Peter McGraw is joined by Kim Hudson, the author of The Virgin’s Promise. The regular listener knows that the story structure of the Virgin’s Promise is a useful alternative to the often-discussed Hero’s journey. Kim and Peter discuss how the Virgin’s promise reveals ways for single people to transform themselves into solos. Also, the bonus material is back for members of the Solo Slack Channel. Peter and Kim talk about his idea for a children’s book. (That is not a joke.) You can sign up for the community on the Solo page at PeterMcGraw.org.
Listen to Episode #75 here
The Promise Of A Brighter Kingdom
I’m thrilled to talk to Kim Hudson, the author of The Virgin’s Promise. As a regular reader, you may know how her story structure is a welcome alternative to the more commonly discussed The Hero’s Journey. I believe that the structure that underlies The Virgin’s Promise reveals a way that single people can transform themselves into solos, something we discuss in this episode. Speaking of alternatives, one thing that she mentioned was the contrast in power between the hero and the virgin. Whereas the hero asserts his will, his power comes from resistance.
The virgin’s power is to know yourself, to be yourself, and to support others doing the same. The virgin supports and that is what I’ve been trying to do with SOLO. I’m working to know myself and realize my own promise and I want to support you, as you discover yourself and realize your promise. As a tease, if you stick around to the end, you get to learn what the anti-virgin is. Finally, the bonus material is back and is uploaded to the SOLO Slack channel.
I share with Kim an idea I have for a children’s book. Yes, a children’s book, and it involves a solo penguin. She gives me some great advice about how to continue to workshop the idea and if you want to join the SOLO Slack channel, please sign up on the SOLO page at PeterMcGraw.org. Please keep telling people about the show and it is continuing to grow. I hope you enjoy the episode. Let’s get started.
Our guest is Kim Hudson. The regular SOLO reader is familiar with Kim’s work. After all, she’s the author of The Virgin’s Promise: Writing Stories of Feminine Creative, Spiritual and Sexual Awakening, which is detailed in episode 25, The Solo’s Promise, and episode 56, Solo Thoughts 5: A New Narrative for Solos. Kim regularly offers weekend workshops on The Virgin’s Promise and speaks internationally on the story structure. For example, at LA Script Festivals and David Lynch MFA Writing Class. She has a forthcoming book on two ways of knowing the power of circular and linear thinking. Welcome, Kim.
Thank you. I’m delighted to be here.
I’m more than delighted. I am excited and I’m going to assume for now that the readers have had a glimpse of The Virgin’s Promise. I want to start if I can by asking you to talk about the origin story. How did you come up with this? It’s a fascinating story within a story.
I had done a lot of things. I’d been a geologist and the whole The Hero’s Journey. I was jumping out of helicopters in grizzly bear country literally. I then found myself having children, stepping back and wanting something with more depth and meaning. Out of that, I found that book called The Artist’s Way and I dove into it. You get to about week seven it says, “Fill Out the Form,” which I took literally. I thought, “There’s a lot of writing going on when I’m journaling like the things I enjoy.” I decided to follow that. I signed up for writing for film and television. On the first day, they had a psychologist that came in.
This is a class. Do you go into a classroom for this?
Yes. They had everybody. They had writers, directors, makeup artists, and actors. Everybody from the school went to this big amphitheater and talked. I had a lecture from a psychologist that basically told us about Joseph Campbell and The Hero’s Journey. I swear my life would never be the same. It was that major moment of chills because it spoke to me so deeply. I was still all excited and the next thing was, “All stories from all time is a hero’s journey.” I was like, “Hold the phone. That can’t be right.” I was like a dog with a bone. I couldn’t stop trying to find some other pattern to learn to be yourself in the world. I found movies that clearly weren’t hero stories. I watch those. I studied with the Jungian Institute. I went to university. I took some Women’s Studies. What helped was I listened to myself. I listened when something spoke to me. I followed it and a structure emerged.
Let’s unpack this because you’re using terms Jungian and the hero’s journey that people may not be fully familiar with. I’m going to give away a little bit of the punchline to this episode, if I may. It’s so interesting because you had this big breakthrough, which caused me a big breakthrough. Because I thought that the process of a single person becoming a solo living a remarkable life was going to be a hero’s journey. I was thankfully told by a previous guest, Kimberly Kessler that there’s a better story structure. Let’s start by talking about Joseph Campbell and The Hero with a Thousand Faces and what that structure looks like. We’ll get into how it’s useful but not every story since the beginning of time follows it. What is The Hero’s Journey?
