You are the hero of your own story – Joseph Campbell
I remember when I first heard the phrase “all of life is an adventure” and I was young enough to feel totally energized about that! (Cue the laugh track). Of course when most of us think of adventure, it’s traveling to foreign lands, climbing mountains, exploring caves, discovering treasures. Ah, but there are so many other “adventures” in life. There’s growing up, choosing and starting a career, relationship/marriage, parenthood (holy cow, right?!), starting your own business, old age, to name a few. Each poses the challenge of hiking through the unchartered territory of first experience(s). And, each one promises the joy and pain of what’s entailed to successfully navigate those trails.
Then, there’s the real adventure of a trip we take internally, usually when gently prodded by circumstances, to explore ourselves at a whole new level. Truthfully, there are numerous times in our lives that we are faced with something that calls us to question reality as we know it and seems to tip the sacred cows of all we’ve held dear. What can trigger this adventure?
- Losses of any kind (divorce, death, job/career, health, betrayal, “failure”, financial loss, home, faith, safety…)
- A new experience or knowledge that simply doesn’t fit with what we’ve known or believed before
- Emotional “overloads” like depression, anxiety, overwhelm, breakdown/spiritual awakening
- A challenge we just can’t seem to find our way through
- An unexpected or shocking event that leaves us with “I never thought it would happen to me…”
Think back on your life for moment and ponder the events/experiences that fit any of these descriptions. Focus on one of those and check to see if the following process is close to what you went through:
- The ordinary world: Going about normal life’s business
- Call to adventure: The event/experience that challenges your “normal”
- The Refusal: No, I want to just go back to the way it was (though many times we can’t)
- Mentor/Helper: Someone shows up who can help and/or mentor you through the process
- Crossing the threshold: You enter the new “world” (way of thinking, seeing anew)
- Test/Allies/Enemies: You feel challenged, recognize who can stand with you and who will not
- Approach: You approach the big challenge
- Ordeal: You meet the challenge, though it’s hard
- Reward: You reap the reward
- Road Back: You begin the trip back “home”
- Atonement: You meet the biggest challenge that determines if you will hold onto your new awarenesses or go “back to sleep”
- Return: You return home, to a new normal, because you are not the same person
Basically, this process was first outlined by the amazing Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist, writer and lecturer. This Hero’s Journey process grew out of his concept of monomyth (one myth), a theory that sees all mythic narratives as variations of a single great story. The Hero’s Journey. The journey that we mentor in A Radical Shift.
We bet you can think of a couple of hero’s journeys you have been through! We’d love to hear your thoughts, your stories, you hero, you.
P.S. Two programs beginning October 8th/9th and 29th/30th. Please consider joining us (or referring someone you know), either as an individual or couple. It will bring out the hero in you!