Have you ever quietly listened to your children playing?

I've been able to do it a lot over the last few weeks, it's nice to see sibling relationship deepen when technology and lots of other friends aren't around. 

They play mums and dads, mums and baby's, restaurants, Doctors, friends doing lunch, daddy at work, mummy at work. 

The narrative though is the narrative that they hear from day to day. 

"Do this"
"don't do that". 
"You can't just eat bread, it has no nutritional value..." 

^^^ that one made me laugh out loud.

They are repeating everything they hear, practising it, absorbing the story of their family, the story of their values and beliefs and the things they believe to be true about themselves and the world. 

For thousand of years learning about ourselves and our culture and about who we are has been done through story. 

When we hear this, we think of tribal elders sitting down and telling stories but it's not that. 

It's the story of our lives and how we interpret them or views, opinions, beliefs about food, and sleep and education and how people should be treated. 

Not just by what we say we believe but also by what we demonstrate we believe. 

Story is how we all learn. Emotions and facts connected. Without the emotion their is no connection and no memory. 

So when I talk about my children playing you think about yours or even your own childhood. 

The power of story is incredible, in fact the stories we hear and see about the world in the first few years of life can define our lives. 

Mums and baby's played 100 times is 100 times 'Mum' says 

"you are so creative, I love how much effort you put into your art"

That child will grow into that narrative and demonstrate those traits in everything they do. They will work to live up to it.

They live up to it because they believe it to be true, someone they love told them so.

Sadly, such is the power of negative emotion to embed a story that many of us carry around story's of;

You are too emotional
You are lazy
You don't work hard enough
You are naughty
You are dumb
You are clumsy
You always do it wrong
You aren't good at 

and other nonsense stories told through fear rather than fact. 

Told through impatiences rather than truth. 

Told through ignorance rather information. 

Told from a fixed mindset rather than a grow mindset. 

Told, often just once or twice but because of the strength of the source and emotion of the moment, they become self-fulfilling prophecy.

But we aren't children anymore, we can put down the stories told by other people and start telling our own. 

True stories, 

But more skilful stories,
Ones that support who we really are,

and then we can start living those stories...

When we play mums and dads, mums and baby's, restaurants, Doctors, friends doing lunch, daddy at work, mummy at work.

It's that simple,

But it start when you tell a different story. 

A more positive story 

Ed Ley