For those who have taken mythology courses in school or have read a bit of Joseph Campbell, this diagram will look familiar. And for those who haven’t it should look familiar for another reason… It’s YOUR story… maybe.
I say maybe because not everybody accepts the call to adventure, that opportunity, that impulse, that voice in the back of the head that says ‘what if.’ And for those that heard the call and don’t practice answering it, something very sad happens.
The call becomes fainter and fainter, until it can’t be heard at all.
But as some have aptly said, “You don’t get the gold without the dragon.”
The dragon... that fear of failure, that pain so great that it can’t be survived, that pain that’s devastating to the soul, is real. It’s so fucking real that you’re right to be intimidated, and reasonable to stay back, to play it safe. As someone whose faced several dragons in my life, I wasn’t always sure if rebirth and revelation were in the cards for me, or if I was meant to die in the belly of the beast.
But if you’ve read my works before, or have been receiving my blogs a while, you know I tend to focus a lot on the bottom half of that hero’s curve – new skills for growth, death and rebirth, and revelation. But I don’t put much attention on ‘crossing the threshold,’ because by the time someone is face to face with new tools, they’ve already taken that step… but not always.
And I want to hit that today, because if you’ve read my last two blog posts – on standards, and on routine (they don’t sound sexy when I list them like that… hopefully they resonated) – then you might be thinking you got it. And you might be right. But, if you don’t got it, the reason likely resides in your understanding (or misunderstanding) of ‘the threshold.’
In the hero’s journey, which you can find in every blockbuster film ever made, something shifts in the hero’s life, something unexpected from which they can never merely go on about things as usual without that burning, unresolved itch.
Now the next phase ‘meeting a mentor’ may or may not happen in your journey or may come in any number of forms – a book, a youtube video, a ‘ahem’ newsletter. It isn’t a critical step, but it’s akin to Luke Skywalker meeting Obi Wan.
And then there is that step, that embodied decision from which one can never return. A physical, willful, and integrated movement into new space – crossing the threshold.
Bear with me, I’m talking about you. Not just Jedis.
Many underestimate this step. Many assume this step is synonymous with taking action. With trying something new. It isn’t.
Crossing the threshold isn’t merely a difference in degree – going from something in your life to a little more something in your life. It’s a fucking revolution. It’s a difference in kind. It’s something one can never return from, because they learn, instantly, upon taking that step that the world they knew was a fraction of the world that is. The veil is lifted. And the world that is…?
The world that is, is terrifying. There are fire breathing dragons of the highest order that will force you to do one of two things – crawl into the fetal position and accept your fate, or draw your goddamned sword and strike at the heart… and live or die a person whose will could not be broken.
To cross the threshold means a relinquishing of safety, security, and confidence. It means risking failure so that reward, so that growth, can manifest.
In that new world you’re exposed. You’re ignorant. You’re foolish.
This journey cannot begin on the sofa watching Netflix. It can’t be marginally different from what you’re used to, where you add a little bit more fitness but keep your beer drinking. Where you add five minutes of meditation but accept a toxic relationship in your life.
You don’t get the gold without the dragon.
And so today I pose a one-minute challenge:
Sit back, close your eyes, and see. This is your movie. You’re the lead. How does your story end?
What are the feelings? The blessings? The attributes? The friendships and family? The mind and body? – that mark the end of your journey.
Feel them. State them.
And now, ask yourself: What tools, friends or weapons will you need to get there? What level of mind-body fitness to weather the course?
Have you crossed the threshold required to get you there? Has your journey begun?
Consider this your call to action, but whether you hear it, whether you cross the threshold… that’s in your hands.
If your journey, as you envision it, could use new friends and weapons, mentors of a certain kind, a friendly reminder that the Weightlessness Process Spring Tribe registration closes today, the 15th of Jan. Reach out if your sword needs sharpening for the journey ahead. We slay dragons. BYOE (bring your own Ewoks).
Be weightless my journeymen (and women),