Looking Back to Look Forward: Exploring & Transforming Our Stories

great story 2


Step 1: Create a Lifeline

On a piece of paper, facing horizontally, lay out your lifeline like the sample provided on page 2, by dividing the sheet into segments starting from the left: first third of your life, second third, and last third.

For example, if you are 57 years old, your first third could cover ages 1 – 20, second third could cover ages 21 – 40, and the final third could represent the age range of 41 – 57. You might like to write down the age ranges in each of the thirds, to keep them front and center as you do your review.


Step 2: Identify Situations, People, or Events that Brought you to who you are today

Think about your life in terms of these time segments and reflect on and identify any key events that had a big impact on you. Mark them on the paper with some key words that capture the essence of the experience. Visit each time segment and find at least one key event in that timeframe. If you need additional space, it’s fine to use more than one piece of paper.


The Key Event will have:

WHAT: Key Situation or Experience
WHO: Key people, others who were involved in the situation HOW: How do you describe the situation; the facts
INTERPRETATION: The meaning you assigned to the event LEARNINGS: Key takeaways and learnings from the event


Step 3: Reflect on and respond to three questions

After your key events are filled in for each life segment on the timeline, in the space provided on page 3 or on a separate piece of paper take a few minutes to capture your responses to these questions:

What themes or patterns do you notice in the events that you have listed on your timeline? 

What gifts from the past have informed the strengths you have today?
Any other insights that your inner Sage wants you to know about?


Step 4: Find an artifact, symbol, image, poem that tells the story of where you are today

Thinking about your life today, find an item that captures the essence of who you are. It might be related to your line of work, your family, or a hobby or cause. Any item that represents your present day story is perfect. Have fun with it!


INSTRUCTIONS for Steps 1 & 3 Step 1: Create a Life Timeline

On a piece of paper, facing horizontally, lay out your lifeline (up to current day) like the sample provided below, by dividing the sheet into segments starting from the left: first third of your life, second third, and last third (so far!). Include your age range for each segment—it will help bring focus to the timeline segment as you reflect on key events.

Note: Please list at least one Key Event in each timeframe. Each Key Event will have What, Who, How, Interpretation and Learnings. You aren’t required to write all of these things down, but do make note of them and pause briefly on each key event to reflect on the full dimension of it. Make whatever notes are meaningful to you.

First Third : ages ___ to ___

Second Third : ages ___ to ___

Current Third : ages ___ to ___


Step 3: Reflect on and respond to three questions
After you have captured key event(s) for each life segment on the timeline, please take a few minutes to consider and make note of your responses to these questions:

What themes or patterns do you notice in the events on your timeline?

What gifts from the past have informed the strengths you have today?

Drawing out wisdom from your life’s journey, are there any other insights that your inner Sage wants you to be aware of?


This exercise was evolved for our CCC event 8/26/2020 by:

Colette Pellissier, MBA, MA, CPCC, PCC - Illuminated Leadership

Kelei Baker Leak - Enlightened Steps Hypnosis, Coaching, & Consulting

Cathy Boone Black - Indiana Integrative Hypnosis

Becky Laurenzana - RYT200, Holistic Health Coach, Reiki Practitioner



© Empower Healing Through Your Story 2020