“I can only say this is a time of awakening for all of us. And we cannot wake up to a new dream until we fully let go of our old dreams and old stories….As we enter the solstice and the end of another year this might be a time for you to reflect on old stories that you need to let go of. What new identity do you want to nurture and manifest in 2016?”
Sandra Ingerman, in Transmutation News
I love how this quote came to me at just the same time as I was wrapping up the first 50,000 words of a novel that I started on November 1, in an impossible race to do something I didn’t even think I could do. A new story emerged on paper, and I hope it heralds the start of some new stories for my life.
I’ve told some of my stories in this blog: The story of how I used to be addicted and got into recovery; the story of how easily I am fooled by liars; the story of betrayal and emotional abuse in my former marriage; the story of my coming out; the story I tell on the Meet Phyllis page in this blog. Without those stories I wouldn’t be who and where I am today. One of my most cherished new stories will be how I am someone who is not defined by my own past, but rather is lead by a vision of potential for myself and for the world.
Here, in no particular order, are some of the new stories I would like to have about my life:
I would like to be the person who has fun, able to say to close friends, “Remember when I told you I was fun impaired? Can you believe that was me?”
I would like to have a story about being more courageous and outrageous with each passing year, personally, artistically and socially. I’ve already started branching out into forms of writing I told myself I couldn’t do. In my new story, I have in my circle people from other places and other experiences, not only people just like me. And next year for Thanksgiving I am not having turkey, I’m having lasagne, because I don’t like turkey and I love lasagne. In my new story, my tastes change, and I embrace them, because it’s bound to make everything even better.
And speaking of food—and this sounds like total fun—I’d like to be able to say I cooked every dish in the Lucid Food cookbook that gave me my granola recipe. I paged through it today, and I’m just not taking advantage of its wonderful recipes!
My partner and I are celebrating our first ten years together this month. (It was a month-long first date.) I’m already telling the story of how I’m finally in a stable, loving, sane relationship. In my new story, I take out the word “finally” because it refers to the past, and I add adventuresome, fun, and wealthy.
That’s right, I’d like to have a completely new money story for my life. I’d like to be comfortable with money, familiar with money, wise with money. I’d like to do things with money, make choices with money, make change (not the dollars and cents kind) with money. I’d like to have all the money I can spend, and enjoy the living f*ck out of it. I’d like to unravel every f*cked up belief about how I can’t handle it, don’t know anything about it, don’t work hard enough for it, don’t deserve it, don’t do anything worth that much, can’t hold onto it, or that I need it to be happy, fulfilled, secure and to have fun. And I’d like the money story of the world to transform from one of lack and competition to one of sufficiency and empowerment for every single human being from the get-go. None of this earning basic daily needs shit. That kind of reality has got to go. When it does, so will terrorism and exploitation of people and the planet.
For my health, I’ve always been iconoclastic, declaring at various points that I don’t believe in germs, don’t believe in the immutability of genetics, do believe in the wisdom of the body to destroy cancers, to tell me what to eat and how to move, and to basically rebound from insults to it. Now I would like to have a story that my body continues to be this strong, resilient, talented, versatile home, with amazing hands, amazing legs, amazing organs, amazing brain, amazing ability to adapt and just keeps getting stronger and more flexible, increasing its capacity for pleasure and aliveness with each blessed breath.
I would like to have a story that tells how I play music, make up music, initiate people into music, spread music, enjoy music, encourage music, and generally live a musically alive life. I want to tell the story of making music on a bigger stage, getting people to dance and to trance, and filling up as much space with joy as I can. And for that matter, all the musicians in my story get to play and give us this beautiful vibe created by magic with this mysterious thing made of instinct, rhythm, and a sense of beauty. It’s in us, let’s have it.
I would like to see a new collective story emerge about what is to my mind the biggest ignored demographic on the planet: middle-aged women. I am surrounded by women forty and older, and I don’t see any of them slowing down, withdrawing, starting to take it easy, stopping being involved, evolving, caring, growing, and in many cases, powerful women who are going about making this world a better place for everyone. And in many cases, they are just getting started. I would like this to be the new meme going around Facebook, etc: Have you seen my best friend, wife, partner, mother, mother-in-law, aunt, boss, employee? She is rocking this world with self-examination, caring, spiritual exploration, and healing.
I would like to have a living, daily appreciation of the fact that I live in peace, in safety, surrounded by good people, and that I have no real problems, except the ones I choose to take on. And while I’m at it, I would like to feel comfortable saying what I believe and be able to withstand people’s opinions that I am crazy, wacked, naive and living in a bubble. And I’d like to be rid of the belief that if I talk about how good it is, I am setting myself up for having it turn bad, one of the biggest ways I censor myself in my expression.
I would like to have a story of nurturance, support, and security–how life seems to conspire to send me wonderful people who believe in me and where I am blessed to finally be able to believe in myself, to comfortable in my own skin in front of you, not just by myself where it’s safe and familiar.
I want to live the story of how I follow my hunches and blow my own mind, continually transcending my idea of who I am what I am capable of, and while I am at it, I would like to inspire that in others, people who know me, people who don’t. In my world, my success just might be the one that tips the balance for all of humanity. But if it happens to be yours, that’s okay, too.
What if it’s all a dream, and we get to navigate our dream by the choices we make? What if awakening means having a greater range of choices? What if we were guided in our choices by inspiration, not fear? What if the healing of our lives can be done one powerful, mind-blowing choice at a time?
May our collective story be one of resources, resilience and responding that is more often than not a choice for love, for aliveness, for healing, for reconciliation, for joy, and, yes, for fun, for everyone. What if that’s how it was meant to be?