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  • Barb Swartz-Biscaro

Our past writes our narrative, presence writes our future!



One of the most powerful tools I suggest for people trying to create positive change in their life is history mapping. It's a major part of the Evaluation step in creating an EPIC life. There is so much richness, celebration, reflection and potential woven into it.


Amazing memories, relationships, life events, learning opportunities.....sometimes this also brings about self criticism, regret, grief, longing, sadness. It's totally fine to feel all of those things but try not to stay there too long. Accept each moment as it is/was and take the learning from it to improve your present. Your history is deeply connected to our values. Your history; just as your values; have done a perfect job of getting you to where you are today. It has brought you experience, learning, relationships, opportunities. When you notice yourself feeling regret or criticizing yourself over mistakes made, ask yourself "What is it about that experience/memory/relationship that makes me feel uneasy?" Name it, evaluate it and change the narrative around it.


I have used my history to better understand various areas of my life.

~trauma

~relationships

~employment

~grief and loss

~family dynamics

~health


And I have made significant lifestyle changes around all of these areas in the name of oneness!


Most recently I used it to reflect on my values identified through Minessence Group's; A Values Inventory. I took my Values Map and cut out all of the little elements (18 of them) and gave each of them due consideration in terms of where they are connected to my history. Fascinating to me and so eye opening.


Just yesterday I decided to use my history to evaluate another area of my life that I felt deserved some reflection because I was feeling uneasy with it. Alcohol use. Again amazed at how deeply this part of my life is entwined in every stage of my life. I decided after doing this reflection that I need to take a step back from drinking alcohol so I can truly understand it's function in my life and decide what it's role will be in my future.


The narrative around alcohol; in short; for me is its good for:


celebration

frustration

grief

anger

exasperation

relaxation

boredom

gratefulness

relief


So basically every day is a great day to get a drink on. And I'm not here to say that's a bad thing. What I am trying to sort out for myself is "Am I using alcohol to cope?" or "Am I enjoying a good drink?" I surmise it's a good combination of both. So for now I have chosen to remove alcohol from my choice of beverages until I can truly understand what healthy use; if any; would look like for me. I am changing the narrative. I'm giving myself permission to be imperfect, I am embracing my imperfections, I am honouring my true self by taking a pause and ensuring that my presence is writing my future.


History writes a narrative, a story, our story. We hold that narrative to be gospel subconsciously. Often people accept it for what "it is" and use it to blame our not so great choices on! You can rewrite the narrative, you cannot rewrite the experiences but you can rewrite the messages that accompany. You can be present, evaluate and write your future, step by step day by day! Just letting it happen but with intention and clarity around choices you make.


Live your EPIC life.






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