I’m so excited to share my first post as the newest Wellness Contributor for TheDCLadies.com. Mother-daughter team Shelley  and Sarah have created an amazing community and online publication- for women, by women!  Check out an excerpt from my post below and be sure to subscribe to their blog.

Who's Writing Your Story

I love to write. In fact, in college I contemplated a major in English but quickly found that it wasn’t the right path for me. My love for grammar is more like a lukewarm acceptance, but technique aside, my biggest challenge was in creative writing. I love crafting the bones of a story and I could lose myself for days in character development, but once that was done and it was time to flesh out the final story, I was done.

I lacked the follow through to really create the final story.

The good news is that, while this flaw crushed my dreams of being a novelist or playwright, it makes me a pretty excellent therapist. In graduate school, I found a place for my love of character development and my unwillingness to write the final story.

I use this narrative approach with my clients, guiding them to develop a deeper understanding of who they are and who is in their life, (“the characters”) and we plot out the major themes that they have experienced and hope to experience in life. Then I stop.

It’s not my story to tell.

I’m just the guide to help them understand the players and the themes, but it’s their life to lead.

And the good news is that you don’t have to go to therapy to benefit from this kind of understanding and direction in your life. With some simple new habits, you can take control and start writing your own story- one where you call the shots rather than just waiting on life to throw something your way.

  1. Be the main character.  Too often I see women relegate themselves to the role of supporting actress in their own life. I’m his wife, her daughter, their mother, on and on it goes. You are more than your relationship with others, your job, and education. You are the heroine, the protagonist, and the #1 player in the story that is your life. It’s time to own it. Every morning, remind yourself that the story of the day is all about you and that means you are in charge of it. I love the Mindy Project. It is such a smart and funny show.  What I like best of all is that Mindy narrates her own moments. She is the voice in her own head narrating her story- not the characters story but her own unique perspective. Be Mindy.
  2. Do some character development.  Before you can figure out where the story is going or who else is in it, you have to really know your main character. Make a weekly date with yourself that is all about getting to know more about you. What you like, what you think about when you’re alone, what you dream about for your life. These are the questions to ask yourself. I don’t like the phrase “finding yourself”.  You’re not lost.  You’re right here. The real trick is not to go searching outside somewhere to find yourself, but rather to learn how to tune into what’s inside.

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