Happy mid-January Wednesday!
As we approach the inauguration and the hopefully-epic Women’s March on Washington this Saturday, it’s important to acknowledge that there’s a whole lot going on right now in the world.
Regardless of political opinion, we can all agree that this is a great big time of change.
And change, even when it’s for the better, is hard. It brings new stimuli into the mix and breaks up our safe, habitual patterns. This makes our survival-orientated nervous system go into default flight-or-flight mode. Our nervous system interprets any variance in pattern as a flashing red sign of DANGER, and tells us to avoid the problem.
Our lizard-brain fear of change is why breaking a habit, even one that doesn’t serve us, is so hard. It’s why we don’t leave the partners we no longer love. It’s why we self-sabotage just as we’ve neared successful new peaks of life. Even if it’s good, our brain still recognizes something new as change, and thus regards it as dangerous.
We are so afraid of change. This is why many people abandon personal growth altogether. It becomes easier to numb out in front of the TV or to drown ourselves in work rather than go into the tricky space of change.
However, life is change. There’s no way around it. And it’s in navigating the hard work of change that we begin to really develop as people. Joseph Campbell understood this when he introduced the term, “the hero’s journey.”
“In narratology and comparative mythology, the monomyth, or the hero's journey, is the common template of a broad category of tales that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed.”
From Homer’s Odyssey to Forrest Gump, almost every great story is based on the hero’s journey. The protagonist endeavors to live, undergoes immense conflict and is changed for the better in the process. He becomes who is because he steps out into the unknown and is willing to work with the scary parts of change.
We love these stories because they are satisfying to watch. Seeing growth in the characters inspires us to also consider growth. These stories give us hope that, yes, we too can overcome adversity and change for the better in the process.
Yet as much as I love the concept of the hero’s journey, something still is missing for me. The masculine concept of battling outside demons being viewed as the only way to become a hero isn’t resonating with me right now. I’m hungry for examples of a feminine path to power.
With this, I propose we remake this concept into the heroine’s journey so we can use it to navigate this tricky moment of change.
As we march forward on Saturday, I am rolling out a new winter campaign that I’m calling “Remaking the Heroine's Journey.”
Over the next eight weeks, I will guide the way as we remake the feminine journey. From start to finish, we will learn to transform our lives into a true heroine's journey. I will share my real-life life experiences, as well as many inspiring stories from my clients who have done amazing work to change their lives. I will share practical tips and essential tools to help us all keep steady during moments of fear, anger and despair.
Together, we will learn to dance with fear, work with our insecurities and set the boundaries we need for a fully integrated life. This is the kind of life that stands strong, even within the blowing winds of change.
Next week, I will share how to take the first step on our heroine's journey, even when we are filled with fear. To do this, I will share a very personal moment I’m going through right now. It’s the deepest change yet for me, and I’m finding that I need to pull out more advanced tools and deeper self-care methods than ever before.
If you are reading this and have a male body, I want you to know that you are absolutely invited to join on our heroine's journey. One of the ways I would like to remake the feminine path to power is to create more ways for men to join in the efforts.
A big part of female empowerment will come from men learning to access their feminine side of power, and from all of us working together to restore a balance between masculine and feminine in our worlds.
Change is possible. I see it every day through my work, and it reinforces my hope in humanity. Without seeing these powerful examples, I don’t know how I would be handling this moment. Without believing that everyone is capable of changing, life would be way too hard.
So let’s change -- all of us. Whoever you are, whatever you believe, you are invited to change with us. Let’s begin together next week, and in the words of Rumi:
“Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.”
PS -- If you are feeling the urge to change already, please consider signing up for the Spring round of Self Care 101 starting on March 19th. Twenty women will go through a dynamic habit-change process together and in the process, learn to create the lives they’ve always hoped were possible. If you are interested, please apply here.