What is StoryOS?
StoryOS is about growing your brain through neurogenesis so you have the capacity to successfully deal with the complexity and thrive in today’s world.
The world is too complex for most people so they try to become minimalist as their strategy to survive but this intentional ignoring of the data that’s available to you inhibits your opportunity for success.
It’s sounds cool and kinda zen but it ignores the reality of what successful people do. They’re hungry for the right opportunity so have built the capacity to notice for what is right for them.
They can separate the signal from the noise.
They’re good at ignoring most of the stories they see because their story is what matters and they’re hyper focused on what is a fit and match for them.
This isn’t just a cognitive strategy. It’s primal and wired into their being.
This is what StoryOS is about how you engage with the deeper parts of yourself and tune them so you’re consciously using what were unconscious parts of yourself.
What kind of story are you living inside of?
This is the relationship you have with yourself and it can be worked with both cognitively, somatically and energetically.
You can discover you have a relationship with parts of yourself that have been unconscious like your Shadow where you keep all the negative dark energy, all the bad repulsive parts of yourself. But they are still you and may at times sabotage your ability to get what you want when you don’t have conscious control.
Confidence is when your surface story matches your deep story because confidence isn’t cognitive you don’t just think yourself confident you need to feel that confidence.
When you understand your story differently, different things are possible for you. You become truly confident.
But this isn’t just cognitive it’s about who you are at the most primal level what some people would call spirit and others Qi, Ki, Prana or awareness. In an embodied way where you literally feel the aliveness of your body and how that affects how you think and feel.
It’s about avoiding the “sleight of mind” where we trick ourselves because we have a limited view of what our mind is.
We don’t like to think that we’re shallow but we are when we just use our conscious mind.
It’s possible to go deeper and make what’s currently unconscious conscious to see the traps that catch us unaware that sabotage our success because no matter how clever you are there is always a next level up for you where you could be having what you want and don’t yet have.
It’s possible to develop the neurological capacity to see your life as story rather than have no choice but to live the life, the story you’ve been given
Whose story are you living?
Growing the ability to see you are inside a story is a developmental process, in short it’s unconscious till you learn how to see it.
Big business knows this and there is a trillion dollar per year marketing machine telling you whose story you are living in.
Are you happy, healthy and in a great relationship with yourself and a significant other?
If you were you wouldn’t be buying much.
Big business feeds off our unconsciousness and lack of intention.
The lack of our own story that is powerful enough to sustain us when we are tempted and seduced by marketing that talks to our Shadow, all the negative stuff we deny about ourselves but is still part of us so controls us when we leave it as unconscious.
StoryOS is about the active use of story not the passive reaction to story. How long does it take when you’re watching that truly great movie before you forget about everything else and are just inside the story of that movie? The better the movie or story the quicker that happens. But isn’t this also true of our everyday lives when we’re in a state of Flow,
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi described this state of total absorption similar to the Taoist Zhuangzi’s description of “great skill” where you have the experience of oneness or absorption into and effortlessness with the experience you are having .
As a child Csikszentmihalyi was touched by the Second World War he was put in an Italian prison in an interview he comments:
“I discovered chess was a miraculous way of entering into a different world where all those things didn’t matter. For hours I’d just focus within a reality that had clear rules and goals” (Sobel, D. (1995, January). Interview: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Omni, 73-90.).
It’s this narrative coherence or when the chaos and complexity becomes understandable and there is a path that is effortless because you have come to an alignment within yourself so your story is evident and there is a way forward.
So it’s being able to generate and step into this state experience intentionally or have the awareness to see when it’s naturally occurring and intentionally step into that experience. It’s this intentionally that is key.
So in the same way you can use some drugs recreationally to generate a state experience they can also be prescribed by a trained professional and administered intentionally as medicine.
StoryOS is about using story as medicine.
Story has been the medicine of choice for Shaman and indigenous healers for thousands of years. Story can be more than just intellectual (cognitive). it can also be biological and energetic (accessed somatically).
It’s about growing your awareness through what neuroscience calls neurogenesis the deliberate process of brain growth using mindfulness.
But it’s making a radical choice, because most of the people around you are asleep and just stuck inside their story. You need to wake up.
Most mindfulness is mindless. StoryOS adds intentionality as the heart of mindfulness understanding this as a developmental capacity that you can grow.
So what’s your story?
