I first heard the word, “Restory-ation” in Robin Wall Kimmerer’s wonderful book, Braiding Sweetgrass. She was quoting Gary Nabhan, who believes that restoring the land has to begin with hearing its stories. “But who will tell them?” he asks.
I believe in the “restory-ation” of our own wild soul stories too.
The shallow, soulless stories that hold sway in our materialist culture de-wild us and separate us from the natural world. My passion has always been to re-root our stories in the land and in our own wild psyches.
This is will be the focus of a Rewilding the Soul retreat I am giving with my husband Bruce at Hawkwood College in Stroud, May 3-6.
To experience your own restory-ation writing process, read on.
1. Latch onto a story that you tell about yourself that you know, deep inside, is a limiting story. It’s a story that might be a shame-based. It certainly it keeps you tame–held back from living fully and full-out. For example, I got the message very early on that I was “too much.” That old story kept me silenced and shackled for quite a long while.
2. Write that story. Take about 10 minutes and begin with these words, “The story I want to release is the story of….”
3. Read back through this story and reflect: What do you notice? What stands out for you? Spend a few minutes jotting down your thoughts.
4. Visit a beautiful place in nature that feels deeply nurturing to you. Find something that is naturally dying and decomposing–perhaps a piece of old bark or a leaf or twig. Write the “name” of your old story on it using a pen or simply your finger. So, for example, mine might be “The Story of Too Much.”
5. Now place your leaf or twig in a safe spot and feel how the land accepts it so gently and without judgement. Here, your old story will simply decompose, naturally and without effort.
6. As you contemplate your ‘released story,’ complete these three statements:
As I let this go, my body feels …
As I let this go, my soul feels …
As I let this go, I make room for …
Know that you can return again to this place as you start to gently release your tired and tame stories.
And please, share the name of your old stories below, or any part of your process. I’d love to hear from you.