the hero’s journey

17 02 2010

Last night I dreamt that I was in my parents beach house giving a talk to several hundred people on the Hero’s Journey.

Arianna Huffington, and Suze Orman, and Oprah were there. And so were all of you, my Twitter tribe and blog readers.

It was summer and we were having cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and bossa nova music was playing.

Everyone was happy.

In the dream, I was giving a talk to all of you about the Jungian archetypes that Joseph Campbell and others have modernized so well.

I guess it has been on my mind lately because my friend Ward @vajrarock mentioned it to me a few weeks ago after my post “On Criticism” a couple blog posts back (scroll down- there are two).

There are generally six archetypes and different writers call them by different names, but here are the names I tend to go by and they are listed in progressive order that is a circle.

The Innocent

The Orphan

The Wanderer

The Warrior

The Altruist

The Magician

The talk I was giving to all of you was specifically on The Orphan. The Orphan emerges when something happens to undermine our faith in authority figures, God, parents, or society.

The Orphan archetype teaches the inner child to survive difficulty.

In my talk I was telling you all that we can’t get stuck in one archetype. That we must keep going, progressing onward, and healing the past.

This is an over-simplified post on archetype mythology, but I wanted to put a small idea in your mind.

I am passionate about each of us healing the past to create freedom in the present.

An unexamined and unhealed past is what is going to drive your present life no matter how hard you try to run from it, repress it, and over-compensate for it.

The past will leak out and seep out and perfume everything in your present life if it is unattended and unhealed.

The archetypes are a way to think about your life, and your past, and what happened, and the journey ahead, with a feeling of camaraderie that you are truly part of the collective unconscious and not alone in your efforts to actualize into your greatest and truest expression of yourself.

I’m thinking perhaps I will post in the future on the Heroine’s Journey and The Archetypes. It’s a beautiful and rich imagery and metaphor to aid in our healing and understanding.


10 questions

12 02 2010

Hi Folks-

So listen, I am going to answer 10 questions from readers.

I’ll probably take the first 10 or something like that.

Email me a question that you would like me to answer to

Let me know in the email if you want your identity to be posted when I post the answer on my blog. Either way, I will honor your preference, but it’s a great way to showcase your blog or website.

Depending on the question etc, I’ll either answer one or several in my posts in the coming days.

The nature of the question can be just anything you are wondering and want to ask me–from books, to art, to writing, to life-journey, to spirituality, to emotional education, etc. etc. etc. Whatever you want! Ready? GO!

an art show brought to you by some of the talented folks on twitter

11 02 2010

Yesterday during the baby blizzard here in NYC, there were some fantastic photos on Twitter. I wanted to showcase some of the ones that I found wonderful. (Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom of the post to see them all.)

Art should never be a hoity-toity thing. Art should be an everyday activity.

Create something everyday. Make art a part of your daily life.

From Lane Beauchamp. On Twitter @lane1008

And by Mark Fischel from Fort Greene Brooklyn. On Twitter @MFischel

on criticism part 2

10 02 2010

My post from two days ago seems to have struck a chord in many people.

Thank you for all the email and DM’s and phone calls.

The response that was the most profound for me was from my Twitter friend Ward who goes by the twitter handle @vajrarock so I thought I would post it.

He quotes Robert Moore, a Jungian psychologist .


For me, worth some contemplation…….

on inner aggression and war

9 02 2010

” Let my spear lie idle for spiders

to weave their web around it.

May I live in peace in white old age.

May I sing with garlands

around my white head,

Having hung up my shield on the

pillared house of the goddess.

May I unfold the voice of books,

which the wise honor.”     – Euripides

on criticism

8 02 2010

Here’s the thing. No one likes to be criticized. Everyone wants to be loved for everything they do. We spend a lot of time trying to not have one happen and make the other one happen. Guess which one?

As someone who has buckled and often become paralyzed or given up due to criticism, this is no sort of glib post. Criticism can be a killer. It can stop people in their tracks and make them scurry away in the dark of night burying their ideas and work never to be seen or heard of again.

My mother, who for reasons of never feeling like she was good enough, was off the charts critical towards her children while we were growing up. It bred in me a weird combination of unsure of myself and highly motivated.

In undergrad, I got a BFA, so I was subject to weekly public critique’s for 5 years. Now I’m in grad school getting an MFA and am subject to the same sort of public critique. It’s the method of all forms of art and arts education. The critique. And what’s funny about that, is that artists and writers seem preternaturally sensitive to criticism.

Traditionally, you sit there and aren’t allowed to speak while people discuss your work. I usually doodle elaborate designs in my notebook that end up looking like spaceships and subway graffiti, to calm my nerves and not leave my body and keep my face color this side of magenta.

Here’s what I’ve come to understand about criticism:

* It’s unavoidable.

* It doesn’t mean our work is bad and worthless.

* Sometimes people criticise because our work has hit a spot in them that triggers them and they criticise to protect that unhealed spot.

* When we push the bounds of our own original thought, there is more a risk for structural failure and people mostly want things tied up in a nice neat bow (even fellow artists).

And I will end with the most important thing of all that I have learned about criticism:

IT DOESN’T MATTER.  (It really truly doesn’t. Think about that….)

how to proceed

5 02 2010