If your life were a book, what would its title be? What chapter are you on now? Impact your next phase of life by creating it intently as you would craft a book.
Some people believe in past lives, but my experience is that we have many lives in this one life. Isn’t your life quite different than it was in your childhood? Perhaps even vastly changed just in the last couple of years. We all go through life phases based on our age, family circumstance, where we live, our occupation, school or college, our health, our relationships, and so much more.
It’s helpful to reflect on your past as a means of gaining wisdom and understanding, completion, and crafting your next phase of life. Each period of our journey through this lifetime is like a chapter in a book. Not only can you reflect on the past by writing your story, but you can impact the future by writing your next chapter (or at least its title) now.
The Past: A Conscious Re-writing of His or Herstory
Looking at our lives as a book gives us the opportunity to write, or rewrite, our history. After all, history is told by those who write the history books, and you are the author of your own life. You may not be able to change the events that have happened, but you can change how you tell their story.
Think about the earlier chapters in your life. You may have characterized them in a certain way – maybe a very painful or disempowering way. But when we reflect on those experiences from a bit of distance, we frequently find what we learned, gained, or developed through those experiences. If we experienced a trauma, for example, we don’t whitewash the events. But we also can discern how they turned us away from a certain lifestyle, initiated a path of healing, or gave us skills that allowed us to help others.
As we consider what titles we would give chapters in our lives, think about the transformation that came from both the joy and the pain. If you had a loss or a painful breakup, you could call it “When My World Ended”, or you could call it “Breaking Up, Breaking Down, and Breaking Open” – into a new understanding of yourself.
Take a moment to pen a few chapter titles – what you would have called your childhood, teen years, college, early career or parenthood, etc. Sort out as many chapters as you can up to just before where you are now. Write the title you would have called it without conscious consideration, and then the more empowering, transformative, revealing title of what you gained from those times.
Your Current Chapter
Alright, now it’s time to sit back and feel into the now… into the present time in your life. You may feel you’re right at the start of a new chapter, smack in the middle, or nearing the end. What is this chapter in your life called? Perhaps you have felt stuck for a while, or it’s been a time of inner struggle. Or you could be riding high on the pinnacle of success. Either way, there’s gifts and insights in this chapter.
Reflect again on where you are now, and how you would typically characterize it. Then go a level deeper. If you’re feeling “Mired in the Mud”, you might consider a rewrite: “The Mud that Stuck Me Until I Awoke” or “Stopping, Stillness, Awaiting the Divine Shift.”
Don’t gloss over an easy or successful chapter, either. We don’t want to take those for granted! Dive in more deeply than just “My Great Success” – what insights are you having? What new vistas are appearing for you? How have you accessed a deeper level of joy or fulfillment? Your chapter might have an even better title, like “How I Up-leveled from Great to Magical”.
Your Next Chapter
Now that you’re more clear about where you are and how you want to tell the story of both your past and your present, what do you want to create next? Imagining the title of your next chapter and its theme can set up the vision and conditions for how it unfolds.
Before you charge into coming up with your next chapter title, though, pause for a moment. Give this a little time. Let go of trying to “figure it out”. I invite you to sit in meditation just a bit, with your mind quiet and your heart open. Open to receive the title from your Higher Self, the Divine.
Ask Spirit about what is unfolding next. This is a co-creation of what you’d like to manifest and what the Divine is guiding you towards. Usually what we are called to, what longs to be expressed from within us is not only personal desire, but also a nudge from Spirit.
Then, allow some titles for that next chapter to come to you. Write down everything – give yourself several titles to choose from. Get creative, playful, and most of all, let the title capture the feeling of what you want to experience rather than the specifics. If you’re in a tough time right now, it can be the light at the end of your tunnel, a rebirth, or a healing process. Some examples: “Finding Myself Again”, “Emerging from the Murky Waters”, or “Stepping Back into Joy”.
Write – or Let It Be Written
When you have the title for your next chapter, you may feel inspired to actually write out some of the story. You can tell a story that supports your intentions for growth, expression, or ease. It can be a time when you’re relaxing and enjoying the fruits of your labors, too – it doesn’t always have to be up-leveling. What vision would you like to put into words for the next part of your journey?
Alternatively, you can let the Divine be the author. Set your intent with the chapter title, capturing the feeling of what you’d like to experience, but surrender the story. Allow Spirit to chart your course and determine the way that the feeling you desire shows up in your life. If we become too attached to a particular form, circumstance, or outcome, we can be disappointed. But if we focus on the feeling we want to have – peace, aliveness, meaning, strength, etc. – and allow the Divine to work out the details, there are a myriad of ways that we can receive what we are asking for.
You are creating the book of your life through the mental stories you tell yourself in every moment. If you aren’t happy with the story you’re telling, you can rewrite from a new perspective. Set your intent of what you want to experience in the next chapter. And if you’re ready, the most powerful practice is simply holding the vision of your desired inner state and release story-telling altogether. Come into the present moment with a quiet mind and open heart, and trust in the Divine to guide you through the next chapter.
Looking for a good book to shift you out of story-telling and into calm and confidence? Check out Awakening from Anxiety: A Spiritual Guide to Living a More Calm, Confident, and Courageous Life!
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