Sunday October 11, 2015

Rewriting Your Self

(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

Listen to Full Episode 54:00

The steady stream of inner dialogue that plays through our minds can be a huge presence in our lives. And it's easy to forget that we're the source of all that nattering. Tuning in to what we're saying to ourselves - about ourselves - is the first step in what can be a pretty transformative experience.

Timothy Wilson is a psychologist who wants us all to go a little easier on ourselves. He's developed a technique called "Story Editing" that's designed to bring about shifts in thinking patterns that hold us back and beat us down.

Revising the stories we tell ourselves can bring about profound changes. Professor Wilson walks us through some of the techniques he writes about in his book Redirect: Changing the Stories We Live By.

Camilla Gibb has a story of her own to tell. When life dealt her a few devastating blows, she found solace in writing. Gibb believes that "nothing has meaning unless we put it into a story." And, to her surprise, she found a new sense of meaning with a cast of misfits that took up residence with her when she hit bottom. She shares that story in her new memoir This Is Happy.

And what's a story without the proper punctuation?  Semicolon tattoos take centre stage in a documentary from CBC's Jeff Goodes. They've become popular ink as a symbol of encouragement to keep going. He heads to a tattoo parlour in Scarborough, Ontario with Jo-ann Caldwell, who has battled anxiety and depression. For her, the semicolon is a reminder that she's mid-stride, and by no means at the end of her story.

stories from this episode