The Hero's Journey: the adventure of your life!
In the myths and legends, old and new, the story almost always begins like this:
Once upon a time, an average person was living an average life. It was OK. It could have been better. Sure, they wanted to make a change...but how?
One voice inside them knew there was more to life, wanted to grow, expand their limits, live their dreams...
But another voice held them back, telling them not to believe in change, but to play it safe and stay in their comfort zone...after all, that's just how life is!
Often, the second voice wins. But those stories rarely survive – they're not the stories humans have been excited to tell each other throughout the ages.
But sometimes, no matter how strong that second voice is, you feel a call. And when you follow it, the adventure begins...
Can you feel the call to adventure? If so, your Hero's Journey is waiting!
Welcome to Irgendwie Anders!
"Irgendwie Anders” (which, literally translated, means “somehow different”!) is the largest organiser of the Hero's Journey (and a range of other intensive workshops developed by Paul Rebillot) in Germany and Austria. These fascinating and unique workshops are a powerful catalyst for personal growth, and are aimed at anyone who is looking for more clarity, courage and joy in life.
Since 2007, we have led around 2200 people on their Hero's Journey; for many, it was an important turning point in their life. Almost all of them report having developed a better relationship with themselves and others, and many of them went away with an increased feeling of clarity and trust, enabling them to lead their life more consciously and confidently.
And what makes us 'somehow different'? Our special donation-based concept enables all those who are interested to take part in our workshops! Your Hero's Journey is a gift, paid for by donations from previous participants as well as over 750 people who have chosen to become members of Irgendwie Anders e.V., the charity which supports our work. To take part in the workshop, you simply need to pay the cost of food and board.
About the Hero's Journey
In the 1940s, the world's most renowned mythologist Joseph Campbell discovered the so-called 'monomyth of the hero's journey': humankind's one big story, the basic structure common to almost all myths and legends which have been passed down through the ages. The hero's journey is the story which describes the basic conflict inherent to human existence. Inspired by this, Paul Rebillot (gestalt therapist and director, who died in 2010), developed the personal development process 'The Hero's Journey', which is designed not only as an intensive personal development workshop, but also as a modern transformation ritual which can be likened to an initiation ceremony.
For Rebillot, hero (or heroine) stories reflect our daily inner conflict between the need to grow and self-fulfil on the one hand, and the need for security on the other hand. Rebillot regarded this inner conflict as an opportunity rather than as a problem, recognising the enormous potential it holds for deep personal transformation. According to Rebillot, we can't rely on our intellect alone to resolve the powerful inner issues and conflicts in our lives; instead, they must be experienced and dealt with on all levels of experience – bodily, emotional and cognitive. This is exactly what the Hero's Journey invites you to do - to delve into a holistic experience of this inner human conflict as it is expressed in your individual life.
During the 7-day workshop, the participants become the protagonists of their own story, playing out all the most important parts of the monomyth in order to be transformed in the process. The monomyth describes the story of the hero or heroine who follows an inner call to change their life situation in some way, and sets off bravely into unknown territory on a journey full of perils and adventure. Along the way, they receive support of all kinds, equipping them to face the challenges and trials which present themselves. Sooner or later, they meet an adversary - the guardian of the threshold, whose aim is to prevent them from completing their mission. After confronting the guardian of the threshold (also known as the 'demon'), facing a series of perilous challenges and often witnessing magical scenes, the hero/ine emerges transformed and equipped with new abilities and returns home, using their new gifts to transform their own life as well as for the good of society.
The hero / heroine
Growth, personal development and adventuring into the unknown to make something of our lives are all human needs. We often wish we were more confident, clearer, and able to live more authentically and joyfully – to feel like the hero or heroine of our own life story. In our daily lives, we often experience this desire in the form of an inner voice which whispers about another kind of life, or wishes it could leave the hamster wheel or try out something new. Sometimes this desire is so subtle that we don't really know what we want, or how we can bring about change and a more satisfying life. And what's more, the inner hero is rarely alone...
