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A Heroes Journey

Have any of these people touched your heart recently?
Harry Potter, Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Ironman, Wolverine, Black Panther, Hulk, Cinderella, Bambi, Snow White, Luke Skywalker, Simba (Lion King), Maverick, all of the X-Men, Kung Fu Panda, Aladdin, Tarzan, Buzz Lightyear, Peter Pan, Ariel (Little Mermaid), Bilbo Baggins, Wall-E and many more….
What do they all have in common?
You may be surprised to learn that every character listed is an orphan or a semi-orphan (separated from at least one parent).
The Orphan Hero is not new in storytelling.
Is it a coincidence?
So, what is the purpose of creating such characters?
May it somehow represent a journey that all of us need to go through?
There are usually different parts to a typical storyline.

The Storyline

Firstly, there is usually some kind of awakening story shaped by adversity of some kind.
Secondly, as the hero’s journey commences, there is a provocation of sorts that stimulates an awakening, frequently with a mentor on hand (usually older).
Thirdly, on their journey, the hero discovers some purpose, or true identity and embraces their own authenticity.
Through triumph and tragedy these movie characters have all played into large chunks of our life’s.
Without their parents, we are drawn into the storyline by the insecurity that is created. Perhaps we even start to imagine how we’d react to such perils in our own life.
Subsequently, the characters are all forced to deal with the challenges of the respective storyline and almost always faced with one or several transformational experiences.
As a coach and mentor, I’ve noticed that there is frequently a guide who plays a special part in the journey.
For example – Gandalf, Yoda, Obi Wan Kenobi, Dumbledore, Alfred, Xavier and many more.
Generally, these characters have a central role in the story and oftentimes eventually disappear.
The Hero’s Journey is in fact a formulaic template used successfully for generations.
Although formulaic, this journey is open to all of us.
Consider the adversities and challenges you have overcome in your own life.
What story are you living?
Do you have a mentor or guide?
What makes a real hero for you?

The Book of Life

I was asked recently, “𝐃𝐢𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐣𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐭𝐨𝐝𝐚𝐲?”
Did you know that some of the most important historical records are the diaries and other personal writings of individuals from all different walks of life?
Living in the Netherlands, I am often reminded of one the most significant diaries of our time – that of Anne Frank, the 13-year-old Jewish girl living here, who, at the age of 16, died in a German concentration camp.
Her diary, written whilst she was confined in an Amsterdam apartment house, shares her story of how she and her family went into hiding for two years to avoid Nazi persecution. Since her death, the words from her diary have inspired millions. And because of her diary the world has known all about the terrors of growing up during the Holocaust.
My journaling journey began early when I was a young 12-year-old.
It has been the first thing I’ve done every morning for as long as I can remember.
𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐬 𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧?
You do not have to write every day, even though this would be good. It could be weekly. It could even be as and when there is something that is memorable or moving or meaningful.
Remembering is an important part of life and journals help us to do that. They also help me to slow down!

𝑳𝒊𝒇𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝑩𝒐𝒐𝒌 – by Zelda Davis Howard

Life is a book made up of days
Each one of us writes one,
It’s opened when we come to earth
And closed when life is done.
No pen but ours ere touches it
In our own way we write,
Whether we fail or succeed
Turns with the page at night.
And there is no erasing it
To add or take away,
The yesterday’s account is closed,
Sealed within white or grey.
The morning gives another sheet
That’s broad and very white,
And oh, how glorious to have
Another chance to write!
No bad is there too small to show
No good that’s ever lost,
All that we do goes into Life’s book
In black and white embossed.
  • Every life is a tale worth telling.
  • Why not begin yours today?

What is my destination?

Daily we travel throughout Belgium and the Netherlands – by road.
With the onset of spring and summer – boats of all shapes and sizes are back on the Dutch waterways.
The Results
• Bridge watchmen are busy again
• Bridges of all shapes and sizes constantly open and close.
• More traffic jams and delays are constant daily occurrences.
• Boats wait for the opportunity to pass under bridges.
My observation – delays and waiting are once again commonplace.
Another thing for sure, over the next few months, in our journey planning, if we are to arrive at our destination on time, then we need to make sure that we leave a few minutes earlier.
During my planning, I frequently consider a few questions.
– Where am I going?
– How do I intend to get there?
– Which road will I travel?
– When do I need to arrive?
These questions are regular considerations in my current assignment.
Perhaps these are similar for you too?
In a like manner – there is a much bigger question in life that each of us must deal with…

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐲 𝐝𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧?

