have been putting off or writing that letter to a loved one from far away.
I want to encourage you to find your center today. The best way is to get back to your basics and see what it is that can truly make you happy! As for me, it is all about finding the new in the old. Celebrate today!
Maya Angelou has said there is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you. In her book Writing to Change the World, Mary Piper describes the importance of sharing our stories:
Stories are the most basic tool for connecting us to one another. Research shows that story telling not only engages all the senses, it triggers activity on both the left and the right sides of the brain. Because stories elicit whole brain/whole body responses, they are far more likely than other kinds of writing to evoke strong emotions. People attend, remember, and are transformed by stories, which are meaning-filled units of ideas, the verbal equivalent of mother’s milk. Healthy cultures pass on healthy stories from generation to generation.
By passing on stories within our families, we can help create the “healthy culture.” Children (and adults, too) need to know that they are connected. We need to know we are connected to each other, to the Earth, to what has come before and what will come after. Stories help us say, “Oh, yes, I have been there, too,”or empathize, “Wow, that must have been hard for you.” It doesn’t matter whether or not we all have the same stories. What matters is that we all have stories to tell.