Monday, September 26, 2016

Autism Answer: The Power Of Your Role As Audience (or I Am A Story-A-Holic)

I've been a story-a-holic all of my life. I was always seeking that high I got from lyrics, books, movies, and storytellers. The emotions and ideas they revealed seemed to be born simultaneously from me and from outside of me.

As a little girl I also wanted to be a writer, but for a long time I feared that my natural "audience" nature meant I didn't have enough original ideas for writing. I was always reading, watching, and listening. Craving forever more stories. I would also write, but quietly. For myself. Although, admittedly, I imagined an audience and dreamed of giving them what stories gave me. 

Well, I'm now also a mom. And as my sons grew up in this world I found myself discovering my own beliefs and ideas with a new kind of strength. 

It's then that my life as an active audience revealed itself to have been nourishing training ground for life as a writer. I sat up one night writing a screenplay, easily imaging an eclectic number of characters. I started answering questions online, comfortably understanding the views and perspectives of people I had never met. I began composing stories, essays, and articles that encouraged openly listening or watching to understand. I submitted them to be published; many were. 

Now I blog and I have published a book, and I continue to write. 

My writing is one of the ways that I practice narrating my own life and being an active citizen of the world. 

But when I am an audience I am also playing a role narrating my own life and being an active citizen in the world. Writing has helped me see that. I choose what I listen to and how, what I give my attention to and how. Where my energy as an audience goes has power in the world. In so many small and exponentially huge ways, the way I am as an audience, and the way I always was as an audience, helped me actively create my story and the story in my world. 

I was always building and creating my story, I see that now. 

I suggest taking a moment to see all the ways you've been building and creating your life, friends. Highlight for yourself all the ways your natural inclinations and purposeful choices have brought you to exactly where you are now, and how they have offered you the tools and understanding that you're almost able to take for granted today. Pay attention to what you pay attention to, and how.

Be an audience of your life; but be an intentional audience. 

Take a moment to notice and feel confident that the choices you make today are affecting the world. Personally and globally. Know that you can make choices with purpose that will take you to where you want to be in the future. 

Then go forth! Become again the director! The writer! Make more choices!

Create more scenes that lead the the next big delightful revelation or plot twist!

I've been a story-a-holic all of my life and I've noticed that every great story has emotion and motion. I've learned that whether I'm taking the role of audience or storyteller, I can actively and intentionally seek the emotion and motion that tells my story best. 

And I will, indeed, continue to tell my best story. 

Hugs, smiles, and love!!

Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)