A Friend in Need: Companions on Your Journey

Published October 16, 2011 by Susan Woodward

Close your eyes and relax.  Now take three deep breaths: one for body, one for mind, and one for spirit.  Take one last very deep breath and hold it.  Just when you think you cannot hold the breath any longer, pull in just a bit more air.  Again, when you feel as if you cannot continue holding the breath, pull in just a little more.  When you finally do release your breath, do so very slowly in a long continuous exhale until you have released all that you were holding.  Breathe slowly and deeply as you continue to relax.  Relax all the muscles of your body: your legs, your arms, your shoulders, and your jaw.  Completely relax.

Imagine that you are sinking down into the furniture, and in turn sinking through the floor.  Allow yourself to continue sinking down and down, all the while feeling completely relaxed.   You continue to sink down until you find yourself awakening after a satisfying rest.  You feel refreshed and ready to move forward on your journey.

Opening your satchel, you pour the contents on the ground to take stock of what you have with you.  What items do you have in there?  How can they be helpful on this journey?  You also come across the notebook in which you were listing things that you noticed while floating along on the raft.  Look over your list.  Each thing on it has some sort of significance to you.  For example, if you noticed a bed of luscious red roses and their scent was alluring to you, then it is possible that the roses symbolize a quest for love.  What did you see?    What does each one symbolize?  How does that relate to you and to your journey?  Make notes in your book.

Pick up the gift you’d received in your special room… the one that had come in the beautifully wrapped package.  Examine it closely.  What can it be used for?  How do you intend to use it on this journey?

After carefully taking stock of your items, put them away in your satchel.  Only you will know the proper time and place to make use of them.   For now, it is time to move ahead.  You get up onto your feet and begin moving along the path or you return to your raft.  As you walk or ride, you have become used to paying attention to your surroundings.  What do you see today?  How do you feel as you continue on your way?

By mid-day your travels come to an abrupt halt at the edge of a steep cliff.  If you are still on the raft, you see that the river ends in a long, steep waterfall.  No matter how you arrived at the edge, be sure that you remain far enough away to avoid going over.  The abyss seems to have no bottom, at least from your point of view.  It’s about fifty feet to the other side.  Looking to the left and to the right, you cannot see a bridge anywhere that can take you across.  How do you feel as you seem to come to a dead end?  What thoughts go through your mind as your forward progress seems thwarted?

Taking the map out of your satchel, you look at it to see if there is a way across the chasm.  The narrowest place between the two sides seems to be several miles to the east.  However, your destination lies in a north-westerly route, albeit on the other side of the chasm.  Perhaps if you went west, you could find a way to get across without going that far out of your way.  Then again, the map shows a widening of the chasm in the west.  After deliberating for a while, you decide to go with the map and head east.

Picking up your satchel, you follow the cliff moving in an easterly direction.  You must be careful of your footing so that you do not fall in.  You know that your final destination lies behind you, but you are forced to take this detour.  How do you feel about this?

Walking along, you notice a small house off in the distance.  A fire is burning because there is smoke coming out of the chimney.  You can even smell meat cooking, making your stomach rumble.  Moving at a quick pace, you approach the house.  Before going up to the door, however, take a quick look around to be sure that it is safe.  What does the yard look like?  Describe the house itself.  How do you feel as you stand there in the yard?  Trusting your intuition that everything is ok, walk up the steps to the front door and knock on it.   At first there is no reply, but you see the curtains at the window move a slight bit.  Someone is inside.  Knock again.

A moment later, the door opens, and you are surprised to be greeted by the guide who had taken you along the river.  Smiling broadly, he/she motions for you to come inside.  Stepping across the threshold, you cannot help but take in the aroma of roasting meat.  It smells so good, especially after eating nothing but bread, cheese, and fruit for past few days.

“What brings you here?” your guide asks.  Tell him of your adventures, being sure to mention your parley with your adversary.   He/she nods as he/she listens, and smiles when you mention that you have been using the map to find your way.  Ask him/her about the narrow point on the map between the two sides of the chasm and if there is a way to get across.

“Of course there is a way.  But you cannot do it alone.”

You are thankful that it seems you shall have company for your journey.  It has been a long one so far, and it will be good to have a fellow traveler along.  Your host provides you with a large bowl of hearty stew, piping hot from the Dutch oven over the fire.  Its aroma is tantalizing, and you desire to dig in as fast as you can.  Taking care not to burn yourself, begin feasting on the delicious stew.  As you do, feel the strength surging through your body.  You feel as if you could conquer anything.

“You will want to set out soon so that you can get across before dark,” your mentor says once you have eaten.

“Yes, you are right,” you reply.  “Let us get going.”

“Us?  No, I won’t be accompanying you.”

Now you are confused because you’d thought that he/she would be going with you to help.  After all, he/she had said that you couldn’t get across the chasm alone.  Remind him/her of those words.

“Yes, it’s true that you cannot cross alone, but I never said that I was going with you.”

“But who?”  you ask.

In reply, your guide opens the front door and steps out onto the porch.  You follow him/her outdoors and are surprised by what you see.

At the foot of the steps is your best friend in all the world.  He/She has come here to help you accomplish your goal.  How do you feel as you see your friend standing there?  What is it about this person that makes him/her your best friend?  What other obstacles have you gone through together?

You greet one another in warm hug, and then turn to your guide to thank him/her for the hospitality.  He/She smiles and hands you a sack of food to take along on the journey.  You gladly accept the gift and ask if he/she has any parting advice.  What is his/her reply?

You and your companion pick up the path that heads east, and before long you notice that the other side of the chasm is now only about twenty five feet across.  This is the point where you must cross, but how?  Look at your friend and come up with a plan to get to the other side.  You must work together in order to complete the task.  What ideas do you have?  Do you have any items in your bag that might help you?  What about your companion’s ideas?  Does he/she have anything with him/her that could help you?

Fully describe both the plan and the process you use to get across to the other side.  Only through cooperation will you be able to complete the task.  How will you work together?

After a few hours, your plan is successful.  You are both safely on the other side!  How did you do it?  What tools did you use?  How do you feel about having accomplished this feat?  How do you feel about having your companion with you for this part of your journey?

Once on the other side, you are both exhausted.  You agree that you will rest for a few hours before heading west to pick up the proper trail that leads toward your destination.  Your companion has agreed to accompany you for a time, and you are grateful for the company.

Stretching out your limbs to work out any kinks, you then curl up in a comfortable position.  The night air is cool, but not cold, so it is comfortable for sleeping.  An orange quarter moon hangs in the sky overhead, looking down on you and creating a sense of peace in your heart.  Take a deep breath and feel yourself drifting away into the darkness.  Soon you begin to feel yourself rising from your resting place in the outdoors.  As you rise, you become more and more aware of your surroundings, and soon you are able to sense the furniture beneath you.  This is the room from which you began this journey not so very long ago.  As you become more and more aware of the room around you, you think about your best friend and how he/she had come just when you needed him/her most.  The image of his/her face and feelings you had about working with him/her will stay with you as you awaken from your rest.

Taking three deep breaths, one for body, one for mind, and one for spirit, you open your eyes to find yourself in a familiar place.

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