Choices October 2001
an e-newsletter for deliberately living people

October 2001
Volume II, Issue 10

DOROTHY:  Oh, will you help me?  Can you help me?

GLINDA: You don't need to be helped any longer.  You've always had the power to go back to Kansas.

DOROTHY:  I have?

SCARECROW: Then why didn't you tell her before?

GLINDA:  Because she wouldn't have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.

TIN MAN: What have you learned, Dorothy?

DOROTHY:  Well, I -- I think that it -- that it wasn't enough just to want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em -- and it's that -- if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard.  Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with!  Is that right?

GLINDA:  That's all it is!

script copyright © 1939 Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer.  All rights reserved.



Action Guide

Resurrection: Final Attempt at 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?

In the eleventh stage of the Hero's Journey, the resurrection, the hero faces the shadow for the last time.  If the hero can succeed, he can return to the start of the journey and bring with him newfound knowledge and experience.  To complete the resurrection, the hero faces two final tasks, reintroducing himself into the old world and being reborn through one final proof of worthiness.

In our modern fast paced world, we often do not give ourselves time to transition from activities or phases.  Specifically, most Americans run ahead to "the next big thing" without regard for the present circumstance.  Happiness is always in the future.  If the hero skips the reintroduction into the old world (or what others expect as the old way of being), then further complications can set in.  People returning from retreats or vacations seldom schedule an extra day to transition back into their routines and are challenged to keep their new knowledge, resources, and sense of peace working in the old world.    On a grander level, the modern warrior's lack of transition from killing machine to civilian has caused generations of men and women to suffer night terrors, mental anguish, and family upheaval.  In order for the hero to complete the journey to its fullest extent, he must be given time to readjust.

Once the period of adjustment has ended, the hero faces the shadow one last time.  Every stage of the journey up to this point has given the hero the experiential knowledge that he is capable of change.  It is now up to the hero to believe in himself and prove his worthiness to a society that holds no credibility for him.  He must make an outward show of this internal change. He may do this through the sacrifice of his old self and freely let go of any attachment to the identity he once claimed.  Or  he may be given the opportunity to heroically respond to a universally provided catharsis, a traumatic and immediate purging that creates space for greater understanding, enlightenment, and the manifestation of the new self.

Next month:  Return with Elixir

Action Guide

Take a quiet moment to answer the following questions:
  1. What challenges do you face in periods of transition?
  2. What experience caused you to face your shadow one more time?
  3. How were you reborn through a catharsis?
  4. Did you need to prove that you had changed to yourself or to anyone else?
  5. Did you have to make a final sacrifice to return home?
  6. Did you have to give up anything in order to be admitted into the old world?

Extra credit:

For a clear example of this stage of the hero's journey, view the 1992 Steve Martin film, Leap of Faith.


Who have you admired for making extraordinary changes in his/her life?

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