Author's Note: This article was originally conceived as a tongue-in-cheek exploration modeled after many of the self help books available on the market today. However, several events occurred that caused me to question my belief system including how I move through the world and the potential effect my actions or non-actions may have. Consequently, this article took on a life of its own while I was trying to sort through a few things. This is written in the first person, since I can only speak for myself.
The Warrior's Path (01-07)
 I meditate on words like noble, proud, loyal, kind, compassionate and heroic. These are always words I have wanted to claim for myself. I wanted to be a warrior fighting for the good fight. Yet there was nowhere to examine these things. Abstract words like virtuous and gracious would float by like so much dandelion fluff in spring. I spent years studying what they could possibly mean and how they could apply to me. They were nowhere to be examined until the day I started watching Xena begin her adventures.
 It began for Xena as it began for me, a realization that the old ways -- the tried and true ways -- were no longer enough. Sometimes, as in Xena's case, the proverbial two by four whacks her over the head. In THE GAUNTLET (#H12), Xena is forced away from the life she knew. In this episode, it is still not enough to be cast out from her army, she believes that the acquisition of some thing (Hercules' head on a platter) will restore her to her position at the head of her army. This exemplifies what I call, in my life, the "life is elsewhere syndrome." If I could just get: that new job, new lover, new car, bigger house, finish school, etc., then, my life would begin. Fortunately for Xena, her thing that would be the key back to her life, had other plans. Defeated but spared, Xena disappeared from the scene of her humiliation. This was the beginning of the hero's journey for her. The beginning of self-achieved submission. So began my baby steps as well.
 Xena, as a television character, is compelling because unlike most television shows, not everything is resolved in one episode. Her digressions and mistakes make her all the more human. The greatest virtue is the task of being human (Plato).
 In rapid succession, DREAMWORKER (#03), THE RECKONING (#06), and CALLISTO (#22) challenge Xena to confront and battle her dark side. Each of these episodes also serve as markers for the trust and relationship developing between Xena and Gabrielle. What of Gabrielle, the character that is the light to Xena's darkness? She too must confront certain dark emotions. Is Gabrielle on a hero's journey as well? Yes, but not a warrior's journey. Gabrielle's development stretches so much more in the second season. She is first confronted with darker desires in the light-hearted romp GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN (#28), then the consuming fury of revenge in RETURN OF CALLISTO (#29), and of course taking on the mantle of authority while dealing with grief in THE QUEST (#37). A quote that struck me as relevant about heroes is as follows, "A heroine is one who loves or learns to love" (Bolen 279). Xena and Gabrielle exemplify both of those statements, and provide yet another example by which to compare my life.
The stanza of the hero-bard resounds with the magic of the words of power... The sword edge of the hero-warrior flashes with the energy of the creative force... (Campbell 337).
Jean Shinoda Bolen: Goddesses In Everywoman: A New Pyschology of Women, (Harper Collins, 1985)