Goals. Resolutions. Visions. If you are like me, you have an idea of what you want to implement and reach this new year. But the way to achieve our goals is sometimes an emotional roller coaster full with moments of fear, joy, uncertainty and fulfillment.
Joseph Campbell, an American Mythologist, designed “The Hero’s journey“. This is the typical pattern of a hero’s journey, which is repeated in various myths, legends and stories in modern pop culture. The concept of the hero’s journey can also be applied on our own lives and helps us to understand and to overcome the ups and downs of this journey.
You are the hero of your own life story. Wherever you stand in your hero’s journey, I hope this article helps you to jump over your own shadow, to take the next step and to follow your calling in the new year.
Your Hero’s Journey
1. The Call to Adventure
Your hero’s journey begins in your usual daily routine. There’s something wrong, something seems to be missing. Even if you can not define it, you can feel it clearly. Suddenly a new path appears in front of you as an inspiration, a target or an intent, which calls you to new adventures. Do you accept the challenge?
What new paths have revealed themselves to you this year?
When Lisa and I came up with the idea of «journey to real life» last year, there was a new path that would change the way we lived our lives. We were faced with the decision to follow this calling, or continue to live our life as usual.
2. Refusal of the Call
I’m sure you know this too. To follow the call of adventure it would mean to step out of our comfort zone and to meet our own weaknesses and uncertainties. In many cases, this leads to a denial of the call. The initial enthusiasm fades.
3. The Mentor
The apperrence of a mentor, a person who prepares us and inspires us to take the journey into the adventure, can turn the original refusal to approval. A rolemodel, a blog or a book, which shows us the feasibility of the way, could also appear as a mentor. In the case of Journey to Real Life established blogs, sustainability pioneers and forward-thinking entrepreneurs have inspired us, to go on. Surrounding yourself with people who have the mindset you seek can be life-transforming as well.
4. Crossing the Threshold
You overcome yourself and cross the threshold to the new world. What is your next step? When Lisa and I decided to kick off Journey to Real Life we set up the blog on an intense weekend, wrote a dessert cookbook created first blog contents. The next step can also be much smaller. The important thing is to take the first step forward, no matter how small.
5. Belly of the Whale
As soon as the trip has started, we become aware of the extent of the objective we have chosen for us. The obstacles on our way threaten to overwhelm us. Courage and resilience is needed. As mentioned in a previous article, the obstacle is the way to fulfilling our dreams.
6. The Road of Trials
Our inner resistence manifests itself in obstacles and problems which can be interpreted as trials. Often times things in life do not happen exactly as planned. These trials make life worth living and build our character.
7. The Meeting with the Goddess
You meet allies, which complement you and make you whole. We have started our way with journey to real life as a couple. We complement each other in our strengths and weaknesses, and if one can not continue, the other helps him up. In classical myths it’s mostly someone from the opposite sex (a goddess, a God), which makes one whole. Maybe you already found your companions or you’ll meet them later this year.
8. The Temptation
On our hero’s journey, we are repeatedly subjected to worldly desire. We lose sight of our goals and give into temptations. However, this is not the end.
9. The Atonement
For a long time, we are dependent on external circumstances and in conflict with expectations from outside and our own individuality. We are waiting for external approval while wanting to make our own way. It’s the point at which we experience atonement and learn to trust ourselves. As a result, we acknowledge our own role and responsibility. This is the stage I’m in in certain areas of life.
While achieving our goals we become aware that we carry divine potential in us. Nothing seems impossible.
11. The Ultimate Boon
There comes the time we have internalized our new resolutions. The reached goal symbolizes the experiences we have made on this way. These will henceforth accompany us on our way of life.
12. Refusal of the Return
After such an adventure it can be difficult, to return to everyday life. We literally fall in love with the new version of ourselves and our new environment. I especially have this feeling after holidays, boot camps and health weeks.
13. The Flight
It can happen that we lose ourselves in our new identity. This has the result that we must tear ourselves away from the newly discovered world. External circumstances or internal motives are force us to return to our daily lives.
14. Rescue from Without
As when starting out the hero’s journey, to find our way back to everyday life, companions are required as well. Why should you ever want to go back, now that you have reached the supposed destination? More on this in step 17.
15. The Crossing of the Return Threshold
You’ve reached the end of your journey. Back in the “normal” world, you learn to integrate your experiences and skills in your everyday life.
16. Master of Two Worlds
Now in addition to the skills and experience you had before your journey you have the newly learned skills. All the trials and obstacles you have overcome made you a more mature person.
17. Sharing the Experiences with the World
You pass on what you’ve learned on your journey in the form of short stories, articles, art, your appearance, and much more. We change the world by being ourselves.
With Journey to Real Life we have set the goal of passing on everything we learn on our journey to a more conscious and sustainable life in relationship to our environment, our fellow human beings and ourselves. In this process we constantly learn new things, what puts our hero’s journey back to the start and calls us to new adventures. This makes our ongoing Journey to Real Life.
The Call to Adventure
Are you following your calling?
When you accept the challenge, you’ll come back as a new person. A greater version of your self awaits you.
Happy new year 2016!
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This article was originally published on the 5th of January 2016.