Map your Life Journey 1

Map your Life Journey – part 1

The core elements of this training course help you to understand your life-journey and connect its dots in a meaningful story. This training course will help you to make a better sense of the VUCA world we are living in. VUCA stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. It describes the situation of constant, unpredictable change that is becoming the norm in our world.

Co-living with others for two weeks, spending time alone in Nature, learning about different frames that map the human spiritual journey, being challenged by course’s games and exercises – will remove you from your routine, push your boundaries and help you to open yourself to a larger world. The challenges help us find ourselves.

Completing this training course is a significant accomplishment that cannot be easily dismissed.

The first part of the course includes a Vision Quest exercise: Living alone in the midst of Nature for six days and nights changes for ever how you perceive yourselves and life. This training course could be the starting point for an authentic change.

The training course is extremely useful in these times of confusion and uncertainty, when it is so difficult to orient ourselves. By learning to decipher the mysteries of the human journey, by learning to map this journey, we will better understand who we are, how we became who we are and how to orient ourselves towards the future in this changing world.

The training could become an important step on the road to authenticity.

All stories are simultaneously personal and universal. An archetypal understanding can contextualize our stories, helping us to see them from another vantage point. Employing archetypes for a better mapping of our psychological development is useful.

The “Hero’s Journey” archetypal map helped thousands of people in understanding their life journey. Carol S. Pearson book, “Awakening the Hero within”, brought me a lot of insights regarding our psychological development. “Map your developmental journey”, is based on her book and it employs 12 archetypes.

We are inspired on our Journey by 12 archetypes. Each of these archetypes informs a way of being on the Journey and are important to the individuation process. Each has a lesson to teach us, a gift to grant and each presides over a stage of the Journey: Innocent and Orphan, Seeker and Lover, Caregiver and Warrior, Brave and Creator, Co-Creator and Magician, Sage and Joyful/Wild.

In this first part of the course we will address the first 6 archetypes, and we will address the last 6 in the second part (see Map your Journey – part 2)

Once a lesson has been learned and integrated, its spirit will act continuously in our lives in healthy ways. When one or more lessons are not learned and integrated, their spirit will express through us their shadow aspects.

Going through the entire development cycle of each archetype, we will receive its gifts and become psychologically healthy human beings. Our life will be full of meaning, joy and will have a beneficial impact on the world around us.

What are the Archetypes?

The archetypes, in Carl Jung’s understanding, are part of a mysterious morphic field that informs the Universe. He sees them as universal patterns that inform our beings.

They are potentials which are actualized when they enter consciousness (as images, symbols, stories.) The Universe is a dialogue, an emergent space of meaning that informs and inspires. These unseen patterns of information inspire particular expressions in individuals and cultures.

History, culture and personal context shape these manifest representations thereby giving them their specific content. These representations are more precisely called archetypal images.

Any attempt to give an exhaustive list of the archetypal images would be a futile exercise since these images tend to combine with each other and interchange qualities making it difficult to decide where one archetype stops and another begins.

Popular uses have often condensed the concept of archetypes into an enumeration of archetypal figures. Such enumeration falls short of apprehending the fluid core concept.

Strictly speaking, the Innocent, the Sage, the Magician, the Warrior, the Seeker etc. are archetypal images which have crystallized out of the archetypes-as-such realm. Definite mythological images are nothing more than cultural representations.

Let’s not stuck into literalism. Let’s use the archetypes as a lens to perceive and interpret the psychological realities; as windows through which we can see further. Let’s understand that this frame that employs archetypes is just a map and not the territory!

The Hero’s Journey Map

Each step forward has to be informed in our consciousness by a special archetypal image: If we want to evolve, the archetype of initiation is imperative to be activated in our consciousness to provide a meaningful transition from one stage of life to the next.

The archetype of “Hero’s Journey” is the archetype of transition from an immature toward a more mature level of being. The training’s prime aim is to activate this important archetype in participant’s life and to foster their conscious evolution.

