Rewriting the Script
If your life were a movie…
It’s a fun game to play, no? In my movie, I'd pull a Liz Gilbert and cast myself as Julia Roberts, or maybe an aughts-era Naomi Watts, and my hair and makeup would always look fabulous. Right now in my life/movie, I’d be in the “unknown” section of the Joseph Campbell Hero’s Journey. We’d be like halfway through the film, in the Abyss - Death & Rebirth section, where my well-coiffed heroine would be going out on a physical journey (cross-country move) and transformation (rebuilding a new life and career). Surely at the other end of my rom-com, though, would be a neat resolution, with wild success in the business I start, a drop-dead gorgeous California bungalow, and an incredible fiancé who effortlessly walks into my life, obviously played by one of those tall, overeducated, and unbearably charming British actors… fade to picture-perfect SoCal sunset.
But life is not a rom-com. It is messy, and winding. It is perfectly imperfect, and vulnerably unfinished.
But here is what I’ve been thinking about a lot recently: what are the invisible scripts I have written into my life? Particularly the limiting ones that, like imperceptible shackles, hold me back from living my fullest potential and most joyful life?
And how can I consciously rewrite the script?
I’ve been going a little “woo-woo” recently and diving into some manifesting work. The thing is, it’s good stuff. It’s the notion that our thoughts create our world… and then going beyond an intellectual understanding of that to deeply work on the belief and feeling level of those thoughts. It’s not enough to say, “I want to live with ease and call more prosperity into my life.” You can say that, and write it down, and post it up on the refrigerator. But if deep inside you don’t really believe that it’s possible, really get in touch with what that feels like, and — here is the kicker for me — really believe you are capable and worthy of it… then your intentions fall flat. Gabby Bernstein’s work has been great for me. (A friend also forwarded me something by Jess Lively, in a similar vein.)
Worthiness… this is the word in my script right now that has been underlined three times and circled in red ink by the screenwriter.
(The other word, I think is power. Not of the control over others variety, or driven by ego or a need to be seen a certain way by others. For me, this is about agency and comfort and ease, rather than a feeling of powerlessness or anxiousness.)
I did some of Gabby’s exercises and put pen to paper. What are the limiting, “low-vibe” stories I have on repeat? What do I want to manifest in my life, and what is the new script? Most importantly, how do I feel when the new things I desire in my life are manifest?
This was particularly relevant when I was recently in San Diego, trying to find an apartment. This was not an easy endeavor, and the state of uncertainty was putting me into high anxiety mode.
Here’s what I was telling myself: “I’m never going to find a place. I’m never going to be able to afford what I want. This process sucks. The market is impossible.”
Guess what that guarantees??
I had to work pretty hard to rewrite this script (like, every day noticing the thought patterns and trying to redirect… and redirect). My new script went something like: “I get to spend 7 - no, 10! - days exploring and getting to know this gorgeous city! Follow the fun! Follow the joy! The perfect apartment comes easily to me.”
There are a whole host of these scripts in my life that I’m working on. And I’m going to get a little brutally honest here. I’m going to commit some of the old scripts — and the new desires of what I am manifesting — to paper (or pixel) here. I think it helps to know we’re not alone in these very vulnerable limiting beliefs. I also think there’s a certain commitment in putting the script rewrites out into the Universe. I may have these in my little Evernote notebook labeled “Spiritual,” but… *gulp*… there’s no more real place to really commit to them than on the internet, right?!
I’m trusting you, dear reader, to take these in with gentleness and as much non-judgement as you can muster. It’s a little scary for me. But really putting it out into the Universe helps me identify where there’s still a disconnect, a “misalignment,” as Gabby calls it, between what I want and how I feel/believe. Because I know the things below that make me really uncomfortable to type and publish are the ones I still need to work on.
[Also of note: Gabby recommends that after you articulate the desire, you specify why. That why should not be from a place of scarcity (e.g. “I want an amazing relationship because I don’t want to spend the rest of my life alone”) but rather from a place of fullness. I love this point.]
Old script: No one will hire me for a high-paying job. I could never start my own company. I’m not capable of prosperity. I could never make much money.
New script: I desire a prosperous career that earns me 300k/yr designing, writing, and running my business. I feel excited and passionate about my work, because I want to share my creativity and make the world a more beautiful, well place, and have a comfortable life for myself.
Old script: I will never afford the home I want. California is too expensive.
New script: I desire a beautiful home of my own in California, because from a place of comfort and beauty, I can live my most joyful life.
Old script: I have no control of my time, and I always feel in deficit. (Boy, was this true in my last job.)
New script: I desire a schedule and quality of life that prioritizes rest, meditation, movement, healthy eating, and taking care of my body, because from a place of health and feeling physically well, I can do my best work and radiate the most positive influence.
Old script: People don’t want me. People will leave me. (This is a deeply entrenched one in my life.)
New script: I desire an incredible marriage to the best and most beautiful man I know, because I want to devote all of the amazing things that I have and am to someone exceptional, and we are even more radiant together than by ourselves.
Old script: I’m shy, I’m an introvert, I can’t meet people. I don’t connect easily with people.
New script: I desire love and connection with other creative, playful, joyful, and spiritual beings, because I want us to uplift each other on this journey.
Old script: I always feel fatigued and my stomach is always a mess. It’s always going to be like that.
New script: I desire a feeling of comfortable health and wellness in my body and my gut, because when I feel good, I radiate and do good.
If you’re still here, thanks for bearing witness. It’s powerful for me. Even if no one reads this, it feels like an important thing to put out there. And if you do read this, I hope a) I can help someone know that they’re not alone in their limiting beliefs, that we are all flawed, vulnerable beings, and b) I inspire you to consider your own scripts, and write a few new ones. Because we are all deserving of joy. Life is meant to be lived with ease. Not every moment, for sure, but more moments than not. If you've rewritten any of your own negative scripts, I would love to hear about it here. [Thanks to styled_by_e for opening up this conversation around money, too.]
I wish you a holiday filled with joy, and a 2018 that propels you to greater levels of fulfillment than you thought possible.
Image: Elicia Edijanto