The Stories we tell Ourselves - mission 01

Rachel Fuller

Rachel Fuller

have you ever felt horribly misunderstood? 

Some things stick in your mind. At 17 I had a boyfriend who loved fast cars and one day we are driving on the motorway and he is right up someones backside, driving far too close. I tell him off. Eventually he overtakes and I say to him, "If I were that guy, I'd give you the finger" and I demonstrated by sticking my middle finger up to the guy behind.

Of course I'd now given the finger to the guy I was defending! So there I am, frantically mouthing the words, "No! not you! I'm defending you! I'm sorry!" It is horrible to be so misunderstood, maybe why I still remember it so vividly 33 years later. 

The guy in the car saw me with my finger up and created his own story, understandably. But it wasn't true.

watch this, and watch yourself creating a story 

We all make stories out of what we see and hear. One of the best illustrations of this is a little animation from 1944. Watch it, what do you think is happening? 

In 'reality' there is just two triangles, one small dot and four lines. They are moving around the screen. That's all that is happening. But out of these simple elements we create a whole drama. It's the same in life. Out of the simple elements of sensations, we create a narrative, the story of our life. 


change the story

Just noticing that the stories are stories, and not a concrete reality, has a big effect. Above is a visual example, but sound is important too.
Dharma art mission 01 is to play with the background music to your life. 

  • Go somewhere where there are people, maybe you are on the bus, or walking through town. 
  • As you watch people add some background music and see how it changes the way the scene is unfolding. 
  • Use the tracks below or add your own music. 

Adding different music to a scene changes the 'story' showing it is possible to interpret things differently. Loosening up the fixed world we think is 'out there'.   


What story unfolded? 

I'd love to hear what happens when you try out this little assignment. You can comment below. The computer will ask you to verify your email address, that's because I've added a 'plug in' so that you can share more of your stuff, threaded conversations, uploading images etc. I guess the email check just helps ward off the trolls. Looking forward to hearing from you.