I am sitting at home on a snowy day in May (what!?) wandering into the kitchen every ten minutes because eating reminds me of the joy of life even when it is miserable outside. Then it struck me – I am packing on a pound as a result of a profound lack of imagination. Surely there are other ways I could think of to find joy. It just takes a little attention on my part. (being slightly dramatic here)
This struck me as a profound thought. Suddenly aware of why I was eating, I am not doing it anymore. My mind has wandered to other possibilities…
I could play my favourite itunes songs. I have created playlists for all 12 core archetypes because I love to immerse myself in each world by hearing several songs in a row on the same theme. Sometimes I love to listen to new music and find the archetypal core in a song. I bet you can guess the one I play the most. My top 5 Warrior King songs right now are When I was Your Man – Bruno Mars, I’m Your Man – Leonard Cohen, I’ll Always Come For You – Nickelback, When You’re Gone – Bryan Adams (“even food don’t taste that good” is a brilliant lyric), and Scream – Usher. Not thinking about food now, are you.
Movies are another great way to get in touch with what brings you joy. Most movies take you on a journey that reaches for the light side of life. I like comedy romances on days when the weather is not co-operating. My all time favourites are While You Were Sleeping, You’ve Got Mail, Wedding Crashers, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Legally Blonde and The In-Laws (not strictly a romance but it makes me laugh). One more for luck – This Means War.
Hey, what do you know. The sun is shining and the breeze is incredibly fresh and slightly warm. I am going to put on my favourite mascara, my sunshine yellow dress and go buy some nifty office supplies – just to treat myself.
What about you? What gifts do you give yourself to connect you to your feeling of joy and remind you of your intrinsic worth? This connection to your Virgin archetype is the source of your creative power. Spend some time exploring it.
I liked this movie because it is not the classic movie about revering a Hero. It has a more mature theme which is more interesting at my age, and at any age it is nice to get some variety. I would describe this as the evolution of a Warrior King story. It answers the universal question of what does it mean to be a man (or a positive representation of the masculine in all of us). Fight is the story of the dying and Rising god. Only through going to the depths of severe loss and letting a part of him die can Whip Whitaker become the man he is capable of being. It is so interesting to watch him struggle over the sacrifices of ego and comfort it takes to live by his values.
Even the poster is fantastic. His face shows so much struggle and inner self loathing despite the prestigious pilot uniform. He looks like the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz.
Flight pilot, Whip Whitaker, rescues hundreds of people because he is a superior pilot. He is also an alcoholic, and a failure as a husband and father, who now risks being stripped of his pilot licence, social status, freedom and vices. In short, he reaches a point in his life that he has to define what he stands for.
The Warrior King is challenged to discern his highest value. Whip could be scot free if he blames the accident on the dead stewardess who was his lover. He found the moment where he knew what he was capable of. He stepped up and finished the statement I am the man who…
We all left the theatre inspired by his actions. I could feel it as I walked away. I wonder how many people thought of the story afterwards and wondered how they would finish that statement. We are all asked to stand for something every day. It is like the song, I would walk ten thousand miles to be the man who wakes up next to you… There’s a guy who has decided where his priorities lie.
I like movies that keep you thinking after the lights go on.
This blog was inspired by watching Oblivion with Tom Cruise and a couple of women. Now, I’m as big a prude as the next guy, but I’m going to say that if the driving force for the movie is that life is only meaningful when you have passion, then indeed, you need to show not tell. There needs to be a sex scene. Maybe then I would have really felt Jack’s relationship with Julia. (Is it just me or is this image phallic?)
For example, when a man reunites with his wife after decades of being apart, a woman who he loves so intensely that he can’t forget her despite having his memory wiped out, I’m not not buying it without the sex scene. It is not gratuitous. A movie is a felt experience and if the protagonist is having a monumental feeling the audience should be let in on that. Otherwise, why are we putting in the time to go on this journey with him? It can be subtle or tasteful but it needs to be more than implied if the theme is driven by love.
So I started thinking, are there Romance movies that don’t have a sex scene? Of course there are lots when you stop and think about it like Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, About a Boy, Hitch, many teen romances. Tons more. The key is to have a momentous first kiss – which is the first piercing of the intimacy boundary. You wouldn’t for example, learn about the big kiss by having a friend tell a friend. The kiss wouldn’t be implied. Also, the movie has to end when the relationship starts if you are hell-bent on not having a sex scene.
I’m not saying Oblivion is a Romance but it is a story of love. That’s what makes it an action story with a twist. Love of Earth; love as a real connection. Oblivion is first and foremost an action movie and there are fantastic visual images and some interesting new fight scenes. The best part is all the twists and turns in the plot. But the reason I would say it was not a great movie is because it has a theme of the importance of real love, the felt experience. This is supposed to be shown to be more important that the logical or evidentiary experience, yet it didn’t give us enough evidence of an understanding of love, in my view.
All of us work really hard to stay stuck. I know it sounds crazy but there is probably some unconscious belief in your head that is blocking you from fulfilling your greatest potential. It reminds me of that great Tibetan proverb that says
“No matter how far you are down the wrong path – turn back!!”
This is what Gives Up WHat Kept Her Stuck is all about. It is becoming conscious of your limiting belief. Notice that this is story beat number 8. The reason your protagonist can become conscious of her limiting belief is because she has been in her secret world and grown in her connection to her authentic self. This connection gives her the solid grounding to be able to see things from a perspective of independent thought.
