Stories that Hurt - Stories that Heal

 Real Skills Workshop - Community Event

RS 2023-12-17 Stories

Stories that Hurt - Stories that Heal

Real Skills Workshop: Savvy Relating & Engaging

Hosts: Rick Wilkes (@Rick) and Cathy Vartuli (@Cathy)

Recorded Sun Jan 7 2024

:point_right: Replay is below

:point_right: Get your Circle Membership Here


Real Skills Workshop

They made up a story. It hurts even now to remember what they said… what they insisted was true.

Even though we know that’s not the full story… somehow, the story sticks even now. So so many years later.

Stories. Fairytales and Horrors.

Memorable. Too memorable.

We humans are storytellers. We also are story consume-ers. As in, we take them in like food and weave their parts into who we believe we are.

Pretend we are? Yes, if we take on fictions about us. We’re pretending we’re not miracles. Pretending we’re not good enough (for what?). Pretending that we’re broken, un-useful, unlovable, and always to blame.

The good news is I’ve noticed that we can individually and as a group co-craft fresh stories. Stories that heal. Stories that respect the journey and our innate ability to grow, change, shift, and even transform!

It’s time for stories that heal.

Cathy and I will be together with those of you that want to look at and tap on some stories that are archaic and hurtful… and tap tap tap… and give ourselves a hearty invitation to co-create a narrative that serves our thriving. Together.

Want to join us?

:point_right: Replay is below

If you’re new to tapping, we have a free EFT Tapping Course here.

Part of our story is that where we can co-create mutual generosity, we do. So we make these workshops freely available. We also welcome generous financial support, because such support remains essential to our longevity. If you can include $+ with your registration, THANK YOU!

Appreciate You! Our inbox is open!

With love,

Rick & Cathy ~ ThrivingNow
Your Emotional Freedom Coaches
Schedule private sessions here

P.S. Adira says, “Come to my tea party with all my furry friends, and I shall tell you stories galore – with cookies!”


I asked Grok to share the 10 most interesting facts it knows about the art and science of storytelling.

To my surprise, Grok shared some things GPT-4 hadn’t offered:

  1. Storytelling boosts empathy and affects brain chemistry: When we hear stories, our brains release oxytocin, a hormone associated with empathy, which helps us connect with the characters and the story.

  2. “Liminal space": A concept in storytelling that depicts a character’s transformative journey, often marked by the departure from their comfort zone and the exploration of new, unfamiliar settings, which prompts growth and adaptation.

  3. Storytelling predates the written word: The art of storytelling is as old as human language itself, with evidence of storytelling found in ancient cave paintings and oral traditions passed down through generations.

  4. The “Rule of Three”: A principle in storytelling and comedy, it posits that events or characters introduced in groups of three are inherently more engaging and satisfying to audiences. Classic examples include the Three Little Pigs, the Three Musketeers, and the Three Wise Men.

  5. “Kishōtenketsu" narrative structure: Originating from Chinese four-line poetry, this structure is commonly used in East Asian storytelling and involves introducing an idea, developing it, introducing a twist, and then resolving the story.

  6. The “Chekhov’s Gun” principle: Named after Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, states that every element in a story should contribute to the whole. If you introduce a gun in the first act, it should be fired by the third act.

  7. “Subtext" adds depth to a narrative: The underlying meaning or message in a story that is not explicitly stated allows the audience to interpret and engage with the story on a deeper level.

  8. Stories can be used to heal: Storytelling has been used as a form of therapy, helping people to process and overcome traumatic experiences by giving them a way to express their emotions and make sense of their experiences.

  9. “Storytelling”: A term derived from the Old English word “storie,” which means “history” or “narrative,” it encapsulates the art of conveying narratives to others through various mediums.

  10. The “Hero’s Journey” structure: Many great stories follow a narrative pattern first identified by Joseph Campbell. This pattern is found in myths, legends, and modern movies and novels.


Real Skills Workshop

We’re all born gullible. We take in beliefs and stories – no matter how disturbing. We adapt to them. Believe them!

As children we actually don’t have the capacity to discern their deeper truths and fictions.

The imperative we’re born with is: learn the environment, including the social environment. What are the stories people around us Live By?

Stories help us connect with others and make “sense” of our experiences. It’s why we’ve been telling them for thousands of years, and why they’re such a big part of culture and society.

That doesn’t mean we have to live with those stories forever! We can revise and re-do them to serve us better.

The 3-year-old’s story of Santa is different from the story my almost 10-year-old now understands. His is now the story of generosity… and magic. He’s now part of co-creating the Magic of Christmas and holding that space.

But what about stories that are sticky and icky? Stories about who we are? The pretty one… or the not pretty one? The smart one… or the one who has to struggle to keep up? The artistic one… or the one who can’t draw a stick figure? The clumsy one… or the star athlete? The DIFFICULT one… or the Good One?

The favorite? Or the one not-so-liked?

I had a guy call me a moron in an email two days ago. Hahaha. He doesn’t know that My Story is that I am savvy and smart… savvy enough to delete him from the email list without even replying!

Of course, if my identity stories were different, his words might have once again “affirmed” my harmful story about myself.

We are all gullible. It’s why it’s a real skill to lean how to detect the harmful stories we have taken in (and made up) and… re-craft them.

Wouldn’t you agree that it’s likely that I, Rick, have done something moronic in my life? Perhaps even yesterday? Yeah. But my story helps me heal from those experiences.

I wish for all of us Healing Stories… that when we goof or get hurt or are unliked by someone that, well, we can recognize that someone not liking us isn’t the same as a general story that we’re unlikable!

Even if that person was mom or dad.

But we’re born gullible, and dang, of all the inner emotional work, changing our identity stories is… complicated. Intense sometimes.

And not just childhood stories. We can make up a story about someone’s goodness and even exceptional qualities that, later, we see weren’t actually true.

“I asked for it” or “I deserved it” or “I must not be worthy” are stories, harmful ones, that are ‘useful’ sometimes to protect us from facing the real cruelty that was being inflicted on us.

My own harmful stories have stayed in me sometimes for decades… until they were ready to be re-crafted. THAT’S OKAY.

I just know, with all my heart, that stories can harm us. The ones that do… don’t feel good! They poke at our core, call for attention. They remind us, “There’s something ‘off’ about this story…”

Our harmful stories hurt. They are supposed to. The hurt we feel is NOT, however, because those harmful stories are… true.

If it really hurts to walk, maybe get better shoes… or take the rocks out of your socks and then see how walking feels…

Cathy and I know it takes both courage and the right conditions to start shifting a long-standing harmful story into one that is healing. Once you have the experience, the practice gets easier for sure.

Stories that are healing still may make us cry… but the tears are different than the tears of pain from stories that are crying out to be changed. We hope you’ll join us.

:point_right: Replay is below

Appreciate You! Our inbox is open!

With love,

Rick & Cathy ~ ThrivingNow
Your Emotional Freedom Coaches
Schedule private sessions here

P.S. Adira says, “I have my magic hat on… now, what story am I going to make up next?”

1 Like

Cancelling the workshop today. We’ll reschedule for January. I’m sick.

I’m sorry you are sick. Sending angels and love.
angel 3


Real Skills Workshop

Stories. We make stuff up… like who we are… and are not.

It’s weird and wonderful to finally realize that we have the capacity to craft our own life story.

I had a story that I was a terrible dancer. I wrote the story when I was in 7th grade and it stuck with me for decades.

Then, I read another story: “If it feels good when you dance, you are a good dancer!”


Suddenly my old story seemed archaic, incomplete, and even harmful to my joy.

I’ve witnessed what happens when old crusty stories are brought into the light, tapped on, and someone chooses to freshen their story (belief) in ways that make them smile again.

Our stories block us. Our stories can hurt us.

I’ll say that if we have a harmful story about ourselves, it’s at best partially true.

If you failed at something, does your story include your courage to even try?

If you were bullied, does your story include the tender aspects of you that could never, and would never, be cruel like that?

If trauma was the backdrop of parts of your life, who have you become since? And what has become even MORE important to you as a result of what you endured?

None of us reading this have completed our story.

Tending to our own storytelling (and recognizing when we’re storytelling) is a real skill.

We can craft stories that serve us. Indeed, we always are.

Cathy and I will be together with those of you that want to co-create narratives that serve our thriving. Together.

Join us! We’d love to have you with us.

:point_right: Replay is below

With love,

Rick & Cathy ~ ThrivingNow
Your Emotional Freedom Coaches
Schedule private sessions here

P.S. Adira says, “Want to hang around together this year? Might get weird and messy… so wear your sparkle boots!”

