Storytelling Models

We use storytelling as a powerful way to communicate knowledge about dealing with life issues in a positive, thoughtful way. We have organized much of the material on Discovering Our Story within three broad categories of traditional storytelling: The Hero's Journey, Traps, and Bringing Light Into the World. Brief summaries of these "storytelling models" appear below - click the titles for more in-depth information.

The Hero’s Journey

Life is transformation. Often times the transformations in our lives seem random and unpredictable. People are often stuck in a circumstance they seek to change, but are unclear as to how to even begin or understand that the change they seek is a struggle they must prepare for.

However our ancestors understood the powerful patterns involved in human life changes and explained them through mythic stories we call the Hero’s Journey. This universal story tells how a human being transforms from one level of development to a higher level; how a human transforms from a young person to an adult; how a person must struggle to make this transformation. These stories then become a rough guide to understanding how transformation occurs in our lives. The story itself does not give answers. Rather it gives a framework for someone to find their own answers, for that is the key. We must each find the answers to our own lives.

Watch Roger Fernandes’ video: The Heros’ Journey.

Bringing Light Into the World

There are many traditional stories that share how light came to the world. These stories usually begin with a time of hardship where people suffer because they cannot see and function in world of darkness. This time of hardship can be metaphorical for how we sometimes find ourselves, not being able to see our life clearly and not being able to find our way or see our future.

We must find light to improve our life. Light can be a metaphor for goodness, making dark its opposite, evil. Light could symbolize knowledge and dark then being ignorance. Light could represent sobriety and darkness, addiction. The dichotomy of these opposites asks us to identify them and try to reach a higher place, raising ourselves from one plain way of being to another.


Traps are always situated in our paths, yet we seldom see them along the way. Sometimes we’re aware of traps, but we think we’re clever enough to get around them. (“I won’t get caught…”) We think we can outsmart or outmaneuver traps, even when logic indicates otherwise. Roger talks about traps and how they work, why even the smartest get caught, and what we can do once we find ourselves beyond self-control. To find the answers for where we’re headed, we might just have to look at where we’ve been.