Human beings live inside stories.
We are born into a story and live in it from the day we are born.

We are most often unaware that it is a story, and mistake it for reality. We are convinced it is reality, that things are this way, and that things should be one way or another. This causes us great pain and occupies our thoughts and actions in unnecessarily painful ways.

I like to imagine looking at human life from the point of view of an alien from outer space:

Seeing so many humans struggle with weight, entrenched in a story that only a certain weight “looks good” and will “make them happy”.
Seeing so many humans entrenched in a story that they “should be happy”/have a lot of friends/ have an amazing wedding party or birthday party/ get to the top, etc.
We forget or are unaware that these are only stories. We try and try to make our lives fit into these stories perfectly – otherwise we cannot be happy.

I went for a paddle this morning, expecting it to be “paddle perfect”, that the water will be mirror-like calm. By the time I got the kayak into the water and started paddling, the wind picked up slightly. The water became choppy and I had to work harder to paddle. I knew I wouldn’t be able to see as much marine life as I would if it was “paddle perfect”, mirror-like, calm water. I began to let myself be disappointed and thought about turning back. It didn’t meet my story that paddles should be “paddle perfect”. Then, I caught myself with my story. I let myself see if I could enjoy the imperfect paddle, as is. I noticed that my body is enjoying the motion of paddling and being outdoors. I had a wonderful experience of enjoying what is, rather than suffering from my unmet expectations – my story.

I see couples who love each other very much, but let themselves be disappointed when their partner doesn’t meet their story of how things should be.  

Some couples, even after being together for decades haven’t yet formed their “us” story.  A couple comes from two families. That means that there are two different stories that can’t both be met. This is a new, third story that the couple needs to write together.

To practice surrendering and going beyond the stories, be curious, identify and observe the story behind anything that you are unhappy or worried about.

Once you’ve become aware of the story, it is possible to start practicing surrendering to what is.

Start with little things, such as my surrender during my paddle. It’s like when you’re making a recipe and miss an ingredient. You find some other way to make that recipe from what is available. Often it turns out great, at times even better than the original recipe.

Look at the partner that you have, instead of at the partner that you ‘should’ have according to your story.

When you’re ready, surrender to bigger things such fear of dying, disease, and things not going the way you planned.

Practice surrendering to all possibilities, including those that go against our stories. Surrendering to the possibilities that we don’t like is what enables us to be at peace. Ironically, being at peace with what we don’t like decreases our chances of having to meet these unwanted possibilities. Even unwanted events such as dying or illness can be met with calmness when we surrender to what is beyond the story we tell ourselves. The story that we should live to a certain age, or be in a certain state, or achieve a certain achievement. 
As my mentor Louise says: “The purpose of life is life”.

Family Constellations workshops are a deep and profound way to identify your unconscious stories and start practicing surrender. It gives us an ability to identify unconscious stories that run in families for generations. These insights are only possible to gain in a group setting.

Copyright Yael Reiss 2023