My holiday wish for you

Oh my, here we are at holiday season again. You may be celebrating because of your religion, your traditions or because you look forward to giving and receiving gifts. It also means the end of another year and the beginning of a new. All are wonderful reasons to celebrate.

There was a time when I resented the holidays as an artificial observance created to satisfy the masses and focused on materialism. As I got older and became more aware (and a parent) I remembered the real magic of the holiday season. I realized that the true value of the holidays is to celebrate connection.

As this year ends, it is a time to appreciate our connection with ourselves, our connection with family and friends who support us through the year AND our connection with God, the Universal Intelligence that always conspires to support us and always has our best interest at hand.

My wish for you is that you recognize how precious you are. How your past has prepared you for where you need to be right now. How everyone in your life is meant to be part of your life. How you are meant to love and be loved.

Whether you currently feel called to share your message in your personal or professional life, your story has been a series of different cycles of “Departure,” “Initiation,” and “Return.”

At many points throughout your life you have been called to step out of your comfort zone and take on new challenges. Each time you respond to the call is an opportunity for personal growth. The lessons you learn from those experiences are your rewards.

The third phase of The Hero’s Journey, “The Return,” is about taking the wisdom you so valiantly earned during the “Initiation” phase back home to share with your tribe. This may sound simple enough on the surface. In reality, the “Return” home has its own challenges. Perhaps you can relate to the following stages.

Over the last few months my notes have revolved around Joseph Campbell’s work with “The Hero’s Journey” and how it relates to your own journey as a messenger. Whether you currently feel called to share your message in your personal or professional life, your story has been cycles of “Departure,” “Initiation,” and “Return.”

At many points throughout your life you have been called to step out of your comfort zone (Departure) and take on new challenges (Initiation). Each time you respond to the call is an opportunity for personal growth. The lessons you learn from those experiences are your rewards.

The third phase of The Hero’s Journey, “The Return,” is about taking the wisdom you so valiantly earned during your “Initiation” phase back home to share with your tribe. This may sound simple enough on the surface. In reality, the “Return” home has its own challenges. Perhaps you can relate to the following stages.

The first stage is the “Refusal of the Return.” After all the work you have done to find bliss and enlightenment in the other world, you may not want to return to the ordinary world and share the treasures you have found.

When you finally persuade yourself to share the wealth you may enter the second stage, “The Magic Flight” where you face unexpected challenges in delivering your sacred gifts. The demons you overcame to get this far seem to rear their ugly heads. Just as you were lead by guides and teachers to begin your journey, it is very helpful to receive assistance from a mentor to support you in bringing your new found gifts home to share with your community. We see this expressed in the third stage, “Rescue from Without.” It makes me think of Luke Skywalker and all the mentors who guided him in his youth and even as a Jedi Master. I read that George Lucas worked with Joseph Campbell personally to incorporate The Hero’s Journey in his epic saga, Star Wars (my favorite movie series of all time).

A great mentor is especially helpful in the fourth stage, “The Crossing of the Return Threshold.” The trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on your quest, to integrate that wisdom into your “ordinary” human life, and then maybe figure out how to share the wisdom with the rest of the world. This leads into the fifth stage, “Master of Two Worlds,” which is often represented by a transcendental hero like Jesus or Gautama Buddha. For you, it may mean achieving a balance between the material and spiritual. In a previous blog, “A New Way of BE-ing,” I shared my experience of walking a labyrinth when I asked for Divine guidance on how to live in both worlds. (The answer was simple and profound.)

As you become comfortable and competent in both the inner and outer worlds you move into the fifth stage, “Freedom to Live.” Mastery leads to freedom from the fear of death, which in turn is the freedom to live. This is sometimes referred to as living in the moment, neither anticipating the future nor regretting the past. While this would seem like the final destination, you know that life is a journey. A major premise of the Hero’s Journey framework is that the experience is cyclical rather than linear. The end of one cycle is the beginning of the next. A new adventure is always calling you.

I find it quite appropriate to explore “The Return,” the third phase of Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey” as my last note to you for this year. No matter where you may be on your own journey, this is the time of year when those of us who follow the Gregorian calendar acknowledge the end of one cycle around the sun and prepare for another. It feels especially relevant for me as we just finished what I believe to be the most enlightening professional experience of my life. “The Messenger’s Journey” workshop series was designed to support authors, speakers, coaches, mentors and healers in bridging our own spiritual growth and personal well BE-ing with our professional contribution.

I admit I was resistant when I first heard the call to organize an online event to address the critical need for all of us messengers to dig deep into our own story and align with our soul’s true calling to fulfill the Divine purpose we came here to experience. Once I made the conscious choice to heed the call, I entered the “Initiation Phase,” which provided many challenges and obstacles. Facing my doubts, fears and limiting beliefs, I was transformed by the adventure and gained invaluable wisdom to improve my own life and accelerate my trek as a messenger.

While the profound insights I gained from my mentors and guides during “The Messenger’s Journey” workshop series are still evolving, I am being called to share my biggest takeaways from the experience with you. I will share them in my next note along with very exciting news about our plans to support you in a bigger way in 2016. In my last note I asked what gifts have you earned along your journey. Now I ask, how are you being called to share the treasures of your experience? What is the bigger vision for how you can express your message? What can you BE and DO to live in abundance by serving others with high value?

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