by Sasha Alex Lessin, Ph.D.
Review the steps on your life’s path. See, and draw life maps that show where you’ve been, what you learned and where you head. Discover and reinforce the warp, woof and golden threads of your life fabric. Re-assess what you declined and maybe bring it into what you weave today. Draw life maps, purge negatives, embrace positives. You purge programs and attitudes that block your heart’s desires.
FIND YOUR PURPOSE
Set out a large piece of paper and crayons.
Close your eyes. See the landscape of your life; include your love life. See the roads you took.
Draw what you saw on a ROADMAP OF YOUR LIFE
Draw roadblocks, dangerous curves, detours, fast lanes on your highways, freeways, back roads, toll roads and spirit journeys.
When you finish the drawing, view the regions‑‑physical, emotional, social and spiritual‑‑you traveled. More comes to you as you look at your map; add it.
Close your eyes. Imagine your stand below a peak that symbols your HIGHEST PURPOSE. Your experiences prepared you to climb to the PEAK, fulfill your missions, find your purpose, meet your destiny.
As you climb you create several great things at subpeaks long your trail. At each subpeak, a luminescent figure of a more advanced version of the present you greets you. Move your awareness behind the figure’s eyes. From her or his eyes remote view what you created at that subpeak. Then climb to the ultimate peak.
Draw you as you trek to your peak. Show your past, present, and future. Show what got you to ascend. Identify regions, travel conditions and destinations. Put your drawing on a wall; view it daily for a week and note what you learn.
REVIEW LIFE FROM RIPE OLD AGE
[Reference: Progoff, I., 1975, At a Journal Workshop]
Have a partner take you through the cues in bold type below, then take your partner through them. Write your responses and summarize your partner’s. Where you see ***, you, then your partner, responds]
On your back, eyes closed, relax. Take 5 deep breaths. ***
Imagine you lived to a healthy OLD AGE–way older than your present years–and it’s your birthday today. Which birthday, how many years have you worn your present body on this future birthday? ***
Imagine you’ve had your druthers. You lived right. You’ve developed your talents. Your conscience guided you. Today, you share your birthday with people. Tell them how your life, so far, has been FULFILLING. ***
Tell them what you learned about RELATIONSHIPS. ***
Relate what you loved about your LIFESTYLE through the years. ***
Say the MOTTOS that moved you. ***
Tell them what FASCINATED you. ***
What did you CREATE? ***
Tell your guests what, now that you’re at this ripe old age birthday party, what TALENTS you’ve developed so far. ***
Summarize the philosophy and the PRINCIPLES you lived so well so many years. ***
What GOALS did you reach? ***
Say how your CONSCIENCE guided you. ***
What COMMITMENTS led to your good outcomes. ***
If you could achieve ONE MORE THING in this life, what would it be? ***
Tell your PLANS from now till you die. ***
Say what you’d like to those gathered at your birthday. ***
Return to the present. Open your eyes; make eye contact with me.
Trade roles with me; take me through the cue sequence.
RETHINK THIS YEAR
What happened this year? What did you get into and how did it affect you? Tell the story, the sequence of EVENTS–personal, social and political.
What main CHOICES did you make this year? How did these choices affect your Inner Child? Your other subs?
Who were your most important PEOPLE this year? Picture or think about each person who loomed large in your year. Say how you got along with each.
Who was your CLOSEST PERSON? What did you share this year?
Discuss your HEALTH this year. Describe how you exercise, eat and do substances.
What INNER EXPERIENCES did you have and what did they teach you? Share meaningful dreams, visions, or IMAGES you got this year.
Which VOICES (subs) have you heard from this year?
Say five THINGS YOU LEARNED this year.
Visualize, feel your emotions toward, and list the names of people and animals important in this chapter of your life. Draw a star next to the names of PEOPLE WHO INSPIRED you.
Write a sentence after each name, say how you get along the person named. After each name, note ANGER, QUARRELS, FIGHTS, LOVING, SEXUAL or other intense feelings with each person on your list.
EXPRESS unfinished feelings–withheld expression, misunderstood messages, unexpressed resentments, longing, appreciation, wishes–as notes to three people on your list.
Visualize a SYMBOL for your life’s emotional quality now. Sketch the symbol you get.
Finish: “My life resembles ….”
How have you done at your WORK?
On what PROJECTS do you work? How do you feel about these projects?
Describe any good or bad LUCK you had this era.
What SOCIAL activities were important to you in this era?
What POLITICAL activities were important to you in this era?
What books, workshops or other WISDOM sources inspired you through this period?
Who INSPIRED you this year?
Note artistic, spiritual, meditative or therapeutic BREAKTHROUGHS.
Imagine you lean over a muddy pool. The pool stands for events in your life nowadays. Watch the mud settle. Images in the pool clarify. See, hear, feel, intuit and record what you see. Note the images’ MEANINGS.
Relate five THINGS YOU LEARNED this era and your present life- chapter.
REVIEW LIFE CHAPTERS
Contemplate your entire life, your journey from conception till now.
Write a Table of Contents. In it, list 8-12 chapters of your life, from your earliest memories till now.
