Now here's the magic question: What would you need to believe to be true about yourself to achieve that goal? The protagonists in our accounts of the meaningful experience of chronic illness have been patients and their doctors. But, as a number of these stories attest, the family often is a major player in the illness drama. We may not hear of the family when we listen to the patient, because of the self-absorbing and isolating quality of the experience of chronic illness, captured in the quotation from Samuel Johnson at the head of this article. Yet there can be no doubt about the consequences of illness for the family, when the family members themselves are asked. Dalton Moore is a seventy-three-year-old retired lawyer whose wife, Anna, developed Alzheimer's disease almost a decade ago. Because he is wealthy, Mr. Moore has been able to pay for live-in nurses to help care for his wife. Because he is deeply committed to caring for his wife in the family setting, Mr. Moore has refused to place her in a nursing home, an action that has frequently been recommended. His grown children report that Mr. She stated that her parents' relationship was a perfect example of this, and that her father was her ideal white knight. Her body held this myth in her heart, and her heart revealed a broken-down princess character who desperately wanted someone to love her and give her life meaning. She realized that this princess was attracting men who would show her this love in a way that was not healthy, and asked her body deva to shift her into someone who could be a healthy princess, or someone who could hold her own and still be treated by men as worthwhile yet feminine. The princess changed and stood upright. In this situation, Mary Kay did not want to get rid of her mythology, but to alter it. Perhaps at some point she will no longer feel a need for it, but after the session she reported feeling stronger and having greater capacity to stand up for herself. She also laughed at the fact that she now was in touch with her intuition at a greater level and realized when white knight men who wanted to create a pattern of abuse or had an inner beast approached her. She now is very conscious of this loop and will not allow her inner princess to be anything but strong and to wait for a man who can also be a healthy source of strength for her. Gregory had been on the path of the magician and hermit for thirty years.

He was a practicing occultist who, since childhood, had had a deep interest in anything hidden, occult, or mystical. If what you need to believe doesn't align with what you currently believe, it's time to do some work. In other words, if the story you want to live doesn't align with the story you're currently telling yourself about who you are and what you're capable of, there's some story righting to do. Forming new habits, developing your mindset, and making any necessary shifts in atmosphere are all tools at your disposal for righting your story. This is the heart of the story-righting process. It leads you to experience the magic of what psychologists call cognitive dissonance. Here are some helpful questions as you seek to align your story: What is your focus right now? Are you distracted? Has something misdirected your attention? Are you focused on what you don't want? Moore devotes most of his day to caring for Mrs. Moore, even though she is no longer able to recognize him as her husband. I couldn't let Anna go to the nursing home. Maybe it's selfish of me. But I think this is what she would want. She told me that when this darn disease started; I promised her I wouldn't. It has broken my heart to see her mind go. It's as if, I can barely say it, she were gone already.

She can't recognize me or the children. He was initiated into several traditions and systems, and related how separated he felt by what he had experienced. He was realizing lately that embodying this archetype had its limitations and had long ago become weary of associating with most other occultists. We asked for his inner magician to come forward, and it was held in his solar plexus. It looked like a tired, world-weary old man. He was surrounded by a cave of articles and was sitting next to a fireplace. There was nobody else around him, and nobody in the direct vicinity. When asked for the strengths associated with this myth, the inner magician replied that he had gained immense knowledge and truly knew what it was like to see far beyond what most people do. But this had come at a price, and he felt like he was no longer a part of this world, and could not be. He felt weary of this world, and of others who were not able to see the world as he did, so his path was now one of the hermit. Gregory related that he felt this way, that he realized how much this path had offered him, but that he no longer wanted to be constrained by the solitary, world-weary magician. Or tuned in to what you want? What wounded your wonder in the past that needs to be explored and healed? How is what happened in your past showing up in the present? Have you lost your why? If so, has losing that why caused you to lose your way? Most importantly: What are the changes you need to make to get back to your why? In professional storytelling, this is the stage where you discover the connection between the internal problems of a character's life and the external problems they experience in the world around them. The overwhelming majority of clients who come to us with an external problem come to realize in time that the problem they're facing is actually an internal problem. I sometimes make excuses for my actions that I incorrectly assume are outside my control, without realizing that I have designed a life that aligns with my narrative, whether it is true or not.

My behavior is driven by my brain's attempt to validate that a story is true. If it weren't for the nurses, I don't know what I would do. I can't cope myself. I've learned to feed her, bathe her, even take her to the bathroom. I've given up all my interests and our friends. I think people think I'm batty for doing this. But we were so close. She and I were everything to each other. I believe strongly in the family. My parents did. My grandparents died at home. He expressed to his body deva that he felt that he no longer needed this myth, and the magician disappeared, and his body released the energy in his solar plexus. Although Gregory still prefers a very small circle, and isn't exactly enthused about the world or the people in it, he reported feeling no longer constrained by needing to study and practice so much. He sold a large portion of his library and is finding enthusiasm in nature. He feels much more energized, and no longer feels constrained by the quest of the magician: to always explore deeper and deeper terrains. He is happy to simply explore what he sees fit to, and has let go of the specific rituals and achievements that once defined him. Tying Things Together The purpose of this article is to provide a clear framework in which to seek out and work with the body deva. The method in some ways is simple: we are engaging with the consciousness of the body to find out what lies unhealed within our physical form and then providing the support to resolve it. The variations and ways to go about this, as well as what we may find within, are endless.

In time, your own direct experience and engagement with the body deva will teach you new ways of working with this material, and offer you a sense of flow that takes you far beyond the ten-step process listed below. You may realize you're headed in a direction you never planned on. That's okay. The first step in going somewhere new is deciding that you don't want to stay where you are. Each of the first three steps of this framework is designed to help guide you in your search for clarity. Clarity is what all great storytellers are constantly in search of. Once we have clarity, we can continue the process of creating. Until then, it's easy to feel stuck, unsure of what happens next. And remember, all great stories ask the question, What happens next? Step 4: Accountability We are social beings, designed to live life in connection with one another. And my brothers and I took care of our parents at the end. But this is the worst. To see the mind go, so that there are no memories, it, well, sir, it is a living hell! Our children come and they cry. We reminisce about old times. We try to recall what Anna was like before this happened. But I can see it wears them out just being here for a day or two. They've got their own troubles. I can't ask them to help out any more than they do already.