Hero's Journey of Self
In the field of Depth Psychology, we talk about the Hero or Heroine's Journey. This is the process of the making of oneself, the journey through adolescence into true adulthood. I find that the work of the Ten Series in the Rolf Method of Structural Integration is a process of helping the body take the steps of the Hero's Journey. This is a metaphore for the process of claiming and owning one's own life for oneself. It's a process about making an inner commitment to your own self and from that place, being able to offer increasing commitment to be in relationship and service to others. In this article I am writing more about the psychological processes of selfhood and will relate it to the body.
I have found in my personal life and the lives of my clients, friends and family, that we all have a spark of this longing. You feel it in your high heart. The thymus gland is the physical place where we feel this longing as well as the nerve plexuses of the mediastinum. But energetically we feel this longing in the upper chest. We long for things that make us happy. We long for love. This longing pulls us into life as a soul. It is a spark of self-knowing that cannot be denied.
However most of us are taught to deny this energetic attraction to things and people and our own self. We go through life learning to sacrifice our self and this longing to please someone else, or do what someone else says we should do to make our own self better. We have built an education system around self sacrifice even and doing what an external authority says would be better for the student to do rather than listening to the intrinsic nature of the person's own self. We all know that when we really want to do something or learn something, it's easy. But try forcing yourself to learn something which isn't really relevant to your own inner being . . . it's hard, it's defeating, and it costs one emotional strain, hardhship and often money. Yet we keep doing this to our children and each other because we have bought into some IDEAL of how life or education or relationship should be. So later in life we tend to hit the wall. Often it comes with the midlife crisis. How sad that our lives must go through these wretching years. Isn't there some other way? What if we taught our children from early on to respect that self-relevant longing? When we do help our youth in that way, we find that they achieve great accomplishments early on and refine their mastery through life. Many of us, however, did not find that thing which most attracted us or had to put that longing aside for the sake of survival, or what our parents told us was the right thing to do.
Often when clients come to me for help with their bodies, say back pain or knee problems or a shoulder/arm injury which will not heal, as we delve into the story of life, I find that the problem is a reflection of how the person has cut off his own longing and life force. The body itself is under strain to do something other than what it is meant to do, and so the psychology of the person is also under this strain or an internal split. This internal split will actually be housed in the nervous system patterning of the psoas muscle. This will be released during work in the core sessions 4 through 7 of the Ten Series as well as later work.
The Hero's Journey then is the pathway to discovering what is truly relevant to one's self and romancing your own inner beloved. For some people, that might be playing music, or dancing, or acting, or computer programming, or canoeing or like me, writing and doing healing work. The steps of the Hero's Journey are reflected in the Major Arcana of the Tarot Deck. There is a story going on inside of each person with steps, a path, that leads home to yourself. It has phases and you will go through those phases as part of the psychological process which accompanies the Ten Series in the Rolf Method of Structural Integration. As the body matures, you will also be maturing psychologically.
Fairy tales are another way to understand the journey of self-making. We often find the princess who is ready to marry. Many suitors come to vie for her hand. She has a request. Often a dragon must be killed and the head brought back. The knight or prince must go do something to earn the love of the beloved. The princess is like the sparking Soul who must be courted by your self to earn your own self's love. Until each person has really courted him or herself, most likely you aren't really ready to love another and commit to another and relationship, which includes your relationship to your work, to your children and to your significant other. This stage is about a commitment to your own life, life's purpose, and your own happiness.
With a Jungian understanding of self, the princess and the prince are parts of our one's own self. Whether man or woman, there is a hero's journey at stake inside of you. This longing points the way to your own journey which must be taken. When someone does not do the work of this longing, you will feel a certain anger or resentment toward another. Many marriages began out of a neediness for help or survival, and while they might be fairly good "agreements" or "trades" which are supportive and helpful to each other, there will also be an underlying strain because both partners have not yet really fulfilled their own longing to become him or her self. We often find it easier to give our self away and help someone else instead of actually taking care of our own self. Romancing and falling in love with the other seems like a better response than actually devoting love and time and attention on ourselves. We run the risk of being called narcissistic, introverted, and self-centered. Yet if you sacrifice yourself for another, other than your children for too long or too much and not listen to yourself, you will find that an increasing anger, frustration and resentment builds. This will show up in the body in injury, illness, stress, depression and/or disease.