As soon as you wake up in the morning your mind starts making meaning. This is the process I refer to as StoryOS that you are essentially built from story.
Your mind may still be filled with your dreams when you are in the process of waking up. You are transitioning from the unconscious to the conscious process of story creation.
Many traditional cultures don’t make a sharp distinction between the unconscious process of dreaming and the waking world of daydreaming.
StoryOS draws from this indigenous wisdom and the modern world of neuroscience, specifically interpersonal neurobiology which argues that mind is not just in your brain but also in your body and also in the space between us.
I’ll mention some of my favourite neuroscientists and shamen if you want to read the theory but this work is about how you apply the knowledge to get results. So how you coach yourself and how you evolve this fundamental self relationship.
It’s the distinction philosopher Ken Wilber makes that we experience spirituality as a state experience and we view that state experience from our level of development which it’s possible to evolve. So for some people it’s not spiritual it’s Flow and being in the Power of Now moment. For others it’s being able to mindfully be present to the experience you are having without getting lost in or overwhelmed by that experience. And for others it’s non-dual having no separation and knowing that you are the other person not intellectually but experientially just as you are everything around you.
It’s getting the Yin Yang symbol isn’t two things but one thing the state of change. Just like you are a story of change.
Though when thinking we take a static still picture, a mind-selfie and turn the living experience into a distortion of what was true.
So yes those indigenous people who thought their souls were being stolen by the white people with cameras were right all along. They got the representation isn’t the reality.
And today people need spirit medicine because social media is making them sick. Because the representations they make in their head are artificial not natural and when you can’t tell the difference between fake and real or between unhealthy and healthy you become sick.
This is all a story about yourself. The self relationship you have and how this impacts all your other relationships.
StoryOS is waking up to the idea that you are inside a story that there is meaning to what is happening and that you control that meaning.
It’s easy to not see this and feel anxious and depressed because you are disconnected from a story you want to be living.
Whether you are empowered or disempowered is about the control you have over your story, your meaning making process.
We live in a world where over a trillion dollars is spent each year on marketing on telling us that we aren’t enough without a specific product.
We grow up in cultures that tell us that they are right and someone else is wrong.
We swim in this sea of stories that tell us what to think.
What if you woke up in the morning and thought: “I’m a hero on my Hero’s Journey so I’m going to enjoy the challenges I face today.”
This is a story about who you are but it changes how you perceive and make meaning of what is happening to you.
This story creation process becomes more possible through the act of intentional practice also referred to as mindfulness.
But I see many mindfulness practitioners as more mindless not mindful where their meditation practice doesn’t help them, they can’t take the experience they have in meditation with them out into the world and actively make use of it.
But that is possible when you get the mind in mindfulness includes your body that’s the fulness part..
It’s a process of coaching yourself. And how you relate to yourself. Do you help yourself or hinder yourself? Or are you even hurting yourself and actively sabotaging your chances of success?
Without the intention mindful choice to actively create your story you are at the mercy of everyone that is trying to manipulate you.
I’m also doing this but I’m transparent with my agenda for you, I know that you can consciously create the story that you want to be living because I’ve worked with many people and helped them do this.
I get that the more you evolve the more our society evolves and that’s better for me as well as you.
StoryOS is a developmental process. So the question is how do you power that developmental process?
Your intentionality directs your natural life energy, if you spend most of the time thinking about the past you live in a story now that is created from those ideas, characters, events. This often holds people back because they feel the weight holding them back. But if if you spend more time thinking about the future in a positive way there is more weight pulling you forward.
So this isn’t just cognitive there is a literal felt sense of weight or pull when you consciously pay attention. I’m not asking you to believe anything I’m saying just test it out for yourself. StoryOS is intensely practical and driven by the results you observe not the theory we discuss.
Some people love the theory and the playing around with ideas. But you can get lost here because it’s always in the application and use in the real world that you make progress. It’s the iterative repeated process of getting feedback that allows for progress.
So in StoryOS we intentionally build from blocks of reality not blocks of fantasy. And it’s working at this process of going deep not staying at the surface level of experience where we live shallow lives easily influenced by what other people say rather than working out what we really think that gets to the reality of our deep story, our authentic self living an authentic life.
And this is often mostly or completely unconscious for many people. But it becomes conscious when you work at it.
This isn’t hard work it’s about finding out what you love and what gives you joy and generates genuine excitement rather than what is just distracting you from the pain you are in.