As we all know, there's another inner voice too – the inner demon, that critical or sabotaging voice that holds us back out of fear or laziness. This often crippling part of our personality prefers to hold on to a false sense of security and situations we know only too well, choosing to suffer the status quo ('better the devil you know') rather than open up to new experiences and trust life. This is the part of us which is afraid to change and grow, and – motivated by real, undigested experiences in the past – tries to protect us from the potential pain or danger of new situations. Unfortunately, this is precisely where joy, aliveness and growth are to be found...
This inner conflict between the desire for growth and change on one hand, and the need for security on the other, describes the basic conflict of human existence. As long as it remains unresolved, life tends to grow less and less satisfying. If we want to lead lives in which we thrive, instead of just survive, there's no short-cut: we need to learn to face and resolve this conflict in this small and big ways it presents itself in our lives. To do this, we need to get to gain awareness and true understanding of both parts within us – hero and demon as we call them – and to integrate both into our personality. And that's neither easy...nor without reward!
The Hero's Journey workshop is designed to let you gain awareness of, confront and reconcile both sides of the conflict, in whatever way it is expressed in your individual life. The reward is just as individual as you are, but here are just a few of the areas you might gain lasting support in:
- Bringing your thoughts, feelings and body into alignment
- Overcoming inner hurdles, getting 'unstuck', and finding new momentum in life
- Discovering what your calling in life is, fine-tuning your vision and aims
- Saying 'yes' to yourself, learning to be and celebrate who you are!
- Learning to harvest the positive energy in 'difficult' emotions
- Increasing your zest for life, vitality and energy
- Finding new confidence in yourself and trust in life, supporting you to take important steps and decisions
- Learning skills for more fulfilling, authentic and joyful relationships with others
What happens at a Hero's Journey workshop?
The Hero's Journey is a week-long residential group process which takes place in a protected environment in a small group of around 12–15 participants. The workshop is led by at least two professional Hero's Journey facilitators who have completed traning in the specific methods used in Paul Rebillot's work as well as at least basic training in gestalt therapy. These experienced and sensitive facilitators hold a supportive and safe space so that you can tread your path with confidence.
Along with a group of travel companions, you set off on your way, beginning by experiencing the two 'warring' parts of your personality (your own personal inner hero and demon) from within. When hero and demon finally meet face to face, there'll be tension in the air – and the path leads head-on through the confrontation until you reach your own individual conclusion, one that honours both parts and which you couldn't have imagined for all the thinking in the world. This marks an integration of the seemingly opposing energies in you, and frees you up to experience yourself in new ways and receive a deeper vision which will support you as you return home – the reward for your bravery!
If this description still sounds rather ambiguous, that's intentional: after all, heroes and heroines are characterised by the fact that they venture into new and unknown territory...
The therapeutic concept of the workshop is based on carefully selected methods from humanistic psychology that integrate body, mind and heart in order to go far beyond cognitive insights. A unique mixture of individual, partner and group exercises, guided imagery, meditation and mindfulness exercises, bodywork, gestalt therapy, dance, drama, breathework and ritual enable you to dive deep into the world of the monomyth, allowing your creative imagination and your very real daily life issues to merge in a fascinating, powerful and ultimately transformational way.
The Hero's Journey is not just a 7-day wonder – the vast majority of participants report lasting positive effects on their return. Spending a week examining and experiencing your individual story from the inside, and becoming more conscious about how you react to the challenges, chances and contacts in your life can be the seed for profound change. Not only this, but you will also come to recognise the basic structure which humans go through each time they are ready to make a change, giving you a map for handling change situations with more confidence in the future. Last but not least, you'll have an unforgettable week with lot of fun, laughter and joy along the way.
The donations-based concept
We are convinced, over and over again, by the transformational power of Paul Rebillot's workshops! That's why our aim is to enable as many people as possible to take part in them, regardless of their financial situation. This is why Irgendwie Anders runs on a donations-based concept. Participants simply pay the cost of food and board upon registration for the Hero's Journey – the workshop itself, which has a market value of €990, has been pre-funded by previous participants who wished to express their gratitude for the workshop through a donation.
At the end of the workshop there is an informal talk to introduce our donations concept and the various possible ways of supporting our work so that we can enable more people to participate in the future. This might be in the form of a one-off donation, a monthly donation, becoming a member of our supportive charity or a donation of your time, returning as a volunteer to cook at a workshop in the future. Each person is free to choose how, or how much they can donate based on their individual situation.