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 veil slid back a little today

Yesterday, I announced my intention to accept the Quest I know of today – to be all I can be.

An interesting thing happened to me today, while I was driving in the car. I was on a 2-hour trip, and I allowed my mind to relax while I drove.

For a brief moment in time, a sense of knowing occurred to me. I became very much at peace, and aware that I was “enough” on this Quest. It lasted for a brief second or two, but was very powerful. I was in a zone or flow that let me know all was going to be all right.

As someone who’s lived a great deal of his life in fear of being real to the world, I was pleasantly surprised to feel the peace and calm of the moment. I am grateful. Thank you.

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!”

My personal myth – cosmos

It occurred to me that in order for me to create a myth for my own life, that my first step should be some commentary about the universe or cosmos within which I live.  How do I perceive my universe?

I envision a universe made of energy – a very fine and subtle energy.  I see a universe with secrets we may never know or understand, but are worthy of seeking to explain.  A universe with some sort of intelligence that exists within it.

I see all of us as an energy stream or consciousness within and part of that intelligence.  We can receive guidance and wisdom from that intelligence.  We can also be shown elements of what our Mission here on Earth could be, if we choose to accept the Call.

That Mission and Call are always there for us to perceive, accept and take on.  I don’t feel the Mission is hardwired within us, but on some level, I think it evolves out of our natural loves.

I strongly feel that when we’re ready to see it – really see it – then our ability to perceive it becomes real.

As Joseph Campbell said:

“Follow your bliss, and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”

In my own life, I’ve always been afraid to embrace my Call – to be all I can be.  Now I feel ready for it – not sure why, other than it’s my time.  The desire to Be has outweighed the Fear to stay in place.  I’m actually fearful to write the above line, but know that I must, if I’m going to break free of the fears that have ruled too much of my life.

The Universe is calling – I’m ready to answer.

Finding one’s mission in life – the hero’s quest.

I love Richard Bolles’ path to mission in life from his book:  “What Color is Your Parachute?”  He describes a 3-step process on page 271 of the 2014 edition:

  1. to seek to stand hour by hour in the conscious presence of God, the One from whom your mission is derived“:  I’m not a religious person, but I do believe in a universal consciousness, so this works for me.  What a wonderful goal – to seek out one’s version of our creator / source, and to connect with that source.
  2. to do what you can, moment by moment, day by day, step by step, to make this world a better place, following the leading and guidance of God’s Spirit within you and around you“:  Since reading this, I’ve made it my intention to remember to act this way as much as I can through the day.  I’m not perfect, believe me, and I fail at this more than I succeed, but the intention is clear, and it helps me to feel better about my Hero’s Quest.
  3. to exercise the Talent that you particularly came to Earth to use–your greatest gift, which you most delight to use …“:  I’m intrigued by the path Bolles lays out here, and which I feel makes sense for me.

Connect to your source, do good deeds, and do what you love to do most to make the world a better place.  Wonderful!

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!

The Hero’s Call

Every myth requires a hero, and every hero requires that they answer the Call.  That’s a question I’ve been stymied by my whole life.  What is my Call?

There are some who would say just “be”, and that the Call will find its way to me.  I have found it more difficult than I would have thought to just be.

I have a feeling that my Call will be something of my choosing.  And, it will also allow me to just “be”.  I think this blog is part of my Call – or will be part of a meandering path to it.

For now, my Call will be to keep writing about these ideas, and then see where they take me.