The Hero's Journey
Updated: Jan 23, 2019
“Every time you are willing to say “Yes” to everything on your path, you express the hero inside of you.” “When the serpent is slithering inside, you will know it, but only with the gift will you understand how it lives and how it dies.” “When the hero is ready, the mentor appears.”
― Joseph Campbell,
It is a humbling thought that from the moment we are born we start to age.
The lines on my face are a testament, a coming of age, I cannot say I am completely at ease with the aging process because like every female of forty-something I am just grappling with this age thing. Though I really can't / don't quite believe it myself I am in fact 'middle aged' just not that sexy is it?
On the other hand I pass the baton over to my beautiful fourteen-year-old daughter, she grows up in front of me, her innocent and unobtainable essence of vitality, beauty, and scarless joy, excitement, dreams, and unconditional love, I encourage, nurture, protect and support her to shine her brightest.
I am an adult, adulting, as a woman, I understand with each passing year what it must have been like for my own mother, her life-force, vitality, her feelings and what society encourages and celebrates.
Our distant and spent youth diminishes before us and our darling offspring blossom in all their glory, we bathe in their grace and want nothing less than everything to be wonderful, blessed and beautiful, for love to be kind and deep, long-lasting and sincere, yet we know and quietly fear for the inescapability of that which lies ahead, the hero's journey, the twisting, turning, sometimes cruel cards delt that we are all destined to take in a lifetime.
The path, the perilous, yet precious journey of life, if blessed to be bestowed apon us, there is a price to pay along the embarked way.
As children, we longed with great urgency to be grown-ups, free and easy and isn't it grand and is it not ironic, that if we truly knew what lay ahead we may not wish so fast.
The passing of time endures upon us, the flight of fancy and romantic dreams turn to responsibilities, heavy, sticky and complicated and as George Bernard Shaw so eloquently put it "Youth is surely wasted on the youth".
Over Forty takes a turn, a hold, a pause, a new perspective and the cycle of life becomes apparent. Aging, not celebrated in our youth-infused photoshopped culture. Acknowledging the deterioration of a mortal body, the process of death is much like being a parent, you don't know what it truly involves until you are one.
When we were young, older people were just older. It was not something that you'd care to think about and why should you, a sort of ignorant bliss, an endless life sprawled in front of you for the taking, concerns limited to self-satisfaction and immediate friends.
Turning into forty you might think about it, you think about your children, their future, the government and the mess we have made in the world, your family members, how long they will live, will they get sick, will you get sick, where will you live when you are old, will you end up alone in a home, forgotten and senile, have you been kind, and should you have more children just in case?
Suddenly you find yourself in a calculation of years vs choices and how you can best make amend, course correct, and navigate toward some kind of happy ending and at best not a messy one.
The pressure of time passing, the results of choice and action not taken can become heavy on the tireing soul, even for those who we once saw as strong, wise and all-knowing turned to wine, women, and breakdowns.
There is however good news, it is not to late and it is never to early to start implementing good choices, with basic good health we can maintain some kind of control and mental stability by way of taking daily action in nutrition, self-care and lifestyle.
Carving out time for self-care, investing in your health and wellness including diet is the beginning and profoundly transformational process of enlightening your being, taking time to rest and reflect, slowing down enough to make sure you are not moving too fast and instead using your time wisely.
It is a first-world problem that we have too many choices it is true, but as an adult having made many mistakes by now you can make an educated choice
and choose to live the life you have been given fully, plan and do the things you say you want to do, go there, take a chance, pack your bags, move to the country, leave that job, live by the sea, set up business, stay put, love what you have, whatever you do make a life worth living.
Now I am in my mid-forties, it is clear that finding a deeper beauty within the self and living full authenticity, wisdom and gratitude is possibly the most self-loving beautiful place one can be, much to my own surprise having spent most my life on the trail of escapism, I now have little desire for anything outside myself, to go, be or attain, instead I find a well of beauty to express within, to share into the world that I might inspire others to receive.
I look around me, beauty is represented, branded and defined as a youth, billboards, buses, screens and magazines, social media, movies and hardwired into our beliefs. I am quietly reassured in that, we all age, even the most famous, beautiful and youthful of us.
When you step back and see the great and grand design of your life, you see that everything was meant to be and everything is in fact perfect. That there are great gifts waiting in the transition from youth to adult.
May you recognise your hero's journey, be healthy along the way and may you pass through with grace and elegance.
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
― Joseph Campbell
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