Hero's Journeys come in mini, every day versions. And what powerful lessons they offer.
Recently, our family of four went on a little hike at a nearby natural area. About three miles. Nothing strenuous. It was a lovely warm, sunny day. Everyone started out in high spirits.
Then, very early into our hike, our seven year old slipped half-off a boardwalk, dunking one of her legs into cold marsh water. Soaking her shoe and sock. Scraping up one arm and leg pretty good.
There were many tears. Many.
I made sure she wasn't seriously hurt. She begged to go home. I said no. Told her she just had a little scare, and that she could keep going. That it was a beautiful day for a hike and that her sock and shoe would dry soon. Then we continued walking. She stomped after us, crying, angry.
Soon, she pulled herself together.
We hiked on a bit further . . . and stubbed her toe hard on an exposed tree root, tripping, nearly falling and just catching herself. More tears, anger at the tree root, anger at us, begging us to go home.
I said no, calmly but firmly. Her dad and little brother (who was riding in a backpack and having a grand time) went on ahead. I told her that she and I would just take it slower, and that was totally fine. We had all afternoon. It was a gorgeous day to be outside.
Then I reminded her that she can do hard things. I told her things she's done that took courage and perseverance. I told her she'd feel so good, and so proud of herself, at the end. She scowled at me, grumbling but hiking alongside me.
We approached a bench. She asked to stop for water and a snack. We sat for a few minutes.
And, then, she started spilling her guts. Unloading frustrations and fears and anger that I had no idea she had. I listened to her and held space for her. I asked a few basic questions like "and then what?" and "what else?" She unloaded even more.
We hiked on. She quieted and we hiked in silence for awhile.
Then, she started pointing out interesting things around us, like turtles and barn swallows and spring flowers blooming. We spent a little time in an observation blind watching ducks and a Great Blue Heron.
She finished the hike trotting like a horse, with a big smile on her face, and asked to come back again soon. She asked to go into the Visitor's Center to learn more about the natural area we hiked through, and we did.
When we arrived back home, she asked me to teach her how to hit a tennis ball against the garage door because "I've been wanting to learn. And I know I can do hard things."
Later that evening, I realized that I had been part of a Hero's Journey my young daughter traveled in a single day. I now see that this happens frequently in our lives, and that realization deepens my love and compassion for all of us as we journey through life.
Where in your life can you recognize the Hero's Journey playing out? For you? For your loved ones?
I encourage you to reflect on this. Because recognizing these every day Hero's Journeys will enable you to experience greater compassion for yourself, and for others. And self-compassion is a key component of building resilience and modeling resilience for our loved ones.
Are you a mom seeking stillness, resilience and clarity? You can, through (re)connecting with your natural wisdom. And I'd love to support you. Schedule a 30-minute Breakthrough Session and discover for yourself whether we're a good fit. It would be such a pleasure to talk with you!