WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE YOU?
Thoughts on Stories, Prompts, Connecting, and Getting Comfortable
I have never felt like I deserved to ask, but I am asking now, "What is it like to be you?"
I have escaped and found healing in my stories and experiences, in the going deep to rise higher, in the uncomfortable and weird parts of myself that I thought I would never learn to honor or trust. I want to use my escape. I want to practice connecting to the larger story of humanity. I want to practice asking better questions and listening well.
At some point, my goal is to get enough of our uncomfortable to make a book that will make people feel more comfortable, more comfortable with paradox, diversity, questions, and their experience, more comfortable being human. In the process, my goal is to help people learn to get comfortable with and share their stories and experiences, to get comfortable going deeper to rise higher, and practice the process of connecting through compassion, to both themselves and others.
If you are confused about what I am asking for, you are not alone. (If you didn't realize I had been asking for anything, check out this post or my Facebook page!) All I am looking for is your honesty. If you want space to share about how you experience the world, what it is like to be you, what you have learned, or anything else, THAT is what I want. If you don't, I want nothing from you. I am uncomfortable with the freedom that being human inherently offers to us. I have squandered that freedom. I have squandered the gifts of space that I have been offered. I have mostly squandered them with all of my judgments of value and okay-ness. You are okay. I am okay. We are all going to be okay.
This project is about letting go of judgments and expectations. This project is about practicing the embracing of
and love. I suppose that it always comes back to love.
If you are looking to connect deeper with yourself, your story, and your experiences, below is a list of prompts that I have put together that might be helpful in your exploring and discovering. If you find depth and connection in sharing, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you find depth and connection in solitude, writing in a private journal, and space, please find it. Do not feel like you are wrong. There is not a right way. There are no rules.
STORYTELLING AND EXPERIENCE CONNECTION PROMPTS:
What do you notice that seems weird to you? What drives instinctual curiosity in you?
How would you compare the you of your childhood with the you of today? What has remained and what has changed? What encouraged or prompted these changes?
What has wrecked you? What was the recovery process like? Did the experience change you?
What have been times in your life of transformation? What started the transformation? How did it feel going through the process? How does it feel now?
When do you feel most connected to others?
When do you feel most connected to yourself? What are attributes of your true self? Do you feel like you are hiding? What are your favorite parts of yourself when you’re not hiding? What are your least favorite parts of yourself when you’re not hiding?
When do you feel most alive? How would describe feeling alive?
When was the last time that you cried? What made you cry? Was it really that event or something deeper? Do you notice themes to your sadness?
Do you feel alone? Are their times in your life when being alone feels good? Are their times in your life when being alone feels bad? Are their trends that you see in your response to aloneness?
What do you wish people understood about you?
What are the experiences that make you who you are? When you look back at your life, what jumps out at you?
What events have most influenced how you see the world?
What was your first memory as a child? When you go back to that place, how do you feel?
Can you remember a time when you hurt someone? What drove you to do it? How do you feel about it now? Do you feel like you need closure? Is there a way to find it?
What makes your life flow? What do you need to be you well? What do you want to be you well?
What is it like to be you?
How do you experience the world?
Have a great day being you!
Side note: While I believe that there is healing found in storytelling, I am not a counselor/social worker/psychiatrist. I also believe in depth, and often, depth is painful. There are a lot of great resources for mental health. One of my favorites is www.psychologytoday.com, which is where I found my counselor soul mate, and I am eternally grateful.
Thanks to Robyn Budlender for the wonderful photo. See more of her work here: