“A new journey to be started.
A new promise to be fulfilled.
A new page to be written.
Go forth unto this waiting world with pen in hand, all you young scribes,
the open book awaits.
And above all else, be young.
For youth is your greatest weapon, your greatest tool.
Use it wisely.”
As an advocate for play and everything imagination-esque, children have the most amazing ability create and build worlds that bare no boundaries or exude societal pre conceptions. They are infinitely born as Superheroes.
Here’s the kicker, as adults we are just really big versions of that former Superhero, who has decided to take a long and lengthily nap.
As a small child there were two things I always wanted to be growing up – that is was a professional athlete, and a Superhero, and I am not alone on this journey, as it goes without saying that at some point in time each of us has envisioned being both of these manifestations of greatness at one time or another.
Who wouldn’t want that all encompassing deep driving desire to be all that we can be, to have superpowers beyond measure, fight for justice and uphold the rights of the weak? I have always gravitated towards the arts of discipline and for me I just really wanted the uniform – speedo-esque uni-tard and cape without fear of ridicule and rejection.
As the years go by, we start to lose the sense of this creative, empowering sense of imagination and drive; where we shy away from our desire to fight for justice, to stand up and confront fear, to be more, do more and act more. We forget the possibility of being that inner athlete, who may not be ‘elite’ but has a great talent. We continue to fight within ourselves that desire to hold on to those superhero qualities we once embraced as children.
The paradox here, is that this ‘fight’ is really just an exploration of becoming more self aware, of identifying with our inner most feeling and beliefs and the challenges of life….to be the change. It’s a quest, a call to action of those great qualities that lie dormant within each of us and if we choose to, then to understand that we can apply these modern day mythologies and begin to rewrite our own common humanity.
I have found a way to merge these two worlds (modern day life and Superhero) and apply them in my everyday life; much like Superman and his alter ego ClarkKent. I do so with RUN FOR A CAUSE.
We live in a volatile world, therefore it is no coincidence that superheroes have captured our hearts and imaginations like never before. Why? Because superheroes have broken free from not only the confines of the comic book pages, they have transcended to become dynamic aspects of our culture at large and in today’s world we can call them agents of change.
They look to challenge the laws of space and time, offering a vision of the world that can bring us closer to social change. They explore these boundaries of energy and awareness, which allows us to better understand ourselves and our immense potential and power, superheroes can help us save the planet in a very real and tangible way.
This brings me to my Superhero Athlete, meet ASHA, my alter ego if you will.
ASHA is an African word that means “Life.” ASHA is a real person, or at least a large aspect of who Sarah M. Jamieson is – ASHA is the Superhero behind RUN FOR A CAUSE. She looks to empower people through her superhero powers of compassion and philanthroprenuer nature. My first trip toSudanin 2006 deeply impacted the way I viewed the world, lived my life and my purpose.
ASHA looks beyond the secret passageways and fantasy-filled antics and understands that to be a Superhero of modern day; one must truly understand their own journey and being, to understand their purpose.
From Buddha to Batman’s struggle with their own darkside, from Rogue exposing her greatest fear of solidarity, to Mandela’s superhero qualities of building a nation of freedom, ASHA’s greatest journey is rooted in the very foundation and nature of existence, which is where there is darkness there will also be light. Where there is chaos there can be peace. That each of us has challenges we must overcome to fully embrace our greatest potential.
Superheroes do not look at the world, see its chaos and reel back from it, but instead confront the chaos and understand that they are both citizens of that chaos and masters of it. By practicing compassion, superheroes take on the suffering of others, understand and reconcile with it, and then seek out ethical and creative ways to conquer and stand victorious by acting upon the principles of equanimity and defending dignity.
In modern day application these Villains of our world may come in the form of climate change, environmental issues, and lack of human rights, war, segregated populations, and cultural conflict etcetera.
This is where ASHA sees her greatest ally and purpose – it is within the people, by empowering and serving others at their very core to gently nudge them to take on challenges and embrace their inner Superhero. This is the catalyst towards social change.
In exactly one week my Superhero alter ego will run the San Francisco Marathon in honor of our mother (I use the word “our” as in “me”). On this day my quest is to showcase the positive face of mental health and to remember a great woman who endured great struggle, but to showcase her beauty and compassion.
The villain here is based on our own narrow minded sense of what “mental health” means in our society, and our impulse to reject outsiders or those who we coin as different.
By opening ourselves up to “outsiders’ and to allow the idea of breaking down barriers we change our perception and understanding. When we open ourselves to others, those we perceive to be weak, different, or inferior we can achieve true personal and societal freedom. From this we can start to understand that the world different can easily be shifted to using the word “unique or authentic.”
Superheroes fight for a world of belonging, of equal and ethical measure. My Superhero athlete ASHA, aims to liberate this way of thinking and I encourage you all to source out your inner Superhero athlete and start to implement the best qualities of that alter ego in your modern day lifestyle! You may not need to wear a mask and cape, but much like our best years a child – I encourage you at least try it on.
We must never lose sight of how much power creativity, imagination and connection can have on our world, ourselves and everyone we choose to connect with.
“Rock that Superhero Cape.”
To follow my journey on July 31st, I encourage you to follow me on twitter at @sarahmjamieson and on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/home.php)
For more information on the Canadian Mental Health Association check out my blog post below!