1 Like

Stories that Hurt - Stories that Heal - Session Replay

:point_right: Get your Circle Membership Here

We welcome your insights, ah-ha’s, and sharing. Please! Click [Reply]

We covered…

  • Power of Stories: Stories play a significant role in shaping our perceptions and interactions.
  • Perspective and Interpretation: Our personal values and our traumas and life experiences influence the stories we tell and hold as “true.”
  • Impact of Negative Stories: Harmful narratives affect our view of ourselves and how we relate to others.
  • Conscious Story Crafting: Actively choose and craft stories that support our growth and healthy interactions.
  • Tapping: Tapping (EFT) helps to reframe and heal from hurtful stories.
  • Self-awareness in Storytelling: Understanding our own stories and how they interact with others’ stories helps us be more savvy and compassionate (and less triggered!) in our relating
  • Transforming Stories: Focus on transforming hurtful stories into healing ones through empathy and understanding and clarity about what matters to you.

Resources Mentioned

  1. Free EFT Tapping Guide

  2. Thriving Now Emotional Freedom Circle

Click for Computer Generated Transcript

Stories that Hurt - Stories that Heal

[00:00:00] Stories that hurt and stories that heal.

[00:00:02] This is a real skills workshop and Cathy and I, we know that stories are how the How we interact with one another they’re a part of it. And even though, , I may be listening to someone who Feels that they are saying an absolute nonfiction story. That is what it is It is their perspective and part of we believe the skill of interacting and relating And co creating with people is to be able to discern what’s their story, what’s my story, and particularly if we’ve taken on a story that doesn’t serve us, that’s actually harming us and hurting us.

[00:00:46] And I, I’m Rick from Thriving Now, and I’m delighted to be here with Cathy Vartuli from Thriving Now and the Intimacy Dojo. And I know, Cathy, you’ve done a lot of work on stories that hurt and stories that heal, and I, I’m really looking forward to hearing It’s a topic I’m very passionate about. We can use stories in incredible ways to help people learn through all kinds of resistance people have.

[00:01:13] If we tell you a story, we can give you a great, great information and tips. If we include the story, you’re probably going to remember that story decades from now, but you may not remember a single one of those tips or even who we were. Um, and our brains are geared that way. A lot of our learning, the best learning that we do is through stories.

[00:01:32] And they can also be used, fables and myths about people can be really very harmful. We believe them. Um, and I don’t think they’re all ill intentioned. I certainly think that our media often will. Exaggerate things and create stories to try to control us. And I want to be more based in reality than they would like probably for us to be.

[00:01:54] But just on a protective mechanism, we often create stories about what happened. We don’t understand what happened, so we make up a story about this is what they were doing. This is why they did it. Because our brain needs to have some kind of like that unknown is very hard. And I do think that it’s okay to be with unknown, but generally our brains will try to fill in gaps and tell us what happened.

[00:02:16] Why? When we’re really guessing and other people are doing the same about us. We have our own beliefs, our own stories about who we are and we start interacting like the stories are interacting with each other versus. Humans interacting with each other. And that can really limit us in some ways.

[00:02:35] Especially if we’re not consciously choosing what stories to let in, what beliefs to let in. We’re just kind of accepting what’s coming at us. We may find that we’re really dissatisfied with life and we don’t feel really engaged and we’re not sure why. We’re feeling we’re at the whim of other people and it could well be that we’re really believing a story that just doesn’t fit who we are and we’re trying to live up to that.

[00:03:00] Um, I remember the first time I had someone wag their finger at me and say, you’re making, you’re making up a story. I was so offended because In my mind, I was speaking of a non fiction. This was a non fiction story. This was the truth. And the assertion was that, um, this was all made up. And so I wanted to orient us here around what do we mean by story?

[00:03:28] And, um, someone I, uh, uh, someone I, uh, follow on X, um, his name is Brian. And, um, Beautiful soul. And he said that we are storytellers and tool makers and that helped inspire this. And I think about, you know, as Cathy said, stories is a way that we communicate and we have different genres. We have nonfiction.

[00:03:59] We have historical novels and historical biographies, historical autobiographies, we have, um, fantasies, we have fairy tales, we have, um, uh, my family watched, uh, Frozen 2, again, I’ve definitely seen it at least 15 times, and there’s part, there’s part of that animated story, that fairy tale that really speaks to me.

[00:04:33] Um, even, uh, you know, fighting with the water and the water spirit. And, um, you know, there’s so much to that story that resonates and I, I can see in my, my boy as he’s, I’ve watched it with him from the time he was five, he’d already seen it. 20 times. Um, he’s less into it now, but, you know, I noticed that he noticed different things about that story.

[00:04:59] He took things from it, and I suspect, many decades older than him, I take things differently and I have life experience that makes that story mean something to me. And so, um, as we, as we explore this, if you find yourself feeling a memory of like being called a liar, when what you were telling was something that you, that was your story, that was your memory, that was your feeling, that was It’s really like what?

[00:05:32] Wait, I’m not a liar. This is what I’m saying. And, and maybe you remember being a liar because the story that was like the nonfiction version of it was not going to be something that would have kept you, for example, safe. Um, it wasn’t something that you could handle. Um, I have both in my, in my experience, um, yeah, I think I love what you just said about, like, being called a liar.

[00:06:05] We have different things we notice in any, like, there’s, there’s like formation. And I think that I, I. If I’m remembering the numbers right, like we have like thousands of bits of information coming at us each second, just visually forget about hearing or sensation or temperature, which we’re all picking up.

[00:06:24] We all notice different aspects of things, different things our brains think are important. And so two people objectively watching the same experience, maybe from a slightly different perspective. You know, standing slightly different to it. You come up with totally different experiences that they had.

[00:06:40] But then we’re also painting in our interpretations of that. And like one person could be like, it was so horrible. And the other person can be like, oh, this just happened. This person was riding a bike and they went off the curb and they fell. It just happened. They got up. They’re okay. Another person, maybe because they’ve had experiences where they were really traumatized, like, oh my God, it was the worst thing ever.

[00:06:59] So there’s interpretation, and there’s also what we notice, like, oh, the boy wasn’t paying attention to where he was biking, and the other person’s like, oh, yeah, he was like, you distracted me. So we start, like, There’s the visual effects that a video recorder could pick up, and that we may or may not emphasize, but then there’s all the interpretations that go on after that, and some people are very attached to them.

[00:07:24] They have meaning because of other experiences they’ve had that they’re very tightly attached to, and when we’re little children, we’re trying to learn to interpret the world, and when someone older and bigger than us calls us a liar or says we didn’t see it right, it’s really natural for people to go, oh, Maybe I can’t trust my interception.

[00:07:42] Maybe I can’t trust my interpretation. Um, and you know, we’re little trying to figure out the world and who we are in it. And other people are telling us stories about ourselves with all their filters and interpretations. So there’s a lot being lumped on. And when all that happens when we’re little, our brain is still exploring.

[00:08:01] It doesn’t have a solid, you know, like, I understand the world feeling, though we may think we do. We’re very easily And it goes into our subconscious. So if, as adults, we’re still being influenced by the stories other people told us about ourselves, or our experiences of how well we saw the world, and it may even be that those adults didn’t see it as clearly as we would have liked, um, or as cleanly, in the sense of like, objective reality, not bringing in other stories or lots of interpretation in it.

[00:08:35] Um, and it’s nothing putting, not saying anyone’s bad or wrong, this is just, people do this. We interpret things. And part of why we call this a real skills workshop is I my story is that if I’m aware of the fact that people are storytellers, and then I’m a character. In people’s stories, maybe even a caricature in someone’s story, or maybe I don’t even recognize myself by the way they describe this guy, this character named Rick, like all of those are in my background and I’m bringing those to this workshop because I, I want, I believe it’s savvy for me to be aware of that.

[00:09:28] And accept that that’s a reality and to be savvy in. Recognizing like what kind of storyteller am I engaging with? Is this a do they tell stories about me where I recognize myself or Um, are they seeing me through? Lenses that may be perceptive on in some spectrum, but don’t really serve me. Maybe they are harmful So for example, i’m pretty 8 billion people There might be someone that points at me and says you rick are a failure.

[00:10:05] Has anyone been called a failure? When you’re like, what? Okay, so that’s in my energy field, you know, that reality, the things that I’ve been called. Finger pointing kinds of things. And I, we use EFT tapping because it’s a tool tool makers and tool users. We use this tool to, um, to shift the energy about it.

