Playing your story
June 16, 2014
I have recently become fascinated with how human beings create and bring to life our stories – how we are able to take a dream or a vision and then turn it into a reality that can be lived, breathed and shared with those around us. I believe that all of us on the planet are creating stories with every thought we think, every feeing that passes through our bodies, and every choice we make regardless if we are consciously aware of it or not. However, whether these stories remain ‘intangible imaginings’ or become ‘lived happenings’ seems to be completely up to us. This is the bit that truly fascinates me. Why? Because I meet so many people who are currently suffering at the hands of their own unlived dreams – people who are aching inside because they have never managed to follow that path or manifest that goal. I am interested because 99.99% of the people I work with come to me for assistance because the stories they want to write either personally or in their organisations are the ones that remain just out of reach. They are stuck, blocked or stalled in bringing their visions fully to life.
The question I always start with is WHY.
➢ What stops us sometimes and yet not at other times?
➢ How can we feel blocked and stagnant in one area of our life and yet at the same time be free flowing and liberated in another?
➢ How can we be a proven successful leader, and yet still fail and flounder in self-doubt when circumstances or people change?
I have spent many, many years in the dream world, playing with my imagination and concocting visions and plans that are very diverse, yet always beautiful. My deep belief that ‘anything is possible’ has facilitated many journeys into the vast potential of my life in the universe, and yet only about half of my visions ever seem to appear in this third dimensional reality called ‘my life’. Not bad, you might think – 50% is quite a high ratio when playing the manifestation game ! But I get really interested in the stuff that stays locked in the dream world, after all this is the stuff that agonises us as human beings. By taking a closer look through my work over the last few years I have started to come up with some potential answers.
Curiosity, I believe, is one of the most powerful emotions that a human being can experience. When we are curious, we are open, we are expansive in our thinking and we are free to explore. It’s funny, but not surprising, that these are all things that we associate with childhood. So when faced with an interesting dilemma, I get curious. I become childlike and ask many questions, even some stupid ones*. I also involve others in the process of seeking answers and make it into a game. I don’t try and have ALL the answers at once. Just some will do to start with.
*I don’t really believe that there is such a thing as a ‘stupid question’. Just stupid answers.
To do this successfully, I try and draw out of people the capacity to play. When we are children, play is our primary form of exploring the universe around us. We ask a question (usually of an adult) and decide whether we like the answer we are given. If you are anything like me, most of the time you thought the grown-up answer to questions such as ‘Can I fly ?’ And ‘Where can I find fairies ?’ fell drastically short of the desired response. Therefore, I would use my ever-curious imagination and come up with an answer that was suitably inspiring to my map of the world. Then I would play with it. I would have fun with it. As you play with a concept or a vision, other answers and options emerge. You never know the whole story or game until you start somewhere, anywhere and play with the parameters. I would create games that involved imagining my answer in vibrant detail , and start boldly telling others the story of how my answer was happening in my life and the amazing and miraculous things that were occurring as a result.
Pretend its happening now
I would pretend that my dreamed outcome was REAL NOW. Lo and behold more often then not it became so for me. My sisters and I would jump off of our bunk beds and fly. We would invite our fairy friends over and play with them in our back yard. The more people I involved in the process, the faster it went – as if I had a group of supporters all backing up my version of reality. The more we ‘played pretend’, the faster things showed up in reality that proved our games to be real. The more we became immersed in the game, the quicker we forgot that it was ‘make believe’ and the faster we accepted that it was ‘just the way things are’.
Taking a step back, the question I asked myself is ‘How is this process any different from the one we all use in the adult world when we are setting goals, creating a vision, telling a new brand story’? The answer I received back was clear – its not ! It’s exactly the same. We all know that the best storytellers are the ones who can tap into their vast imaginations and bring that narrative to life for their listeners. They are the ones who are brave enough to share their inner dreams and invite those around them to join in with their game of ‘make believe’**.
**Just think about the phrase ‘make believe’ for a moment. The clue’s in the words!
We also know that many of our most successful leaders, entrepreneurs and visionaries are the ones who are able to put aside their limiting beliefs and play ‘make believe’ successfully with large numbers of people. Sometimes this is called a corporation; sometimes it’s called a community. Either way, social change tends to start with a curious question, followed by an imaginary dream that is played into reality by a group of child-like, open people. Pretty soon the imaginary stops being intangible and through the process of exploring options and taking inspired action, it is created in reality. If you believe that you can do something or, better still, that you are already doing it, fairly soon you will start to see evidence showing up in ‘true life’*** that supports this belief. Your filters are set to noticing the signs of your manifestations and your inner and outer stories start to reflect this.
***My sisters and I came up with the phrase ‘true life’ to reflect things that happened in this reality as opposed to ‘life’ which included everything we could possibly ever imagine and more.
But back to the dilemma of when it’s not working – what elements of this recipe for success are missing when things grind to a halt? My client’s answers including things like;
➢ It’s stopped being fun
➢ No one believed I could do it so I stopped believing in it myself
➢ I started to take myself too seriously
➢ I can’t see the whole picture so I feel stuck until I do
➢ I never have enough time to spend on my vision****
➢ Life took over
➢ It’s just a dream
****The biggest human story that stops you in your tracks of being magnificent is ‘I don’t have enough time’ – its still a story. You get to choose whether you believe it or not.
Stop for a moment. Take a deep breath and look at your own life story thus far. Can you, hand on heart, swear that you never say any of the statements above? Pinky swear? If so then you really should have no worries at all when it comes to manifesting your biggest story in the world. If, however, you are like most of us on the planet then the likelihood is that you say quite a few of those statements (in your own way) fairly often. I do. My friends and family do. Our colleagues, our leaders, our education systems and our media stories often do. The question is this – when you catch yourself saying them, how do you respond ? Do you laugh at yourself and reset your inner story to openness, curiosity and play ? Or do you give into the negative, continue being serious and give away your power as the writer of your dreams?
My stepchildren often say to me ‘Gen, you are technically an adult but you are definitely not a grown up’. That is the highest accolade I have ever received. I invite you to remain child-like in creating your stories. I invite you to spend time every day accessing your inner ability to play and pretend. And I invite you to be courageous enough to welcome those around you into the playground of your life story – the more the merrier ! If they are ‘in’ they will help you to manifest your story faster then you ever could do alone. Never take yourself or your current story too seriously either; it’s always bound to change.
Become potent in your playing. Curiosity is the key that opens the door to inspired action and magical results. Bravery and belief are the secrets to success.
Want to play with likeminded storytellers? Come join in with the fun.