The past month have been full of intensity, grief and generally chaotic energy-in my personal life and collectively across the world (ie, nazis marching the streets and natural disasters ripping across the continent). It is during times like these that I am most committed to living mythologically-actively engaged as the heroine in my own unfolding tale, meeting each trial, threshold, ogre and ally as part of the evolving mystery of my life.
Mythological living is not about escaping into some fantasy world. Instead it is the realization that your life is the grand epic that all fantasy, myths and legends are based on. You are the Hero, and your life is the Hero’s Journey. Living the hero’s journey means that life is always an adventure, and every trial and tribulation takes you closer to fulfilling your soul purpose. Each and every fear you face and demon you battle allows you to access more and more of your unique, heroic human superpowers. Each of our lives in an Odyssey.
In the words of poet David Whyte, when we live our lives as an Odyssey, as the Hero’s Journey, as a myth of epic proportions, then we are having the “largest conversation a person is capable of having with the world”. Only you can have the conversation that you are meant to have with the world; no one else can have it for you, and you can have no one else’s. And yet, somehow, each of our individual myths, or conversations, weave together to form the larger myth of humanity-the conversation that humanity is having with the world.
Right now, I’m not too fond of the conversation humanity is having with the world. The current stage of humanity’s Odyssey feels a bit like Mordor. (Sorry to mix legends here!) Also, a lot of us as individuals are not happy with the current state of our own personal conversations. How can we change the conversation? Stop living like life is just happening to you, and start living like your life is an adventure, and every detail is full of magic, mystery and meaning. When we expand our conversation with life in this way, it becomes harder and harder to feel purposeless, victimized and powerless. I suppose that stepping into your life in this way is akin to waking up.
So how to start? I am going to be posting more regularly about Living the Mythic Soul and navigating the Hero’s Journey, but as a first golden nugget to contemplate and consider, here are the basic stages of the journey. It is important to note that we tend to travel through the stages of the journey in a spiral-like way, deeper and deeper, over and over throughout the course of our life, ever closer to the fulfillment of our soul purpose.
You hear a call toward something new, different, or mysteriously unknown or out of reach. Some small still voice in you yearns for something more, something richer, something that hints of magic and adventure.
Usually, you ignore this call for a while, choosing instead to stay with the familiar, the comfortable, the socially acceptable. But a call like this keeps knocking at your door. Eventually, the knocking becomes unbearable, like if you don’t open the door you will spend the rest of your life wishing you had. (Unfortunately, fear and social programming get the best of many of us, and we never answer the call.)
You answer the call. You take the first step into the unknown. Usually, this step sends you spiraling headlong into your own depths, what Joseph Campbell called the “underworld," where your unconscious desires, dreams, demons and superpowers lurk just beneath the surface of everyday life and your personality.
The underworld, or descent to Soul, is like your own personal Lord of the Rings (or Harry Potter, if you prefer). Trials, tribulations, incredible discoveries, allies, ogres, beasties and beauty abound. As you cross each new threshold, you access and embody more and more of your unique and powerful Self.
You discover the nature of your unique soul purpose, the conversation that only you are capable of having with the world.
You ascend back to the surface of the middle world, to everyday life, but you are irrevocably changed. You are now determined to fulfill your destiny and live your soul purpose into the world. Everything in life becomes an opportunity to learn, grow, evolve your gifts, live your purpose. You become a living myth, and meaning, magic and mystery color your days.
This life is the magical adventure you have always been yearning for. It is just a matter of living it. When a critical mass of us is living like everything matters deeply, and that what we do is of value in the world, we will all be having a very different, very beautiful conversation.
In order of appearance: John Stephens, Mark Henson, Autumn Skye, & Mark Henson