There are moments in life when we feel that we need to step out of something or someone that instead of nurturing our evolution towards a higher self, is dragging us back. Here is the thing, there is a gift we all have which is called discernment. We are energy and there is lots of scientific search and research that sustains it, you just have to navigate on the web in order to find it. So, I will not begin giving a class about that subject.
Being that said, when I took a course about Christ healing I learned about the existence of this precious gift we all have and I would like to share some of that.
Discernment works through our inner voice/intuition, awareness on this because sometimes our ego (representing our inner shadow struggles) https://wp.me/p7G3QF-qv, posted in mindfulness, yoga), begins to operate from our inner vulnerabilities to confuse us within a back and forth loop generating energy of self guilt and drama. That way this hold us back from letting go and move on towards a better version of ourselves finding a state of wellness anywhere else.
When you feel that something or someone brings to your life enlightenment, self-grow, self-love and even encourages any spiritual or religious practice that contributes to your resilience in a positive way; that… is an energy of high vibration which is closer to our “Higher Power” or “God”.
However, if it happens creating you disorientation, anxiety, guilt with self punishment orientation, constant isolation then is an energy that has roots from a low vibration which is obviously dragging you away from your “Higher Power” and source of inner and external love which as result ends up driving you into sorrow and unhappiness.
From my military background I learned about personal courage as an army value, that does not states there is absence of fear, instead teaches us to transmute that fear into a positive energy that will remind us to stay alert if engaged into combat during the darkness (looking forward to survive until dawn) by taking unfamiliar routes in order to succeed until the sun rises.
In summary do not be afraid to take an unfamiliar path. Sometimes they are the ones that take you to the best places. Allow yourself to embrace your inner Hero’s Journey.
Joseph Campbell developed a narratology to guide us into this journey, named “The Hero’s Journey” which is the common template of stories that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, is victorious in a decisive crisis and comes home changed or transformed.
Campbell who was influenced by Carl Jung’s analytical psychology, used the monomyth to deconstruct and compare religions. In his famous book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), he describes the narrative pattern as follows:
“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.”
Below is an illustration of this template and a breakdown of the steps.
1. Ordinary World:
This is where our Hero’s exists before our present story begins, oblivious of the adventures to come. It’s our comfort zone. Our everyday life where we learn crucial details about our true nature, capabilities and outlook on life. This anchors our Hero as a human, just like you and me, and makes it easier for us to identify with him and hence later, empathize with his plight.
2. Call To Adventure
Our adventure begins when we receive a call to action, such as a direct threat to our safety, our family, our way of life or to the peace of the community in which we live. It may not be as dramatic as a gunshot, but simply a phone call or conversation but whatever the call is, and however it manifests itself, it ultimately disrupts the comfort of our Ordinary World and presents a challenge or quest that must be undertaken.
3. Refusal Of The Call
Although we may be eager to accept the quest, at this stage we will have fears that need overcoming. Second thoughts or even deep personal doubts as to whether or not our Hero is up to the challenge. When this happens, we will refuse the call and as a result may suffer somehow. The problem we face may seem to much to handle and the comfort of home far more attractive than the perilous road ahead. This would also be our own response and once again helps us bond further with our reluctant Hero.
4. Meeting The Mentor “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”
At this crucial turning point we desperately need guidance and in serendipity the Universe (God) bring us a mentor figure who gives us something we need. Therefore we could be given an object of great importance, insight into the dilemma we face, wise advice, practical training or even self-confidence. Whatever the mentor provides us with it serves to dispel our doubts and fears encouraging the strength and courage we need to begin our quest. This is when our fears begin to transmute into personal courage, as I mentioned during my introduction.
5. Crossing The Threshold (the doorway)
Our Hero is now ready to act upon the call to adventure and truly begin the quest, whether it be physical, spiritual or emotional. We may go willingly or may be pushed, but either way we finally cross the threshold between the comfort zone and the challenge we are not familiar with, but represents the light or fulfillment into this quest. It may be leaving home for the first time in our life or just doing something we have always been scared to do. However the threshold presents itself, this action signifies our commitment to this journey.