The Hero’s Journey is basically learning and recognizing that you live in a safe, ordinary world, and there’s a threat and because of that threat, you face your mortality. You realize that death is a possibility. At first, you refuse the call. You say, “I’m someone else. What the hell,” but you decide that some things are worth dying for. That’s basically it. You cross the threshold, you go to this foreign land, you are tested, so you can develop some skills, you meet your allies, and you learn about the enemy. You learn the details and you learn how important information is.
You go into what they call the belly of the whale, you make a plan, you go and you get something that gives you this little edge of advantage. With that, you celebrate that you got this thing and you re-gather the troops and together, you’d make this final charge at the enemy. You have not just peace in the land like you’ve thwarted evil before it arrives or you’ve gained the resources you needed to keep starvation from the door. You also have the self-knowledge that you can control your feelings and take action anyway, so you have the ability to face danger and survive. That’s what a hero does.
There are so many compelling things about The Hero’s Journey. One of the things that you alluded to at the end is that there’s this transformation that you deal with like physical conflict, but you also have an emotional or psychological conflict that needs to be overcome. The hero is changed in the same way that the world is changed. Do you have a particular hero’s journey that you like or that you’d like to use when you teach and talk about that the reader might be able to go, “I can see these beats?”
There are so many like Blood Diamond and Star Wars. Joseph Campbell was an advisor on Star Wars.
I didn’t know that. That’s fascinating.
That’s why that’s a story that never gets old, particularly the early ones. Also, The Matrix. Those are the ones that come to mind. There are so many. Every superhero story is 90% of Box Office.
It’s interesting, you say this because part of the reason that gave me this idea is like to ask my students and other people and that is, “Are you the hero in the story of your life? Are you the person who is changing and overcoming these hurdles?” One of the interesting insights that I’ve had is that superheroes tend to be single. They tend to be unencumbered and it allows them in part to be super, as a result because there’s no one back home worrying about them in a sense, so they don’t have to tamp down their exploits in order to play it safe.
It’s their willingness to give their life for a cause outside themselves.
Star Wars is an easy one. In the previous episode with Kim Kessler, we go into The Matrix, which I’m quite fond of as the film for a variety of reasons.
Unforgiven is another great one.
It goes on and on and on. These stories tend to be masculine.
I’d say that heroes are masculine and virgins are feminine and it’s so important to recognize that we all have both. When I was being a geologist, I was definitely on my masculine side and nobody wants to be one. There is danger in the world and you have to be able to go out there, meet it and conquer it. There is also a requirement in all of us to awaken somehow to know how you can turn the camera on and know what’s happening inside you and that internal knowledge has a totally different operating system. You talked about how the hero has this internal journey but it’s completely different.
The internal journey of the hero is to shut off his emotions and take action anyway basically. Whereas for the virgin, it’s to welcome those emotions, to recognize that there’s a lot of emotions but the real power comes and that you get to choose which ones you pay attention to. The ones you pay attention to, will grow. You can be contagious as the other thing. When you choose what you’re going to focus on, then it becomes contagious to the people around you. It’s a powerful thing.
It is, indeed. Let’s do something before explaining the structure. What are some of those stories? You were told that every story is a hero’s journey and you start saying, “I can’t fit this story or this movie into it.” What were some of the ones that you came up with where you’re like, “No, the action’s not in the masculine. The action is not heading out into the dangerous world and making peace?”
The first ones were About a Boy, Billy Elliot, Bend It Like Beckham, and Ever After. You notice there’s a bit of a theme. They’re quite family-oriented. I had young kids and we were all watching movies together but it doesn’t have to be that way. Black Swan, Joker and Jojo Rabbit are all stories that nobody is like, “I am going to get out there and start a fight.” Joker even says that when he’s on the game show or the talk show with the host. He says, “I wasn’t trying to do anything. I’m trying to belong somewhere. I’m trying to be myself.” All this chaos comes because there are enough people out there that are saying, “Us too. The kingdom needs to grow.” We’ll see in the sequel if it actually does.
It’s so interesting because you mentioned two movies that I love. I love About a Boy. It’s such a great and fun movie. Hugh Grant is the lead, so it’s not necessarily about female and male. It’s about a different style. Billy Elliot is a lovely, heartwarming, and uplifting film. I highly encourage people to watch it if they haven’t seen it. It holds up to the test of time quite nicely.
