(Start your day out right by debunking a few grammar myths!)
I have a theory about creativity. It has everything to do with growing.
We go through many, many adolescences in our lives. The first one (from roughly age 12 – 19) is the most dramatic. Once you survive that, you might never want to endure another one. But if you continue to mature as you age, you will go through minor “adolescences of the spirit” at least every decade.
The Hero’s Journey (aka Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth) gives us a terrific frame of reference that can help us understand these comings-of-age.
The Call – you feel that your current life is not enough. You feel restless, dissatisfied. A crisis or series of crises may crop up, forcing you to reexamine your priorities and life path.
The Threshold (guardians, helpers, mentor) – You reach the jumping-off point, but you come across guardians, who seek to block your path. You must overcome these threshold guardians. You will often find helpers and a mentor to help you do this. These new friends are kindred spirits for your journey.
The Challenges – You stumble on your new path. You get lost as you try to rewrite your life or adjust to your new circumstances. Your challenges often reflect your greatest weakness. They cause you to thinking about scurrying back to the old you.
The Abyss – Welcome to the lion’s den. Get ready to slay your demons. This is the icky part. You doubt yourself. You hate yourself. You are convinced you’re a fraud, useless, stupid [insert your favorite pejorative word here]. You self-sabotage. You belittle your dream. You make really bad decisions in an effort of avoid facing the things you must face in order to grow.
The Transformation – You conquer the fears that tried to kill your spirit in the Abyss. You have revelations about who you are and what you want out of life. You make peace with who you were when you were younger and less enlightened. You shed your old skin and emerge from your tests as a stronger, wiser, more fulfilled version of you with a renewed sense of purpose.
The Return – You return back to the patterns of daily life with your new knowledge and desires. You’ll likely face some resistance from the people around you – they have to adjust to the new you, and your relationships will look different because of your expanded self-knowledge. You seek a way to integrate your refined sense of self with all aspects of your life.
ARE YOU READY??… Find a photo of yourself as a teenager. If you don’t have one, spend a few minutes on Awkward Family Photos looking for a gawky, uncomfortable teenage that reminds you of yourself. Feel the pain!
Today’s prompt: Write down the six-step version of the Hero’s Journey as I outlined it above. Then fill it in with your story – your personal story. Write out your own heroic journey, with special attention to your desire to write.
Scribble… Scribble… Scribble…