6. Tests, Allies, Enemies
Now finally out of our comfort zone our Hero is confronted with an ever more difficult series of challenges that test us in a variety of ways. Obstacles are thrown across our path; whether they be physical hurdles or people sabotaging our progress, our Hero must overcome each challenge is presented along the journey towards the ultimate goal.
We need to find out who can be trusted and who can’t. Our Hero may earn allies and meet enemies who will, each in their own way, help prepare us for the greater ordeals yet to come. They will become our teachers as well. This is the stage where our skills and/or powers are tested and every obstacle that we face helps us gain a deeper insight into our character and ultimately identify with our Hero even more.
7. Approach To The Inmost Cave
The inmost cave may represent many things in our story such as an actual location in which lies a terrible danger or an inner conflict which up until now we have not had to face. As our Hero approaches the cave (solitude) we must make final preparations before taking that final leap into the great unknown.
At the threshold to the inmost cave we may once again face some of the doubts and fears that first surfaced upon the call to adventure. This means that we may need some time to reflect upon our journey and the treacherous road ahead in order to find the courage to continue. This brief respite helps the people around us to understand the magnitude of the ordeal that awaits us and escalates the tension in anticipation of our ultimate test.
The Supreme Ordeal may be a dangerous physical test or a deep inner crisis that we must face in order to survive or for the world in which we live to continue to exist. Whether it be facing our greatest fear or most deadly foe, we must draw upon all of our skills and experiences gathered upon the path to the inmost cave in order to overcome our most difficult challenge.
Only through some form of “death” we can be reborn, experiencing a metaphorical resurrection that somehow grants us greater power or insight necessary in order to fulfill our destiny. This is the high-point of our story and where everything we hold dear (emotional baggage) is put on the line. If our Hero fails, he will either die or live as he knows it will never be the same again.
9. Reward (Seizing The Sword)
After defeating the enemy, surviving death and finally overcoming our greatest personal challenge, we are ultimately transformed into a new state, emerging from battle as a stronger person and often with a prize.
The Reward may come in many forms:
An object of great importance or power, a secret, greater knowledge or insight, or even reconciliation with a loved one or ally.
Whatever the treasure, which may well facilitate our return to the Ordinary World, that when we must quickly put celebrations aside and prepare for the last leg of his journey.
10. The Road Back
This stage represents a reverse echo of the Call to Adventure in which we had to cross the first threshold. Now we must return home with our reward but this time the anticipation of danger is replaced with that of acclaim and perhaps vindication, absolution or even exoneration.
But our Hero’s journey is not yet over and we may still need one last push back into the Ordinary World. The moment before we finally commit to the last stage of our journey may be a moment in which we must choose between our own personal objective and that of a Higher Cause.
This is the climax in which our Hero must have the final and most dangerous encounter with the metaphorical death. The final battle also represents something far greater than our own existence with its outcome having far-reaching consequences to our Ordinary World and the lives of those we left behind.
If we fail, others will suffer and this not only places more weight upon our shoulders but in a movie, grips the audience so that they too feel part of the conflict and share our Hero’s hopes, fears and trepidation. Ultimately our Hero will succeed, destroy the (inner) enemy and emerge from battle cleansed and reborn.
12. Return With The Elixir
This is the final stage of our journey in which we return home to our Ordinary World a changed human being. We will have grown as a person, learned many things, faced many terrible dangers and even death but now looks forward to the start of a new life.
Our return may bring fresh hope to those we left behind, a direct solution to their problems or perhaps a new perspective for everyone to consider.
The final reward that we obtains may be literal or metaphoric.
It could be a cause for celebration, self-realization or an end to strife, but whatever it is it represents three things:
• Proof of our journey.
The return home also signals the need for resolution for the story’s other key players.
Our doubters or enemies will be ostracized, and our allies rewarded.
Ultimately we will return to where we started with a better version of ourselves and things will clearly never be the same again.
Last but not least;
“Hard times don’t create heroes. It is when the “hero” within us is revealed.”
Glenda Lee Santos; Humble Military and Yoga Warrior; Criminal Justice, BA; RYT-200 hrs; Holistic Practitioner with Foundation in Yoga and Ayurveda; Reiki Master; Spirit Guide Coach; Master Resilience Trainer.
2. Owning Your Shadow ( Robert A. Johnson) First edition.