My all-time favorite movies are The Lord of The Rings trilogy. Every year I pop in the DVDs in sequence and watch all nine hours, scene by scene until I have finished. I think Howard Shore’s music for the trilogy is among the most beautiful music ever written for movies. For those of you who have not read the books or seen the movies, I highly recommend them. I’m not much into “fantasy” but I loved these movies, every minute of them.
My musings for Lord of the Rings center on my love for them and their overwhelming popularity with the general population. So what? They are just three movies created over four years and were historic in the movie-making industry. The election was historic. I don’t seem to have a fascination with that. Well, for one, The Lord of the Rings, like so many other popular movies, is the quintessential triumph of good over evil. No matter how bad it gets, the good guys always win; and many times just in the 11th hour. It depicts the classic hero’s journey and the power of the myth. The hero always triumphs. No matter who we are we will, in our lifetime, take the hero’s journey from innocence to the fall from innocence, a journey to seek ourselves, the test, the learning, and returning home to rule with wisdom. (There are few more steps. This is the basic idea.) We want to think that we will always triumph also, no matter how bad it gets.
The Lord of the Rings represents the ultimate hero’s journey. In our lives we will all experience a fall from innocence, be alone, seek to understand, love passionately, take care of others, stand up for what is right, experience death and suffering and tragedy, create, take responsibility for our lives, transform ourselves from less to more, become wise and understanding, and experience joy. Everything that happens to us is a stage of the journey. It may not be a straight line. We may go back and forth between stages. We may get stuck in a stage. We may start the stages many times over. Much of what we feel we are experiencing now may feel like suffering, but it is only a stage. What we do with it will determine where we go next. The hero’s journey is everyone’s journey. That is why we love these types of stories so much. It is Our Story.
Now about the eagles in the title of this piece: in the final episode, The Return of the King (# 3), Frodo (our hero), and Sam (his friend) have barely escaped Mount Doom just as it is collapsing. The ring and Gollum have fallen into the fires of Mount Doom and have been destroyed (mission accomplished). Frodo and Sam save themselves by climbing on a large rock as the fires of Mount Doom move past them like fiery volcanic lava. Exhausted beyond understanding, they collapse. They are surrounded by flowing fire. Then a miracle – the eagles appear. (In fantasy, of course, anything is probable.) The eagles, huge graceful creatures the size of Archeopteryx (very large dinosaur birds), swoop in from the distance and gently enfold Frodo and Sam with their large talons and carry them off to safety.
If only we had large eagles that would swoop in the rescue us when all appears lost; snatch us out of the despair and suffering that we all experience from time to time and bring us to safety.
This week, I sat and talked to someone, a relatively young woman who had had a liver transplant. We were talking about the eagles in the movie. So many people seem to be living in fear and experiencing dejection, afraid to even hope for an eagle rescue. Having been through her trials, she said, “We all have our own eagles within us.” I think of all of the times in my life I would have liked a large eagle to swoop down and take me to a safer place. Yet, I have always managed to pull out what I needed in myself to move forward; to learn and grow and let go. And to move on to better things.
One of the presuppositions of NLP is that we have all the resources to make any change we want. We may not feel that way sometimes, but the answers are there. We need the key to unlock them.
NLP is the tool chest that helps people unlock their resources and skills and creativity. It is the Manual for the Brain. Our mind is almost limitless in the number of ideas and experiences it can generate. So why do we keep having the same thoughts and same experiences over and over? Because we don’t have the tools needed to change them. By the way, “thinking” is not a tool; it is the result of experience. Once we have the tools, change is easier than we could ever imagine and our accomplishments beyond anything we thought possible.
I notice a generally upbeat attitude from my clients. It is as though they have a secret – the secret to success regardless of what is going on around them. One of them just emailed me and told me that he is quitting his full-time job to start a business. While others are holding on to their jobs for dear life, he is “stepping out into the abyss” of the unknown. What does he know that others don’t? After all, NLP is the model of human excellence. No other model is as complete when dealing with relationships, working with unconscious limiting beliefs, or creating lasting effective change. I know. In some respects, the tools of NLP are my Eagle. Like any tool, you have to use them earnestly and sincerely and the change you want will happen.