The Transformative Power of a Good Story

A client recently came to me with his concerns about letting go of stress in negative situations. For the sake of privacy, we’ll call him Arthur.

Arthur’s default was to go into anger and flip out when things aren’t going his way, which of course never really helped resolve anything in the moment. He was looking to feel more at ease even when things are going ape shape around him.

Can you relate to Arthur?

Here’s the situation he came to me with:
Arthur had taken his car to the mechanic with some problems, but he also wanted to fix miscellaneous things as well. The mechanic fixed those bits but did nothing about the main problem. This caused setbacks for Arthur at work (he’s in the tech industry and he was working on time sensitive projects). The mechanic ended up charging him for the small things and still needed to address the big problem.

Arthur felt angry. Frustrated. Out of control. Upset. He reprimanded the mechanic. Arthur just wanted to get his car and leave at whatever cost, and didn’t know how to deal with it.

How would you prefer to feel instead?

Arthur’s desired outcome was to be more professional, and step away without stressing after the fact. He wanted to let it go. Feel more calm, fulfilled, and as though it was not a big deal.

We ran a simple exercise to help him shift from a state of anger into his desired state of being. I wrote this into a short story, which further deepened the long-term impact of this change for Arthur to strengthen his new way of being in such situations.

You can read it here.

How differently you would like to feel about something? Tell me in your comments below or via email and we can write a new story for you together.

There’s real power behind a good story,



Resolution’s New Year

   Resolution was born after Promise, son of Faith and Determination.  They were all noble and admirable in their own ways, but Resolution was jealous, short-tempered, and misleading.  He wanted to be revered as much as his brother but was always overshadowed by Promise’s achievements, and greatly resented this.  Everyone believed in Promise – he who fulfilled all his vows had won great respect from the populace over the years. Resolution knew he was not strong enough to overthrow Promise, so he decided to simply be his brother’s downfall, to the eventual detriment and sacrifice of what little power he did enjoy.

   One winter, during the season’s festivities, Resolution was introduced to Deception – one of his brother’s greatest enemies.  Together, they devised a plan to blacken Promise’s reputation. Resolution was not only immature at this time, but also very naïve.

   They chose the last day of the year to begin their coup.  While everyone was celebrating and becoming more inebriated, Deception and his friends spread the word that tonight was the best night to make a solemn self-commitment, to be carried out throughout the year.  It would be called the New Year’s Resolution, in honor of Promise’s brother.  At first, people were not convinced.  They knew Resolution to be a cheat, and did not wish to honor such a being, but as the alcohol went down faster and their senses became numb to intuition they fell prey to brainwash. 

 “Resolution is a changed man,” they were told, “And he wishes to mark the day of his reform with the populace as a sign of unity and friendship.  This vow he makes tonight with all of you present, he encourages you to undertake as well.  Make yourselves a deep and honorable commitment.  Anything, as long as you go through with it all the way.”

   The populace became intoxicated with this innovative concept, and was fervently enthused with the idea of setting a goal for itself – after all, the beginning of a new year was a perfect opportunity to mark the beginning of a new life. They began to embrace Resolution and invite him to their homes.

   However, Deception had his own plans to undermine everybody including Resolution, and as the months passed he transformed into dreams that eased into people’s minds while they slept.  He merged with their thoughts of a better tomorrow, and implanted seeds of his own self that would grow in short and pollute their unsuspecting minds, allowing Doubt to take control.  Little by little, they would stop pursuing their dreams and give up on their resolutions.

   With time, this affected their belief in making promises to themselves and others, and ultimately, they lost their faith in the promises of others.

   They became bitter, shunning Promise and his parents. Resolution realized what had happened but was nowhere to be seen by then.

   Trust – Promise’s true love – was the next to fall.  Nobody wanted to deal with her anymore.  The act of promising implied the act of trusting, of believing.  When you no longer believe you can count on someone, you begin to lose your love for Life and Friendship and fall into the clutches of Depression.

   At this point, Hope and Conviction stepped in with their army.  They tracked down Resolution, who was in hiding with his new lover Cowardice.  These were taken to the House of Love for judgment, from which Cowardice was soon to escape.

 “You,” Love began, “Who have spoiled the happiness of so many with your lies and treachery in order to satisfy your ego; what have you to say for yourself?”

  Resolution remained silent.

 “You have dared to deny to others that which you have selfishly taken for yourself, put your whole family in disgrace and turned away from them without looking back. Now, the woman you have been with these past weeks has deserted you. I ask only this; what have you truly gained from it all?”

 “I only wanted people to look upon me as they did my brother,” he finally stuttered, having been struck hard by Cowardice’s move.

 “We all have a place and a part to play, and some of us play bigger parts than others do, Resolution. I know it is very hard to understand at times, but we have to learn to accept it.”

   Resolution was holding back tears of betrayal. His fists were clenched, and his pain grew larger than the House of Love, which covered the face of the earth.

 “You must tell the populace what you have done, and work to restore their faith in your brother and family. If not, you shall continue to suffer the consequences of your own machinations; not because I say so, but because you made it happen this way.  Do you wish to be alone and cheated, Resolution?”

 “No,” he faintly replied.

   The task was not as hard as they had at first imagined.  Presented with the facts, the populace seemed ready to believe Promise again, although they naturally chastised Resolution for instigating this sorry state of affairs.  Peace and harmony were eventually restored, but something else was brewing within Resolution’s soul and his conscience would not let him find peace or comfort.

*  *  *

   They found Resolution’s sandals at the edge of the tall bridge that led to the House of Love the following New Year’s Day.  Nobody will ever know if he jumped or faked his death and disappeared, but he was never seen or heard of again. Every year since then, in order to commemorate him and to renew their faith in themselves, people make their New Year’s Resolution, knowing that even if they don’t fulfill it they will still believe in Promise and Trust.

Copyright 2001


My name is Passion, and you have forgotten me.

I fill your dreams with ambition. Charge your waking hours to fight mind-numbing routine. Colour your confidence to overcome the obstacles in your path.

My spark, my fire, my volcanic eruption in your essence – I am here for you always.

And yet you turn away from me…

You fall apathetic into lethargy, unaware that nobody is going to refund your yesterdays. You only remember me when faced with injustice, deafened by the roar of your conscience.

Placed under emotional arrest, I watch as you walk sullen and bewildered through life.

Then one day, you even started commiting crimes in my name.

I never meant to be destructive, but you have turned me into a scapegoat for the rage that fuels your negativity. The one that causes so many deaths, destruction, confusion. You misinterpret my nature, my raison d’etre. You charge against each other in religious delirium, lash out at one another during jealous fits that often lead to murder to defend your honour…

What is the honour in a crime of Passion, and how dare you use my name so insolently?

Members of the jury, this not a crime of Passion, it is a crime of Intolerance. Clear my name of this horror so that the world may know who the true criminal is.

And when you wake in the morning, think of me as I welcome you back from slumber.