Give each chapter a concise, descriptive label and jot your age through the period (eg: age 13-16).
Write summaries of each chapter of your life except the last (you already wrote your current chapter in the last cue section). For each chapter before your current one, note EVENTS, FEELINGS ABOUT YOURSELF, PEOPLE important to you. First, just list them. Then write a sentence for each that tells how you-two get along.
Note, for each chapter, your SEXUAL AND ROMANTIC RELATIONS AND FANTASIES.
Record your CHOICES, the roads you traveled and your detours. Write WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN, had you decided other than you did. Note how you can now bring the joys from the roads you bypassed into your life.
Record what, in each chapter, YOU LEARNED about yourself and life.
READ your Table of Life Contents and Chapter Summaries to a friend and have him or her read you his or hers. How did you feel sharing?
Purge negatives, embrace positives for yourself, then for seekers. Edit attitudes that block your heart’s desires. Then celebrate blessings, successes, strengths, gifts, and inspirations. Write life plans, affirm commitments and write your goals for next year and years to come. Lead seekers through the cues below.
MYTHOLOGIZE MISERY & MATURE [Reference: Houston, J., 1982, The Possible Human]
[Write out or respond to a partner who reads the cues to you. Then read the cues for Mythologize Misery to seeker]
Perceive the patterns pain pinpoints for you to improve. Pain, processed, propels progress‑‑yours and humanity’s. If you don’t process your pain, you gut your growth, rankle for revenge, ruin relations, sicken, withdraw, obsess. So process pain: grasp the bigger picture; rise above the particulars you experienced. Pain punctures your complacency so you can prune your patterns. Evoke evolutionary energy tragedy offers you and humanity. Let wounds waken you.
Relate your epic and hear the metaphors that emerge turn trauma to transcendence. Say your story as a sacred saga and speed your spiritual ascent.
Relive major emotional hurts in your life, how you suffered till now. Recall when the womb, birth, illness or accident hurt you. Review times someone invaded, abused, raped, tortured or robbed you. Feel again when you lost trust, job, home, status, fortune, marriage, family, sanity, self‑esteem, loved ones. Detect each injury’s effect. What did you want in each situation? Find the motifs threaded through them.
Replay your pains and the programs they implanted in you as though your tale touted you as a hero.
Don’t say “I”; instead refer to yourself as a mystical child, god, goddess, animal, plant, another person or being on another planet. Include a call to adventure, guides, ordeal, reward, maturity‑gain. Start with, “Once upon a time …”
Forgive the people and forces who hurt or betrayed you.
Resolve the story in a way that helps the hero and the world.
Fathom the fable’s moral, the pain’s purpose.
Next time you feel pain, make it epic and transcend it. Evoke the archetypal pattern that helps you and everyone grow.
Write your life story as a hero‑myth.
Who do you forgive and for what?
What do you perceive as your pain’s purpose?
Don’t make yourself fail, frustrate yourself, over-criticize yourself. Don’t resent and blame others. Instead, list your negative impulses so you can purge them. [Create a separate page. Title it “Purge Negatives”]
On a separate page make a “Negatives List” that enumerates
Ways You Make Yourself Fail
Negative Attitudes, Habits
Things You Blame on Others
People whose vibes you hate
Shred and burn the Negatives List and let the negatives on the list vanish from your life.
List your TREASURES.
Write ways you feel FORTUNATE.
What do you APPRECIATE?
Write what you ENJOY.
When you give, you express and enjoy more. You feel more fortunate. When you help someone in certain way, you grow in that way too.
List PEOPLE, PROJECTS AND CHARITIES YOU SUPPORT. After each, note what you’ll give.
Review, then write your inspirations.
What FASCINATES me is …
My MISSIONS and callings are …
My PURPOSE in life is …
I vow to understand and live these PRINCIPLES …”
Acknowledge your wins and feel your self-confidence grow.
Record how you succeeded and what you accomplished THIS YEAR.
List your successes so far IN LIFE.
Read your successes list to a lover and hear her or his triumphs.
ASSESS AND ACCESS STRENGTHS
The more you like yourself, the more you prosper and the contribute to humanity.
Assess your GOOD POINTS and STRENGTHS. Finish the following: “I consider these traits my strengths ….
“If I pursued my strengths, I might … [Finish]
From now when the strength develops further, what potentials present themselves? …
Describe your life A YEAR from now when you’ve developed and applied your strenths.
In I5 YEARS, I’ll …
BEFORE I DIE, I intend to…
20 YEARS from now, I aim to …
10 years from now, I’ll …
In the next 5 years, I reckon I’ll …
Next 2 years, my goals are …
THIS YEAR, I’ll …
I aim, the NEXT 6 MONTHS, to …
My goals, NEXT TWO MONTHS: …
THIS MONTH, I’ll …
I intend, THIS WEEK to accomplish …
My projects TOMORROW are …
TODAY I’ll …
Read your goals and purposes to a friend. Sign the commitment contract and have your friend sign as a witness.
I COMMIT TO THE GOALS AND PURPOSES IN SATISFYING, HARMONIOUS AND ETHICAL WAYS.
Witnessed before me on this, the day of (month), 20