Life is always an adventure of evolution, a rite of passage, a never-ending journey.

The “Hero’s Journey” stages are the stages of evolution itself. You could find them in your own unfolding of life.

The Journey could be organized in several ways, including division into three acts: Departure (Separation), Initiation and Return (Integration). In the departure part of the narrative, the hero lives in the “ordinary world” and receives “a call” to start its heroic journey. The hero is reluctant to follow the call but is helped by a “Mentor” figure. The initiation sections begin with the hero “crossing the First Threshold” into the “Unknown World” or the “Enchanted Forest”, where it faces tasks and trials. The hero finally reaches “the innermost cave”, where it must undergo “the ordeal” where it overcomes its main obstacle, receiving “the gifts of the Goddess”. In the return section, the hero crosses “the Second Threshold”, becoming master of the “two worlds” and “return home” with its gifts. The hero itself is transformed by the journey and gains wisdom over both worlds.

Everyone who takes its spiritual journey is already a hero. The rewards of self-discovery are great. When we find our authenticity, when we finally make sense of our world – everything seems to fall into place. We are able to see our beauty and intelligence and able to use them constructively in the world. So, we truly fulfill our lives. We have everything we need to claim our full humanity, our full heroism.

Moral Citizen, Authentic Human, Cultural Creator 

Actually, there are 3 spiritual journeys, nested one into another:

Our first spiritual Journey helps us to become Moral Citizens. It assumes the healthy development/integration of first 4 archetypes: Innocent, Orphan, Warrior and Caregiver.

The second Journey helps us to become Authentic Humans. It assumes the healthy development/integration of other 4 archetypes: Seeker, Lover, Brave and Creator.

The Cultural Creator Journey assumes the development and integration of the last 4: Ruler, Magician, Sage and Joyful/Wild. The return processes include the development and resolution of the Ruler and Magician, who together bring cultural transformation (we become servants of something greater than us), and the Sage and Wild, who bring us love and empathy (we connect ourselves with The Great Circle of Life).

The Moral Citizen Journey helps us to create a boundary between us and everything else and mediates our relationship with the world. It also helps us learn to fit into the world as we know it and to act to change that world to better meet our needs.

The Authentic Human connects us with our deeper roots – the roots of Life itself. It connects us with our inner-callings – the source of our true gifts. When the Authentic Human is born, we know who we are, the disjointed parts of our psyche come together and we experience wholeness and integrity. The rising of Authentic Human unlocks the true potential that lies within each one of us. Everyone of us, like a seed, starts to germinate, ready to sprout and fruit!

The Cultural Creator signifies the achievement of a sense of genuine identity that expresses itself in creative ways. We are able to find adequate ways to claim our power and express ourselves in the world. Life becomes joyful and meaningful, helping the world around us to bloom.

We become effective Cultural Creators only when we let go of any need to “transform the kingdom”, to “change the world”, to force the transformation, to impose others our outcome. Nobody can “save the world”. All what we can do, as Joseph Campbell said it so well, is to bring life to the world. We can bring life to the world only insofar as we ourselves have become alive. 

What  is a “Vision-Quest”?

The tribal cultures all over the place are seeing the world as mysterious. Unseen forces are intertwined with visible forces and everything has its own spirit, is enlivened by a spirit.

They perceive the Universe as a dialogue, as an emerging space of meanings, connections, possibilities, opportunities, allurements, invitations which could inspire each of us to bring forth its next step.

The new scientific perspective starts to perceive the Universe as being alive. Something invisible, but powerful, deep and metaphysical – Carl Jung called it “archetype” – in-forms the Universe unfolding. The “Mystery beyond the Universe” informs our Universe.

Being informed by this numinous realm is a widespread phenomenon in human realm: we all have intuitions, insights, revelations, visions.

A “Vision Quest” is a rite of passage in old cultures.

