Tag Archive for: hero’s journey

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It’s rare that I appreciate major blockbuster comic book films these days.

They’re fun, but rarely do they have deep life lessons for all of us, and they nearly never go on my list of classics to keep in mind for the kids one day.

But, just back from date night last night, I took my queen to see Wonder Woman, and we both loved it.

Admittedly, you can’t go wrong with a fit and powerful lead woman, so when Jam said she wanted to see Wonder Woman, it was easy to persuade me. But there was a tremendous amount of unexpected depth to this story.

Gal Gadot delivered a great performance as Princess Diana of Themyscira, an Amazonian trained to be an incomparable warrior, daughter of Hippolyta and (SPOILER ALERT) of Zeus, the king of the gods. How this immortal ends up walking into World War I — the “war to end all wars” — is a mystery I’ll leave you to discover for yourself if you haven’t seen this flick yet.

Wonder Woman 1918

An unknowing demigoddess raised naive of her heritage, Diana only gradually discovers her incredible abilities as she develops courage and confidence in herself — a nice metaphorical message I approve of!

A great mix of moving drama, mild romance, action, and humor. Bravo to director Patty Jenkins!

The Heroine’s Journey in Wonder Woman

Beyond your typical movie reviews, it’s even more fun to analyze films from an archetypal perspective, incorporating what’s usually referred to as Jungian psychology.

From Lewis Carrol’s 1865 Alice in Wonderland, to the roaring success of the Harry Potter series, and The Hunger Games trilogy, the “Hero’s Journey” charts the stages and trials that the average Jane must face in order to discover her greatest self and share her exceptional gifts with the world.

It is the recurring story of those who choose to pursue greatness, of those who strive to make the world a better place, the greatest story ever told, a story older than time.

The heroine starts out as an ordinary person in the ordinary world, and receives a call to adventure. If she accepts the call, she must face internal and external trials, sometimes alone and sometimes with help from a guide…

heros-journey

This is what Joseph Campbell identified as the perennial “Hero’s Journey” monomyth — the cyclical hero’s path seen time and again throughout mythical stories passed down over the millennia, in spiritual traditions, in children’s bedtime stories, classic literature, and now in the fantasy and science fiction of today.

The long, difficult road of trials and challenges, as well as the heroine’s frequent brush with death, loss, or confrontation with evil, transform her for the better. In the end, the heroine must return to the “normal world” to share her extraordinary gifts with others, often facing life-threatening obstacles along the way.

“The heroic quest is about saying ‘yes’ to yourself and in so doing, becoming more fully alive and more effective in the world…. The quest is replete with dangers and pitfalls, but it offers great rewards: the capacity to be successful in the world, knowledge of the mysteries of the human soul, and the opportunity to find and express your unique gifts in the world.”

–Carol S. Pearson, author, Persephone Rising

While Wonder Woman isn’t for younger children, the two most important ladies in my life thoroughly enjoyed the film, and I look forward to sharing this film with any daughters I have one day, as a decent example of an empowering heroic female role model.

Fun trivia: at 75, Wonder Woman was recently named a U.N. Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls. Check Wikipedia for more on Wonder Woman’s character origins and history.

What Does It Mean to Be a Real-Life Hero?

“In times of radical uncertainty, it’s necessary that the Hero be born.

Because the Hero is the person who doesn’t deal with something specific, the Hero is the person that deals with Uncertainty itself. And that’s the Great Dragon of Chaos.

…What’s necessary is for the individual to become prepared for anything and everything, and the way that you do that is by developing your character.”

Dr. Jordan Peterson, University of Toronto professor of psychology

The hero or heroine is the person who is not afraid to confront their own inner demons, to explore the world of the Unknown, discover hidden power and talents, slay dragons, and eventually return to their regular day-to-day life to help lead their community towards a better future.

We were all born Kings and Queens, but we must reclaim the power and authority that is rightfully ours to take charge of this magical life and sculpt it into something beautiful.

But what does it truly mean to be a real-life, modern hero? As the Buddha observed, the REAL enemy who every great hero must defeat is oneself, and all of humanity’s greatest myths are really metaphors for this (often painful) process of self-overcoming.

“In many indigenous traditions, a person seeking answers to questions would approach a medicine man or woman sitting by the fire and ask what they should do to resolve their dilemma. He or she classically would respond to this request by saying, “Let me tell you a story.” Moms, dads, mentors, and friends can do this, too…. In new situations, often what is needed is a new story that can help supply a map for the new journey and a toehold when that journey feels like climbing up a steep and dangerous mountain.”