[00:10:34] Because for me, if somebody points their finger and says you are X, right. Um, there’s a jolt. And I don’t know what to do with it in my energy field right away. And sometimes it gets stuck there and it becomes a story that hurts. The story is this person. I really want it to like me, for example. Thanks that I’m a creepy old dude.

[00:11:05] Okay. Yeah, that’s hard. So since you’re listening in a part of this workshop, whether live or on the recording, thanks for joining us. Um, if there’s a, you are, that’s kind of sticky, like, Oh, they said you are. What? Um, And I just want to emphasize one of the things that Rick said about like when people judge us from the outside, our survival brain is really geared to pleasing and being seen as valuable.

[00:11:41] So when we when someone else tells us a story about how we may not be as valuable It may not be as important, uh, or I’m less loved that our survival brain just like, Oh my God, it gets that that jolt is partly like I might not survive. They might not protect me from the lions that come or if I hurt myself, they may not feed me.

[00:12:01] Um, you know, like, you know, someone might not come and bring me extra firewood and that could be life or death. If we lived in a. You know, so if you can be gentle with yourself, when we notice, like, I often like I shouldn’t, I shouldn’t, uh, be influenced by other people’s stories. I could should stand strong.

[00:12:21] My survival brain is like, no, no, no, no. And it’s very powerful. So I think it’s, it’s great to like, give ourselves like, Oh, I recognize this. Thank you, Survival Brain, for really paying attention to this. And I don’t, maybe I can turn on the dial, I can consciously give myself a break and go, That’s one person, there’s a lot of other, there’s 8 billion other people that I could reach out for now.

[00:12:43] So, we’re going to use some tapping here on the UR. If you have one listed, maybe put how intense it still feels to you now. Like, The one I’m picking is still an eight.

[00:12:57] And laughter and tears are welcome here. Um, and I offer that to myself as well.

[00:13:06] Even though they said I, I was that. Even though they said I was that. And it shocked me. It shocked me. It horrified me. It horrified me. It really confused me. It really confused me. And some of that’s still hanging on. And some of that’s still hanging on. Top of the head. How could they think that? How could they think that?

[00:13:32] Well, how could that be their story? How could that be their story side of the eye? Part of me is still trying to figure out, part of me is still trying to figure it out under the eye. How could they see me that way? How could they see me that way under the nose? How could they judge me that way? How could they judge me that way?

[00:13:51] How could they write my caricature that way? How could they write my caricature that way? Hold on, I don’t like what, how they made up the story about me. I don’t like how they made up a story about me. Under the arm, but they seemed so certain it was non fiction. They seemed so certain it was non fiction.

[00:14:09] And at the time I didn’t smell the bullshit. At the time, I didn’t smell the bullshit. Nodded ahead. I can’t stop them from making up stories. I can’t stop them from making up stories.

[00:14:26] And I’m starting to re craft one for myself. And I’m starting to re craft one for myself.

[00:14:37] If there are two stories going on at the same time, and in their story, you are, what’s yours? What is your, particularly if you can tune in to what mattered to you, what your intentions were,

[00:15:05] what comes up in your body?

[00:15:12] If you’d like to share in the chat, welcome. You’re welcome to tap. Uh, Cathy, would you lead us on another round around this? Like, I’d love to. Um, I just, it help if it would help people to tune. We often get stories in our family of origin that start very young. Um, our, it’s very common for certain roles to be assigned to certain kids, certain people in the family, it doesn’t even have anything to do necessarily with what they do.

[00:15:36] Growing up, I was the black sheep. If something went wrong in the family, it was my fault. I caused my parents struggles in their marriage. I caused my mother to be upset. There was a lot of that growing up and it was like a fish in water. I didn’t, I couldn’t recognize it because it was constant and it wasn’t until I went off to college and people were suddenly not treating me that way that I was like.

[00:15:58] What’s hap like, who are these people and what do they want? Um, and it’s been really interesting because that’s changed and evolved in my family now. I’m no longer the bad daughter, the black sheep, and it’s almost disconcerting because it was so constant. But I just wanted to give you something to tune on to, like, if we can start recognizing when we’re swimming in dirty water, it may we may not have the I choose to still spend time with my family.

[00:16:25] I still go back and even when I was still the black sheep, I would go and swim in that water sometimes, but I recognize that the water was dirty and that my responses and it didn’t matter if I brought flowers, like, did you steal them from the neighbor? Like. No, like I kind of bought them at the store.

[00:16:40] Why’d you spend money on flowers? Why didn’t you get something else? Like I could interpret, Oh, I’ve been assigned the story. This role has been a character as Rick was talking about. Like someone has assigned me this role in this play and they’re putting the costume on me anytime I come into the, into their room, into their space.

[00:16:58] And I could say, Oh, they’re doing that. And it’s them, not me. So I just wanted to kind of emphasize that. And I’d like to do a little tapping for that. So invite you all. I’ll just take. Nice breath. Some of this work is very tender, and we’re working at some of the foundations of our archetype and our architecture.

[00:17:19] So, Karate Chop, even though this is pretty tender. Even though this is really tender. I thought I had to make myself different or better. I thought I had to make myself different or better. To fit into their play. To fit into their play, as a positive role. And maybe I don’t have to change that much about me.

[00:17:43] Maybe I don’t have to change that much about me. Maybe I can just change what I’m noticing.

[00:17:52] Maybe I can just change what I’m noticing. Top of that, they’re very attached to this story. Oh, they’re very attached to this story. I know, it makes them feel safe somehow. It makes them feel safe somehow. That’s my story. Maybe it’s not about me at all. Maybe it’s not about me. They needed someone to fill this role.

[00:18:19] They needed someone to fill this role. Under the nose and subconsciously they decided it was me. And subconsciously they decided it was me. Chen, what if I could release this role?

[00:18:35] What if I could release this role? Color one, at least for my own subconscious. Definitely for my own self, subconscious and self confidence. And then what if I could be curious about who I really am? What if I could be curious about who I really am? Top of the head and discard this costume they put on me.

[00:18:57] And discard this costume they put on me and just take a breath and just notice like for me It’s been a gradual process. It wasn’t one day. I’m like, oh this costume is garbage. It was just like Just remind myself and I actually put a post it note. I’m a big fan of post it notes. They’re all over my house Reminders just the question.

[00:19:17] Am I really this? Oh, interesting. And I would like, you know, my brain would be, I’d talk to my mom on the, on Zoom or whatever, and I’d be like going, and I’m like, oh, I see that post it note. I’m just interrupting the pattern a little bit and just asking the question. So again, I don’t think, for some of us, we may be ready to throw the costume away, but for most of us, it’s more gradual.

[00:19:39] Like, I’m, oh, I’m stepping out now. I’m stepping out now a little faster. I’m going to, you know, like there’s a, there’s a process with this. And it’s okay not to have to rip out the roots necessarily, but start noticing that there are roots. Not all of them are yours. Could be really useful. We’re talking about, you know, filters.

[00:20:02] Um, you know, I remember eating a bunch of ice cream. Can you see this? So, and, and I was being, I was called a pig, uh, by my evil stepmother, part of my story. And, um, you know. She saw me as through a certain filter. I believe that that’s a lot of what we do is we see each other through filters. And, um, what’s interesting is.

[00:20:38] For those of us who would consider themselves highly sensitive people or, um, empath, empathetics or empaths, um, my filter is an inclusion filter. I’m getting information that not everybody does. And sometimes I don’t know what to do with that. In fact, growing up, I can point to lots of examples where I was picking up things.

[00:21:07] My inclusion filter was picking up things that were going on in people that I, I didn’t necessarily know what to do with and so I made up stories about it. Um, I, I think stories are incredibly useful, but the ones that hurt are the ones that when we use a tool to start shifting that like Cathy was leading us through, um, we start softening.

[00:21:35] creates some detachment. There’s a, there’s that sense of like being enmeshed in someone else’s story. And as children, we are, we, we, we don’t have that capacity to be, um, really in our own, um, internal reference, our own internal storyteller. Um, it’s part of my intention for, for thriving is that we get to Recognize, acknowledge, and determine how we want to be with other people’s stories.

[00:22:16] Um, side of the hand, I have stories. I have stories. And they’re useful. And they’re useful. And some are really healing. And some are really healing. And some have been hurtful. And some have been hurtful.