Whale Rider is another one.
You had mentioned studying Jungian theories. Give us a quick primer on Jung’s archetypes and this idea that there’s more than one.
One thing I learned that was fascinating is now that they do fMRI, there is a part of your brain that lights up when you’re in storytelling mode. It is the same area where your spiritual sense lights up when you’re in a spiritual experience. It’s energy, basically, that Jung started to recognize, which is the energy that causes us to go through the major growth of life. The way I boil it all down is that we all have three major journeys to go on and we do these three in a masculine and a feminine way.
The first one is the journey to yourself to know yourself as an individual. You do that in an external way as a hero and an internal way as a virgin. The next is, how do I know myself, be myself and make a connection to a person who is not me? It’s that sense of, how do I exist with another and all the benefits that you get from that. Either you’ve got allies or you’ve got a partner. The last one is, “What is my relationship to the cosmos?” In a masculine sense, it is the mentor, it’s that philanthropist. It’s like, “I recognize that I will die. I’m pragmatic about that and I want to leave a legacy. I want this knowledge to go forward. I wanted the hero to be mentored to become the warrior king.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Morpheus in The Matrix, and so on.
Whereas on the feminine side, it’s the crone. It’s basically this idea that we know we’re connected to everything and life is energy. What we put out will come back to us. It’s contagious and grows. She’s basically not telling anybody what to do but sometimes she’s the trickster. She’ll mess with somebody and keep throwing them off their path until they wake up but it has to come from inside. Nothing is meaningful until the person decides for themselves.
I’m going to digress for a moment and readers, forgive me because it’s coming to mind. In The Matrix, Morpheus goes and sees, I forget what her name is, but she’s a prophet.
I remember the part but I don’t remember her name either.
She plays that role with him. She gives him not the wrong advice but in hindsight, you can see that she doesn’t tell him what to do. She tells him what’s going to happen.
She’s messing with him. She’s messing with enough that she’s triggering something that she knows is in him. That is the thing about the feminine is this insight into self, which is this journey of being single if you ask me. The real pearl of it is, is that you get to interact with the world with the intention of knowing yourself and becoming truly connected because you can’t give something you don’t have. You can’t connect to other people until you feel connected to yourself.
I have only one critique and I’m going to get it out of the way.
Give it to me.
It’s the title, The Virgin’s Promise.
I’ve heard you saying, “It was unfortunate,” and I don’t disagree with you. I looked high and low for a word and this says something about our culture. There is not a word for a person that’s on a journey to know themselves and be themselves. There is one. It’s called virgin and it’s why the virgin forest is basically a forest that’s a value for being itself. That patriarchy co-opted and made it untouched by another man, so I know my children are my own. I thought with Virgin Records and all these things that it might be the beginning of a wave, but I am, unfortunately, the Virgin Lady. I’m constantly in elevators and everybody explaining this thing.
That’s fine. Who knows, you may be able to help change. I’m here to help you change that view because the more people who learn about this and I do agree with you. This comes up time and time again. It’s the limits of the English language to be able to explain the breadth of people’s experiences, the unfortunate negativity associated with, for example, singlehood, and so on. Hence the choice of solo, which is one of the few positive words that you can find in the language to describe my reader’s lives in many ways. What is the arc? What is the structure of The Virgin’s Promise?
I would say that energetically and I always used to say, “She starts in a dependent world,” but it is a circular story, so you could start this on any place but I’ll pick a spot. Whether she recognizes it or not, she exists in a world that is telling her to be smaller than her true potential or her promise. Either the audience or we can see or she herself knows that she is making herself small. There is a price that she’s paying for conforming so she can have some membership to a group. It’s like conditional love or a membership. It’s not true belonging.
Until one day, there’s this opportunity to shine. It could be the crone stepped in there. Something tweaks and she sees this little passion awaken in herself. It’s a one-off and she’s just going to try it. Usually, there’s this alchemy moment where she takes something physical in the world and she gives it to herself. Out of that, she can try something in a physical way because there’s this wonderful thing about being human. You can have a feeling but when you make it physical in some way, when you pass it through your feelings and try and express it, it turns into something that you can transform. You can make choices around it, play with it and do all these things.
