In the past few years, I found myself on a journey. I was called to this adventure of healing and meeting the authentic, healthy version of myself . But before I could do that, I had several battles to conquer. And the prize was watching the life I knew being completely destroyed. This journey was one of change, and it happens to everyone, but not everyone recognizes the valiant hero inside, always waiting for such a mission. Once woken, it is easier to contact this hero , anytime the adventure calls again. It can and does happen to many of us , if we allow it. Just by answering the call , within a few moments, everyone you know, everything you think is real, can just vanish.
During this journey, I found myself in the midst of crisis after crisis, and once in awhile I thought ,”I should really write this down”, because the surrealness was profound. I have a tattoo on my back , “What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through The Fire.” I had been walking for quite some time. Now, I was ready to come out, hence the “adventure.” Now, out of the fire , I struggle to remember the heat, the flames, the slow calming of the chaos and subsequently the peace after walking out . I suppose this happens to anyone going through the journey of change. Once in touch with the inner hero, the battles of the past are just another scorch mark on the end of their cape.
The details are not that important, for change is a universal process we all go through at some point, whether intentionally or unintentionally . In fact, the details are often forgotten, hence my wish of writing things down. I do remember this very intentional letting go of these details, and not speaking about it (mostly). After returning from this journey, I became only the observer of them, as they once in awhile found their home again in my consciousness. I found myself humbled by the storyline I had been the protagonist in , with a great sense of awe when I was occasionally brought back to narrate. Some details that are with me right now are; crying out for help, not being able to walk and talk after being injured by a medication, chronic illnesses that came as a result, and silence, the silence that comes when you are being summoned to defeat the antagonist on your own. After all, it is your story.
I spent the last few years changing through a process of brain retraining. It is a difficult process and often I found myself reverting back to default, since retraining and rewiring the brain comes with choices. They were choices I didn’t know I had. I chose what to allow in my mind and then my brain. Often, I found myself resistant of changing the thoughts, behaviors and patterns I had picked up along this journey. This is normal since the brain is stuck in certain pathways that have been cemented there for decades. In fact, even today I can face resistance. Just last week, another change that I put into motion, was coming to fruition. Faced with the prospects of not having this old way of being (details aren’t important), I found myself sick again, unable to leave my bed, and when I did- vomiting. All the diagnosis I had acquired, suddenly were with me once again, just like that. I forgot that this story had ended , and began to believe it again. I was asked to put on my cape and go on a small mission. The next morning, I woke to the mission accomplished.
As Joseph Campbell outlines in his Hero’s Journey, once one hears the call, the next step is may be the refusal . In bed, back in the old storyline of illness, I had refused . Now,aware of this, I softened a bit and am tiptoeing around it. I have a map to get me through more or less, but I have lost some communication with the hero inside. I heard this happen to others like me, after a long journey, the familiar armchair of doubt can get cozy.
In situations like this, I work extra on my brain retraining, remembering the choices I have. I spent the day looking through my mind for past evidence of hope, times I had hopefulness, what it felt like, what it looked like, what the situation was, the sounds around me during that time, the smells, and what I felt. I bring these stories into my awareness and do some storytelling out loud. My goal is to elicit the same feeling, and to let my body and brain know that we are safe, and in this situation, anything is possible.
The story I watched in my mind and recited out loud the past few days was something like this:
I am 5 years old, staring out the window in my living room. My mom is decorating the christmas tree next to me. It is glowing with white lights and red , green and gold ornaments. She takes so much time to make sure these ornaments are placed perfectly on the tree. My mom has so much patience. I can feel the heat come up from the furnace. I can see the sidewalks filled with snow. The world is glowing. Snowflakes are falling and I hear them tap against the window. I put my hand against the window, it is cold outside, I can feel the air meet my hand. But, I am warm. I wear my red pajamas, my mom turns on a dancing santa, and I listen to the music. Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way… soon it will be Christmas. In just a few days, Santa will come. I think I have been very good and he will bring me so many gifts. There are already some gifts wrapped under the tree. I hope there will be lots more. I can feel this hope going through my body, it starts at my toes, going up through my body, a white pure energy like snowflakes floating through my body. This energy of hope reaches my heart and rests there. My heart glows just like the crystals hitting the window. I feel hope. I am hopeful like a child waiting for Santa. I am hopeful.
I do these visualizations for about twenty minutes each time, (up to two hours a day), to remind my body of what it is like to feel the state I need .
At the moment, the state I need is hopefulness, to wake the hero inside so we can proceed on the next stop of our journey.
I hope this helps you on your as you answer your own “call to adventure.”