[00:22:37] I accept where I am. I accept where I am. And then my brain makes up stories. And that my brain makes up stories. And so does yours. And so does yours. So does theirs. So does theirs. We’re navigating stories. We’re navigating stories. And none of them see it. None of us see them exactly the same. And none of us see them exactly the same.

[00:23:04] Top of the head.

[00:23:08] What if that’s okay? What if that’s okay? Eyebrow. The hurtful stories have been hurtful. The hurtful stories have been hurtful. Side of the eye. I didn’t like being called a pig. I like being called a pig. Mmm. Under the eye. In their story, I was pig. In their story, I was a pig. In my story, I was hungry. In my story, I was hungry.

[00:23:35] Chin, and now in my story, I know I was emotionally soothing myself. And now in my story I know I was emotionally soothing myself. In a very emotionally hostile world. In a very emotionally hostile world. All alone, and ice cream was my friend. Ice cream was my friend. Ah, under the arm. I’m appreciating how my stories are changing.

[00:24:02] I’m appreciating how my stories are changing. I bet there’s some that are ripe for more of that. And I bet there’s some that are ripe for more of that. I think that the evolving part, I think, Rick, is just Like we are evolving and some people are evolving to tighten in on the stories and double down and some people are like, going, I’d like to be a little more curious about this.

[00:24:27] Maybe I like most of the story, but chapter two has some phrases that I really would rewrite if I could, um, like, I think that we can choose. Are we, are we moving towards stories that are more. Um, and I’m not against like, I want to look at things objectively if I did make a mistake, or if I do have things I want to improve.

[00:24:51] I want to look at that realistically, um, and I think we can also, within the realistic looking at things, we can be more positive or more negative. Like, I’ll never get over this as I’m stuck. Or, of course, I can make small changes in my life that will help me start being who I want to be. Um, if that makes sense.

[00:25:16] Um, it’s hard to determine how much is fact and how much is fiction. And that’s where the savvy part of storytelling that’s healing can be helpful. You start with something like Oh, you’re so unlikable. Imagine a story where this really happy, kind, wonderful person is walking through the world and runs into a Grump Olympus.

[00:25:48] And this Grump Olympus looks at this happy, sweet, wonderful human being and goes, I don’t like you. You’re not likable at all. Now, I just wrote a story. From the perspective of me, Rick, looking at that dynamic, and you’ll notice that if I, if I detach from it a bit, it’s a little easier. Now, if I’m the happy go lucky skipping down the street, and a carload of college students calls me an epithet, having to do with my sexuality, and I don’t know what to do with that, who did I run into?

[00:26:30] Is it true? Is it, is it gays that skip down the street? I know a lot of gay men, and I skip more than they, most of them do. So, what’s up with this story? But the story that I made was, Oh, oh my goodness, I can’t be myself on the street. Well, a different story, which I’ve crafted is, you know, there, there are places and spaces which welcome the skipping.

[00:27:01] Happy heart, and there are places that don’t, you know, and I want, you know, part of my story now is around discernment and being savvy, not that’s, you know, I, I like that I skip and yeah, there’s Grumpalumpalus, and there’s, um, bullies and there are other people too, and they exist in my ecosystem. I don’t have a fairytale sort of orientation.

[00:27:29] I want my, my stories to. Recognize even if they’re, they’re fantasies, even if they’re fictional, even if I’m making it up grump Olympus and, and the jolly jelly bean, you know, if I make up a kid’s story about the grump Olympus and the jolly jelly bean, jelly bean, I want to also recognize that, you know, there are people that don’t like jelly beans.

[00:27:56] Um, and so. You know, when someone says you’re too needy, um, and that’s their story, you can say, well, for them. Yeah. I think that there’s often people displaced by blaming outside. So you are too needy versus I am feeling overwhelmed with what you need. Like that’s more like, or I don’t have the resources to be what you need right now, um, would be much more direct and kind and the same, someone asked about how do you deal with, you shouldn’t feel that way or you shouldn’t do that.

[00:28:28] Instead of saying. I don’t feel comfortable when you do that, or I don’t know how to deal with your emotions. I, I could say you shouldn’t feel that. I had a boss and if I said I was upset, he’s like, don’t feel that way. You shouldn’t feel that way. I’m like, I don’t know. I’m so confused. Like, how do I respond to that?

[00:28:47] Um, but he was basically saying, I don’t feel comfortable. I don’t want to deal with that. Or I don’t know how to deal with that. But he wasn’t saying it in a way, it was like shaming outside. So if someone yells at Rick that he’s acting gay, it might be, they feel very uncomfortable about their own sexuality or they’re worried other people.

[00:29:04] And it’s like, when you are that exuberant, I notice I’m relimiting myself and I don’t feel good. We leave that part out is it’s protective for the person that’s saying it. Um, so I think it’s really important if you can, when you, someone says something like that, if we can say, what are they actually saying that they want or need?

[00:29:23] If someone says you’re really, you’re too needy, it just may be that what you particularly need, I don’t feel like I can supply or don’t want to. That doesn’t mean that everybody else, there’s lots of other people that wouldn’t, but they’re painting a universal picture to protect their sense of ego, protect their perception of themselves, if that makes sense.

[00:29:44] And there’s, um, Susan Campbell. Um, I, I read most of her books, uh, and you introduced me to her. Yeah, she’s wonderful. Um, I changed who I was as a storyteller in relationships by just one of the images that she gave. Um, at least I think she gave it to me because I was reading her book. And what I got from it was, if I’m speaking about feelings, stay on my side.

[00:30:11] of the net. And what does that mean? Well, it’s like, I, I’ll give you a little story. Um, my boy is very exuberant, and on the exuberant spectrum, he’s ecstatically exuberant. Um, and that’s sometimes, Now, if I look at that and say, well, you need to get yourself under control. That’s my story, trying to get him to buy into my story.

[00:30:46] I’m inviting him. I’m telling him that he needs to get into my story where such exuberance needs to be controlled. That didn’t work too well. And, and in the interest of being savvy, when she said, stay on your side of the net, I had, well, What is this for me? Well, it overwhelms my nervous system. Not all the time, but sometimes.

[00:31:10] And I had a story about how inside voices and stuff like that, but honestly, I like exuberance. I like to skip. I don’t mind that. And there are times when it’s too much for me. So if I share my, as a storyteller in relationship, if I say, Hey buddy, That’s too much for my nervous system right now. I, I, that much noise.

[00:31:37] Do you, do you feel like you, you can quiet it down? Do I need to put in earplugs? What have, what have you? Now, I am still telling a story, but it is from my perspective and I’m sharing it with him. And it’s, it’s been so much better. Um, you know, even when, when I’m referring to someone else, like, You know, with, it’s hard for me to be around people that are blank.

[00:32:16] That’s different from, I don’t like people that are blank. It’s also different from, people like that, you need to avoid. Those are three stories, different storytellers will tell that. I don’t really have a strong judgment. But I’m wanting to craft stories in my relationships that are more savvy, that get me closer to the people I want to be close to, that help me understand how we’re interacting, how our stories are bumping up against each other, and whether, and particularly, um, to be more on the side of healing than hurting.

[00:32:56] You know, I don’t want my boy to grow up feeling like his exuberance is, uh, he’s too much. Um, or that his desire for attention is too needy. So, and, and someone mentioned that, like, so am I too needy? Well, I think we can all point to moments when we, we don’t have the capacity to meet a need. I’m hungry, fix me dinner.

[00:33:24] You, I don’t have the capacity right this minute to do that. Are they being too needy? No, they’re hungry. I need a hug. Listen, I, I need my space. Are they too needy? Now, if they tell me, you need to hug me. That’s different. I, what, and again, in my story, that is, um, there’s, there’s a respect thing and consent and, um, that I, that’s important to me.

[00:34:02] And so, yeah, it’s. It’s exciting to me to be experimenting with the stories that are like, ouch, oh, that story hurts. And because we delayed this, uh, event, um, I’ve had extra weeks to be, you know, like over the holidays, what’s the story. What’s I was, I was sick with the flu over the, over a bunch of the holiday and my family was well and healthy.

[00:34:30] Um, and they were out having events. And I watched like some of the stories that Rose, and if I do believe in that, if we notice that a story is hurtful to us, or it’s hurtful towards someone else, what, how might we recraft it, um, in a way that serves the relationship. the relationship that matters to us.

[00:35:04] Go ahead, Cathy. Well, I think that language can really help and I see work and I think there’s some aspects of that. This can be helpful. It used to be if someone told me something that was like there sounded like there is a painful process, I’d say that must really hurt or that must, I would tell them what they were experiencing, trying to be empathetic.

