I will summarize two self-help methods, the first is a simple article
by Keen (1988; later supplemented by a book by Valley-Fox & Keen,
1992) and the other is an involved book by Feinstein and Krippner
(1988). Both use many fantasies to tap your underlying belief systems
Keen suggests these steps to finding meaning in your life through
Answer the old question, "Who am I?" Give 10 answers. And,
"What would I like to be that I'm not?" Give 10 answers. And,
"What would I not want to be?" Give 10 answers. These
answers reflect many of the hoped for (hero) and the dreaded
(villain) stories in your culture, your family and your life.
Draw your "life line"--the highs (paradise) and lows (paradise
lost) of your life from birth to now. Sketch on the line the five
major events of your life.
Draw a floor plan of your childhood home(s). Who lived there?
What were they like? How did they relate? What were the
moods and the feelings, the joys, the fears, the frustrations,
the rules, the conflicts, the intimacy? What does this tell you
about your expectations about life?
Draw a map of your hell. Who would you put there and why?
Family, "friends," and other people who have hurt you. People
with traits you dislike--arrogance, meanness, greed, ignorance,
prejudice, cheating, lying, grossness, etc. People in history or
stories who seem especially evil or disgusting to you.
Draw a picture of your heaven. The greatest people in history
and in your life. Show what they have done--shown courage,
forgiven, loved, been brilliant, been fun, given help, lead,
patiently been there, shared wisdom, etc.
By contrasting (4) and (5), it will be clear what your
personal mythology considers good and bad, right and wrong,
the worlds of light and darkness, things to strive for and
What needs to happen to make my life complete? What ideals
and potentials have I not met yet? What promises have I
made? Draw a picture of where you would like to be in ten
years, indicating your goals, who you will be with, your work,
the circumstances surrounding you, your feelings, etc.
Tell your story to others and think about your strengths and the
positive parts, enjoy and think about their stories, and make
plans to accomplish as many of your dreams as possible. Make
your life one hell of a story.
Feinstein and Krippner (1988) suggest exploring the beliefs of your
forefathers (or mothers for women). Start by identifying with your
great-great-grandfather (mother if female) and asking (as though you
were them): What concerns you? What gratifies you? What is your
work? What is your position within society? What are your strengths