“While the hero journeys for external fame, fortune, and power, the heroine tries to regain her lost creative spirit… Once she hears the cries of this lost part of herself needing rescue, her journey truly begins.”
– Valerie Estelle Frankel, From Girl to Goddess
This quote burns in me and has since I first read it three years ago. It is why I created The Shero’s School for Revolutionaries.
Why does it thrill me so? For these six reasons:
- Because we make and remake the world through creativity. Nothing happens without creation. Feel that truth in your belly for a breath. I created a wedding because I declared, “I want a wedding.” Without that declaration of desire, nothing would have happened.
- Because I know – like I know my daughter’s face – that we all lose what matters most to us at some point in our lives and we must journey to reclaim it. When we refuse to do so, when we say, “No time, not possible, too late,” we throw our lot in with the cynics, put on a mask of hardened resignation, and invite bitter regret to be our daily breakfast. We choose comfort over nurture, passive over active, staying put over leaving the hobbit hole.
- Because Frankel reveals something so important about women’s journeys – we must embrace our desire for what we want, including the world we want, and by embracing, we put ourselves on the path of honest and sustainable savoring and serving. So much of the time we put ourselves last and from there slip into serving from shoulds, with no savoring. My mother-in-law told me one of the reasons they moved was because she couldn’t see any other way to get out of all her volunteer obligations. She had to move to a new state! Duty divorced from desire = yuck for all. Interviewing all the shero’s showed me the fierce self-fulness at the heart of these women’s missions. To journey for yourself can seem selfish but it is how we are then able to journey for the whole.
- Because I have lost something and I’m on a journey to reclaim it. I can’t name exactly what I have lost because it’s still lost and it has something to do with the unshakeable creative confidence I had at age 8, something to with what I need to teach – and I learned from listening to these shero’s to trust the longing that pulls me forward. Wonderful Angie Arrien said, “The feminine may seek before it hears the call because the feminine intuition is tied to seeing and sensing, so we might search and struggle, and it is through the search and struggle that we hear the call, and go through the breakthrough.” That gives me such hope!
- Because Frankel is saying you must tell your truth as an essential part of your journey. That is another big theme of these interviews – telling your own story, not allowing others to co-opt it or silence you. Truth telling scares me – I wasn’t raised to tell the truth. When my sister ran away from home at 17 the first thing my mom said is, “What will the neighbors say?” Look around: when has truth-telling ever been more urgent? When you tell the truth your power is freed – and it gets easier every time you do it. This is not a time for polite silence, for keeping our legs neatly crossed at the ankles. This is a time of proclaiming what we see, what we know, as terrifying as that can be. Noorjahan Akbar risks death for telling the truth in Afghanistan. And she keeps doing it.
- Finally, I love this quote because there is no external rewards for doing. The shero does not journey for more Facebook likes or her photo on the cover of People magazine. She journeys for what is her most secret of secrets, and while she must do it with allies (more on that in another post) she journeys unhooked from praise and blame, as Tara Mohr says in her interview. Oh, doesn’t that sound good?
What do you think? What does this quote bring forth in you? What might you be journeying for? I’d love to hear!