Last week I wrote about creating a life that nourishes you. It’s the heart of what we all want, right? It’s not necessarily the big house or the overflowing bank account or the trips around the world that we truly desire (well, maybe the trips around the world), but really it’s the life we see ourselves leading or who we think we will be once we have those things. Well, I’m here to tell you those things won’t create a nourished life. You will. And today I’m going to give you some action steps to get started.
If telling the truth is the first step, how do you go about that? Let’s start by looking at where you’ve been.
Writing has always been a great way of processing through things for me, and I’ve found with my coaching clients that it works for most people, even those who have never kept a journal. So your action steps for “tell the truth” will be two journaling exercises.
First, start with an outline. List all the major milestones of your life, from #1 – I was born! to your latest and greatest life event. Include things like siblings being born after you, any house moves, not making the cheerleading squad, off to college, first relationships starting/ending, new jobs, etc. Write down any events that you can look back at now and see that they impacted the course of your life. Good and bad. You can also begin to see your own patterns of action and reaction as you put together your outline. This exercise gives you a framework for reflecting on your life. And honestly, each time you do it will be different, depending on your current frame of mind.
Writing in the third person in that classic fairy tale language will give you a new perspective as you write your story. You can start your story at the beginning: “Once upon a time a child was born… ” or jump in later in life. I started mine with “Once upon a time there was a young girl who set out on her own after college…”
In Your Life as Story by Tristine Rainer, she describes instructing her students of autobiographical writing to write their fairy tale because “…You can’t tell a fairy tale without including the basic parts of a story: In the beginning something happened so that a character had a problem and a need, thence a struggle ensued, but in the end there was a crisis that was resolved when a transformation took place.” Seeing the events of your life through this lens will give you some distance from them and perhaps illuminate the lesson you have been living into.
Our lives are truly our own creations. Take some time to work through these exercises. As you get more and more comfortable with telling the truth of where you are in life, you will come to understand where you want to be. If you are ready to create the next chapter of your fairy tale with purpose, I would like to invite you to join us in Nourish You. Get all the details here. Registration opens today!