Choices February 2001
an e-newsletter for deliberately living people

February 2001
Volume II, Issue 2

"The myths and folk tales of the whole world make clear that the refusal is essentially a refusal to give up what one takes to be one's own interest. The future is regarded not in terms of an unremitting series of deaths and births, but as though one's present system of ideals, virtues, goals, and advantages were to be fixed and made secure." - Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

"The problem of the hero now becomes how to respond to the Call to Adventure.  Put yourself in the hero's shoes and you can see that it's a difficult passage.  You're being asked to say yes to a great unknown, to an adventure that will be exciting but also dangerous and even life-threatening.  It wouldn't be a real adventure otherwise." - Christopher Vogler, The Writer's Journey


Note from Erica
Refusal of the Call
Action Guide

Note from Erica

Happy February to you all!  This month's theme is Refusal of the Call, a continuation of the Hero's Journey.  I think the topic comes at a fitting time.  By February, New Year's resolutions have begun to lose steam or have been left by the way side.  What motivates us to change in the first place and what makes us reluctant to change?

Have you resolved to live a less stressful life?  Last month a member of our community asked for soul recipes, ideas on how to de-stress after a long day/week at work.  Here are some commonly shared ideas:

  • schedule time for fun activities and hobbies
  • rent a comedy, go to a comedy club, or surround yourself with funny people
  • do some quiet journaling
  • sing loudly with the radio
  • take a hot shower/bath and crawl into bed with a good book
  • exercise daily
  • go for a nature walk
  • look out a window and breathe deeply
For more ideas, take a look at the links posted in the Resource section of this newsletter.


I'm quite excited to announce a new course I've developed: The Hero’s Journey: An Archetypal Guide to Personal Development.  This 8-week course will take ten students through the stages of the Hero’s Journey on the new terrain of personal development and coaching.  Students will apply the twelve stages and seven character-types to their lives to gain understanding of their personal path.  This interactive course provides an excellent opportunity for students to receiving coaching and support through their personal journeys in a safe and fun environment.

Choices E-Newsletter Subscribers receive 20% off tuition if they sign-up by 2/23/00.  Click here for more information on the class.

Refusal of the Call

Are you the hero of your own life, or the supporting character of someone else's story?  Who makes the choices in your life?  Who leads your life?

After our hero has received the Call to Adventure, she now faces a reluctance to change and often Refuses the Call. The reasons for refusal are many, but they more than likely center on one motivating force: fear.  Fear of the Unknown, Fear of Losing the Past, Fear of Consequences.  When have you settled for the known rather than take a chance?  What did you have to lose?  The hero is most likely to avoid the Call to Adventure (increased awareness for change) or make excuses with this motivating force fighting for control.  Then again, it might be someone in her life, a Threshold Guardian, who is motivated by this fear.  This Threshold Guardian may be beguiling and urge the hero to stay for fear that he/she may have to change too.  "But on a deeper psychological level [Threshold Guardians] stand for our internal demons: the neuroses, emotional scars, vices, dependencies, and self-limitations that hold back our growth and progress.  It seems that every time you try to make a major change in your life, these inner demons rise up to their full force, not necessarily to stop you, but to test if you are really determined to accept the challenge of change." (Vogler, 58)

Then what force wins out over fear?  For some, it may be a burning curiosity to see what lies beyond.  For the rest, it is a recognition that the stakes are too high not to take a chance - a reactionary force which says, "If I don't make the change, I chance losing everything I think that I have."  Luckily, we never have to face this decision alone.  "When the student is ready, the teacher will come."

Next month:  Meeting with the Mentor

Note: I will be switching gender pronouns (he/she) for every issue to keep the message inclusive for all.

Action Guide

Take a quiet moment to answer the following questions:

Which New Year's resolutions have been dropped?  Why?
What motivated you to make the resolutions?  Did the motivation come from you or a sense that you "should?"
Universal Law:  We rarely do things we "should."  We ultimately do the things we "want."
Which resolutions are slipping away?  What would it take to keep them?
Who or what supports you in change?  Who or what is your Threshold Guardian?
How can you overcome reluctance/fear?

Extra credit:

Share your resolutions with five supportive people and ask them to check in with you from time to time on your success.
Plan a celebration for your completed resolutions.


What are your favorite hero stories?  Send your answers to

What is the meaning of  your life?  What is your purpose?  How can you be a better you?

Let's find the answers together.  Call me for a free coaching session at 408-739-2975.


web sites
The Top 10 Ways To Reduce Your Stress Level Daily When You Only Have 10 Minutes
The Top 10 Top Ten Ways to Eliminate Stress
The Top 10 Questions to Ask Yourself to Check Out Your 'Fun Factor'
A fun look at the "Refusal of the Call" with Xena Warrior Princess

The Writer's Journey, Christopher Vogler
Visual Journaling: Going Deeper Than Words; Barbara Ganim, Susan Fox
Take Time for Your Life; Cheryl Richardson

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(c) 2000, Erica Wang, Coach.  All rights reserved.