27 Jan (Re) tell the story of your life through movement and writing
Research is revealing how powerful it can be to alter the story we tell about our lives. The New York Times cites research that shows how re-writing the narrative of life events can help us confront truths, improve mood disorders and boost memory.
At Write The Story of Your Life As You Walk It we combined writing with physical movement to help workshop participants clarify the direction they want to take in wellness, relationships or the workplace. The result was a new story about the past, a clear vision for the future, and an understanding of the key values that inform their choices.
Critically, each walked away with a unique way to map the path as they go (so as to know how to know that they are walking in their right direction) and physical practices to support their journey.
For many in the west yoga is primarily a physical practice. Often, an initial interest in asana (yoga postures) will lead to curiosity about aspects, such as meditation or philosophy. This process of inquiry tends to open us up to questions about what is right, good and meaningful. However, making sense of these more obtuse concepts within modern everyday life can be challenging.
In Yogic Education we translate concepts from yoga into contemporary language (read here how that happens with chronic pain). This helps us to more easily understand how what we learn on the yoga mat applies to the way we learn about ourselves, our interactions with others, and our work.
In Write The Story of Your Life As You Walk It we explored vairagya, the counterpart or opposite to attachment, by noticing how attached we are to the story we tell about our life. Vairagya is often translated as non-attachment but there is more to it than simply “not being attached” which may feel like aimless drifting.
Participants began by narrating the story of their life so far from two different perspectives. They then asked each other about those stories and noticed their biases, both in their inquiry of others and in the meaning they made of their own lives.
By recognising these biases they saw a choice other than simply letting go: to accept and embrace their current story, to let go of some of their own meaning-making, and to choose a story for their future.
Rather than being attached to the story of our past, we see a choice.
With this understanding, we find that we can look forward at the life we are about to create and choose the first page of the next chapter ourselves. For that story to be coherent, we need to know the values that guide us, how to embody them in the way we move, and have something to keep us on the path.
Write The Story of Your Life As You Walk It will run again later this year. Individual coaching is also available.