Written for all ages, this short simple story contains a powerful therapeutic metaphor designed to cause change within your personality. Though the story and language is deceptively simple, it would be difficult to give a full description of the process that occurs while reading this book. Embedded in the tale of a young boy's struggle to come to terms with a schoolyard bully is another story of another time. Within this story is yet another layer that gives a healing metaphor to the subconscious of the listener.
The impact of simply listening to A Healing Legend: Wisdom from the Four Directions will vary from person to person. It is no magic pill but a working therapeutic tool. It has potential to be very effective on a whole range of personal issues.
Based on the theories and clinical experience of Dr Garry A. Flint, this little book was conceived after much 'lunch time' discussion. Inspired by the idea of using metaphor as a way of producing positive change in the personal issues of others, Jo C. Willems created the boy named Kidd who is struggling with the 'what ifs'. What if the monster from the deep came up out of the drain in the middle of the sidewalk when he was walking by the drain? What if he wasn't able to stop the monster and it destroyed his house and all the houses around the neighborhood? What if his mother opened the refrigerator door and the monster was in there waiting? Oh, that one gave him goose bump shivers!
Then one day while walking in the forest Kidd comes across a tiny bit of stone laying at the base of a tree, a real arrowhead-and this arrowhead can talk!
Once the basic plot and characters were determined, the next step was to hang the therapeutic metaphor onto the story framework. Kidd's anxiety and the discovery of the arrowhead were role-played and recorded by the authors with the arrowhead serving as therapist... A cackle of laughter came from the old flint lying at the base of the tree. "What if I was still a rock way up on that mountain side? What if the arrow maker had never found me and breathed his wisdom over me? What if I didn't know when someone needed to talk? Then where would I be?" The arrowhead laughed again.
"Do you know about 'what ifs' too?" Kidd asked. &"Do you have weird thoughts about 'what if'?'"
"I know all about 'what ifs'. I know about the feelings of being afraid of things that might happen. Even though I know that they won't happen. I know all about the 'what if they happen' fears. Is that the way it is for you?"
"Do you want to figure out how to be happier?" the arrowhead asked...
This recorded 'therapy session' was used to develop the rest of the tale. The end result was tweaked and tuned by numerous children and adults, including teachers, grade school classes, and a grandmother reading to her grandchildren, as well as First Nations Elders and many others.
Though initially designed as a therapeutic tool A Healing Legend: Wisdom from the Four Directions can be read simply as an enjoyable tale. It is a feel-good story with workable resolutions to real life problems. The whimsical weaving of the past and present from generation to generation offers a promise of hope and change. The metaphor embedded within will become your own as this healing legend reaches deep inside and you begin to learn wisdom from the four directions.
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