Hint: everyone is
A definition of a hero is one who hears the call to adventure, leaves their familiar environment, experiences a series of crises, overcomes them with resourcefulness and courage, and returns home a better person, exhausted but triumphant.
A simpler definition of a hero is someone who goes on a journey and learns something along the way.
We go on a journey every day. As the sun marks the passing of the hours in the sky, it shines its light on billions of human heroes moving across the landscape like ants, journeying hither and yon. And if we pause before we sleep to let our mind dance across that day’s memories, we can find things — or perhaps just one thing — that we’ve learned.
It may be something about ourselves (I need to listen more) or something about how the world works (trains wait for no one). So, each day, as long as we learn something, we are a hero.
But there is a persistent call to an even greater adventure than everyday life that is easy to overlook or dismiss. This call is the important one: the one that will engage our heart, touch our soul and unleash our creativity.
Jospeh Campbell, the American professor of literature made famous by his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, would say that answering this call is following your bliss.
What is your bliss? What excites you? What brings you joy? What makes you smile as you do it? Following your bliss may produce a poem, a pie, a painting or a stone pathway. Or satisfied customers, appreciative audiences or inspired students. Following your bliss is doing what you do best.
So, do your daily journey, but be alert for an almost silent tap, a faint message, or a whisper of one of the main reasons you’re here, which, in the bustle of activity, goes almost unnoticed, and can be forgotten.
Campbell referred to it as:
Going where your body and soul want to go.
He also called it:
It’s common to think of heroes as people who go into battle and come back bloodied but victorious. But in an article titled Heroes of History, Wikipedia includes some interesting examples: Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci, Martin Luther, Jesus Christ and William Shakespeare.
These people taught, created art, challenged authority, spoke enlightened words, or wrote timeless truths.
They were heroes because they followed their bliss.
They did what they loved doing.
And they did it every day.
Living with mindfulness
Another way to describe the hero’s journey is that they move from the world of the known to the world of the unknown.
That takes courage.
Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.
Awaken the hero deep within you.
With love, Marlane
First published on Medium.com/Illumination