There is an increase in people wanting to write their life stories in Australia. The practice is well established in America, Canada and Europe and finally, Australians of all ages are taking the step to document their life story and the rewards are satisfying and significant. It will mean so much to you and your family
There is significant research and evidence to say that writing about aspects of your life is therapeutic. It helps the mind work through events and emotions, gives structure and an opportunity to reframe and re-evaluate decisions and relationships, and can allow perspectives to be reshaped. It also allows your life to be remembered as you want it remembered for generations to come and your life messages passed on. Your future family will be able to connect with you.
One of the most surprising benefits of storytelling relates to health. Engaging your brain to explore and record your memories is an activity that has multiple positive outcomes. It can bring into focus the positive and negative events of your life, reframe your life journey and increase family communications and understanding.
Writing your life story brings focus
Simple storytelling gives an opportunity to focus the mind and allow the journey of your life to unfold. It will give a perspective that perhaps has been elusive as the journey of life has been lived. It can also give context to complex situations and promote self-belief and understanding. Reflection can lead to alternative insight and promote connections between family and friends.
- Storytelling will unleash emotions and link experiences of a life long lived. It allows events to be revisited and reframed through insight and retrospect. It is an exhilarating experience that re-establishes self-esteem, skills that may have been forgotten and relevance to culture and surroundings. This has an impact on one’s sense of purpose and identify and can decrease depression, anxiety or isolation.
- Simple storytelling gives an opportunity to pass along wisdom and life messages to family members and friends. It allows future descendants to connect with someone who has faced challenges and overcome them, lived a life that they can relate to or has similar skills and attributes that mean something.
- Each person has a unique and firsthand experience of their culture and history. The life story is embedded in their personality, their attitudes, their skills and their experiences. It is important and if not told and recorded, will be lost forever.
- Establishing a family tradition of writing life stories is a powerful tool for strengthening the family connectivity and unity and valuing the extended family unit. It may become the vine that some may cling to in times of need, or it may be the vine that others will climb as a sign of their appreciation and honour.
Writing your life story will bring a tear
Never have I worked on a life story with a client without emotional or maybe even traumatic memories being revisited. Sometimes it is about loss or missed opportunities or perhaps it is about something so small that it never was discussed but managed to change the direction of your life. I remember an elderly lady cried as she told me about how she cared for her siblings after her mother walked out on the family. She did it so well, the household ran like clockwork and life was manageable. One day a younger sister decided that she would like the job of running the household and dismissed my client and took her role. This changed my client’s life and her emotional health, and she embarked on a life journey that was extremely difficult for a young girl. The client had never told this story before, but here it sat in her written memoir for her family to understand the hidden journey of her life.
There is now significant research around the value of writing your life story and revisiting emotional and traumatic memories and it is found it to be therapeutic and an effective cognitive fitness tool. The natural tendency is to avoid upsets and suppress thoughts about negative events in our life when our mind is most at peace when thoughts are processed.
Your life story is powerful
Writing our life story is a powerful opportunity to increase understanding and appreciation for the life we have lived and the contributions we have made to society and family
Contact Write My Journey and ask for Rose Osborne
m: 0407 487 495