Reflection Questions

Give a Story. Get a Story.

very early on in my walking trip, I started to realize that people’s Stories had a type of value that went beyond money. When I showed all the cards in my hand, strangers responded by revealing all the cards in theirs. I learned to love the exchange of intimacy that came with Story trading. I talk about that at length in Momentum.

This particular medium doesn’t allow for the same kind of in-person Story sharing that I love. If I could, I’d prefer to tell these Stories to you in person—and perhaps one day I will. Until then, I wanted to set up a format that would allow you to participate in my transformation experience if you want.

Every episode is paired with one open-ended question that relates to something that I was experiencing at the time. Use one of the questions; use all of the questions. Do whatever works for you.

If you’re open, I’d love to suggest a process for working with these questions that was particularly effective for me.

A suggested process for using the reflection questions:

  1. Begin by setting out an uninterrupted block of time. I like something in the realm of 30-45 minutes, though you may find it helpful to start shorter at first.
  2. Set a timer and write steam-of-consciousness style until the timer goes off. I like to write the question at the top of my page—I prefer a handwritten journal—and continue writing without my pen leaving the page. Rather than trying to tie down every detail of the Story, I like to write down whatever pops into my head, knowing that it doesn’t need to be intelligible. This is just a first draft.
  3. Really stop when the timer goes off, then put the writing in a “hiding place”. I stop writing no matter where I’m at in the Story. When the timer goes off, my creative work for the day is done. Next, I take what I’ve written and put it in a “hiding place”. Obviously I know where I’m hiding it, but I like the symbolism of the exercise. I’m putting the writing in a place that is precious and even sacred. If the document is online, maybe make a folder and call it SECRET or HIDING PLACE. Suggest to your subconscious that you’ve created somethign special.
  4. Go move your body in some way. I like walking (obviously) and riding my bike.
  5. The next day—or a few days later—come back to the same piece of writing and edit it. I know that this second time through is nowhere near completion. Still, I find it hugely valuable to re-read what I’ve written with different perspective. Did I leave out any details? Did I over or under exaggerate? What do I think, now, about what I’ve written? I aim to spend about the same amount of time I did in the first go round. Once I’ve made my edits, I return the writing to my hiding place.
  6. The next day—or a few days later—come back again and re-read with your edits. In this third round, I aim to step back from my memories and into my present moment experience. What parts of the Story jump out to me? Which parts are boring? Which parts trigger an unexpected sensation or emotion somewhere in my body? I’ll often journal separately about my experience reflecting on my memory.
  7. Finally, destroy the writing. My preference is to burn it. I literally go out into the alley behind my house and watch the writing turn to ash. It’s hugely cathartic. If it’s a document, I may print it out then burn it. Depending on the content, it may be cathartic enough to simply delete it, but I tend to like the drama of the fire. One way or the other, let it go.

You may find that you want to use this process multiple times with the same Story.

Sharing your Story

unfortunately, I don’t have the time to read, review, or give my thoughts on your Story. I highly recommend sharing it with someone close to you.

However, I do have the idea to ask my readers to tell me their Stories in some kind of structured way—perhaps a podcast at some point in the future.

If you’re interested in potentially participating in that format, please leave me your info using this form below.

I’ll only contact folks if I’d like to move forward in some way.

I truly appreciate hearing from you.