Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Your Inner Hero & Outer Warrior - Surprising Secrets from the Golden Goose


In mythology, the Hero or Warrior fights two battles - the inner battle against personal demons and the exterior battle to accomplish a great task. 

Grimm's fairy tale - “The Golden Goose” shows many of the archetypal patterns of the Hero’s journey.

In "The Golden Goose," two of three brothers are sent out to chop wood, given plenty of cake and wine for their lunch. Each is greedy and refuses to share with a mysterious little man they meet on the road. Because of their greed each brother suffers an injury and cannot work leaving the youngest son to provide wood for the family. This son is called “Simpleton” by his family, and even though he has been given only poor food and little of it, unlike his brothers he shares with the strange little man, generosity winning out over greed in the inner battle - and it becomes fine wine and cake. 

Directed by the little man to chop down a specific tree, Simpleton finds the golden goose who lays golden eggs. When greedy villagers learn of the goose they try to steal a golden feather but instead become stuck to the goose and are forced to trail behind him. 

This creates such a spectacle that Simpleton is presented to the king’s daughter who never smiles -  whom the king has promised to the man who can make her laugh. She bursts out laughing at the sight, but the king decides that he doesn’t want a son-in-law named “Simpleton” so he sets three impossible tasks for him to accomplish. Each time the funny little man helps him easily win his exterior battle, the king relents and Simpleton wins the princess’ hand and eventually the kingdom.

Anyone can become a hero, especially those who don’t have special advantages.

Many fairy tales involve an unlikely hero - often a youngest child, or a step-child (think Cinderella). They are ridiculed by the very people who owe them the most. Often they are abused and mocked by family members and are relentlessly given the message they are "less than" their peers.

Powerful friends and allies can be found in very unlikely places.

The strange little man who greets the brothers in the path - the stranger who is different, small, and seems helpless, proves to be extremely powerful. He is able to inflict harm when slighted causing both of the older brothers to injure themselves almost mortally. When shown kindness, he can be an amazing benefactor.

Cultivate kindness, compassion and good humor

Archetypal Heroes show the personal qualities of kindness, compassion, a sense of humor and remain good-natured even in hard circumstances. Simpleton is good-natured in the face of being called a demeaning name, kind to the strange man in sharing his food and because he is able to have a a sense of humor about himself he is able to win the princess by making her laugh. While I am not advocating putting up with abusive situation, the main point in these tales is that by cultivating these qualities, they will serve you well in hard times.

Perseverance pays

Even though Simpleton had won the princess’ hand fair and square, the king wanted to cheat him of his just reward. This happens. Instead of throwing a temper tantrum, hiring a lawyer and suing the king for all he was worth, Simpleton accepts the challenges. There is an element of him being willing to accept that he needs to prove his worth. He could have wasted time protesting the unfairness of it all - or he could go about solving the problem. Eventually, the king had no ground to stand on and Simpleton won not only the princess and the kingdom, but also the reward of a ship that could sail on land and sea (one of the tasks).

Challenge authority and the status quo

Even though the king claimed that he wanted his daughter to to be happy, so much he was willing to give her up to anyone who could make her laugh, he didn’t really mean that when it came about by someone who did not meet with his approval; a Simpleton. Part of why the princess was so solemn might have had to do with her awareness of the hopelessness of her situation? Many times those in authority say they want change, but they don’t really mean it. It rocks the boat and challenges the comfortable (for them) status quo. They will find ways to break agreements. Hold them to it. Keep coming back until there are no more excuses.

If this article interested you and you want to explore this more in-depth, I will be offering a workshop that is cultivating your inner hero and outer warrior. It will be a combination of entertaining storytelling, art history, discussion and right-brain art exercises. What are “Right Brain exercises?” A combination of playful materials like ink, paper, sand, collage, doodling and problem-solving games in a high quality journal to keep you connected to the ideas after the workshop. These engage your visual side in a way that is beyond words to gain a clear understanding of your questions, to see challenges in a new perspective and overcome inner obstacles. 

Please call me at 360.809.0083 or email me at me.lissa@melissaklein.com to reserve your place. 
Best Wishes,


PS - Please forward this to any interested friends - I'd really appreciate the help in getting the word out!

This program is generously hosted by the Bodhi Center.  For more information, contact Melissa Klein, at 360.809.0083 or me.lissa@melissaklein.com or go towww.melissaklein.com 
The Bodhi Center is located at 6717 Marshall Road,
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110. An additional workshop in series will occur on Sunday, December 15 (Personal Demons) both from 10am to 1pm. Tuition is $80 per workshop, or $130 for two workshops (a $30 discount). You can choose to attend any combination of workshops. Space is limited, so call or email to reserve your spot and "Journal of Journey" that accompanies the workshop.

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