Welcome to the first episode of the inaugural season of The Little Big Mouth podcast.
In this series, I’ll be taking you through the process of writing my book… as I write it.
Episode 1, “Do as you wish”
Listen to this episode here:
In this first episode, I really wanted to talk about one of my favourite children’s books – The Neverending Story by Michael Eind.
So, in the book, a young, insecure, recently motherless, very much bullied bookworm (named Bastian Balthazar Bux, of all things) escapes his bullies and hides in an esoteric bookstore. While there he stumbles across a mystical book that slowly, as he reads it, brings him into the story – in a more literal way than we’re used to.
This story takes place in the land of Fantastica. Now, Fantastica is on the brink of being taken over by the “Nothing”, an indescribable entity that has suddenly appeared because human beings have stopped believing in their power to dream.
Many of you know this first half of the storyline from the movie (the book is so much better, just so you know). This is what forms the core story in the book Bastian is reading – a young boy of the plains sets out against all odds, on an impossible journey to find the one who can save Fantastica from extinction.
…this unlikely hero turns out to be the reader of the book, Bastian).
It is Bastian, the bumbling, grieving, victimised dreamer, who saves Fantastica and becomes its true hero – just as it has been reduced to the last grain of sand.
It is in the second half of the book, that the unexpected hero, the downtrodden, plump and hopeless Bastian takes over as the true protagonist of the story.
He is given an amulet by the Empress, which contains the inscription “Do what you wish”. With this amulet, Bastian is permitted to create a new Fantastica, crafted out of his own desires. A long, fantastical, yet increasingly dark, journey takes place in the second half of the story, as he creates a new Fantastica that places him as a supreme ruler.
Because the desires that are creating Bastian’s world come from a place of grief, emptiness, insecurity and loss.
Underneath Bastian’s wishes, underneath the stories that are creating his world, is one core desire: the desire to feel loved. A desire distorted by the death of his mother, the emotional neglect of his disassociated father, and his own inability to realise he is worthy of love just as he is. This desire has turned into a compulsion to rule and control.
It is only at the end of the book, when he finally allows himself to become vulnerable, that he creates his truest desire: love. To be loved. To love.
This second half of this book is dark and sometimes it’s hard to read. But it’s also an essential part of the story, a nod to the law of attraction – the idea that we create our own realities — based on fear or trust.
What The Neverending Story tells us that we are stories, perpetually writing ourselves. And that we hold the pen. That pen is like our own amulet – it gives us the permission to do as we wish.
But we can only create from a place of compassion and self-love. We cannot allow trauma, fears and myths to direct us. That requires facing the external nothingness that threatens our collective Fantastica AND the internal nothingness that threatens our internal life.
Otherwise, we create the exact opposite of what we wish.
This is our true heroine’s journey and requires three essential chapters…
- Get clear about what it is you really want, and why — so that you can set conscious intentions behind your wishes and desires.
- Confront the forces that sell you a victim story — externally and internally. And then do the deep work to release and reframe so you can embrace our superpowers.
- Connect to the world around you, so that your heroine’s journey becomes one that is universally enriching and uplifting.
In this week’s episode, I go really deep into story alignment, and embracing your own storylines, by looking at my own story, and my own heritage.