I am a BIG believer in the power of guided journaling, so I just HAVE to tell you about one of my favorite exercises! It doesn’t take long, maybe 10-15 minutes…but wow, is it powerful.
I first came across this exercise in Martha Beck’s amazing book “Finding Your Own North Star,” which I highly recommend to anyone feeling lost and looking for their purpose. I seriously re-visit this book anytime I go through a big change, or feel like I’ve lost my way.
It’s all about rewriting your story so that you are the heroine of your autobiography – not the victim.
Why is this important? Well, we walk around all day, every day telling ourselves the story of our lives – why not make it really good? Instead of slipping into a victim story like, “I try and try, but I just never seem to figure it out,” we can tell a story about ourselves that feels empowering and inspiring.
Here’s the exercise:
1. Write out your sob story, your “victim” story, just to get it out of your system.
2. Then write the new version of your story – the story where you are the gorgeous, courageous heroine, enduring trials and tribulations but always moving forward, never giving up.
Here is my example, first through the lens of the victim, and then through the lens of the heroine:
My victim story:
At 25, I quit my job. I spent the next few years feeling hopelessly lost as I tried job after job, identity after identify. I tried being a backpacker, and was embarrassed when that didn’t work out. Then I decided to be a life coach, but I had no idea how to start a business and make money doing what I loved. I felt totally behind my friends who were working good jobs and getting married. I decided that money and success must not be for me, so I resigned myself to my fate as a hopeless dreamer. I moved to California, only to go into debt trying to create a life here and start my business. I even moved back home to Minnesota for a brief stint, feeling like a total failure. Life has always felt like a struggle, like the cards are stacked against me. I just can’t win, I can’t figure it all out.
(ugh – depressing, right?)
My heroine’s story:
At 25, I quit my teaching job, scared but knowing that there was something else I was meant to do. I set off on a grand adventure, ready to find my deeper calling. I traveled through Southeast Asia, and bravely came home earlier than planned when I realized I wanted to be a writer and life coach. I worked part-time jobs to support myself and dedicated myself to learning my new craft, courageously stepping into my calling, one step at a time. When my intuition pointed the way to California, I listened, even though I was scared and had no idea what I would find once I arrived. Then, miracles happened: I met my love, I found community, I lived in a home that overlooked the ocean. I work with the most amazing women, and I am so honored to be a guide along their path. Sure, I’ve had a few missteps along the way, I’ve had to fight some demons, but what goddess heroine doesn’t? Every day I grow stronger, brighter, more fully expressed.
Wow, I felt SO good after doing that exercise! I encourage you to try it ~ I bet you’ll feel pretty good, too. 🙂
With love & encouragement,
P.S. You are amazing. You truly are the heroine of your life’s story.