Article Bank

LifePath’s Article Bank includes written pieces by our Practitioners, Instructors, and Workshop Leaders. Please feel free to browse the Bank — and pass articles along to your friends. We are continually making deposits, so please check back from time to time for our newest articles.

Permission is granted to republish all these articles with attribution, which should include the name of the author and this website: www.lifepathretreats.com


10 Tips for Making Travel a Spiritual Practice

1. Create a travel shrine. A simple home altar dedicated to a trip will establish its spiritual character. Include photos of your destination, reminders of home and anything that contributes to emphasizing the trip’s underlying spiritual nature.

2. Pack virtues. Spiritual provisions are as important as material ones. Read more...


Aesculapius

Joseph Dispenza In Greek mythology, Aesculapius (ess-que-LA-pe-us), son of Apollo, often referred to as the god of medicine or healing, was a Greek healer who became a Greek demigod, and was a famous physician. His mother, the nymph Coronis, a Read more...

Aphrodite and the Recovery of Innocence

Joseph Dispenza She was the most beautiful of all Olympians — the goddess of love, grace, and beauty. You may remember that when young Paris, Prince of Troy, was asked to award the Golden Apple “To the Fairest,” he handed Read more...

Chiron: The Wounded Healer as Mentor

Joseph Dispenza Chiron (pronounced KAI­ron) was the son of the Olympian god Kronos, who took on the form of a horse when he made love to Philyra, a sea nymph. Their union brought forth a centaur, a being with the Read more...

Common Thread Coaching

COMMON THREAD COACHING An Introduction to Life Coaching by Nancy G. Shapiro Part I: Seeking Your Personal Best Though life coaching has been around for over a decade, people still identify it with sports. “Would you make me to do Read more...

Death and Rebirth: The Phoenix

Joseph Dispenza

Here in Mexico, we are preparing for the year’s most remarkable celebration: the annual feast at the beginning of November of Day of the Dead. This may sound at first like a rather somber affair, but it is just the opposite. Spread over two days, it commemorates family members who have gone before and celebrates their birth into the world of spirit.

During this time, death itself is extolled as the passage that makes possible the transformation to new life. Skeletons, coffins, and skulls made of sugar candy are sold everywhere in the streets, along with bunches of fresh and fragrant marigolds, the flower of the dead. Families camp around the graves of their ancestors in the old cemeteries, and visit with them through the night, in what is surely the most complete of all family reunions.

We have in the myth of the Phoenix an archetype that represents the same amazing, magical process of going from death to life.

The Myth

The phoenix bird symbolizes immortality, resurrection and life after death. In ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology, it is associated with the sun god.

According to the Greeks, the bird lives in Arabia, near a cool well. Every morning at dawn, the sun god would stop his chariot to listen to the bird sing a beautiful song while it bathed in the well.

Only one phoenix exists at a time. When the bird felt its death was near, every 500 to 1,461 years, it would build a nest of aromatic wood and set it on fire. The bird then was consumed by the flames.

A new phoenix sprang forth from the pyre. It embalmed the ashes of its predecessor in an egg of myrrh and flew with it to Heliopolis, ‘city of the sun,’ where the egg was deposited on the altar of the sun god. > Read more about The Phoenix

Personal Transformation in Your Life

The ancients conceived of the Phoenix as a reminder to us that we have the power to re-create ourselves when it becomes clear that the ‘old’ is not working anymore. You’ll remember the definition of madness: to do the same thing in the same way, and expect a different outcome. Phoenix energy gives us the opportunity to put an end to the old way of doing things, and the old ways of regarding ourselves, and enter into a new place where we can create ourselves a fresh and dynamic person.

Motivational speaker Linda McNeil has created a quiz for us to find out if we are ready to change. Take a few minutes to find out. Answer each of the following questions yes or no and jot your answers down on a piece of paper, or in your journal; don’t analyze, just respond.

  1. Have you ever considered the impact of your life choices on your present circumstances?

  2. Are you willing to choose differently in order to change your life?

  3. Are you now experiencing some type of personal, professional or financial ‘pain’ in your life?

  4. Are you able and willing to ask for help?

  5. Will you accept responsibility for new life circumstances and results?

  6. Are you able to persist, day in and day out, to create new results in your life?

  7. Do you know how to let go of your old ways of doing, being and thinking to start a new way?

  8. Are you aware of what really makes you happy?

  9. Do you sometimes find yourself acting as a victim or martyr when difficulties arise?

  10. Are you surrounded by positive, supportive people who will share your dream with you?

If you answered yes to at least five of the above questions, you are ready for personal transformation!

