The act of sharing your personal stories is a cathartic form of self-expression helping to gain clarity on your circumstances, reactions and feelings. But are you becoming consumed by your stories and are they holding you back? Are you allowing yourself to be defined by your stories or are you allowing them to transform you in empowering ways?

Each moment is an opportunity to create something new, but how often do you find yourself still holding on to the drama of your circumstances or the past? Are you sharing your stories with others intensely, but believe it to be ‘passionately’; unconsciously imploding your personal suffering on to someone else.

“Behind every highly dramatic person lurks an unresolved trauma. Drama is his or her way of asking for love, and begging for help and understanding.” – Doreen Virtue, Don’t Let Anything Dull Your Sparkle.

Let me be the first of us to acknowledge this behaviour in myself. While heavily consumed by my story I had become addicted to the drama of my circumstances, that I was not able to recognise the negative impact I was having on my wellbeing and the relationships in my life; family, friends and support networks. When we don’t allow ourselves to make peace with our emotions, circumstances or the past, the state of mind remains in a constant state of stress, worry, panic and suffering and in time leads to burnout.

Burnout is not pretty; there is no quick fix. It’s a state of chronic stress which leads to physical and emotional exhaustion and often results in cynicism and detachment and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.

In this state of burnout we often become susceptible to stimulants such excessive caffeine, binge eating, smoking and excessive alcohol or prescribed medications. However, these ‘quick-fixes’ are toxic and can lead to addictions and health issues. They may seem like a coping mechanism at the time, but they’ll never be a lasting resolution to your burnout. If you’ve become a victim of burnout, click here for practical techniques to help you restore your sparkle.

So, are you at peace with your story?

To help you discover if you are, next time your share a personal story (not one of someone else), notice your body’s physical response as you tell it.

Do you:

If you feel one or more of these physical responses, it’s absolutely normal! Your body has simply shifted into survival mode and is attempting to prevent you from harm. But there is no harm, other than that which you can do to yourself by not finding ways to find peace within you through acceptance.

Next time you share your story remind yourself to breathe. Don’t allow the story to implode on to another, just gently share it ….. SLOWLY. It’s OK to pause and gather your thoughts. During that pause pull your shoulders back a little and sit or stand upright, draw in a deep breath before you continue.

Every moment you spend bringing awareness to your breath, the more capable you are of controlling your body’s physical response to your thoughts. Your power is all in the breath, for it controls the mind and the mind controls the body. Once we learn to bring greater awareness to the breath while sharing our stories, they become a source of inspiration and empowerment, rather than an expression of suffering.

Making peace with your circumstances starts with making peace with yourself. Be kind to YOU. There is no greater love than the love you have for yourself.

AFFIRM: I am gentle and powerful and as I nurture myself, I can better support others.

Make peace with your story and in return, your story will make peace with you.

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