Tuesday, December 20, 2011

my story

Yesterday I received one of the best gifts ever

I'm not really sure where to begin or how to explain the magic of it all. But here's a start:

A year ago I met a beautiful woman - a painter, a story teller, a bright and shining being who immediately became a sister-of-my soul. We have been Fearless Painters together and more recently have journeyed round the Medicine Wheel twice in SouLodge. From those journeys, I knew Jane was full of wisdom and love and that we shared many similar aspirations including mindful parenting, creative living and a desire to express ourselves through artistic means. And I think we both are dissent daughters unraveling our preprogramming, striving to live the lives of our dreams and learning to love ourselves with all our imperfections.

Oh, and we share a love of Seinfeld dialogue, particularly the very quotable Kramer.

When Jane created her Reframing Your Story project I knew immediately that this was something I wanted to do. As a lover of novels, stories, fairy tales and film I often find myself feeling like I am a character in a narrative thread - quasi comic and dramatic with just a dash of wistful melancholy. Perhaps a little bit Steve Carell or Jim Carrey in a drama? So the idea of restructuring my story line to fit the Me I am learning to believe I am was too delightful an opportunity to pass up.

In addition to writing a new story for you, Jane offers a variety of package options with artwork to accompany your story. I will admit, I was excited for my story but was thinking the real treasure was going to be Jane's artwork.

The entire process is so lovely - there is a guided meditation to help you uncover your story and some questions to answer to assist Jane in crafting the story and the artwork. Once you've done this prep work, you Skype with Jane to flesh out the ideas. In my case, my ideas were pretty bare-boned ... I was more like Skeleton Woman with bones of ideas and images scattered all over and I handed this heap to Jane and said "Here, see what you can do with this mess!"

With great excitement and little idea of what to expect, I opened my package from Jane and this is the first treasure that greeted my eyes:

And then this:

It was my own private Christmas and Jane was a personal envoy from Santa himself!

Then I picked up my story ...

I started to read and the tears began to flow. And flow. And flow.

Once upon a time a baby was born.

She came into an ordinary family in an ordinary world. But she was extraordinary. This girl had a light that was so bright it was almost blinding to those around her. It emitted from a place deep inside her ...

It felt like my soul was thawing and emotions raged. It was totally unexpected and I cannot even begin to explain or understand it all but this I do know for certain: by witnessing myself in a story written with love and sensitivity and deep wisdom, I felt whole and seen and loved in a way I'm not sure I've ever fully experienced. There is something incredibly powerful about having another person listen to your words, look deeply into your eyes and your heart and then present back to you their experience of who you through a story that describes your struggles, aspirations, and gifts.

We are all living in stories. Stories handed down to us by our parents, our society, our culture, our heroines and guides. I know I had a story line in my head compromised of those 7 basic thoughts that Mr. O'Donohue mentions - the thoughts or narrative that shape my life and my choices. One of those thoughts is "It has to be hard" with the subtext "for me." Another thought "There is some piece missing and my task is to find it."

In my story, what I learn - what I've known but not allowed myself to believe - is that all I've ever needed and will need is within myself. The key to unlock my light has been in my grasp all along, I just didn't know I could use it.

Sometimes all we need is the chance to see ourselves inside a different possibility and then change starts to happen.
- Jane Cunningham

I now have a new story and a list of suggestions to transform this story from paper into reality - into the life I was born to live.

Yesterday I received a number of gifts in the mail ... but the real treasure is this new vision Jane has given me. And the treasure of Jane and her friendship and support.

Wow ... it really is a season of angels ... and Joy Warriors extraordinaire.

And I'm seeing things - myself included - with fresh eyes. The very best gift of all.

*all painted images by Jane Cunningham with the exception of the first "doodle page." Photographed by me in less than ideal conditions for the paintings are truly radiant. *


  1. tears here Lis, your beauty is truely radiant and your heart is such a treasure - it was my deep honour to midwife this story into your hands <3

  2. Ah, this had me racing back to my own pictures and reframe story -- it's so beautiful to read how Jane's work touches hearts (and so cool to find that the reactions you had, Lis, are so similar to my own (reading yours brought back the tears and joy I had when I read my own story).

    Jane, dear - you are such an incredible midwife of dreams & story! Muah.

  3. wow, so incredibly beautiful! you, jane, your story, the images... what magnificence here. truly! love love love this! thank you for sharing Lis!

  4. this is just incredible. thanks for sharing this, lis. i feel closer to both of you, somehow.

  5. I'm awestruck! What an incredible gift from Jane, yes, but to yourself as well, Lis. I hope that her words and images help you to "see" the beautiful woman that you are and that I had the pleasure to meet in Sedona this year. Soak it all in....you deserve to know who you "really" are!

  6. Incredible, extraordinary and beautiful - are you and jane's work :) xoxo

  7. This is marvelous!! Found you via our mutual friend Lisa. I'll definitely be back!

  8. Some amazing magic going on here! WOW!So glad you shared-

  9. wow...what a beautiful experience!

  10. Oh my goodness, this is amazing! I love this!!! And I also love, love, love the postcards I got from you! What a surprise! I laughed when I got them because I realized our packages probably waved to each other as they passed by :) That was such a neat surprise! I love all this magical mail sending. It's such a delight to witness and be a part of and makes my heart so glad :)

    warm warm, fuzzy fuzzy :)


  11. This is beyond word Lis, I loved seeing this. Thank you for sharing it.



  12. Wow, wow and triple WOW!!! What a truly special experience, thank you so much for sharing it with me. I love the idea of listening to a story and then regifting it back to its owner, simply wonderful. I have placed the reframing story firmly on my wish list for this year xxx

  13. Beautiful Jane and beautiful you. I have tears in eyes with the power of been truly seen and heard. And as the lucky recipient of a glorious piece of Jane's soul art, I am sure it glows as mine does.


  14. Incredible. Incredible. Incredible beauty in all of this. Wow!! So beautifully shared. Thank you Lisa... and Jane's work seems something that I could certainly benefit from.

  15. Incredible. Incredible. Incredible beauty in all of this. Wow!! So beautifully shared. Thank you Lisa... and Jane's work seems something that I could certainly benefit from.