Navigating the Hero’s Journey: Principles and Processes for a Meaningful Life

One of the hallmarks of successful and effective people is a deep sense of purpose and intention.  Without this deep sense, it is easy to get lost in the infinite dramas of everyday life, to be pulled by the many forces trying to use you in one way or another.   By sensing and aligning with an inner calling, it is possible to steer one’s life course in a meaningful way.  One of the best models for describing this path is the “Hero’s Journey,” first described by the mythologist Joseph Campbell (1949) in his seminal book, The Hero with a thousand faces. 

To realize the hero’s journey, a person needs maps, tools, and resources. So what we’d like to do in this article is briefly overview how the hero’s journey may be navigated.

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An invisible presence is awakening: Key ideas in self-relations therapy

All types of events, positive and negative, may be seen as extraordinary states of consciousness, that is, experiences that take us beyond the ordinary “identity state” we tend to usually occupy.  

Self-relations is especially interested in such experiences for two reasons.  First, without the proper skills and relationships to such experiences, a person may become mired in suffering or distracted in endless fantasies.  This is often what is happening for people seeking psychotherapy.   Second, and equally important, a skillful relationship to extraordinary states of consciousness can allow deep transformation and success in creating what Self-Relations calls the “4-H club”: happiness, health, helpfulness (to others), and healing (of self and others)

Self-relations sees extraordinary states of consciousness, both pleasant and unpleasant, as essential and vital parts of a person’s developmental growth. 

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The problem is the solution: The principle of sponsorship in psychotherapy

The principle and processes of sponsorship are the cornerstone of self-relations. The word “sponsorship” comes from the Latin spons, meaning, “to pledge solemnly”. So sponsorship is a vow to help a person (including one’s self) use each and every event and experience to awaken to the goodness and gifts of the self, the world, and the connections between the two. Self-relations suggests that experiences that come into a person’s life are not yet fully human; they have no human value until a person is able to “sponsor them”. Via sponsorship, experiences and behaviors that are problematic may be realized as resources and gifts. In this way, what had been framed and experienced as a problem is recognized as a “solution”.

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