The Hero’s Journey was first described by Joseph Campbell in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. In his book he describes a hero as someone who is drawn out of their day-to-day existence by compelling circumstances into a realm of unexplained wonder where extraordinary forces are encountered and a victory is won. The hero then comes back home from this strange adventure with the power to help his fellow men and women.
Is your life a hero’s journey?
If asked this question most of us would say no, of course not. I am an ordinary person with an ordinary life and far from being any kind of hero. And up until about six years ago I would have answered the same. Not anymore, because now I know that each of us, if we examined our lives closely enough, would discover that we are already a hero in our own right or that our life adventure is calling us forth now.
In my book, Interviewed by God, I tell about how I went from my ordinary life of being a wife, a mother, and running a business and then having my mother fall ill and moving her in with us for end-of-life care, all while beginning to have profound mystical experiences. These were my compelling circumstances that created such stress and confusion in my life that something had to pop. These are the first two stages of the hero’s journey.
Does it seem like you have an ordinary life and yet you are experiencing internal or external pressures that yearn to be relieved? If so, then you too are being called to a new adventure of discovery.
When you hear this do you feel a little uncomfortable, maybe even scared because you don’t know what that means and it seems a little overwhelming? You might say, adventure – that could be dangerous! If so, you’re right on track. That’s third stage of the hero’s journey: refusing the call.
Well I’m here to tell you that the adventure is safe.
Scary at first? Yes. Unknown? Certainly! And even weird and seemingly crazy at times, but it is safe. Safer in fact than what most of us call our ordinary life. How so? Because the most dangerous outcome we face in life is to have missed our true purpose and to end up having lived a life of mediocrity.
In my book I talk about the strange and wild adventure that I encountered on my journey – the messages I have received and the deep connection that I have created with my highest source of wisdom. This is the fourth stage of the hero’s journey, meeting their mentors, those who will give them the wisdom to successfully complete their journey.
I would be honored if I could be counted as one of your mentors and my book used as a mirror to help you reflect on your own hero’s journey. Or your first mentor may already be in your life. The person who has been encouraging you to take your next step of self-discovery, even if it’s as simple as trying a yoga class or meditation, or some other action that will lead you to down a new and unpredictable path.
And here we are on the threshold of the fifth stage. This my friends is where I must leave you now, with a decision to make. Will you commit to crossing the threshold; leaving your ordinary life and entering a new world with unfamiliar rules and values? Will you embark on your own journey that will take you where you’ve always wanted to go? Which in your hero’s journey will always ultimately lead you back home, back home to your true self.