We all have a story, or stories, that define us. These stories direct us (knowingly, or not) in our actions. Some businesses skillfully use story to sell product (this is the most interesting kind of advertising, in my opinion). Sometimes I might hang onto a “story” for too long, a story that doesn’t serve me.

I am fascinated with story. Obviously I write stories (and books) because I am also fascinated with what I imagine as other people’s stories.

My “story” has recently changed in a huge way. We’ve moved across the country. Suddenly I am in a landscape that is completely different from where I was planted for more than 40 years. Green hills and verdant spring grass surround me. New wildflowers that I can’t name  grow rampant through the grass. I break into tears at the weirdest moments — getting my Vermont driver’s license, for example, and taking the oath to vote in the state of Vermont. Up until that moment, I had not let the immensity of this move hit my heart. The DMV staff person who was helping me was completely understanding. We shared our stories! She told me of her own move, many years ago. I left with a strange fortified heart. Stories, to me, are like our companion animals. They break through all the barriers that we put up around ourselves and they get to the truth of the moment. Our hearts can open. Another time, I muster my courage and walk into a group where I know no one (a Unitarian church). The speaker that day is a rabbi — she speaks of the ability of crisis and change to break open our hearts and make us better.

I’ll be writing this story in the years to come, as I write all stories. I’ll write about how being in a new place brings up edginess and heart-aching happiness all at once. I’ll document my mind’s own silly drama (for example: “What if my car breaks down in the mountains?” “What if I meet a moose on the trail?” “My girlfriend is no longer down the road!” “These hills are so beautiful that my heart might break!” blah blah blah…) so that I can recognize it, acknowledge it, let it go, and move on.

What is your story?












[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Catherine Holm creates content, writes books, teaches yoga, and helps people get out of their way. She is convinced that story, passion, and compassion are part of the keys to a great life.[/author_info] [/author]