[00:35:23] But I was like, Interpreting what they said and guessing what they were coming at is and that kind of can look it doesn’t give people the free a lot of freedom, kind of like I’m telling them what who and what they are. And now I really love I use the radical honesty was like, Oh, I’m imagining that you must feel really sad about that.

[00:35:41] Is that true? I acknowledge, I have a story that that must be really a challenging thing to do. What is your experience? So then there’s a, there’s like a, it’s a softening. It’s still, I imagine it’s still offering support to most people, but it gives them room to share. Oh, it wasn’t really, I’m not really sad.

[00:36:01] I’m kind of angry. Or it gives them room to like. And sometimes I think it helps clarify for them what they’re feeling because they’re like, oh, not that much room for that. And I’m wondering if you started applying some of that for yourself. I think we get into really rigid thinking because we have we internalize what we’re hearing outside.

[00:36:22] And I know I used to, I still do sometimes, but I, I used to speak very harshly to myself. You should have done that. You should have known. You should have like, that’s really, that’s not really loving. That’s not really emphasizing the kind of internal story I want to have. I’m like, so now I try to be like, Oh, I imagine I was doing the best I could.

[00:36:42] And it would have been nice if I’d noticed this sooner. What can I do to help myself be more resilient and calm so I can. Notice things like that, but I just, if we can, if we can kind of pull in some of the gentler, we can practice with other people, but also internally with ourselves, not being quite so certain that our, we understand and interpreted it correctly, um, what other people, cause we don’t know what other people’s experiences are.

[00:37:09] And sometimes we’ve already decided what our experiences were, our intentions were without any like space for. Wow, I had a really rotten day that day. It’s amazing. I was upright and coherent. Like, you know, maybe I could be a little more forgiving to myself. So I just invite a little softening of that in terms of like, Hmm, maybe I don’t have to be quite so definite and already pre decided how to interpret my owner actions or other people’s reactions to things.

[00:37:40] The things I’ve, I appreciated about Tapping Right from the Start was that it, it is a storytelling tool. I get to speak about what the next line of the story is like, um, even though I’m really, outraged that all these clothes are right behind the door. And a part of me has decided that they just don’t even care.

[00:38:07] I deeply and completely accept myself. That started rewriting the story to be more healing because there was a lot of energy to it. And then if we did a workshop on And if you were part of that, you know, that including things like I wonder I wonder if there’s another way of seeing this. Yeah, they’re a bunch of lazy dogs.

[00:38:32] And I wonder if there’s another way of seeing this. Well, it is kind of cold in the house and when they take their clothes off and they get out of the shower and they’re all in their towels, they don’t, they run off and get dressed really fast and they don’t come back. Um,

[00:38:54] if you’ve ever used one of the AIs like chat GPT or pie. ai and you say, well, I’d like. I’d like you to explain this, um, really simply. Now I’d like you to explain it like you’re pissed off and irritated and you have no patience with me. I’d like you to explain this as if you’re so exhausted that to be asked this means, like, Why, why are you asking me to use my last bit of energy to explain to you one more time?

[00:39:31] Please put your clothes In the laundry. Um, it will do that. And I believe that, um, it’s helped me understand that if, if I, if somebody is tuned to a certain way by work, their day, their boss, their work, their energy, what they ate, you know, what’s in their gut, um, the story we’re gonna get back, the way the words will flow, Um, maybe surprisingly short, angry, even dismissive, you know, um, it doesn’t,

[00:40:23] I’m, I’m at this place where I have this big question, having used AI, which has been, which has consumed, you know, trillions of stories and of all types from the mathematical to the fantastical and noticing that I can just ask it to give it to me in many different ways. And it will like. Okay. Okay. You want to be pissed off?

[00:40:47] I can totally do that. Well, I think our brains are similar. We can ask ourselves, how else can I tell this story? Yes. And that’s, that’s the, the kind of, all right, how else might I tell this story? How else could I, their story surprised me, shocked me, saddened me. Pissed me off. How, what’s another way I could see this?

[00:41:18] What’s another way I could see this? Um, I think trauma sometimes gets us to lock into an interpretation. Um, it’s my fault. Like, well, like, like you were saying, Cathy, my, my guess is that if something went wrong in your family, your assumption, um, the story that you would start writing as, oh, they’re, this is my fault somehow, even though I don’t see it.

[00:41:44] As the story unfolds, maybe I’ll figure it out. Maybe I won’t, but I’m going to be, I’m, I’m the scapegoat. I’m the. The antagonist. I’m the, um, the person you can interpret the world as, Oh, I’m too needy. Oh, I’m, I’m not a success. I’m not attractive. I’m unlikable. Um, if, if your genre is this happened because I’m unlikable, this happened because I don’t have skill or savvy in these situations, I invite you to look at.

[00:42:28] Well, what’s another, what’s another, another way of saying this, um, another way of making up a story about this. And what’s fascinating is that when you land on one that’s, that’s healing, you often cry. Um, you know, I was just unlikable and You know, you land on one where, yeah, Grumpalumpaluses don’t like me, people without integrity, they don’t like me, and it’s been so hard to be running into Grumpalumpalus and Cheater and Fraud and, um, you know, them and those, and it’s been such a journey that I’ve been on.

[00:43:19] I’m glad I haven’t lost myself and what matters to me, tears, you know, um, happy. And we’re going to take a break here in a few minutes for seven minutes. Well, I think one of the things trauma and also repeated patterns make neural pathways are grooves. So if you’ve ever seen a dirt road where cars have driven by repeatedly in a certain path, or like there’s dips, and it’s hard to drive anywhere else because like, it’s, They’re grooves and you’ll like be unsteady if you’re not in there.

[00:43:49] Our brain works similarly. So I’ve had intense trauma or a lot of repetition or both. It can be hard to shift those patterns. Someone was talking about a lot of negativity. Um, and I grew up in a family where people just picked on each other all the time. And it’s, you know, I didn’t really like it, but it took a, it took a while to work my way out of that.

[00:44:08] That’s one of the reasons tapping can help shift some of that. A reminder note, a post it note. Like, what can I say that’s kind? How can I like, you know, and it may feel awkward at first, just like when we first start working out and we haven’t worked out or we started to tie our shoes and we hadn’t tied our shoes.

[00:44:26] Anytime we do something new, it feels awkward. Our brain will often say this should be easy. So therefore we want to give up, but anything new is challenging. It feels awkward. That feeling of, eh, this is not easy is actually a sign of us growing. And if you can just keep practicing, then you start growing.

[00:44:48] I want ruts in better places, so it’s easy to drive in other directions. Um, top of the head, I want ruts in better places. I want ruts in better places. Eyebrow, I want more scenic pathways. I want more scenic pathways. Side of the eye, I know where I learned this. I know where I learned this. I know. I want better stories.

[00:45:13] I want better stories. I’m so ready for better stories. I’m so better for ready, better stories. I’m so better for ready stories. I’m so better for ready stories. I’m ready for the fantasy of perfectionism. laughter sigh

[00:45:37] I appreciate that I’m here working on this. I do appreciate that I’m here working on this. And there are, sometimes when I hear what’s coming out of my mouth. Sometimes when I hear what’s coming out of my mouth. It’s not the story I really want to be telling. It’s not the story I really want to be telling.

[00:45:55] I wonder. I wonder.

[00:46:02] I wonder. I wonder. I’ve already got some ideas here. I’ve already got some ideas. So we’re going to take a break for seven minutes. Um, we’ll pause the recording and while we’re paused, If there’s something that you’d like to share in the chat, feel free to do that. Take care of yourself. Um, integrate. Um, and we’re gonna, I, I would love to have some examples of stories that kind of are sticky for you that you might have a difficult, or story dynamics that are, um, challenging for you.

[00:46:38] Uh, so that Cathy and I can explore. Um, you know, different genres and different approaches to take them from being hurtful to more healing, nourishing, um, supportive of your well being and your freedom. And I just, just before you stop the recording, I think it’s important to say we’re trying to be less critical of others and we say something critical.

[00:47:02] It really is okay. To say, oh my goodness, I just realized I said that very critically, and that’s not who I want to be, and change it, to curb, to stop ourselves, even out loud. I think we tend to want to stick to the story we did, but I find it really healing and powerful to say, you know, that’s not who I wanted to be in that moment, I’m really sorry I said that, I’m grumpy today, and it wasn’t about you at all, and I really appreciate this about you, or something.

