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Here’s another gem of an article by Mark Susnow, life coach and spiritual mentor. In his editorial he speaks about belief in yourself and the symbology in “The Wizard of Oz”.
So much of what Mark talks about in the editorial resonates with me. I have personally experienced believing in myself when others including my father told me I was crazy. It took a lot of faith in myself to weather a lot of criticism and mistakes but I never thought I couldn’t realize my dreams. I still feel that way and while not all of the hopes and dreams I dreamed about have happened I still feel they might. I work at each day keeping my eye on the goals.
When was the last time you sat down and thought about your values and whether you have made those values a priority in your life? My priority has been inner peace and fulfillment. For quite some time it has been my belief that no matter what is going on in my life my experience of it is a reflection of my inner state. While finding inner peace and fulfillment has been my quest I’ve come to the place in my life in which I accept that as long as I am alive there will always be stress and challenges. So my focus has shifted from trying to avoid these situations to
recognizing and making peace with them. And that involves making peace with those inner voices that say I am not good enough or that it won’t work. We all have some variation of this inner critic that in coaching we call “gremlins.”
Yet it is the hope that those inner critics can be silenced that motivates and propels us on our journey of Self Discovery. This quest is what has motivated me on my journey. Recently as part of my journey I was fortunate enough to have experienced an incredibly powerful 8 day workshop, the Hoffman Process, where much of the focus was on our childhood, the source of those inner critics. On the way home as I continued to think upon some of my memories of childhood I reflected upon the Wizard of Oz. The next day I rented the DVD and experienced the movie from my new perspective.
In the Wizard of Oz Dorothy wants to run away from her troubles and dreams of a place, “Somewhere over the Rainbow”, in which there is perfection and beauty. Like Dorothy many times in life we also want to run away from what is troubling us. And the truth is that these problems are never as great as our fears about them. In our running away we never slow down and take the time to really look at what is bothering us. So we usually stay busy by becoming workaholics or developing other addictions. The cost to our well being and happiness is that we feel disconnected because we are never fully present or fully engaged. When we think about the past or the future we can’t be in the moment. Ram Dass’s “Be Here Now” and Eckart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” are popular books that discuss the importance of being in the now and totally present. And yet we have to reconcile our ability to be fully present with having dreams about the future. These dreams are what keep us going and give us hope.
In Dorothy’s dream the message is about the hope of thefuture. The Yellow Brick Road symbolizes the road to abetter life and the Wizard symbolizes the future that wedream about that we think can make us whole. Dorothy on herjourney to find the wizard is able to balance her futureneeds with her experience of the moment. In her quest, she makes three friends who also feel they are incomplete and enrolls them in her dream of finding the wizard; the Scarecrow who wants a brain, the Tin Man a heart and the Lion courage. As they continue their journey they become bonded in their increasing hope and longing that the wizard will provide the missing piece that will make them whole.
Our belief about what something means or who someone is creates a power that makes this belief true. Even though the wizard is a fraud he is able to empower our friends in believing in themselves and to believe they are whole and complete. Dorothy can now go back to Kansas, the Scarecrow
feels he has a brain, the Tin Man a heart and the Lion courage.
So how we can we adopt a way of being in which we can live in the moment and have hope for the future?
Dorothy’s journey gives us insight into this dilemma. Dorothy’s journey to return home to Kansas represents our journey of self discovery to discovering who we are at the core. As we continue on this journey we develop a greater connection to a higher power and to the sacredness of the universe. As we deepen our experience of this connection our excitement about the potential of this unfolding is contagious. We enroll and attract others who are also excited about this same journey. As we become passionate and fully alive beings we live in the now. As we return home to ourselves we are a light that inspires others.