““If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” ~Joseph Campbell
In the midst of the storm, with the thunder, lightning, and heavy winds, darkness is all around. Perhaps you’ve just become single after a long relationship, or you’ve lost a loved one, or you’ve begun to question your own identity. Negative thoughts in the form of monsters start to creep in on you, scary ones with really big teeth. And you can hear them hissing, causing you to tremble in fear, which is exactly what the monsters want.
And it. is. scary! You’re fearful beyond all belief. You can’t imagine how you’ll be able to bear the pain for much longer. The monsters demand your attention at all times, when you first wake, as you eat your meals, before you go to bed, and especially when you’re alone.
You find your eyes tearful more than not.
The crappy weather with its minions is not a fun experience.
Here’s the thing though.
The crappy weather is external. It’s outside you. It’s happening around you, whether you want it to, or not. For your own good!
That’s the amazing part. You get to decide what your internal environment is like and how you respond.
You get to decide your direction on your path.
Whether you become stagnant and stuck, with your feet sinking in the quicksand ever so slowly, paralyzed by the monsters …
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” ~Joseph Campbell
Whether you’re going to face your monsters and move forward despite the rain, one foot in front of the other.
Each step is a movement, an action on your journey, allowing spiritual growth. Allowing you to live up to your infinite potential as a being on Earth. And live the life of your dreams. Being your own hero on your hero’s journey.
Joseph Campbell, Meet (Put your name here)
Three months ago:
“You have to watch this movie.” as Jason Schroeder of Brazen Athletics thrusts a DVD into my hand.
“What is it?” I asked.
“You’ll love it, just watch it.”
That was the beginning of my romance with Joseph Campbell and his teachings, which the documentary Finding Joe is all about.
I soon read The Hero with a Thousand Faces and An Open Life: Joseph Campbell in conversation with Michael Toms (much easier read than the former book). The Power of Myth is waiting on my nightstand.
I’ve become obsessed.
I hope you’ll give Joseph a chance too.
Your passion, purpose, and dreams depend on it.
Physical Exertion as Leverage for Starting Your Journey
“What we’re learning in our schools is not the wisdom of life. We’re learning technologies, we’re getting information. There’s a curious reluctance on the part of faculties to indicate the life values of their subjects.” ~Joseph Campbell
It’s difficult to change a limited mindset grounded in the standard growth process.
Your parents raise you the best they can, as do our schools.
But it’s a conventional growth with limited potential.
It’s nobody’s fault. It’s just that people have been battered down so often by others that they learn to accept the b***s*** that others try to suppress them with.
When I was little, I wanted to be a professional football player. In the 3rd grade, my first year of the sport, my friends, teammates, family, and coaches fed me b***s***:
“You’re too small to play football.” ~ The naysayers
If I’d listened to them then, I’d never been able to play in college where I captained Franklin and Marshall, was first team all-conference, and was team MVP for 2005. I may not have made it to the NFL, but the dream inspired me to act and caused a whole lot of growth in the process.
Listening to my own call and acting with persistence and determination, I was able to not only become physically fitter but grow mentally through habit formation and spiritually through doing exactly what my heart desired me to do.
What’s cool about taking focus in one major area of your life (the physical) is that it translates to other areas (the mental and the spiritual).
Take physical fitness. Everyone knows they have the potential to be as healthy as they’re able to put the energy in.
When you actually make those steps, wow! Look out, because your life no longer resembles what it used to.
Making a choice and taking a step on the journey towards better health is not just about losing a few pounds.
It’s about setting foot in the gym every day, setting your mind to finish a workout, creating the habit of pushing through adversity to finish what you set your mind on doing, losing weight and gaining energy in the process, but also teaching your heart and soul that it can achieve whatever the heck it wants, allowing those dreams you had when you were five years old to creep back into your sleep, allowing you to pursue them, and live the life you will look back on when you are on your deathbed. (How about that for a run-on sentence?)
I might even argue that self-care, or the act of taking care of one’s own health and happiness (H&H for the savvy Humble Observers), is a path towards saving our world.
“We’re not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes.” ~Joseph Campbell
To test that hypothesis, there’s only one way to find out.
Introducing Heroes Journey: Crossfit Lake Arrowhead
“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~Joseph Campbell
Gyms are cool, they let people work out like they did back when we were hunter-gatherers.
But it’s not good enough to just help people better their physical selves and lose a few pounds.
In my mind, that’s boring.
I want to inspire people to live seriously happy lives where they face their monsters, chop their heads off, and save the damn prince or princess.
That’s where our new gym in Northern New Jersey comes into play: Heroes Journey: Crossfit Lake Arrowhead.
My partners and I are extremely passionate about using physical fitness as a tool for helping people living more passionate, more purposeful lives. All to make people a lot happier than they were before.
We are cultivating a place where you leverage physical effort to live up to your utmost potential. Where you become your own hero and join other heroes on their journey.
“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure ” ~ Joseph Campbell
If you live in Northern New Jersey, check out Heroes Journey: Crossfit Lake Arrowhead.
If you live outside of the region, I can’t recommend watching Finding Joe enough. The next step I would make is to find people to support you in all of your goals: physically, mentally, and spiritually.
The vast majority of human beings are damaged goods from being torn down so much.
And a less than fulfilled potential is no longer acceptable.
Monsters and thunderstorms exist.
But their existence is not for the purpose of scaring us away. Monsters want to be slain. Storm clouds are only temporary.
Are you paralyzed? Or are you taking a step?
Your path is calling you.
Dr. Christopher Stepien is a chiropractor, chronic pain specialist, and A.R.T. provider, and clinic director of the Barefoot Rehabilitation Clinic in Denville, NJ. He has been trained under the Integrative Diagnosis system for “clinical excellence”. He loves to help people pursue their own hero’s journey. Please reach out to him if he can be of a service in any way. It doesnt hurt to ask.