[00:47:28] Just kind of stopping. Turning it around acknowledging that’s not who we want to be. I think that can be really powerful. So I just want to offer that to you. Thank you. Back in seven.

[00:47:43] Welcome back. Um,

[00:47:51] there’s some great questions and scenarios that are starting to get shared in the chat. We really appreciate those that help make this a workshop by being here live when they can and and sharing. Um, there are places both on the thriving now that center as well as Other places where you may see this, um, workshop, uh, to comment and, uh, ask questions and share your own wisdom.

[00:48:19] We, part of my story is that this work together is about exploring wisdom, emotional wisdom, kindness. Figuring out how to parent used to be a story that, um, your parents were above you as a child, hierarchically, and they deserved your respect and your listening, uh, just because you’re the child and they’re the parent.

[00:48:53] That story that is, was so embedded into the, into certain cultures and still is, and, and pockets and Countries and other places. Um, change for me comes from like crafting a new story. Like I’m, I’m a co creator with my, my kids and shame is part of human reaction. And I remember what it was like and I could share stories of, of shame being used to control what I did, what I said, what I didn’t say, what I revealed and what I didn’t reveal.

[00:49:37] Um, And part of my story now is, shame’s a powerful energy, and, um, what story are we crafting about that feeling? My story that I’m still crafting about shame is, and I, this is, this is what I would, I have said, I said, well, do you like, There was a question about if I say, Hey buddy, it’s too much for me right now.

[00:50:08] And, and he feels like he’s doing wrong. They’re a shame spiral or something. Um, what is, what is the story? I say, well, you like that you’re exuberant, right? I do. Yeah, I do too. It’s been such a blessing in my life. And, you know, part of me wishes that I was always ready to rock. And right now, dear God, I can’t, you know, I can’t.

[00:50:38] And, um, I can say that over iterations of that, um,

[00:50:51] the story I used to, my nervous system used to have when my partner was hangry, um, was. I’ve failed her. Like that’s the story that hit me. And as I, uh, that hurt, that is a story that hurts and crafting is like, Oh, you know, her human body, she tells me in the morning really needs food right away. And, you know, a lot of the times I’m really useful, I make sure she has a protein drink right when she wakes up and, you know, we’ve got food ready, but sometimes she’s going to be hangry anyway.

[00:51:33] And, um, and when she’s in that state of being, I, I know what that’s like, my hangry is different, um, than hers, but I know what it’s like to have low blood sugar or need something. Um, you see how I’m blending in compassion, understanding, acceptance, uh, adaptations. This is part of what I would call, uh, thriving storytelling, is that we look for ways that feel like There are some real challenges with being an empath, but I tell you, when you land on a story that really serves the Wii space, you get tingles.

[00:52:14] You’re like, Oh, I like this story. I can live this story. I can continue to develop. Oh, we’re in book four of this story, and now we’re going to go to book five, and our characters are changing, and Um, does that make sense? I think it’s great and I want to emphasize that that doesn’t mean we can’t occasionally snap at someone or like like we we try to understand we try to be compassionate and there’s going to be days when you have the perfect storm like your boss yelled at you you haven’t eaten the car wins whatever it is like our nervous system we may snap at somebody sometimes or we may do something that is the old story and I really like I try to acknowledge it verbally with the other person as quickly as I can.

[00:52:59] Sometimes I’ll call it break and process, but you know, can I vent for you? Like I’ll, I’ll process it with somebody else and then go back to the person depending on how close I am. But I think the more we can acknowledge we don’t have to be perfect. There are several people talking about perfectionism in here.

[00:53:13] Um, we either think we’re a load of crap or we’re perfect or better than everyone else. That’s a way to avoid what actually is. The truth is, I have some really good strengths and I have some places where I’m frail. And that life can happen so that even my greatest strength can’t stop, can’t, can’t help me sometimes.

[00:53:34] And there’s times when my weakest point is still fine. Like we’re, we’re, but I think if we can be present with those things, I am both. And model that to other people as well. There’s days when I’m going to be snappy and I don’t mean to. I’m going to come back and say, Hey, I’m really sorry. That wasn’t about you.

[00:53:51] Um, what I really should have, what I would have liked to have done was asked for what I wanted. And a lot of people don’t like Rick’s stepmother with the ice cream. Maybe she had a story about there wasn’t enough money or she really wanted some ice cream too But she wasn’t saying hey i’m noticing I would like could you save me a bowl of ice cream?

[00:54:09] You’re eating it all i’m going to call you a pig because i’m not asking for what I want Or I feel that I have to go get it I’m gonna like she’s making like a lot of times when we snap at other people Or we call names like that. It’s because there’s something we’re not We may not even notice we want it, but we’re judging the other person.

[00:54:25] Cause we feel like we can’t say something that we need or want. So his, his son, this is boy to like, Hey, I need some quiet time right now. That’s more likely going to make him snap. If he can’t acknowledge to even to himself or to the other person that he needs and wants. So the more we can kind of say, like.

[00:54:48] And I really like, I used to try, Oh, I’ll be better next time. I’m not going to acknowledge the fact I made a mistake, but I found that kept me kind of stuck in the pattern. So, well, it took some courage, and not everybody responded beautifully. Going back and saying, you know, I felt like my tone wasn’t really where I wanted it to be the last time we talked.

[00:55:06] And I just want to say, you know, that’s not who I, who I want to be. And I really appreciated what you shared. I was feeling tired. I would have liked to have asked for some, to delay the conversation to another time. I didn’t, and I’m sorry that my tone wasn’t as understanding as I would have liked it to be.

[00:55:22] And the, it’s also very good. One, we practice, we’re building the muscles for ourselves, but we also find out who can handle. Who wants to have that kind of a relationship with us? Because, you know, some people may be surprised at first, but they come around or some people are like, yes, that’s great. And the people that don’t want that, maybe they’re not the right fit right now for where you want to go.

[00:55:45] You know, just maybe they don’t have the resiliency. It doesn’t mean they might not have it later, but maybe we don’t need to, I choose generally not to spend as much time with people that can’t hear that I’m infallible. If you want me to be perfect, you should find somebody else, because I’m not perfect.

[00:56:00] None of us are. And I think the more we model that for other people and ourselves, the more we can let go of that rigid, like, I’ve got to either be 100 percent amazing, super person, or I’m, I’m just, someone should dump me in the gutter and just leave me there to rot. And I reckon I’m pointing fingers back at me because I grew up with that kind of mentality.

[00:56:21] If I did something good, I was like, ah, you can’t touch me. I’m better than all of you. And when I messed up, I was just the worst person in the world versus all of us do things we don’t want to do. All of us, like, I have no, no human that is perfect. They may pretend they are, but they’re, they’re probably denying it for themselves too, and that really limits our freedom when we do that.

[00:56:44] I want to share it in the chat. And I think it, it, it goes to, um, have you ever been, have you ever read a story and, um, something was left out and you finished the story and the story is fine, but there’s. There’s something missing. Like, what happened to the dog? Um, and Open loop. Where, where, where’s that thing happening?

[00:57:08] An open loop. And trauma has a quality of open loop to it. Right. What, what happened is a very common, like, I don’t understand. I don’t understand how they could say that about me. I don’t understand. Um, and someone said, I heard someone say that if you speak to yourself and it hurts, what you’ve said is not true.

[00:57:32] And that is a great starting point. Um, like what, what if, what if it feels true? What if it’s not true? But here’s, here’s an aspect of it that I’d like to extend it. It could be not true, and it could be incomplete, could be, and let me give you an example. I’m just not good enough. As a coach, I learned something about that statement.

[00:58:02] It’s so general, what are they talking about? Are you not good enough to drink a glass of water? You know, are you, are you not good enough to spell your name? Like, what are you talking about? And when you get, uh, when you get more complete, it starts filling out the story. I’m not good enough to make my mother love me.

[00:58:24] Yep, she’s a narcissist. She doesn’t have the map. Nobody’s that good. A child and be willing to die for the map is missing. It’s just like Press, press. It’s not there. I’m sorry. Yeah, I’m not good enough to overcome my, my parents personality disorder. I’m not good enough to turn an alcoholic into a sober person and value me.

[00:58:51] Okay. The I’m not good enough is it’s, it’s so much in our, I am, it’s an identity statement. If you have an identity statement that hurts. Look at what does that really mean? Someone? Um, I’m not likable. And I think we mentioned that with the grump Olympus. Um, I, I’ve been unlikable in so many circumstances.

