Finding your Purpose and following your heart is no easy task, and since we can’t all pull an Eat. Pray. Love. and hit the pause button on our lives for a year- how do we figure out what our heart's trying to tell us?
Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the bestselling book, says we shouldn’t try and follow her path. We must take our own journey by asking ourselves the questions she did and listen to the answers for clues.
"What's this life all about?" "What am I hear to learn?"
And since so many of us didn’t get the memo that our lives belong to us, most never realize that you’re allowed to ask what serves you. You have the ability to veer off the paths your parents and grandparents took if you want to.
You may be thinking- um… last I checked I don’t have the resources to drop everything and go on a quest.
I get it- responsibilities, money, you were just about to start "that thing", blahblity, blah, blah.
I'm here to tell you that you don’t have to run away. You may not even have to leave your house.
Let me explain- there’s this little thing called the Hero’s Journey and it can start wherever you are right now. Joseph Campbell coined the term, but we’re all familiar with it if you’ve ever watched any of the Star Wars movies (or so I’m told) or Legally Blonde (that one was for ma-ladies).
Hero's Journey step by step:
1. The call- the yearning we all have to step out and pick our own lane. The call sparks it. The questions start coming: - “What am I here for?” - “What am I supposed to do with my life?”
- "Is this it?"
2. Refusal of the call- here’s where the excuses come in.
-“I’m not your hero.” -“I have nothing to offer.” -“I can’t do this” -“Hey God! You misdialed- call someone else.”
3. Like a telemarketer, the call won’t leave you alone.
4. You answer the call but you’re loaded with self-doubt. Yet the overwhelming feeling- that if you don’t do it a little piece of you will shrivel up or die- pushes you forward. Give yourself props because once you decide to answer the call you’ve already achieved success.
Just by showing up and trying- you are successful.
5. You begin the journey and go past the point of no return. You make a commitment to change your life and follow your dream, no matter how high the odds are stacked against you.
6. You fight the battles. You will most likely experience the dark knight of the soul which is nasty shit, but you keep moving forward because you know in your gut there's no other option.
7. You lose your fear and you feel invincible- just like you did when you were a kid before everyone put their shitty expectations and constraints on you.
The Hero’s Journey is no joke and you shouldn’t set forth without expecting to be challenged, hurt, lost, and overwhelmed. Every obstacle will tempt you to give up but you won’t because you know those obstacles are just there to prepared you for the tidal-wave of awesomeness that’s headed your way.
BTW- I’d argue that betraying your Purpose is a way more dangerous place than the journey. Self- hatred, anger, sadness, shame, sorrow, and demons are just an illusion. After your journey, you’ll realize that there really are no monsters. They are just scared parts of your ego that are having meltdowns like a pissy 2yr old. Take them out of the shadows and give them big bear hugs because when you give them love and acceptance, they will disappear or at least chill the fuck out.
Ok, but how do I start? Here’s what you can do right now- get your plan together and begin today to honor our heart’s journey. Ask yourself the questions. Meditate. Put some money aside to ease your irrational fears of utter destruction.
My two cents- complacency is the worst thing you can do to yourself because you’re either going away-from or towards your destiny every day.
You don’t have to take a backseat to your family. You don’t have to be a martyr who sacrificed their dreams. You don't’ have to do what everybody expects you to do or what your parents or grandparents did. You were made to be something else.
You can make different choices and still love and respect those who came before you.
They want you to! They paved the way for you!
Come on. Be the hero.