A true hero’s story.
Last night I was with a group of women and we got on to the topic of hero’s stories. It seems to me that most people seem to think that a hero’s story is simply a “success” story, when in fact, it’s so much more than that.
Joseph Campbell’s original model of The Hero’s Journey includes a stage called Tests, Allies, & Enemies. When we invite people to share a hero’s story about their learnings in the Excellence Program it contains BOTH these key elements: I DID this and got X result. I DIDN’T do this and got Y result. (And of course we hold THIS constant) Both forms of feedback are equally valuable in our learning of what works for us.
Last week I announced to All About Business, my business networking group, that Michael & I are moving to Bali by the end of the year. A friend (and former client) left me a beautiful voicemail saying:
“…I’m in awe that you’re able and willing to follow a calling. You seem to have done that all your life. When you’re not in the right space you move to the right space. And I admire that…”
She’s right about one thing – I do move in the direction of the inner YES. She’s wrong about another – I definitely HAVEN’T done it all my life. That’s precisely how I know it works so well.
I followed the YES to Australia. I followed the YES to be with Michael. I followed the YES to invest $20K in personal development programs which is how I met Deb Maes and many others that have enriched my life. I followed the YES to start IBI, inspite of my partner Kevin’s reservations. I followed the YES to participate in the Future Makers Fellowship at the Centre for Sustainability Leadership, and again to do Yoga Teacher Training with Tanya, to join and to leave AAB, for many practitioners I have seen for so many different modalities of transformation. Each of these have been richly rewarding experiences for me in too many ways to recount.
BUT, there have been just as many instances where I didn’t trust my gut. I doubted that inner yes and I didn’t listen. I let my logical mind override it because it didn’t make any sense. And even more occasions when I was too preoccupied and BUSY to even hear the whispers of my inner wisdom. Often this occurred for several months/weeks/days PRIOR to following the yes.
And I get to a point where it’s a very clear “NO. I can’t do this anymore.” I could feel my body getting heavier (did you know me when I was 18 kilos heavier than I am now?) and my energy lagging. Burned out and on the brink of breakdown, often I exhausted the other available options.
And because I take time to reflect on the patterns showing up in my life – I recognised that when I follow the inner YES, no matter how absurd it may sound at the time, it leads to richness beyond what my intellect can comprehend. I didn’t always trust it, but I grew to trust it.
This trust developed over time. Trained as a scientist, I needed to collect sufficient data before I could have confidence in the reliability of the process. I had to rule out the null hypothesis that my intuition was imagined or unreliable.
This only happened through trial and error; or in other words, equally appreciating all forms of feedback as data points.
And now my confidence in my inner GPS is so strong that yes, I swiftly go where I am called without a shadow of doubt or question as to why. No matter where or what it costs. I let my inner YES lead me and know that it will guide me to glorious places far more gorgeous that I can imagine right now.
But it definitely wasn’t ALWAYS that way.