Essentially, she tastes it and decides, “I want more of that,” so she finds this secret world. The secret world is crucial because this is where she’s decided the only opinion that matters is her own and that’s a big step because she’s lived in a world where she’s told who she is and what is valuable. It’s also true that you can’t go from 0 to 60. You can’t go from, “I understand who I am based on what my world has told me.” You have to find a place where you’re surrounded by people who care about you that will listen and say, “What are you thinking about that?” “How can we support you and go in that way?” You can make mistakes, laugh and do silly things that seem like you’re going in circles until something inside you feels right and you follow that.
You keep pivoting until you have grown to the point where you no longer fit in either of your two worlds because you’ve been going back and forth between the two. You don’t give up. You don’t destroy your dependent world while you’re still working on the other because you need something. You need a connection in life. Eventually, you’ll find that you’re, you’re no longer willing to keep that up, that separation of your true self from your other world.
Two worlds collide and in that moment it’s this important moment that you can’t rush through it. You think about why. Why did I believe in the past that I had to conform and make myself small? You decide for yourself. You can give that up and you can recreate your belief. That is the power of the virgin’s story. It’s redesigning your inside world. You’re not even trying to design the outside world but it’s contagious. When you change, when you show your shining form to the world, there is a reaction and that often can look like a backlash. They’re going through their own chaos.
It’s threatening to them to see this change in someone pushing against it.
Exactly but you now have given up your limiting belief. You do something called wandering the wilderness. You think, “I could go back to that old way but now it’s with full knowledge of who I am and I would be making myself small or I could go forward but I have no reason to believe that I could exist in the world as I know it.” You decide you have to be true to yourself and this causes the transformation in the external world because when they see you and how happy you are, and how authentic you are, or the talent you have to bring that means you or other people rise up to say, “This needs a place. We need to reorganize ourselves so there is this energy in the world.” The kingdom is brighter. There’s more talent, diversity and unconditional love. The hero comes in and says, “Let’s preserve and protect this for a while.”
We’ve gone through those steps there. I think they’re a little abstract. You and I know them. I’ve read your book. I’ve taken pages of notes on it. You’ve given countless talks and workshops about it. Let’s do it with Bend It Like Beckham, if we can. Can you tell the story of Bend It Like Beckham and try to highlight these beats along the way? Is that okay to do?
It should be.
You don’t have to hit every single one but the general arc.
Jess grows up in a world where she’s an immigrant from India in England. They’re trying to do what they can not to ruffle feathers but she’s desperate to become a soccer player. This is her place of conformity because girls aren’t allowed to do that. Until one day, she meets another soccer player who says, “You’re good. There’s a girl soccer team. Come with me.” She goes to play and now she wants more. She joins the team. She has to wear shorts and she has to do all these things but she overcomes it and feels what it’s to be herself.
Did she hide this from the family?
Yes, she doesn’t let the family know and she even goes on a trip because they get to go to Germany to play soccer and it’s a big deal. That’s when she makes a mistake. She no longer fits her world. She’s no longer willing to say, “I have to be the good girl,” and she gets what she takes for herself what she wants, but the plan fails. She ends up being discovered by her family. There’s this huge hullabaloo and her sexuality is questioned and her sister’s wedding might be destroyed. That’s the chaos. It doesn’t for a while until she decides that she needs to give up the belief that she has to be a good girl for her family.
She does say that she is going to play soccer. She doesn’t hide anymore. She goes to play soccer. This always gets to my heart. The father goes and watches. He says, “She needs to be happy. The sad girl is not my girl.” He does his own work to get over the fact that he thought that he was protecting her because he got teased when he tried to play cricket so now, he has grown. Her sister has this great marriage in the kingdom is brighter.
It’s a great story. As you can imagine, you can see why this resonates with me and it’s why I’ve been writing about it and talking about it. I’m using it as my own structure for singles who feel out of place in the world. I call it the three Rs, to Recognize, to Rebel and to Reinvent. I’ll talk about this a little bit, and I want to ask, in your professional opinion, how it connects? Do you feel that it connects well? Where are my blind spots as someone who’s thought about this much less than you? To me, the recognized part is the notion of the world that wants to keep you small. I talk about human domestication. The world wants you to believe certain things and to behave in certain ways. That’s fine for many people but for some of us, it doesn’t seem right. It doesn’t light us up. It doesn’t lead us to living our best lives.
