"Even if you fall on your face, you are still moving forward."
This has been quite a year. I have written about my father with inspirational stories, with what I have learned about myself, my family, and from my patients. It has been a year of weaving my life and stories and learning with that of my father and a memorial of sorts to him. We all have family stories and beliefs, events, thoughts, and memories that have shaped us. If felt important to me to bring this together for my learning and to share what I have learned with you. As this year is nearing completion, what does the future hold? That is a question we can all ask ourselves as the new year is approaching; what does the future hold?
This has been a year of talking a lot about family, our parents, and their influence on us. It has been a year of talking about interrupted bonds between us and our caretakers, talking about truth and grief and mourning, talking about aging and the winter of our lives, making our lives more conscious, learning how to move from being reactive to people and situations to using our reactivity as a tool towards our growth, seeing repeating patterns in our lives, the power of secrets, what it is like living with those who are all about them or who see everyone as if looking into their own mirror, and more. I have depicted examples from my own life, the life of my father and his stories, and from aspects of my patients.
My father is gone now. His stories remain. He touched many people in his life and left a true legacy; good and bad. We are all good and bad. Hopefully, as we are able to recognize our own goodness and badness we can begin to have more compassion for everyone. We are all in a state of growing and learning. To live such that we bring more light into the world is something to aspire to. Although my father touched many lives and gave a lot to a lot of people, he was all about himself. He wanted to save everyone he could. He wanted to be the savior. He did love to help and his motivation was mostly about himself. I was able to give him a last gift in his life. The gift I gave him was letting him know I knew him and I saw him. He was seen as the person he was in life. What a gift that is…to be seen. Many of us go through our lives wishing we would finally be seen. In contrast, I went to a memorial for a friend just the other day. In this memorial to my friend, it was well talked about that he also helped many people. He did this certainly for himself, but also with the consciousness that he wanted to help others, and was genuinely concerned about the world and its affairs and everyone in it. A story was told that touched me. He would carry granola bars with him wherever he went. When he would run into a homeless person, he would give that person a granola bar instead of money or anything else. It struck me how that little thought and gesture implied a lot of thoughtfulness. It also is a little story which tells a lot about the man.
This is the end of the year 2015, the end of my father's life and the end of a year of my story- telling of stories that held meaning to me. What stories held meaning to you in this last year that you will take with you into the next? What have you learned this past year that you can take with you into the future? The future is unknowable in many ways. What we do know is that the work we do now in our lives on knowing our truths, on seeing clearly what we bring with us from us and from our families, across the generations, and the power to consciously see us clearly and with compassion, the more that does affect our future. We then become conscious collaborators and creators in our lives. There is nothing I know that is more empowering that we can do. It also helps us to live the vital, whole, and healthy lives that can be our inheritance.
Change your Story Change Your Life: Guided Visualization
Sit down in a comfortable chair. Empty your mind and begin to breathe deeply. Take 2,3,4, deep breaths and tune into yourself. Feel yourself being held by your chair. We are going to take an inner trip. Imagine yourself in a beautiful place where you feel safe. This could be a favorite place or someplace in your imagination. See what flowers or trees you want to be surrounded by; if you are outside in your minds eye. Imagine you are surrounded by those you love and feel safe with. Now imagine you are in the middle of the area and all of your ages are around you. See your one-year-old self, your two-year-old self, and so on all the way up to your current age. Ask any of them if they wish to tell you something…how they feel, what they need, etc. Listen to them one by one. Let them know what you really want in your life…more peace, greater happiness, good relationships, a successful business, and so on. Ask them how they feel about your desires. Do any of them have reactions to your desires? Listen to the positive and the negative reactions. Tell them you really want to know. As they share their fears and anxieties and excitement, and so on, listen. Ask them what would help them to move in the direction you want to go towards your desires. Imagine yourself holding those that need comfort. Thank them for sharing with you and let them know you will come back again to this place and to be with them. Now tune into your breath again and breathe deeply. Become aware of your body being held by the chair and when you are ready, slowly open your eyes. If you need to, then write down what you want to remember from this visualization that will help you move into your future.