Among Native American cultures who have this type of rite, it usually consists of a series of ceremonies led by Elders. The process includes a complete fast for four days and nights, alone at a sacred site in Nature. During this time, the young person prays to Great Spirit that they may have a vision, one that will help him/her find their purpose in life, his/her role in the community, and how they may best serve the People.

Why to undertake a “Vision-Quest”?

There comes a time when you must go off alone, looking deep within to find your own answers to your questions, to find a breakthrough toward something larger, to craft a new vision that could inspire you. The Vision Quest is the name of this kind of journey.

The Vision Quest is an ancient rite of passage, enabling men and women to engage an ageless pattern: completion of an old life, crossing a threshold into the unknown world and returning with a deeper understanding, with a new vision.

People in any life stage can find meaning in this spiritual process.

This path has been followed by human beings for thousands of years. You hear these questions calling you “Who am I?” “What do I have to give?” “How can I heal my wounds?” Despite being afraid, you know this is something you have to do. So you meet with others like yourself, and guided by caring staff you prepare yourself for the journey. You will reconnects the dots of the story that has brought you to this threshold and find a vision for your future. All the while, the small group of participants is becoming a community, offering precious feed-back.

With its core elements of co-living and co-learning, wilderness and solitude – necessary for deepening oneself, the Vision-Quest training course speaks to young people on the threshold of adulthood who are ready to deepen their self-understanding and test their courage and self-honesty.

There are many reasons that adults may choose to come on a Vision-Quest: to mark the end of a cycle and the birth of a new one – the end of a love relationship and starting a new one; facing an “empty nest”, as children leave home, and finding a new life-project; to make the transition from maturity to old age; to make the transition from one career to another; to find a deeper understanding to heal its wounds.

How it could help you

The core elements of this training course help you to understand your life-journey and connect its dots in a meaningful story. This training course will help you to make a better sense of the VUCA world we are living in.

An important foundation in building meaning in our life is the story you tell yourself about yourself.

Creating a narrative from the events of your life brings clarity. It helps you understand how you became you. Your life isn’t just a list of events. You can connect the dots of your life in new ways and create a more meaningful plot of your becoming, where your inner-calling and life-purpose start to become clearer.

This training course is helping you to better understand who you became along your life and to craft a better informed image – a vision – of who you want to become and what could be your contribution in this world.

If you want to change yourself, change your story! This is the only way you can change something in your life. Change the story you choose to tell yourself about yourself and the Universe.

You can choose who to become! It is about your “why”. If you want to be alive, you need a “why” to engage in Life. It is about what you believe in. It is about your inner-calling and life purpose. It is about the meaning you choose to assign to your life. 

How it will unfold

The “Map your Development Journey” course lasts 2 weeks.

The accommodation will be in camping conditions. Therefore, each student will have its own tent, sleeping bag and all the necessary equipment for camping in Nature.

The Vision Quest exercise will be alone, in Nature, for 6 days. Each student will determine for himself the conditions in which he will carry out his exercise. 

In the first part of the day there will be courses. In the evenings it will be a campfire – we can dance, tell stories or play a board-game especially created for this training course. Depending on weather, we will organize small trips around.

The unfold of a typical day:

08 – 09 – waking up and morning activities

09 – 10 – Breakfast (we cook/ wash the dishes/ clean the kitchen)

10 – 13 – Courses

13 – 14 – Lunch

14 – 15 – resting time

15 – 18 – Courses

18 – 23 – Evening program: Campfire (dance, story-telling, games etc.)

The unfold of the 2 week-course:

Friday afternoon – receiving the students, buying the food.

Saturday – the first day of classes, campfire in the evening. Because one of the goals of the course is to help students craft their own meaningful story, Bogdan and Natalia will tell their past and future story – as an example of what such a story might look like.

