Vision, Goals and The Hero's Journey

Visions are not created.  Your visions already live inside of you and they are just waiting for them to be revealed by you.  I like to think of them as christmas presents under a christmas tree.  They are wrapped up and just dying to be opened and revealed, to fill you up with your greatest joy and aspirations.  

Sometimes, or very often, our vision and goals change or evolve.  Not because we have given up, failed, or are incapable of achieving them, but because we have realized and revealed that we are so much more, more than we have ever dreamed of and ever imagined.  We may come to points in our life where we are called to be more, to expand ourselves.  As we move forward in our lives we discover gifts and strengths that we may have once thought were weaknesses or something we felt we lacked.  Once we look inside ourselves and go into our internal world, we realize  that we are truly limitless and capable of what would have once seemed impossible or unimaginable.  

Joseph Campbell called this the Hero's Journey.  Joseph Campbell is the king of world mythology and he discovered that myths from all over the world, from all cultures from all time, shared the same structure of steps that the character of a story or myth goes through.

The cycle of the Hero's Journey as Joseph Campbell discovered throughout world mythology.  These stories were meant to guide us and be a mirror for us to see and understand the different stages we may find ourselves in once we answer the call to our own personal adventure.

The cycle of the Hero's Journey as Joseph Campbell discovered throughout world mythology.  These stories were meant to guide us and be a mirror for us to see and understand the different stages we may find ourselves in once we answer the call to our own personal adventure.

We may realize that our intentions, our goals and our vision were born out of a limiting belief or perspective.  For example, I always dreamed of being a great master architect.  All of my creative energy manifested through architecture.  I believed this was my only gift, my talent, what I was naturally good at.  And I was, to a certain extent.  I also grew up in a family of architects and contractors.  I grew up in a building and design environment.  So this naturally fueled my inspirations and dream to be an architect.  I had a certain level of support or approval for it because it was also what my family knew and they could relate to it.  

But on my path to be the greatest architect ever, other opportunities revealed themselves.  Doors were opening up for me in certain directions and doors were closing on me in other directions.  My goal was to live and study architecture in another country and master another language.  I thought this would give me a competitive leverage in the field of architecture and I loved learning about other people and cultures and the idea of being able to speak other languages.  So, my goal to be an international architect started me on the path of learning about other cultures and languages.  This was something completely foreign to my family and how I was raised, though.  I did not know other people who had these same interests, but architecture was something everyone knew of and could imagine.

You may see that as you evolve and grow, so will your vision and goals.  They are as alive as you are.  Your vision is not something you need to create, it already exists inside of you.  As you evolve and reveal and discover more of who you are, you will reveal and discover more of what your vision is and your goals will change and shift along the way to continue to manifest your deepest visions.  You can only see as much as you allow yourself to see or you are able to see at a given moment.  So your vision is something inside you that you open up, like a present.  It's your gift.  Your purpose.  Your soul's calling. 

If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.
— Joseph Campbell

A vision or goal that you have can be a stepping stone, an introduction into a world you never even knew existed and therefore you never even imagined or dreamed of.  Being in the unknown can bring you to your greatest treasure.  I had a plan and I had planned out step by step how I was going to study architecture in Italy.  However, challenges, walls and set backs diverted me and lead me down a path  I had never even allowed myself to dream of or thought would be possible for me.

The cave you fear to enter, holds the treasure you seek.
— Joseph Campbell

This can be a terrifying place where you feel vulnerable, stupid, incompetent and other negative feelings as you let go of what you thought you knew to learn things you never imagined.  My first time living in Italy was this cave.  It was dark and humiliating as I left everything I knew.  Before I moved to Italy I was independent and able to take care of myself.  This cave though was the beginning of me tapping into my hidden gifts, talents and strengths that I NEVER would have imagined for myself.  Language for one, even my own language, English.  I was horrible and incompetent when it came to language, but I loved it.  I even ended up majoring in Italian because I was so bad and slow at learning language that I knew I was going to have to study day in and day out to master it.  I even thought majoring in Italian was a joke, and I was a little embarrassed to do so.  Who majors in Italian?! No one! And you no what that got me?  No competition, full grants, scholarships, open doors and individual attention because no one else was doing it!  Doors opened up everywhere for me to learn Italian, to live, study and work in Italy.  Even my English language skills improved as I was basically forced to teach English as a second language, which I thought I would be horrible at.  I needed a job in Italy and that was really my only option.  So, I started teaching others and myself the English language. Which again, I thought was a joke.  I thought, how can I teach, for one, and especially English?  I was being drawn to all of these other subjects like public speaking (I was deathly shy) and language which I thought were my weaknesses.  

