What is Story Alchemy?
Story Alchemy™ is the process of using story and creativity to transmute the lead of lack, wounds and limitations into the gold of resourcefulness, personal power and possibilities.” Maria Mar
To the shaman the world is made of stories.
But a shaman knows that the story you are looking at is probably not the true story. There is a story beneath this story. This hidden story is old. It may not even be yours. Yet it spreads its yarn over your sight, making you see its old effects instead of seeing what is in front of your eyes. It may be obsolete, yet it interlaces its old threads with the new situation, turning it into a ghost from the past.
That is why no matter what solution you try, you end up with more of the same. You are solving the wrong problem! You are trying to solve a problem that is not really here. It is a non-existing problem overlaid over the new reality, like a fog that clouds your mind.
Whatever limitations you are bumping against right now, beneath that apparent “objective” reality, there is another operating story. Like a blueprint, it determines the shape of the present situation.
Imagine that the current situation is water and the old story is a vessel. When the present situation you face is “poured” into the old story, it takes its shape. So what you are seeing is not the present. It is the present distorted to take the shape of that old story.
Your Limiting Story Fields
This old story is called a Story Field. I also call it a Tiny Story, because it limits your growth.
Imagine that your mind is a farm. There are all kinds of crops planted there. Some are thriving and nourishing. Some are rotten and poisonous to you.
Each of these fields is a Story Field. It holds a story you have learned from your Social History, your family, community or culture or from your Personal History.
It’s all planted in your mind, even centuries of oppression like the one suffered by women and African-Americans; it’s still there on your DNA and your consciousness.
Each oppressive situation you meet now in the present that creates an association in your subconscious mind to these old stories triggers your learned Primary Responses, placing your body systems in alert and rising massive resistance.
In many ways, the old stories that kept your people surviving may now be the very stories that keep you trapped in your oppression.
Story is how your brain works
Story is the default system that your mind uses to absorb, interpret, archive and apply information. Just like your favorite novelist, your mind creates stories to deal with reality. These stories contain the 5Ws that your teacher told you made a plot: Who, what, when, where and why. That story your mind creates is then archived as a reality and used to interpret your current situation.
It doesn’t have to be something you experienced! It could be something your mother told you or something that happened to your grandfather. If it is told in a way that your mind grabs it as a story, you will store it as an experience.
If it is only a story, how can it influence your life? If it happened in the past, why do you confuse it with the situation you are experiencing right now?
“Stories are the only imagined structure that can lay down actual memories, as if you had experienced the event directly in real life. This gives story the alchemical power to rewrite reality.” Maria Mar
The bad news is that old limiting stories are archived as experiences —even if they did not happen to you— and used as blueprints to keep you trapped in the past.
The good news is that you can rewrite these stories or create new stories where you are living your brilliance —and they can also be archived as if they were real experiences, creating new blueprints for your reality.
Story Alchemy™ is the process of transmuting old limiting stories that keep you playing small into new expansive stories that allow you to live your brilliance.
Story Alchemy™ uses story and creative activities —such as journal writing, art journaling, creative writing, visual arts, crafts, movement and voice to re-write the old limiting stories into your new expansive stories.
The stories used for Story Alchemy™ are Intentional or Shamanic Stories —written as a transformation journey and embedded with the shamanic and creative insights that allow you to use them as blueprints to change your story.
Food for thought:
Have you ever read or heard a story that triggered an old memory and suddenly you realized that this old story you had forgotten had been coloring the way you saw certain things in life –like let’s say love or money?
Share in the comments below.
NEXT: What you should know when you are playing small
Learn why you feel that you are not good enough, not ready yet or hold back when you want to step into your greatness.
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