Floating Stories by Laura Brownstone  

Floating Stories by Laura Brownstone  

Throughout my life, I have turned to writing and stories as a source of respite, wisdom, and comfort. Since I was a teen, I have kept a journal/diary named Gerty where I would write all the things down that I thought were true. I had a voice that would chime through, sometimes as kindness or as wisdom, and this voice would tell me that I was “okay.” As an almost 60-year-old and practicing psychotherapist for more than 20 years, I continue to use writing as a tool of kindness to myself. It is helpful for me to see the stories or the words on paper and out of my head. I have been reflecting on the role writing has played in my life and have also been thinking about how the stories created since childhood can be rewritten to fit present-day circumstances. Through this blog post, I wanted to share this piece of narrative writing to highlight writing as an option for the soul and respite for the heart. I hope you enjoy the following piece of narrative writing titled “Floating Stories.”  

I think that we create our identities from the floating stories in our heads. They are just energy swirling around, and we try to make meaning out of the energy. It could bring up free-floating anxiety, fear, or loneliness, and our minds attach to it like it’s something important. What if it wasn’t, and we just noticed it as random energy floating by us? This idea, of course, is not a breakthrough idea. The Buddhists talk about this all the time. I guess I feel it for myself as a visceral, knowing that they are not so important in this moment.  

Does that mean I am illuminated now? I don’t think so. I am glad for those times of expansion where my mind can unravel enough for my soul to rest in the unknowing realm of the Ineffable. I, myself, wrestle with lots of thoughts around worth and awkwardness. Will they like me? Will they think that I am smart enough? My mind brings up old memories to support distorted beliefs. 

These are a few of my random feelings and thoughts, which are my strategies for not touching what I truly want: a deeper connection with others and with myself. I know that my soul is laughing at me, wishing I would shut up a little to hear her sing to me. She has such a good hum.  



                                                                                        The world has such a beautiful song. 

I think our minds can twist and turn like a double helix without end. It begins and then turns on itself, forward and back, over and over again. 

Again. I hear: “Really? You want to write this?”  

This is my soul talking. There is usually a contraction after an expansion. Maybe if I breathe, I can get back to that expanded place.  

“I don’t think it works that way, Laura.”  

There is that quiet voice again: This is also just another strategy for keeping you safe and twisting in the wind. You must like the twisting part. At least there is a little movement, but it sure hurts you and keeps you contracted. If you sit and allow for your feelings and thoughts to happen, and give yourself a little compassion, the expansion might happen. You never know. 

I have to remind myself that the floating stories never stop. I tend to think that they are important, and I try to grasp and make the story concrete. But if I listen to my inner voice, I can choose to see them as floating energies that come in and go out. From a place of curiosity and expansion, I can notice these thoughts and let them go.