A Heroes Journey Begins With A Call Or A Fall – What Will You Choose?
Most of us are in what Joseph Campbell calls “Sleepy Land”. We get so bound up in the day to day details of living, that we fall asleep to our purpose.
The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, “Look, you’re in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you there, and so it starts.
– Joseph Campbell
Then one day it happens. We notice that we are missing something. We want more. We wake up to the fact that “more” is not more money. It is not a better job. It is not a bigger house. It is not a more luxurious car. It is elusive, and we may not know what “it” is. But we begin to figure out what “it” isn’t. It is our birthright,. It is what takes our life from “normal” to “greatness”.
Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves.
– Carol Pearson
Men like Steve Jobs and Richard Branson figured out what that was for them. And while they had all of the things that people think will make them happy, it was the “more” that actually brought them to greatness. The dragons we must confront are all the lies that we told ourselves. If I rise up in the ranks at work, I will be happy. If I make six or seven figures, then I will be happy. If only I had a sports car I would be so happy. What we must discover is what “it” is.
All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.
– Martin Buber
They may have started out after all of the material things, but they ended up with the “more”. There is a Billy Crystal movie from years ago. It was called City Slickers. Billy Crystal’s character meets up with this cowboy who asks him if he knows the secret of life. “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean shit.” Billy Crystals character asks him what that one thing is, and the cowboy replies, “that’s what you have to find out.” It isn’t things and stuff. It is something more. It is something that demands more of you than you think that you have to give. And if you find it, and follow it where it leads, you will lead a life you never thought would be possible.
A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
– Joseph Campbell
This something else is transcendence. Transcendence happens when we “reclaim the visionary, the utopian, the dream of the better or happier world” – when everything that we touch becomes a prayer.
The genuine exploration of one’s self as an individual is the greatest contribution you can make toward humanity and all life. Ironically, inner self-reliance is what makes the whole of humanity stronger.
So how do we discover what it is? We have to walk out the door of the safe comfortable space we have created for ourselves. We have to walk down that path to the unknown. We have to enter the dark forest. You have to embark on the Hero’s journey. It is how you discover the vast resources that reside within you. A hero’s journey – finding the edge of your unknown forest, and entering into the heart of darkness.
What do you find there? You explore the caves of the past and you wake up to the dreams of the future. You let go of the life of existence, of “go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed and repeat over and over again”. The journey is an individual one, and each persons journey is different. We have to go within and listen to what our own truth is. Some walks you have to take alone. Otherwise your truth, your inner voice gets drowned out by others.
The hero journey is inside of you; tear off the veils and open the mystery of your self.
– Joseph Campbell
Traveling down into the depths of the abyss we recover treasures of life. We recover the dreams we let die. Se see that the stories that we have told ourselves about past hurts are not entirely true. We become excavator’s and dig up the bones of the past. We let the past blow away like dust on the winds of healing. We see that most of the problems in our life have been mirrors being held up to us. Most of the time, we were too blind or too scared to acknowledge the truth. By exploring the darkness we become enlightened.
The fatal mistake is waiting for life’s circumstances to be right before we begin. Simply begin with your heart, look deeply into it and trust what you feel. Practice knowing and you will know.
– Hugh Prather
We become curious, our mind opens up to new ideas. Changes begin as we see new worlds to explore that have lain beneath the normalcy of our past life. We see possibilities instead of complications. We wonder. We release. We transform. We heal and become whole for the first time. We have to enter the forest and break away, to walk the hero’s path.
We realize that although we were damaged, we survived and that makes us dangerous. Because we now know how to not only survive, we know how to become whole again. We become both a mentor and a teacher for ourselves.
The wound is the place where the light enters you.
Being a mentor to oneself with love, light, grace, and compassion. Being a teacher to yourself with rage, darkness, fear, and judgment. We are both. Both are required for the heroes journey. Speaking love to overcome rage,. Speaking light to overcome darkness. Speaking grace to overcome fear. Speaking compassion to overcome judgment.
I guess that’s the thing about a hero’s journey. You might not start out a hero, and you might not even come back that way. But you change, which is the same as everything changing. The journey changes you, whether or not you know it, and whether or not you want it to.
– Kami Garcia