My favorite classic example of this moment is in Ever After when Danielle directly asks her step mother if she has any feelings of love for her. She has been working like a slave in the hopes that she could please her step mother and earn love for she has never known the love of a mother. Her step mother smirks and questions why she would feel love for a pebble in her shoe. With great sadness, Danielle gives a firm nod and accepts the truth that has been before her all the time – this woman will never love her unconditionally. From her face and her actions from that moment forward you know she is no longer limited by her belief that her step mother might love her, and her step mother has lost power over her.
Finding this moment in your story is a key factor in the transformation of the Virgin. You can often find what the limiting belief was by looking back at beat number 2 – Price of Conformity. Ask yourself why your protagonist felt she had to conform to her dependent world and then give her a reason, based on love, that she understands that is not her best option.
In About A Boy this moment happens when he hits rock bottom and it occurs to him that island living is not the answer. To be happy he has to care about someone besides himself. Similarly, in Wedding Crashers John is at a funeral and realizes it is better to have loved and grieve than to never have loved at all. These moments clear the way for the Virgin to grow into her authentic self.
What is the light bulb moment for your protagonist where she realizes that she has a belief about what she deserve in life and it is not working for her? Once she is conscious of the falseness of the belief she can just let it go.
Hello anyone who is out there. I have been away from this blog for too long and I regret this. It is like I have drifted from my virgin self while I heroically pushed to complete a renovation on my house. I am back and rejuvenated by my lovely environment.
Environment is so important in the virgin world. When we surround ourselves with things that feel beautiful, colors that move us, scents that uplift us like citrus in the winter, or freshly baked vanilla cookies, we have found a tangible connection to our inner voice and our source of joy. This simple act has profound impact. The virgin archetype lives in a world driven by love. Love is not like fear which finds you and pushes you around if you don’t push back. Love is something you have to make space in your life for by being present and gazing inward. You have to awaken to love and welcome it in. You have to make a wish, or appeal to the gods, or believe in your dreams. When we notice the sensual delights that appeal to us and put them in our environment we have found the door to enter the love based world.
Stories that are driven by love need to take some time to experience the environment of your protagonist and how s/he responds to it. The reader needs to be taken to this world where the rules are different and experience the joy of it. At its best, this environment reflects the worthiness of the virgin to be seen for who she knows herself to be.
On the shadow side, the Victim archetype exists in an environment that sends her the message she is irrelevant. Things are run down, drab, and broken. Sometimes even her body is not respected. It is an environment where she must struggle to gain a connection to her intrinsic worth as nothing in her surroundings or her relationships gives her evidence that she is seen or appreciated for being her beautiful self.
So what is the environment like in your story? How can you use the sensual aspects of it to take a person on the Virgin journey?
Here’s a note from a prof who I guest lectured for. I thought the story was so insightful and delightful I had to share….
I am just finishing up marking essays and about to have christmas exams in a few days, so things are very busy. However something funny happened today in our last Intro level class, where we were reviewing the terms and definitions for the exam. You will be honoured I am sure, to know that some of your concepts are now on the Women’s Studies Exam!
So anyway, there I was going over the idea of the fear based world and hero quest vs the love based world and the virgin’s journey. We were trying to come up with a few issues in women’s studies that fall in to the virgin category (ie the book that the class wrote their essays on, Obasan, about the Japanese Canadian experience in WW2, has many virgin story elements). And then, one student who by his own admission is half crazed from lack of sleep and too much coffee (he is finishing up a paper for another class), said “Well, isn’t Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer a virgin story?” This got a big laugh from the class, and I just wanted to let you know it has become the tag for “Virgin’s Journey” in our class.
And yes, I would say Rudolf was on his Virgin’s journey.
I’m about to commit movie review suicide and say the new James Bond has a major story flaw, despite its major box office success. The theme of overcoming a mother complex is brilliant but the point of success has to be that a man needs to evolve from a mama’s boy (coward) to a warrior king. When James allows Severene to die without a significant reaction, I disengaged from the movie.
Here’s how I see the story from an archetypal level. The villain is a coward with serious mother issues. He is also a tyrant who knows his masculine power and uses it to inflict pain which he feels justified in doing because he has not dealt with his wounded child issues. Orphans make great agents, but at a cost.
James is also an orphan but he has dealt with his child issues and developed a healthy mother relationship where he recognizes being a man is upholding your chosen values and not being controlled by your wounds.
The flaw in the storyline for me occurs when the woman the two “brothers” have slept with is tied up for target practice and James plays the game knowing he is a lousy shot. He doesn’t even negotiate her safe release if he is successful. He seems to be only thinking about proving himself in some kind of sibling rivalry. I would have loved it if he took his shot to do the unexpected, ie. kill the guards and aim his gun at his brother, a close range shot he couldn’t miss.
If I get to be the writer, the brother would have anticipated James going in this direction, foreshadowing his skill at predicting and manipulating situations, and with a gun in each hand, killed the girl right away (because he has complete disregard for women as lovers, he is so obsessed with his mother complex) and held a gun on James looking for praise for his cleverness.
James would have gone to Severene, to hell with the risk, hoping beyond hope he had not failed her and she is still alive. She uses her last breath to tell him this is better (implying that the life of living with a man who is working out his mother issues on you is a living hell) and she is glad to have known at least one good man. He stays to be of some comfort before she dies while the brother goads him to come play or die.
The flaw in Skyfall is that James wasn’t affected by the death of Severene, who he just slept with. I thought the point of this Bond is that he values women, would die for them, because it is the highest calling of a man. This is why women fall into bed with him. Not because they are cheap and easy, but because intuitively they know this about him and honor and celebrate it.
The question now is Moneypenny. Is James going to show a casual disregard for her and completely destroy the archetypal power he held as a warrior king?
This would have been a much more powerful movie for me if it was about more than overcoming a mother complex. I wanted to it be about being a grown man and valuing the feminine on your own terms.