This week´s blog is written by Raquel Ezequiel. Raquel is from Portugal and at the moment she is working in Development Perspectives. Her background is a degree in Psychology and she works with children and youngsters and in youth programmes more recently.
Some days are not equal others… maybe when we think deeper we realize that in each day we live, no two are ever the same. But some days that are very similar to each other disappear from our mind, as they had been taken on the breeze, without any significant mark in our memory.
Life is always changing, it does not stop, even when we feel stuck for some reason, we know that this situation will not remain like that. It is a roller coaster, moving in ups and downs, challenging us with loops, and giving us different emotions throughout.
Maybe the days that seem similar get lost in our memory because we have gotten used to our personal roller coaster.
Life is a journey; we each have our own one, full of our own adventures. We do not have a choice: we are our own Heroes. Often we do not realize that we are a hero, we think of ourselves as a normal human being, nothing special, just living as everyone does. We just do not realize that in our life we are also living the model that Joseph Campbell described, just more mixed up, for we don’t understand so much about our life, and what we can expect. So, in each moment of our personal journey, we do not process all the steps, which Joseph Campbell could organize in a model. In life we just see a mess or in the best circumstances we can identify the “dark cave”, our “friends”, a “mentor”, “death and rebirth” (that is many times an inner transformation). The fears are most times constant: we can say some rational and irrational fears, all of us we have them… we learned them in our life, we developed them in our previous adventures, but like the Heroes of the stories, we know the dangers but we continue our story, and take on other challenges.
This weekend, I think, was a proposal, a proposal for me to meet with myself in an encounter with others that felt the same need: to have a different experience, to reach some point needed to start to believe more in ourselves, to forgive ourselves when we did not forgive others, and the reasons multiply for each person and all their different experiences. It is all about needs that appear in different moments in our personal story.
When I pay attention in my normal life, I also can hear stories that make me smell a Hero from a long distance. When I am available to get out of my comfort zone and meet new people or even with my closest friends, with time I will become a fan of their adventure. All of them have a story so particular to them, that they overcome all the expectations that I feel when I am watching an adventure movie.
So, coming back to the subject, the Hero´s Journey: I went to this weekend with my own story, in a point of my own adventure, with some chaos around my thoughts, my feelings, with the intention to see my fears during the night, to understand what can I get, to see my body’s reaction to fasting, my reaction when I am sleeping in the forest with only a plastic cover, and on my own.
Some people when I told them that I would do on this weekend just said: “It is not for me!” and it makes me think that it is pretty curious that all of us in own lives, when life or destiny makes a call or a proposal, we can say “it is not for me”, but even with that, sometimes we don’t have a choice and we start a new adventure.
Anyway, I went there fragile, my personal story gave me that: the fragility in that specific moment and a weekend where I could check my strength.
First discovery: I can handle fasting very well, even though I suffer from natural low blood pressure. It was 36 hours and I had no problems at all with that. I could see that if in some way when our will is to survive, to get some point, even our body prepares to achieve the goal, it is like we have a kind of reservoir that is available for emergency situations or just to use when we need it.
Second discovery: the darkness can be very pleasant: it can give us peace, space and time for when we focus on that, we start to see the light. Some people say that is after the dark that we can see the light better, and I believe that they are right.
During the night there, I slept well, I woke up 4 times, but with no fears. It was also a kind of relaxing, listening to the wind in the trees reminded me the sound that could relax me since I was child: the waves coming without stop in my Atlantic sea.
I dreamt, I had even some insights; I could reach another point of view. Even the moments that we could share with strangers, they can recover us, we see the Heroes around us, and we see their braveness even when they feel limitations, even when they have doubts, they can overcome that doubt, and so we can see that we are not alone in the journey.
The Hero´s Journey was a great experience, because it gave me the opportunity to go deep within myself, to understand my adventures, to see the concrete difficulties (yes, because during the night in the forest, my cover fell down and I needed to handle it during the night, and hoping the rain does not become heavier), to test my fears, my limits, to meet people. It was a weekend about life, do you know? A short experience that we can see reflected in this long journey that is our life!
The point is, I guess, that between storms and pleasant moments, we need to continue, we are trying to survive, to give our best… Hero´s Journey is about discovering the Hero that lives inside of us, and say to him “Yes, you are there… trust in yourself, because you are just somewhere, in the beginning, middle or end of an adventure…it is just one more… the Journey can carry a lot of them, and you are the Hero of all them!
*(I am grateful to the one who reminded me of this in that weekend.)