I just got back from an epic adventure in Cincinnati. You know the type of experience that leaves you feeling forever changed? That's the kind of experience I had.
And it was all in the context of attending a storytelling workshop, facilitated by storyteller & copywriter extraordinaire, Stella Orange.
I learned about telling stories.
But what does telling stories have to do with your health and getting out of your jammies?
Every epic story starts with a hero in her zone of comfort. In the space that is known. She is in her village, with her family, living the life she knows to the best of her ability. There are things that could be better, but overall she knows how to do this life.
This is Alice at her English home. This is Frodo in the Shire. This is Luke Skywalker at his uncle's moisture farm in Tatooine.
In every epic story, a calling comes knocking. Or the hero is plunged, sometimes not very willingly into the adventure. She must go. Alice falls down the rabbit-hole. Frodo is guided by Gandalf to take the ring and set off towards Mordor. Luke gets guidance from Obi-Wan to join the rebellion.
The hero gets out of their pajamas and goes on the necessary, inevitable quest.
The quest leads the hero through tests and challenges that help her build character. Alice faces multiple tests to her wit and courage. Frodo must fight numerous enemies to build his strength against the power of the ring. Luke loses his hand and must learn to be a Jedi.
The hero gains many allies along the way, who help her in her quest. Alice of course has the rabbit, the Mad Hatter and others. Frodo has the fellowship of the ring along with Sam Wise. Luke has Han Solo, Chewie, R2D2 and of course Yoda.
Over the journey, the hero goes deeper into the crusade, leading to a final battle with the monster; the final barrier between the hero and the treasured outcome. Obviously we know who these are: Alice's Queen of Hearts and the Jabberwocky; Frodo's eye of Sauron; and of course Luke's father, Darth Vader.
Once the monster is slain and the treasure attained, the hero returns home; changed. She has new wisdom and a whole new viewpoint on her life. She can never return to being the same as she used to be, nor does she want to. She is also tasked with bringing this new vision to her tribe; to help them rise to a new way of being in their lives too.
You are the hero of your life.
You are living your own epic story. You have a purpose towards which you are moving. You have many allies along the way who will help you get there. And you have monsters to slay on your way.
Your epic story is worth living and telling. Only you can live it and tell it... AND you have to get out of your pajamas to do it. In other words...
You won't get your treasured outcome if you stay put.
Makes sense, right?
But you may be thinking, "yeah, but what does this have to do with my health?"
RECLAIMING YOUR MOST EPIC, VIBRANT HEALTH IS A QUEST OF ITS OWN, TOO.
Your calling into the adventure of health usually comes in the form of symptoms. For some of you, your symptoms are SCREAMING at you! And for others, you simply keep hearing the voice that says, "you need to get more active."
Whatever is your starting point, you will only get the treasure of continuously vibrant health if you get out of your pj's and you get moving.
On your quest to better health, you encounter tests and challenges. They come in the many hurdles to overcome your symptoms -finding the right answers, helpers, tools. And you come to encounter your true allies in the form of healing foods, medical treatments, alternative therapies, and more.
In most cases, before you get to the vibrant, freeing health you want, you also have to slay your own hidden Jabberwocky. It's the final obstacle on your quest to health.
IN ORDER TO GET THE TREASURE OF EPIC HEALTH, YOU HAVE TO SLAY YOUR INNER DRAGONS:
The "Painful Past-Event Perpetuator" -keeps replaying painful memories from your past in the background.
The "Ever-hidden Emotional Electro-shocker" -keeps a repressed emotion such as fear, shame, anger, grief or something else, humming like an electric current in the background of your mind.
The "Buried Belief Bully" -quietly whispers that you can't have what you want and why you can't have it. It'll say things like "you're not worthy", "you're not capable", "nobody in our family has good cholesterol", "you can't lose weight"...
Then there are also the well known:
The "Surreptitious Saboteur" -knocks your good intentions off track
The "Emotional Eating Eyore" -gets you eating what/when you'd rather not eat
But these last two characters are always triggered into action by the first three nasty ogres that are more deeply hidden.
In other words, all health issues are fueled by unresolved memories, stuffed emotions or buried beliefs.
ONCE YOU CONQUER THE INNER DRAGONS, YOU FIND A NEW LEVEL OF PEACE AND FREEDOM IN YOUR BODY AND IN YOUR ENTIRE SENSE OF SELF.
Your life is never the same again.
So are you ready for your epic adventure?
Or are you choosing to just dabble in your health? The choice is always yours. Just like Alice, Frodo and Luke had to choose to go, you are the only one who can set yourself going.
I know many of you didn't really ask to be on this quest. You didn't ask to get Crohn's, or diabetes, or Multiple Sclerosis. You probably even resent being thrown on this path. I know the feeling of resenting my body for not cooperating with me. It sucks.
But when you decide that you're on the adventure of telling the epic story of your triumph over your health adversities, you start to move yourself out of being the victim of your health issues and becoming your own hero.
YOU CAN DO THIS. I KNOW YOU CAN. BUT WHETHER YOU DO OR NOT, IT'S ALWAYS GOING TO BE YOUR CHOICE.
And one thing I know from experience is this:
The longer we refuse the inner call towards health and thriving, the more painful staying put becomes...
Ultimately that pain can become unbearable, both physically and spiritually.
And I can tell you one more thing...