Our life is a storied life. Basically, we are either living “reruns” of old stories or creating and living the story of now.
I can only answer the question “What am I to do?” if I can answer the question “Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?” –Alasdair Macintyre, Scotish philosopher
We are haunted by our past until we consciously choose to give up an old story of ourself and live in the story of now. Eckhart Tolle refers to this as the “power of now,” I understand it as the STORY OF NOW. The power of now is about the stories we live and build upon. Eckhart Tolle also speaks about how suffering is revealed through the “pain body,” which I refer to as our pain stories.
Once we release an old story and awaken to a new story, our authentic story, an old pain story may arise to haunt us. The emotions of an old story, along with the pressures of the ego, try to convince us that the old story is still our story of now.
We free ourselves of the last hold of a given pain story by recognizing the negative emotion that arises in the present experience. When a negative emotion arises it comes from and spins a story from the past that will then have us repeating the old story if we don’t consciously choose to relate to the emotion and the “haunting” of the old story. For example, an old story might be your feeling left out. You have explored that story and found ways to release it through meditation and practices. But then you find yourself feeling abandoned again and the old story gets triggered. You maybe even doubt that you have made any progress. The story of now is being haunted by the story of the past. Here is what you do:
• Bring awareness to the negative emotion.
• Just be with the emotion and let it be. “Letting it be” is letting it go. Don’t create any story line around it. Don’t act on this emotion. Witness it, let it be, & understand it as “just an emotion,” and then–
• Let It Go fully. Release it through awareness. You let it go by bringing your awareness into the story of now.
• Rest your awareness on the present moment, the story of now. Feel your body and breath. Take a deep breath and follow the breath in and out. Notice what else is truly happening in the moment. Breathe and rest in awareness.
• After you have released the emotion, choose to draw your attention and experience around an intention or spiritual principle, such as found in The Zero Point Agreement or some spiritual practice of your choosing.
Here’s another example: you opened yourself up to the world and said, “Here I am!” You did this by sharing yourself with others in some way. Then emotions of fear or judgment arises after risking yourself. The pain story of insecurity or abandonment comes up. This is just the ego holding on to the old story (out of protection). Meet the emotion around this old story with awareness and go through the steps above to no longer be haunted by the past. After awhile the ghost of this pain story will no longer visit you.
This is how it works. We open. We transform our old stories. Ego shows up with an emotional haunting. We bless it and release it and live our authentic story of now.
It’s beautiful. It’s real. It’s lasting. We can meet the ego with compassion too and just say, “oh hello, this is just ego,” and let it go. “This is just the emotions around my old pain story,” greet it (like we do our thoughts in meditation) and then LET IT GO. Release it. Then we find ourselves in our new and authentic story of now. Emaho!
Risk the journey within to explore your authentic story.
Let go of negativity & open to what is truly possible.
Increase your energy & physical well-being.
Release the old stories & step into your story of now.
Develop your courage & authenticity.
Live an undivided life.
Ignite deeper levels of acceptance & joy. Here is a way how:
Awaken your story of Now by awakening your Zero Point and living the zero point agreement
in a circle
with me that begins this March, 2015 in Madison: Madison Zero Point Circle.
Or through my book: (& perhaps you creating your own zero point circle): The Zero Point Agreement
book. “In this beautiful book, Julie Tallard Johnson–a gifted teacher and writer–brings fresh insight to an ancient truth: each of us must live from the inside out. This book–full of resources that range from heart-deep insight to helpful, practical exercises–can help us reclaim the treasure-trove of our own experience and being.” (Parker J. Palmer, author of Healing the Heart of Democracy, Let Your Life Speak, and The Courage to)
she breaks out in color
blood reds, sacred oranges,
against the green of the past
break out in color
blood reds, sacred oranges
giving wings to things once bound. JTJ, 2014
You get older, and you realize there are not answers, just stories. –Garrison Keillor