That is interesting. That is basically the dependent world. It’s to notice that it’s quite separate to recognize the price of conformity. The world is one way and it’s quite different to notice what you have internalized from that world. That limiting belief is in you and the power is in the awakening to the fact that you can explore that belief and decide if you still believe it.
Yes, that’s right. This show is not prescriptive. It’s not saying that the solo of life is the right life and the partner life is the wrong life. It’s a matter of pads. It might even be a matter of time in life that you can live both of those lives. Let’s be honest, with a 35% divorce rate, people may live one, go to the other and return back to the other, in a sense. The idea that the world can tell you that one of those lives is less than and that you are less than for living it, I completely disagree with. I fight against that idea.
I would even argue that losing your ability to stand as a solo person in a marriage is the cause of the decline of marriages. We need to learn to know who we are as separate from the world and maintain that even when we’re close to other people, whether we’re married to them or not. That is the challenge.
Kim, it’s why I have married the readers because these people recognize that a sense of autonomy allows them to be the best person for the other people in their lives. In my world, it’s and this is related to something you said, if a solo becomes their best self, they can help all the others in their life. To be solo does not necessarily mean to be alone. It is the case that solos are more connected to the world than married people. They have more friends, they’re more likely to volunteer, and they’re more involved in their communities. There’s a delicious irony in single living in that way that most people don’t recognize, as a result. The next step, the next R after that recognition, is to Rebel. It’s to push against it to start to plot your path and to live your way, knowing that people will not necessarily welcome it.
That’s basically the secret world part. It’s interesting because rebellion can be the same action depending on the energy. It looks the same from the outside, but it’s completely different in which part of you you’re activating. You can rebel against what people are saying about the single life and the external world and what their opinions are. That takes certain energy. The virgin story is basically the rebellion is to choose your own opinion and to create a place where you’re not pushing back all the time and you basically can pull in and explore this sense of what it means to be yourself.
You find yourself a cocoon or a safe place. You’re not giving up your whole world but you find some time where you can explore yourself and that is an act of rebellion. In other words, you’re going to allow all your differences, all your uncool stuff to become part of you. You’re going to dress that way or try things that are uncool, for your outside world because it’s a temporary thing, cool or not cool. You are all that you care about.
It’s so interesting you use the word cool because one of my favorite episodes, Are Single People Cool? and I talked to a researcher who has a theory of coolness. To give away the answer to that, yes, single people are cool when they are accepting and choose their singleness. The desperate single is not cool but the single who is comfortable with their singleness is. We think of rebels as cool but oftentimes, rebels aren’t like the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars, where they’re fighting against the evil forces. A lot of rebels do what is right for them without concern for the world.
Bob Dylan is a rebel but he’s not a rebel like the Rebel Alliance. He’s a rebel in the way that an artist is a rebel. Hence, he’s one of the coolest people on the planet even in his 70s or beyond whatever he is now. The last one is this act of reinvention. This is where I get a little bit of self-helpy and how-to-wey, so to speak and I can’t help myself. The idea is that once you’ve realized this dependent world, once you’ve spent some time in your secret world, and it agrees with you, in a sense, that there is now an opportunity to begin to live life in a different way. To pursue different paths, to light yourself up and as a result, light the world up.
I talked about singles having that opportunity, in part because in some ways, they have fewer constraints than someone who might be living or in a traditional partnered family situation. I will continue to talk about and I’ve talked about some of those things, but a lot of it is getting your health and your house in order and figuring out how you will flourish. What is your way to flourish? There are lots and lots of ways to do that and there’s no one way that is the right way. It’s a matter of the solo choosing that.
I did read that episode and I would say the things that you were talking about, get your clothes right, and get a new haircut basically dresses the part. It’s making yourself and playing with yourself like a work of art.
It’s becoming your true you.
It might not be a fancy haircut. You might even have to go through a goth period. If you live a structured and perfect precise life, you might need to make some mess in your house. It’s you. You’re going to push against the boundary that doesn’t feel you and try on something that’s wacky. You might come back halfway or whatever, but you’re not going to know until you get there. The reinvent for me happens in a secret world mostly and it’s where you can try it out and it’s only your opinion that matters. You’re not asking anybody if they approve or say, “How does this feel,” and you adjust. Little by little, you’re honing it down to the point where you’re like, “This feels like me.” That’s what you bring into the world and that’s when the chaos comes.
I like the idea that if you regularly get haircuts, you might want to stop getting a haircut. There’s an exploration experimentation element to it.
