Top 10 Reasons Why Superheroes Matter

The standard answer here is:  “superheroes matter because they inspire us.”  But what does that mean?  How exactly do they inspire us?  Here’s what I’ve come up with, after spending several months immersing myself into them to build an Online Superheroes Course…

10.  They remind you that you and your actions are important.

Have you ever felt that your life is insignificant and full of struggle?  I’m guessing you have.  Next time you feel like that, try watching or reading The Lord of the Rings.  It’s impossible to watch Frodo – a pretty normal guy by any standards –  carry the weight of the ring through so many trials and tribulations and NOT be motivated to put your struggles into a bigger context.  He – a hobbit from Bag End – was no superhero to start with, but he sure is one when he finishes!

9.  They help you put your life in perspective

Mythology is a lie that is told to serve a deeper truth, as Tantric Scholar Douglas Brooks like to say.  That deeper truth is often an amazingly wise nugget about how the world works and what your role is in it.  Daily life has a way of taking us far from the deep truth to a place where we get caught up in to-do lists and spreadsheets.  Superheroes and their stories whisk us right up and out of those details into a higher plane of reference from which the circumstances of your life can look very different.  Eric Stoneberg calls this place the “mythic consciousness,” a place of incredible creative fertility and potentiality.

8.  They advise you in difficult situations

We’ve all see the bumper sticker “What Would Jesus do?”  Yep, it’s a good question.  It works!  And you can substitute anyone you want in there – “What Would Lakshmi do?”  “What Would Dumbledore do?”  “What Would Mother Teresa Do?”  – depending on which character traits you are trying to invoke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.  They’re fun! 

Really.  I mean, it’s pretty fun for me to put on my Superman t-shirt (I always get comments on it!) from time to time and smile at my Ganesha statue every morning.

6.  They’re sexy!

Han Solo.  Xena Warrior Princess.  Thor.  Durga.  Need I say more?

5.  They empower you.

You can tap into the powers of your favorite superheroes and make them yours.  We do this in yoga all the time.  We do Hanuman’s pose to feel his service and dedication in our bodies.  When we leave the studio, those superpowers stay with us and affect everyone we meet.

4.  They give you a window into another culture.

Whether you’re checking out Hindu gods and goddesses or the Green Lantern, Superheroes exist in cultures that are at least slightly different – and sometimes very different — from our own.  I mean, look at Wonder Woman!  Sure, she looks more or less like me (in that she has two arms and two eyes and light skin and all) but she comes from the land of Amazon warriors.  Not like my family!  As the story goes, Ganesha was born from sandalwood paste, and his story emerged from India, a culture in many ways very different from the US and completely across the globe.  We tap access these cultures when we access their characters.

3.  They encourage our appreciation of diversity.

Since they do come from other cultures and at times look and act very different from the way we do (think Kali and her black skin, multiple arms and necklace of skulls! Or Yoda, for that matter!), they remind us that great things can come in unusual packages, and that everyone has skills and talents of value, regardless of their physical appearance.

2.  They are role models that YOU get to choose.

For a lot of us, certain role models were thrust upon us as children.  Whether they were figures from the religious traditions in which we were raised or pillars of our local communities, they were the role models we were given to begin stocking our toolboxes.  As we grow and change, we get to select whom we want to add to that box and in doing so construct our identities.  Get to know as many as you can, then be discerning as you select whom you put into the role model role.

1.  They help you weave the wonderful tale of your life

Your life is “wonder-full” – meaning full of wonder – if you take the time to notice.  And you get to create art from this wonder as you tell the story of your life in the way you choose.  Mythological characters can be part of the variety of colors on your artist’s palette, giving you more options to choose from as you make art from your life’s events.  What is the story you want to tell?  And how does the story you tell actually work back on you to create who you are and what you do in the world?  It’s worth telling  a great story.

For an insightful discussion on this topic, listen to my call with yoga philosophy teacher Eric Stoneberg at this link.  It’s free, and it just might spark some ideas…..

And, if you really dive into Hindu characters and yoga with me to take your inspiration to a whole new level, sign up for my self-guided Yogi Superheroes Online Course here!  You can register now; the course begins March 30th and is ongoing….

 

 

 

 

 

 

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~ by bridgetannlyons on March 26, 2012.

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