Before we ask ourselves these 5 very simple questions, take a moment and pause. Take a deep breath. As we begin to question ourselves, a war will start to take place between our instinctual self and Our “logical” self. We must not listen to “logic” for it is little more than our ego’s worst fears. “Logic”, who plans, makes excuses, and formulates, is the not voice to answer these questions. Reflex, gut, first instinct is the answer. We may not like the first answer that comes to mind. Take a breath. It’s ok. We unlocked a door. The next step will take courage. We got this!
- What restores me physically, emotionally, and spiritually? (i.e. Exercise, cooking, painting, dancing, hiking, making a boss deal, winning a case.)
What is the exercise that balances my scales and fills mysails? Find that place. Go there. Return to it as often as we can, must, or will.
“Every Creature on earth returns to home. It is ironic that we have made wildlife refuges for ibis, pelican, egret, wolf, crane, deer, mouse, moose, and bear, but not for ourselves in the places where we live day after day. We understand that the loss of habitat is the most disastrous event that can occur to a free creature. We fervently point out how other creatures’ natural territories have become surrounded by cities, ranches, highways, noise, and other dissonance, as though we are not surrounded by the same, as though we are not affected also.”
“None of the ways to return home are dependent on economics, social status, education, or physical mobility. Even if we can only see one blade of grass, even if we have only a quarter foot of sky to scry, even if we have only a rangy weed coming up through a crack in a sidewalk, we can see our cycles in and with nature.” (from: Women Who Run with the Wolves)
- What is stealing my resources, joy, and time?
“Sometimes it seems that everywhere we turn there is a someone or a something of the world that needs, wants, wishes. Some of the people, issues, and things of the world are appealing and charming; others may be demanding and angry; and yet others seem so heartrendingly helpless that, against our wills, our empathy overflows, our milk runs down our bellies. But unless it is a life-and-death matter, take the time, make the time, to “put on the brass brassier.” Stop running the milk train. Do the work of turning toward home.” (from: Women Who Run with the Wolves)
- What is suffocating me?
When we are gone too long from home, we often find it hard to breathe, but as we have learned what restores us and what is stealing our resources, it is easier to ask the instinctual self, what is suffocating me? What is keeping the oxygen from flowing strong through my veins? This could be external, internal or both.
Finding this answer, will unlock the next door.
This is also the place we tend to camp out and call home. We have some awareness. We know what is stealing from us. We even have an idea of what we need, but listening to the clamor for our attention, talents, and fear, we often bury the key, jotting a map in a journal, so we can get back to it……if all else fails.
When the time comes, we have re-found the key and summoned the courage, we begin. “We may try to emulate the archetypes of dreamers and achievers before us, but they are ideals. The trap behind the door “requires that women exhaust themselves trying to achieve the unrealistic levels. To avoid the trap, one has to learn to say “halt” and “stop the music,” and of course mean it. A woman has to go away and be with herself and look into how she came to be trapped in an archetype to begin with.” (from: Women Who Run with the Wolves)
- What do I feel I need to move forward?Do I need supplies to start my businesses? Do I need a partner to get up and start walking?
We have identified what is stifling us, keeping us small. This next part is fun, scary but fun! Here we get to dream. We get to find our childish self. We get to let fantasies run wild. Here we also invite logic back to the conversation. Logic works well as rubric once our instinctual self has answered the initial question. Logic will help us answer those questions about what we really need and don’t need. However, it must be kept on a short leash, or 10 minutes in to the activity, Logic will have convinced you that you don’t really want to find freedom at all. Quick, get back to your old life. You were happy. Remember?
“The measurement used in this assessment is simple: What needs less? And: What needs more? We are asking from the instinctive self, what work, adjustment, loosening, or emphasizing needs to take place. Are we still on proper course in spirit and soul? Is one’s inner life showing on the outside? What needs battening, protection, ballast, or weights? What needs be disposed of, moved or changed?” (from: Women Who Run with the Wolves)
- What is the worst that will happen when I try?
““Do not fear not knowing.” In various phases and periods of our lives, this is as it should be. This feature of tales and myths encourages us to follow the call, even when we’ve no idea of where to go, in what direction, or for how long. All we know is … we must sit up, get up, and find what calls us, but because we have managed to not talk ourselves out of being summoned, we invariable stumble over the answer. When we breathe up that soul-sate, we automatically enter the feeling state of “this is right. I know what I need.”” (from: Women Who Run with the Wolves)