Taking Leave: Crossing that First Threshold

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 nestling into a pile of soft cushions in a cavernous room.  The ceiling is very high, and you notice that the room is circular.  Painted on the ceiling is an intricate design that resembles a compass.  Getting up, you find the favorite comforts of your own world furnishing this place, and feel once again that safe, welcoming, familiar vibration.  Turn around very slowly and take a good look at your room.  You will find your favorite furniture, and your favorite décor.  Breathing deeply in contentment, a familiar delicious scent wafts to your nostrils.  Surprised, you look to find that a plate of the food you love most is waiting for you.  It is just the right temperature, and there is a beverage alongside it.  A small card placed next to the plate says, “To fortify you”.  Your stomach rumbles slightly, and not wanting your favorite food to either get cold or melt, you sit at the table and eat heartily.  As you fill your stomach, a sense of satisfaction and energy permeate your body.  You feel wonderful, as if you could accomplish anything.

After eating, you decide to get a better look at the gift you received on your last visit.  You go to get the box so that you can bring it to the table.  When you come back, you find that the dirty dishes have disappeared, leaving the table neat and clean even though no one is there with you.  If only the everyday world worked that way!

Open the box and remove what is inside.  Take a good look at it under the light.  What does it do?  What do you suppose it is for?  Holding it in your hands, it feels “right” in them.  It’s true… this is YOUR gift.  How do you plan to use it?  Looking into the box, you notice a small card that you hadn’t seen earlier.  It says, “To aid you”.  Take another good look at your gift.  How can this aid you?

While you are looking at the gift, you suddenly hear a knock.  Startled, you notice that a door has once again appeared in your room, although it is in a different place this time.  There are beautiful intricate designs on the wall around the door that continue up toward the ceiling.  Looking up, you notice that the door is directly below a particular direction on the ceiling’s compass design.  Which direction does the door face?  Why do you suppose the door faces this direction?  What could it mean?

Next to the door, a coat rack has appeared.  Upon the coat rack, you notice that there is a garment hanging.  What does it look like?  What kind of garment is it?  What color is it?  Examining it closely, you find a tag attached which says, “To protect you”.  How can this garment offer protection? From what could it save you?

The knocking has begun again, more insistent than before.  The voice deep inside you questions once more: “Are you ready?”

You know now that the only way to achieve your chosen goal and to heal your heroic archetype within is to go through that door.  The knocking persists.  Your journey awaits.

You have been fortified.  The food and drink has left you feeling energetic and strong.

Knocking again.  Help awaits you in the form of your gift, even if you do not yet know how to use it.

Still more knocking.  You have protection from your garment, and you put it on.  It fits perfectly as if it had been made just for you.  Rest assured; it has.  There is a satchel or backpack hanging beside the garment on the coat rack.  You place your gift inside the bag alongside the filled water bottle you discover in the pack and swing it over your shoulder.  Placing your hand on the doorknob, you turn it slowly and open the door.  The knocking has stopped, and peering outside, no one is there to greet you.  Still, you are not afraid.  You know that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.  How do you feel as you extend your right foot to begin that journey?  What does this journey mean for you?  What will it eventually mean for others because you dared to take the journey?

Stepping out onto the stoop, what do you see around you?  Fully describe your surroundings.  Is there a path or a road?  Or must you forge your own?  Come down the steps as you begin to walk your chosen path.  In which direction does it go?  Where do you hope it will lead?  Who do you hope to meet?  Who are you afraid to run into?  No matter what, you have your garment of protection, and you have your gift.  All will be well.

Knowing this, you decide that there is one last thing you must do before embarking into the unknown.  The one thing you have yet to do is rest up for the journey.  It will be long, and it will not always be easy.  You re-enter the room through the door so that you may rest your body for the trials ahead.  This time the door does not disappear.  You have already crossed its threshold, and you have made your decision to follow through on your quest.  All you need now is some last minute rest.

Lying down upon the cushions, you find yourself feeling comfortably relaxed.  Soon you begin to feel yourself rising from the soft blankets in your special place.  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 remember your preparations for your upcoming journey.  You are fortified, you will be aided, and you are protected.  These images and feelings 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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