Seemingly everywhere I go, I encounter ordinary people who’ve accomplished extraordinary things. Profiles in courage, towering love, and passion, these people’s transformational stories all have one thing in common––they lifted themselves out of their own pain by lifting up others. But before they could do that, they discovered and embraced the art of being themselves, no matter what, something the philosopher Joseph Campbell called the hero’s journey. These everyday heroes have much to show us about how to live life wholeheartedly. If they can do it, so can you. One of his famous quotes is:
“You are the hero of your own story.”
I feel like I’ve just come home from my hero’s journey and I want to share the experience with you to help you live the powerful life you’ve been born to live. What I realized during my adventure is that empathy and compassion have the power to heal the world and the world needs them more than ever.
But you might feel that way right now. For us empaths the world can be a very difficult and almost unbearable place until we set our boundaries and unleash our true power, which lies in our compassion and capacity to see the world from very different angles than other people. When we do, it acts like an armour to protect us from spiraling thoughts and distractions that try to take us off our path. As we visit my journey and the journeys of people I met in the world, I’m hoping you’ll become inspired and understand you can change the world too. Best of all, it doesn’t take a trip around the world and a lot of money or any prerequisites to do so.
My pivotal moment was when I had nothing to lose, my kids were grown and in college, I was divorced, my parents had died and nothing of my previously lived life appealed to me anymore. I was ready for a major change and I put myself out there in the world. After dropping off my son in college, I took a major trip to Africa that lasted 6 weeks and came back completely changed and motivated to USE that empathy. The story is about centering on what YOU want and following that voice inside. It’s about major life changes being preceded by major chaos and uncertainty. One of my favorite people, Peggy Oki, the skater and surfer, said, “Follow your heart with vision and actions, create your own folds, and you will connect with your purpose in life.”
This story begins with the hero––you. What’s your ordinary world?
Like me, you’ve probably been called to leave what Joseph Campbell called your ordinary world and, at times, had to jump into the great unknown in your life. I’ve done this several times. What is YOUR ordinary world?
And how will you become the hero of your own story?