Awareness, Triggers and Full Circle Stories

Squeezing the Nectar

 Awareness, Triggers and Full Circle Personal Stories

© Joanne Klassen — jklassen@write-away.net

Transformative Life Writing™ provides easy-to-use tools for getting the most out of our life stories by guiding us directly to them with awareness; getting specific using “Triggers,” and then helping capture the essence of a lived experience, often in just five minutes (J5M). Further, Transformative Life Writing™ moves us on to discover the gift each experience offers today. I call this “squeezing the nectar.”

“Full Circle” stories take us from the present to the past and back again, full circle, to arrive with fresh insight. This process includes three phases:

  1. What happened?—Begin by writing the details of the experience, as you remember them.
  2. So What?—This is where the awareness or memory took you, or its gift.
  3. Now What?—Take a step back and see how you can use this awareness now.

Here’s an example:

What?

As I drove to my condo yesterday I became aware of a Trigger; my eye was drawn to a decal on the rear window of the car ahead of me. It was the symbol of Free Masons.

Immediately memories of my Grandpa, Charles W. Mellerup, my mom’s dad, from Iowa poured in.

What flashed across my mind was a black and white photo of Grandpa on his 90th birthday at a party in Mesa, Arizona, his winter home. He is dancing in a chorus line with two of his Mason buddies. The three of them have surprised the assembled crowd by appearing dressed as women.

Grandpa, a mountain of a man, a big Dane, well over 6′ tall, is muscular, sturdy with dazzling sky-blue eyes. His usual spiky white brush-cut is covered by a blonde wig. Decked out in make-up and earrings, he’s kicking up 3” heels.

I can hear Grandma Mellerup’s voice, that of a true Victorian lady, chiding Grandpa on so many occasions when his frolicking child-like side would emerge, “Charles, please.” She was probably thinking this as Grandpa surprised the crowd dressed in her clothing.

So What?

The gift, or ‘news I can use’ from this story is the joy Grandpa lived and gave others when he slipped free of propriety and stifling self-restraint. Grandpa reminds me today to take risks, to stretch limits, to live life more fully–surrounded by good friends.

In truth, I can’t remember when I last threw my head back and laughed from my nose to toes. Lately I’ve been way too busy with work, focused on obligations and tasks that I think require my attention. I’ve been more impatient and critical than I’d like.

Now What?

Grandpa Mellerup always made everything around him seem lighter, brighter. He made me and others feel special. His early life was very hard, but he still chose to enjoy the moment. This balance is what I want for myself. His ability to play freely is his true legacy to me. This story inspires me to schedule more time with friends, especially friends I can be goofy with. Nina, Lynne and Gloria come to mind; I’ll reach them today.

 We all carry the buried treasure of countless life-enriching stories within us. Transformative Life Writing™ gives us step-by-step tools to become aware of and uncover Full Circle stories, complete with timeless gifts of yesterday that we can enjoy and benefit from today.

 

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About life writing for transformation

Director of Heartspace Writing School, home of Transformative Life Writing with programs around the world. Changing lives, one writer at a time with unforgettable learning tools. Author of Tools of Transformation, Infinity Publishing 2004, Learning to Live, Learning to Love, (published in English, Greek and Russian) and many other books, anthologies and workbooks.
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