Awakening Goddess: Empowering the Goddess Within

As above, so below, as within, so without - every thing that we desire, and every thing that we fear, exists within us. This blog explores nourishing our dreams, committing to our highest values, and healing ourselves from the inside out: awakening and empowering the Goddess within our bodies, hearts, and lives.

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Changing The Story of Your Life

The stories we tell have power.  They teach.  They influence the opinions and behaviors of ourselves and others.  They influence how we experience our lives and the world.

Vivian Gornik wrote a great book for creative nonfiction writers called The Situation and the Story.  It’s short, entertaining, educational, and I highly recommend it.

Anyhoo, the situation is what happens.  The story is how what happens changes the person who experiences or observes it.

For example, here is a situation. 

I was browsing Facebook and read a post about a girl whose picture of herself in an Old Navy shirt went viral after she told her story.  In the comments, some people were calling her a crybaby.

Here are two stories about this situation.

First Story:

I felt triggered by the emotional shaming and fat shaming, and I wrote a message to that girl and to the girl inside me who was hurting and posted it to Facebook.  My message read:

“You are allowed to feel sad. Even though there are always many people suffering things you can't imagine, even though someone you know thinks they have it worse than you, you are still allowed to feel sad. Sadness is not something that has to be earned. It is a message to your consciousness that something is wrong, that you have a need that needs to be met. So don't let people try to make you feel guilty for feeling sad. Sometimes it takes more strength to feel your feelings than to ‘suck it up.’"

The next day, still upset, I sat down to write a blog post and ended up ranting for pages about how everyone has a right to their feelings and shaming people for having unpleasant feelings is counterproductive and wrong.

Second Story:

A friend posted a hilarious response to my facebook post that got me laughing, lifting my mood and shifting my story.  It read:

Exactly! Think of how ridiculous it would be if when you said, ‘I'm feeling happy!’ other people reacted by saying, ‘You have no right to be happy. Think of everyone who has it better than you. Right now, somebody in Africa is having a orgasm with her soulmate in the bedroom of their dream house. What right do you have to be happy compared to her?’

Still wanting to post to my blog, I deleted the rant and tried to write something more helpful and empowering.  Three hours in, I realized the scope of what I was writing was too big for a blog post and thus I saved the file as a chapter for my upcoming book.  Then I narrowed my topic down to the power of storytelling.  Feeling like my normal upbeat self, I wrote the post, published it, and somebody somewhere got something good out of it.


The situation was the same: I read something that affected me and chose to write about it.  Both stories are true.  Both stories have power.  The first story has the power to bring down my mood, or the mood of the people I tell it too.  It might also bring to mind more similar stories, triggering other unpleasant feelings and reinforcing beliefs about how unfair life is or how much the world sucks.  I’m so glad I didn’t let my story end there!

The second story has the power to cause a smile, even laughter. It  brings up similar stories that invoke pleasant feelings, and reinforces beliefs about how good life can be and that unpleasant things and moods can be changed for the better.


The story of my life used to be a dramatic tragedy.  I was a victim of incest, child abuse, neglect, rape, poverty, even homelessness.  I wrote about how I changed my story, how I started seeing myself as a Thriver instead of just a Survivor, here.

Listen to the stories you tell yourself.  How do your stories make you feel?

I am currently putting together an online writing workshop, and we’ll be going more in depth on this subject there.

In the meantime, I leave you with the following exploration:

Imagine your life is a movie.  What genre does your current life movie fit into?

Write a brief scene of your current life movie, something that brought up significant emotion in you within the last few days.

Now think about what genre you’d prefer your life story to fit.  (If you like the current genre, just pick a different genre for fun.)

Re-write the scene, or write a different aspect of it, so that it fits in the new genre.


Compare your two scenes.  What is similar and what is different?  How can you apply this technique to the stories you tell yourself every day?

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Ashley Rae published her first book, a memoir, in 2012, and has been a professional psychic, healer, and teacher since 2003. Ashley's goal in life is to help you empower the divine spark within yourself so that you can love yourself freely, make your life awesome, and make this world a more beautiful, compassionate place. Visit her website to check out her other blog, find out her schedule, book an appointment and register for her classes.


  • Raven J. Demers
    Raven J. Demers Wednesday, 05 August 2015

    Excellent writing/journaling prompt. Thank you for the idea!

  • Ashley Rae
    Ashley Rae Wednesday, 05 August 2015

    My pleasure! Thanks for the feedback!

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