What If Your Life Were a Book?

book with unlimited possibilities

Being a person who loves books, this question intrigues me. When I was young, I used to sneak books to the dinner table. I would place an open book on my lap under the table so no one could see it. If the dinner table conversation turned into a weather report, which on a farm it often did, I knew I could sneak a few peeks at my current favorite book.  

Oh yes, my mother knew, but she never said a word . . . until I graduated from high school. At that time she gave me a small gift box which contained a tiny little statue, or rather statuette, of a little girl with pigtails sitting cross-legged on a big stack of books, reading. I just looked at my mom wondering “why this particular gift?”  As if she had read my mind, she said quietly, “I have always appreciated your love of books, and still, you always managed to contribute to our dinner conversations.” Wow, she knew! She didn’t want to dampen my interest in reading and learning with a scolding about my dinner table secret. Whew, what a relief! She knew, and she supported me. I totally loved her for that!

So, back to the question “What if your life were a book?”

Would it be an adventure novel, a romantic comedy, or maybe one about secrecy and intrigue? Or a story of hardship, courage and persistence? A book about a simple, quiet, meaningful life, or a tale of darkness? Possibly the story of an athlete? A life dedicated to gardening, a great love of plants, animals, or the outdoors? Maybe your book is a mystery because you were quiet, kept to yourself and no one really knew you? I’m curious, do you make a big reveal in the end?

Or maybe yours is a story of family, friends and community. Were you flamboyant or reserved, hilarious or shy? Did you try everything or were you afraid and held yourself back?

Even though as humans we are very much the same, every story is unique.

In my observation, our lives seem to have a main theme with a few side stories. Example: Person A is a great and very successful business person with a passion and priority for family, and a love of (fill in the blank). Our themes need not be this positive. In fact, most are not. Maybe your main theme is trust or showing up for yourself. As you might imagine, this list is potentially loaded with unending variety and possibilities. 

I suggest you find your main life theme and a couple of side themes that represent what your life has been about so far, and really take a look at it. I mean, study it, especially those things that very inconveniently keep repeating. Umm hmm, yes, THOSE things! Let's face it, my life is not perfect and yours probably isn’t either, and that's okay. So let's continue on.

“So this is my theme! What can I learn from this? How can I catch myself just before I repeat this again? What can I use as a pattern interrupt that has the power to stop me in my tracks, so that I might try something new rather than repeating the same old things?”  

Work it out, experiment with changing that particular habit, reaction, or pattern of thinking. Bring your full attention to the process of catching yourself in the moment. Do it over and over, until catching yourself becomes the new habit replacing what has been your usual reaction of the past. Maybe it’s a choice, an action or a phrase that you keep repeating even though it never really works out for you. Yes, you definitely want to change that, and it will be worth the effort!

If you can change one of your repeating themes in a positive way just once, then you will prove to yourself that you have choice in the moment. Once that is realized, your journey to freedom from that particular pattern has begun, and it will become easier every time you do it. Ultimately, you will be free. Maybe then you will choose a new theme and replace that old one with one you enjoy, or maybe it will be another one that requires some scrutiny and work. But whatever you do, keep this practice going throughout your life. In so doing, you are choosing what your book is about.

Big Hint: As much fun as this is, we are never done. We are a work in progress and will always change and grow unless we just quit trying.

Bear in mind that in every minute of every day, you are writing your own Book of Life, so make it one that you choose and enjoy! Be aware that others are “reading” over your shoulder as you create your life story. They are watching you because it gives them ideas of how to live their lives. Wow, if they only knew, right?  But carry on, because you will figure it out, and so will they.

curvy lines for accentuation

In the end, your life will be a testament to who you have been, who you are now, and who you will be for the remainder of your days.

Make it interesting. Make it fun. Make it a beautiful saga of the Hero’s Journey and Adventure that is Your Life.


1 comment

  • Thanks for this blog post . . . the idea of “Your Life as a Book” is wonderful and inspiring. I loved the opening personal story of you as a little girl reading secretly under the table and your Mom’s silent support all through the years.

    This article is so moving and well-written, you had me hooked from the first paragraph. I also appreciate the simple (and profound) practice you describe and encourage us to do. It’s a timely reminder for us all to take advantage of the New Year to commit to dissolving old habits that don’t serve us and to replace them with new life-enhancing habits. Thanks for the inspiration.


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