We are the Heros (and Heroines) of our own journeys!
If you've never heard about it, this term was coined by Dr Joseph Campbell after studying numerous myths, fairy tales and legends around the world and discovered there is one story arc common to them all - he connected this with the arc of the human life's journey.
If you're going through a difficult time in your life, it's very empowering to know that there's proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, or a reward at the end of your trials and tribulations.
That's what mapping your own journey on the model of the Hero's Journey can do for you. It gives you perspective, hope, and strength to keep going. It helps you look for resources where you might have only been seeing challenges so far. And it helps you focus on your strengths and support where before all you saw was shortcomings and chaos.
There are a number of distinctive stages of the Hero's Journey, which take the Hero from the Known world, on an adventure into the Unknown world, and back again, profoundly changed:
➊ Living in the Ordinary world
➋ Call to Adventure
➌ Refusal of the Call
➍ Meeting the Mentor
➎ Accepting the Call (cross the threshold of Adventure)
➏ Tests, Challenges, Allies and Learnings
➐ The Reward
➑ Return with the Elixir (Gift to share with others)
Along this path, we first recognise what we're not satisfied with in our lives (symbolised by the "Ordinary world"), we commit to change (Accepting the call), go through the numerous trials and tribulations and in the process build strengths, gather new learnings, as well as allies, and prepare for the journey ahead.
Once we're through the hardest part of the journey we reap the rewards (all the positive consequences of having made the journey), and eventually we travel back, enriched with all the gifts (new experiences, strength and learnings) we've gained along the way. We come back profoundly changed ready to share our Elixir (gifts) with others.
Think of a significant situation in your life right now, and place yourself on the Hero's Journey map.
Are you sensing that something needs to change, but you haven't committed to doing anything about it (yet)? You may be hearing the call to adventure but have been refusing it.
Or are you going through a very difficult situation, not seeing the end to it? You are probably beyond the threshold of adventure, in the thick of tests and challenges, but don't forget you're also gathering strengths and allies along the way, preparing you for the journey ahead. Remember to keep your eye on the prize - you will get through this, and reap the reward that is rightfully yours once you're done with the learning this particular time around.
This re-frame of life's meaningful journeys is incredibly empowering and strength-giving.
That's why I'm offering a coaching package to help people navigate their Hero's Journey more skilfully. I love to help, so book a call with me if you're interested!
Also let me know how this post resonates with you. I hope it helps!