As we work our way through SPARK, we continue our focus on S for Story. In this post we will work on writing your story, or at least how to start writing your story. It is my belief that in understanding our story, we begin to understand ourselves and the impact (both positive and negative) of the events in our lives.
Before we get to the words, how will you document your story? Paper and pen? Pencil? Computer? Tablet? Audio? Video? Select the tool that is most comfortable for you. If you like writing in a journal, then pick out a new one for this project (I am always looking for inexpensive journals, try the discount stores and the clearance sections for some fun options!) If you are writing with a pen, pick a pen you like or a fun color. (I almost always write in purple ink! It makes me smile.) If you are writing on a computer or tablet, pick a font that you will want to read.
While the paper, the pen and the font may not be the most important decisions you will make about writing, its the little things that we enjoy and will encourage us to continue. And if you like to shop, like me, you can make this an adventure to treat yourself to a new journal or pen.
One logistical note, pay attention to your privacy. If you are sharing a computer, perhaps you want to password protect your document or if you are using a paper journal, keep it in a safe place. These are individual decisions.
So where will you begin? In my February 5th post, you were encouraged to write about your talents and gifts; your challenges; your facts. You can start your story with these or any event or point in time that you choose:
If you have worked with me in my coaching practice, you have documented the 'significant events' in your life by noting the date. You get to define significant but I always suggest making note of births, deaths, marriages, divorces, graduation, jobs, relationships, etc. You might want to do this as an entry in your journal and then you can select an event and write about it. I use this information with clients when we discuss reinvention cycles (R is for Reinvention, May 2015 stay tuned).
I can't stress this enough: it's your journal and your story, write true to your heart. In writing with your heart (and not your logical, ego driven head) your true essence will develop onto the page. And don't worry about sentence structure or paragraphs, just write. Write in sentences, bullets points or phrases, whatever works for you.
Make a ritual of writing. It's your story, so you can write every day, every week or once in a while. Find a comfortable place, take a few deep breaths, perhaps sit in meditation for a few minutes to clear your mind and open your heart, ask for guidance then pick up your pen (or pencil or keyboard) and start writing. Let it flow. No judgment, just writing and releasing. Writing your story is a journey not a destination. We grow and evolve every day.
As you fill your journal (paper or electronic) with the vignettes, events and observations that create your life and your story, reflect upon them. We will be visiting them and learning from them in the future. For now, go write!
Peace, Love and Sparks! Deb
Happy Anniversary to Wilber Consulting, LLC and Real Life Spark! It was three years ago on Valentine's Day that I officially formed my company and started planning. It's been an exciting three years.
I recently completed Human Design Level One certification and will incorporate Human Design into my practice. It will be another tool in my toolkit! Human Design is a relatively new system of personality analysis that combines the elements of Eastern and Western Astrology, the Chinese I'Ching, the Kabbalah (Tree of Life), the Hindu Chakra system and modern quantum physics! If you would like to learn more about Human Design, send me a note.
Have you been over to my blog? I started blogging in January and by February created a plan that I hope will provide inspiring information for your journey. For the first half of the year, I will be blogging about SPARK, an an acronym I created to remind us of the components of our purpose! Earlier this month we learned that S stands for Story! Later in the month, I will write about a tool to help you write your Story.
During the second half of the year, I will write about Reinvention Cycles and take you through my current 9 year cycle, starting with my Personal Year 1 in 2011. We will learn about Reinvention Cycles in May because R stands for Reinvention! I hope you stay tuned, read the blog and share it with your friends.
Peace, Love and Sparks! Deb
What's your SPARK? Do you know what SPARK is? I recently created an acronym for SPARK to use in workshops and to assist in the understanding of SPARK! The simple definition for me is SPARK is your life's purpose. Defining your life's purpose is never simple. It is always journey, one to be embraced and enjoyed. I will discuss the SPARK acronym, one letter at a time over the next couple of months. Here we go...
S stands for STORY! What's your story? We all have one. Where did you grow up? How many siblings do you have? Did you go to college? Are you married? etc... This is the starting point, the facts of your story. But let's move deeper.
What are your talents and gifts? What are the things that you do really well and bring great joy to your life? There are no rules here...it's your story. Take a minute to think about your talent and gifts. Are you a great listener? Cook? Writer? Comic? What are those things that 'light you up'? cause you to 'lose track of time'? that you 'can't stop thinking about'? If this is your first time asking yourself these questions, write down a few thoughts and come back to it. Meditate on this question. Remember it's a journey.
What are your challenges? We all have them and typically we are not shy about listing them. Maybe you don't think you are good at math, or speaking in public, or cooking. Again, there are no rules here to say you must be good at math or an excellent cook unless your goal is to be an engineer or a chef! Obviously, I am oversimplifying this example. The point is to acknowledge your challenges and put them in perspective. If you have a challenge that appears to be an obstacle to your goals, reflect upon it and if necessary, create a plan to turn it from a challenge to a talent. It's how we grow on our journey.
All the events of our lives have an impact. The good, the bad and even the ugly contribute to our story. The good events typically add to our confidence and clarity. The bad or ugly events usually do the opposite. It's the painful events that provide us with an opportunity to grow.
Often when we reflect on our lives and recall the painful times, we can get stuck or dwell on the past and what we could have or should have done differently. This is the time to remember that everything happens for a reason. I know this can sound trite or even harsh, especially when you are in the moment. I believe in my heart this is true - everything happens for a reason. And when we are ready to learn and grow from our painful experiences we blossom. We have the fuel and energy to take the next step on our journey.
So, what's your story? I encourage you to find a notebook or start a new document on your computer and begin reflecting and writing about these questions and your story.
Peace, Love and Sparks! Deb
Debbie Moulton is the owner of Real Life Spark, a coaching practice dedicated to Igniting the Next Generation of YOU!™