How Many Stories Are Messing Up Your Life?

Earlier this month my wife and I took the honeymoon we never took when we got married 16 years ago. We went to an extraordinary resort on the island of Anguilla called Cap Juluca.

The first day there we took a long walk on the beach and got hot and sweaty, so we decided to take a swim.

As I considered diving into the water, a thought appeared saying, “Oooh, it’s going to be really cold” and I found myself delaying the dive into the water.

I had strong memories of the sensation of cold and discomfort when diving into the water from my younger days as a competitive swimmer.

Then I remembered something I discovered on my journey of discovery into The Teachings.

“Cold” is just a story.

If you dive into water and you say it’s “cold,” how do you know it’s “cold”? Ever thought about that?

If you close your eyes and focus on the sensation itself, is there anything in it that says “cold”? 


Beyond that, how do you know that “cold” is uncomfortable? Ever thought about that?

If you close your eyes and focus on the sensation itself, is there anything in it that says “discomfort”? 

Nope. Nothing at all.

“Cold” and “discomfort” are just stories. Just thought stories that appear in the mind.

It all happens on auto-pilot, lightning-fast, from what I call “The Mind Machine” — and we generally accept such judgments and stories without examining or questioning them.

Recalling and Seeing that Truth, I dove into the water, open to the actual experience of my body connecting with the water, what I call “the pure experience.”

As my body connected with the water, I did notice that a very strong sensation appeared in my awareness. An intense one. I could see why the labels “cold” and “uncomfortable” were attached to it.

But without the commentary from The Mind Machine, without the judgment, without the story that cold is Real and True and bad and uncomfortable, the strong sensation, the intensity, was actually quite pleasurable.

It made me think about how many things we experience, personal and business, where the same dynamic appears.

See, what I’m speaking about isn’t just about water and cold. It’s about virtually everything you experience across the board — inside and outside of yourself.

Hmmm …

    New York Times bestselling author, renegade, globetrotting speaker, coach and entrepreneur. Love it, hate it, letting it sit, whatever, please share your comments below. And, if you resonate with what I shared, please share this post with others, however you prefer to share. Thanks in advance. :)

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    5 thoughts on “How Many Stories Are Messing Up Your Life?

      • Robert, thanks for this blog. I See how many stories I am telling myself and how I label aspects of the stories over and over again. such an old patterns showing up ( the guided tour)…. especially with my sons, Ian and Darryl. This teaching will be very helpful as I Look and See and catch myself before the Mind Machine sets up the torture again. Thanks!

    1. Whoa! So many stories I tell myself, all the time, about what’s going on. And it seems that we are led to experiences earlier in life that reinforce that (e.g., Robert being a competitive swimmer set him up to judge the “discomfort” of the water).

    2. Hi Robert;
      Thank you for sharing this experience.
      It’s a wonderful reminder that these phenomenal tools we call our bodies, can have all kinds of sensations that we build all kinds of Beliefs and Stories (BS for short) around. Look at all of the BS we have imagined to create the feeling of pain. How many of us are willing to let our Beliefs and Stories about pain and discomfort go.

    3. With a story attached to the sensation of an experience…we create e-motions. locked into our bodies, and the story becomes the focus that takes us out of the “NOW” moment. That e-motion keeps us locked into the past/future in our mind. If we can stay in the sensation instead, with no story, we connect with our body and with what is really occurring instead of going into the dream state of the mind.