The BIG question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure – Joseph Campbell
Life sometimes has a funny way of calling us towards our truth. Sometimes it comes quietly knocking … perhaps even several times. More often than not, it arrives with a big bang. In this two-part blog we look at the journey of transformation that’s usually inspired by a pivotal life event.
Think of yourself as Indiana Jones … and get ready for adventure! Transformation takes time. And step-by-step it tests our resilience, over and over and over again! But … when we hang in there and fight for what we desire, then the result is incredibly rewarding….
When the world as we know it, is no longer fulfilling or endurable, when there is a crisis, or when a door closes, we are “called forth” to step into a higher purpose. The call rings up the curtain, always on the mystery of transfiguration. The familiar life horizon has been outgrown; the old concepts, ideals, and emotional patterns no longer fit; the time for passing the threshold is at hand.
When there is doubt, fear, lack of self-belief, lack of self-worth, and lack of self-trust – it simply means that you don’t back yourself. You physically have turned your back away from you. Why not try to turn to yourself, face yourself, lean in to yourself … with compassion, understanding, forgiveness and connection to the self.
If you feel called to something greater than what your current job or life offers – this means you are being called forward to embark on your hero’s journey of transformation.
Stepping into the unknown to find your calling or to answer a call may involve:
- Facing fear of the unknown, uncertainty or obstacles
- Finding your true self — and your transforming idea
- Integrating your vision into your life and work
Joseph Campbell author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces was an inquisitive and curious mythologist. Instead of focusing on the differences between cultural myths, he explored and searched for the similarities, where his findings resulted to what’s called the monomyth, which is a universal story structure – a story template that takes a character through a sequence of stages. Like a movie.
Life is your biggest treasure…
So, welcome to the movie of your life!
Treasure, love, reward, approval, honour, freedom and survival are just a few of the many experiences one can endure in the hero’s journey. But … in finding our little treasure most times there is an initiation process for us to get those little golden nuggets.
These initiations come in all shapes and form. If we look at our own initiations – for example, when I consider my own – some of my deep unspeakable sufferings and battling with inner and outer demons, was my transformation. Quite simply, I wouldn’t be who I am today without the experience. That in itself is an initiation. In the hero’s journey there is a very colourful metaphor that symbolises a significant purpose. The hero slaying the dragon and saving the princess – for you this could be confronting someone who is a bully or giving birth to a child is a profound initiation in itself.
Initiations is about pushing through and confronting whatever you are afraid of, it’s about getting uncomfortable and only then can we go through a self-discovery of what we are capable of, we must not fear, fear itself, but look at fear as a passage or a bridge to get to the other side.
A true initiation never ends…
The first phase of your adventure is where there is a departure of your ordinary world. This is about starting something new – it could be your first child, your first business, or your first home, where you have limited awareness of your role in this new world. It could also be an end of a relationship, or an end of a career, or a transition in life such as a retirement. This is your destiny calling, when you have made your decision either way, you are now being called forward to take the adventure, it is literally knocking at your door – this is the call to the unknown.
The second part of your adventure might be a premonition where there is an increase of awareness of the need to change. Let’s say you embark on a new business venture, you may bump into the right person who may guide you along your path to help you clarify your treasure, and what you are searching for … helping you define your goals and bringing them to life.
Courage is resistance to fear…
The third part of your adventure is where you may feel the experience of resistance, you may question yourself, doubting what you are doing, feeling in fear of where you are going. This is where the hero refuses the call, this is a natural part of our cycle in everything that we do. And this is when one may fall into a victim of their own mind … some people create their own storms and then get angry when it rains. When you are in this phase of your journey, you seek a way out because you are experiencing pain in your world.
But … this is when you must push forward!!!
And… then my friend you are rewarded with the fourth part of your adventure, overcoming your fear. This is where you choose your path, stay on your path and once you are sure with every ounce of your being, you will magically create miracles to help you along your way. It could be a mentor to guide you in the right direction. It could be finding an investor for your business, it could be finding the person who can help you make appropriate connections for your new journey. It could be anything really that you need right now!
And this is where the hero crosses the threshold! When you do this, as the hero of your own life, you’re propelled forward into the adventure. Some may call this a test – to see if you are serious about continuing with your journey.
It takes a big commitment to change…
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German writer, says the moment one definitely commits oneself, and then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help – and these are things that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events arises from the decision, raising all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no woman nor man could have dreamed would have come her or his way. Many self-help gurus and spiritual writers and philosophers talk about this – it’s about creating momentum. Once you back yourself, the Universe starts to back you too.
This is the fifth part of your adventure, when you are committed to the change, this is where the hero must pass a trial, crossing the limits of the known into the unknown.
It’s what Joseph call the belly of the whale experience, a final separation from one’s present state and environment. Where one has a new way of thinking and a need to adopt in order to escape their current predicament.
But when you begin to think in new ways, you see all manner of new possibilities. Quite simply, you start to realise that you’re actually in charge. That life is not happening to you … it is happening for you…. and then the adventure becomes really exciting….
Stay tuned for more on the hero’s journey next week…