We all face times beyond our control when life doesn’t follow our designs and we’re asked to work with life and not fight, curse or hide from it. When insisting on our way, we can get so tangled in our will that we can’t find or feel the wind of Spirit. During these times—when we fear there is no meaning and it seems there’s nothing holding us up—our will can puff, snap and flap about in a desperate attempt to fill what looms as an empty life.
Creating a personal myth is a fundamental way we find meaning. We are always the protagonist, with supporting characters providing love and assistance and antagonists posing challenges that push us beyond our comfort zones. Rather than narcissism or navel-gazing, the more intimate we become with our own story, the more we realize that everyone has an equally valid and vital narrative in which they are the central character. Understanding that everyone is on their own story journey can help us establish connection and empathy.
Filmmaker Barnet Bain’s credits include writer/director of Milton’s Secret, due out this fall, starring Donald Sutherland and Michelle Rodriguez and based on Eckhart Tolle’s book, producer of the Oscar-winning What Dreams May Come, executive producer of the Emmy-award nominee Homeless to Harvard and writer/producer of The Celestine Prophecy movie. Now, as author of The Book of Doing and Being: Rediscovering Creativity in Life, Love, and Work, he offers tools that everyone can use to develop a creativity practice designed to move us beyond our unconscious hand-me-down worldview, escape mental and emotional straightjackets and unlock great reservoirs of imagination. In so doing, we discover we can create anything we like; from a work of art to a fulfilling relationship.
The plugged-in, stressed-out world that challenges adults can be even more difficult for teens in the throes of hormones, peer pressure and a selfie culture. Parents can help their children thrive and become empowered individuals by nurturing desirable character traits such as resourcefulness, resilience, perseverance, self-reliance, independence, empathy and social competence.
Child psychologist Michele Borba, Ed.D., of Palm Springs, California, is a former classroom teacher and the mother of three grown children who dispenses advice at MicheleBorba.com/blog.