Stephanie Tolan shares her story one year on from Findhorn’s New Story Summit….
I was asked to participate in the summit because of my book Change Your Story, Change Your Life, and I went there assuming that both I and the people who would be attending understood what I called Story Principle in that book — that the stories we tell actually create our lives. The biggest surprise for me was how many there (myself included, I understand now) considered “new story” a metaphor — just a useful way to speak about finding new pathways of action to fix a world so clearly going wrong.
As gratifying as it was to learn of the many individuals and groups taking action toward what they want to be a better world, it seemed that one of the largest strands of the reality (old story) they hope to change was firmly (often secretly) underlying their efforts. That huge strand of the old story — a belief in separation, polarity, conflict, competition and hierarchy — became apparent in the “us/them” fractures that showed up in the group.
I began to see that the foundation on which the story of a “better world” can actually be lived into can’t really be that the world is going wrong, that somebody should be blamed and somehow forced to change. Telling the story of a world going wrong continues to create that reality. A truly new story needs to be that the world is already changing for the better and that each of us can participate in that change not only through action, but through changing that old negative strand in our own story. Change can be seen not as struggle and conflict, but as an organic move in a new direction.
The presence of the indigenous people and their ceremonies, along with the felt willingness of what Findhorn folk call the subtle realms to participate, made the experience utterly different for me from any similar gathering I had ever attended. Those two aspects were for me the real “new story,” and set a challenge for the rest of my life, to discover my place in the Oneness.
Between last September and today, what lies beneath everything I write or speak about, and everything I do in my own daily life, is an effort to genuinely accept the truth that consciousness creates, so consciousness must change if the world is to follow. Telling a new story and willingly suspending disbelief is not a metaphor for creating a new world, it creates that world. Focusing on every moment, every hint, every report that something is going right is essential to being able to let go of the old story and thus the old world. News of what all those summiteers out there are doing to move their personal worlds in a positive direction is hugely important to doing that. The story I focus on holding onto now is that the world (the Oneness we’re part of) is busily “saving” itself.