On Fire: Finding Your Gift And Using It

Slaying the dragon

Slaying the dragon

Let’s be honest.

Life is good, bad, fun, terrible, beautiful and painful.

Filmmaker Patrick Solomon reports he “struggled with hardship, suffered defeats…and tried to make sense of [his] world.” Seeing life through the lens of Joseph Campbell’s “hero’s journey” strengthened Patrick; so much so, he decided to bring the hero’s journey to life on the big screen.

Patrick’s film, Finding Joe, depicts every man and woman’s life journey—facing and fighting dragons, walking through open doors and returning to our community with our tale of triumph. The film is based on the narrative Joseph Campbell observed in myths across cultures from ancient history to now. 

The key is to “Follow your bliss,” taught Campbell.

“But what if I’m stuck?” you may ask. “What if my dragons keep springing back to life? What if there is no open door? How do I find my bliss then?”

The heroes in Finding Joe share from their experience:

1. You must stop listening to voices outside of yourself. Your culture, for example. Mass media conspires to keep us “tranced-out consumers” and “sheep.” External voices can also include the words of those you hold dear. “Don’t do what Daddy says,” Joseph Campbell told his students at Sarah Lawrence.

2. Identify the earplugs you use to drown out your own voice. One storyteller reports that his journey included fighting the dragon of obesity. He realized his fat kept him from feeling pain from childhood abuse. This realization was the first step to slaying his dragon.

3. Fear masks what we love. Stretch yourself. Do the things that scare you.

4. Following your bliss means you turn up the volume in your own heart: what do you love doing? If you had money and time, how would you express yourself?

5. The most powerful thing you can do is love and accept yourself as you are. Self-acceptance “lines you up with the universe.” Doors will open.

The best part is bringing back the story of how you did it.

Don’t give up.

We need you to help us…

find ourselves.

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photo credit: (creative commons)

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Finding Joe is now available on DVD at

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