If the Hero’s Journey and the Chakras together make a dynamic sphere of human potential, how do we use it to our benefit? I can best illustrate it by choosing a specific illustration. There are four major aspects of our existence that are superb to focus on. Career, finances, body, and emotions/relationship.
The beautiful thing about these is that each can be managed with a tiny initial investment in time. Let’s get more specific and see how these relate to a writer. Let’s look at a “minimum program” and an “optimal program” in each. Minimum is the least you can do and still move forward. Optimal is the “sweet spot” where you are doing just enough to max out results without falling into diminishing returns. The following is a possible answer to min-max thinking. Of course there are other patterns.
- Career: write a minimum of a line a day. Optimal: a story a week/every other week, reading 10X what you write.
- Finances: save 1% of your gross earnings. Optimal: save 10% of your gross earnings.
- Body. Minimum: Exercise 10 minutes a day (say, Five Tibetans and/or Joint Mobility). Optimal: one minute exercise per year of age (distributed between aerobic, anaerobic and yoga.)
- Emotions. Minimum: Five minute miracle (five sixty-second “breathing breaks” distributed through the day). Optimal 5MM plus 20-30 minutes Ancient Child/Heartbeat Med
Let’s say your problem is that you don’t exercise, and see that this is going to catch up with you…some day. How do you motivate yourself to take action NOW?
Body/fitness is 3rd Chakra, between “sex” and “love.” That’s where the wound is. The Hero’s Journey combined with this understanding might suggest the following tactic:
- Confronted with challenge. CLEARLY define the change you wish to make. Be specific. “Lose 50 pounds of fat, build 30 pounds of muscle” might be clear enough. So might “fit into a size 5 dress.”
- Reject the challenge. What are the fears that have stopped you? What would you LOSE if you accepted the discipline and values that are necessary to put physics working FOR you rather than AGAINST you? Afraid of becoming more attractive? Of failing again? Of breaking rapport with friends or family? Of wasting time? Of letting society “win”? WRITE YOUR FEARS DOWN! Look at them carefully: are they logical and reasonable, or are they b.s.?
- Accept the Challenge. At some point you have to DECIDE to do it, to BOTH diet and exercise (and trust me, you’ll have to do BOTH to lose and keep the weight off). Say the words. Write them down. Give yourself a deadline, losing no more than 1-2 pounds per week.
- Road of Trials. This is the distance you will have to travel between where you are and where you want to be. Lose 50 pounds? Six months to a year. 1-2 pounds per week. Let’s say you decide to do 12 minutes of kettlebells or 15 minutes of yoga six days a week, plus Intermittent Fasting. Whoa. Good program! Now…what will keep you on track?
- Allies and powers. Will the people around you support your efforts or tear you down? What new activities will you need to integrate? What emotions will have to change to support those activities? I know a woman who couldn’t lose weight until her children begged her to stay alive. She COULD NOT lose it for herself, but thinking of her children’s pain finally motivated her. The PAIN in her “heart” got her moving. Once she spoke to her doctor and laid out a plan, she realized she needed greater motivation, and that was where she reached out to me. Sex and Power and emotion (2nd, 3rd, 4th chakras). The wound was somewhere in there. What was her attitude toward sex? She loved it, but had once been an absolute knock-out, and attracted men who didn’t care about her heart. Used her. She accepted the possibility that she didn’t trust herself to differentiate between good and bad partners, and was literally afraid of being “too attractive.” Figured that if she was less physically attractive, the men who came to her wouldn’t just be looking for externals.
The problem was, she didn’t find these guys attractive. She wanted someone dynamic, positive, and…oops…lean-bodied. In other words, she wasn’t attracted to the male version of herself! In the name of congruence, she HAD to either change her values, or change her current state so that she was “on the wavelength” of the kind of men she wanted in her life. More sex, better sex, better heart-space connection.
Great: chakras 2 and 3 covered and four all covered.
You see, if you don’t do something, it is because there is too much pain associate with doing it, and too much pleasure associated with leaving things as they are. Too much fear of change, not enough love of possibility. You can change this by writing out your feelings about the issues of the surrounding chakras (if your problem is in the “survival” 1st Chakra, then bend it into a circle and look at #7 and #2. If your problem is spiritual (#7) do the same, looking at #6 and #1)
So she attached fear to the negatives (loneliness, sickness, incongruence, bad example, lack of energy) and love to the positives (better role model, longer life, more attractive partners, increased self-love, etc.)
These were all HER motivations. HER positives and negatives. And she dug in and dug in until she was crazy wild about her positive vision of the future, and totally sick of the direction she was currently headed. When you attach enough pain to the one AND pleasure to the other, you will ALWAYS move. Conversely, if you aren’t moving, you’ve yet to associate enough pain and pleasure in the proper directions.
6) Confront evil–defeat. It is inevitable that you will fall on your face. Lying to yourself about this is setting yourself up for disaster. WHEN you fail, the question will be: what did you learn? How fast did you get yourself back up? What did it mean to you? What new allies and powers do you need to integrate? A common one is to try to lose the weight too quickly (Lose 7 pounds a week on the cocoanut diet!) or to ONLY control portions OR exercise rather than both, or use a “diet” instead of a “lifestyle change” or to realize that your inner voices are going to play merry hell with you. How do you prepare for this? By finding, reading about, studying, talking to people who have lost weight and maintained the lean body for five years, say. Doesn’t matter if there aren’t many of them–there aren’t many successful published writers, either, but by studying them you can and will max your chance of becoming one.
7) Dark night of the soul. It is impossible to move from one major point in your life to the next without resistance. If there was no resistance, you’d already be there. The Hero’s Journey is the path between one “chakra” and the next, which means that we repeat the pattern at least seven major times before reaching maturity. You WILL lose faith and reach despair and depression. So…look back over your life. See other times you have been discouraged, picked yourself back up and kept going. How did you do it? Who did you lean on? What did you visualize to get you moving? Keep records.
8)Leap of Faith. Faith in yourself (“I can do it!”) Faith in your companions (“My kids need me. My doctor wouldn’t lie to me. My coach believes in me”) or Faith in a Higher Power (“my natural state is health and fitness. This weight issue is a socially-maintained illusion, created by a totally artificial work and life environment. I choose to be in alignment with nature.”). Choose one, or all. Get into it.
9) Confront evil-succeed. If you follow the previous steps, and DO NOT QUIT, your victory is almost inevitable.
10) Student Becomes the Teacher/Movement to the higher level. You will need to choose a new goal and start the cycle over again. And…the best way to integrate everything is to teach someone else, to be a link in the chain pointing toward waking up.
That is ONE way you could apply the Dynamic Sphere to ONE problem. There are countless others, but by starting with the Big Four (Emotions, Body, Career, Finance) you lay a foundation that will allow you to push like crazy without hurting yourself or others. This lets you take your brakes off, and that leads to momentum. Which will take you eventually to take-off speed.
And once you’re in the air, the territory looks very very different.