Craft Minutes with Steven Barnes – 4



In our seventeen-part series, we are building a framework for full awakened human maturity, based on the oldest and most powerful models of human action in existence: the Hero’s Journey and the yogic Chakras. The fourth step of the Hero’s Journey (a distillation of all world myth and story) follows the acceptance of full responsibility for one’s own life and future, our emotions and actions. If one has a clear vision of what must be done, and has dealt with the fear and other negative emotion which arises, then the time has come for action.

The “Road of Trials” is simply the gap between where you currently exist, and what you must become to embrace your destiny. In story as well as life, this is represented by actions and travel. Luke Skywalker visits Mos Eisley cantina. Indiana Jones travels to Tibet. The intrepid reporter interviews big-wigs, and researched in musty old stacks. The expression: “How do you eat an elephant? One forkful at a time” was invented for this. To accomplish at high levels, the “road” between where you are and where you wish to be must be divided into daily tasks, one step, one day, one hour at a time.

How does this specifically relate to the question of becoming an adult? Well, if the benchmark adulthood is responsibility, then we must accept that burden in a balanced fashion. We must carry the weight that our parents, and their parents, bore, or the next generation of children will suffer. What are those responsibilities?

1) For our careers. We must support ourselves, and find a way to take satisfaction if not outright pleasure in what we do. If we take no pleasure, we slide into a sense that our lives are out of control. “Do what you love, or love what you do” is the standard here. And how much should we aim to earn? Enough to support a family, even if we choose not to have one. Aim at money becoming a tool, not a poison.

2) For our bodies. Whether attracting a partner or “merely” moving us through the days of our lives, protecting our health or becoming a piece of living art, our bodies reflect our personalities more than almost anything else. No other basic aspect of our lives responds to our actions so directly as our bodies. But according to Hawaiian “Huna” magic we store our negative, unprocessed emotions in our bodies. If we are to be fully adult and mature, we have to actually experience our lives, pain and all. Pain exists as a message to change something, and when we dull it, we miss the very signs that can inform our most vital decisions. We all want bountiful energy, health, to be attractive to those we are attracted to. The physical body can be a doorway to discipline, honesty, clarity. If you would not be attracted to your own body, you are out of alignment with your values, and functionally a child. Every day we have a chance to take one more step toward authenticity.

3) For our relationships. We wish love, passion, companionship. When our relationships don’t work out, we usually have a childish reaction: to blame the Other, or to believe we are worthless. The truth is between these extremes: we attract what we are. If your heart yearns for someone who is healthier or more powerful or beautiful than you, you have the responsibility to improve. To stop making excuses for yourself, to forgive both yourself and your past partners, to love yourself more and hold yourself to a higher standard of action. To be more honest about who you are, and what you represent, and to radiate the kind of passionate, loving energy toward life that it is easy for others to pick up your “signal.”

If this isn’t enough work for a lifetime, I don’t know what is. But here is the secret: you cannot balance in all three arenas without walking the path of awakened adulthood. It just isn’t possible. There are other paths, of course, but this one places responsibility for your success, and salvation, directly in your own hands. Exactly where any truly adult human being would want it to be.


NY Times bestselling novelist, lecturer, martial artist and success coach Steven Barnes has over three million published words, as well as writing for television’s The Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, and Stargate SG-1. He has created Lifewriting™, the holistic success system for writers and readers. Also the breakthrough 101 program and the new HERO’S JOURNEY  program for 21st Century men. Get FREE information at: DIAMONDHOUR

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