We are all storytellers, built for narrative. We create stories around ourselves, to explain the world and make meaning out of our experiences, both good and bad.

Our stories are acts of interpretation and reflect how we want to be seen and how we see ourselves. We have public stories, hidden stories, unspoken stories.

Rarely are our stories about ourselves objective truths – we select what goes into the story and signal to others how it should be understood.

Are your stories helping you or hindering you? Do you need to step back and think about whether to flex your thinking and change your stories?

One thing you can do to help yourself work through difficult stories that you want to change is to write about them, because the process of writing helps with cognitive processing. In other words, writing helps you to understand and make meaning out of the things that have happened to you, by allowing you to bring them into focus and express what have often hitherto been unspoken feelings. Writing your story can be powerfully cathartic and can open up the pathway to healing and renewal.

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd

Your life, in a sentence

Be the author of your own life

I was delighted with this display from The Novel Encounter when I saw it at the National Gallery in Singapore a few weeks ago. A surprise novel in a beautifully minimalist wrapper, summarised in a single sentence. It made me think of three things.

1) Curating my mystery retreat boxes as part of my new transformational development programme for women (currently itself under development!)

2) What the summary of my own story would be. I’m still writing it, so I’ll get back to you on that one.

3) Those Penguin Books memes about the story of your life. Will yours be:

– Oh shit was that today: A memoir
– Well I was clearly into that more than you were: A love story
– Plan B
– If only: A tale of regrets
– Don’t actually press send: Advice from the grave
– How to accept anything: A story about giving up
– Well, that didn’t go as planned
– Finding that special someone: A guide to dying alone

Well? What’s yours going to be? You can pick, or if you don’t like any of those then write your own. Make it a good one, ok?

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd