Storytelling is the most important tool available for walking the lunar path. With it, the goal is to retell the stories of your past in order to release the emotional attachments that keep you stuck in unhealthy patterns.
Your subconscious mind stores an insurmountable amount of information and it is impossible to consciously retrieve it all. Yet, you do have some memories readily at your disposal. Why? Because you are emotionally connected to these memories, otherwise, your conscious mind would have no reason to hold on to them.
Experiences in the past in which you perceived yourself as a victim have the strongest pull on you. They are the ones that drag your energy down and keep you distracted from the present. To become aware of the emotional attachment to these memories through reliving/retelling them, and transmuting your personal history through storytelling is a powerful practice.
Again, the point is not to forget your experiences but rather to let go of the difficult emotions that are attached to them.
At first you may fall into the trap of recalling intellectual memories of the past. It must be stressed that storytelling in the context of the work means having to relive an incident as if it is happening in the moment. This entails the necessity of having to recall and re-experience every single emotion that was generated by that incident. Only by recalling
those emotions can we relive an incident fully and decipher what actually took place. Likewise, it is only once we know what really happened that we are in a position to expel the hold they have over us.
The first step is to make a list of all of the major experiences and incidents in your life that you can remember, starting from the beginning to the most recent past. Then, list all of the people, places, and things in your past. As you begin to write these lists, let your memories emerge, and add to them as you go.
Here are some examples of people and places and things:
- Lovers (including first sexual encounter)
- Siblings (including not having any)
- Relatives (could be separate category for each)
- Places you have lived
- Schools you attended
- Churches, spiritual groups, cults, fraternities/sororities, gangs you have belonged to
- Jails or prisons you have been in; probation officers
- Cars, motorcycles, tractors, boats, bicycles, and other vehicles you have owned
- Money lost, inheritances squandered, investment mistakes
- Surgeries (especially lost body parts)
- Robberies, muggings, violent crimes
- Physical or emotional injuries you have caused others
TELLING YOUR STORY
Telling your story is not an easy or quick process. In fact, it may appear daunting and overwhelming, and fill your with a bit of anxiety. Your mind will do everything it can to procrastinate or convince yourself that you don’t have the time for it. But I assure you, it is worth the effort. It does require dedication and discipline. As that old adage goes, “it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you do not stop.”
Once your list is made, you are ready to take the first incident on the list and recall it in as much detail as you can. There are a number of ways to go about doing this. I prefer two.
Sergio Magana, a teacher in the Toltec lineage of spiritual wisdom, teaches reviewing one’s life with the use of masks. For those interested in dreaming and dream work, this is the best approach for you.
The purpose of using masks in telling one’s story is to break the link between your face and your past. This makes it possible to change the way you perceive yourself in dreams (helping you to acheive control and lucidity) and consequently the way you perceive yourself when awake.
Simply stand in front of a mirror and start narrating the story of your life according to your list. Spend approximately 30 – 45 minutes every day on this exercise for 36 days. Recall your memories and also talk about who you believe you are, your problems, and so on.
In time, you’ll stop identifying your face with your past. The story of your life and your own face become detached from each other until the link is broken completely. Once that association is severed, the story of your life will stop affecting you and you will feel more free. Your mind stops associating you with pain and problems and then transformation takes place.
The next method for storytelling I made up myself.
I had a difficult day and had no one to talk to about it. So I unloaded to a voice recorder on my phone. Then the idea came to me to immediately listen to the recording, and something interesting happened: it created a distance between me and my problem and lightened the emotional burden I had been feeling.
I call this method, “Compassionate Listening.” Many times we listen to the problems of others, but how often do we listen to ourselves? Doing so in a very physical and practical way helps us to not only give ourselves the attention we deserve, but it also allows us to witness our own thoughts and emotions from the perspective of a detached observer. You may feel that you are listening to someone else’s life, which may help in lessening the emotional impact of difficult experiences.
With this method, again, spend about 30-45 minutes retelling a recent or distant event, memory, or experience from your past, then listen to it immediately. Do this for 36 days consecutively, or as often as possible.
Note: You don’t have to listen to your recording immediately, but I find the effects of doing so more powerful. Listen to it later if you must, but do listen!
In any method of releasing your story that you choose, there must be no sense of hurrying because the more details you can remember in your life the easier it will be to uncover the emotions you experienced at the time.
Take your time and keep at it. Such work could potentially take years, and for many, such as myself, it is a life-long practice of spiritual maintenance.