The hero’s journey is such a profound template. It’s profound in its universality as well as its scalability. Here is a cool breakdown of the hero’s journey as described by its popular spokesperson, Joseph Campbell:
There are mini hero’s journey’s; I have been intending to make fasting a more regular practice. I see the impact it has on me, it humbles me, it puts me in a place of surrender and gives me access to different states of consciousness. I am on my second day of fasting and I have resisting the call for some time now. I mean I really like food! But a few days ago, something in me knew it was time to follow through with my intention. So, I crossed the threshold and had to face some ordeals, namely hunger. Yesterday hunger felt like a small child constantly tugging at my shirt, “Hey, I’m hungry, let’s eat”, it was challenging. I wanted to breakdown and eat many times yesterday, I also had to move through a well-known pattern of getting a two-hour flu when I fast. Today feels like my reward, I feel present, I feel grounded, I feel like my brain, stomach, liver, and digestive system gets a reboot and I feel great today; the child tugging at my shirt has finally gone to bed.
There are also larger hero’s journeys. In my twenties I worked for seven years at a job that I despised. During that period, I knew I was not living the life that was not a reflection of who I am. The job provided financial security and gave me just enough crumbs to stay but left me starving (thanks Kendra Cunov for such a great metaphor!) As I approached my thirtieth birthday I knew I had to make a change. So, I quit my job and I decided to go back and finish my schooling. Once I made that decision I knew there was no turning back, I could not go back to the ordinary world. My journey took me from Utah to California. During my seven years in California I faced many challenges, I had to fight tons of dragons; I quit smoking, I wrestled with a demon named shame, I saw parts of myself that I don’t want to look at, and I had to honestly deal with my baggage leftover from leaving the Mormon Church. When I left Utah, I left HATING the state!!!! I hated the culture and the people, the only redeeming quality was the mountains. Now that I have returned it is hilarious just how in love I am with the culture and the people here, they feel like my tribe, it feels like home here.
It is not lost on me that I was gone for seven years, or the time elapsed in which every cell has regenerated in my body. You could say I lived a whole life while in California. And the symbolism fits nicely with the hero’s journey. And, it seems like the elixir that I have returned with is the understanding that the way we perceive the external world is simply a reflection of our internal state of being.