–Carol S. Pearson

A New Map: Come Sit By the Fire and Let Me Tell You a Story

I’m bringing together a community to help me fine-tune my upcoming book, Chasing the Sun, and to help develop a new theoretical framework for personal growth based around the Hero’s Journey!

It’s a story about finding purpose, about building a life, a business, and a family, illustrated through travel memoirs and wild, never-before-told stories of some of my more questionable travel adventures around the world over the last 8+ years, business trials, failures, successes, and more.

It’s finally time to share a few of the most important lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Sign up to get updates about the HERO Project below!

What is your Great Work? The important stuff you know deep in your soul you MUST accomplish during your short speck of time here in a meatsuit on this strange little ball flying a thousand miles an hour through the cosmos?

The thing that’s been calling you, for months, maybe years? Your Holy Grail.

If you know what it is, then you’re probably terrified just like me.

Because starting is scary. The unknown is scary. People are assholes and criticism hurts.

But thank the heavens, God gave us Ze Frank. The man who started video blogging before vlogging was a thing.

If you don’t know what your Great Work is yet, then you should probably go dive into something that scares you until you discover it.

But if you know perfectly well, and you’ve been stuck in a rut like me…

Then watch that again.

I’m scared. I’m scared that my abilities are gone, I’m scared that I’m going to fuck this up, and I’m scared of you.

I don’t want to start, but I will.

This is an invocation for anyone who hasn’t begun, who’s stuck in a terrible place between zero and one.

Let me realize that my past failures at follow-through are no indication of my future performance. They’re just healthy little fires that are going to warm up my ass.

If my FILDI is strong, let me keep him in a velvet box until I really, really need him. If my FILDI is weak, let me feed him oranges and not let him gorge himself on ego and arrogance.

Let me not hit up my Facebook like it’s a crack pipe. Keep the browser closed.

If I catch myself wearing a too-too (too fat, too late, too old) let me shake it off like a donkey would shake off something it doesn’t like.

And when I get that feeling in my stomach — you know the feeling when all of a sudden you get a ball of energy and it shoots down into your legs and up into your arms and tells you to stand up and go to the refrigerator and get a cheese sandwich — that’s my cheese monster talking. And my cheese monster will never be satisfied by cheddar, only the cheese of accomplishment.

Let me think about the people who I care about the most, and how when they fail or disappoint me I still love them, I still give them chances, and I still see the best in them. Let me extend that generosity to myself.

Let me find and use metaphors to help me understand the world around me and give me the strength to get rid of them when it’s apparent they no longer work.

Let me thank the parts of me that I don’t understand or are outside of my rational control like my creativity and my courage.

And let me remember that my courage is a wild dog. It won’t just come when I call it. I have to chase it down and hold on as tight as I can.

Let me not be so vain to think that I’m the sole author of my victories and a victim of my defeats.

Let me remember that the unintended meaning that people project onto what I do is neither my fault or something I can take credit for.

Perfectionism may look good in his shiny shoes, but he’s a little bit of an asshole and no one invites him to their pool parties.

Let me remember that the impact of criticism is often not the intent of the critic, but when the intent is evil, that’s what the block button’s for.

And when I eat my critique, let me be able to separate out the good advice from the bitter herbs.

There are few people who won’t be disarmed by a genuine smile.
A big impact on a few can be worth more than a small impact.

Let me not think of my work only as a stepping stone to something else, and if it is, let me become fascinated with the shape of the stone.

Let me take the idea that has gotten me this far and put it to bed. What I am about to do will not be that, but it will be something.

There is no need to sharpen my pencils anymore. My pencils are sharp enough. Even the dull ones will make a mark.

Warts and all. Let’s start this shit up.

And God let me enjoy this. Life isn’t just a sequence of waiting for things to be done.

decision making

We’ll do it live!

“There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.”

–attributed to Victor Hugo

Time to start slaying dragons…

thrilling heroics

Luang Prabang

As I sit looking out the window at the mountain, bathed in heavenly rays of light as the sun begins its journey downward to slowly disappear over the summit, I face a situation I have put myself in what feels like a million times before.

Do I join the friend who has been making promises for weeks up in the beautiful mountainous countryside? Or do I endure the long and painful journey back to the big bustling city?

Robert Frost’s words come to my mind:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

At 33, I’ve finally learned about myself that I’m not a city slicker.

But Bangkok, in all its sweaty, greasy, seedy glory, is one step closer to Home. One step closer to my beloved family, who are are on a terrorist-infested tropical island far away.

Freedom means accepting responsibility, and the necessity for making painful decisions.

