In my current stage of self-exploration and practice, we (path partners) use the word "story" a lot. It covers everything from the babbling of the monkey mind to the fear of the lizard brain to the personal soundtrack which runs rampant (at least for me) in witness mode.
Everything is an idea, and every idea can lead to a story. It's what I do. If I wrote down every story that enters my head, well, I'd have a lot of writing, though very little time to refine, publish, breath, even experience. Happily, not every thought which passes through my brain has enough pull to be writable.
Though, to be honest, I do have to write down a lot of stuff simply to remember it.
But the point, the practice, is to allow some stories to evaporate. To not write blogs, not make remarks, not personalize every moment or event. To not dramatize any event. To allow the moment to be what it is, and to only be that moment, not all the rest of the moments of my life.
Is it ironic I am writing a blog about not writing blogs? Obviously, some of "allowing a moment" requires a posting, a writing it out, because I know what I speak is what I need to hear. Or because I really want to discuss it. Because it is an impactful thought, a thought which, if practiced, might bring me happiness. A thought which covers many moments.
There are moments for partying and yelling and screaming and dancing and crying and singing. Definitely moments for advising and teaching and entertaining. But there are also moments for silence. Moments that need no discussion - and in fact, trying to talk about those moments when there's nothing to say brings up all sorts of weird, unrelated, and probably wrong stories. And you're left, I'm left, with the feeling like I just pulled my world down around me and I’m not even sure where the angst came from.
Turns out, I created the angst, the drama. Because I had nothing to say, at the moment when the conversation came around to me. And since I didn't know to say "I'm still processing" (since I didn't even realize it was the truth), the monkey and the lizard and the storyteller and the singer and the mystic, all joined hands and spun a glorious story, attempting to match the deep contemplative state I felt.
And instead of shying away, saying "no thank you", I took that dramatic heavy story and ran with it.
As I said, it's what I do. I see the possibilities, I build worlds. I create stories.
Which means I now get to learn the advanced work of NOT using my skills; of knowing when to allow the silence.
Happily, I worked through the story. I saw it for what it was. It took time and the complete absence of other people, but I found the silence below the smoke screen and had to laugh at myself a little. And give myself a big hug. All that tortured drama, just because I didn't have anything to say, but wanted to join the party. Wanted to exercise my skills. Wanted to be involved.
Interestingly, because I do like to sing and dance and entertain, I really love the silence. The completeness of the moment when there just is. And yeah, being a Doctor Who fan, and a Buffy fan, I had to work a little to not cringe at "the Silence".
But this silence is choice, not infliction. And that does make all the difference. I can be involved in any experience, any moment, just by choosing to be. I can say "I don't have anything to add" and still be in a moment. Even if the moment is hugely story worthy, it might be a story that's only really relevant to me. It might be a story full of moments that can't be voiced.
I am a story teller. It's what I do. But I can walk away from the moment without any additional stories to tell.
I can be silent, and so be true to my voice.