Our 16-city book tour to promote My Journey Through War and Peace is going full steam ahead, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many incredible people from this community!
As we’ve shared our thoughts on strength, intuition, fear, masculinity, femininity, spirituality, and most importantly, your unique heroine’s journey, I’ve felt an intense call to share your stories with one another. I can’t be the only one who’s touched and inspired by your beautiful transformations, insights and experiences.
So, to kick us off, today I’m sharing a conversation I had with Annette Eikerenkoetter, a member of this wonderful community. After spending many years in L.A. (which she calls her “soul home,”) Annette now lives in New York with her husband, Xavier Eikerenkoetter. Together, they run the United Palace House of Inspiration in New York, a spiritual community and center in Washington Heights, New York.
Where are you on your heroine’s journey?
I’m a graduate of Pacifica Graduate Institute, so in many ways I’ve been doing this work for a while. With that said, you and I meeting and talking about this comes at a good time.I see the heroine’s journey as an opportunity to reach a new level of personal work, and that’s what I’m working on now. I’ve been really focused on growing the Palace and on my husband, and I’ve been losing myself in it all.
What does that work look like right now?
Right now, I’m feeling a pull to live my own life and not be so vigilant about the people around me. Signs are big for me, so I’ve been looking for the signs and for the synchronicity in my life to help me find more balance and connect me back into myself. Just before you came over, I saw a ladybug in my bathroom. Ladybugs have always been my animal/insect totem, so I knew our meeting would be a fortuitous occasion. I’m also a big dream watcher and have been since I was a kid, but when I do this work I pay more attention to my dreams, from the people to the colors to the images. I try to understand what my psyche is trying to tell me. So I’ve been doing more of that, too. I’m also an astrologer, which helps. Once I take a look at what’s going on from an astrology perspective, it kind of normalizes where I’m at. It helps me understand what energies might be at play and how what’s happening might be affecting my own journey.
Because so much of the heroine’s journey is about turning inward, can you tell me how you connect with your body during this personal work?
In a few ways. Working out and moving my body is really helpful. Reading is also very important, and something I haven’t taken the time to do enough of lately. That’s why your book was such a gift! I haven’t read a book like that in a long time. I also meditate, and especially love Transcendental Meditation. It’s very soothing. Singing is another way to bring calm and relaxation to my body. And then sometimes I just need to sit in front of the TV and escape. It’s also how I can self-protect from pain when I need to.
Does your body have a way of telling you when something is not right?
So part of this journey is learning how to walk in my own power.
What’s the biggest misconception people believe about the heroine’s journey based on your practice and experience?
I think the biggest misconception is when people believe it’s a gender conversation. It’s not. Men go on heroine’s journeys and women go on hero’s journeys. The conversation shouldn’t be about masculinity vs. femininity, but rather what we, as individual people, are feeling and experiencing during these times of our lives.
Do you have any favorite books that helped you do this inner work?
For anyone in your community interested in dream work and mythology, I read a wonderful book years ago by a Jungian Analyst named Marion Woodman called Addiction to Perfection: The Still Unravished Bride, A Psychological Study.I also love Jean Houston. A Mythic Life was great.
Is there anything you’d like to tell anyone in this community who might be learning, for the first time, how to turn inward and embark on their heroine’s journey?
I’d say to remember that if you do choose to do this work, it doesn’t mean you won’t ever come out of the dark again. I’ve always found that valuable to remember.
Thank you so much to Annette for sharing her story with us and for all of her helpful resources!
I’ll be back next week with more tales from the road! In the meantime, keep going.
I’m rooting you on,