Hey, hi, hello there, I’m feeling good from my head to my toes…life’s good, I’m alive.
Have you ever wondered if after you die you wake up and laugh and say, “What was I so worried about?”
Well, let’s face it, the unknown is most always scary.
But we’re here right now, alive and curly tailed, and the hero on our own journey.
As I travel along my own life path, I see that the number one focus, after the necessities to sustain life, and finding a mate, is that people want to understand themselves aka, Self-growth.
Not for all mind you, some want to accumulate things or accolades, or trophies or money, but I think underneath it all is the urge to understand oneself.
I don’t want to be pie in the sky, or airy-fairy, I want to be real, whatever that is. I’ve heard criticisms of Tony Robbins for using “Adult” words. He does it for a reason. These are “taboo words,” and to use them produces a dynamic transformation in the listener. Freud was the first to discover this effect taboo words had on people, and Robbins was one of the first to use it in a therapeutic setting.
I’m saying look at the effect.
When the Kingdom becomes stale, we need something to jolt us. Stale kingdoms are illnesses, boredom, lethargy, alienation, loss, addiction, anger, rage—it’s time to take a journey.
Our journey is to undercover our true self, and to find answers as to why we are here.
This journey isn’t an easy one. Issues come up; past hurts raise their ugly heads, resentments flail to be recognized. Most people change only when they have to, when their backs are to the wall, or when they are really, really really determined to do it.
But, what if I told you that you are a carrier of light? What if I said we are here to uphold the consciousness of the planet? Would you believe me?
If you thought that you had a purpose for being here and that it was to contribute to the whole, would that make your journey easier?
This is the third time I have written this blog, and you know a danger here, I might change my mind again, but isn’t that also how life is? If someone holds our nose to what we said 20 years ago, we might answer, “I do believe that my thinking has evolved a bit since then.”
I come from an old evangelistic background where old men would say, “I was saved 50 years ago—that settles it.”
What if we tripped down the path full of joy? What if we noticed that life is getting better? What if we believed that the earth will survive and that we will see to it? We might be a small group who think this way, but remember what the famed Archeologist Margaret Mead said:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
And there might be a side effect. Happiness just might lie somewhere along the trail, and it will probably be where we least expect it.
I know I spoke of archetypes long ago, but they came up for me again when I was addressing this subject of becoming more real, more aware, more in touch with our feelings, and more in tune with our environment and those around us.
I know a bipolar personality, and I wonder about that. How does a person gets stuck in pathology?
What makes a person act the way they do? What is mental illness?
Way back in 1986 I read Carol S. Pearson’s. Book, The Hero Within, Six archetypes we live by, and thought it was one of the best psychological books I had ever read. And I remember her archetypes still. I figured it was time to revisit them.
We all contain these archetypes in varying degrees, and in times of stress one can take over. The idea is to recognize them, know their characteristics and to walk the path through them toward the magician at the end.
“Real heroism,” wrote Pearson, “is NOT knowing you can handle anything, it is doing your part.”
I’m tired of people making excuses about their behavior saying, “It’s the way I was raised.” (While railing at their folks.) Some people list their characteristics as though they are carved in stone because their mother was frightened by an exploding light bulb.
Self-growth is looking at one’s characteristics and determining whether they still work. Perhaps we have outgrown them, or ought to.
I had to laugh when Joseph McClendon II, teacher, coach, psychologist, said, “If a person afraid of dogs comes into my office you can bet there will be a Rottweiler there.”
That’s one approach. Force a person to face their fears.
Or, there are other ways, such as taking the child that still lives within us by the hand, and walking that child past those scary places, not to re-traumatize ourselves, but to see that what worked as a child may not be working for us as adults.
Those are old dragons.
The monster left the premises a long time ago.
What is left is the memory.
So here we are a hero about to set off on their own journey. Remember to take a sword.
I told my daughter that I was praying for patience, and she said, “don’t ever do that. The universe will give you more opportunities to test your patience.”
I know that habits and ways of operating don’t go away simply because we ask them to — they hold on with a death grip.
Give them something different to focus on.
And I know that often a person feels alone, that they are the only person with their particular challenge, but in conversation, we find we are not alone, others are taking that same journey right along with us.
If we expected a happy childhood and didn’t have one, we can spend the rest of our lives feeling cheated and never get on with living.
Many people accept their social roles, wife, husband, worker, female (passive, caregiver, putting other’s needs before her own), male (dominant, entitled, strong), rather than taking their own journey. When we do that, we can feel empty inside, and instead of slaying dragons, we wage war on ourselves. That’s when the “I’m not good enough phenomenon raises its ugly head. “I’m too fat, too old, too stupid, too poor, too inexperienced. I can’t control my household, my kids, my dog, or my life.”
Let’s delve into the archetypes people live by. Pearson says there are six, later she writes of 12, but I like the originals, so I am sticking with them. By my standard, there are seven archetypes, for I threw in The Innocent twice,
First, we are born innocent, in a paradise of being cared for, loved, aka, in the garden.
Eventuality we get kicked out of paradise. First, our mother’s oxytocin goes away, and we find we must do something besides look adorable to gain her attention.
We enter the orphan stage.
Not literally, we still have parents—hopefully. Besides feeling lost in a big world, trying to make sense of it, the orphan can be the abused child, the traumatized person, or the spoiled brat who tries to kick and scream their way back into paradise.
The orphan phrase can leave the person cynical, “Life’s unfair.” “Why did this happen to me?” “It’s not my fault.” “I’m entitled to blank, blank, blank.” Some stay stuck in this archetype for a lifetime.
But wait, a healthy orphan sets out searching for her place in the world, testing the avenues. She becomes the Wanderer. I see how strong my wandering spirit was on our Hawaiian stint. First looking for my place in the sun, and then determined that that was not it, I said, “Let’s get the heck out of here.”
