This post is part of the series entitled “The embodiment of stories”.
Beth Cleland, a certified yoga instructor, invested some time to reflect on her story. We were honoured to mediate Beth’s story and as a result, a set of 3 blog posts were materialised in our Meta Journal. The first two posts taped into the practice of yoga and meditation. Now, along side with Metaphora, Beth Cleland shares some of her reflections on turning 60.
The embodiment of one’s life story
“This year I turn 60. Because this age seems like a major transitional point in my life, I have been ruminating about what lies ahead and what has passed. It’s a process that has caused me to reflect on my life narrative, or should I say narratives, that make up my sense of identity, influence my relationships, and my role in the wider community.”
This process of reflection was intensified over the past few years when Beth realized the profound impact that internal and unconscious stories have in determining her life choices and direction.
“I noted that if I did not consciously focus on writing my own story that others’ agendas had a tendency of taking over and writing it for me.”
Although discovering that hidden stories had a disturbing effect, even more unpleasant was to realise how absurd and dysfunctional her beliefs were, once she became aware of them.
In a previous post Beth describes how she became aware of the constant feedback loop of habitual internal story telling, through the practice of yoga and meditation. Beth found a very interesting metaphor for the stories we tell, without questioning the type of message we send to others and most importantly to our unconscious mind.
“I now affectionately refer to my hidden scripts as Zombie stories when I catch myself unconsciously acting them out.”
Your story and the stories of others
Beth also became aware that her stories are not hers alone.
“On my shoulders I carry my parents’, grandparents’ stories extending back through my ancestral DNA. Attachment to my stories of how I should be, how my relationships should work, and how I should be regarded by others in my community/society, leads to suffering when my expectations are not met.”
Likewise, Beth has observed others suffer when she failed to conform to their expectations.
“Living 60 years, I have had my share of suffering which I guess just makes me like every other human being. Many times my suffering is related to change; unexpected change to my career trajectory, my changing role as a mother and an adult child of deceased parents, cultural and social change, and change to my status as an aging woman.”
Perhaps more importantly, Beth realised how her attachment to her old story lines blinded her to new possibilities, new relationships, and her self-growth.
Updating your story
At this time in her life, Beth is taking a chance to look at her story from a different angle. By doing that she is discovering new opportunities to learn, not only from her achievements, but also from simple things in life:
“As a grandmother I take delight in the imaginative stories my grandchildren tell me. Their minds are like the Buddhist metaphor of a clear blue sky, not yet clouded by cultural and social conditioning. For them, each day is full of unexplored wonder and magic.”
The story of Beth Cleland was mediated to allow others to learn from her experiences on the topic “The embodiment of stories“. Beth’s reflections were divided 3 parts, which included “Understanding my story through yoga”, “Re-connecting with my body and my story“ and “Reflections on turning 60″.
“I am grateful that Metaphora is opening one such collective space for this endeavour.”
Do you have a story you would like to share in relation to this topic? Feel free to share it in the comments’ section bellow.