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Life Transformation ‒ You Are Not Alone

Written by: Calvin Niles, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


On the 10th of January 49 BCE, Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River with his army during his March on Rome. The Rubicon, a shallow river in northeastern Italy, marked the border between Italy and a place called Gaul. Caesar knew that crossing that boundary with an army was not permitted and would be seen as an act of war. It was alleged that Caesar deliberated at the river until a supernatural apparition prompted him to cross it. Once Caesar committed to this action, he knew that he had passed the point of no return. In a similar way today, many of us feel that we have arrived at a point in history where we have reached another Rubicon. We are being called to commit to a journey that will change the course of our lives, individually and collectively. Caesar had legions of support for his quest, and you will need support on yours too. As you are reading this, I will assume that you have already answered your call to adventure, and that you are ready to embrace the next phase on the hero’s journey of your life. For once you have crossed that threshold, you have passed the point of no return – and you will need help.

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.” ‒ Ben Okri

Circumstances will test your resolve

On the other side of the threshold you will be tested in new ways. You are alive, and human, so you will most certainly already know suffering. By suffering, I mean the inevitability of human experience; physical and emotional pain, attachment to things that do not last, and the very thing that causes us to believe that things will last. For you, there would be some experience, or more likely cumulative experiences, that caused you to walk this path of personal and spiritual development. The fact that you are courageous does not negate you from bigger tests and trials. On the contrary, their arrival is guaranteed. As Helen Keller once said, “character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.” Some describe this part of Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey as the ‘special world.’ Here you will begin to discover capabilities you did not know you had. When financial pressures grow, relationships falter and things feel too much to bear, you begin to see glimpses of your potential with the support of your allies to help you through.

“Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.” Marianne Williamson

Assemble your legion of allies

Imagine you are out in the middle of the ocean, on a sailboat, with the might of the currents working against you. It is here that your allies act like wind in the sails of your journey. Who are these allies that you can call on? In Mindful Storytelling, we like to think that your allies can be tangible or intangible, visible or invisible and in all cases ‒ real. In the visible world, your allies are likely to be people. They are trustworthy people that you know, love and who you can rely on in times of need along the journey. Alternatively, it may be a book which contains precious insights and encouragement to support you as you grow. But even Caesar did not rely on physical allies alone, he also relied on what historians described as supernatural. Of course, these are natural forces, though they may not always be within our field of awareness. On this invisible side, what we can call our inner dimension, there are mindful attitudes such as patience and acceptance which are powerfully infinite resources to strengthen you, or they could even be your values which act as your lighthouses in dark times. You may even rely on people who are no longer alive or that you have never met. Personally, I have an invisible board of advisors who form part of my legion of allies and who I consult on my own hero’s journey.

The chapters of your life story are still being written. To become mindful of the hero’s journey of your life is key to your success, for after the tests come more tests within which huge opportunities to transform are buried. Or as Joseph Campbell better put it, “It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for. The damned thing in the cave that was so dreaded has become the center. You find the jewel, and it draws you off. In loving the spiritual, you cannot despise the earthly.” The more we wake up to this, the more mindful we become of our story. Welcome to the hero’s journey of your life.

Want to create a new story for your life? Follow Calvin for more on stories, mindfulness, and poetry on his YouTube channel, connect with him on Instagram or visit his website for more.


Calvin Niles, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Calvin Niles is a coach and consultant known as The Mindful Storyteller, making a positive impact on the lives of leaders, entrepreneurs, coaches, and wider society through his services and products. Through his experience in mindfulness, storytelling, coaching, and business, he empowers others to be authentic in their life and work Calvin has worked with hundreds of people from leaders in large corporates to SMEs, and from solopreneurs to some of the top 10 charities in the UK.



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