If what you are following, however, is your own true adventure, if it is something appropriate to your deep spiritual need or readiness, then magical guides will appear to help you. If you say, ‘Everyone’s going on this trip this year, and I’m going too,’ then no guides will appear. Your adventure has to be coming right out of your own interior. If you are ready for it, then doors will open where there were no doors before, and where there would not be doors for anyone else. And you must have courage. It’s the call to adventure, which means there is no security, no rules.
— Joseph Campbell

I continued plugging away though and was determined like a warrior to be the greatest International Architect EVER!  No one could derail me from that.  But, on this path as I majored in Italian as a practical step in the direction of my goal, I started studying and learning about things I never even knew existed.  I noticed I excelled in Sociology, Psychology, Film, Literature, Philosophy and Humanities in general.  Doors kept opening up for me in the areas of Humanities, Language, Literature, Linguistics, Psychology and Art but doors were closing on me in the direction of Architecture since I didn't have the financial support or the time I needed to study Architecture.

We must be willing to give up the life we have planned, so as to live the life that is waiting for us.
— Joseph Campbell

Even though I was loving what I was doing with language, linguistics, literature, humanities, philosophy, psychology and teaching, I felt at the same time my dreams, my greatest dreams were crashing and dying.  I felt like I was losing who I thought I was or who I thought I was going to be.  I thought I was losing my real dreams.  But at the same time, I had so much internal satisfaction of what I began to study and master.  It actually added so much more to myself than I could have ever imagined for myself.  I felt I had substance where as the goal of being an architect was missing words.  I had not known words, language and metaphor before I knew architecture, so I thought.  I realized what I loved about architecture, creating something out of nothing, symbolism, metaphor, beauty, art, structure, innovation, helping others, shelter, creating beauty for myself and others, changing the world, culture, history, bringing people together, could be done in many ways, the only way I ever knew of though was through architecture.  By being flexible and open to the opportunities that were opening up to me, actually brought me to me, to allowing me to see my authentic potential and it has lead me to do things and be what I had never allowed myself to dream of.

As I have grown and evolved, so have my goals and vision.  As I have become more aware of myself, more of my greatest and deepest dreams have been revealed to me, by me.  It's following your heart and soul.  Being okay and trusting in the dark, in the unknown that great things are happening for you.  The Universe/God/Higher self has your greatest interest at heart and is helping you, if you allow it, to go in that direction.

Be open to the visions you have inside of you no matter how ridiculous and outrageous they may seem.  Allow yourself to move forward towards what lights you up from the inside out, not just what seems familiar and acceptable by others.  Be Bold and outlandish.  Pay attention to the unexpected opportunities that come your way.  They may be the greatest opportunity for you to reveal your true talents, gifts, strengths, your soul and life purpose.  

If it's an opportunity and it scares you, terrifies you, and you think it's impossible for you, but yet somehow deep down inside in the dark, it resonates with you, then it is probably your call to adventure.  Just as Joseph Campbell discovered the structure of the Hero's Journey in myths from all over the world of all time, in all cultures, you can also find this today in our greatest films - Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings and so on.  There is a reason these movies capture us and are so successful.  They reflect us.  They are our mirror.  Answer your call.  It is worth it and you will see you are so much more than you have ever dreamed of.

A bit of advice. Given to a young Native American at the time of his initiation: As you go the way of life, You will see a great chasm. Jump. It is not as wide as you think.
— Joseph Campbell

I realized the path I thought was leading me to be an architect was actually leading me to myself, to my soul, my inner world, my authentic self.  The walls and failures were actually bringing me closer to who I really was.  Expect the unimaginable.  Expect to be broken down (unrevealed, unmasked) and transformed.  Expect to be terrified.  Expect to breakthrough.  Embrace your adventure.  Break yourself open to your calling.  You are the hero of your own journey.

The question is are you going to say a hearty yes to your adventure?
— Joesph Campbell

Below is a beautiful series of videos of what Joseph Campbell called the Monomyth or Hero's Journey throughout world mythology.  Today we can find the same structure used in the greatest films that show the call to adventure of the main character (you) and the different stages they go through from leaving their ordinary world to stepping into an unknown world, meeting a mentor, slaying dragons, almost dying to being resurrected again and coming back as a stronger, new, more evolved, authentic person.  You find your treasure and you become a greater version of yourself.

With love,

Jessica