The Stories we tell to Transform our Lives
What are the stories that you are weaving with your life right now?
Which mythic journeys are you enacting, perhaps unknowingly?
What are the stories of the land where you are?
What are the stories of your ancestors?
As children we had bedtime stories, fairy tales and especially the imaginative stories that are created in the moment of play with others. In adulthood there can be a forgetting of stories, they are disappearing from our lives with the advent of non-fictional fact learning and bullet point presentations.
However an embodied sacred practice such as ritual and ceremony welcomes back your stories. It recognises that the storytelling art is the way to access You the Inner Shaman, You the god/goddess, You the healer, You the dreamer.
In the sacred art of story telling you enter a timeless place where your ancestors of the past stand with you and the future children beckon you towards them. You enter a living landscape where the trees speak to you with messages and the water flows with a tune of remembering.
In story telling we are ‘restorying’ our world. As an aspect of spiritual practice you are engaging your intuitive, imaginative capacity to weave wholeness, understanding and healing into your lives.
My experience is that to restore the stories of our land, our ancestors and our lives is a process of re-making the sacred.
Early on in my spiritual growth adventure, I learnt how ‘not to get stuck in my story’ was an essential part of awakening. To not believe the ‘little me’ stories of lack of self-worth, unloveableness, etc… although interestingly the ‘unsticking’ process was normally one of becoming conscious of the story and saying it out loud in a group… telling the story in order to free the spirit.
It was only years later when I recognised this cathartic storytelling was only half the equation and that storytelling was also the thread that reminded us of our dreams, of our greater possibilities and the values that encourage us to reach into the unknown and create miracles.
In ritual and ceremony I found the home of transformational storytelling; the type that opens up doorways to the unseen, that invokes truth and meets the ever present yet often unheard wisdom of the spirit world. Let me give you some examples and starting places for accessing the power of sacred story… and maybe you too will tell a few more transformational stories this day, week and lifetime.
The Stories of Now – Owning your Epic Adventure
There are peak points of emotion, awakening and transformation in our journey. When you bring the personally embodied nature of story to them then you reignite your own sense of greater Self and you inspire others. For example notice the difference between these two:
The non-story: ‘I learnt that I had subconsciously taken on board a belief that ‘women are inferior’ and that overcoming that to live my purpose is ‘my conscious practice’.
The story: In 2013 I was standing on top of the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun on the eve of Summer Solstice. 300+ people surrounded me, ceremony was going to begin and I was helping to lead it. There are two beautiful men standing at the centre of the crowd with me, Samir the pyramid discoverer (6 ft tall and looks like a living Indiana Jones) and Gill a native elder from Sedona dressed in ceremonial whites, long white hair to chest, totally in the ceremonial part). Everyone is looking to them to start. Samir says – ok Clare, over to you, you lead it… and he steps back. Gill says to me ‘I have walked the world opening the Venus gateways, this is the time of the women to lead, I am not leading ceremony – it is for you to lead’… and Gil steps back. I feel fear, I am shocked, my heart pounds, will my voice carry to all these people? We say a prayer, we light sage. I open ceremony and call the directions, for whatever I feel in the small me, it is time for women to lead.
Which one touched you more? Which one connected you to a sense of your truth?
How might you re-tell your key life moments through story?
The Stories of the Gods and Goddesses
Do you connect with and have an affinity to a certain God or Goddess? Perhaps you don’t even know much about them but their name holds something interesting to you, like a feint imprint of something you know from another time and place?
Some of the most transformational stories are those that tap you into a secret archetype that has been influencing your life without you knowing. These archetypes are like cosmic patterns that activate your Supra Consciousness Capability and shape shift you into a realm of magic, symbol and synchronicity. We soon discover that our lives seem to be patterned to these archetypes; through both our experiences and even the words we use they show up in our lives!
To take a peak into the Goddess stories and potential – see our upcoming Lakshmi event. A good place to start is to research the symbolism (elements, animals, objects) and adventures of your favourite God or Goddess. How might they mirror or inform areas of challenge or growth for you?
Do you want to take it to the next level? Bring these symbols to your altar or a sacred place in your home and ask the energy of the archetype to guide you in alignment with the greatest good of all. For those interested to dive deep, archetype exploration is a key part of the Year of Authentic Ceremony.
The Land and Your Ancestors Speak
When you enter into an embodied practice of ritual, be it as simple as walking consciously in nature or lighting a candle and saying thank you to all that brought you to this point, you might well find that over time your curiosity is piqued. What is the history of this land where I am walking? Who were my ancestors who came before me? Then at some point the land and your ancestors will find you and ask you – are you ready to tell our stories?
For example, last month we went to the Rollright stones in Oxfordshire to complete ceremony and create our 7 Sacred Days to Summer Solstice videos. As I walked the around the circle sounding with a crystal bowl, the phrase that came again and again was – thank you to the ancestors. Thank you to all who have walked before me. I circled with that intent. The next week I speak to my aunt and mention we were there and she tells me that Dora my great grandma lived just 2.3 miles from the stones, in the nearest village! She would have indeed walked these stones…and there I was unknowingly walking her footsteps.
Sometimes stories find you, they want to be heard and shared. Dora and the land have given me the beginning of a thread to follow. I have no doubt I will learn and grow through the process, as well as perhaps ripple some magic through the timelines. So perhaps go walk the land, find photographs of your relatives, where are the stories that are waiting to be told? Or even light a candle to your ancestors, recognise that you are the one they were dreaming of, send love and recognition to your ancestors… then be aware of any threads that come to you over the coming week or days.
May these beginnings open the song and stories lines of your Being.
May the stories that come bring riches for the soul.
May your Inner Shaman be ignited to the next gateway of dreaming your dream into reality.