If you think blondes are having more fun, become a blonde and say, “They do. It’s not me. It’s not my kind of fun.” It’s that meaty take your life and do physical things with it because you will know through experience who you are. As long as we’re trying to do what’s popular and what’s the norm in our culture, we might never meet ourselves.
Virgin promise stories typically have happy endings.
Those are the ones I like, anyway.
Let me tell this as a story. Let’s talk about Bend It Like Beckham or The Solo’s Promise, which is you’re living your life, the world is telling you, “The clock is ticking. You’re in your 30s now. It’s time to couple up and have a family,” and that doesn’t feel right. The people who are telling you to do this are only not the media, it’s people close to you. Your close friends, your parents and your grandparents, the people you love and adore.
In the virgin’s promise, those people see the error of their thinking. They see that your happiness is more important than doing the traditional, conventional and so on. The world has changed as a result of this push, pull, realization and recognition of the virgin achieving her promise but that doesn’t always happen. That certainly doesn’t always happen in the real world. Parents say that their children’s happiness is the most important thing and yet they will disown their child for making the parents unhappy.
It’s like, “I know what is better for you than you know for yourself.”
Here’s the thing. In a hero’s story, the village is good. You go through your whole journey and the village is preserved. In a virgin’s story, the village or the kingdom is in need of some growth. She goes through her story. She does her growth separate from them. It’s not because of them that she grows, it’s because she’s learned to choose for herself. She activates the potential for them to grow and it’s totally their choice. They can grow or not grow but it doesn’t affect the fact that the virgin has learned that she has this internal source of empowerment that she gets to choose who she is and how she’s going to be in the world. She deserves to find a place of belonging and if it’s not in this time or even in this life going to be her family of origin, then she knows that she can find another place that she deserves a place of belonging.
What I hear you saying is, if you’re unable to convince the kingdom that it’s better off with you being at your best, you might have to find another kingdom.
Yes. I wouldn’t even try to convince because everybody has their free will and maybe it’s seeing that in you, the respect you give them for their free will that causes the change in the long run. They’ve given their opportunity through you and that is your gift to them but it’s not a requirement of your own growth.
This is deeply disturbing in a sense. Part of the reason I have this show, I suspect, is I had a mother who was incredibly manipulative and controlling. If you weren’t living the life that she wanted you to live, she made it difficult on me and my sister. My sister rebelled much more than I did but what’s fascinating is she never pushed me to have a traditional family. She pushed me to do lots and lots of things with my life and to achieve, to be a good person, to have a strong moral compass, to be a good student, and so on. She would ask about girlfriends but she never pushed or judged or anything, in part because she had had a difficult marriage herself.
I don’t think she thought that was the right path necessarily. Early on, she accepted that I was going to be different in that way but I know a lot of people who have equally strong-willed and sometimes not always parents who act in their kids’ best interest that this creates a lot of conflicts. You had mentioned you don’t have to convince but I realize this might be outside of your expertise. At this point, I don’t have good advice but I’m starting to think about how to have that conversation. How to say not through actions but there are dinner table conversations. I always think about Thanksgiving dinner as the place where this conversation happens. It’s where there’s a particular line of questioning, “Is there someone special in your life?” In which the person’s like, “The answer is no and I’m not looking for someone special,” and how to have that conversation adeptly.
There are so many dynamics going on there. One of the reasons that the virgin story happens in her domestic life is that it’s a different thing to know who you are among people who love you in their own way but are at odds with you. The question is, “Do you want a push back relationship? Do you want to be pushing against each other or do you want to pull in a relationship?” If you model that, you have a better chance at it. I should qualify that I’m not a psychologist. That is not my area. I deal with story.
Let’s say you’re at that Thanksgiving dinner and someone says, “Are you seeing anybody special?” You say, “I’m not and I appreciate that you are asking because I know that’s an important part of what brings you happiness. There are these other things that I’m pretty excited about.” That’s a pull in conversation. Start with saying something that you can see good in that intention of the person and build on it. Ask them something about themselves that’s connected to what they said in a positive way.
That’s excellent because I often want to fight.
It’s the hero in you.
It’s the masculine. I want to win. I want to fight. I’m competitive. It’s my testosterone but I recognize the saying that says, “You attract more flies with honey,” or something like that. Bears, bees, and everything. This is wonderful and it’s such a provocative idea. It’s been so useful for me. People hearing this can introspect and see this. What I want people to do is realize and recognize their promise, pursue it, pursue it without guilt and pursue it in a way that is going to help them flourish and thrive.
