Do You Feel a Call to Adventure?


“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for.” ~ William Shedd

One of the classic stages of the Hero’s Journey is the Call to Adventure, where a person stops living an average life, the separation from society and life as you know it begins, and shit starts to get interesting. And check this out: it’s not just meant for Luke Skywalker. This journey is meant for you as well.

You are not here on this planet to be bored, to sit in front of a TV watching other people living epic lives. You are not meant to be wasting moments of your precious life slaving away for someone else’s dreams. You are not meant to spend all your time indoors safe and cozy and totally comfortable in an insulated lil’ life. Au contraire, mon amie.

Sorry to break it to ya, but you are a ship built for adventure, and if you’re in harbor, you’re going to hear this calling pretty damn soon – if you haven’t already.

What does this “call” sound like? Well, according to Joseph Campbell, it’s like a phone ringing. Isn’t that convenient?

heros_journey4_8462Unfortunately, it’s not always what I’ve noticed. Sometimes this call is a bit – ahem – less pleasant than a ringtone. Sometimes, this call to adventure manifests as full-blown panic attacks, night sweats, low-level anxiety that has you feeling things are not as they should be…a restlessness that can’t be verbalized that has you feeling you are not living your life to the fullest…but you don’t know what else you’re supposed to do.

That’s what I’ve seen it feel like – in myself, in my clients, and even in movies! There’s this flick I totally stumbled upon called Wanted, with Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy, and this guy has panic attacks and medicates himself to keep them under control…but you end up learning that it stems from the fact that he isn’t living his purpose, which is as a gifted badass spiritual assassin of sorts. He had all these superpowers pent up inside, and they were telling him to let them the hell out – in the form of anxiety.

You can see this stage in every epic story, like the Star Wars series (in particular, Empire Strikes Back – my favorite!), the Matrix, Lord of the Rings…but what we forget is that ALL of us – yes, all of us mere mortals – are called to undertake the Hero’s Journey.

Have you been hearing this call but ignoring it? Or have you heard it and taken action? The Separation that occurs with the Call to Adventure can be kind of nerve-racking, to say the least. But the coolest part is knowing that it feels that way because things are about to change – for the better. You leaving harbor is always, always better – because THAT is what you are built for.

I’d love for you to share your thoughts about the Call to Adventure, Separation, and what YOUR ship is going to do once it leaves harbor below. I read all of it, so know I’ll respond to you!

18 Comments on Do You Feel a Call to Adventure?

  1. Udo, the Girl
    March 14, 2014 at 12:36 pm (6 years ago)

    Something I struggle with is doubting the call. Wondering if an experience or thought is “the call”. The way I’ve come to feel better about this is when a friend told me about her unmistake-able call and how when she answered it, she had an overwhelming sense of PEACE. From then on, I started using that as a guideline. Any call that gives me an overwhelming sense of purpose, peace, confidence, a sense of “its going to happen. That’s just how it will be.” … that’s a call I am answering.

  2. Ana Verzone
    March 14, 2014 at 12:52 pm (6 years ago)

    Udo, exactly! People often ask me what’s the difference between fear or irrational excitement vs true intuition. One of the most common ways to differentiate intuition is it is a quiet, calm voice. It’s isn’t hyper or fearful or shouting. The Call is one way intuition speaks – it is a moment when your soul is saying that it is time to shake things up. And while it often means things will change in a way that won’t necessarily be easy, there is a deep inner and still knowing that makes it that much easier to accept – even though we may resist at first. Thank you for sharing your experience with this voice!

  3. Xandra
    March 14, 2014 at 4:06 pm (6 years ago)

    I ALWAYS respond to the call to adventure. In fact, I rarely travel without it. I have used a marathon as an excuse to travel to Prague and theatre as an excuse to visit New York. As for non-travel “calls”, that can be my downfall – I want to plunge full-force into so many things, and have to remind myself to find a peaceful balance. I am obsessed with the idea of being a heroine (just wrote an ebook about it!), so this concept is very familiar to me!

  4. nutrikrystal
    March 14, 2014 at 7:49 pm (6 years ago)

    I love that you call us out, watching TV is not living an adventure but mooning over someone else’s. So true, we need to get off the couch and live our own lives, make our own memories, take our own risks. This is what life is an adventure! Love it!

  5. Ana Verzone
    March 14, 2014 at 7:59 pm (6 years ago)

    I love that, Xandra! We need more books out there helping women step into their heroine badass;) I too can be caught up in FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and wanting to live fully so much that I forget to pause.

