Joseph Campbell’s book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, contends that there is a certain pattern of story telling that appears in thousands of stories from different times and from different cultures. He called this pattern, The Hero’s Journey.
In the most basic form of the story, the hero (a term Campbell apples to a man or woman) travels to a strange land, has adventures, learns about life, triumphs over an adversary and returns home, often with spiritual and/or physical gifts to bestow upon his fellow citizens.
Sacramento Life Coach Monica Griffith uses the Hero’s Journey as tool to help her clients. Campbell’s discovery was adapted for coaching by Maria Nemeth, founder of Academy for Coaching Excellence, in Sacramento, where Griffith studied.
According to Griffith, the first leg of the journey for her clients is The Call to Being, which parallels Campbell’s Call to Adventure, the beginning of the journey. This means staying in focus on what matters and making any necessary adjustments along the way.
“If I wake up and decide to be thoughtful or grateful today and then realize I’m not doing that, then I will remind myself of what I decided the day will be about,” Griffith said.
The next step in the Heroic Coaching Process is The Call to Observation. “I look at what I know to be true. It is about becoming clear about what I believe and taking an idea apart and looking at it. Is it in line with my beliefs, thoughts an opinions?” Griffith said.
Next, The Call to Surrender. “By that, I mean bringing forth all the lessons I am learning. People often use metaphors at this stage, such as being stuck. Are you really stuck or just not moving forward?” Griffith said.
She advises taking your metaphor apart to see where it came from. Then go into action. Take a small step. “That’s where the shift occurs, when you really look at what it is you want to be and stay true to that,” Griffith said. Then take lots more small steps until you reach your goal.
“The coach awakens the client to connect with what gives them bliss or joy and support them along the way. And they can say at the end of their life, ‘I did it. I did what I set out to do.'”
For example, a woman came to Griffith as a client after hearing her speak at a ceremony. She was miserable, working in a job she hated, but didn’t think she was qualified to do anything else. Griffith helped her to realize that teaching gave her joy. “It was the opposite of what she was then doing. She went back to school, got a Masters Degree and is teaching now,” Griffith said.
She also discovered that the woman had a talent and love for music. She now plays and teaches guitar. At the same time, the client was interested in physical fitness. She took up tennis and today plays competitively. “She is living the dream,” Griffith said.
Which leads to an important question that Griffith asks you to consider: “Are you on auto pilot or are you awakened to where you are headed? I can help you wake up to what is important to you,” Griffith said.
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