Let’s talk today about story — the power of story to shape your life, your business and your world.
Each of us is born with the knowledge that all possibilities — all the stories that ever were and ever will be — are already within us.
When we first arrive in this world, we know who we are. We know what we can create. We know our future is fluid, malleable. We know we can shape it by the stories we choose to tell ourselves, by the stories we choose to live.
And then, we lose that inner knowing. What we know gets clouded over by what we’re told is possible. By stories about lack and limitation. By Someday, and Maybe, and If and When.
We lose the knowledge that all things are possible, within the boundaries we have chosen for our incarnation.
Not all futures are probable. Some have more energy or juice behind them than others. Those stories that are most resonant with our gifts and talents, with our heart’s desires and our life’s ecology, are the ones we are more likely create. Those that cut across the grain of our innermost selves — our souls, our values, what we truly love — are less likely to happen.
We create our future by aligning our stories with our soul’s purposes — which are always about qualities we are here to experience and express — and with our natural gifts and talents, passion and delight.
The story of your business lives in the land where your joy and your love encounter the world’s need. The spirit of service and the Deva of Prosperity are both essential allies who help to shape the ecology of your business and your life.
Is the story of your business this year one that you want to continue living? Are you happy with it? Do you feel loved and supported by your business? Do you love and cherish it too?
A couple of months ago, I realized that my business and I were living in a home that had grown too small for us in every way. It was the setting for a story that had lost its juice, its flavor. The new story of my business needed a new setting.
Here’s how I went about writing my new story.
Every creation has a spiritual counterpart, which holds the pattern for its perfect unfolding. I call these pattern-holders Devas, a Sanskrit word that means “Shining Ones.”
I began by attuning to the soul of my business.
The Deva of my business is an old friend. We have a long history together. Our relationship has been a constant, evolving conversation over the past thirty-five years. So there’s love and trust between us, and when it talks to me about what my business needs, I listen, knowing that it has my well-being at heart.
My business’s Deva said, “It’s time to move. You need a home that both you and your business can grow into. You need space to create, to dream, to do your work, to hold retreats and intensives.”
I didn’t say Yes right away. For an hour or so, I sputtered and stammered — somewhat half-heartedly, knowing all along that I would say Yes in the end.
“Yes, but…” But, I just moved. I hate moving. Maybe this could wait awhile?
And, then, knowing the truth in my heart, I said, “Yes. Yes!”
In that moment, when I said yes to the new story of my business, the future embodied in that story came forward to meet me.
I emailed a friend, and told her what I needed. She emailed right back, saying she knew the perfect place. A large, beautiful house overlooking the ocean. Her sister-in-law owned the house.
That afternoon, I drove over to see the house and to meet its owner, my friend’s sister-in-law. The moment I walked through the front door, my heart lifted, took wing through the floor-to-ceiling windows, out to the sea, the sky, the wide horizon. I knew that I was home.
Although we’d never met before, my friend’s sister-in-law and I drank tea and talked for over an hour, as comfortable together as though we’d known each other all our lives. We talked about her work and mine; about our families, our lives, our vision of love and service in the world.
I signed the paperwork. And moved, a month later, into the lovely home in which I now live.
The story of my business has changed significantly since then, because this house is the right setting for its new, unfolding story.
Finding this house and moving into it happened effortlessly, miraculously, through the power of synchronicity. Not because I envisioned the exact house that I needed, and not because I repeated endless affirmations, or created vision boards, or had perfect, unwavering faith in my vision.
All of these things help, but only if they emerge from your wholeness. Only if they are held in an inner truth that embraces all of you, including your doubts and fears.
Being human, doubts and fears, fluctuations in energy level and enthusiasm, are part of our DNA.
This particular shift into a new story happened effortlessly for a number of reasons:
1. My lifelong daily practice of presence and inner connection lets me know that I’m safe, even in the face of uncertainty — even when I don’t know what’s coming next. It gives me the courage to recognize that my old story no longer fits me.
It gives me the support to dissolve the form of my old story, while keeping its essence.
So, I can take the essence of my old story — those qualities that are at the heart of all being — with me into my new home. And I can call in a new story, with a different ecology, a different landscape, with qualities that include greater flow and ease, gratitude and trust, service and prosperity.
2. I’ve developed a relationship of deep love and trust with the Deva of my business. So I asked for its help, and listened to what it had to say.
The Deva of your business holds, in its energy field, the entire ecology of your business. It holds all the stories, all the potentials into which your business can grow, and it knows the perfect timing for each story’s unfolding.
If you ask, it will help you. But you have to ask.
3. Then, I acted on my intuition, which is one of the ways the Deva of my business communicates with me. I emailed the one friend who could connect me with the house that is the setting for the new story of my business, told her what I needed, and asked for her help.
Devas are powerful beings, but they cannot act directly in the physical world without our help. My business’s Deva could not write that email for me — it relied on me to do the physical work to grow the story of my business.
4. I’ve learned, over many years of partnering with the creative flow of the universe, that if I trust it and surrender to its wisdom, it will carry me and my business into our new story. So, even though moving into this house was a stretch for me in many ways, I was willing to step into the unknown. To live the unfolding story without knowing where it will take me.
Trust, faith, surrender are qualities that are essential for shaping a new story. A new story requires your love and willingness, in order for it to enter your life.
So, as you think about the story that your business is living right now, and the story you want to shape for your business for the rest of this year, take a moment to consider this question.