Wouldn’t that be a wonderful community to live in where everybody is bringing their own talent, finding what makes them happy, and sharing it with each other? It’s not a fantasy. We could lead the way in this as singles.
If I may do a little bit of shameless plugging, I have a SOLO Slack channel that is filled at this stage with 91 people doing that. They’ve gone to PeterMcGraw.org and they’ve signed up for the SOLO community. I also have a SOLO Club on Clubhouse with 25,000 members. Most of the people in the Slack channel and many of the people in the clubhouse community are seeking to do that. They’re scattered all, all over the world and they feel alone in their own little bubbles and in their communities, but they are liking their perspectives. It’s heartwarming and fun and interesting to interact and talk to them. They read this blog. They find this blog somehow some way. I want to finish up by asking about a concept that I don’t fully understand, but it could be relevant and useful for the reader and that is anti-virgin. What is an anti-virgin? Who are the anti-virgins that we know in the story?
The first time I recognized it was when my daughter recognized it. She was young. She went to Mama Mia and she came back and she said, “Mom, it’s not a virgin story. It’s an anti-virgin story. The whole community was trying to get that young woman to get out and live her life. Just get married and all this thing?” She was the force working against her and instead what she learns, in the end, is she doesn’t need to get married right away. She needs to live, explore her life and figure out who she is. The 40-Year-Old Virgin is the same thing. Everybody around them is trying to get them to be themselves and yet they are stagnated. Until eventually they flip it around and become the person that wants happiness and authenticity for themselves.
To apply this to the world of solo, this would be someone who says, “I don’t know why you’re trying to do this. Why are you trying to live this traditional life? You are meant to X, Y, or Z,” in that sense.
That would be a virgin.
No, it’s your friends who are telling you and your family is saying those.
It terrifies you. You’re like, “No, I have to help people. I’m so asleep now. Someday later,” and all those things.
That’s so interesting and it shows whoever it was, who was lecturing that says that all stories were heroes is naïve. Not all stories are hero or a virgin’s promise. There’s an infinite number of stories that happen to be more or less popular ones.
I say that there are twelve major archetypes and they have an infinite number of varieties around them.
As much as I love Casablanca, I wonder, is Casablanca a virgin’s promise?
Let me think about that. It is the next. There’s a person who is not like you but you feel a strong connection to them and you’re trying to learn how can we both can exist in the same space. That’s a failed what I call that a Warrior King Mother Goddess.
We’ll save that for another episode. Kim, this was wonderful. It’s such an interesting thing. With that, I’m going to say, it’s so wonderful to hear you. I’ve read many of your works and I want to thank you for writing this book and for recognizing this because I do think that this is a much better story structure for the people I care about on this show.
Thank you and thank you for having me. This has been fun.
- The Virgin’s Promise
- The Hero’s Journey
- The Solo’s Promise – Past episode
- Solo Thoughts 5: A New Narrative for Solos – Past episode
- The Artist’s Way
- The Hero with a Thousand Faces
- Are Single People Cool? – Past episode
- SOLO Club
About Kim Hudson
I grew up in the Yukon, a Hero’s daughter with a Cinderella Complex. Basically life taught me many of the things I needed to know to write this book. I spent the first half of my career exploring my masculine side, first as a field geologist and later as a federal land claims negotiator. Exploring my feminine side became important to me as I raised my two daughters. This lead me to study Writing for Film and Television at Vancouver Film School, and take courses on mythology, feminism and psychology including a Jungian Odyssey in Switzerland. This theory was developed by closely observing the archetypal expressions that are all around us in movies, music, television, advertisements and stories of personal growth, including my own. The Virgin’s Promise is my first book.
The purpose of this blog is to introduce an archetypal structure that expands the work of Joseph Campbell to include a feminine archetype. Maybe it will create more meaningful roles for women. That would be good. I would also hope it will create stories about men who also want to follow their spiritual, sexual or creative awakening, otherwise known as their feminine side. I’ve tried to use examples of male and female Virgins to show this. So go ahead and explore the ideas, tell me what movies you liked and what you think is also a Virgin movie. I’m happy to answer questions on story structure or archetypes. I want everyone to be comfortable with the language of Virgin as well as Hero movies and stories of all kinds.
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