What's Your Story?!
A dear woman, I’ll call her Elinore, told me about how when her good friend died of an illness, quite suddenly, it seemed like she had vanished from the face of the earth not leaving much behind her. Her room-mate called Elinore saying that if she was not going to come and pick up her art, he would just take it out to the street. Her family, who lives abroad, was able to get to her death-bed only a week before her departure. Basically in time to pick up her ashes and spread them on the beach she most liked to visit.
The stories of death in our lives always (I hope so!) make us think about life.
Do you know where the lady who passed away lives on?
She lives on in the stories!
She lives on in the story Elinore told me about who she was and what her wishes were. She lives on in her family’s stories about childhood and pivotal events. She lives on in the stories that come with her artwork.
Stories bring us to life. Indeed, these stories can make life miserable or happy. One way or another, stories give us meaning.
Have you ever thought about how your life would look like without stories?
If you lose your story of how your future will turn out bad and things are not going to happen as you wanted them to - you’ll be happier.
If you lose your story of how you’re going to succeed, and how you are simply made for getting what you worked so hard for - you’ll be sad, or hopeless.
What is the most important story you tell yourself that you don’t want to lose?
When people reach their death-bed their most pressing questions are :
Have I fulfilled my life’s story (=mission/path/destiny…)?
What story/legacy/imprint am I leaving behind me?
Have I become the best version of myself?
These questions tell me something quite interesting about living a human life.
We are born with a story at heart.
This story is yours to own. We travel through life trying to both reveal and manifest it at the same time.
People live and die by stories. But what we really want is to be the storyteller rather than the storyline.
In order to shift from being the storyline to the storyteller we need to have an insight into a larger perspective on life.
Every story has its shadow. The shadows are all the day-to-day details of successes and failures and how events actually unfold.
In painting, if you don’t give your subject a shadow the painting will look artificial. The objects or the composition won’t make any sense. It will look as if things are planted onto a white canvas without a context.
The shadow gives the narrative of your story another dimension that brings the story to life. We cannot exclude the shadows from the story.
One such important story is told through Record of Hope.
Record of Hope is a collaborative project initiated by my beloved partner, Robert Norris. Record of Hope looks for the shadows and the light in the stories of people who work on the frontline of crisis - humanitarian, environmental, spiritual.
Hope is the story that lives in our heart and in our memories. Record of Hope weaves a narrative of radical hope, the story that needs to be told, the story we all need to listen to if we are to become awakened creatures of the earth.