Using Your Gifts: A Hero’s Apotheosis

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.   The fire has died down and become a pile of smoldering ash, yet still offering warmth in the chill of the morning.  Sitting up, you see that you are alone.  Your companion has moved on to complete his/her own journey, but has left you a note on your satchel.  Pick it up and read it.  What does the note say?  How do you feel about being left to continue alone?

You also discover that your friend has left some food for you inside your satchel.  Take the time to eat before moving forward.  As you swallow, feel the nutrients feeding your body, preparing you for the last portion of your quest.

According to your map, you are very near your destination.  How do you feel about that?  Think about your goal that you have been striving to reach.  Describe how you plan to finally attain it now that you are so close.  Take inventory of the items in your satchel.  What things have you not had the opportunity to use yet?  How do you plan to make use of them?  What do you suppose they are for?  You also notice that your friend has added some items to your satchel.  What are they?  How can they be used?  Carefully return everything to your bag and prepare to leave.  Be sure to scoop dirt over the embers to make sure that they do not ignite and cause an uncontrollable fire.  Look around to be sure that you have not forgotten anything.

Taking a deep breath, face the direction in which you must move.  Where is the sun in relation to where you are facing?  How does that make you feel?  Allow the sun to shine down on you, bathing you in its warmth before embarking.  Close your eyes and feel the warmth penetrate your skin, energizing you and giving you the strength to move on.  Take one last breath and extend your right foot.  Begin that last long walk toward your goal.  This is what you’ve been working toward.  What feelings go through you now?

Start walking.  Along the way, be sure to pay attention to any animals, birds, or specific plants you notice.  They hold meaning for you and you will remember to contemplate on them later.  How significant is it that they happen to cross your path at this time?

You can see your destination in the distance.  Your heart begins to race in excitement, but there’s also a feeling of tension running through you.  What might you feel tense about?  Stop and look ahead, feeling the blood pumping through your body as your adrenalin increases.  What is it that you see?  Fully describe the scene in as much detail as possible.  Also, describe anything that you are feeling, whether it is physical feelings or emotional.  Prepare yourself to enter the realm of your dreams.

Begin moving forward once more.  Starting out slowly and tentatively at first, but your momentum picks up and your pace increases.  Your heart is pounding because now you are finally so close after coming so far.  Think about all you have experienced on your journey.  Remember your gift, the pit, the door, the cave, the river, the mentor, the adversary, the journey, the house, your friend, crossing the abyss, and the fire.  Everything you have gone through has been in preparation for this moment.  How does that make you feel?  How do you believe each step has prepared you for what is to come?  What is it you expect to face?

As you are moving along, you suddenly find that your path is blocked.  Trying to find a way around the block, you discover that the only way to continue is to somehow get through the blockade.  What is it that is blocking your path?  What tools might you have to deal with this?  Look in your satchel and see what you have in your inventory.  Aha!  You discover something that is just what you need to remove the blockade.  Describe what it is you have.  How are you using it?  What does it do to remove the block in your path?  What happens to whatever is in your way?  What feelings go through you as you see your path become visible once more?

You have passed the first test.

Move beyond the block and continue along on your path.  How does the temperature of the air seem around you?  What do you notice as you go along?  Pay attention to as much detail as you can and remember it all for later.

Your destination is much closer now.  You can hear sounds on the breeze coming from the place you are heading toward.  What do you hear?  How do these sounds make you feel?  What might be making them?  You become even more excited to move quickly onward now and you pick up your pace once again.

All of a sudden you find yourself in some sort of a trap.  What kind of trap is it?  How have you been captured?  Fortunately, you are not injured, but you become frustrated at being stopped once more.  Examine the trap carefully… it is not without an escape; however, it is up to you to figure out how to free yourself.  Again, search your satchel that is still on your back for anything that might help you solve the puzzle of getting free.  What do you have in there that can be of aid?  Ah!  You discover just what you need… and you had no idea what you have used it for when you’d picked it up in the cave!  Work through the secret of the trap until you are able to release yourself.  How did you do it?

What have you learned about yourself after making it through the second test?

By this time you are beginning to become impatient to reach the inner realm.  It has been so long, and you have been through so much.  Keep moving forward.  What do you see at this point?  Has anything changed about the scenery?  What about any sounds that you hear?  You stop and being listening intently.  Something has caught your attention, even though it is very subtle.

A whisper comes on a chilled wind.  “I told you we’d meet again!”  The chill moves down your spine as you recognize the voice of your adversary.  Even though a moment of fear runs through you, you have come too far to allow anyone to stop you now.  That thought gives you the courage that you will need to face your foe.

“I told you that there was nothing here for you.  Why didn’t you believe me?”  Your adversary appears before you after stepping out from behind a tree.  Describe what he/she looks like at this moment.  How do you feel as you come face to face with the one who wishes to stop you from entering the place you’ve worked so hard to get to?

Look your adversary in the eye.  Take stock of everything you notice about him/her.  As you look in his/her eye, you are able to see into his/her soul.  For just a few brief moments you are able to see his/her reason for trying to stop you, but astonishingly enough, their reason has nothing to do with you.  It is his/her own fears and insecurities that have been projected onto you that makes him/her wish to keep you back.  Keep looking into his/her eyes to learn the secret of his/her soul.  What do you see there?

He/She realizes what you are doing and breaks eye contact with a loud, angry curse.  He/She knows that you have seen his/her weakness.  How does that make you feel?  What is your attitude about this person now that you know the truth?

Your attitude only angers your adversary even more, and he/she lashes out at you.  Ducking behind a nearby tree, you frantically reach into your satchel to find something that can help.  When you pull out your hand from the bag, you realize that you are holding the gift that had been given to you at the beginning of the journey.  Now is the time to use it.  How?  How does it work?  What does it do?  How does it help you to overcome your adversary?  Fully describe the battle that wages between the two of you.

You emerge as the victor.  What has become of your adversary?  Describe what has happened to him/her.  How does this make you feel?  How do you feel about your victory?

Triumphant, yet exhausted after your ordeal, you must rest before entering the realm of your destination.  You have wounds to attend to, whether they are physical or emotional.  Take care of yourself first.  After coming this far, you must rest before entering.

Lie down upon a patch of soft grass nearby.  Its scent is sweet and intoxicating, making you more and more sleepy as you breathe deeply.  Look up at the sky to see the stars.  There are several constellations overhead; which ones can you see?  Why are these significant to you?

With the knowledge that you are completely safe in this place, stretch once more before curling into a comfortable position.  Take a deep breath and feel 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 tests you have passed.  The feelings of pride from this experience 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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One comment on “Using Your Gifts: A Hero’s Apotheosis

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