The ‘Something So Obvious’ Healing Journey Workshop
Something So Obvious is about how people heal, how they become enlightened, and what they do with that awareness. It’s a lifelong process that we can learn to accept and improve upon as we go. We’re all on a journey of self-discovery as we discover the world around us, and that includes experiencing setbacks and uncovering vulnerabilities. So we must as well heal as we go or else our growth will be limited and true satisfaction fleeting. Seeing our lives as a journey of healing, growth and joy – while overcoming occasional blockages and traumas – is different from pursuing happiness and stopping reluctantly to deal with one crisis after another. Incorporating the challenges into the journey, they become inspirations and catalysts for self and life improvement.
In putting this book together – characters, experiences and growth opportunities – we’re also creating a program for journey work at Middle Way Health. The Something So Obvious storyline mirrors anyone’s story. It represents our struggles and growth. It even exemplifies how we at Middle Way Health lead people through their own healing and growth. Because the only way to talk about and envision the whole journey is via a relatable story or biography which people can identify with. Then we go from healing (feeling safe, comfortable and empathized with) to learning healthier living (a new way of being). We’re not just solving problems but moving beyond them by visualizing and practicing new ways of experiencing life. As well, we re-write our own stories as we choose.
Why is the story so important – becoming aware of our personal stories, or what Stephen sometimes calls our ‘inner screenplay’? It’s important because we will usually stick to our previously-written script whether it’s working for us or not, whether we’re aware of doing this or not. Becoming conscious about the story we’re telling ourselves – the novel where in, the big screen we see ourselves on – allows us to question who really wrote the story, what it’s based on, if it fits us, and whether we believe we can change it.
The kind of “story” we’re talking about involves the assumptions, beliefs and unconscious patterns we developed long ago, the basic building blocks that frame our current actions, reactions and emotions. We get tricked into thinking that if we just keep doing the same thing over and over again, a new outcome will eventually occur. As well, we’ve become so accustomed to our dysfunctional patterns that we choose the broken record over the effort it will take to make a new one.
And yet, sometimes it’s not enough to just write down our story and then reframe it in a positive light. We have to dig deeper and then evaluate who, what and where we actually want to be. Stories stick with us because we haven’t checked them for accuracy or validity. It’s hard to make change at that level because we’re not trained on how to go about doing it. That’s why we need others to help us, a healing team to access the story from different angles. We need help getting out of the crash-and-burn-and-heal habit, and into an engaging, authentic pattern of deep healing and self-actualization.
But uncovering the old story and writing a new story is still not enough. If we lived only in the ethereal dreamland of our new story – not actually acting it out in real life – we’d just be swapping a fairytale for a fantasy. Trying out our new story, and editing and improving it as we go, takes us from just surviving to actually thriving. This is what we call ‘La Dolce Vita’, or the sweet life.