We’re often taught the adventure story of the hero’s journey. We think we have to do grand, extraordinary things to have a meaningful connection with our partner.
It’s important for us to have a new perspective and create adventure in the smaller, daily activities needed to sustain a family.
What do men experience in seeking adventure and connection in real life vs. the hero’s journey?
The hero’s journey can be harmful to men. It’s often the guiding narrative. Men are led to believe if they aren’t doing a grand gesture, an epic action, they won’t live up to the idea of who they are.
Men often aren’t allowed to have the full range of emotional expression. They’re told to get to the end, slay the dragon, succeed.
There can be depression and anxiety for men when they are stuck in this limiting narrative.
To find ordinary adventure, It’s important to find value and vision in your day. What do you want for your family and yourself? How do you want to be with your family and yourself? What are the things that are most important for you?
In finding adventure in your everyday life, you can explore these questions: What would be your practice of coming home every day? How are your actions in how you spend time with your family an expression of your values?
What is the relationship between routines and rhythms?
Routines, rhythms, and rituals create the other half of the plotline for the hero’s journey.
Routines are important every day. But without values, they’re soul-less. Routines are an expression of your vision and your values for your family.
What do your vision and aspirational values look like on a regular weekday night? What routines might express those values?
Putting meaning onto a routine helps it evolve into a rhythm.
Turning routines into rhythms:
What are the things you’re hoping to do? Identify your vision and values.
Identify the things that get in the way: Imps.
Imps: patterns of behavior that are difficult to manage. They get in the way of maintaining rhythms. Look at the problems and identify them as imps.
Learn about your imps and identify your vision and values.
Using your imps to help you grow:
Imps can evolve into something that becomes helpful.
They’re protective. They want to keep you safe. Imps (such as depression or anxiety) can get out of control, but they can also have your best interest in mind. How can you change your relationship with this issue and guide it to help you? If you start to feel anxious, figure out what anxiety is helping you pay attention to.
How do you create and maintain sustainable rhythms that enhance connection?
Develop rhythms into rituals. Rituals involve everybody.
What symbolic representation of what you’re doing can help you remember it?
Not all rhythms need to be maintained. They can evolve and grow.
You are in the middle of your story. You’re constantly creating your story.
Action steps to nourish connection and create adventure in your relationship:
- “All great adventures begin and end around a table.” Have meals together. Spend this time being together.
- Share stories with each other. Ask each other: What do you remember about when we first met? What do you remember about when we began dating? What was it like? What were some of the most enriching and amazing stories? What did we do together- and what does that say about what we value?
- Explore these questions: What were we doing when things were going really well, and what does that say about what’s important to us? What gets in the way of doing that more often?
Connect with Jason:
Dr. Jason S. Frishman has been working for over 20 years to support individuals, groups, families, organizations and businesses. Whether as a psychologist, workshop facilitator, speaker, or narrative consultant, Jason’s message rings consistently clear: our lives are adventurous and interconnected. We can author our life’s adventure stories!
Jason sees the power of transformation that comes from authoring one’s own story and the strength of the Adventure-Journey metaphor. His work and play have become an expression of his love, experience and training in the practices of Narrative Therapy, Adventure Therapy and food education, activism and entrepreneurship.
You can reach out to Jason here: