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The Hero's Journey and The Biofeedback Neurofeedback Practitioner's and Client's Stories

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Here's an abridged description of the hero's journey, in a nutshell, interspersed with explanation of how to tie it to the biofeedback process.

The Call: The story begins in the ordinary world, where the protagonist, the potential hero, receives a call to adventure├ éČ"an invitation to respond to an opportunity. The protagonist has an opportunity to become aware of an opportunity to do something heroic. Often. Clients' symptoms provide their call to adventure, or their desire to change their lives or behaviors, or it could be that your client just decides to open his or her self up to change, or it may be a subtle discomfort or something lacking with the way things are. In Star Wars, Luke Skywalker is invited by Obi Wan Kenobe to go with him to rescue Princess Leah, and to learn the way of THE FORCE.

Rejecting the Call: Often, people will reject the call. Then, they end up living with the problem that the call to adventure has the promise to solve. Clients hold on to their headaches, anxiety, distractability, etc. Luke Skywalker explained that he had to help his aunt and uncle harvest the dehydrators. IF you reject the call, then worse things can happen. Symptoms get worse, or start affecting more parts of our lives. Luke Skywalker's aunt and uncle were killed the next day. Often, an initially rejected call, when worse consequences befall the protagonist, the decision to accept the call is made.

The Threshold: to accept the call, one must cross the threshold, leaving the ordinary world and entering a new world, where one can expect adventure, danger, and opportunities and the need to develop new tools, weapons, skills, knowledge, allies and other resources. Clients leave a collection of systems that they are accustomed to├ éČ"health, symptoms, family relationships, job├ éČ"with the potential that they will experience changes that could drastically effect any or all of those systems. Luke leaves the farm and goes, with Obi Wan Kenobe, first to another town, then to outer space. Often, once one crosses the threshold the new world starts out in a dark, ambiguous place.

Threshold Guardians: These sometimes frightening guardians are sometimes really dangerous, and sometimes, like the dragons placed outside Buddhist temples, placed there to intimidate the timid and unsure. Crossing the threshold is a decision one must firmly make. Clients face doctors who tell them that the therapy they are seeking is unscientific, unproven or just plain BS. They face spouses who don't want them to change, children, siblings and friends who question their ability or desire to change. Or insurance adjusters or the client's wallet can block their crossing the threshold. Luke Skywalker faces star troopers, and then bad guys in the cantina scene, where Obi Wan Kenobe uses his light saber to rescue him.

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One theme has run through my work for the past 40 plus years-- a desire to play a role in waking people up, raising their consciousness and empowering them. I was the organizer founder of the Winter Brain, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology and StoryCon Meetings and president of Futurehealth, Inc., with interests in (more...)

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