Choices September 2001
an e-newsletter for deliberately living people

September 2001
Volume II, Issue 9

"The Creative knows the great beginnings. The Receptive completes the finished things." -- I Ching (BC 1150)


Special Note
Note from Erica
Road Back
Action Guide

Special Note

Dear Choices Community,

Our family is deeply and profoundly saddened by the terrorist attacks of September 11th.  At a time like this, we want to reach out and unite with all of our fellow American citizens.  We want to demonstrate our country's united strength.  We want to exemplify our nation's resolute ability to overcome any adversity.

We believe one of the defining characteristics of being American is intelligence.  In a land of opportunity, it is the smart who succeed.  Brains, wit, and wisdom must govern the passion, effort, and diligence that we apply to our endeavors.

It is with this in mind, that we urgently ask you to appeal to your communities for increased attention to intelligence and wisdom.   The sharp increase in hate crimes against Americans who practice the Muslim faith runs against rational logic and common sense.  There are also reports of hate crimes on other non-white Americans because they do not look American.

While the perpetrators of barbarism against our citizens must absolutely be brought to justice, our own citizens must not commit barbarisms against each other.

If Americans become hateful, vengeful, and indiscriminate, then the terrorists have succeeded.  The terrorists would have caused us to fulfill their twisted image of America.  We would indeed become the great evil they think we are.

We should have learned a great lesson from the internment of Americans of Japanese ethnicity during the Second World War.   Now is the time to show how our diversity is our strength.  This is our big chance to pass the very same test we failed before.   The crucial moment is upon us.

Please exercise leadership in uniting all Americans, as simply Americans, as we struggle with our grief and fight for justice.  We must act smartly and not fall into the mental trap which the terrorists have laid out for us.  We will triumph together, or it really won't be a triumph at all.

Joe and Erica Wang

Note from Erica


Are you interested in cleaning up and strengthening the quality of your life?  Are you tired of your ordinary world and are ready to embrace change?  Has the costs of one-on-one coaching held you back from making a personal investment?

I will be forming a new coaching group to meet at 7pm (Pacific) on Thursdays.  Coaching groups offer participants the benefits of coaching (motivation for self-improvement and confidence) within a community based on shared interests and issues.

The topics of our weekly coaching sessions will be centered around Cheryl Richardson's best-selling book "Life Makeovers."  The cost is $100/month.  If you are interested in joining or have any questions, please call me at 408-739-2975 or send a note to

Road Back: Rededication to Change

The Road Back is the tenth stage of this Hero's Journey. The hero has faced the shadow and has been victorious with his first attempt at big change.  It is now time for the hero to rededicate himself to the cause and finish the journey.  After succeeding at the first attempt to change, the hero's next challenge is to use his new skills, insights, and realizations to help him achieve mastery of the problem.  The hero can only achieve mastery of the new found skill, knowledge, or insight by journeying back to the environment where he started.  Often the hero has become rather comfortable in his new environment and does not want to journey back.  Who can blame him? ;)  Just as the hero went through a period of discernment in stage three "Refusal of the Call," so too does the hero need to push past this mental threshold to finish this journey.  Therefore, he must be sufficiently motivated by an outside force or an inner drive.

As discussed in the "Facing Your Shadow" newsletter, any issue we have with the world or people outside of us is tied to an internal button.  That button, which bothers us when pushed, was created through a past reaction to an experience in the external world.  Outside forces and inner drives are intricately and circularly tied together.  The shadow, whether it takes the form of an outside influence or internal stumbling block, returns with a vengeance to finish off the hero.  “The psychological meaning of such counterattacks is that neuroses, flaws, habits, desires, or addictions we have challenged may retreat for a time, but can rebound in a last ditch defense or a desperate attack before being vanquished forever.  Neuroses have a powerful life force of their own and will strike back when threatened.” (Christopher Vogler, The Writer's Journey.)

The hero may be chased out of the Special World by the shadow.   During the chase, the hero attempts to stall avenging forces until he can once again muster his resources and courage to deal with them.  Or the shadow may escape and the hero is motivated to leave the Special World to finish the involvement.  The hero may have experienced another set back or loss from completing the journey.  This further loss fans the flames of completion.

Next month: Resurrection: Final Attempt at Big Change 

Action Guide

Take a quiet moment to answer the following questions:
  1. How have you demonstrated mastery in your life?
  2. Why do you think the hero has to use her newfound skills in an old world to be successful?
  3. Have you ever given up a goal after a first attempt at change?  What motivated you to quit?
  4. Can you remember a time in your life when you were reluctant to finish a task?  What motivated you to finish it?
  5. When have you run away or tried to stall the inevitable?  What did you learn from this?
  6. When have you sought to end darkness in your life?
  7. Has another set back or loss ever keep you from completing the journey.  What level of dissatisfaction do you reach before you take action?
  8. What emotions, fears, or beliefs may cause you to flounder or quit?
  9. What emotions or skills have served you at this stage of the journey?

Extra credit:

Do you have a project sitting on a shelf waiting to be completed?  Do you have a closet full of projects?  Perhaps it's time to follow the popular phrase of professional organizers, "Do it, Dump it, or Delegate it."  Embrace the joy of completion and make the room for new opportunities and adventures.


Get Organized Week - October 7-13, 2001: Founded by the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), Get Organized Week celebrates the benefits of organization and showcases ways individuals and businesses can reap those benefits.

The Top 10 Tips for Staying Motivated!

Completing A Task - A Kids Learning Through Fun Video - for those adults who truly think out of the box

The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, Christopher Vogler

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