Using the Phoenix as Your Guide

Just as the Phoenix rose from the ashes of its former self, you can resurrect yourself as a new person. You may feel that the old ways are not working anymore, and you want to create new ways. You have the power to do this in all areas of your life. You just need to take the first step. And, while you are contemplating the necessary changes that will bring about a new you, remember to sift through the ashes of the past, as the new Phoenix did, to see not only what you would like to discard, but also what you would like to keep.

Meditation Idea

The color of the Phoenix is RED, so when you are contemplating your changes, wear red, look at the color red, imagine red. It will help put you in touch with this ancient archetype.

Footnote: in our culture, we have transposed the Phoenix into the Stork, which brings babies — it is the same idea…the bird that brings new life.

Recommended Reading

7 Keys to Changing – Your Life, Health and Wealth
by Linda McNeil

This is a powerful attitude book on change–from the inside out! It offers seven proven tools for losing weight, stopping smoking, improving health, and moving from debt to wealth. The author has lost 1/3 of her body weight and kept it off for more than 18 years. She nearly spent herself into bankruptcy, battled addiction, fought dangerously high blood pressure, suffered two unhappy marriages, and was driven to “succeed.” After understanding that true change can come only from the inside out, Lin has turned her life around personally and professionally. Each of the 7 keys (based on the acronym CHANGES) is followed by workbook questions and space for the reader to truly make the process personal. Learn how to change for real, for good!


Chiron: The Wounded Healer as Mentor

Chiron (pronounced KAI­ron) was the son of the Olympian god Kronos, who took on the form of a horse when he made love to Philyra, a sea nymph. Their union brought forth a centaur, a being with the head and upper body of a man, and the lower body of a horse. He taught young Asklepios the art of healing. Asklepios was the teacher of Hippocrates — the Father of Medicine.

At birth, Chiron was rejected by his mother. But the great god Apollo adopted the child and schooled him thoroughly in the arts, sciences, and mysteries that he would need to rise above his beast nature. He lived alone in a cave and over time earned a reputation as a great healer, astrologer, prophet, and teacher. Chiron was unable to treat an incurable wound in his own knee which he had suffered through an arrow. He was, therefore, known as the ‘wounded healer.’

Chiron had many illustrious students: Achilles, the mighty Greek warrior in the battle at Troy; Asklepios, the herbalist and surgeon whose serpent entwined staff is the familiar emblem of the modern medical profession; and Hercules, the immortal hero. Chiron prepared Hercules to successfully accomplish his twelve labors — heroic acts which symbolize the challenges facing each of us on our spiritual path. Chiron was also the teacher of Jason, who recovered the Golden Fleece. Chiron told Jason which stars to steer by to attain this timeless treasure.

As an archetype, Chiron embodies key a lesson for today: how to link the daily concerns of life (paying the rent, washing the laundry, getting around in the world, and so forth) with the more profound spiritual realities — and then sharing what we learn with others. Chiron thus symbolizes the ability to establish a working bridge between the realm of the earth and the realm of Spirit.

Consider Being a Mentor

Mentors encourage others — and their presence is needed now more than ever in our homes, communities and workplaces. For many people these days, demands are increasing, feelings of isolation are common and worries abound about looking foolish for ‘not knowing the best ways to proceed’ in unfamiliar territory. Whether in our personal or professional lives, the benefit of a mentoring relationship is being able to obtain advice, learn, as well as make mistakes in a safe and supportive environment.

Counselor Pam Howard says that ‘the mentoring relationship is interdependent with the acts of giving and receiving, teaching and learning, flowing both ways.’ By mentoring others, we become aware of the limits of our own knowledge and are stimulated to continue to improve ourselves. Effective mentoring relationships are those in which both parties benefit.

The opportunities are endless when you are willing to share your knowledge and life lessons with others. Consider options such as:

  • mentoring children and students through programs with community organizations like Big Brothers, Big Sisters, sports groups, and specialized services within schools…

  • providing direction and support to a young, single parent dealing with multiple responsibilities and limited resources…

  • assisting a college or university student to increase their knowledge of realities within your field of work…

  • guiding a younger worker within your organization in choices affecting their professional development…

  • serving as a mentor for a friend who is dealing with unfamiliar territory as they go through a major life change…

  • helping someone on a spiritual quest or undergoing a spiritual challenge, offering your own experience as a way of assisting them on their path.

