Self Reflective Reader Response 4
In this fourth reader response I go over weeks 8 and 9 of Personal Mythology by Krippner and Feinstein. I’m quite satisfied with these particular exercises. Most of them felt easily accessible and practical in a way that some other exercises have not felt to me.
Extending Your Dialog With Your Inner Shaman Support
Here we utilize the same dialog tactic taken before. By personifying our inner conflicts into two unique personalities, we give them life to express their opinions to one another. The twist this time is that the Inner Shaman is also partaking in the discussion by offering wisdom, or maybe playing referee. This facilitates a more directed discussion that is given some guardrails by a benevolent spirit. Your myths may not get along but there is much more chance for them to find common ground in the presence of an archetype of enlightenment and greater good.
For me, executing the exercise was easy, as were previous iterations of this exercise. However finding solid resolution among my conflicting myths still proved difficult, because even though my myths agreed on what ought to happen (one of them needs to leave), neither of them, nor the shaman, knew exactly how to accomplish the task. The shaman did suggest transformation rather than dismissal of the offending myth, but this was also a puzzle. Now that I’m writing about it, I’m realizing that previous exercises help provide a path for resolution here. Namely, that you ought to find out what is constructive about an offending myth and integrate that (but not the rest) into a new myth. This is something I think I can take more time to perform.
Rewriting History Through The Emotionally Corrective Daydream
This is a very emotionally powerful exercise. You are asked to recall an incident which ‘wounded’ you in the past. That in itself is of course a vulnerable state to engage in, but perhaps more revealing is the process you are asked to accomplish in which you ‘visit’ your old self to comfort them and share your wisdom about the wounding situation. Doing this seems to add all the more realism and gravity to the negative memory. It did for me anyway.
I think we often learn over the years to distance ourselves from certain memories so that they aren’t like a constant fresh wound, but enacting this exercise does seem to reopen those wounds and that’s not a bad thing. In fact it’s just the nature of shadow work. So the fact that I could re-feel this memory so vividly again gave me quite a bit of confidence that the ritual was indeed working.
The giving of love and comfort to your past self is also oddly cathartic. This past self clearly did not receive what it needed back when the event transpired, and even though the event is long past, it never exactly ‘ended’ because the memory of it is always able to replay at any moment in the present, and these echoes impact all the rest of our thoughts and feelings throughout our whole lives. How refreshing then, to be able to reach back in time and change, even if only a little, the nature of those echoes.
Consulting Your Power Object
In this exercise we find an object we consider to be representative of our own power, personify it, and ask for its guidance. This is pretty familiar territory for me as I am always covered in jewelry symbolizing different things about my own personal mythology. However I don’t think I had ever thought to personify them. Which is a little odd because when I devote a little thought to it, some of them do have ‘small’ personalities to them. Sometimes with exercises like this I feel myself clam up a bit. When things get too esoteric, too silly, my defenses go up and I stop wanting to engage. For me this exercise feels like it almost triggered these defenses but didn’t. Why? I believe it’s because these ‘personalities’ for my power objects are based out of practical symbolism I have already assigned to them. For instance my tentacle necklace symbolizes the octopus and both of them symbolize grace, power, intelligence, etc. Therefore it is easy enough for me to form these characteristics into a personality. I’m not just looking at an inanimate object and coming up with some random cartoonish voice and personality “I’m mister necklace!”. No, these objects already having meaning to me, and those meanings can be embodied as character.
Part Three Of Your Fairytale
In part one of our fairytale we write about a difficult time in the past. In part two we find a potential resolution for the difficulties. In part three I believe we employ the resolution, although I’m a little foggy on it. Because of not feeling entirely clear of the objective I’m not sure I did it right. Regardless I still really enjoy and see the power of writing our stories as fairytales, which I think I expanded on in my previous writeup.
Symbol of Renewed Vision
Finally we come back around to completing our Mythic Shield. It’s funny but I didn’t think it would ever be completed because when we first did the Mythic Shield it was never mentioned that it would be completed so much later in the book. This time around we find a symbol for our Renewed Vision, write the meaning of it, and create a motto that embodies the renewed vision. This does seem to work pretty well after having undergone all the other exercises.
Seeking Confirmation From Powers That Be Logical And Intuitive Sources of Power
Here we are asked to make a list of what our new myth actually does for us, how it benefits us and to meditate on whether it fits into our spirituality, and to answer a series of questions in this regard.
I think this is a logical step in the process. It’s one thing to come up with new ideas of being and another to measure them up against how you really want to live your life. Integrating new beliefs should be a meaningful process, not taken lightly. The belief must not only serve our values, but stand solidly, I would imagine, for years at least.