Joseph Campbell was an American scholar best known for his work on comparative mythology. His most famous work was a book called The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Many screenwriters and authors continue to be influenced by the work of Joseph Campbell
We are surrounded by stories of heroes, we find them in books (Lord of the Rings), films (Star Wars), mythology (Prometheus) and religion (Moses). We think back particularly to the Greek myths we studied in school or the Harry Potter books read to our children. Every culture and age have their heroes, they teach us so much about ourselves, about life, about courage and about being human.
Joseph Campbell wrote a book on comparative mythology called The Hero with a Thousand Faces in 1949 and in it described the Hero’s Journey as:
“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”
If we are to live our lives to the very fullest then at some point we either have already or will embark on a journey.
So you’re wondering how on earth this is relevant to us in midlife?
- 7 steps of the hero’s journey
- the ordinary world
- the call to adventure/reluctant hero
- meeting the mentor
- passes first threshold – ie no turning back
- more struggles
- seize the sword
- journey home
How can you relate this to where you are in life right now? I’ve faced my own hero’s journey, and I’m sure you have too. These are perhaps some of the stages you’re facing:
- How are we ‘venturing forth’ in our life?
- Sometimes the ‘journey’ is thrust upon us eg redundancy, illness, or death of a loved one
- Do we feel somewhere, somehow there is more? We could be more?
- Do we at times feel we are sleepwalking through our life?
- Moving out of our comfort zone is for many of us is like stepping out into the ‘region of supernatural wonder’
- The road is not necessarily an easy one once we’ve made the decision to begin this journey, it is the road less traveled. However, we know deep down that it is the right one.
- There is all the help we need on our journey if we want it and ask for it.
Seriously what is the alternative? A half lived life? I’d love to share more with you and perhaps you’d like to talk through embarking on your own hero’s journey. Give me a call or email me….details below.
If not now then when? That’s my motto for midlife…what’s yours?