Shapeshifter: Spotting the Con Artist ~ The Quest of Living ~ Post 13

Conned, deceived, or bamboozled.

Shapeshifters create confusion.

The ‘Good Guy’ shifts to the ‘Bad Guy.’ And we didn’t see it coming.

How does that happen?

It’s not magic.

Look at the above photo.

The naive hero, believes the sham. Snow White, trusts that the apple is a gift.

The switch occurs. See it?

The apple shifts from gift to bait and Snow White backs away.

But a naive hero doesn’t want to see a sham and Snow White takes the apple anyway.
Until she ‘sees’ there will be lots of ‘apples.’

And before we get angry with Shapeshifters and say, “How could they do this to me?”
Let’s look at the ‘me.’
We see what we want.
If we really are that lion – a Shapeshifter won’t come near us.

It’s that simple.

Allies Along the Way ~ The Quest of Living ~ Post 12

Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man – A classic portrayal of Allies for the Hero
And yet …

Lion is having another meltdown.

Tin Man needs oil again.

Scarecrow is on fire.

You are busy with your journey. So, do you …

Tell Tin Man that you will help him when you return.

Warn Scarecrow he should carry his own damn bucket of water.

And for tearful Lion, you just shouted at him, “Get over it!”

How we treat allies is often our blind spot.

The delusion of the finish line being the purpose of our journey can be our downfall.

The Holy Grail, of the hero journey, is our character. Anything else is a mirage.

Side note: Allies and Mentors can only go so far in the journey with us.

We face our fears alone.

Meet the Mentor ~ The Quest of Living ~ Post 11

In the tale of Pinocchio, a cricket plays the role of mentor.

In history, it’s people.
Three examples worth knowing:

Opposing Russian officials this Polish father lost his job and a home for his family. In spite of economic hardships, he encourages his daughter to study science.
You won’t recognize his name, Vladislav Sklodowski, but you know his daughter. She discovers Radium and Polonium. She is the only two time Nobel Laureate in two categories of science, Marie Curie.

Or this unknown mentor Sarah Bush …
Upon becoming a stepmother, Sarah defied her new husband who was cruel and demanding to his son. Lucky for us, Sarah, stood her ground to encourage her stepson to read and learn. The child is Abraham Lincoln

This teacher, Mademoiselle Souvestre, is obscure in history.
She encouraged an insecure teenage girl to reach beyond her comfort zone and to challenge the status quo of society. The world will know her student, Eleanor Roosevelt.

Mentors aren’t with us forever.
Whether it’s Jiminy Cricket, a parent or teacher … a mentor bows out of the story due to decisions or death.
Becoming independent with inner growth, a hero continues the journey.

Tests in the New World ~ The Quest of Living ~ Post 10

Stage 6 – Tests of the New World

Crossing the threshold lands us in new circumstances …

We face new tests:
Flying monkeys, intimidating bosses, vengeful ex-spouses …

A test will tear you apart …

Like Dorothy,
We avoid the test when we fall asleep, surf the web, pour a drink or overbook our schedule.

A test will challenge our status quo, crack our resistance, and propel us toward change.

Crossing the Threshold ~ The Quest of Living ~ Post 9

Stage 5 – Cross over the threshold.

In our quest of living, we make a decision and take the step to cross the bridge.

In the past, our predicaments of Poverty, Power or Pride may have prodded us to cross the looming bridge.
For later life thresholds, these dramas may no longer push us.
Propelled by higher causes, we ratchet up our courage and cross the threshold.

We don’t know where the decision will lead but we know the outer action answers the inner question, ‘Who am I?’

Manifesting in life, our inner ideals, brings power, wonder and glory to our journey.

Like magic, results will materialize.

In fiction this alchemy is symbolized as a wizard.

In life this alchemy creates an iconic leader.

CXR59R Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States

Character: Threshold Guardian ~ The Quest of Living ~ Post 8

The Threshold Guardian – A Troll


A threshold guardian stops us from going any further with the simple question,
“Who goes there?”

“Who” being the key word.

