First off…a big THANK YOU for all your warm remarks and comments regarding my blog. I continue to be shocked at the amount of views I receive and the positive reflections people are having. Please feel free to leave a comment, follow Stillplayinwithit and share with your friends. This whole blog experience, as well as me discovering my BLISS, is wild and a true honor. Again, Thank you. I am grateful for each and every one of you.
Last time we chatted about a few of the stages of The Hero’s Journey. In Hero I Go, we discussed clarity and accepting YOUR call to adventure. I mentioned acceptance of YOUR call is the choice of the hero and part of your journey despite true understanding in the midst:
“We all have the choice to make a decision that may be detrimental to our growth, yet provides momentary satisfaction. Or make a decision that provides painful growth and possible discomfort, yet is the ultimate reward…Therefore, I had clarity without consistent understanding, but clarity, nonetheless.”
Last week in Instathis, I mentioned the stage of Separation and the death of a part of us in order to make space for Rebirth.
“Once we cleanse, prune or detox our body and mind from the old, we are able to access the new, live, infant experiences…We have similar experiences or different ones, but they produce the same result: Separation, Initiation and Return. We separate from the old, we initiate the new and we return to share the story.”
Let’s riff about the second stage: Initiation. What is INITIATION? By definition: “The action of beginning something.” This seems like a simple definition. But what comes to mind when you think of initiation? Adventures, societal admittance, great moves forward…initiation does not resonate as complacency or stagnation in my mind.
Culturally speaking, there may be a rite of passage to move a member through to a new stage of their life. An event, process or age that requires people to voyage across those difficult thresholds of transformation. For example: Bar Mitzvahs. Bar Mitzvahs aren’t just a big party. It is the rite of passage for a 13 -year-old Jewish boy into adult hood, to keep it simple.
Or…Have you seen “An Idiot Abroad?” Oh my goodness. If you haven’t please check out this hilarious show on the Science Channel. Karl goes to Vanuatu and experiences Land Diving which is is a precursor to bungee jumping. Land Diving for the Vanuatuans is a rite of passage or initiation for young men in which men leap headfirst off a 67- to 98-foot platform with vines tied to their ankles. The aim is to touch the ground with their heads, yet pick a vine that isn’t too long, thus slamming your head on the ground, potentially being fatal.
Frat and sorority pledges initiate into their new society. The president is initiated into office in some degree…by stating the Oath of Office. Some initiations are on the down low, maybe because they had to wear a pink tutu or got smacked in the butt too many times to share…and some are part of a journey into the new adventures and exciting paths, such as those described in the Initiation Stage In YOUR Hero’s Journey.
Campbell says it is the Initiation Stage where the true process of growth and development occurs. We must go to a place of darkness and mystery, facing some of our biggest fears; it’s part of your SOUL’s Game! This is where YOU get to claim your inner resources and fight the good fight. This bloody passage is where the true Hero is discovered.
On a personal note, I feel at times that this initiation phase is never ending. Lessons seem to keep coming! Awesome! Another Dragon! Really?! As I am aware and truly connected to my inner hero, I am able to accept this stage and glean what I am to, even if it is challenging. I had a great conversation with an amazing man this am about accepting his call to adventure and how scary it is. Part of your journey may be exploration: true, deep, reflection on where you are. Move inward and assess what is going on. And remember: “It is not what happens to us, but what we do with it.”
A great word for this entry: Apotheosis. Which is defined as…
“the highest point in the development of something; culmination or climax.”
Through your initiation process, in the midst of your fight, you WILL find your apotheosis. You will develop skills and culminate the essence of your journey. You will slay your dragon! Through this battle, your true character emerges, you connect with your inner strength and bravery, you get to the highest point of the path YOU have forged.
At this battleground, greater understanding is achieved. The clarity we discussed in Hero I Go, comes through this stage of initiation. Armed with this new knowledge and perception, the hero is resolved and ready for the MORE difficult part of the adventure. What? It gets more difficult? It may. It may not. It depends on the path you are making and the readiness you have.
Fear, as debilitating as it can be or seem at times, is a natural part of our lives. Without fear, we aren’t able to truly be courageous. I want to live a courageous life. I want to be brave. I am courageous. I am brave. We are in this together. I SEE YOU, remember? We walk this journey together. Hand in hand. Sword and shield. Some of my hardest times have brought the most strength to my life. Cruising around Europe for 17 days solo, though exhilarating, was freaking scary as hell at times. The word and phrase I heard most was: “Wow, that is Ballsy!” “You are Brave!” Bravery is facing your fears. If you want to understand your true character and empower your inner warrior, do something that scares the hell out of you. Get outside your comfort zone. Walk into the face of that mythical dragon. And if you need to, take me with you. I will be right there by your side.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
If you have answered the call, separated from the ordinary and are in the midst of developing the extraordinary, CONGRATULATIONS! You are in the sea of initiation. I commend you for taking the challenge. I celebrate your discomfort. I applaud you finding your own path into the dark forest. But beyond this metaphorical slaying, I look forward to your return, when you come home to share the tale.