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Dorothy and her companions travel the yellow brick road, encountering a multitude of hazards and obstacles along the way -- challenges we can all identify with: flying monkeys of fear who can carry us away, wicked witches of jealousy and resentment, alluring detours of poppy fields that can easily sidetrack us from our goal, and militant soldiers standing in the way of our liberation from insecurity and self-doubt.

These are metaphors for the threats and dangers we all face in traveling the yellow brick road of our own careers and lives.

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But the journey wasn't all peril and obstacles -- there are also good witches and mentors to call on when we need assistance, as well as Munchkin friends and fans to cheer us on our way. We are not alone on our journey -- support and encouragement are available at every turn.


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And what of the Wizard? Unlike what the four seekers hoped for and expected, the Wizard does not tap them on the head with some wizardly wand and turn them into something they aren't. No, his job is simply to reassure the foursome that they are not lacking anything -- he helps them recognize their own true talents and abilities. The Wizard's job is to enable the seekers to see themselves more clearly -- he reminds them how smart, talented, and courageous they already are. And let us not forget the shoes -- those magic slippers that take us wherever we want to go.

Brains, Heart, and Courage at Emerald City Theatre

They are the mythical equivalent of wings on our feet, transporting us into the future of our dreams. We all have magic slippers -- traveling shoes that represent the power of belief, the power of affirming what we really want, the power of claiming your heart's desire. The story of Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman, and the Cowardly Lion -- and Toto, too -- is the story of all who seek happiness and fulfillment in their own lives.

It is the quest to discover your true self -- to develop your own brains, heart, and courage -- and to help others do the same. BJ Gallagher is a sociologist and author of over two dozen books, including an international best-seller, "A Peacock in the Land of Penguins" Berrett-Koehler , published in 23 languages. US Edition U.

A Brain, a Heart and Courage

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On the road again

All rights reserved. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Dorothy was somewhat naive in this respect.

The journey with her companions was a kind of home and was her protection. Home also keeps us grounded. Do not forget the people who supported you all your life and helped you evolve. Never lose that connection. The brain, heart, courage, and home are four principles we should live by. Use your heart to spread love and let love in. Use courage to fight your fears and remember that you have a home; your rock in a storm of troubling times.

With these tools Dorothy and her friends faced something that everyone faces in reality- wickedness. She is cloaked in midnight black, a perfectly morbid contrast to her goblin-green skin. Her structure is vulture-like and bony, and her hands are like two green spiders with long pointed fingers. Some wicked people hide behind guises of flawed morality; others let their true wickedness be known and hurt people outright physically or verbally. It could be the toxin that is doubt or fear that we inflict upon ourselves, an inner wickedness similar to cowardice.

Wickedness that is either internal or caused by someone else must be dealt with by inner strength. Wickedness is not a product of reason, nor can it counter the brain, the heart, courage and home. No matter how hard she tried and no matter how many trials she threw out at Dorothy and her friends poppies, flying monkeys, and Winkies, not to mention the crows, bees, and wolves in the book , the small group of misfits was able to overcome. It never comprehends how strong or how capable someone is and its number one downfall is underestimating even the meekest person.

Brains, heart, courage and home: Principles to live by Equinox Staff. January 29, Each character is an archetype to follow and to learn from. The first companion Dorothy meets on her way to the Emerald City is the Scarecrow.

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He is tall and gangly from a lack of straw in his limbs. To top him off, he wears a black shabby hat with a blunt point on top. His body is decorated with sewn-in patches. The only thing the scarecrow lacks is a brain. Some of us can use more of it than others, which is a gift that should be cherished. It is important to always remain teachable and to stay away from the ignorant.

The only thing this man is missing is a heart. The heart is not just an organ that pumps blood. It is a universal representation of love. Organs are studied in science and so is love. We call love chemical, which makes the feelings we feel so impersonal. It is scary to be brave and to fight for what you believe in. The one thing Dorothy wants more than anything is to go back home to Kansas.

Dorothy believes in the power of home. Home for many is the center of our life. Sadly, not everyone has this safe haven. But they should not despair. Home is where you feel love, where you feel safe. Never forget where you come from is what I am trying to tell you.


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Not all things wicked take such obvious evil forms. The principles I have told you are examples of that inner strength. Critically acclaimed film creates emotional response