How to stop letting your past be the script for your future

Change & Reinvention

In December 2004, I had a teaching degree, a mountain of student debt and a fantastic group of friends who were more like family having stood shoulder to shoulder with me through tough times.

My grandiose Christmas gift ideas for my ‘framily’ were tantamount to what my nan would call ‘champagne dreams and tonic water pockets’ so I got creative.

Enlisting my flatmate as a less than enthusiastic decoy, I visited each friend’s house. While Lisa kept them talking I did some Christmas shopping in the form of grabbing something to gift back to them for Christmas! My genius plan would result in some hilarious confusion and everyone receiving a gift they were guaranteed to love.

Sneaking items out of people’s houses had been a lot more difficult than I’d imagined. No one had bought my less than convincing casual pop round and it turned out I was pretty rubbish at deception. The secrecy was killing me!
The night we met up for Christmas dinner, I revealed my huge Santa’s sack not-really-gifts and made a short speech about the deep regard I had for each friend. Initially people were touched and humbled that I’d gone to so much trouble with my Christmas shopping/pilfering! Then they opened their ‘gifts’ to cries of:

‘Ahh this is so lovely of you! Wow, it’s… yeah, err…I love it but… hold the phone… is this… I’ve got one just like this! How did you… Good Gravy Jaz you’re something else!’

Dave was delighted with his gift examining his own beloved football trophy and marvelling at how it looked just like the one he had when he was a kid’! It took a while for him to recognise it despite it having his own name engraved on it!

The next year I was chatting with Rachel who had received her own carriage clock as a gift. She told me that it was originally from her mum and a reminder of the difficult relationship they had. The clock annoyed her and, in her words, ‘sat there silently criticising me and gathering dust too enthusiastically’. As she left she said something that stayed with me.

‘Since you gave it back to me it seems to bother me less. Now when I look at it I just remember everyone’s faces at that dinner and laugh!’

Rachel had re-storied. She has been using the clock as a daily reminder to punish herself for a broken relationship. It represented pain right up until it didn’t anymore. The shift wasn’t caused by my hilarious attempt at a little light house burglary but the fact that Rachel had decided to release herself from judgment and instead make space for joy.
I can’t get round to your house to snag you a special gift but I am inviting you to think about what stories you want to let go of. In the new year I’ll be releasing some simple but cool tools to help you and I’d love to hear about the changes you want to make for yourself around balancing life and work, being more resilient and kicking your imposter syndrome to the kerb.

Click your favourite social network below and let me know what you want to change.


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