Each month we are blessed with the appearance of a full moon. As humans, we are tied to its ebb and flow in much the same way as the tides. If you work in a hospital, you know first hand the power the moon has with regards to human behavior, as well as the numbers of babies born during that time. For centuries the full moon has been a cause for celebration and growth. One way that it is celebrated in many cultures is in ritual, and one, celebrating the moon’s reflection, asks us to think about what we long to release. These might be habits, ways of thinking, ego, being so much a people pleaser that self is lost, anger…well, you get the picture. This is a very powerful time to do this type of work. It can also be a time to think about what you would like to invite into your life, and imagine the rays of the full moon bringing that into your life as well.
It’s all about change, isn’t it? Daring ourselves to shed parts that are so familiar, and yet so heavy, and having the courage to embrace change and LET GO! Embracing change takes courage. We feel the path ahead is unknown, and while this can be exciting for some, for others, is can be paralyzing.
Many before us have said that life should come with a road map or an owner’s manual. We might not have those, but we do have an outline of sorts. The issues that we face are not new- in fact they are as old as humankind. We have, over the centuries, turned our imaginations to solving the perils of the human condition. Well-known authors have written political satire disguised as children’s fiction. This is how we got Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the fairy tales from around the world, and so many more wondrous books and tales of heroic adventures where the hero saves the day! So, where are our heroes? Would these tales work today?
Joseph Campbell wrote about heroes and their journeys. In his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, he states that the universal tales that have survived for thousands of years containing a hero share a common structure. The hero is informed that whether he/she likes it or not, life is about to change. If the adventure is refused and the choice is made to cling to the past, well, then, end of story… no hero… blah, blah, blah. OR… one can agree to the adventure, in which case there will be a hero, and there will be change. It is at this point that a guide or a series of magical helpers will appear. The hero gathers courage and prepares for life to change drastically!
There are some common themes to all stories involving heroes. There is a painful separation as the hero must leave behind all that is known and enter into the unknown, which is the beginning of the much needed transformation. Then a series of challenges ensue, where both love and hardship enter and the hero begins the process of a death of the old self, so that a new self can emerge and come into being. Campbell states “It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. When you stumble, there lies your treasure.”
Campbell also states that are a number of possible stages to the hero’s journey:
- acceptance of the call ( the want or need to change-warning- this may be forced upon us)
- rites of initiation
- confusion and chaos
- achievement of knowledge and understanding
- a period of rest and fulfillment
- a return to the starting place, where the knowledge and wisdom acquired on the adventure is integrated, and finally, shared with others
If you take a step back and look at it, this is much like a play by play of any new life adventure we may undertake, isn’t it?
This simple, yet profound series of steps is played out over and over again as we move through the rites of passage in our lives. Do you recognize which stage you are currently in? Each area of our lives, our relationships, careers, spiritual growth, you name it, all go through this same pattern when it is time for change in that particular segment of our lives. You might even be in one stage in the relationship area of your life, and another in your career. Makes life interesting, doesn’t it? If you take some time to examine your life you can pinpoint where you are regarding the most prominent issues in your life.
So here it is- the bottom line. Are you courageous enough to be the Hero of your Own Life Story? Do you embrace change, or hide from it?
I invite you to joyously forge ahead into the unknown, ready and willing to take the plunge, and discover hidden things about yourself that only you can unlock! I invite you to be the hero of your life story! Create the life you haven’t even yet dared to dream for yourself! It is there- waiting for you! Just like the lion in the Wizard of Oz, the courage to do so is inside you. You’ve had it all along!
As Campbell says, “The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”
What are you waiting for?