In his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell writes that the first element of The Hero's Journey is the Call to Adventure: the call comes from a crisis the hero must choose to face or run from.
I don't know about you, but when I hear Call to Adventure, I think of a task that involves swash-buckling and dragon-slaying. Perhaps Psyche had similar thoughts as she embarked on her hero's journey, a journey that would require Psyche to complete four tasks in order to be united with her beloved Eros.
Imagine her surprise when she learned her first task was to sort a huge jumble of corn, barley and poppy seeds into separate piles.
Psyche you are going on a journey; you are going to get Eros back.
Sort the seeds.
Was there a point to this? Or was the task simply meant to demean and humiliate her?
What of bravery and derring-do?
At face value, the task does seem pointless.
But as Psyche completed this task, she no doubt came to understand that knowing how to sift through priorities, to delegate to and trust the ants of her intuition, would hold her in good stead as she completed the remaining three tasks.
Practicing making choices around seemingly mundane priorities may not feel like the ideal way to start our hero's journey, to dare to dream, but the more I consider Psyche's journey, and my own, I'm beginning to think it's the best way.
What are your thoughts?
For those of you who have dreamed of being a mother and rearing happy children, how did that journey begin? With your children going off to college? Or lots of twenty-four hour care, changing diapers and sleepless nights?
Or what of launching a career? Are you immediately calling the shots, moving things forward? Or doing lots of grunt work and working long hours?