On the Heroine’s Journey

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MulanMany beloved books and movies have a theme of the mythical Hero’s Journey.  In a nutshell, the hero has specific gifts that he may or may not have discovered, but feels like a misfit and is often misunderstood (remember a certain reindeer and elf?)  He is challenged by some circumstance, or a series of trials or tests, and rises to the occasion.  The Hero is usually required to leave life as he knows it.  The Hero then continues to be tested, has some incredible insight or understanding of who he truly is and is transformed in the process (think Luke Skywalker.)**  The situation he faces requires exactly the Special Gifts the Hero has developed as a result of experiences gained in facing said challenges.  There are no coincidences.

Favorite examples:
In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Frodo leaves the safety and known security of the Shire (like Bilbo before him) for a Grand Adventure that is thrust upon him; he was chosen but he didn’t initially choose it.  (Life does that sometimes.  Have you noticed?)

Amazing adventures for another “Chosen One” began with Hagrid’s famous words, “You’re a Wizard, Harry!”  (Not that Harry was exactly living in comfort with the Dursleys on Privet Drive, but it was the only life he knew.)

How about Dorothy in Oz?  Now that was a magical Journey.

Remember, the Hero doesn’t have to do it alone.  There are ALWAYS wise companions, guardians, guides and mentors on the Journey.  Always.  (In Disney movies, they tend to be animals or the occasional fairy godmother.)  As a counselor and coach, I’ve observed ways people benefit immeasurably from the support, encouragement and perspective of a companion when life hands them what’s sometimes known as AFGO (Another Freaking Growth Opportunity).   I’m deeply honored and humbled to be a companion to clients on their Journeys, and forever grateful to my own wise companions as well.

Who has mentored, guided, and encouraged you along the way?  Who’s YOUR Gandalf, Dumbledore, or Glinda?  Your Aragorn, Hermione or Scarecrow? Send them a silent thank you and blessing.

**An important note:
I reluctantly used the male pronoun in the example above – Hero / Heroine, he / she, because traditionally, these are the examples we’ve been given over hundreds of years, perhaps with the exceptions of a Jane Austin heroine, the plucky Captain Janeway, Pocahontas, Mulan & Belle, wise woman tales and a few Greek and Roman goddesses.  Regardless of your gender, I wish you Godspeed in your Journey.

If you’re ready to further explore your own Journey, my colleague Liz Polenco and I will be facilitating a 4-week Journeys Workshop for Women beginning Monday, September 23rd in Richardson.  We’d love to have you join us.  Magic Will Happen!  For more info there’s a free preview call on Wednesday, September 4th at 7:30 PM – call or email Keri@KeriRiggs.com for the bridge line number.  Registration details will be on this website within the week.  Embrace Your Inner Heroine!

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