“The influence of the vitalized person is that he vitalizes.” ~Joseph Campbell
I’ve been viewing the epic interviews of visionary/philosopher/hero Joseph Campbell on “The Power of Myth.” Somewhat familiar with Campbell’s game changing research and theories, I was thrilled to receive my son’s Christmas gift of the DVDs of Campbell’s historic conversations with Bill Moyers to learn more.
One point that resonates deafeningly for me, among the many nuggets of brilliance, is Campbell’s insistence that by following our passion, our “bliss,” we can change the world. Throughout his exhaustive research of myths from across the globe and throughout millennia runs this golden thread of guidance: Each of us needs to discover, bring forth and share our unique gifts.
We are each heroes on our own hero’s journey, who by mining our inimitability and contributing it to the world, make that world a more vibrant place.
How to do this? Unlike the mythical heroes who often embarked on physical journeys to represent a process of self-discovery, we can dig deeply within and identify what energizes us, what makes us come ALIVE. And then share that.
Admittedly, this may be easier said than done at times. Especially if we are living according to some preconceived notion of what we, or others, think we ought to do, including making choices because that’s what other folks choose.
But when we heed what calls to us, we become vitalized. We derive strength and energy. Which in turn inspires and galvanizes others.
It reminds me of the fireworks we went to see last night. They seemed the perfect metaphor for Campbell’s counsel.
As burst upon burst of colorful radiance lit up the night sky, the feast of beauty, light and energy ignited spontaneous, delighted “oohs” and “aahhhs.” Culminating in an outburst of applause at the dazzling grand finale. People of all ages and backgrounds were grinning from ear to ear.
Like when someone who is fully alive is around. It takes our breath away and makes our skin tingle. And, if we let it, makes us aspire to be more…. of who we are.
So, change the world? I’ve quoted this Campbellian riff before, but it bears repeating. Especially on this first day of a brand spanking new year:
Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman