The Hero's Journey

Were you a hero today? Did you slay a dragon haunting you from inside your psyche? Maybe you did so without realizing the significance of your actions.

Joseph Campbell, professor, author and philosopher, described “The Hero’s Journey” as a cycle that we go through over and over again as we delve deeper into our own psyches and summon archetypal themes to make our lives richer. The journey is simple – first initiation, then slaying the dragon that we must face and overcome, and lastly the return when we give back the essence of the journey and what we have learned. Slaying the dragon means the death of beliefs and behaviors that are not of use to us anymore, repelling outside influences that undermine our unique soul purpose. To grow requires discarding outdated rules that we allowed to govern us, sometimes fomenting an inward battle plagued with fear but not being deterred by it.

Carefully laid out in the film “Finding Joe” is the blueprint for living fulfilled. Each time we embark on a hero’s journey we encounter a dragon that must be slayed so we can move forward in authenticity. That beast inhibited our growth and diminished our potential, snuffed out our uniqueness and rendered us helpless under an image imprinted on our hearts. The hero’s journey is played out in many films such as Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz. The theme might ring true because we have experienced the archetype of those experiences in our own lives.

Campbell is credited with the notion “follow your bliss” which acknowledges the feeling of aliveness as the guiding light. Doing what makes us feel the most alive and most passionate is the essence of the hero’s journey which celebrates creativity and imagination and the contribution of our special journeys. See the film “Finding Joe” if you can. Maybe you will be inspired, too.

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