God only knows what I’m missing. What I may have learned, or who I could have become. I will never know.

But it’s time to stop chasing, and take one step closer to where my heart is, rather than one step further away.

We recently returned from celebrating my birthday on the beach with a wonderful group of friends.

springtime

March 20th (my birthday) is the vernal equinox, and the first day of spring (or the first day of autumn in the southern hemisphere).

On the equinoxes, the sun passes directly over the equator. The northern and southern hemispheres of the planet are equally illuminated on about March 20th and September 22nd, and as a result, the length of day and night is nearly equal — all around the globe.

The March equinox marks the time when the sun crosses from south to north over the celestial equator – the imaginary plane that divides the sky above the Earth’s equator. The light overtakes the darkness, the sun’s warm rays finally dispel the winter and we welcome in the Springtime.

spring-rebirth

I never knew this growing up, but March 20th is a highly symbolic day in many ancient traditions, marking the end of one astrological year and the beginning of another.

This is the Solar New Year, and there are ancient monoliths and sacred sites around the world that were built thousands of years ago to align with our sun on March 20/21.

The light from our sun is what governs the natural cycle of life and death on this planet, so it is for good reason that humans have celebrated the coming of the spring for as long as we can remember — as the seasons were especially important for more agrarian civilizations, and even for hunter-gatherer tribes.

The Earth grows greener, more animals come out of the woodwork, as the sun grows brighter and the daylight hours grow longer.

So it is a natural time for us to focus on themes of growth and rebirth as the season changes. You can argue with it if you like, but just observe around you as many people become more active with longer daylight hours, shake off the winter blues, or begin to make significant changes in their lives, their careers, and relationships.

It is a time for “spring cleaning”, vacations, and the call of adventure. Time to dust off and let go of old things.

We are a species with amnesia, who have forgotten our past, but we are inextricably connected to the sun — the original energy source of all life on planet Earth, and everything across our solar system.

Is it any wonder why we celebrate Easter, and the resurrection of the Son, as the spring starts to heat up?

The spring equinox represents the rebirth of the natural world, with its archetypal symbols including things like flowers, eggs, and rabbits. (Those wascally wabbits!)

So why am I droning on and on about such esoteric stuff? Well in the words of the late great Joseph Campbell:

The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.”

If there is a natural time of year to try to rejuvenate the soul, to “reset” and reconnect — both with the Self and with the natural world — it’s the advent of spring.

As I’ve spent the last few months diving deep into mythology, philosophy, and cross-cultural spiritual studies — the mystical world I first began to explore 15 years ago with my college degree — I’ve set an annual challenge for myself: to utilize my birthday as an opportunity to untether from electronics and social media, to reconnect with my body and with nature — in the sand, in the ocean, in the jungle — and to surround myself with good friends and loved ones for a special shared experience where we focus on our own individual “Hero’s Journey”.

As an unofficial launch celebration for my new business, I even sponsored Krabi’s first free springtime beach party.

spring-equinox

“That’s what a birthday is for,” Joseph Campbell would say, as he spent his birthday (March 26th, coincidentally enough rounding out our week together) every year for more than two decades surrounded by friends at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, along California’s breathtaking coastline.

Campbell would often tell the story of how Carl Jung had realized the importance of “what it means to live with a myth, and what it means to live without one.” When Jung realized he didn’t know what personal myth he was living, he wrote:

I took it upon myself to get to know *my* myth, and I regarded this as the task of tasks.”

So what myth are you living by? What is YOUR journey? What call to adventure have you rejected? Who do you truly aspire to be?

If you’re ready to take a fantastic journey through the Unknown, to reconnect with your Higher Self and your guiding purpose, to explore psychology and philosophy and face your own inner demons, to discover what treasures and superpowers lie buried deep within, then I hope you will join me and over 400 of the most legendary heroes I know.

Today only, you can join our HERO Society premium membership for a one-time low payment, and help us to uncover timeless truths and develop a transformative new framework for personal growth.

And mark your calendars for March 2018, to join us in my absolute favorite paradise on Earth for the next Hero Spring Break!

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’ve seen the Promised Land.

Absolute Legend. A Hero. Mine Eyes Have Seen.

Who are your biggest real-life heroes?

WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES:  US civil rights leader Martin Luther King,Jr. (C) waves to supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial 28 August 1963 on the Mall in Washington DC (Washington Monument in background) during the "March on Washington". 28 August marks the 40th anniversary of the famous "I Have a Dream" speech, which is credited with mobilizing supporters of desegregation and prompted the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  Martin Luther King was assassinated on 04 April 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray confessed to shooting King and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. AFP PHOTO/FILES (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES: US civil rights leader Martin Luther King,Jr. (C) waves to supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial 28 August 1963 on the Mall in Washington DC (Washington Monument in background) during the “March on Washington”. 28 August marks the 40th anniversary of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which is credited with mobilizing supporters of desegregation and prompted the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Martin Luther King was assassinated on 04 April 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray confessed to shooting King and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. AFP PHOTO/FILES (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

david bowie quotes

The stars look very different today.

David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known as David Bowie was an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, painter, and actor. Bowie was a figure in popular music for over four decades, and was known as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. His androgynous appearance was an iconic element of his image, principally in the 1970s and 1980s.

On 10 January 2016, Bowie died at the age of 69 after an 18-month battle with liver cancer at his home in New York City. [from Wikipedia]

  1. You can neither win nor lose if you don’t run the race
  2. I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.
  3. Maybe I am insane, too — it runs in my family — but I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human. I felt very puny as a human. I thought, ‘Fuck that. I want to be a superhuman.
  4. Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming.
  5. I’m an instant star. Just add water and stir.
  6. The truth is of course is that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time.
  7. Frankly, I mean, sometimes the interpretations I’ve seen on some of the songs that I’ve written are a lot more interesting than the input that I put in.
  8. I’m not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with potential of a superman. I’m living on.
  9. I suppose for me as an artist it wasn’t always just about expressing my work; I really wanted, more than anything else, to contribute in some way to the culture I was living in.
  10. I’m just an individual who doesn’t feel that I need to have somebody qualify my work in any particular way. I’m working for me.
  11. I’m looking for backing for an unauthorized auto-biography that I am writing. Hopefully, this will sell in such huge numbers that I will be able to sue myself for an extraordinary amount of money and finance the film version in which I will play everybody.
  12. All my big mistakes are when I try to second-guess or please an audience. My work is always stronger when I get very selfish about it.
  13. I re-invented my image so many times that I’m in denial that I was originally an overweight Korean woman.
  14. david bowie tributeMake the best of every moment. We’re not evolving. We’re not going anywhere.
  15. There’s a terror in knowing what the world is about.
  16.  I’m very at ease, and I like it. I never thought I would be such a family-oriented guy; I didn’t think that was part of my makeup. But somebody said that as you get older you become the person you always should have been, and I feel that’s happening to me. I’m rather surprised at who I am, because I’m actually like my dad
  17. That’s the shock: All cliches are true. The years really do speed by. Life really is as short as they tell you it is. And there really is a God – so do I buy that one? If all the other cliches are true… Hell, don’t pose me that one.

The Top 10 David Bowie Songs:

A Heroic Eulogy to the Fallen Legend:

From DJ Skratch Bastid:

RIP David Bowie.

Late night in the studio… took a break from working on a new mix to check my feeds… only to find it flooded with news that the legendary David Bowie has passed. Lots can be said & written to eulogize prolific artists like him, but I think the most appropriate way for a DJ to celebrate my favourite artists is by sharing their music. So how about a little routine?

1983’s “Let’s Dance” was produced by David himself & Nile Rodgers (from Chic, recently featured on Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’), and was Bowie’s biggest song to date, 20 years into his career. The guy never stopped creating — he stayed recording and collaborating with artists like Arcade Fire & LCD Soundsystem over the last decade, and even put out an album two days ago, before his untimely passing. If that’s not motivation as an artist, I don’t know what is. So this one’s for you, David — a tribute, just having some fun with a dancefloor smash that has always been a favourite to double copies of while keeping people moving. Don’t mind the smilin’, I can’t help it. Rest easy…

RIP David Bowie.Late night in the studio… took a break from working on a new mix to check my feeds… only to find it flooded with news that the legendary David Bowie has passed. Lots can be said & written to eulogize prolific artists like him, but I think the most appropriate way for a DJ to celebrate my favourite artists is by sharing their music. So how about a little routine? 1983’s “Let’s Dance” was produced by David himself & Nile Rodgers (from Chic, recently featured on Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’), and was Bowie’s biggest song to date, 20 years into his career. The guy never stopped creating — he stayed recording and collaborating with artists like Arcade Fire & LCD Soundsystem over the last decade, and even put out an album two days ago, before his untimely passing. If that’s not motivation as an artist, I don’t know what is. So this one’s for you, David — a tribute, just having some fun with a dancefloor smash that has always been a favourite to double copies of while keeping people moving. Don’t mind the smilin’, I can’t help it. Rest easy…#GoProMusic

Posted by Skratch Bastid on Monday, January 11, 2016