Sunday – the second day of classes, evening campfire, stories, dance

Monday – the third day of classes, evening campfire, stories, dance

Tuesday – the fourth day of classes, evening campfire, stories, dance

Wednesday – the fifth day of classes, special campfire

Thursday – the first day in Nature, alone

Friday – the second day in Nature

Saturday – the third day in Nature

Sunday – the fourth day in Nature

Monday – the fifth day in Nature

Tuesday – the sixth day in Nature, return to camp at dusk

Wednesday – return to camp, sharing the experience from Nature, special campfire

Thursday – sharing the experience in Nature, evening campfire

Friday morning – we say goodbye and leave for our homes

What will we learn?

This course offers participants the chance to spend a few days in camping style: the chance to reconnect with Nature, with its beauty and wonder, to enjoy the dances and stories around the fire.

In the first part of the training (first 5 days) we learn about the human development journey, covering its first part (next year you can attend the second part of this development journey). Due to the deeply interactive nature of the course, we will understand how we have evolved so far, where we are at the moment and in which direction of further development we can orient ourselves. To map the journey of psychological development, we will use a specific framework: 12 archetypes map.

We have specially prepared an Archetype Assessment that will help you to self-assess where you are: which archetypes (psychic energies) you already developed and which are still for further developing; which archetypes are highly developed and which are weakly developed; which energies are expressing in healthy ways and which are expressing in shadowy ways.

We have also prepared a board game specially adapted to this course: it is about a spiritual journey through a magic map, where each realm belongs to an Archetype. The realms are separated by thresholds / portals – through which you can only pass if you share a story!

This game gives participants the chance to get to know each other, share their life story and experience and deepen the concepts of “12 Archetypes” framework.

The second part of the course – which lasts 6 days – is dedicated to living solo somewhere in the middle of Nature. It is a great opportunity for you – so accustomed to living indoors – to rediscover that Nature is your true home. That you are still able to be amazed by Nature wonder! Our physical and mental health is deeply intertwined with living in Nature – touching the ground with bare feet, swimming in the fresh lake water, drinking from natural springs, letting us caressed by the sun, inspired by the wind or energized by the rain that falls on our skin.

All these 6 days will give us the necessary time to reevaluate our life in the light of the new knowledge acquired during this course, to reconnect its dots in new ways and to craft a more meaningful story about ourselves and the world we live in.

This is the main aim of this training-course: to understand our life evolution, to map it and to tell us a story about ourselves that will bring us clarity, meaning and a deeper understanding of who we are and who we want to become in this world. The vision that we will get at the end of this “vision-quest” will be about who we are and what future we want to create.

This training course is about understanding that we can choose who we want to become. It is about taking our lives in our hands and becoming creators of our life and even more: cultural creators – co-creators of a better world. It is about conscious evolution.

The third part of the course – the last 2 days – is dedicated to sharing the understandings, discoveries and experiences that each of us lived in Nature. Our small story-tellers community will be formed by the students from the two modules – some of them being exactly after the time spent in Nature and others exactly before its beginning.

Last Friday, until around 12 o’clock we will pack our bags and change addresses. Then, we will return home in the hope that we will meet next year to cover the second part of the journey of psychological development.

Be a Collaborator!

Anyone can become our collaborator!

We are searching for artists, trainers, film-makers, web-designers and for everyone that is inspired by the same vision as us.

Whatever the challenges of the future, cooperators will have a clear evolutionary advantage compared to non-cooperators.

In the new VUCA world, we will have to survive and thrive in new ways, different from those that have been successful so far. As a multicellular organism is smarter and has better capacities to deal with its environment than a cell alone, as an ant-hill is smarter and has better capacities to deal with its environment than an ant alone, the cooperative groups will be smarter and better equipped to deal with future challenges than single individuals.

Educators, trainers or artists – those who aim to have a social impact, to spread an idea – have to cooperate, if they want to succeed. However, the evolution of Life has a clear direction: towards ever-increasing scales of cooperation.

Those who want to move forward must learn to cooperate in mutually enhancing ways.

The open project “Butterfly Communities” is an emerging community that is searching for young artists, trainers, filmmakers, etc. that have understood that we have to help each other to have a stronger social impact.