In a book I read recently, The Tao of Equus, by Linda Kohanov, the author talks about this tribe who follow reindeer. The tribe members believe that they share a soul with their personal reindeer in the group. They follow these reindeer through their migration pattern and everything they do revolves around being attached spiritually to these reindeer.
The tribe is thriving. Violence is non-existent. It’s people are healthy and happy.
They are not depressed, they are not stagnant in any way.
Why? Because they have a very firm story they believe in.
They have a story about why things are the way they are. A story about why things should be done a certain way. And within that story is woven all the ingredients for a happy community; morality, purpose, drive, direction routine, expectations, tradition, and more. All of these are ways you can overcome depression with your personal story.
It is vital to a communities health, and your own personal health – mind body and spirit – to have a strong personal story.
Your story should be one of strength, and not position you as a victim. There are several archetypes available to choose from in literature; rags to riches, sickness to health, the hero/heroine, the caretaker, the leader.
For today’s journal exercise I want you to develop your own personal story.
Here are a few questions you can answer in your journal to spark your story into being.
- Take your life and divide it into thirds. Next write all of your accomplishments in each 1/3 of your life. You will start to see a story unfold.
- Write down a long list of all the things that are most important to you and then circle the top 3-5.
- Write down your hobbies.
- Write down some things you want to learn more about.
- Think about the happiest times in your life and list them.
- Think about what you want to do in your life. (Not your day job necessarily but your real calling.) Raise a happy family/kids, be a leader in some capacity, help people in a certain way?
- Write down the top struggles you’ve had in your life that you overcame.
- FINALLY – write out 6 phrases about yourself – who are you?
I am a strong woman who has overcome things that others have let ruin their lives.
I am a healer.
I am a leader.
I am going to show people a better way to __________.
I have overcome great adversity, I can overcome anything.
Think about how all these things come together to form your own personal story about your life, why you’re here, and what you need to do with your limited time on Earth.
Let this form a SOLID foundation for the person you are and the person you want to be in the future and the legacy you want to leave when you pass out of this world.
Having a personal story, a positive self-story that you believe in is one step on a path to mind body and spiritual health and happiness.
Overcoming depression, addiction, or any other battle you may be fighting is hard. I sincerely hope this exercise will help you on that journey to wellness and feeling better. When the depression creeps in and the self doubt starts up in your mind please remember this exercise and remember who you truly are!