This is Your Story. Write a Good One.

A story to illustrate the power you hold within yourself…


Imagine with me for a moment that you’re standing beside a cool mountain stream. The sun filters through the trees and glistens off of something in the water. It’s a small glass bottle lying on top of some rocks at the bottom of the stream. It looks old, like the antique medicine bottles you’ve seen at estate sales.


But it couldn’t be. Not here. In the middle of nowhere.


You trace a path from the bottle, over large rocks sticking out of the water, and back to the shore. The water looks deep in the middle of the stream, and you know it’s cold, but you decide it’s worth taking a chance and step from rock to rock, careful not to fall in, then slowly crouch down on the pointed rock jutting out of the water beside the bottle. You can see now that it’s definitely a vintage bottle. You plunge your hand in the icy water, wrapping your fingers around the smooth glass.


The bottle has a light green tint and is sealed with a cork. No label. No markings. There’s a murky liquid inside. You dip the bottle back in the water and use your fingers to rub dirt and grime from the glass. It’s a pretty little bottle. You like that unique sea foam tint. You decide you’ll keep it and take it home with you.


You debate on popping the cork and draining the liquid, but decide against it, afraid you will damage the cork, or worse, release some toxic chemical that harms you or others. It’s best if you leave that liquid inside.


The bottle sits on display in the window over your kitchen sink. Every day you pause to admire it. You love the way the glass refracts the sun’s light and reminds you of that peaceful mountain stream. Every now and then you consider opening the bottle and cleaning out what’s inside, but you always talk yourself out of it, even applauding yourself for playing it safe.


Until one day, you’re standing by the sink and the sun is shining on the glass just right. This day you’re feeling extra brave, though still cautious. You take the bottle outside in the fresh air and slowly wiggle off the cork.


A genie appears.


The genie grants you not one wish, not two wishes, not even three wishes, but unlimited wishes. No limits!


What do you wish for? Money? Fame? A house, car, and/or companion?


This is your story, and, again, you are granted unlimited requests. DREAM BIG!


Do you wish for a mountain house? A beach house? One of each? And one for each of your friends too?


As you start to get the hang of these unlimited wishes do you ask for things like world peace, an end to all diseases, and even the return of a deceased loved one?

Maybe this story is beginning to feel a bit too magical and contrived, and your mind is starting to resist the possibilities with taunts and reminders of past failures, and the truth about reality.


This is not possible. I can’t have everything I want.


I can’t even afford a dozen eggs, let alone a mountain house!


My last relationship … my last two relationships… all right, yes, three relationships… ended badly. I’ve given up on trusting people.


And world peace and bringing loved ones back from the dead? I’m not Jesus!


Your mind is your own personal genie and your thoughts, your beliefs, and the stories you tell yourself all greatly impact what you allow yourself to want, how big you are willing to dream, and the actions (and reactions) you take.


There’s magic — power­ – in our thoughts. They affect our mental health and well-being by either allowing limitless possibilities to be explored or by rejecting opportunities because we don’t believe they are possible.


We can all have so much more than we—our minds, our genies— currently allow.

Spend some time with your personal genie this week. Allow yourself the opportunity to get curious around your thoughts, your desires, and your fears. What is he/she saying? What does he/she – YOU want? What’s standing in your way? I’m willing to bet it’s some belief rooted in a deeper story you are telling yourself.


Evaluating our thoughts and the stories we tell ourselves is hard work, but necessary if we want to experience meaningful and happy lives. Grant yourself plenty of grace, especially if you find you have a negative internal committee casting judgement on all your hopes and dreams.


Better yet, if your genie isn’t honoring your needs, hopes, and desires, fire your genie and find a new one.


This is your story. Be an active participant in designing it. Grace yourself the gift of dreaming up endless possibilities, then take the next gritty step of leaning into the stories that are holding you back. You possess all the power you need to create the life story of your dreams!