If you don’t know who you are, you aren’t going anywhere.

In the hyperbole of this Monty Python scene the troll is called “The Keeper of the Bridge” and the bridge is named, “The Bridge of Death.”

In our own journey, we come to this bridge and the troll is a co-worker, family member, or pseudo friend.

We can thank the trolls in our life for stopping us before we are ready to cross because the the bridge stays true to its name.

Crossing The Bridge of Death means the old Self will die.

Refuse the Call to Adventure ~ The Quest of Living ~ Post 7

Your phone rings. The caller ID shows “ADVENTURE.”

You don’t have to pick up. It’s a “Call” not a “Demand.”

Adventure won’t leave a voice message. No number is listed to call back.

A journey is stalled while the questions “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” remain rhetorical.

You are thinking about life, not living life.

We feel we have all the time in the world.

We don’t.

If insights came from staying in the Ordinary World, you wouldn’t still have the questions.

When “Who am I?” devours your day and “Why am I here?” haunts your dreams …

For the sake of our existence we must seek the answer.

If you previously didn’t answer the Call To Adventure, don’t worry, the call will come again.

NOTE: Answering the Call to Adventure is less enigmatic when your Ordinary World is full of pain pushing you forward. What is tough, is to choosing to leave an Ordinary World where we are comfortable.

Call To Adventure ~ The Quest of Living ~ Post 6

Thrust from our Ordinary World, scanning an outdated map, we are caught unaware, when the Call To Adventure appears.

Realizing our well worn T-shirts from “Been There” and “Done That” don’t fit, Temptation suggests that we refuse the call.
Visiting ghosts gave Scrooge the chance to answer the call.

Scrooge remains defiant and will not change his ways.

Confidence and Self-Reliance reinforce our walls of security.
For Scrooge and us, walls block the adventures that strengthen us. Walls prevent the expansion of our life. Walls make our living a coffin.
Scrooge faced his lonely grave of the future and makes the existential shift.

Scrooge could have said ‘No’ and the name Tiny Tim would have no meaning for us.

We can say ‘No.’ There will be no story.

Accepting a Call to Adventure keeps life authentic, humble and vital. It is The Quest of Living.

BEWARE: Devising a self-imposed Call to Adventure is a “Plan” not a “Call.”

Meet the Herald ~ The Quest of Living `Post 5

Meet the Herald

Out of the blue. Unprovoked. Facts arrive.

A Herald delivers a message afterwhich life will never be the same.

Stop the Herald?

You can’t.

The paradigm shift to your journey has already occurred.

An event:

A natural disaster:

A spiritual experience:

Silence. A frenzied brain rewires information.

Rant. A frantic reaction shouts, “That’s not fair!”

Scramble. A frightened ‘aha’ realizes, “My map is useless.”

How to live with the new precedent?

Resistance strikes a motherlode of excuses.

Evasion digs a living grave.

Or … in the aftermath of the Herald …

Call for Integrity to burn off the fog of confusion.
You will see a compass.

Demand Courage to disband clouds of doubt.
The North Star is revealed.

Beseech Joy for the strength to move forward.
Because …

“All growth is a leer in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act
without the benefit of experience.” Henry Miller

A Hero ~ The Quest of Living ~ Post 4

A hero:
Having the inner quality of courage, a hero will ‘do what’s right because it’s right.’ Confronting inner faults and outer public jealousies, facing unknown outcomes and having no regard to future glory, heroes have the courage to speak and live the truth to the best of their ability.

This balanced duality, the outer and inner journey, makes life meaningful and is the essence of our quest at any age.

Warning: Giving priority to outer growth, relegates our inner growth to a back-burner, creating an imbalance, a growing dissatisfaction. Our life will become meaningless and in this hollowness we hear the death bell toll long before we die.

Henry Thoreau explains:
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

We thwart quiet desperation when we ensure the inner quest, the song that is within us, keeps its place in our journey.

To embark on a hero’s journey, all we need is courage.

“Courage is the first virtue that makes all other virtues possible.” Aristotle