When you think about your business’s future, is it something mysterious and unpredictable that lurks in the dark out ahead of you? When you approach it do you feel a kind of wary alertness — you don’t know if it’s going to ambush you or carry you to a glorious but somewhat hazy destiny?
Or do you meet it armed with shopping lists and plans and intentions? Do you sit down in a strategy meeting with yourself or with your business adviser and come up with goals for the year?
So, by the end of the year, you say, I want my business to grow by 50% with an annual income of a million dollars and I’m going to see 5,000 clients this year and teach 98 classes and sell 25 million widgets and hang out on social media for 19 minutes a day…
Or do you meet your business’s future in some other way entirely?
It’s not that any of these ways of relating to your future is in itself good or bad — there is no right or wrong way to meet your future.
Your relationship with your future is just that — it’s a relationship. We are incarnate souls. We carry our own future within us.
As we move towards our future, our future moves to meets us too, because it’s already within us in the form of possibilities and potentials.
What you love, loves you. What you want, wants you. The soul of your business is invested in you, and in the success of your business. It has its own reason for being, its own allies, its own ecology, all of which form its unfolding story.
Similarly, your own soul is invested in the success of your incarnation. It too has its allies, and the soul of your business is one of them.
As an incarnate soul, you exist along a vast continuum. At one end of this continuum you are your own particular self, everything that makes you you, as unique as your own fingerprint. And at the other end of the continuum of your being, you are pure spirit. You are one with everything that exists. And you have your being both in this concrete, material, physical world, and in many, many, many other dimensions as well.
Each dimension has its own natural laws. So here in our physical world, you are supported and challenged by gravity, by time, by space. Your body can’t be in two places at once. Time, in our world, is linear. The past is followed by the present, and the present leads inexorably to the future.
But on the other end of the continuum, there’s no such thing as linear time. So what we think of as the past, the present and the future, have a much more complex relationship with each other. In one sense, they’re all happening simultaneously.
I’m sitting here in my living room, looking out at the ocean, which is composed of drops of water that form waves, and waves that form currents, and currents that form the ocean, and yet they are all part of one continuum. You can’t separate the drops of water from the ocean.
It’s the same with each of us. At this universal end of the continuum, you are one with everything, which means you contain everything within you. All the possible futures are already potentially within you.
This means that your future is not out there somewhere, it’s not shaped by someone else, or at the mercy of the marketplace, or of the economy, although each of these factors play a part in the ecology of your business. Your future is happening right now. You are already living alternate versions of your future, in other dimensions of your being.
So if you have a secret jazz singer inside you, chances are there’s a dimension of your soul that is living out its life as a jazz singer. There’s a you that is or is not a parent. There’s a you that’s written books on physics or math or history or astronomy. There’s a you that’s principal dancer in a ballet company, or the head of a mining operation in the Arctic, or an adventurer out in Swaziland. You contain all of these futures within yourself, within the vast potential of your being.
Your relationship with your future is not one of two strangers meeting at some point in the distance. Instead, it’s a relationship of love and intimate recognition. Because when you meet your future, you meet an aspect of yourself.
Now, although all future stories exist as potentialities, it doesn’t mean that all of them are equally likely to happen. Your own personality, your own tastes, your own free will, your skills, your preferences, the gifts and talents and resources you have, will determine which of those future stories you’re most likely to experience.
If you’ve never played a musical instrument before, you’re probably not going to pick up the cello and play like Pablo Casals. But if your soul wants you to have the experience of playing the cello divinely, it’ll bring cello music to your attention in all kinds of different ways. People will give you cello sonatas on CD, you’ll be driving in your car and you’ll hear Andres Segovia on the car radio and you’ll fall in love. You might find yourself buying a car with a trunk big enough to hold a large instrument and have no idea why you’re doing it. These are ways that your soul brings new stories to your attention.
When you pay attention to the stories your soul gathers for you — when you act on these intuitions, and these subtle flutters of recognition — you coax your stories out of the realm of potentiality and invite them to come and play with you in your world.
Your soul has its own essence. It has its own particular and unique vibration, which is unlike any other in the world. It holds within it, all the potentials of your being, all the stories that exist, or ever have exist, or ever will exist. By cultivating presence, you experience your soul’s vibration in your body — you fill yourself and your world with the qualities of your soul.
These are universal qualities, which form the essence in all things. They are qualities of love and joy, enthusiasm and creativity, devotion, depth, resonance…
You know when you are present, and experiencing your soul’s vibration, because you will feel these qualities strongly. You’ll feel a heightened sense of awareness, of power and love, generosity and kindness.
Similarly, you know when you are disconnected from your soul because you’ll experience a sense of contraction and isolation. Your body, your mind, your breath, your emotions, will all feel narrow and constricted. You’ll feel isolated, unsupported, unloved.
And the interesting thing is that it takes just a little turn, a small switching of frequencies, to switch from one state to the other — to move out of these contracted states and back into connection with your soul.
So as you consider the story you want to create for your future, and for the future of your business, it’s useful to recognize that the future is not a far-away, mysterious land of fairy tales and myths.
The story of your future is not out there. It’s already within you. You already know how to create the future of your business, even if you don’t know exactly what the story will be, or how it will turn out.
When you cultivate presence, when you cultivate your relationship with your soul and pay attention to your soul’s promptings, you consciously shape the story you are living. You shape your future.
Your soul flows right across the continuum of your being. It is the rainbow bridge between you and your future.