The JOurneY Method describes a 4-stage process for stewarding meaning.
In Stage 1 our meaning model comes from an external source we didn't choose. We are given society's cumulative answer about how to live. We only have the single model and our task is to learn it and conform to it. Biology, parents, peers and society serve as a key source of our Stage 1 Model. We may live out our lives here, experiencing increasingly positive results. For others, a Stage 1 Model breaks down and after experiencing increasingly negative effects, it is time to abandon it.
In Stage 2 we choose a new meaning model to replace the Stage 1 Model. Stage 2 is experienced both in opposition to Stage 1 and in increasing adoption of Stage 2. There are 2 competing programs and we are affirmed in our new choice. We go from having a job to being an entrepreneur; from Democrat to Republican; from Christian to Buddhist (or vice versa). Stage 2 progresses similarly to Stage 1, at first with increasingly positive results. Many will be satisfied and stay here for the duration. However, just as with Stage 1, Stage 2 breaks down for some and they experience increasingly negative effects. At this point we have come full circle. The individual has 3 choices: return to Stage 1, go in search of a new Stage 2 Model or enter Stage 3.
Stage 3 is a true departure from the first two stages. Unlike Stage 1, we are choosing our meaning model. Unlike Stage 2, we take full responsibility for creating our own meaning rather than choosing from a set of externally-defined alternatives. Our meaning comes from within ourselves and we are the authors of our program. In Stage 3 we adopt the positive aspects from the earlier stages, while discarding the negatives. This stage also never ends because we continually curate our meaning, not just from our first 2 stages, but from any other models and new information we come into contact with. The test of success in Stage 3 is not compliance with a model but in finding what is true for ourselves. Our mindset shifts from outcome-orientation to process-orientation.
Human beings have multiple aspects - physical (gender, sexuality, race), spiritual, core energy (see MRE Model), political, work, etc. All of these aspects are independent melodies in the fugue of our being. Each of these can be stewarded through the 3 stages. Stage 4 occurs when all the core aspects of an individual are Stage 3-ing. In Stage 4, the individual works to harmonize all their aspects to make one integrated meaning program. This is each person's unique House of Meaning.
The core action of journeying is stewardship. Stewardship is the act of assisting the unique expression of a being. We begin by stewarding our own journey and extend stewardship to others, organizations, communities and nature.