Since the dawn of time we have been telling stories; it’s what we live for.  From enacting stories about battles around a prehistoric campfire, to listening to the latest neighborhood gossip, watching our favorite TV shows, seeing plays, movies, Facebook statuses, newspapers; all ways of connecting, imagining, escaping, feeling, healing, hating, inspiring, commiserating, and loving ourselves and others.  When I speak to my friends, my mind races to think of all the things that happened to me to share with them.  Funny, embarrassing, exciting tales of my life I want to replay for them.  Alone with myself, my mind replays stories, entertaining myself with events from the day, week, or entire lifetime.  We are captivated by our imagination, our desire to be carried away by what was or what could be.  We allow these stories to become theories of how things might be.  Our heads become a vast library filled with novel after novel of our collected and created episodes.  On the street they come out in theories of how I should behave, or how things should be or how they were.  On my mat they dictate how things were yesterday during practice, how much farther I should fold.  Your head can look like the library from the opening scene of ghost busters, books flying off the shelves, a tornado of stories haunting you in a spiral of terror.
It is important to our evolution to carry with us these tails of triumph, adventure, heartache, and shenanigans, but we must be able to put them aside to return the the present chapter.  There are many schools of thought which ask for you to clear your mind of thought in order to achieve a higher state of being.  And maybe for some one hundred and twenty year old sages living in caves, it is a true reality of being.  But us storytellers still living out our desires, our hopes and dreams, our achievements; our mind must be filled.  What we must strive for is not clearing our mind of thought, but being in control of what books we take off the shelf.  See which stories are old and out dated.  Which are myths, non-fiction, humor, opinion.  To go a step further, come to realize that just like a real book, just because you’ve read it doesn’t mean you have to agree with it, or reread it.  Don’t shut out thought or stories, listen to them fully.  Know what is on every page.  Then you can comb through each of your thoughts as an editor in chief of your publishing company and take out anything that doesn’t belong there any longer.  You are in control.  We can’t take away all thought at once, you can’t drop off all the books in your mind to the Salvation Army.  Start by ridding your internal book shelves of all the things that don’t serve you.  Then maybe you can begin to open up the books still remaining and revise them one word at a time.  Maybe then someday our thoughtless minds can sit atop a rock somewhere, not missing all those stories we had a hundred years ago which eventually we decided all became outdated.