The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, December 12, 2011

Taking the Next Step

I'll continue on very soon and continue the process of emotional healing. What I wanted to do was to look again at what the entire process I've been working on since Lifewriting was still invented.

1) The first step was the realization that storytelling and human life are inextricably intertwined. That the structure of "story" represents the village elders telling the young people of the tribe "this is what your life will be. Therefore, it is possible to look at the structure of story and use it to sequence the resources you will need to accomplish any goal.

2) The second step was realizing that the Yogic Chakras represent a model for the path of growth toward becoming an awakened adult human being.

3) The third piece was the realization that the Hero's Journey could be viewed as the "path" between chakras--that as you finish one journey, you move to the next level and begin the next. While not an exact model of human growth (nothing that can be put into words can possibly be) it is pan-cultural, maps over with both ancient and modern thought, and offers a glimpse of an extraordinary dynamic process.

4) After spending twenty years grouping resources and varied philosophies, I've yet to find a major religion or philosophy that doesn't seem to be addressing the path formed by the intersection of these two models. Working with thousands of students over that time, the core concern seems to be finding a life of meaning while navigating this path.

5) You can walk this path from "the bottom up" (meaning--begin with a physical practice) or from "the heart out" (begin with a practice that concentrates on love, or the reduction of fear) but never, ever begin from the "head" down. In other words, intellectualization or purely spiritual practices don't work if they aren't anchored either in love, or physical reality.

6) The simplest way I've ever found of expressing the most useful thread in this path: imagine a line stretching from your childhood to your deathbed.

a) remember your childhood dreams.

b) clarify the values people actually hold on their deathbeds.

c) conduct your daily affairs in a manner to align with both of these.

Doing this seems to create a life of meaning, contribution, happiness, health, love, balance and success.

I invite you, as 2011 comes to an end, to address the three aspects of part 6. Journal about them. Look at your life, your career, your family and physical energy and work to align them in this way. You will have gone as far as you can go, at this moment in your life, toward wholeness and health. Take a step. As you do, you will see a little further. And that is all you need to do...take each step consciously and carefully and lovingly, in integrity with your fondest dreams and deepest values.

See you on the mountain!


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