Good Bones and Possibilities

Good Bones and Possibilities

20 Ways to Change Your Story

12. Good Bones and Possibilities

Maybe it’s because I’ve recently spent so many hours designing the floor plan for my new home, mulling over style and color, finishes and furnishings. Maybe it’s because I’ve been wandering around my current home of 30 years with an eye for what we’ll need to fix, replace or update in order to sell at top dollar when we’re ready to list it.

Or maybe it’s because I’ve been watching too many house flipping programs on HGTV lately.

Whatever the reason, my story changing tip for today revolves around the idea of good bones and potential.

There’s a common thread, and a crucial one, that runs through all those shows: Love It or List It, Property Brothers Buying and Selling, Fixer Upper, Good Bones – take your pick. It’s the idea of seeing past what’s there and into what could be. The idea of building upon the good bones of a place and breathing new life into it.

In my book, Fallen, The Adventures of a Deep Water Leaf, Lizard tells Alora she needs to change her story. And the advice he gives her is to:

Change your focus from what isn’t working to what is. Fix one eye on everythin’ good and let the other scout ahead into the possibilities of what could be.

Lizard is like a seasoned home designer and Alora his short-sighted home buyer.

abandoned-houseOften we spend way too much time focusing on, complaining about, and feeling stuck in what’s wrong with our story. We see everything that’s broken, everything that’s not working and it clouds our vision so that we can no longer see the good bones and the potential for change. We end up feeling like our life – our story – is a ramshackle, dilapidated wreck beyond salvaging.

We are like the potential home buyers in those shows who walk into an old 70s style home and focus on the walled off rooms, the shag carpet and the avocado kitchen tiles. They see all these things as deal-breakers instead of easily fixed cosmetic issues.

The designers see past all that. They see walls coming down to open the flow, brand new hardwood flooring and beautiful, modern kitchen design. And once the buyers can see it too, once they open to the vision the designers have, they’re sold.

Well, some of them remain a bit skeptical, but they trust in the possibilities and they are at least willing to take a chance.

So, where are the good bones in your life? The structures and strengths that hold you together despite any flaws in your story?

Maybe it’s a strong marriage, a great job or income, certain things you love about your life like hobbies or friends or the place that you live. Maybe the good bones are within you: your loving nature, your skill set, your passions, your creativity, your resiliency.

Manor House Villa Real Estate Home Castle

When you spend more time focusing on these things, the good bones, you feel better about your life overall. And, paradoxically, that feeling good energy is what makes room for the things that aren’t working to change.

There may be some shag carpet or avocado tiles that you are sick and tired of. Maybe there are even some big, solid walls that need to come down. If you learn to look at these as opportunities to upgrade rather than insurmountable issues, your Inner Life Designer can go to work to help you design a bigger, better story.

Focus on the good bones. Be open to the possibilities. Dream ahead into what could be.

And, watch out, because you are about to be dazzled by the results!


This is the 13th post in a 21-post series sparked by Chapter 9 of Fallen, The Adventures of a Deep Water Leaf, in which Lizard suggests that Alora change her story.

#20WaysIn20Days, #ChangeYourStory, #Fallen



20 Ways to Change Your Story

11. Smile!

Healthy_Smiling_TeethIf you want to change your story for the better, SMILE!

Try a little experiment with me right now. Put a smile on your face – one that reaches your eyes – and hold it there for 30 seconds or more.

One thousand 30, one thousand 29, one thousand 28, one thousand 27 . . . one thousand 3, one thousand 2, one thousand 1. And, done.

Tell me you didn’t feel a difference inside of you. Tell me your mood didn’t lift even the tiniest bit.

Unless you were already smiling and laughing as you opened this post to read, I can guarantee that you did experience a mood lift.

Why? Brain chemistry. Your brain doesn’t know the difference between a “real” smile and a “fake” smile. The same chemical reactions are triggered either way – a flood of dopamine, seratonin and endorphins are released into your system each time you raise the corners of your mouth into a smile.

It’s a free rush of joy, even when there’s nothing particularly joyful going on in your life at the moment.

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Okay, you may be thinking, there’s a temporary boost – but how does that change my story over the long haul? Can it really change anything fundamental about my life?

Let me count (some of) the ways . . .

So, go on, smile! Smile at the people you meet and smile when you’re all alone.

If you’re finding it hard to force a smile, watch a funny movie, go to a comedy club, take a laughter yoga class or hang out with other smiling people.

Because smiling is contagious and it will change your story for the better.

Here’s a wonderful little TED talk on the superpower of smiling. Enjoy!


This is the 12th post in a 21-post series sparked by Chapter 9 of Fallen, The Adventures of a Deep Water Leaf, in which Lizard suggests that Alora change her story.

#20WaysIn20Days, #ChangeYourStory, #Fallen