[00:59:24] If you are the only sober person at a, at a a Bacchanal, right? Where people do not want anyone remembering the stuff that goes down, right? But you’re sober and you’re aware you are not going to be likable in general by that group. And that’s my story. Uh, I, I have lots of examples of being the sober person in environments where I started getting looks like, what are you doing here?

[00:59:55] Um, I, I walked into a place to go dancing and I was the only untattooed person and, and someone even called me on it and I’m like, what? It was very confusing to me and I, it struck the, I’m not wanted. I don’t fit in. That’s a story for me, right? Like, from a child, I don’t fit in. That’s a story that hurts. I don’t fit in with tribes that have an identity that I don’t fit, right?

[01:00:37] I don’t fit in with, with people who dot, dot, dot. And you even With whatever story character caricature that you have about me, um, from our last, you know, minutes together or hours together or years together, you can probably guess like, Oh, I would not, I would not suggest Rick go to that event. I wouldn’t suggest that Rick try to have a relationship with that person.

[01:01:08] And, and it’s so if your story that hurts is I don’t fit in with people who. Dot, dot, dot. Because trauma says it’s generalized. It’s the same thing with feeling inferior. Um, our status brain tries to figure out the world and where we fit on the status. We’ve all been taught, you know, in our gene pool, we’ve been toilet slaves and kings and queens.

[01:01:37] So, um, it, it has to figure that out. And so people that are, um, like trying to push us down. They’re trying to say where I’m above you. So part of my story is, Hey, I’m noticing this hierarchy game going on inside of me and with others. Uh, you know, I don’t play cricket and I really don’t want to play hierarchy either.

[01:02:02] So what game do I want to play? I like infinite games. I like games of nature and ecosystem and co creation and Wii spaces. Wow. You see, I just crafted a little story that took me from the, the status. I’m not good enough. You know, my, my bank account isn’t big enough to play with those. Those guys. Um, you know, that hurts like, oh, and I really don’t.

[01:02:30] That’s not what’s drawing me. That’s not really where I want to be. I’m, I’m wondering where I wonder where my people are. My kinfolk are.

[01:02:41] Yeah, um, I think part of the story is like, if we say I haven’t met the people I want to connect with yet. I can’t find them or I, I’m, I’m very lonely. I don’t, maybe I deserve this loneliness. I did a lot of that with the body image work I did because I’m a bigger person. I have more body fat on my body than a lot of people do, but our society puts the word fat with like all kinds of negative associations that you’re dirty, lazy, you know, worthless.

[01:03:13] It’s all put in there. And one of the I’ve tried to do for myself is reclaim the word fat. It’s like, I am fat and that was one of the things someone said if you tell a story and it hurts well that hurt because I was still putting other meanings with it like I’d like this is who this is where I am right now and why can’t I love myself why do I have to lump in then I’m not a lazy person I am not um it’s like I was like huh but our society puts them together and really meshes them in our world if you you know fat is a sign of You have lost worth, you are not a valuable person, uh, you shouldn’t be bothered with and there’s a gravitational pull on that.

[01:03:57] That’s hard. It’s like, again, we’re swimming in the water of this and we, it’s hard, like, we can’t not breathe it, but we can gradually learn to separate those things. I can say I’m fat without feeling like I’m a worthless pile of shit. Um, but that took a lot to do and I still have to kind of keep, I’ll notice, oh.

[01:04:16] When that person said it, it kind of didn’t feel good because there was the mixture of that in there. So I think when we’re telling stories, it may be the story is fine, but what’s the tone? What are the meanings that are associated with it? I found the people that I really bond with. Does that mean to me I never will, that I’m destined to be alone, that there’s something wrong with me?

[01:04:38] Or does it just mean, huh, do I have to start looking in some place else, in other places? Do I have to build skills to connect with people better? There’s, you know, there’s very positive stories, I haven’t met them yet. What do I need? What skills, resources, locations, like information do I need to get to that?

[01:04:57] Or I’m never going to, this is just, I’m stuck here. I’m just like the, you don’t know if you have those little, uh, uh, plastic dolls, you can make dance by pushing the little thing up the strings. Like they would kind of, and I, you know, sometimes I feel like, Oh, there’s like, Oh, it’s never going to happen. Um, so.

[01:05:15] I just invite you, if you notice that you have, if your story doesn’t seem too bad, step back and say, what are the things that are coming along for the ride? What’s hitched on to the words or the meanings of the things I’m saying? Because sometimes just unhitching one of those, or adding the word in yet, and say, what do I need to do to get there?

[01:05:36] What baby steps can I take? Can I take a class on communication or connection so maybe I can build better connections with other people? Um, where would I think those people, if I, you know, if I, where, where could they be? Can I go to some different meetups and start meeting different groups of people so that I can start having my story have different meanings?

[01:05:55] I think that’s really powerful. Someone asked, if people have said or done things to threaten you in the past, how can you start telling yourself a story that you’re safe? Um, well, if you tried to tell yourself, oh, I’m safe, and your bullshit detector goes, or not, you, she woke up in that morning, she looked in the mirror and said, I am safe.

[01:06:25] She knew it was a lie. Um, because she’d come to understand that safety isn’t just black and white, it’s the spectrum. And that there are, there are creatures, furry creatures, even furry creatures that she really finds beautiful, majestic, but she shouldn’t pet the leopard. And um. Especially around feeding time.

[01:06:55] Yeah, and she’s come to understand that there are smells and signals and sounds and attitudes that, you know, Hmm, that person is on the spectrum of safety just isn’t where I like to live. It’s not where I want to feel relaxed. That there is a spectrum of safety and even the people that are the safest, they have They get hangry and it’s like, no, don’t try to cuddle them then.

[01:07:21] Um, and it’s okay. It’s okay for, cause I have a spectrum too, of safety. Like, I’m glad I have a don’t fuck with me kind of side. Right. And I have a, Oh, come, I will hold you. You can cry. You can grieve. You can be, know that you are loved side too. And, um, so I, you start looking, uh, um, We know that, that things that are binary, I love that we’re in an age where, um, like there’s a spectrum of exuberance, there’s a spectrum of emotional savvy, there’s a spectrum of empathy, um, you know, there’s, if I’m not seeing the spectrum, that’s where I can look at my story, like, oh, Rick, Rick decided based upon what he experienced for three years, That no man can be trusted.

[01:08:31] And, you know, that was a damn wise thing based upon the, the close, the experience that he had over and over. But. He started to notice that, you know, you can sometimes trust men to do this, to do that, to not do this and not do that. Not entirely, like there are a lot of them on the planet. I’m not saying that they’re all identical, but I’m coming to notice that, um, he was kind, uh, to that other person and, and he was thoughtful and he demonstrates excellent, excellent consent.

[01:09:14] Wow. Did you hear what he just asked? You want me to sit next to you or would you like me to sit across from you? Wow. You start fashioning a story that lets. You activate more of your sensors, the spectrum sensors. My discernment about humans needs to, to be able to feel them on a spectrum. If it’s black or white, that’s actually an alert.

[01:09:44] Oh, they’re so awesome. That’s trauma speaking, right? If I feel like they’re hallelujah, um, that we know, I know my story, my, my, I have lots of nonfiction and. World stories about how when we exalt someone to they can do no wrong. Um, that that’s trauma. Um, that they’re utterly evil. Um, that’s also it may be the predominance, but it to me is a signal black.

[01:10:16] And if I’m in black and white thinking, I’m not as clear. So I come back to what what matters to me. And so I can discern Go ahead. I think what Rick’s saying is really, really important. I do a lot of people in the tantra world, and they’re like, there’s people that are very negative, and in the tantra world, people are very, very positive, to like, nothing can go wrong because I’m full of love and light.

[01:10:40] They’re not seeing the spectrum, they’re locked in, they’re really positive, and there’s other people locked really negative. So when people say they want to be safe, they want to feel safe, I don’t think this world is 100 percent safe. So trying to make yourself feel 100 percent safe, you’re now locked into that false positive, that, that, it also becomes, it’s not actually reality, it’s like I’m locked in, I won’t see anything negative.

[01:11:06] I don’t think that makes us realistically effective at life. If we can see the spectrum, as Rick was talking about. We don’t want to be black or white, we want to see that. All human beings can, you know, you put anyone in the right circumstance, they’re going to do, they’re going to do something mean. Like you pin me in the corner, don’t feed me for three days and tell me negative things or whatever.

