Choices June 2001
 
CHOICES
an e-newsletter for deliberately living people

June 2001
Volume II, Issue 6

204 members and growing!  Please spread the word!
 

 
"As heroes near the gates of the citadel deep within the Special World, they may take time to make plans, do reconnaissance on the enemy, reorganize or thin out the group, fortify or arm themselves, and have a last laugh and a final cigarette before going over the top to no-man's-land."
- Christopher Vogler, The Writer's Journey

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Note from Erica
Approach to the Inmost Cave
Action Guide
Q&A
Resources

Note from Erica

I am pleased to announce the creation of the on-line community, Choices4Living (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/choices4living).  Its purpose is to evoke thought, promote action and encourage extreme self care.  Choices4Living is a forum for you to ask questions, share your thoughts, and receive opinions on a wide variety of personal development and general life topics.

Please join me on Thursday, June 14th at 12 noon (Pacific), when Choices4Living will have it's first on-line chat.  The topic is "Facing Your Shadow" and it is a follow-up session to my guest appearance on the Linda Stein's "Getting Personal" radio show June 9th.  To participate in the chat, please subscribe to Choices4Living by sending an email to choices4living-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.  Once you register, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/choices4living on 6/9 at 12 noon and click on the "Chat" tab to join the conversation.

Thank you for your continued interest and support.

Warmly,
Erica

Approach to the Inmost Cave: Preparing for Big Change

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

Approach to the Inmost Cave, the seventh stage of the Hero's Journey, is a time of emotionally charged preparation.  In this stage, the hero prepares physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to face the Shadow (the unrealized and rejected dark side of the hero).  Preparation may entail a number of last minute tests to prove the hero's readiness.  Information could be available through the support of a team, a reorganization of previously acquired clues and facts, or by stepping inside the opponent's mind and mapping out a game plan.  The hero receives the gifts of unconditional love and camaraderie from his team or within an intimate relationship.  This external show of love and admiration reinforces the hero's own sense of self love and provides a good dose of the emotional strength needed to face the dark.

During this personal development stage, we need the support of others to face the denied parts of ourselves.  The greatest human fear is that of the unknown.  And when we reject any emotion or quality which makes us human, we are creating an unknown quality.  What we resist, however, persists, and our fighting spirit needs fortifying before facing that dark unknown.

Next month:  Facing the Shadow:  Attempting Big Change

Action Guide

Take a quiet moment to answer the following questions:
  1. Some heroes choose to walk right into the ordeal without preparing.  Do you easily accept change, or do you prepare for it?
  2. The hero may go through a Shamanistic experience and transform through a figurative death.  Have you ever had an illness or experience that prepared you for a latter change?  What did it teach you?
  3. The hero could receive a warning that if he proceeds he may risk something of value.  What have you risked in order to transform?
  4. The hero may spend the preparation time by getting inside the Shadow’s mind and studying ways to defeat him.  How might mental sparring prove advantageous/disadvantageous for you?
  5. Heroes often have to pass one more test before proceeding to the ordeal.  How have external/internal challenges manifested in your life before attempting the big change?
  6. Do you want to turn back at this stage of the journey or go forward?
  7. What have you had to get rid of before the change?
  8. What must you face before moving forward?
  9. At this time in the journey, the hero may have learned how to accept unconditional love from himself or someone close to him.  How does self-love prepare you for change?

Extra credit:

Meditation Challenge -  Labyrinth Walk

A labyrinth is a patterned walkway created for spiritual reflection which has been used since ancient times.  The labyrinth meditation is a symbolic act of going on a pilgrimage/journey for spiritual enlightentment.  As you slowly walk to the center of the labyrinth, you are asked to release all of your worries, concerns, and thoughts to totally empty yourself.  The second step is to ask for spiritual guidance upon reaching the center of the labyrinth.  You may have a direct questions to ask or could keep yourself open to general enlightenment.  Your answer may come immediately, or it may come to you in the days following your walk.  As you slowly exit the labyrinth, you say a prayer of thanksgiving for all that you have.

My extra credit challenge for you is to experience a labyrinth walk by finding one in your area or by using this online labyrinth tool http://www.gracecathedral.org/labyrinth/il/index.shtml .

Grace Cathedral in San Franscisco, CA is also offering a retreat focusing on the labyrinth.  Please click on the link below for more information.

Discovering the Sacred Path of the Labyrinth
A Pilgrimage Weekend sponsored by Veriditas
Grace Cathedral, San Franscisco
June 22 - 24, 2001

Q&A

What are your favorite hero stories?  Send your answers to coach@ericawang.com
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.

Resources

Dream experts, Dr. Ron Masa & Billie Ortiz, lead the TeleDream Group: an inspiring weekly dream group that meets by telephone.  Want to know what your dreams mean?  Check out their site and tell them Erica sent you:  www.universityofyourself.com/teledream.html.

Grace Cathedral Labyrinth Page

Taming Your Gremlin : A Guide to Enjoying Yourself, Richard David Carson, Novie Rogers (Illustrator)

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(c) 2001, Erica Wang, Coach.  All rights reserved.