• Jennifer Holmes

How I Learned To Turn The Page....

When I was a kid, I LOVED stories. I read them. I wrote them. Sometimes my little Sister and I would dress up and act them out. (We call each other "Snish" or "Snishy".)

I once made a "book on tape" for her, using our clunky old cassette player. It was Snishy's favorite book, "Sammy the Seal." I painstakingly recited each page, re-recording when I screwed up. I even mimicked the "BEEP" sound, reminding her to turn each page.

Despite all sincerest kid labor, Lil' Snish didn't appreciate my recording efforts. Oh hell no. To my frustration, she insisted on the real deal. She wanted her LIVE Big Snish, reading out loud to her just as before. I should have been flattered. But that wise little 4-year-old understood something that my "mature" 8-year-old self was already forgetting: That the spoken word, aka "stories" have true magical power!

Remembering those early recording days got me thinking about all the stories I've heard, told or been told throughout my life. Good or bad, I've continued telling myself those stories even as an adult.

There are the old missives I've been repeating to myself over and over for years: "I can't do math. I'm more of a follower than a leader. I'm not brave enough to try 'xyz' in my life." Re-reading these brings me only stress, frustration and anxiety.

Part of the problem with "grown up stories" is that, as adults, we tend to value facts and analysis above dreams and aspirations. We increasingly disconnect from one another, or even ourselves. Preferring the easier, "recorded" version to the REAL THING. We're too busy. Or too stressed. To damned "adult" to place high value on all that playful, imaginary stuff. So we dial it in. We make a tape. We miss what's most important.

But look what gets lost when we allow that to happen! We move further from the trans-formative power of imagination. We forget our happier, childhood selves. AND we lose touch with some of our best stories! Relegating them to the compost heap of fantasy inside our tired, adult brains.

BUT when I allow myself to stop "adult-ing". When I relax and follow my natural curiosity. When I let my imagination come out to play.....

*BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP* TURN THE FREAKING PAGE, BABY!

Cuz THOSE are the moments when my precious true stories come back to me. When I reconnect to my MOST joyful autobiography: "I'm happiest when I'm moving. Ice cream is the original super food. I love to build things. I'm a natural born storyteller." These stories tell of my true nature, in in simplest form. These are my core self. When I remember and honor them I feel creative, relaxed, and at peace.

And do you wanna know the best part? I can connect to this library and read to myself whenever I want. There are always NEW stories to be told, with new unexplored horizons, and exciting truths yet to be discovered.

THAT's the incredible power of stories. And it's there for us all.

THE END.

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