This is a guest post by Susanna Liller, The Heroine’s Coach.
A heroine is a woman who is willing to stretch herself, who comes out of her “comfort zone” on a regular basis to try new things, risk, challenge herself, do what she has to do even if it scares her – even if it scares her a lot.
If this describes you then know you’re on a journey that has been undertaken by many women before you. You might know it as The Hero’s Journey, the term coined by Joseph Campbell, the famous author and mythologist, and others to describe the pattern or storyline discovered in myths and legends down through the ages and in stories and film today.
The hero or heroine’s journey story goes like this. The heroine is in “ordinary life”. Things are running along as they usually do, until something happens…there’s a “call”. This can be an event, a person seeking her out, an inner urging…a call to leave “ordinary life” and to enter an “unknown world”, an “adventure”. The heroine crosses the “threshold” and is out of her comfort zone and into the new world – what ever that might be.
A “mentor” appears, – someone who guides her, helps her, gives her encouragement and she continues on. Stuff happens – good and bad. Campbell called this part the “belly of the whale.” It’s tough. The heroine is tempted to quit but she doesn’t.
The heroine has many tests and challenges on her journey. These are tests of her courage, her resolve, her belief in her own ability. Ultimately, she is confronting her fears (her dragons) and she has to make it through, slay her dragons in order to really grow, to be transformed, to develop into a more actualized human being.
After the heroine has completed her tests, she returns home, back over the “return threshold” to her normal life, but she’s changed. She’s wiser and has gained gifts that she can then share with others. Her transformation will affect all those around her.
Do you recognize you in this storyline? I hope so because all these stories, legends, movies, myths are written to emphasize the fact that this is, indeed, the story of human growth and development. This is your life! This is how we come into ourselves – by stretching and venturing out into the unknown. It’s frightening to leave what we feel is safe but when we leave and test our abilities we learn that we are our own safety.
If you’re looking for empowerment, confidence, a boost to your self-esteem, then adopt the heroine’s journey as a lens through which to view your life. Life isn’t a bunch of random moments, – it’s the time-honored heroine’s journey! It all has a purpose – to get you to grow, to stretch those believe-in-yourself muscles and realize that you’re important, needed, a heroine who has gifts to share with the rest of us. And if you share them, the world will be a better place.
Please wake up to your own “bigness”! The world needs all the heroines it can get!
Please visit my web site Retreat Calendar for information on The Heroine’s Journey Retreat…Connect with Your Power. Bonnie and I will be co-facilitating this retreat in October in beautiful Kennebunk, Maine.