November 3, 2014

Cultivating the Hero’s Path.

hero sunset tree trunk

I’m putting footprints forward on my destiny every day.

I am creating my journey irrespective of how jumbled and confusing it often seems in the moment. I would like to feel after the physical space I have occupied in this universe is gone, I had a more heroic journey than not.

Similarly, in a personal desire to attract a male hero into my life, I have determined I need to become more of my own hero. I reflect on the qualities and attributes I think a hero embodies and wonder if I can express these more consistently in my daily life.

1. A hero does the right thing. Heroes are the embodiment of the courageous warrior pose we practice in every yoga class—open yet vulnerable, determined and noble. Warrior I and Warrior II are an analogy to live our yoga in real life, shinning our truth and acting with strength and integrity.

My vision of a hero is ethical and generous. To me, a hero is brave with their heart. Often we think a hero is external to us, saving others or maybe we are even hoping/waiting to be saved. But the hero of our journey is ultimately us. We have the daily opportunity to dust off the cape we may not know we had in the first place and dig deep into our superpower. One such superpower is that of the heart: compassion.

Sometimes, to be the hero of our own path, we need to do what is right—for us. This may mean saying no in spite of others’ opinions, or saying yes, surrendering to possibility.

A recent opportunity to be my own hero meant waving good-bye to a position I liked with a team I liked and a life I had made with good friends in the Caribbean. No one said a hero’s choices would be easy. Yet, if I was more of a hero (admittedly, I am a novice on this path), I would bravely move forward to my destiny no questions asked. I get caught in the rearview mirror of happiness stuck in desire for those incredible beach weekends. Yet, the bigger person/small hero in me knows this was the right decision to relinquish certainty for something unknown.

2. A hero leaves what they must. This is also known as “letting go.” It’s the bittersweet part of the epic tale when the hero must leave, often a love or a love of place/experiences and move into their calling. It is the dynamic between grateful for what was, knowing it will never be again, and having a deep sense of knowing there is something calling ahead. The pull forward exceeds the one to remain. A hero has the ability to move into this unknown with grace and ease. I’m reminded of an autumn leaf twirling, relinquishing fear to join new friends on the ground.

A hero is guided by trust. I recognize my faith in the universe and “divine timing” often falters. To let go and leave what I must, I must trust. I must increase my faith. A daily mantra is a welcome assistant.

3. A hero is aided by magic. We gravitate to a hero’s ability to trust in magic and miracles. A hero communicates with the supernatural to help manifest an epic life. We are in awe at their ability to be superhuman.

I recently visited the children’s section of the bookstore and was overcome by the fairy tales, magic dragons, sparkles, wizards, oracles and general creativity. Why would I relinquish this joy and wonder which was a part of my daily existence before I turned eight? In some ways, we already participate in magic-making by sporting the jersey of our team on game day. Are we also manifesting this type of intentional charmed intervention in our own life?

I have personally decided to become more aware of synchronicity in my life. At first it is very odd and I feel like a gambler. But, if I truly want the life of a legendary goddess, then I may need to branch out of my logical mind and linear existence. If I am able to take note of the small magic around me, then maybe I will be better able to receive the big magic.

Rarely has anyone arrived in their accomplishments by hard work alone. There is typically divine intervention, synchronicity, good fortune or luck or some type of magic involved. To be assisted by magic, we must first stop and notice its existence. Then, we start participating in making our own magic manifest.

4. A hero goes beyond the possible. The impossible turns into the favorite bumper sticker, “I’m possible!” The hero has faith and trust in their ability and in destiny. This means the heroic life is not status quo. It may be taking on what no one else wanted to address. I consider those who are fighting against Ebola or willing to confront challenges that we often ignore, such as racism and gender inequality, part of the heroic path.

To go beyond what we thought is possible, we must take on challenges. We first must be willing to try.

In yoga class last week I decided to do a headstand not near the wall. I can do this pose without a wall, but I prefer to minimize risk and thus my fear. Last week I said, f*ck it, I got this. I was up for five breaths in the middle of the room when I shifted my gaze, started to wobble and then toppled with a thud. I expected to be mortified. As a yoga teacher my ego came in a flash—what kind of teacher falls in that pose? However, the thought was gone in the next heartbeat. I consider this a success. I did not ruminate about how I fell and it didn’t color my practice.

I decided I need to go beyond the possible more regularly in my daily life.

I need to and can take more risks. I may fail or fall, but I most grow my confidence that I am my own safety net. A headstand is not the equivalent of beyond the possible for a real hero, but it is a metaphor of how I can cultivate this action of going beyond the possible more consistently.

We know the hero has dark nights of the soul. Everything known is questioned. The unknown is the space the hero occupies. I aspire to be more okay with unknowns. It is from this space the small impossibles becomes possible.

I believe we can all call out our inner hero on a daily basis to inspire ourselves and others and have a stronger foundation for when we are required to fly towards our destiny and be the honorable, gallant and epic hero we already are.

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Author: Jolie Marie Carey

Apprentice Editor: Yaisa Nio / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Pixoto / CK NG

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