There is no transformation possible until every cell in us is full of gratitude. Then we are completely protected and completely available.
Tasks include figuring out what Home will be now, and how to Return to it. Images come in dreams or seeing something walking by a window. It may be a certain book or show wants to be viewed over and over. The soul is in the business of learning, and picking up information from every available source. I watched the movie Enchanted April in the winter for ten years before I discovered the answer to “why that movie”. Young people read Harry Potter and other series over and over just as their parents (and they) read Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings, C. S. Lewis’ Narnia. People start working out, or take up car mechanics, photography, or woodworking. New friends are made. Out of these explorations a hazy destination focus emerges, and the first steps of the path to the Gate Out.
And of course some people emerge from the Nigredo with a new life ready to realize. They may have spent a long time between the Call and the Gate In, or held to a vision all along of where they were going after the transformation. Some enter from or have always lived with trauma, and emerge with a healed heart; for them the Road of Trials II can be a discovery of being a new person born this time to joy.
Finding the Road Out
There are as many Roads of Trials as there are individuals on a journey. “I’ve found my path,” people might say. “I’m on my way.” Just as it is helpful to name the Trial, also consider naming the path. “I’m on the “Path of Patience”, “Way of Salvation”, “Road to Graduation”, “Steps to Sobriety”. Some of these paths have proscribed steps, and some wander in the Temenos. All provide information and opportunities. We may not think of them as Ritual Journeys but they have that quality about them whether observed or not.
Path of Possibility
Exploring this part of the Temenos always involves discovering what gift are you taking home. What do you know, who are you now, how can you be of benefit to others? Peter Diamandis (Peter Diamandis <firstname.lastname@example.org ) lives and teaches the Abundance mindset, the view that we are born to having more than we need so we might invest our gift for the good of all. Part of this road is determining where your gift will be received.
In following the Way of Kendo, a Japanese sword martial art, I learned the Warrior Way which involves, among other things:
- Unwavering Concentration
- Perfection of Form
- Danshing: Follow-through, Integration
Of these things Danshing was the most important: to integrate the learning, and be prepared and ready for the next step or journey. To Finish Well.
Road of Reparation
It may be that your life before caused harm or hurt to others, and the task now is to repair those breaks in the web of life. Many are exploring this road for their ancestors who were born to colonial mindsets: either as master or slave, pioneer or native person. We pray our environmental Road of Reparation will be in time to save our planet as we have known it up to now in our lives. There are millions of companions worldwide exploring this Road with us.
Camino of Compassion
As my husband and I age we call our current journey the Camino of Compassion. Our goal is to be part of the heart of everything and our trials have been:
- to love friends and enemies relevant and present on the Road with us
- seek ways to stay engaged with life and each other rather than falling into the trap of inertia
- practice being aware and ready for times when we are required to help weave the web of life
- learn “letting go” of anything that is not essential
- forgive and forget old wounds
We think we’re just inside the Gate In on this Journey – the Gate Out may be a few months or many years away; we know what it is and trust both the Return and what the new Home may be.
Know the Journeys of Others
I think it helps us to know the journeys of others, both of famous ones and the people who live and work with us. To share stories of people who have come through a crisis and thrived fosters hope that we too will do the same. Each day someone near you is hesitant or confused or wanting to celebrate a victory. Be there with them.
When asked “How are you?” we are trained to say “Fine,” as if we already know the person asking doesn’t have time to hear the answer. Change this dynamic by different asks and responses:
Instead of “How are you?”
“What are you learning today?”
“What’s going well for you today?”
“Did you have the support you needed today?”
When responding, go specific.
“Have a challenging meeting ahead of me.”
“It was a long day, people were grumpy. I found it hard to stay cheerful.”
“Just completed one year of writing my blog.”
When you ask a question or give a response that provides an opportunity to go a little deeper you encourage connection. Because we are part of other people’s journeys, it’s my hope we can be awake and alert enough to be companions on the Roads of Trial.
Be Like A Tuning Fork
Synchronicity plays a big part on the Road of Trials. This word suggests that two or more trajectories meet at the same time and create a meaningful understanding. People synchronize timepieces in order to meet at the same place at the same time. In the Temenos people, events, objects, oddities occur and reinforce what is happening. A synapse fires when two things are connected. Sometimes this connective synchronicity functions as a warning, but most frequently serves as a confirmation that an individual is moving through the Temenos “in sync” with it. The central work of the Road of Trials II is to become a tuning fork, able to hear and respond to subtle contextual nuances.
How about you, Journey Maker?
Find yourself in a hurry to reach the Gate Out?
Are there trials on the road you are traveling?
What trials are those around experiencing?