The Hero’s Journey

 

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You need to claim the events of your life to make yourself yours.
– Anne-Wilson Shaef

Dear friends,

One of the things we do when we lead from our inner artist is to tell stories. We tell stories for ourselves, and we tell other people’s stories so that we may see ourselves illuminated in all our complexity. Joseph Campbell, in “The Hero With A Thousand Faces”, talks about the Hero’s Journey as the basic outline of the tales we tell. The sacred texts of the world are stories of the Hero’s Journey. The great works of theatre and opera and of novels and myths, and soap operas and reality TV are essentially the Hero’s Journey as well.

It is important to recognize and own our stories, so that we can move into the deeper parts of ourselves. The place where we often lose track of the power of our story is at the point where the truly heroic is called forth. The Hero’s Journey takes us through many dangers, toils and snares, through unbelievable moments of near disaster and into deep scary ravines from which there seems to be no escape.

Our story is only heroic, however, if we stay in the game, and tell the tale to the end! We need to tell the overcoming part, and then draw a lesson from the triumph. When people say, “Don’t get stuck in your story”, what they mean is that too often we make it to the point of greatest challenge, and then, instead of enduring we start doing the victim dance. We don’t do ourselves any favors when we are stuck there and we certainly bore the rest of the world by our tale of woe.

One reason for telling our stories in a collective, creative, intentional setting, is so we can support one another in moving beyond the victim story and staying alive until the victory. There is great power in being heard as we journey along. The telling and the receiving of stories are equally important.

I am thrilled to invite you to our next evening of T.R.I.B.E., on Monday evening April 28th at Pearl Studios in NYC from 7-9 pm, where we will explore the theme “Being Alive As Long As We Are Living” . What makes one person resilient while another is defeated or stuck in the loop of defeat? Can’t wait to explore this with you. We have some amazing guests to share with us, and of course we will want to hear from you, and will share some refreshments too.

There is a wonderful lyric I love from an old hymn that says “We shall tell the story of how we’ve overcome, and we’ll understand it better by and by”.

Keep creating,
Love,
Jane

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What Might the World Be Like if…?

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TRIBEALIVE.ORG

SAVE THE DATE! Monday Evening, April 28th.More information coming soon!
 

Dear Friends,
 
        I am taking a break to reflect and refill and allow the stars to realign. We all need breaks. This is one of the most important parts of the creative process. We receive wisdom from the deeper resources of our being when we allow ourselves deep and wide swaths of time where we tone down the conscious mind and allow inspiration to come forth.  Although I will be keeping you up to date on some thoughts during this break, expect them to be a little less plugged in with more notes from the edge.
 
        First, I want to clarify an idea from last week’s newsletter in which I addressed the idea of blocked creativity. I did not mean to suggest that there was a direct causal link between being rejected from art school and the awful acts which devastated whole communities. The point I wanted to make is that we do not know what might have happened differently if this creative urge had not been thwarted.
 
        German psychiatrist Alice Miller, in her bookFor Your Own Good, Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence, created childhood case studies of world leaders who became terrible perpetrators of horrific acts, and discovered that their childhoods had been filled with abuse. She also detailed the passionate urge in at least one of these leaders to be a fine artist.  She asks the question, “What if this young person’s natural healing urge to create had been cultivated? Is it possible that he may have gone in another direction?”
 
        Dr. Miller teaches that a child can be in a horrible situation, but can tap into deep wells of resilience if even one “helping witness” is present in their life.  I have also learned that creativity and the arts can open a door out of turmoil for those unable to speak in any other way.
 
        And so I ask the same question Alice Miller asks in relation to blocked creativity. What price do we pay for not fostering an environment of creative free expression to inform child development and all our social structures? I think it is a big one.
 
        We have removed the arts from much of public school education, and are testing the life out of our children. I believe we do so at great peril for our civilization.  The forcing of our thought into only left brain activity makes some of the most creative solutions inaccessible.  How might our world be different if we cultivated creative thinking and the depth process of the artist? 
 
        My work is focused upon reminding artists that their calling is sacred.  Their gift does not originate with them but is a breath of the Divine seeking to express through them. Once the artist remembers this, the artist in all of us will be able to emerge more freely.  The world that would result from this shift is one that would value very different priorities.
 
Keep creating…or start today.
 
Sending love and appreciation from the beach,
Jane
 
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