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  • Writer's pictureDaniloTambone

(3) Supernatural Aid - When You're Ready To Go, Helpers Show Up

Updated: Mar 3, 2022



The third area on the Hero's Journey, as delineated by Joseph Campbell, is called "Supernatural Aid".


When the Hero commits to the Journey, material or spiritual helpers come to aid.


Sometimes we might not realize, but when we open up to get out of our comfort zone, unexpected supporters come and help us. Often they are people, but they could also be specific events that pop up out of the blue and solve a previously impossible issue.

Have you ever experienced anything like this?



In his simplified version of the Journey, Christopher Vogler calls this stage "Meeting With the Mentor", but this area regards much more than just human mentors.


Let's explore.


 

In the previous posts we have followed Telemachus as he steps out of Ithaca's Palace in search of information regarding his father Ulysses.


What had set the young boy in motion, out of his frustration, was firstly a suggestion from Mentes, old friend of his family's, and then a more determined invitation by Mentor, dear friend of his father’s and tutor of Telemachus.


In both cases, from a human perspective, we can see two "human mentors" showing up for the boy and inviting him to take on the call to push away the Suitors and bring justice to his home.


What the story tells us instead is that in both cases it is the Goddess Athena who disguises as the two men.

And Myths, when gods are involved in the action, are pointing us to a reality the goes beyond the physical one.


In other words, we can see in Telemachus' story the intervention of Superior Forces helping to release in full splendor the Flow of Life, and that's what happens when we set ourselves in motion to follow our Call.


 

Let's give a look at Dorothy and how mentors and superior forces support her in the Journey that is going to take her in front of the Wizard of Oz and then back home.


The first person that she meets as she runs away from her farm is Professor Marvel.

He's her first mentor - once he understands that the young girl has set herself on a journey far from home, he does what he can to let her return safely to her family.


What Dorothy is actually running away from is her encounter with adulthood and its responsibilities. Professor Marvel, as a mentor, gently redirects her to her family, so that she could solve with her Aunt and Uncle this inner challenge rather than trying to escape it.


Yet, things have already been set in motion by the decision that Dorothy had previously taken.

She rushes back home while the tornado is approaching, and once at the farm she doesn't find anyone. Her relatives are already "underground", separated by the strong door of the storm cellar and unable to even hear her.

The two worlds, the physical and the inner one, are already distancing themselves and nothing can now stop the events.


She looks for shelter in her empty house, and the "Supernatural Aid" of the raging twist supports the young girl on embarking on the rest of her Journey.


Whether the Realm of Oz is then real or just the result of the window crashing on Dorothy's head and making her faint, she will wake up at the end of the adventure with her new understanding that "There's no place like Home" and with an additional heap of insights easing her growth into a young woman.


The "Supernatural Powers" of Nature make then possible, with a shortcut, what would have maybe taken much longer for Dorothy to understand and embody.


Along her Journey she finds many more Mentors who teach her skills and provide her with demonstrations on how to deal with new situations. Glinda the Good Witch of the North is a positive female role model who welcomes her in the new land, gives her the ruby slippers, and points her in the right direction to find first the Wizard, and then Home. Then Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion will teach her about intelligence, love, and courage. The Wizard provides her with a new challenge to overcome the Wicked Witch, which represents the dark side of the feminine. And finally her dog Toto throughout the whole adventure impersonates the springing force of her intuition and helps her go beyond her limiting beliefs.


 

Stories are filled with the archetype of the Mentor, a wise man or woman who provides the Hero with advice and with physical and spiritual tools to prep up for the rest of the adventure.


Think of Yoda for Luke Skywalker in Star Wars; Albus Dumbledore and Hagrid, among the other ones, for Harry Potter; the Blue Fairy to Pinocchio; Gandalf for Frodo in The Lord of the Rings; Morpheus for Neo in The Matrix; Daedalus and Ariadne, who provide Theseus with the ball of thread to find his way back out of the Labyrinth after he would have killed the Minotaur; Virgil for Dante; and the list may go on forever.


Mentors though shouldn't necessarily be people. Synchronicities, events happening at the proper time, may propel us towards the next step to take. And this is what this area of the Hero's Journey is about.


Let's see now what happens in real life, with an example from my own story.


 

In the previous post I've taken you with me during my probably longest "Refusal to the Call".


For one year and a half after being laid off I tried all what I could to get back to the job market as an employee.

Some occasional gigs as a project management trainer, an uncountable number of CVs sent out without any reply from companies and recruiters, several interviews with no follow up.

I even tried with relocation in UK for some months.


All in vain.


It looked like the construction world was too slow and too saturated to take me back on board.


And then, an enlightenment.


What if I used my project management skills in a sector much more dynamic than the one I had grown up into? Like IT and Software Development, which had been my side passions since I had memory?


I told myself that each sector has of course its own rules and specifics, but at high level projects involve quite the same knowledge areas, regardless of the industries.


Would I have been accepted in IT notwithstanding my background in a sector so distant from it?


I had tried everything I could thus far, and even if the risk to be refused was high, I had to try it.