Be guided in your mentoring by the spirit of Chiron, which was animated by an openness to learning, humility, self-acceptance, integrity, kindness and non-judgement, patience and perseverance, and simplicity.

Like Chiron, we all are wounded. Like Chiron, too, we can become healers out of our wounds, helping others to cross bridges that we, with effort and grace, have crossed before.

Suggested Reading

Carl Jung: Wounded Healer of the Soul
by Clare Dunne

What is not integrated from the unconscious casts itself outward as our fate.
C. G. Jung

Deftly interweaving letters and commentary with an extraordinary array of 150 ancient and contemporary images, including three of Jung’s paintings from his private journal, the unpublished ‘Red Book,’ Dunne helps readers grasp Jung’s insight that the divine contains both light and dark, and that — as a 79-year-old Jung wrote — ‘A complete life does not consist in a theoretical completeness, but in the fact that one accepts, without reservation, the particular fatal tissue in which one finds oneself embedded.

Tao Mentoring: Cultivate Collaborative Relationships in All Areas of Your Life
by Chungliang Al Huang, Jerry Lynch, Laura Archera Huxley

A beautiful, clear book about friendship, learning, teaching, growing — about life. There is joy in these pages, and love, much much love.

John Robbins, founder of EarthSave and author of Diet for a New America and May All Be Fed


Demeter: Nurtured by the Mother Within

Joseph Dispenza The ancients believed that there was a time when the earth enjoyed an unending season of temperate weather. Because trees were always green and flowers always bloomed, the world was filled with life and beauty. Crops also grew Read more...

Eros: The Ecstasy of Relationship

Joseph Dispenza Eros was the god of love in Greek mythology. And with a power as potent as that of love and desire, it should come as no surprise that Eros played a significant role in myth and legend. Indeed, Read more...

Go ‘Pro’ – How Probiotics Can Help You Be Happier

by Alicia Wilson Rivero The risk of not acting far outweighs the risk of acting. – Greg Craven WARNING: The consumption of probiotics might produce a balanced bio-culture in the bowels, a better functioning digestive system and a sense of Read more...

Heaven on Earth

Joseph Dispenza Mankind will need to venture far beyond planet Earth to ensure the long-term survival of our species, according to the world’s best known scientist, Professor Stephen Hawking. The Daily Telegraph If you have a sense that the quality Read more...

Hercules Cleans Up

Joseph Dispenza Like most authentic heroes, Hercules had a god as one of his parents. He was the son of the supreme deity, Zeus, and a mortal woman. Zeus’s queen, Hera, was jealous of Hercules, and when he was still Read more...

How To Remember Your Dreams

Note: our friend Charles McPhee, the Dream Doctor, died recently at the early age of 49. These are his suggestions for better dream recall. The key to having a rich dream life — is to learn how to wake up Read more...

Looking Back: Orpheus

As the end of the calendar year quickly approaches, television, newspapers, and magazines are reviewing what has happened in the past twelve months. Watching and reading about the events in the past seem to be the order of the day. Read more...

Love Transforms: Beauty and the Beast

Joseph Dispenza The ageless children’s story Beauty and the Beast is one of the finest parables we have about the transforming qualities of love — and about one of life’s most important lessons: things are not always what they seem. Read more...

Preventing Winter Colds and Flus with Natural Medicine, by Dana Kraft, Naturopath

(Originally published on the November 29th, 2011 issue of El Consejo.) It’s usually around Christmas that my phone starts ringing off the hook, with congested, sneezing, coughing clients on the other end of the line asking for herbal help! Winter Read more...

Pygmalion and the Passionate Life

Joseph Dispenza At this time of year, our attention usually turns to one of the more romantic characters of mythology: Cupid, the personification of love — and not just love, but being-in-love. But there is another great love story in Read more...

Recovering a Sense of Balance in Retreat

Beverly Nelson, Ph.D.

In Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now, Maya Angelou says, “If we step away for a time, we are not, as many may think and some will accuse, being irresponsible, but rather we are preparing ourselves to more ably perform our duties and discharge our obligations.”

Many others have written about the importance of retreat and solitude. But in our busy world today, to take a retreat to restore and rejuvenate seems unlikely, if not impossible.