Thinking about our journey toward eternal life, in each of our own journeys through our mortal experience, there will be many delays, along with several twists and turns.
Life is a long journey on a long road, but it helps to have a vision of where that road eventually leads too and to understand what our final destination is.
Ultimately, there is One to whom we can look, One whom we can trust with our whole hearts. He is “the way, the truth, and the life” – John 14:6
He will help overcome all of the delays and bridge the gap for each of us to eternal life through the Atonement and His personal sacrifice.
I know that following Jesus Christ is the only sure way to arrive on time, without delay at our 𝐝𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧.
And so can you…

What path are you on in life?

Recently I was asked “Am I on the right path?”
Throughout my life I have observed that small course corrections, can make a dramatic difference to the success we have in our home, family and personal lives.
I recall a message by Dieter F. Uchtdorf who said: “Suppose you were to take off from an airport at the equator, intending to circumnavigate the globe, but your course was off by just one degree. By the time you returned to the same longitude, how far off course would you be? A few miles? A hundred miles? The answer might surprise you. An error of only one degree would put you almost 500 miles (800 km) off course, or one hour of flight for a jet.”
Clearly errors of only a few degrees, minor things even, can sometimes lead to terrible tragedies, disasters and the arrival at a different destination than the one you set out to achieve in the first place. “The longer we delay corrective action, the larger the needed changes become, and the longer it takes to get back on the correct course—even to the point where a disaster might be looming.”

𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐨𝐟𝐟 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞 𝐚 𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞?

What corrective actions do you need to take to get back on course?
Is it simply a matter of taking time to stop… reflect, consider and refocus on what really matters most?
What distractions are in your way?
Distractions: “a thing that prevents someone from concentrating on something else”.
Benjamin Franklin stated ” We stand at the crossroads, each minute, each hour, each day, making choices. We choose the thoughts we allow ourselves to think, the passions we allow ourselves to feel and the actions we allow ourselves to perform. Each choice is made in the context of whatever value system we’ve selected to govern our lives. In selecting that value system, we are, in a very real way, making the most important choice we will ever make”.
As I have grown fond of repeatedly saying recently – your personal values are your sure compass in life. Be true to them, live them, honour them – they are essentially who you really are.
“May we always choose the harder right, instead of the easier wrong” – Thomas S. Monson
From time to time, distractions and errors of judgement will happen.
We all need to accept that, there will occasionally be some moments of real serendipity along the way.
Be mindful to take corrective action, consider what really matters most, refocus and get back on the course that will enable you to arrive safely at your intended destination.
I am fond of a quote by Henry B Eyring, who said that “If you are on the right PATH, it will always be UPHILL” – How true that is!
Like my recent picture from Keukenhof below, there are many beautiful things to see and admire along the path that you choose to follow – if you will take the time to seek them out.
Where will your path lead you today?

What personal battles do you face?

What do you wrestle with?
What is your biggest personal battle?
As unique individuals, we fight incredibly personal battles – daily.
In the Book of Mormon we read in Mosiah 3:19 “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”
Bending the will of our “𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒂𝒍 𝒎𝒂𝒏” tendencies to the “𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑯𝒐𝒍𝒚 𝑺𝒑𝒊𝒓𝒊𝒕” is not easy.
In fact it is downright difficult.
Yet it is also simple.
It is something that requires daily, consistent, disciplined effort.
Prophets of yesteryear throughout the Bible and The Book of Mormon, and now in our time, modern day Prophets, constantly address their voice and their lives to these key matters:
– Spirit over flesh
– Discipline over permissiveness
– Reverence over scorn
As you wrestle, there are beautiful joyful moments to be found in daily prayer, repentance, seeking forgiveness, all to be found through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
A perfect day will come.
The doctrine of Christ teaches us that we can overcome these mortal trials as we yield our will as children, to the will of our Heavenly Father.
It is a simple invitation. The Saviour said “𝑪𝒐𝒎𝒆, 𝑭𝒐𝒍𝒍𝒐𝒘 𝑴𝒆.”