Seems I’ve made a tangled mess of things!
You may or may not have noticed that I’ve skipped several weeks of this 12-wk series. If you’ve been following along, I hope you’ve gained some insight into your own heroine’s journey from the ‘experts’ – Joseph Campbell, Maureen Murdock, and Victoria Lynn Schmidt. That said, I hope you don’t mind if I call it a wrap.
My original intention was to relate this journey to how a woman finds her voice, learns to be content, and shares joy. But in the spirit of a Netflix show that seems to be all the rage (Tidying up with Marie Kondo) – if it doesn’t give you joy, throw it out.
So, just as I decided to never watch another episode of Marie Kondo after the first one, I’ve decided I need to let this series go. I found it began to be more of a chore than a joy – perhaps because I’m tied up in a big client writing project and am working to finish my business book. But also because:
- the exercise became too academic and not as reflective as I’d hoped.
- I found nothing profound in Campbell’s approach.
- I struggled to relate to Murdoch’s emphasis on the feminine/masculine dichotomy with the idea of rejecting and accepting – I think I look at life more holistically maybe?
- I will resist any blogging series that will span more than a few weeks at most. I loved the daily A2Z of April and the Bits-of-Joy in July. I find daily writing on a particular theme to be exhilarating because the posts can be short, pithy, and reflective.
- I would recommend Murdoch’s book if you are looking for an opportunity to dig into your mother/daughter, father/daughter issues in a journaling exercise. She offers some good stuff – just not for me right now.
Because I don’t want to leave anyone totally hanging, the gist of the journey is that the heroine hits rock bottom – everything falls apart, she feels lost, alone, and frightened – and then through mentorship and the help of others, she gains inner courage and wisdom. In my experience, this is – indeed – the journey of midlife.
But rather than being cyclical, in my experience, the heroine’s journey looks more like this:
That said, a few quotes from Stages 6-9 of Schmidt seem to sum up Midlife nicely:
- She goes through her own awakening and comes out willing to accept help from others.
- She can’t be betrayed again because she has her own strength and self-realization that can’t be taken away from her.
- She accepts others as they are and embraces the female aspect of supporting one another.
- She begins to see the oneness that we all share together.
- She lets someone else lend her a hand, give her a boost, and, in turn, that person will be exposed to the benefits of going on an inner journey.
- She sees the big picture of life and realizes she can’t ever go back to the woman she once was and she doesn’t want to.
- She has learned to set boundaries, take action, and listen to her own inner voice
[Schmidt, Victoria Lynn. 45 Master Characters, Revised Edition: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters. F+W Media. Kindle Edition.]
In My Experience
Each week I offered a bit of how my experience with the different stages of the journey. Today, instead I’d like to share a poem I wrote in 1994 (at 31) for a friend celebrating her 49th birthday. I had recently gone through my first cycle of the heroine’s journey and felt like I’d been to hell and back!
Your Heroine’s Journey Experience
- Have you found your journey to be like climbing a mountain or traversing a valley? Has it been cyclical? Or more like a roller coaster?
- Which of Schmidt’s quotes resonates most for you as you’ve traveled your heroine’s journey through the darkness into new awakening?