Last week a dear friend and I participated in a writing through trauma course together. One of the stories shared was about there being two wolves: a strengthening wolf and a less than strengthening wolf that lived in a particular native village. (Please note, I’ve changed the labeling of these wolves because I don’t really like the generic label of “good” and “bad.”) Both wolf cubs had the same ability to grow into strong adults with the capacity to do what wolves do. The moral of the story, in short, that the wolf that would reach maturity would be the wolf that you feed. Both had the same chance of survival and either wolf (or narrative) would have the possibility of influencing some aspect of your life in a potentially helpful or harmful way.
All of this essentially bothers down to the simple truth that: You manifest that which you think about and the stories that you tell.
As part of the week’s assignment, each person was asked to write about one “defining moment of our lives.” As we wrote about the event, we were asked to really allow ourselves to experience the associated thoughts, feelings, and emotions that come up with that story. And then in a Bryon Katie type of manner, ask ourselves whether or not certain aspects of this story were necessarily true? Or if our perspective, our narration of a series of events, could potentially be changed? From there, we were invited to re-write the narrative in a manner that would cause less emotional, mental, and physical fatigue to ourselves as well as the listener of our story. The purpose being to provoke us to consider whether we wanted to continue to feed the noxious versions of our life’s experiences, the “less than strengthening wolves,” or whether we wanted to feed the more self-affirming, self-empowering versions of our lives experiences, “the strengthening wolves.” For as the saying goes, energy goes where your attention flows.
The question, the invitation I have for you today is what are the stories you are constantly telling yourself and others? Perhaps the wolves in your life are in the area of your intimate relationships – where you define your experiences in one particular light? Perhaps the wolves are within the area of your professional life and how your current job fits in with the ideas and expectations you had with where you would be right now? Perhaps your wolves are housed within your body and your asana practice?
Whatever your wolves happen to be, wherever they happen to look like, can you take a moment to pause and ask yourself if the stories you are constantly reinforcing, reliving, re-experiencing, are invigorating or defeating? Empowering or limiting? Liberating or handicapping? These questions are not intended to be criticizing. Instead, they are simply an invitation to allow you to open into choice and possibility about who you would like to be at this present moment and every moment that is sparked by this moment.
Take a few moments to just sit and be with your wolves. And when you are ready to proceed in your day, take a few rounds of life affirming breath, followed by three rounds of “Aum”/Om calling your strengthening wolves to your side and asking your less than strengthening wolves to rest.