“The privilege of a lifetime is becoming who you are.”
The Hero’s Journey is Joseph Campbell’s work and this film Finding Joe, (A film by Patrick Takaya Solomon) is a documentary about this journey we all take. It’s a very powerful documentary, one that would benefit all of us. Not only for our own life but to help protect our children and teach them what it means to go into the world and hear their calling and as Joseph Campbell says “Follow your Bliss”.
I can really identify with this because at the age of 27 years old, my life took a “nose” dive into what I learned years later was “The dark night of my soul”. There is a knock at the door for everyone. We all hear it. Some people wait until the knock is more of a sledgehammer. For others, it’s listening to your inner guidance and following that whisper (also known to some as intuition).
For me, I chose to take the name Shakti. I knew that it was my truth and that it was the right thing to do. It came at a time when I ended a longterm relationship. What turned into a wow, isn’t life grand, full of bliss, excitement and freedom turned into an identity crisis, inner turmoil, total abandonment, and running in every direction to learn that no matter where I go, there I am! It was a nightmare. On one side, I was experiencing profound truths, total joy and on the other hand I was learning about my deepest, darkest secrets and how to figure out how life works.
I’ll never forget this one time in Seattle after a snow we had. The city shuts down when there is snow and it’s totally quiet. I was so angry with the universe for once again showing me that what I thought I knew wasn’t working. I was tangled in so much confusion and grief about my life and where was I going and how I was facing so many inner struggles. I ended up going for a walk without a jacket on this snowy, cold night and just crying and crying and telling the universe that I just didn’t get it. WHY WASN’T MY LIFE WORKING! I had left my relationship because I knew it was the right thing to do. I was pursuing what I thought was my work I wanted, I had a car accident, moved 5 times in one year, had no money and was homeless technically. I had a dog that ran away (she was my anchor) and then the flashbacks of my childhood started coming fast and furious. I was basically a wreck and scared. About 6 months later my dog died and I moved out of Seattle. I went to Whidbey Island where I hid in the garden for many years to heal. To heal and to find a way to live with my new truths.
This however, felt like more suffering. I found a spiritual practice and I also learned I was a healer myself. Slowly, as I moved out of my garden and felt safer, I began to work as a healer helping others. It is now 18 years later and I feel I am finally coming into my completion of this journey that Joseph Campbell calls The Hero’s Journey. A completion of some kind where there is a return home, a sense of belonging in a true way.
The Hero’s journey is about separating from who you are, meeting initiations and slaying your dragons. Your inner demons (of self) and then returning home with your stories. I thought I had made a return at 28 or 29, but because I lacked wisdom, I fell deep into the darkness again. I went through a depression and I went through more grief. It’s hard for me to accept that this much of my adult life has been lost due to what happened to me as a child.
I had a friend once tell me that because I changed my name to Shakti (such a powerful name) that I had to blow up my mountain. My family (or shall I say, my dad) thought I joined a cult. My mom was afraid for me and my sister thought I was just nuts. I never had a warm family, so why should I let this be the beginning of trying anything. I knew my truth. And my truth was very dedicated to this calling. But once again, only in finding my spiritual practice could I begin to apply anecdotes to help me out in surviving. I had done the shadow work at 27, so that wasn’t it. It was worse.
I was aware of my phoenix rising, but I must have only gone so deep. And here in Finding Joe, I learned that the journey is also a spiral. It takes you deeper and brings you around and around many times in many ways. You get to face your demons, your fears and find the gold inside of yourself. It is our life’s work for every human on this planet.
Joseph Campbell says, “Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself.”
So where did I not own my life? Who was I enrolling into it? Deepak Chopra says in the film “We become victimized by the environment. We have no time to think, to be ourselves. We become a bundle of conditioned reflexes and nerves that are being constantly triggered by people and circumstances with very predictable outcomes and behaviors.”
What is your reality? What is your potential? Have you paid attention to your calling? Or do you wait for your life to be so out of control that you are catapulted out?
Are you facing jobs you hate? Relationships that are bad or unhealthy? A body you hate with addictive behaviors? If this is you….you are ripe for a sledgehammer to wake you up.
However, once you hear that call and choose to follow it, you begin to feel power!
What does it mean to be the hero of your own life? It means to be responsible for your own adventures.
Fredrik Nietzsche says,
“The snake that can’t shed its own skin must perish.“
Without death, there is no transformation. Without death, there is no change. This means the death of old beliefs must be experienced to move forward in life.
For me, I had a calling on my birthday. It was a video that came to me at 3 a.m. when my son woke me up once again in the middle of the night. Instead of being angry, I asked the universe, what is it that you have me awake yet again for, what is your message for me? I was drawn to watch Teal Scott’s video and as soon as I watched it, I knew. I knew this was for me. Not only did I know it was for me, but I believed her guides sent it to me. I’m sure it rang true for many others as well. For me, the question “What would someone who loves themselves?” has proven to be the piece that was missing 18 years ago. My life changed at 27 years of age. But without the wisdom I have gained in my life, I never felt like I was able to cut any root of what suffering I did have. Because of that, I felt I ended up going into many years of more suffering. Maybe that would have happened regardless. It isn’t until now, asking “What would someone who loves themselves do?” that I feel a sense of ground or a root that’s been severed. Which makes me question does self-love equal wisdom? Is this ground of self-love the journey home?
I actually feel a deep sense of wisdom that sustains me as layers have been removed. In my vulnerability, I feel connected and have found deeper truth. Trust is awakening in me as I am experiencing it more and more, and an amazing sense of belonging. Something I have longed for my whole life. This connection of self-love is a gift indeed. A beautiful miracle that is unfolding everyday in every way.
I highly recommend seeing the movie Finding Joe. I think it has a remarkable way of healing one’s life, and bringing clarity to your journey.
Please take a moment and share this on FB or Twitter or Pinterest. This message is for everyone. Be the messenger pigeon today and spread the love. Have a great day.
- Have You Made Your Own Myth Yet? Thoughts/Meditations from Joseph Campbell’s ‘The Power of Myth’ (lettersfromtheempire.com)
- Surviving The Hero’s Journey (stephencmonahan.wordpress.com)
- The Hero’s Journey and Real Life (erinbrennanblog.wordpress.com)
- New Cultural Event – Meet Joseph Campbell (ferrishonors.com)