IS YOUR LIFE WHAT YOU THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE?
In Re-Creating a Life: Learning How to Tell Our Most Life-Giving Story, Dr. Diane Millis shows us how to author a new story for our lives.
- Discover the story they are currently telling themselves;
- Develop their capacity to re-create their life by exploring more life-giving stories;
- Discern how to tell the story of what gives their life meaning, purpose, and joy.
Diane M. Millis, PhD, is an inspirational speaker, spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and consultant.
She is the author of Conversation–The Sacred Art and Deepening Engagement. She lives in Minneapolis and currently teaches at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.
Diane’s book, Re-Creating a Life: Learning How to Tell our Most Life-giving Story is a gift to anyone who is willing to reflect on the unfolding stories of their lives to find new and redemptive meaning! Her wise method of sharing her own story in such an honest and personal narrative works well as an example and an invitation into our own narrative explorations. Through her research, reflection and writing, I am now learning how to re-write a better story line for my own life.
My life has been greatly enriched by Diane’s presence and spirituality work. I participated in her narrative circles with the 4-4-4 method she developed, through SDI this past spring and found it one of the most honoring and life giving experiences of my past several years. I indeed found myself re-telling a new and hopeful story that gives life to a limiting old story I had told myself for many years.
We all have stories that we tell ourselves and others, stories of our upbringing, our defining features our flaws. Diane’s book gently invites us to look at these stories in new ways. Are the stories we tell ourselves and others the most life-giving versions? Who is the protagonist of our stories? Who are the heroes and villains of our stories? Which stories would we like to explore further?
One of the most profound invitations of the book is to recognize that our stories are never finished, we can always re-enter them, find new perspectives and uncover new layers of meaning. This simple yet profoundly helpful step can take our stories of shame and embarrassment and turn them into our most redemptive stories.
Diane invites us to share our stories with other listening partners, whether it be a spiritual director or trusted friend. Often others see our stories differently, ask us questions we haven’t asked ourselves before and giving us a glimpse into new possibilities.
One of the exercises Diane introduces is the ‘7 days of recreation’, beginning with the question ‘which day from your life would you like to explore further?’ from here we can choose 7 key stories from our lives. I found this exercise profoundly transforming and in working with a childhood memory, that was surrounded in shame, was able to see it in a whole new light. I went from seeing myself as having made a terrible decision to seeing the courage inherent in that decision and to forgive myself. I discovered a sense of freedom in this practice. I return to this book often, which I think is a mark of a wonderful book, to gleam new insights, explore a new story, find ways to help my spiritual directees and for practices I can introduce in a retreat or quiet day.
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