BENEW Sandbox


The continuing story of The Homeless Man...

Gone - Disappeared - Forever?

Searching - Seeking - Looking - Longing

Finding nothing at this once serendipitous meeting spot. No familiar voice calls out my name any longer.

Only the live melodic strumming of a flamenco guitarist courtesy of the MTA pierces the enveloping midnight stillness of this cavernous place - Grand Central Station.

So where has the GRAND gone for these homeless folk that cross my path instead of you? Scattered like refuse in plain sight pretending to be invisible. Mock travelers with no destinations, sleeping upright at silent ticket booths or tucked in triangular crevices so no one will tell them to leave their temporary cocoon of despair.

This same charade unfolding every night before the new day dawns.

And where are you now my old friend? The Archangel of this Heroic Journey.

Gone missing. Vanished, just like you appeared in my life before 9/11. Book marked forever in my heart-replaced only by what is still yet to come.


And then eight months later, out of the midnight mist you sit propped on an unfamiliar city street, waiting mysteriously for our paths to cross again.

Thirteen years later you have finally found a home on the fifth floor.

And we embark together again on this BENEW journey.

How the Heroic Journey Applies to Life, Brands, & Society

Watch these amazing videos and you will begin to understand how to apply the Hero's Journey to your life, business, and the world at large. And while you're on this journey always remember to "follow your bliss". The individuals who will be featured in this blog are doing it - including me - and of course we want to hear your journeys too! Contact us at to share your stories.

What Is the Heroic Journey?

"The Hero's Journey is a pattern of narrative identified by the American scholar Joseph Campbell that appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious ritual, and psychological development. It describes the typical adventure of the archetype known as The Hero, the person who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the group, tribe, or civilization."

The Stages of the Heroic Journey from The Writer's Journey:

1.        THE ORDINARY WORLD.  The hero, uneasy, uncomfortable or unaware, is introduced sympathetically so the audience can identify with the situation or dilemma.  The hero is shown against a background of environment, heredity, and personal history.  Some kind of polarity in the hero’s life is pulling in different directions and causing stress.

2.        THE CALL TO ADVENTURE.  Something shakes up the situation, either from external pressures or from something rising up from deep within, so the hero must face the beginnings of change. 

3.        REFUSAL OF THE CALL.  The hero feels the fear of the unknown and tries to turn away from the adventure, however briefly.  Alternately, another character may express the uncertainty and danger ahead.

4.        MEETING WITH THE MENTOR.  The hero comes across a seasoned traveler of the worlds who gives him or her training, equipment, or advice that will help on the journey.  Or the hero reaches within to a source of courage and wisdom.

5.        CROSSING THE THRESHOLD.  At the end of Act One, the hero commits to leaving the Ordinary World and entering a new region or condition with unfamiliar rules and values. 

6.        TESTS, ALLIES AND ENEMIES.  The hero is tested and sorts out allegiances in the Special World.

7.        APPROACH.  The hero and newfound allies prepare for the major challenge in the Special world.

8.        THE ORDEAL.  Near the middle of the story, the hero enters a central space in the Special World and confronts death or faces his or her greatest fear.  Out of the moment of death comes a new life. 

9.        THE REWARD.  The hero takes possession of the treasure won by facing death.  There may be celebration, but there is also danger of losing the treasure again.

10.      THE ROAD BACK.  About three-fourths of the way through the story, the hero is driven to complete the adventure, leaving the Special World to be sure the treasure is brought home.  Often a chase scene signals the urgency and danger of the mission.

11.     THE RESURRECTION.  At the climax, the hero is severely tested once more on the threshold of home.  He or she is purified by a last sacrifice, another moment of death and rebirth, but on a higher and more complete level.  By the hero’s action, the polarities that were in conflict at the beginning are finally resolved.

12.       RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR.  The hero returns home or continues the journey, bearing some element of the treasure that has the power to transform the world as the hero has been transformed.


Fall of 2008 & the Heroic Journey

In October of 2008 I knew nothing about the Heroic Journey or L. Frank Baum, the author of "The Wizard of Oz," nor Joseph Campbell and Jean Houston-the great chroniclers of the Heroic Journey in Mythology-and certainly not Jonah Sachs, author of "Winning the Story Wars."

What I did know for certain was that my world as I knew it had been turned upside down. The death of my only sibling, the simultaneous financial tsunami and an impending milestone birthday catapulted me onto my own Yellow Brick Road and Heroic Journey.

Suddenly I found myself training to become a Sandplay Therapist-a lifelong dream-and accurately forecasting Socially Responsible Trends. But most importantly, I began to develop a deeper understanding of how the Heroic Journey is a template for transformation for each of us, the world and most surprisingly BRANDS.

Follow me and I will show you how.