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Create the Life You Imagine ~ December 2018

The Practice

“Life is a Mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.”

~ William Butler Yeats

I was raised by an amazing mother who was also named Dorothy, and her favorite admonition to her children when we faced times of struggle, hardship or confusion was this: “Life is a mystery to be lived.” My mother learned this truth from walking her own yellow brick road, and it is a truth that all of us who journey to find our home will discover. We are always at home in a great Mystery that is unfolding through us and around us. The lesson of Dorothy’s hero’s journey is that we no longer need to search for our life or for our power in remote and distant places. We need to remember that our life unfolds mysteriously in front of us following the call of our soul from our home in the center of our being. Our work is to follow our intuition, to stay present to the mystery unfolding before us and to trust God enough to take our place in the world each day with an open heart. The powerful lessons of the Oz myth, the hero’s journey, and the wisdom of the chakras give us guidance to make our way along the spiral path that opens before each of us. The spiral path moves us out into the world of experiences, the Oz, and then spirals in toward our true Self, our home in the Om.

As we reach the end of this year and this process of exploring the power of the Oz story as a metaphor for living the spiritual life, there are seven lessons for everyday living that we can draw upon as we put on our ruby slippers and prepare to make our own epic journey. For the remaining messages of the year we will think about these seven lessons and the seven powers that we require to walk as a hero in our own life journey. Perhaps the most important of these powers is courage, for without this power we would never begin to live a true and authentic life.

Lesson 1: Find the COURAGE to stand in your own life story and to walk your hero’s journey.

Courage and resolve are foundational to the hero’s journey. Dorothy’s story reminds us that the spiritual journey home is not for the faint of heart or the small and meek. Sri Aurobindo, eastern teacher and mystic, counsels those on the spiritual journey that “to remain quiet within, firm in the will to go through, refusing to be disturbed or discouraged by difficulties or fluctuations, that is one of the first things to be learned on the Path.” If we panic and run at any sign of difficulty or distress or see disaster and darkness lurking behind every corner, we won’t even begin to walk our path. Aurobindo counsels a quiet and steady courage that will move us steadily along our way.

The Cowardly Lion cannot take his place as king of the forest and we cannot take our place at the center of our story without spiritual courage. As the Wizard advises the Lion, living with courage does not mean we will be free from fear at this early stage of the process. It means that there is something solid and true at the core of our being that reminds us to push on and to push through our fear. We learn from the Oz adventure that the things we are most afraid of are generally illusions of our own conditioning and limitations of our own minds. When we summon our courage to push through the fear, the illusions and limitations dissolve before us and we move forward on our journey.

Wishing you courage, blessings and light as you continue this journey to create the life you imagine.


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