I took my first step by getting certified as an Agile Certified Practitioner by the Project Management Institute.

Earning this credential was a way to demonstrate the proper mindset and my knowledge of and experience in a wide series of methods and tools to manage projects in uncertain environments, as most of the ones related to IT and Software Development are.

I had actually used them creatively and with success already during my years in the Renewables to tackle complex situations that required adaptive and incremental approaches, and passing the certification was for me quite a breeze.


In the meantime I took part to a great number of webinars and seminars regarding software and agility. I totally immersed myself into the subject.


Then, the universe started moving its cards.


I stumbled upon a series of Meetups (events in person privately organized) in my city, held by software developers and software engineers. They generally were high level discussions on specific subjects related to their professional interests, followed by a beer and a pizza at a nearby pub - lighthearted events that gave me the chance to freely interact with the type of people I wanted to be working with.


I learned how these professionals approached and solved problems; I got fascinated by their fast and organic way of thinking, so different from the predictive and sequential approach I was accustomed to; I learned their language and got curious anytime I could spot a gap in my knowledge, based on our conversations.

I made friends with them, and got ready to step up to a new working environment.


Finally, through common acquaintances, I had the incredible chance to have a couple of interviews with an Italian entrepreneur in the IT and Software Development world. He was looking for someone who could support his Agile Team for a project that involved a multinational client accustomed to predictive project management. Basically he was searching for someone who knew both worlds and who was able to shape-shift among them, finally educating the client to become more agile. I was sensing I could have been the perfect fit for the position.


The project would have started a few months later, but still the happening of these interviews was to me a signal from the Universe that I was moving in the right direction.


One more step though was required: I had to register for VAT, and it was still a big stretch for me. I knew nothing about taxes and accounting, and just their thought was making me tremble.


The main point for me was, how could I find an accountant I could trust?


In parallel I had started attending another series of Meetups, this time targeted to online freelancers, and the Universe sent me another signal in reply to my question.

In fact, shortly after my need to be VAT registered, an accounting company was invited in one of those Meetups to explain the basics of VAT.


That company gained my trust, and one week later I was registering for my VAT.


I finally was a Freelancer. Another taboo had finally crumbled.


Two weeks later I was then publishing an online course on Udemy on how to use Agile Methods for personal productivity.


The following month, after an additional interview at the premises of the Agile Entrepreneur together with his team, I signed my first contract with them as a freelancer.


One week later I was in Basel, Switzerland, in my new role of IT Project Management Consultant, working for an agile software development company at the premises of a world renewed pharmaceutical company.


Just the day before, simply out of the blue, I had also been contacted via LinkedIn by another Italian Entrepreneur who was looking for "Agile Trainers" for courses at their clients' premises, because of a sudden surge in requests.

The job that I had just started out in Basel would leave me no space for other activities, so we just had a pleasant conversation but we didn't follow up right after that.


What I couldn't know at that time was that this second entrepreneur would have been key to me, with no exaggeration life-saving, one year and a half later. One of the most important Mentors in my life had just shown up after I committed to change.


The Universe had started mentoring me in "shape-shifting", and it was just the beginning.


By moving to Switzerland I had just crossed my first threshold, and the world would have never been the same.

We'll explore in depth this subsequent stage of the Hero's Journey in the next post.


 

Throughout this article we have touched upon what happens when we set ourselves in motion to change and we truly do it in the inner depths of ourselves. Not just with our mind, but with all of ourselves. Willing to see things as they are, rather than how we believe they should be.


We then see synchronicities happen. The right person shows up, with the proper advice, at the proper time. We read something that illuminates a new world. An interview opens up new possibilities. Friends of friends connect us with the right people when we don't expect. And so on.


The fact is, oftentimes we are distracted within our flow of thoughts regarding what we believe should be the next step to take, and we just don't notice.


For sure I was distracted throughout my denial period. For sure Mentors showed up to me at that time that I didn't notice. I was convinced that the issue to be fixed was outside of me, not inside, and that I knew better.


It would have taken quite some time for me to own it and open up to potentials.


Is this the case for you too?



 

INSIGHTS CHECKPOINT

  • What are the signals that the Universe is throwing at you? Are you noticing?

  • If you don't see them, could it be that you are filtering them out and you're focusing solely on what you believe you should be doing?

  • Do you stay open for possibilities and potentials to show up in your life, or are you too much into your head?

  • Who have been the most important Mentors in your life (including people and events), and what have you learnt from them?


 

Is this post lighting you up? Are you willing to open up to your potentials?


  • Make sure you download my free Hero's Journey Map and Hero's Journey Workbook from here.

  • If you want to know more about it and stay in the loop of my new book’s creation as I do it, sign up here! No spam, max one email per week, unsubscribe anytime.

  • Want to share your feedback on this post? Does it resonate with your life? Please comment below or send me a message.

  • Want to get a bit more clarity on your own Journey with a complementary introductory call with me? Find your free online spot here.

Love,

Danilo


 

The Journey so far:



Copyright © Danilo Tambone. All rights reserved.

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