But it’s interesting how many people aren’t in the driver’s seat when it comes to being connected to an authentic deep story, it’s more like they are in the driver’s seat of life with someone else at the steering wheel. There’s often a great amount of resentment, fear and anger involved here. But this isn’t a story about other. It’s the story of the other in you, your Shadow.
I understand the Shadow as energy that has been held on to and not allowed to naturally flow. So it creates stagnation and stuckness. And it has a power like gravity to pull you in a direction you don’t want to go in. To drag you off course like when the wheels of your car are out of alignment you try to go forward but go in a different direction.
To correct this you need to be able to see and know where you are going, you need a process of feedback. This is why StoryOS is about self-coaching or self-therapy because the only true transformation is sustainable transformation. Pretty much all medical, coaching and therapy models require you to go to see the expert to fix you.
But this idea that you just get a quick fix or magical transformation is more marketing hype than reality. And we now live in a world where many people aren’t prepared to live the lie that just taking the drugs they’ve been prescribed is a fix,
Both that data when you go looking for it and the reported experience that’s now possible with people coming together online and openly discussing their experience shows treating the symptom doesn’t fix the underlying problem.
StoryOS came about through over twenty years of mentoring therapists, coaches and other medical specialists where the conversation ranged not just from helping them with their patients but to also what did they themselves need in terms of professional development and personal development?
My argument was that the diagnosis is always more complex than what the therapist can hold in their head and that your training as a therapist constrains your diagnosis so there is always a larger story, the patients story, than you as a therapist can contain.
But you can contain the diagnosis in the idea of story (where you accept there is more going on than you can see). Whereas you can’t in the idea of diagnosis (where you have a definitive conclusion).
The commonality was this idea that we live inside a story. This idea has been thoroughly explored in Narrative Therapy and related disciplines and even to marketing and sales both of which are common concerns of therapists and coaches in private practice.
But StoryOS is about radically simplifying and moving away from theory and intellectual discussions which have their place amongst therapists and coaches but don’t help the patient.
And it’s more the ability to communicate to ordinary people in the language that they identify with and understand and can genuinely relate to that enables change to be effective.
In fact it’s the conversations we have with ourselves, the story we tell ourselves and how deeply we think about this that creates generative change.
So the argument here is for generative change that is developmental.
There are many developmental systems and you may have your speciality or favourite but that’s the theoretical conversation we’re not so much getting into here because the core idea is more helpful.
That there is something called development and getting to the next level up changes everything. Whether that is psychological, spiritual or in the game you are playing or in the life you are living.
So the story is an ongoing process of development.
Things happen over a period of time. It’s that simple. And the meaning we make of this is a story.
The more you get this the more you understand whether you are therapist, coach, patient or client that there is always a next level up that you are moving towards.
For some people this is spiritual, for others psychological and for others it’s the game of life.
But it’s the absence of this the disconnection from this story that leads to pathology or problems.
We forget in our thinking that life is change so the more you can enable this understanding and frame it as a growth process, development, the more you create a generative path to new possibilities and remove stuckness, depression, anxiety and the stagnation that causes health issues.
So transformation is a process and as a process it’s ongoing not short term or quick fix or instant. It’s the mistake of looking for the high where everyday life is seen as the low rather than being able to enjoy, literally find joy, in the ordinary that leads to addiction.
Whether than is addiction to substances or addiction to anything including people it’s this surface level view where life is shallow and you need a high of some kind to escape that shallowness whether that is your job, your relationship, or your life.
The high is actually going deep, escaping the shallowness of your everyday story by going deep into that same story.
Literally becoming more conscious of what you are currently unconscious of. Because the magic is there it’s just that you can’t see it because you haven’t done the work to look.
And you don’t do that work because everyone else tells you how things are. But if you accept this story you don’t acknowledge your story, your uniqueness.
In fact you may fear your uniqueness because we live in a world where for some people difference is scary and therefore bad.
So it can often be a Hero’s Journey, to borrow Joseph Campbell’s phrase where you literally go on a journey to explore yourself but not the surface you, the deeper you.
A journey to find power.
The power you’ve lost because you’ve hidden it in your Shadow. Which is why it’s now scary.
Your Shadow is all the negative stuff you’ve put into your unconscious but I think of this energetically as disowned energy that you can reclaim without the psychological trauma and overthinking that hinders rather than helps with accessing your Shadow.