Homeward Bound: The Return 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 relaxing with a stream of hot water running over your head.  The shower is still running, and all the muscles of your body are completely warm and loose.  Although the body is relaxed, the spirit is energized for the journey home.

Step out of the shower and wrap yourself in a warm, fluffy towel.  Enjoy the feeling of cleanliness in preparation for the return.  The pain of all your struggles is washed away, even though you know the journey home will have its own challenges.  Helpful things that you now posses, which you’d lacked earlier, are your newly gained experience and knowledge, as well as your Ultimate Boon.  While you dress in your freshly laundered clothes, in particular your garment of protection, think about how much different you are than when you first began the journey so long ago.  What have you learned?  How have you changed?  How can these changes be helpful in your return trip?  Be prepared to be tested at some point along the way.  How can your boon help you?

Look at yourself full length in a mirror.  At first, you see yourself as you appear to the rest of the world, but upon closer examination, you notice something more.  Your reflection has looked like your inner archetype for so long, that you don’t see the subtle changes at first glance.  How have you changed physically?  Look carefully at your entire body and note specific differences.  In particular, spend quite a bit of time looking at your face.  There is something new in your expression and in your eyes.  What is it?  Describe the changes.  How do you feel about this?  Take the time to look yourself square in the eye.  Do you like what you see?  Why or why not?

After going through the self-evaluation, it is time to prepare to leave.  Pack up your satchel, being sure to include your Ultimate Boon.  Take a deep breath and look around once more before departing.  How do you feel?

Once you are ready to go, you turn to find your mentor is waiting by the door.  What advice does he/she give?  What seems to be his/her feelings regarding the upcoming journey?  He/she informs you that he/she will not be traveling with you, but if needed, he/she will come to your aid.  How does that make you feel?

After walking you to the door and leading you to your path, your guide disappears.  Face the appropriate direction.  Which way are you headed?  What is significant about this?  Take a deep breath and breathe in the scent of the air.  What smells linger?  What does the smell remind you of?  How does that make you feel?

Begin the trek homeward.  As you walk, pay attention to the countryside.  What do you see?  How is that significant?  Describe what you hear as well.  Is that the song of a lark or the caw of a crow you hear?  How might that be significant?

What is the weather like?  Is there any wind?  If so, is it a gentle breeze, or a strong gust?  What about any precipitation?  If there is any, what is happening?  How is this important?  What does it mean for your journey?

The first three days are uneventful, other than paying attention to your surroundings.  You have been keeping a log of interesting things you have noted as you’ve progressed.  Once you return home, you will revisit all your notes to look for significant patterns.  Nights have found you sleeping out of doors, but you’ve been protected.  There is food in your satchel so that you have not experienced severe hunger.  Everything has been moving along well as you head toward home.

On the fourth day, however, an unexpected challenge arises and may hinder your homeward progress.  What is it?  What stands in your way now?  What tools or knowledge do you possess to help you?  How does this obstacle make you feel?

Using everything in your power to overcome this obstacle, you still struggle.  Unfortunately, with the struggle comes the return of self-doubt.  For a brief time, you begin to doubt that you accomplished anything at all, and that the entire process was a waste of time.  How are you feeling at this moment?

The frustration of not being able to solve the problem has made you grow weary.  Perhaps if you rest for a bit, a solution to the problem will present itself.  Create a bed of leaves for yourself, and take the blanket from your satchel.  Sleep has always been good for the mind, the body, and the soul.  In the morning, perhaps an answer will arrive.  For now, it is time to let it go and try to rest your brain.

Stretch before curling into a comfortable position, then take a deep breath, feeling yourself drifting away into the darkness. Soon you begin to feel yourself rising from your bed 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 the test that faces you. If you allow it to happen, the solution of the test will somehow come to 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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