THE ROAD BACK
by Lacy Frazer
Have you ever spent a few hours climbing to the top of a mountain? Initially the mountaintop seems so far in the distance. However it’s pinnacle serves as the motivation for the journey. With every step, you learn the terrain and how to negotiate the path en route to the destination, which is to the top of the mountain. Your anticipatory excitement grows while your physical energy wanes as you get closer to the treasured outcome. You finally reach the top! Your body relaxes and you sit down to rest and take in the view. You feel exhilarated, accomplished, and exhausted all at the same time. And then . . . at some point . . . it hits you that while the psyche was under the impression that the journey to the top was the only journey to be had, it actually is only 50% of the trek!
Over the last several months, the Fireside Chats between Marie and I have focused on The Hero’s Journey in an effort to call the attention of all our listeners to their own Rising Hero within. For while we may have support in the form of family, friends, co-workers, therapists, neighbors, etc., it is us that must walk through this journey of life and it is us who must choose the lens through which we look at life. If we are able to see ourselves as the Hero of Our Own Story, then we will tend to walk through life with an openness, curiosity, and solution-focused attitude that is generated from the inside out. Through this lens, we feel empowered, and we acknowledge and embrace that we are responsible for the experiences and route of our life journeys!
Joseph Campbell’s stages of the Hero’s Journey give us a language to describe the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of life. They remind us that the journey is not always linear or black and white. However, one thing is for sure. And that is that we all face moments that bring us to our knees and it is often the journey to these moments, through these moments, and after these moments that we reap the greatest rewards related to personal growth.
During the phase of THE ORDEAL, we may learn about life and death, literally or metaphorically. We survive using the skills we have learned thus far on the journey, and we are then able to reap the REWARD on the other side of The Ordeal (the mountaintop). For many, the reward is the realization that we have the power to create our lives through the belief in infinite possibilities. However, achieving or acquiring the reward is in no way the end of the road. We may have reached the mountaintop and feel triumphant in doing so, but we have to remember that is not where we will stay for the rest of our life.
A true hero recognizes that the wisdom, the teachings, and the skills that have led to personal transformation are not to be kept for the self, but are meant to be shared. The transformed hero is ready to take THE ROAD BACK, down the mountain, to the ordinary world where they will share what they have learned to help and guide others. This road back may be relatively easy or it may consist of more challenges. Regardless, this hero now sees challenges as opportunities to grow and learn more. And the proverbial “mountaintop” in the distance is the desire to help others in the form of serving the community or humanity in some way using the newly found treasures within.
The creation and thus the founding of Whole Soul School and Foundation most definitely represents an aspect of Marie’s and my ROAD BACK. We recognize that we are never NOT on the hero’s journey, collecting and re-collecting valuable lessons that are always contributing to our personal growth as a spiritual being having a human experience. We are committed to sharing the lessons learned with as many people as we can as life unfolds, and Whole Soul School and Foundation is one vehicle that affords us the ability to do so.
When you reach the goals you have for yourself, or learn valuable lessons along the way, do you commit to bring them back to your community to help others discover their potential? Or do you simply say, I’ve reached the top, I’m done? The choice is yours.