One upon a time, in a far away kingdom, there lived a young girl named Vera. With her fair skin, large blue eyes, and golden locks falling on her shoulders, Vera was a very special girl. Unfortunately, Vera grew up watching everybody from a safe distance so as to not get ‘too close’. And so it was that she grew sad and lonely. Such was her loneliness that her heart eventually turned into stone.
Princes who offered true love’s kiss, sorcerers who offered magic spells, and witches magic all failed in bringing Vera back to life. None could save Vera from her own self-imposed spell. One day, a wise dog came to her side and sat next to her. He sat and he sat and Vera wondered why this wise dog would just sit with her.
“Why are you here?” she asked timidly.
The wise dog looked up at her with eyes overflowing in love. He burped, and then he spoke to her with silent words: “I’m here to help your heart become human again.”
“How is that even possible? I’ve tried everything,” she said letting out a large sob.
“You see, that is the thing. You have not tried everything. You have forgotten how to love yourself, and I am here to remind you about love.”
Over the last couple of weeks I have written about how taking responsibility for the meaning you give your your life is the only way to live the meaningful life you want to lead, and how the stories we tell ourselves about the world, otherwise known as personal mythologies, rule our reality. A change in said personal mythology could mean a completely new life if you take the risk.
I wanted to start off with a short sample of a fairy tale because fairy tales happen to have a much larger grasp upon our psychology than we are aware of as they are the language of the unconscious mind–the storehouse of your personal mythology. Despite all of your conscious efforts to change your mythology, it is best to speak the language of the unconscious mind.
“If you want your children, to be intelligent read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” — Albert Einstein.
So if you’re ready to take the next step towards changing your personal mythology, here are the five steps to change your mythology as described by David Feinstein, PhD, and Stanley Krippner, PhD, authors of The Mythic Path: Discovering the Guiding Stories of Your Past–Creating a Vision for Your Future:
1. Identify the personal mythology affecting your life. The goal here is to identify the problem you are seeking to solve and define it in terms of your belief system. Oftentimes, conflict arises out of old personal mythologies that have become outdated and no longer serve the purpose of helping us navigate our lives as we are now. If we keep operating under this outdated personal mythology we remain stuck. Ask yourself: how is this behavior or belief system serving me right now to meet my goals?
2. Understand how the old myth has served you in the past. As I mentioned before, a personal mythology served the purpose of helping you get through some difficult moment in your life. At that time, this mythology effectively helped you cope with your life as it was back then, but is in conflict with who you are now–someone who is devoted to his or her personal development. In Vera’s case, she isolated herself out of shyness in order to protect herself from being hurt. It worked to get her through the majority of her life, but when she realized she too wanted to be part of a social group, she found that her belief that it was best to isolate herself did not serve her any longer. However, rather than antagonize the old belief system, what Vera wants to do is embrace it.
3. Integrate the old myth to the new vision for your life. The idea is to take the best from your old myth and include it into the vision you have for your life. Trust that your old self and your old myth always had your well-being at the core of its being and incorporate this knowledge into your future.
4. Create a new myth to live by. One fun way to develop a new personal myth is to relax and simply let your imagination run wild. Write, draw, make music, cook–do whatever you need to do in order to develop a new myth that includes your desired outcome as well as the wisdom of your old myth. Here you want to trust the wisdom of the messages the unconscious gives you. These messages may come in the form of visions, dreams, or ideas! You will want to journal about what you have learned through this process or even write the messages from the unconscious in the shape of a fairy tale. How does Vera learn to love herself and others? What kinds of wisdom does the wise dog give Vera?
5. Take action and live your new myth. Changing your story can be easier said than done. But if the wise dog told you to set your fears aside in order to reach your goals, then you will want to listen to the wise dog and follow through. This step is all about taking responsibility for your life! That is why nobody but Vera could save her, not even the Knight in shinning armor’s true love’s kiss.
Of course there is more to changing your myth and your story than what I have written about. I strongly suggest reading The Mythic Path for more detailed information about personal mythologies and how they affect our lives.
In the meantime, If you’re
interested in committed to changing your story and your life, I’d love to help. E-mail me at info [@] victoriamelchor.com for information about free Life Coaching sessions available only for a limited time and to a handful of individuals. So hurry in and e-mail me now to inquire!
What is your personal mythology and how is it affecting your life? Are your present behaviors serving you for the better? Share your story in the comments below.
*In case you are wondering about the wise dog burping, I decided to include that because one of my dogs, Georgy, is here to teach me many lessons about life… but alas, he burps from time to time. Even wise dogs aren’t perfect.