    Recently I took a solo retreat to Hawaii and it was brilliant! I came back with more energy to create than I could have imagined.

    Keep inspiring women to follow their call…so glad to have you here in the tribe!

  6. Ana Verzone
    March 14, 2014 at 8:02 pm (6 years ago)

    Amen, sistah! Exactly! Life is so short – even if is going to be relatively long. There is such precious time on this planet and in our bodies – we have to Carpe the Dang Diem! Not watch Budweiser commercials. Well…maybe the ones w puppies in them;)

  7. Xandra
    March 15, 2014 at 6:25 am (6 years ago)

    My favorite quote of all times is a Dumbledore-ism: “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live” 🙂

  8. Brenda
    March 15, 2014 at 7:00 am (6 years ago)

    I do not mean to sound preachy or religious but in my experience, it is my faith in God that helps me be brave and live a heroic life. That little voice is always His and I try to hear it, sometimes I ignore it but the voice does not go away until I follow Him. It is not always the easy route but definitely the adventurous one. Thanks for this post and the reminder!

  9. lisavanahn2013
    March 15, 2014 at 7:05 pm (6 years ago)

    Xandra, LOVE THAT!

  10. lisavanahn2013
    March 15, 2014 at 7:07 pm (6 years ago)

    Ana, This is the second of your posts I’ve read and also enjoyed. I’m a movie watcher and I love the comparison and can totally see that “point of no return” identified as a point of panic and sweaty palms. I’ve had that recently too. I am now bookmarking ‘Wanted’ as my next to-see movie. Thanks for this!

  11. wehavethisnow
    March 16, 2014 at 8:56 am (6 years ago)

    Heck yes! We definitely all need a boosting, passionate, honest reminder to follow our Call to Adventure. I’ve found it’s key to act right on it when the passionate impulse shows up, before we are sucked back into the routine of every day life. And as Marie Forleo says, to start before we are ready. Ah but yes, as you mention, it definitely requires lots of courage and to constantly realign ourselves to our new vision as we let go of the mundane and of our past… Loved this inspiring article!

  12. Cathy
    March 16, 2014 at 3:04 pm (6 years ago)

    I love how you equate the call to adventure with that nagging sense of dissatisfaction we all feel.I have been called on my latest adventure – and I must say it is scary, but important. Taking that leap of faith is always the hardest part. Thanks for the reminder.

  13. Ana Verzone
    March 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm (6 years ago)

    Dig it!

  14. Ana Verzone
    March 16, 2014 at 3:37 pm (6 years ago)

    Brenda, I think it’s awesome that you know how to tap into God as your source of strength and courage! Knowing how to listen to however the source of true wisdom manifests as for you is a blessing. I agree that the adventurous route isn’t easy – in fact, I think it wouldn’t be a bonafide adventure if it was easy. I think that’s why we are all born with our superpower – to use during those times;) If you know what your “superpower” or gift is, please do share it here!

  15. Ana Verzone
    March 16, 2014 at 3:38 pm (6 years ago)

    You are so welcome, Lisa! If you’re open to sharing what your discovered your calling is, please feel free to do it here;)

  16. Ana Verzone
    March 16, 2014 at 3:41 pm (6 years ago)

    I LOVE your enthusiasm! I can feel that you get it;) Momentum can be so valuable – you are right: picking up where we left off if there is too much time in-between can make it so much more challenging. That’s why I try to encourage people to learn to trust their inner knowing and decide more quickly about certain things. Sometimes those amazing opportunities are only there for a glimpse, and we must seize them if it feels right. Indeed, acting before we feel ready is courage, and it is only in doing things scared or before we are ready that we begin to build true, sustainable confidence.

  17. Ana Verzone
    March 16, 2014 at 3:42 pm (6 years ago)

    Ooooh Cathy, I’d love to hear what that adventure is! And congrats for following the calling. Indeed, I feel I’ve learned NOT listening to the call is harder in the end…but sometimes it takes a while to figure that out;) Consider yourself blessed – and badass – for going for it!

  18. Valerie Khayat
    March 17, 2014 at 7:12 am (6 years ago)

    I love the quote you start with and that you end with ”You leaving harbor is always, always better – because THAT is what you are built for.” I think we all know when it is time to leave any harbour but it is often fear or wanting a guarantee before leaving that brings on hesitation but with a deeper trust as the wind in our sails we can do it. Positive message with a nice uplifting ending. thanks for sharing

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