After 6 Weeks the seeds of growth are planted

Last evening was the last session of my 6-week workshop,” Writing Your Next Chapters.”
There is a special bond that forms between women who gather to explore and encourage one another on their journeys. Though all the participants were over 45, they were all in their own unique place in their lives. Some were stepping out into new independent lives, their kids having grown up and flown the coop, and some still had middle-schoolers and all that that entails.  Each woman provided unique perspectives and input to the group. The most diverse plurality makes the most perfect unity.
As I work with clients, it never fails to amaze me how powerful Metaphor is for self-understanding and growth. It allows us all to reframe our experiences from the past and the present, creating a new lens with which to look at our lives, our experiences, and ourselves. It may even crack open old patterns of behavior that no longer serve.
Today, while reflecting on the last six weeks, I went looking for a creative image to represent this particular group of women, myself included. The impressionist painting from 1891 by Camille Pissarro, “Peasant Women Planting Stakes,” captures that hope of new beginnings, the anticipation of growth to come, and the planting, deep in the earth, of frames and structures for the seedlings to grow on. Grow on ladies, grow on.

Peasant women Planting Stakes

(Blog first published on http://www.midlifereboot.expert)

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Your life is “A Hero’s Journey.”

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“Thinking in Mythological terms helps to put you in accord with the inevitables of this vale of tears. You learn to recognize the positive values in what appear to be the negative moments and aspects of your life. The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.” Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell is one of my life’s heroes. The wisdom and insight that he gained though a lifetime of studying Mythologies from around the world has deeply influenced my thinking and perspective on life. In fact, it was his work that lead me to the grad school I am studying at, Pacifica Graduate Institute. Luckily for me they have all of his private library and archives of his personal papers!

Not everyone agrees with me regarding Joseph Campbell, usually you love him or hate him. Imagine that! In the tall Ivory towers of academia there are those who disagree with Campbell. The range of emotions begins with disgruntled scholars and runs the gamete through those who are dismissive of his theories, to down right hatred of the man. (They are, I believe, angry that he is so popular and he abandoned academia! When he found his passion and his advisors would not let him change his Ph.d. focus, he went off and followed his passion.)

Envy is a dangerous thing.

Within Mythology is the beginning of all stories. All narrative, novels, films, even the art of the pre-written cultural tradition of storytelling. It all begins with the Mythologies humans created or learned from the world around us. Mythologies give us an understanding of the world, the cosmos and our place in it.

If you haven’t read amy Campbell yet, I suggest you start with The Power of Myth  or The Hero with a Thousand Faces and find your way from there. We are each heroes on our own journey to becoming fully who we can be. It is up to us to walk out the door and find the paths to follow, with passion and dedication. Each life is made of of many large and small hero journeys, and it is not all flowers and sunshine, but if you meet the hard times head on and venture into the unknown spaces, it is often there that you will find the treasure you seek.

Through mythology and it’s Archetypes, we can see that we are not alone. The course of a life has built into it– stages and rites of passage– that are both thrilling and terrifying- everyone who lives, must pass through them. It is truth of the human journey from womb to tomb. We are all in this together. The only question is, will you say yes to your adventure?