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Our Stories

Updated: Sep 28, 2020

I have two potted philodendron plants that are not happy, with their leaves drooping no matter what window they are in and how much or little water I feed them. Yesterday I repotted them with new dirt and left them in the open air. I don’t know what else to do. I have checked all the obvious solutions. This morning they seem happier, stronger, healthier.

Are they stuck in their story about their near demise? Are they hanging on to their drooping leaves of the past? Are they feeling the woes of the world because their caretaker was not understanding their needs?

We all have stories. Our stories are important. They define where we’ve been, who we are and where we’re going. True healing happens when our stories are heard. However, in reality, our life stories do not define who we are. They define what we learn.

Stories make books and poems and movies and memories. Every story is made up of words that are generated from thoughts that are generated from our hearts and minds. Stories represent humanity.

Michael Meade, a mythologist and storyteller says, “There’s very little difference between a song and a poem, between a poem and a story, in between a story and a prayer so that anytime someone is singing a song or telling a story or reading poetry to a child, they are also inviting a child into a prayer. There’s never a need to take that down to the level of the child at all because there’s something in the child that already knows all this and is waiting to hear it again. So parents and teachers that give great poetry or stories are feeding this old soul that’s in the child and are reassuring the child that they have come to the right world. Yes, the world may be confusing and the world may be increasingly chaotic but this is the world where those words are said.”

There is only one mistake you are making: you take the inner for the outer and outer for the inner. What is in you, you take to be outside you and what is outside, you take to be in you. The mind and feelings are external, but you take them to be intimate. You believe the world to be objective, while it is entirely a projection of your psyche. That is the basic confusion . . .

Participants’ Reflections:

  • I’d like to just acknowledge that we are holding Louisiana meditators, their pets, their homes, their lives in our hearts in relation to Hurricane Laura. I know we all have it on our minds today and we are holding them in our hearts.

  • I was struck with thinking that our feelings and our thoughts are outside us and somehow that had not occurred to me before. I looked back to a soul collage that I made and it made a whole lot more sense. In the center, there’s a snow globe and inside it is a little baby. The essence of a little baby. Also, my inner light. The big star and the little lights connect one to another. We’re all interconnected. The little baby is my inner essence. That’s the real me. Feelings are outside. My spiritual practice of social justice is this hat siding with love. I also have a book up here which is thoughts. This helps me visualize what it’s like for me. You can see my inner is huge, this great big snow globe which is comforting to me.

  • Last night, I got a text that a dear friend of mine passed away that morning. It was hard to compartmentalize it and continue with my obligations. All the feelings just flooded in. During the meditation, I felt and saw her floating above me. It was a nice image. She felt free and everything is okay. Thank you for the meditation about stories. It resonated with me.

  • Thank you for the reading. The idea of inside and out being sort of reversed is where my name came from. It was a very dramatic time in my life when I made that realization. I lived in that for a while very deeply. What I realized in the meditation is that I’m still living there, it’s just not as obvious. That is one reason I’m drawn to soul collage. It does represent that transition. At the end of my meditation, I was upside down with my finger on a spinning top. It was a little scary. I need to explore that some more.

  • I started the focus of what is outside and what is in and how to separate them. I was reading about St. Francis and the leper. I’ve heard it many times but I heard it different this time in relation to your reading. If I can embrace that part of me which I want to expel, if I can find it, acknowledge it and embrace it. Then I’ll be able to control the fear and be able to be a part of and accept the fluidity. I came to finding that part of me that has something wrong with me. And I found her. She was dirty, grimy and repulsive. I brought her in. The image expanded into a crowd of people inside a small room and I was giving them gifts. I was naming the things I thought they needed. It was healing as I embraced them instead of making them bad. I saw children who were struggling and I embraced them. If I go in with awareness, acknowledge and accept, I can accept I am.

  • This is reminding me the more I practice mindfulness and practice silence, I become a witness to what goes on inside and I am able to observe the thoughts without identifying them as who I am. That presence grows in the awareness as I am separating from my thoughts.

  • I’m still struggling with meditation but what I heard is people just want to be heard with compassion. I am remembering at a job I had, a coworker was compromised by physical health issues. Our boss was judgmental and impatient. This coworker was a kind, gentle soul who had dreams in his life. He just wanted to be heard. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m being heard. Sometimes it’s a little scary when I share, but I feel it’s okay to do it here. The loving guidance I feel and the acceptance in the group is wonderful. We can help each other so much in life when we can do that for one another.

  • The difference between compassion and judgment is big.

  • This topic reminds me of the reflections on the paradox of life from the August 25 blog.

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