The Warrior, says “I will go it alone if that’s what must be,” Or they, with fists in the air, decide to do the thing they set out to do. The warrior can, in their quest for power, reach gladiator proportions.
The Altruist once labeled the Martyr by Pearson, is, in the newly revised edition, now The Altruist. The martyr notices that some sacrifice is in order if they are to relate lovingly with others. The Altruist gives freely.
The purpose of all the archetypes is to see that on our life journey we go through many steps, and the idea is to integrate all of them. Having walked the miles, the individual once again becomes the innocent. They have entered the garden and found it good. This time they live in paradise because they have earned it.
“The difference between a high-level innocent and a magician is that the magician has become the thinker, the weaver, the visionary, the creator of sacred space.
And thus a transformation occurs.
The magician has found the treasure, she has found that we do not transform the world to be happy, but become happy then change the world.
I know of such a person.
Joseph Campbell notes that the hero often comes home with a boom. That is some unexpected gift to bestow on the family or village or culture. I suppose that could be some scientist who, having labored toward their goal, faced abandonment, rejection, wandered in a wasteland, did slay the dragons of being unaccepted, finally reaches the other side and discovers a medicine or some device that changes the world. (The boom.)
I loved one comment I found while scanning the newly revised Pearson book on Amazon. A woman noted that her life hadn’t been easy, it had many pits and trials, but she felt whole because of them. Walking the steps was her reason for being alive.
She had integrated all the archetypes.
Having walked the sacred path, the person finds that once again they are the innocent, that is they are living in paradise.
Art by Disney Studios
I’m stealing this as my manifesto:
Step One: Wonder about something.
Step Two: Invite others to wonder with me.
Stolen from Auston Kleon’s book, Steal Like an Artist, 10 things nobody told you about being creative.
That man is brilliant.
I came across his small book, free yesterday on Amazon Prime, and I read it before lunch.
“You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself,” he wrote.
I slapped my head and declared, “Thank you, God,”
(Thank you Auston Kleon. I don’t know if God had anything to do with that statement.)
I know I have bounced all over the place with subjects—metaphysics, the spiritual path, life blog, travel, writing about writing, writing about blogging, chickens, animals, horses, home life, family, story, Hawaii, Oregon, and California, I’ll even throw in sea life if that strikes me. And then I hear the voice of the blogging gurus who say to find your niche and stick with it.
I scream, “WHAT’S MY NICHE!”
Kleon says, ”You can cut off a couple of passions and only focus on one, but after awhile, you’ll start to feel phantom limb pain.”
I love this man.
“Do not leave your longings unattended.”
Yesterday I began the day deciding that I would write something about writing for I saw that I have a few readers on my blog “The Best Damn Writer Blogger on the Block.” (Fair to say, I’m the only one writing one, maybe I should check my city block to see if there are any other bloggers writing about writing.) http://www.thebestdamnwritersblog.com
I don’t know how those readers found me, for nine chances out of ten I can’t find it myself. (Maybe it’s the damn in the title, or my firewall, something.) However, if someone shows up, I am happy to offer them something.
Except that yesterday I had nothing to say.
Blogs are supposed to add something of value. So, where did that leave me?
With Zilch. Nada.
Kleon to the rescue, “If you try to devour the history of your discipline all at once, you’ll choke.”
Okay, back to the beginning of the day. I figured Hemingway was a good place to start. However, Hemingway was reluctant to talk of writing for he felt that saying too much might inhabit his muse.
And although Hemingway was known for his adventurous spirit, first and foremost he was a writer. He might have been reluctant to talk of writing, but over the years at different times, to different people, in varied parts of the world, he commented about it in letters and stories.
Along came Larry W. Phillips who ferreted out Hemingway's comments regarding writing and placed them in a book called Ernest Hemingway on Writing.
“All good books are alike,” wrote Hemingway, “in that they are truer than if they had really happened, and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterward all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.” –By-Line Earnest Hemingway pg 184.
This quote explains why my eyes cross when I hear people say, “I only read non-fiction.” As though fiction is frivolous and they are into “serious” learning.
Quite the opposite is true. Good fiction writers can hit you with a truth when you don’t even know you’ve been hit.
There’s a place for both, hey, for all my touting of fiction, I have a non-fiction book coming out May 19, 2019. Cover.
And lest I get too excited about this opportunity, today I got slapped on the side of the face, for I received three, not one, not two, but THREE rejection letters. I had figured if it takes two years for a book to come out I better get cracking.
Back to the drawing board.
And write whatever’s itching to come out.
Two secrets from Hemingway:
“The secret is that it is poetry written into prose and that is the hardest thing to do.” --From Mary Hemingway
“Then there is the other secret. There isn’t any symbolysm (misspelled). The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy, and the fish is a fish. The shark are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know.” Hemingway to Bernard Berenson, 1952
I beg to differ. The Old Man and the Sea says a lot about Hemingway—symbolism or not.
Hemingway left a lot unsaid. He wrote simply, quite against the flowery prose of his day. His style was considered the iceberg effect, that is much was beneath the surface.
Okay, back to Steal Like an Artist:
“We’re talking about practice, not plagiarism. Plagiarism is trying to pass someone’s else’s work off as your own. Copying is about reverse engineering. It’s like a mechanic taking apart a car to see how it works.”
If you steal from one author its plagiarism, but if you copy from many, it’s reverse engineering, Gary Panter says, If you rip off a hundred people will say, “You’re so original.”
One is copying.
One hundred is research.
I believe the following (from Kleon) applies not only to artists but to anyone starting a business:
You will need:
Barbara Kingsolver in her last tip of five on writing said, “If you are young and a smoker, you should quit.”
I qualify as a writer, I’m neither young nor a smoker.