What’s your story?

The stories we tell ourselves.

I’m somewhat of a thinker, though nowhere near the levels of some of the people in my life. Some of them will proudly say how much of a thinker they are. How they spend days, weeks, months and years being a deep thinker.  We are conditioned to think and for the most part, that thinking happens when we are experiencing a burden of some sort.

Interestingly, I feel most well when I am not thinking! When I head out with my dog to the beach, where I see the sun glinting on the water, feel the sand in my toes (I have a hole in my trainer, I don’t walk barefoot!) and whatever the weather I am inspired by the movement of the water and how each day brings a new view. I’m not thinking, I am just being. I am not burdened with thought. I am present.

In the past few months (I’m no longer referring to COVID), I noticed how my internal storyteller has created some of my most burdened moments. Whether it be ‘Will my job be safe’, ‘Will my son cope’, ‘Will my parents survive’, ‘Will I be financially OK’, ‘Will schools still want to engage with our beautiful product?’, on and on and on and on and on. All of the thinking creates a burden of some sort, so why do I do it? The thoughts don’t serve me, they cause me stressful and anxious feelings and deplete my energy.  The tension I create in myself through this kind of thinking is amazing.

I grab on to the thinking, believe it to be true and cling on to the discomfort. I hold the thought, the tension, the anxiety, and the fear. I literally harm myself with my own thinking.

So, I take myself to the beach, and it all magically disappears. It falls away, I literally feel myself breathing, seeing what is actually in front of me and open myself to the moment. I am crazy in love with my dog and the biggest lesson I have learned from her is joy. If I let her off the lead at my flat, she would run across the street, down the zig zag and kangaroo jump her way across the beach into the water. I don’t because I want to keep her (and the walkers) safe, but she practically drags me the route and when I finally let her off, she explodes with joy and I laugh out loud, every time. 

I want to be her. Not literally a dog but be a person with no stories. She lives her life in such a state of calm and playfulness, fully in every moment with no fear or discomfort. I’m a work in progress, and that’s ok. Thinking and stories will come, what I choose to do with them is in my gift. I am learning that this is not a ‘job’ to be done… that’s just another story! I am becoming more familiar with feeling what it’s like to be in the moment, listening, being. Knowing the stories are there and not attaching any specific thinking to the story. Wish me well 😊

What stories are you telling yourselves?

You can find out more about Vicky’s role at Ivy House, the team and our story.

By Vicky Gerrish, Ivy House
4th June 2020

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