Eventually this strain shows up in your body. Eventually you will have to begin to listen to yourself if you wish to heal. Eventually you will have to become your own princess who asks the male prince energy to go slay the dragon. Each person has a different dragon to slay, or a different inner task which you must do. Each person has a way home to him or herself.
Since we have so often learned to NOT ATTEND TO OUR OWN LONGING, taking these steps is really and truly difficult. So this is something that I help my client's do. First I help you let go of a lot of preconceived notions about who you are, what you should do, and the load of stuff you are carrying from your family patterns and cultural patterns (sessions 1 - 3). Later we begin to work with your real core interests and self (core sessions 4 - 7). I work on your body to correct the posture and your verticality and ease of movement. I do visceral and neural work to release strain, help the body reorganize to a higher level of vitality and energy. I combine this all with advanced energy work on the chakra/auric system of self, Haric Dimension of Soul Intentionality, and Core Star Scintillation of your Divine Spark. At the end of the Ten Series (session 8 - 10), I help you integrate your core longing with your actual life, so that what you are doing and expressing better reflects the actual being of your soul's longing.
Each layer is a vehicle of self expression which is unified with all the other layers of self, from body to Divine Spark. By working with many levels, I can help you go through a significant shift to become more whole to yourself and live a more successful and fulfilling life . . . happier too. My work is effective and efficient, and comes from a passion and commitment to help others with something that has cost me years and effort and so much money I can't describe. So I make a commitment to you, as a person and client, to help you move through material in your life as quickly as possible and really get yourself back on track. Many people often find that after the Ten Series they fall in love or begin a new job or move or something which really fills them with happiness, joy, meaning and connection with others.
In the Hero's Journey, every person will wander around a dark forest searching for oneself. In the journey, each one of us becomes lost. We enter the stage of "not being able to see the forest for the trees". Often in that wandering, we meet the witch or wise woman. We might meet a grandfather as well. We are told truths about our own self and given gifts, like a golden comb or a magic ring. Each person and each soul has several gifts which it learns to use appropriately and gratefully as you mature. Each person has exactly the right gifts to bring wholeness to your own self and also help others. As we become lost, as we face our own "dark night of the soul", we grope to find a hand hold for our own self. Until each person has faced this time and place within the self, a person will not realize him or herself. It's part of your own journey. It requires complete submission to the self, a failure even, from which place you call out to a greater sacredness within yourself which shows you the way home, the way out of the dark forest, a way back into the Light of your own self.
When you arrive at this self, this Light, you make an inner commitment to something. The commitment to self and to God (it's the same thing really) becomes like a constant tone inside of you. It might take years to believe in this call or this tone, but it is there. On the healing table when I do more energetic and spiritual work, you will feel this part of yourself come alive. You will fall into the dream that is your own self. You begin to meet your own inner healer and spiritual self. You touch your own crystal ball, so to speak, and your life begins to reflect the spiritual promise you made to yourself in the beginning of your incarnational lives.
As you embrace this spark of longing for life, love and joy . . . you will find you become increasingly whole and authentic and open. You will judge others less and see that we are all on the same path in our own individual ways. You will find a new growing integrity with yourself. You will find it easier to be friends and love others with a more unconditional acceptance. You start telling yourself more truth about yourself and listening to yourself. When you have an injury or illness, you know that you are not in alignment with some higher aspect of your being and that you can make changes so you are better again. But it takes time and we are never completely done.
Sometimes I can help a lot and other times the patterns take a long time to resolve or too many injuries have happened. However in my work I've always seen that each person finds a new way home to him or herself and that your life is increasingly a better reflection of who you really are. As you find more peace at your own center and more grounding in your body physically, you will become increasingly healthy, joyous, and alive.
If my work speaks to you, please feel most welcome to call or write. I do sessions in person at my home-office in Montana, or by phone and long distance healing. Sometimes clients come visit me for a sort of personalized retreat and do 2 or 3 sessions in the course of a week or in conjunction with long distance work. We can create what works for you. Whatever the approach, I will help you make changes quickly, efficiently and safely. You are, of course, always on the way Home.