Of the topics covered during the recent Goal Set 2020 event, one stood out from the survey: taking care of oneself.
Once we set out to realize some goal, we by its nature create these archetypes Joseph Campbell became well-known for illustrating on the hero’s journey [they’re described in my own words here]:
Allies = People who genuinely support us. These are the people in our circle who weather the fluctuations that may occur as we work towards something.
When we attempt some direction and we’re redirected, they are there.
When we have a new idea and want to bounce these thoughts off, they are there.
In the cases where we may not see some quality or capacity within, they are there acting as a mirror to reflect. Allies may be around for the long haul or for a specific time period on the Hero’s / Heroine’s Journey.
Guides = These are the mentors. They could be alive, flesh-and-blood and available to access for specified knowledge. Or they might be long gone but left knowledge in book or media form. Often the living mentors show up at the time that’s necessary, because they’re too busy being mentors to many people.
They also might not have the word “Mentor” plastered on their foreheads, so who we may try to choose as an exterior archetype for what a mentor should look like might not be accurate. The obsession with forms, how someone looks can cause a goal journeyer to overlook valuable people and experiences while chasing the hollowed appearance.
The guide can be an actual teacher or just someone you happened to have a conversation with in a restaurant, and they say some something; a word combination that lands just right and sparks deeper wisdom within you.
Like the Ally, a Guide may be with you long-term or for a defined time period. But once you learn what you need to from them, it’s time to move on to the next, and true Guides will want you to.
Read up on the Treatise of the Chakra Vampire to tell whether or not you’re dealing with a true Guide or energy sucker.
Monsters = Your challengers. They most likely won’t look like your cartoon ghouls and goblins.
Monsters exist on your journey to stand in front of your path. They have a job, are trained to do it and were actually hired by That Which Creates All, for the purpose of doing what you experience them doing: blocking you from goal realization.
Why would they be hired for this? Because the only way to reach your next state, whatever that may be, is for you to change. And change won’t happen when everything is comfortable. Dis-comfort in this instance means a state change, or transformation, so when we decide to do something, their role kicks in to create ways to distract us, tempt us, throw us off the path.
When we don’t fall for the tricks, we raise up levels and inevitably surpass them. The loftier the goal, the smarter and more strategic the monster will be. They’re meant to provoke proper internal exercise.
Battles = These are the challenges. They can be created by monsters or ourselves, and like the monsters they are inherent in the goal-setting process.
I’m working on completing two manuscripts by 2021’s start for example. This is to be done while having a full-time job, mentoring younger professionals, maintaining social relationships, building an education platform and ensuring other responsibilities are taken care of. Inherent in this goal is the challenge for distraction; it’s a friend, one I dialogued with to ensure it realizes its efforts are futile.
Symbols = These will exist throughout your goal journey. They provide meaning, different for everyone considering how multifaceted we are.
It could be a picture, object, a person can be a symbol containing meaning. The more intuitive you become, the more the smallest life experiences speak to you in a language you understand.
On your journey, you’ll be able to absorb these symbols, make them become part of you for nourishment, empowerment. I’m reminded of the novel Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, a dark fantasy about the return of British magicians. In a scene Strange, as he was advancing in his art, noticed that everything spoke to him: the wind, leaves, animals, the subtlest sounds contained whole concepts. The world was magical.
This is also how indigenous civilizations experience the world and show this in ceremonies, carvings and other art forms. Full of meaning, all of nature can speak and we just have to be able to tune in.
With all of these experiences on the goal journey, it’s necessary to invest time in self-care, a term coined for recent times which just means to love yourself, and see that you are worthy to declare acts of self-love. It’s a prerequisite to being mature enough to receive love from another person.
Journey & Personal Care
As there is a time and season for everything, there is a time to experience challenges and a time to experience kindness, or tenderness. See self-care as one of your Allies:
Home Spa Treatment – this could be an actual spa experience or a massage; acupressure; light candles; turn on the diffuser with a scent that pleases you; play some music that soothes, choose the visuals around you that spark relaxation; eat a delicious meal; in this moment, let your guard down and receive.
Acknowledge Every Forward Step – instead of thinking about the big win or deal, give attention to the very small actions you take towards the goal; you didn’t move backwards or stay still, so you moved forward.
Gratitude Journal – choose a journal you can declare for appreciation; literally write “I am thankful for…” as a list and let your mind wander into what those could be each day.
Gift Yourself – this one stood out to many of the attendees; if you wanted to prepare a gift for yourself for taking on your goal, what would it be? What are you deserving of? What would be special to you?
Take Personal PTO’s – like formal work, setting and realizing a goal is actual work, includes the whole spectrum of experiences you would have at a job. So give yourself time off from it; when you choose your PTO, commit to it and set the goal aside.