Project U. Blog

Authoring Your Life Story with Care

Posted by Catherine Saar on Thu, Jun 28, 2018 @ 04:22 PM

As a child, I always loved reading and writing stories, exploring the inner lives of others, and wrapping myself in the blanket of adventure that authors weave. Yet somewhere, along my journey, my alleged need for financial survival surpassed my desire for the magic of reading and writing stories. Instead, I earned a business degree, worked in finance and began “pushing the river” so I could achieve what I guessed success looked like. I donned my little grey suit and my Brooks Brothers blouse and became a conscientious and hardworking investment banker.

I believed that if I did the “right things” the “right way”, I would be safe from harm. Furthermore, if I cut off emotions, I wouldn’t get hurt. If I loved someone enough, they would love me back.

Years and tears later, I figured out that much of my day-to day existence was built on false assumptions that governed my thoughts and behaviors. Once I developed that awareness, I began to unravel the tangled ball of yarn that had become the foundation of my life.

I realized that whatever story I told myself is what I would manifest, so I’d better check into any narrative I had, to determine if it was true, or right for me.

For a long time, one of my favorite stories was that I was unlovable and somehow fatally flawed. As I navigated my way through one challenging relationship after another, my partners were often happy to corroborate that notion.

When I was in my late 40’s, I took a trip to New Orleans, and met a Tarot Card reader. He surveyed my cards, sighed a long sigh, and said, “ You have been unlucky in love, but it is not your fault. You are simply learning what you want in a partner - and, you will find it. The best is yet to come”

I believed him. His words, “It is not your fault,” resonated through my entire being. I adapted a new story based on his perspective: I wasn’t unlovable, I was learning! There was hope. I saw my world with possibility, and that changed everything.


I still feel blessed to have been awakened to my narrative in such an offhanded way. For most of us, with or without Tarot Cards, it’s not easy to retell our story when we don’t even realize that we have one. I now know, that each and every day I craft a story about how I feel and what will happen next, so I take greater care in how I author these daily chapters.

Perhaps reading this, you may wonder if you also have a story – or several stories that keep you from yourself.

To that end, I ask, why not write a happier story? Perhaps a story that is kinder to you, and maybe to others?

Ask yourself:

· What story am I telling myself?

· What is another, more optimistic story that might also be true or truer?

· Then, close your eyes and imagine the new, happier story coming to life. What does that feel like? What becomes possible? How are you different?

Use your imagination and breathe into it. Allow it to live. Visit that vision and those feelings from time to time throughout the day.

Each time you open your eyes, remember that you too, are the author of your precious journey on this earth, so create with consideration, awareness and care.

Tags: journey, awareness, unlovable, manifest, inner lives, the right way, author

Becoming the Incredible Hulk

Posted by Catherine Saar on Thu, Jul 12, 2012 @ 09:44 PM

The Incredible Hulk, courtesy of Marvel ComicsWhen one looks closely, the process of transformation does not appear to be fun. How often do we wax poetic about transformation, using the caterpillar to butterfly metaphor and forget to mention that the caterpillar retreats into its cocoon to digest itself from the inside out (temporarily becoming  a soupy mush and letting its body die) before it emerges a gorgeous winged creature?  And what about those scenes from movies like The Incredible Hulk where we watch attractive leading men  (most recently Mark Ruffalo and Edward Norton) groan in agony as their bodies painfully mutate into giant, gruesome, green  monsters?

My recent experience is another case in point.  Rearranging my 20+-year relationship while dismantling a residence and establishing a new home, has caused my brain to be baffled by simple tasks, like finding where I put the scissors.  All of my neural pathways seem to be challenged and working overtime to cope with the immediate and unfamiliar needs of my surroundings.

In short, while the outcome of transformation can be amazing, getting there is not without its difficulties.  When we change, we leave behind  familiar and comfortable habits that we have practiced and perfected for years!  Even when those behaviors are dysfunctional paths to no place special, (e.g. smoking, co-dependency, workaholism etc.) on some level, they had helped us to define ourselves – and we feel a little lost without them.

When you experience a transformation that causes you to not only change your situation, (like moving), but also to question your self-definition (like retiring or becoming an empty nester) you’ve got a bit of a mountain to climb.  It’s do-able, and you’ll probably love the view at the top, but let’s face it, it is going to take some work to get there.  If possible, I suggest you prepare for the journey - with food and water for sustenance, maybe a companion, a compass or GPS and some emergency medical supplies.

Changing roles can push you into a chaotic chasm of redefinition.  It may feel dark and difficult, but it won’t last forever.  Some days, you may want to follow the wisdom of the caterpillar and crawl into your cocoon for a melt down in order to manage the experience.  Or, you may just surrender to the process of becoming the Incredible Hulk and tackle your discomfort as flesh and bone break (metaphorically speaking) while you grow and stretch into the powerful being that it is your destiny to become. 

Now the good news:  the renewed self can provide exciting adventures as well as peace.  Whether we follow the path of butterfly or beast, in time, we adjust to our revised reality and feel more comfortable in our new skin.  With this, we gain perspective, possibility, and new ways to relate in the world. 

Today, and always, I wish you transformation that brings joy, strength and meaning.  It may not be an easy journey, but  try to embrace it, and don’t forget to pack a lunch.  

Tags: strength, cope, transformation, Mark Ruffalo, Edward Norton, mutate, dysfunctional, melt down, discomfort, peace, butterfly, destiny, retiring, surender, beast, meaning, neural pathways, joy, The Incredible Hulk, Marvel Comics, habits, journey, agony, self-definition