Being busy is a given for many working people. And, we’re probably not going to get any less busy. What we often fail to understand, however, is that we can be busy and still lead a balanced life. In recent years, busy people have often been labeled as unbalanced workaholics. This may be taking it a little too far. Yes, some busy people may be unbalanced and overwhelmed but, interestingly, other busy people may not be. What’s the difference? Read more...


Riches from the Depths: Poseidon

Joseph Dispenza Poseidon is a god of many names, including, for the Romans, Neptune. He is most famous as the god of the sea. The son of Cronus and Rhea, Poseidon is one of six siblings who eventually “divided the Read more...

Sunset Magazine: “Falling for San Miguel”

Falling for San Miguel In this charming Mexican city, one visit can change your life People love San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. They love San Miguel so much that when you tell them you’re making your first visit, their love Read more...

Thanksgiving Prayers and Blessings from Different Cultures and Faiths

Great Spirit of Universal Love and Compassion, Thank you for having chosen us out of limitless creative possibilities to share the spark of your Divine Life. Thank you for helping us to understand that we are all part of One Read more...

The Art of Your Soul

by Nancy G. Shapiro from the June 2005 issue of Spirituality & Health magazine In times of transition, let your intuition chart your future. All you need is a glue stick. “I can’t stand it! I hate this place!” My Read more...

The Penantes: Blessings of the Household Gods

Joseph Dispenza There is a tremendously emotional scene in Virgil’s Aeneid when Aeneas, prince of Troy, is fleeing the burning ruins of his city. Making his way as quickly as possible to the harbor with his frail father on his Read more...

The Seeker: Looking for the Holy Grail

Joseph Dispenza Seeking happiness and fulfillment is a good thing. But what we may be seeking, ultimately, is the Truth at the center of ourselves. Remember the story of the Holy Grail: The Grail was said to be the cup Read more...

The Ultimate Makeover: Cinderella

Joseph Dispenza Last month, the New York Times reported a story with this remarkable headline: ‘If Shoe Won’t Fit, Fix the Foot? Popular Surgery Raises Concern.’* ‘With vanity always in fashion and shoes reaching iconic cultural status,’ reporter Gardiner Harris Read more...

The “Gimme” Spirituality of The Secret

Joseph Dispenza Greed, like the love of comfort, is a kind of fear. Cyril Connolly (1903-1974) Leave it to our consumer capitalist culture to turn even high spiritual principles into cash. The creed of spiritual materialism has been inching up Read more...

There’s No Place the White Clouds Can’t Go

Nowhere the plumage of doves and angels isn’t moving over the dusty stairways of the Ancient City. The Moorish tiles spell as always, the name of God in letters of fire, in the shade of blue that is exactly your Read more...

This Will Find You Ready

When you lose everything, then you track. This world is always spinning, on chicken legs, at the edge of the forest. You will need each chip of obsidian, every flake of flint, all caught parts of conversations. Glimpses of clematis Read more...

Toward Global Consciousness: King Arthur

Joseph Dispenza Every generation, it seems, re-creates King Arthur for its own purposes — and in its own image. This month a new movie is out on the King Arthur legend, a good time to look deeper into the mysterious Read more...

Trusting the Process: Penelope

Joseph Dispenza The Universe has some great things in store for you if you will do all you can, then just sit still and trust ‘the process’ to work its way to a successful — and often dazzling — conclusion. Read more...

Understanding Boundaries and Standards

Beverly Nelson, Ph.D. In the LifePath retreats we lead, we help people understand that healthy boundaries and high standards are essential in creating a LifePath that is in alignment with who they are. In the many articles and books written Read more...

Wake up heart!

Wake up! You’ve slept too long in the iron bed of yearning. You’ve slept too long. The bedclothes are slovenly. Get up & make that bed of a heart! The alarm has gone off. What time is it? It is Read more...

Where Did the Gods Go?

What does leaving the gods out of ‘Troy’ mean for humankind? By Joseph Dispenza A subtitle for the new blockbuster, “Troy,” could be: “Where Have All the Gods Gone?” Except for a few jabs at the apparent powerlessness of the Read more...

Writing Myself Back To Life

  WRITING MYSELF BACK TO LIFE By Nancy G. Shapiro Summer 2002, Spirituality & Health magazine All my life I circled around the written word, mostly as a reader. I remember summer vacations filled with visits to the public library. Read more...

Yearning for Security: The Three Little Pigs

Joseph Dispenza Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? We all are, apparently. We come into this world from a comfortable place, the womb, and forever afterwards, it seems, we yearn for and seek out the security of that cozy, Read more...