[01:11:27] I’m going to be grumpy about it. I’m not going to be sweet about it. You can make, you know, anybody can be. That way, but I think if we see the spectrum that this, these people are generally good and kind and caring and you know, maybe, oh, that person’s in a bad mood today. I’m just going to ask if they want some support or I’m going to leave them alone, but I don’t.

[01:11:47] I think it’s really important to notice that our stories don’t have to be locked in super positive or super negative. We can just steer them. Towards where we want to go and we can also make sure we’re still seeing the realistic spectrum of what what is we don’t want to be in denial and someone had asked me for a break if we’re telling a story with ourselves a different story about ourselves versus, you know, being told upon one, you probably came up with that story from other people telling you stories about yourself, even if maybe before you were even conscious of it.

[01:12:20] So doing some tapping on what other people told you when you were little. Yeah. Might loosen that up a little internally and then looking for ways, small ways, you can notice that you don’t internal stories, just like a post it. Like, is this true wherever you do a lot of that work? So I have, I keep a lot of my desktop because that’s where I’m facing some of my things where I’m writing things or dealing with challenges, you know, is this true?

[01:12:46] And I just like, I’m, Oh, I’m so stupid. I should have done this before. Is this true? Oh, well, I was really busy. I’m getting to it now. Like some kind of pattern interrupt is a really good way. And you’re not looking to wipe out the story usually completely all at once. Our nervous systems don’t usually work that way.

[01:13:04] So every once in a while you can, but I think one, releasing the old patterns that you, if your mom or your dad, or when we were very young and it was into your subconscious doing some tapping on that to release that and then some kind of pattern interrupt where you can notice. small changes that you can make, small awarenesses you can have.

[01:13:24] They’ll help start changing the story. And then when you can, celebrate that you noticed. We get dopamine when we celebrate. It’s like little candy drops to the brain. And so we’re like, the more we can say, Oh my God, I did good. Oh, I’m going to feel good. My brain is more likely to build the neural pathways.

[01:13:43] We don’t like to build those roads to places where there’s no good things. If we drop some dopamine in there, it’s more likely our brain will want to draw, to build those neural pathways, if that makes sense. So the celebration, if you, yeah. Thank you. Um, I didn’t mean to step on that because celebration, like you said, uh, if you’re building, if the goats have led you in a certain place and you like where it leads, um, savoring and enjoying it and, and someone, I, I read, um, that person’s question a little differently.

[01:14:16] Um, I. If we’re talking about the stories that we share with others about who we are and, um, there’s, there’s, there can be the historical story. Well, you know, I, and I’ve noticed that, um, when you say a story that about your past and it just doesn’t fit you anymore.

[01:14:52] Um, and you before the call, Cathy, you and I talked about performance versus authenticity. Um, there are people that are performers that stand up and tell their story exactly the same with the same laugh lines and the same tear lines and things like that. Um, and you know, there’s a little bit of a performer in me and I’ve, I’ve.

[01:15:18] If I have a story though, that really it’s time for it to evolve, um, noticing it and bringing it back for Recrafting, um, what do I wanna share about myself? Um, times have changed. I used to, I, and, and a shortcut for me into the story is. I’ve come to notice that what really matters to me now is, so I could tell the story of, um, my teenage years.

[01:15:59] I could tell the story about my evil stepmother. Um, there’s so many stories, um, or I could say, you know, what, what matters to me now as, um, a stepfather, step. You know, step parent to a child is, um, there’s a quality of, of heart adoption inside of me. And that as I. I know that I am not his dad. And so it’s not, there’s, there are complexities.

[01:16:37] It’s a different ecosystem, but I would love for him to feel like I’m there. I’m with him in this life. I’m co creating. I recognize his gifts and his gaps. I’m being clear about my gifts and my gaps and it’s a dance and, um, you know, we’re not perfect roommates, but we’re not roommates. We’re sharing, um, a childhood.

[01:17:07] Um, I get to be a part of his world. That’s different from, from the, the normal hero’s arc, um, where we’re trying to look good. You know, that’s just who I am. You may like that. I don’t know that is what his dad would think of that. Um, and it’s, it’s an opportunity for us to decide and come from like that, that goes to crafting a story that’s guided by your heartistry and what matters to you now.

[01:17:46] Um, A lot of humans, someone mentioned about past relationships that didn’t work out. I’ve got a bunch, right? I was, I was married for 22 years. Um, not married to that person anymore. I haven’t since 2007. Um, Now, people just hearing that little snippet will start making up stories about what kind of man I am.

[01:18:13] And what I can say is that relationships are really deeply precious to me. And I’ve come to understand that there’s a level of safety, respect, and freedom that are essential in my relating. They bring out the best in me. They, there’s a quality of exchange where we’re both, um, just. Our energy and our emotions make life better.

[01:18:40] It’s better to be co creators together. And that, um, that’s what I’m living and that’s what matters to me now. And I’m doing my best imperfectly. I’m an aspiring imperfectionist. Um, And artistry is one of my favorite words. Um, I know. I wanted to just, um, so I’m listening. I’m listening to this podcast by someone Jason said, who he pointed out something that I think is important for us to to notice to help us notice what stories we’re trying to tell other people about ourselves.

[01:19:18] And how much we pretend with other people so he someone is saying about, they can’t go to the movies. because they didn’t have anyone to go with. And Jason replied, Do you want to go because you want the experience of going with someone else? Or do you want someone else to go with you so other people will see you as having someone to go with?

[01:19:40] What kind of impressions are we trying to create with other people when half the time they’re not even paying attention to us? But I thought it was a, it’s a kind of a, made my brain think a lot about What am I actually doing? Am I just trying to impress other people or am I looking for what’s genuine for me?

[01:19:55] So I just wanted to add that in because I think it goes with this, this whole storytelling. Also, what are we trying to, I’m complete strangers at the movie theater and I’ve done this too, like, oh, what are they thinking about me? They’re probably not. They’re probably just glad no one’s sitting in front of them.

[01:20:10] They’re looking forward to their own movie. Um, but if we can notice what we’re doing, because we often contort ourselves to try to make an impression and create an, uh, An act, we’re acting for other people to try to create a belief, a story about ourselves. And I want to let that go. I want to have more freedom to do what feels right and authentic to me.

[01:20:30] As long as it’s appropriate for the venue or whatever. Um, and so I just wanted to share that because I think that for me that was like, oh, yeah, that’s a good way, barometer to look at. Am I doing something because it’s not a good fit for me or because of what other people might think about me? So. Yeah.

[01:20:47] Are you trying to write your character in somebody else’s story or are you writing your story? And for freedom, um. Authentic and reality are pretty similar. Well, again, I think if we embrace someone else’s reality is not mine when it comes to the stories that are happening. Um, and

[01:21:18] as we, as we take it, bring it back so that other, the stories that other people are writing are less of the influence on the relationship than being clear about our own, what matters. What we want to bring, um, the care, you know, we talk about, you know, characters and characteristics of, of, of, um, like if you, you know, Hermione has certain characteristics that were the storyteller, uh, created about.

[01:21:48] That person and we do that. But if we’re tending to, hey, what are the characteristics that matter to me? Am I getting an opportunity to be that to demonstrate that in my story? Am I, you know, what’s What’s happening? What’s right for me? What’s, what am I wanting to grow and evolve and change? So, um, we’re at, we’re at the 90 minute point and I agree there is so much around authenticity and truth and we have a whole course series of real skill workshops on Be What Matters.

[01:22:26] It’s free. Go to thrivingnow. com slash courses and you’ll find it there. Um, and the savvy relating and engaging work that we’ve been doing. Um, we’re going to be shifting gears to. Being around our energy, emotional energy, physical energy, some other things. Um, if you’re on our list, you’ll, you’ll hear about, uh, the next upcoming workshops.

[01:22:53] This, this work continues. Thank you, Cathy. Thank you all for being here and being so present with us. We feel you. And, um. Thank you. Anything else, Cathy? Um, I, there’s some great questions in here. I wish we had more time to, to get in with them, with people. Um, and, uh, if you can just be gentle with yourself in this process.

[01:23:17] This is a big deal. This is our core identity we’re messing with. It’s very, very powerful work and you don’t have to do it overnight. If you can be gentle as you adjust the foundations of your life. And, uh, I hope it’s amazing. I hope it’s amazing. Um, and, uh, please bring, bring this to, uh, where the replay is posted, uh, follow up questions.

[01:23:40] We’d like this work to continue. Thank you all. Bye, everyone. Bye.

[01:23:44] ​

Great to have you on this journey with us!