Joseph Campbell wrote about these stages in his book The Hero’s Journey. He wrote about 12 Stages, and from those I have extracted five stages that we go through over and over again in our life if we are open to change and growth.
In any story, movie or life in order to see any evidence of change we must have a clear understanding of the before and after…the beginning and the end. The beginning of every story originates in what Joseph Campbell calls the Ordinary World. All of us start out in our Ordinary World. It might be a physical place, but it also includes our frame of mind, our beliefs and our habits. Even once we’ve gone through all five stages and return home…that new home becomes our Ordinary World that we will eventually get called out of again if we are to continue growing and evolving.
Our Ordinary World is our comfort zone. It is what feels familiar. Often we are so comfortable that we are reluctant to leave or change, even if we are unhappy. Yet there will be a Call that comes to invite us to venture out of the Land of Familiar to explore new possibilities. An example we see in the Wizard of Oz is Dorothy in the black and white world of Kansas. She lives with her aunt and uncle and her dog Toto. This is her familiar world, but she is not happy there. She experiences challenges and feels a tug of Divine Discontent when she wonders what life would be like somewhere else…over the rainbow.
Your Ordinary World could be your job, your family situation or even some beliefs that you have been comfortable holding that perhaps don’t serve you anymore. For example, if you’ve been feeling a tug to quit smoking, your Ordinary World is that of a smoker. If you are a young adult living at home with your parents, then that is your Ordinary World. At some point you will be called to leave that world. It’s not bad where you are, but we are always called to grow and that usually requires we leave what feels ordinary and comfortable to embrace something new.
Some more examples from movies: Neo (Matrix) in his world as a computer programmer, Luke (Star Wars) living with his aunt and uncle, Katniss (Hunger Games) struggling for food in District 12, Marlin (Finding Nemo) living in fear in his corner of the ocean.
EXERCISE: Getting in touch with your Ordinary World.
Think about the world in which you live at present. What are your physical surroundings? Where do you live and work? What beliefs are you holding? What daily habits have gotten all too familiar? There is nothing wrong with where you are now. Now think about where you’ve been? How have you changed and how has your ordinary life changed? You are not the same person you were 10 years ago, or 5 years ago and maybe even 1 year ago. What has changed? How have you changed? Our Ordinary World changes many times over a lifetime.
Watch for a post to follow where we will explore THE CALL to leave our Ordinary World and explore new adventures.
If you are interested in reading more about these stages you can find Reel Transformation: Your Life Now Playing at: https://www.createspace.com/4814039 and on Amazon.