Soul Sailing: How Life Stories Can Transform the Voyage
Utilizing storytelling techniques, Soul Sailing offers compelling hands-on advice for gaining a deeper understanding of how key episodes in the reader’s past have created present circumstances, and for learning how these to create a more same episodes can be reexamined fulfilling future.
This unique guide presents a non-denominational approach to personal spiritual growth, emphasizing the individual’s needs and potential for increasing self-awareness and meaningful inspirational connection.
The concepts are reinforced with numerous examples, exercises, and resources, making each leg of the voyage both accessible and actionable. Storytelling as an art is gaining in popularity in the US; Soul Sailing shows readers how this art can help define negative and positive elements in past experiences as well as transform them into agents for positive change.
The book’s self-paced guidance gives assistance. The exercises and resources guarantee that this book can be turned to again and again for help in charting a course for personal progress. The nautical theme emphasizes the buoyant feeling of progress that comes with a voyage of discovery.
Here are two excerpts from Soul Sailing.
First, this well-known passage from the Bible. It represents the inspirational side of my book.
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Niether do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light so shine before others that they may see your good deeds and give praise to your Father in Heaven."
Now while I may quibble with a word or two here or there, I like the essence of what Jesus is saying (in Matthew 5:14-16) to us here. In the best sense of that word, claim your gifts. And rejoice in them.
Tell stories about using them in your everyday worlds of work, pleasure, play, and the like.
And, while this particular passage comes from the Christian Bible, bringing your gifts (for example, empathy, listening, being a worker bee, teaching, organizing, writing, etc.) into play doesn't have to happen only in a religious setting. It can take place in what (Christian) Bill Diehl calls the "Monday through Saturday" world.
The second? It represents the section of Soul Sailing where you have the opportunity to tell your own stories. Throughout the book, readers have the chance - through numerous "Logging Your Story" exercises - to tell their own stories and identify lessons learned.
The tale of my "First Love" (from pp. 84-85 of the book) follows:
"My first love turned out to be another man. Entering into a gay relationship certainly didn't match the Looking Glasses I had grown up with. It didn't happen in other families I knew, in stories I read, or on TV's "Ozzie and Harriet," or "Father Knows Best." Gay kids were not a part of everyday life in those days.
If angels appear in life to guide and inspire us, my first love was definitely a prime example. He lovingly taught me many important lessons and challenged me on several Looking Glasses (perceptual lenses) that were well on their way to becoming very locked in.
"Yes! Stories" (the ones we like to remember) could fill the rest of this book. For brevity's sake, I can boil many of them down into these single-sentence summaries. We had long, long conversations about everything under the sun. We lost ourselves in each other's eyes and savored the experience of being gentle and tender with one another.
At first light on a frosty winter's morning, we'd drive out of town to the peace and stillness of a wooded park and make angels in sparkling snow that had fallen the night before. We once spent six hours driving to Atlantic City for the weekend, slept in the car because we couldn't afford a motel, and the next day bought one another saltwater taffy and some really trashy gifts along the boardwalk. We'd listen to new records and savor the music and quiet times together. And, to make any occasion more special, we held impromptu parties by popping "Fizzies" - fruit-flavored (!) tablets that fizzed like Alka Seltzer - into a glass to toast each other's good fortune.
He definitely was an angel. Spiritually, I found a center I had seldom experienced before: that of being accepted for who I was, including all of the "selves" I sometimes exhibited. I know - in retrospect - that he sometimes became frustrated with some of my pain-in-the-neck ways. And yet, overall, he loved me. And I him. I felt safe and secure with another person in a way I hadn't experienced before. I loved him then, and although I haven't seen him in a long time, I love him still.
Logging Your Story of First Love:
Who was your first love?
Where were you at the time?
When did you fall in love?
What were the best things about that first love?
What isn't so easy to remember about that experience?
What was the major lesson you learned as a result of being with him or her?"