Create the Life You Imagine~February 2018
Dying to the Old
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell
In the next step on the hero’s journey we awaken to the fact that a familiar life pattern has been outgrown. We find that the old concepts, ideals and emotional patterns that have organized our life no longer serve us. It begins to feel as though the life we have constructed for ourselves, or that others have constructed for us, is too small a container to hold what is waiting to emerge from within us.
The movie version of The Wizard of Oz opens in black and white with Dorothy wandering the farm somewhat aimlessly and obviously disconnected from a sense of meaning and belonging in her life. While this Kansas farm may have been the safe womb of her childhood, it is no longer big enough to contain the next part of her story. The scenes are in black and white to represent the shadowy version of life we live before we wake up to live more consciously from our deeper selves. Dorothy has not yet taken her place in the center of her own story, but rather is playing a bit part in a story that feels too small for her dreams and imaginations about life. She longs to be somewhere over the rainbow, in a place where she can breathe, sing and explore her true nature while following her intuition.
In the Oz story, Toto represents Dorothy’s intuition. It is the work of our intuition to pull us into new places and even to create a disruption in our ordinary lives at times, in order to move us forward on the path of our hero’s journey. Our intuition, like Toto in Dorothy’s story, starts to nudge us along toward a new path where we can more fully express who we really are. For many of us there are unspoken wishes, unfulfilled dreams or internal longings that we would never dare to acknowledge or pursue. Some part of us, however, knows that it is time to move beyond the safety of our old patterns and to begin following that part of us that longs for the freedom to experience the deeper and truer parts of ourselves.
The teaching of this stage of the journey is this: It is our story unfolding in front of us, and no one else can claim it for us. Our real duty, Campbell tells us, “is to go away from the community to find our bliss.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that we will literally leave the places and people in our lives. More often it is a psychological leaving, a realignment of our awareness as we take our place as the hero of our own story. If we are to honor the deeper parts of us that are trying to emerge in our life, we must be willing to step into the leading role in our own story and to actively seek the life we find hidden in our dreams. We must take those first fateful steps onto an unknown path, willing to chart a course that is true to our soul. We must be willing to let go of the patterns that no longer serve us and follow our intuition, even if we are not sure of the destination.
As we begin to seek our true Self, we will all be called to leave home, so to speak, and to create a new home and new roots in the spiritual world. When we begin to follow our inner voice, our intuition, we will have the feeling that the world we have known becomes too small for us. We need to abandon the limitations of our old worldview and risk entering into a new world which is big enough for us to explore our deeper spiritual aspects and to emerge into the unique adventure that is our path.
Wishing you courage, blessings and light as you begin this journey to create the life you imagine.