July 25, 2011

Let’s heal our stories (present, future & past) about stuttering -1

I am going through a book, named STORY HEALER by Ms. Stephanie S. Tolan, the link for which is given by Dr.Sachin itself. I guess I must have succeeded in making you a bit curious to read it down with my eye catching headline in bold letters J

To start with a brief about the author, she is a mature lady who makes her living by writing, mainly fiction, targeting children & adolescents. She has been a skinless personality (physically weak) since her childhood, being very curious about this fact & had developed uneasy self perception about it as we all stutterers used to develop such feelings about ourselves.

She revealed about her over sensitiveness towards almost everything happening around her, which she gradually developed due to her so self perception, being a reward of being skinless. It fits to most of stutterers too (if not to all), as involuntary over sensitiveness is quite a common thing in our lives, either while compromising with our speech impediment or with other issues around us.

Now tuning in with the main theme of the book, lets understand that Life is a story. Just like a fiction story, where all the characters are brain child of the author, our lives is also a collection of stories on a broader platform, based on consciousness, imagination & experience. The thing that is important here is that, we can change our story at any point of time J. Isn’t it interesting & exciting too...

But it needs a fair bit of belief & trust on this theory to make it happen.

Before talking about this principle, let us understand that we all have our own stories of lives, which are quite different from others referring to the past experiences & their perceptions. For instance, an classic public encounter with stuttering like inability to pronounce his name in the class may become a lifelong humiliation experience for a stutter while someone else may forget it few years later. So a same experience can have far different futuristic impacts on different people, mainly due to their perceptions.

Also, one more vital phenomenon to understand is that everybody plays only a supportive character in anyone else’s life (story of life actually).Being stutterers, it has enormous potential for us to understood it very clearly that most of the times, after exposing out stuttering with others, we used to spend a whole lot of time, wondering about the impact of our stuttering towards our image in others lives. But in actual, neither we nor our stuttering is so important at all for them to consider. So, ideally we don’t need to bother too much about either us or our stuttering as nobody else does.

“U can change your story at any time” refers the power of positive feedbacks to yourselves at any instant of time when those well known negative thoughts /imaginations comes into play. But to attack directly on our own negative thoughts generated at any point of time regarding stuttering would be difficult for beginners like us as it is likely to be not so successful, which may disappoint us significantly.

Hence, it would be better if we start applying this principle to majority of our thoughts/imaginations throughout the whole day. We would need to have a check on our thoughts, especially negative ones & substitute them with positive replacements. Starting by observing others; how they react to various situations is also a good way to start it off as it is always easy to observe others than you. During this process, anyone can clearly observe that most of the time, people tends to be negative towards the situations they are facing. Then we can start observing our thoughts & find out how much negativity we are carrying though out the whole day. After such sufficient dosage of observations only, anyone can start the process of substitution.

Lets understand it with an simple illustration ----- Suppose a stutterer needs to go to the post office & have some postage stamps; he didn’t have any single good past experience with the officer appointed the work of selling stamps in his local post office. His usual thought process would compel him to imagine whole lot of troubles he is going to face while dealing with that officer (rude).He would neither enjoy nor concentrate on his drive to the post office on his favorite bike; he is riding it after a long time as he has returned yesterday only from his college hostel finishing his exams. All the difficult words/alphabets he going to struggle while talking to the officer will float in his mind during his ride; he would hardly manage to see the red lights on 2 street corners & manage to avoid violation of traffic rules anyhow. It is not at all difficult for us fellow stutterers to guess what would have happened at the post office window ; he would have struggled badly while dealing there.

Now, let us rewind the incident & start it again with implementing Life is a story & you can change it at any point of time phenomenon. If he starts his journey on his bike by taking few deep breaths & getting relaxed a bit & assuming that the journey to the post office would be very pleasant & he will enjoy the ride as well as the experience at the post office. If he concentrates on his ride while driving, feeling the soothing air hitting his body allover making his feel so light & joyful, if we just repeat the sentence ‘this is easy’ whenever his body starts to shiver with the fear of stuttering which he going to face at the post office , he may not find it a totally struggle free speaking experience with that same rude officer at such an initial level of application of this principle, but he would find it more easy & relaxed for sure than the earlier story we discussed.

So what we need is just to accept the power lies within U can change your story at any time & start exploring it. Atleast we can give it a shot as we stutterer used to be so such experimental having attempted so much stuffs J


sachin said...

Great post! Ashsish, please keep sharing your thoughts, learning and wisdom. More you share it, greater and richer will they become.
Best wishes!

Dhruva Kathuria said...

Good write up Ashish,I too want to write a review on the book,but I like it so much that I dont think I wil do justice to it in one post but I wil try nonethless !!!

Ashish Agarwal said...

@ Dr.Sachin-- I will keep writing sir.......it is a lot of fun to put your feelings on the paper.

@ Dhruva -- exactly !!! me too will try to add few more posts gradually about my learning from this book