“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?
Unfortunately, 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!