Using Metaphor and Storytelling to Reclaim Balance

For hundreds of years, storytelling has been part of a child’s upbringing. Whether you grew up listening to fairy tales before bedtime or sat in rapt attention at the dinner table as the adults at your parents’ dinner parties talked about their “big kid” adventures, stories have had an enchanting quality about them– a certain magic, if you will.

Stories are a path to healing, and we are joined by Dr. Anita Johnston, PhD, in Season 1, Episode 3 of the Inner Alchemy Podcast to discover the power behind storytelling and metaphors as tools to reclaiming your inner balance and accessing your inner magic.

The Magic Healing Power of Storytelling

Dr. Anita Johnston is a clinical psychologist, storyteller, and author who has witnessed the healing power of metaphor and storytelling, using her work to help others transform their lives. Through her experience, she has mastered the art of storytelling, while exploring the many challenges that women face with eating, exercise, and body image. 

As a child growing up in a multicultural and multiethnic household in Guam, storytelling has always played a big role in her life, aying the foundation for the transformative work that she is doing now. Dr. Anita found that many of these stories were packed with wisdom, and could play a part in the healing process.

In Dr. Anita’s words: “You can use stories to convey some very complex and complicated concepts with a certain kind of ease.”

Stories are relatable. When you share your story with others, you are allowing imagination and insight to unlock your path to healing. 

We all have a story to tell, and that includes you! That story is remarkably, and it can help guide you on your own healing journey, as you gain a new perspective and access your inner wisdom. 

Finding Your Center

Finding our center and bringing the two sides of ourselves, ‘yin and yang,’ into balance can be a tall task, and stories can help. Although the symbols of yin and yang are interconnected, our culture has a tendency of creating this imbalance where more value is placed on our accomplishments, achievements, money, and success.

In other words, our system is vastly overemphasizing the masculine, ‘yang’ energy. Collectively, we are focused more on doing, rather than being. 

Stories and metaphors help us make the shift, and reconstruct that existing imbalance. Stories call upon that feminine ‘yin’ side of ourselves, where the more emotional, relational, and intuitive energy lies, to truly connect with our inner magic. 

When you bridge your energies and establish a connection to your center, you are getting in touch with your innermost self. Learning how ‘yin and yang’ work together allows you to open your heart to healing. Here are some starting points Dr. Anita recommends: 

  1. Recognize which energy is present. When you take a moment to be mindful, you are returning to your center and bringing awareness to your energy.  

  1. Reflect on your story. Your story is powerful. Your vulnerability is valuable. Stories are magic and so are you!

  1. Remember: you are a human being, not a human doing. Your worth is not dependent on your accomplishments or success rate, and being still and bringing awareness to what you need is vital to your wellbeing.

To learn more about using the magic within to reclaim your inner balance, listen to Dr. Anita’s episode of the Inner Alchemy Podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts for more episodes that will help transform your healing journey. 

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