Standing at the crossroads

I’m standing at the crossroads these days – today – now.  The quest is calling to me, and I’ve verbally said: “Yes”.  But, I don’t know where to go with it.

I feel the need – a deep desire even – to find an opportunity, that to use terminology from my sister, keeps me away from “the dark side”.  The dark side is what I know.  It is comfortable.  I will not say it’s easy.  It gave me heart disease, and two stents.

But, it’s what I know.  However, I also know it’s not where my passion lies.

The dark side allows me to solve a financial problem I have today.  And, I may have to take that path for a few years, until I figure out – somehow – where my light side is located.

Writing this feels like a total cop out, and it is, I know.

I have to find the strength to keep moving along the path to the light side.  It’s time for this hero to be brave.  The dragon is breathing down on me.  I can feel its fire on my body.

The decision is to be my own hero, or become a serf in someone else’s story.

I want to say that I’ve decided to be a hero, but I’m at the crossroads, and feel a strong pull to turn and run away.  The dragon is winning … tonight, it’s winning.

Tonight, I saw a live band (Anathema). They are Hero’s in my world.

I just got home from a concert in Toronto.  The headline was a British group called Anathema.  It was an excellent concert by a band who should be much bigger than they are today.

Their songs are so well written, with beautiful lyrics, and amazing musicality – case in point:  A Natural Disaster.  Wonderful!

I so enjoyed watching the band obviously loving what they were doing on stage, for a very appreciative Toronto crowd.  They were in flow, and living at their very best – their most authentic selves.

I consider those who live with passion, and who are true to their higher selves to be real Heroes in this world.  We can be shown the path by those on it now.

The quest is there.  The path is open.

This Hero is not always brave, but he has Hope

I don’t always know what to write about as I contemplate each daily entry in this myth blog. However, the commitment to daily writing is a key commitment I made (to myself) when starting.

It occurred to me that my hero’s journey is not one in which I’m always overly brave. That sometimes makes it difficult to write about myth, hope and abundance for my life.

But, I have this eternal Hope in my life that by moving forward each day – sometimes without full knowledge or a detailed plan – that it’ll work out.

Just as the commitment to daily writing is moving me forward, so is the commitment to daily action.  With Hope.

Bravery and the Call

As so often happens as I go through my day, and think about that day’s post, a theme occurred to me: I have not been very brave.

I have held off on acknowledging my ideal next opportunity – for fear that if I do, then I’ll have to live up to it. That is part of my Hero’s Call. And, that reluctance has been my Refusal of the Call, as outlined by Joseph Campbell in “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”.

There are any number of good reasons for not taking a step towards that ideal, with financial concerns at the top of the list. Not far behind is fear. Followed by past failures.

But, this blog is about addressing those fears, heeding the call, and living a full life.

My ideal is to start, run and grow a business that allows me the freedom to live my life on my terms.

Issue: What business? What do I love to do that I could build into a business?

I honestly believe that when I answer that question, and take the first step, then forces will conspire to help me realize the dream. It will involve work, time, risk and luck to be sure.

But, it’ll be a brave move for this hero.

The Hero’s Quest: Departure and the hero’s refusal

I mentioned previously that I’m reading Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”.  He covers  the various stages of the Hero’s Quest.  Stage one is Departure, and one of the elements of this stage is the hero’s refusal of the call.

I’ve often felt that part of my call – the call for many of us, I suspect – is to be all that I can be.  I can’t help but think that I’ve spent a good deal of my life refusing this call.  And, it has affected the nature of my adventure.  I’ve lived a “smaller” life as a result.

Sometimes, I wonder if I still have what it takes to answer the call.  Those thoughts come when I’m feeling low and vulnerable.  I do feel ready, but still feel less courageous and sure, as I hoped I’d be.

I can only imagine that sometimes that’s all I’ll have to go on.  What matters is saying: “Yes!” and figuring out the rest on the Quest.

Ok, then:  “YES!”

We’re always stronger than we think

Today, I had to guide a consultant, by boat, to a place that is known for it’s underwater reefs. And, the trip also involved taking the boat through a tight, shallow, rocky cut called the Devil’s Elbow. Ominous!

As I pondered this trip yesterday, I was concerned about my ability to navigate the waters without hitting rock in either the Elbow, or the bay. But, I knew the trip had to be made.

I decided that I would continually visualize my boat safely moving through the water. It provided me with a level of calm when the time came to do it for real today.

The result? I made it through both the Elbow and bay without a scratch, and that occurred in less than favourable weather conditions.

What did I learn? There’s always more to us – more strength, resolve and ability than we sometimes see. Faith, hope and moving forward – without a safety net – can lead to wonderful insights into our capabilities.

Myth and the hero’s journey

I decided it’s time I learned more formally about myth, and have begun to read Joseph Campbell’s book – written in 1949 – called:  The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

I first learned of Campbell via the PBS series he did with Bill Moyers in the ’80’s called:  The Power of Myth.  I was fascinated with the series, and with Campbell in particular.  HIs knowledge of world myth, and ability to expound on them was magic to me.  The fact that he saw value in George Lucas’ Star Wars movies as modern myth just made it all the better!

I’m hoping – expecting – to find insight that may apply to my own journey.  More on that later …

The Hero’s Quest: A mix of mission and desire.

In the past week, I’ve talked about how I’m keen to understand my mission in life – the thing I was put on this planet to do.  My assumption has always been that it’s a mix of supernatural need implanted within me, but that there’s also an element of desire in the mission.

I know that I want to make a difference, to add value and to make beautiful, elegant products or services.  That comes from my heart, but also from my soul.

The hero of my own life.

I should mention that one of the key themes I want to play out here is the idea of becoming the hero of my own life.

On some level, I think that becoming my own hero is a worthy goal.  Not out of hubris, but out of a desire to see what I’m capable of becoming as a person.  What fears do I need to move beyond?  What do I need to embrace?  What do I need to let go?  What is my quest?  Can I move beyond my fears and answer the Call?  [The answer has been “No” up to this point – too afraid to let go and take a risk.]

This time in the world, and this life, offer so many opportunities.  I want to move beyond being a spectator and become an active participant.

I’m not sure I know how to be a hero.  It has not been part of my lexicon.  But, that was then … this is now.

What do I know about my Call?

I know that this journey will involve my creativity, and making things – whatever the things end up being.  Could be a product, could be a service.  Not sure.

It will also allow conversation and work around ideas – big ideas I hope.  Ideas that can help change the world – if even on the scale of a microcosm in my immediate world.

Abundance will be a natural extension of my Call.  As will be elegance of solution and/or design.

Seth Godin, one of my favourite authors talks about becoming an Artist, in his book The Icarus Deception.  I want to be an artist – to be remarkable.  I’ve never honestly tried to be remarkable with intent in the past.  Always felt too rushed to take the extra care required to do beautiful, elegant, remarkable work.  It has hurt me on various levels, and I’ve carried the baggage of those decisions for many, many years.  Time to let them go.

Currently, I’m working at my wife’s family cottage, fixing and repairing decks, windows and such.  With each fix I do, I’m trying to incorporate some element of remarkable and elegance in the job.  So far, so good.  Some of these elegant fixes are small and seemingly incomprehensible to the people who view them.  Yet, I know they’re there, and that’s what counts.

The sense of accomplishment and release this has given me is quite wonderful.

So, I’m responding to some of the Call today.  And, seeking to more fully open myself to it as I go along.

That’s where I’ll find my answer, and the understanding that goes with it.  Fun, fun, fun!