Answering the Call of Your Soul to Be an “Inspired Messenger”

Your soul is whispering its intentions to your conscious mind, encouraging you to step into your greatness and live the life you came here to experience. Have you heard the calls?

In my last note, I compared “The Hero’s Journey” to that of the “Inspired Messenger.” The Hero’s Journey is a pattern of narrative identified by the American scholar Joseph Campbell that appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious ritual, and psychological development. It is also a pattern we see in our own lives. We all experience the cycle of Departure, Initiation and Return.

Today I would like to explore more deeply how the “Departure Phase” may show itself in your life, especially as it relates to sharing your message or mission in the world. No matter where you might be on your journey, this is a cyclical or spiral pattern. You will continue to hear the call to step outside your comfort zone into the world of the unknown.

Campbell shares four stages within the “Departure Phase” of the Hero’s Journey, a “Call to Adventure,” “Refusal of the Call,” “Supernatural Aid,” and  the “Belly of the Whale.” It all begins with a “Call to Adventure.” In this stage you begin in a situation of normality and then receive some information that acts as a call to head off into the unknown.

One of my favorite modern day theatrical examples of the Hero’s Journey is the story of Neo in the movie, The Matrix. The story begins with Neo in his simple office cubicle receiving a mysterious call. Deep in his heart he recognizes the truth in the strange message he receives. His mind struggles to hold on to what he has always known to be “reality.” He is reluctant to follow his heart, especially when faced with potential danger.

I can certainly relate to being stuck in the doldrums of a life disguised by a safe and controlled environment, then being exposed to an alternative of adventure and uncertainty. It is quite natural to cling to what we know. This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold you in your current circumstances. I have experienced each of these.

As a father and husband, I want to be sure I am doing what is best for my family, without jeopardizing their well-being. Risk is inherent with being an entrepreneur. It is easy to second guess myself and feel inadequate. What if I am not enough? What if I fail?

These and other fears naturally lead to the next stage “Refusal of the Call.” My reluctance to follow my higher guidance kept me feeling trapped in a career that was not fulfilling to my soul for many years. Like Neo, I asked, “Who am I to achieve this grand mission?”

Eventually I could no longer deny the yearning of my soul. I made the leap into what felt like an abyss and entered the next stage of the journey. “Crossing the Threshold” is the point where you actually cross into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of your world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are not known.

Once I made the commitment to follow my vision, I received unexpected guidance to support me on my path. Like magic, synchronicity lead me from one teacher to the next learning just what I needed from each. As they say, when the student is ready the teacher will appear. Can you think of teachers, guides or experiences that have offered themselves to you, once you made a commitment to follow your dream?

Through the lessons offered by my mentors and my own experiences, I felt a huge shift in consciousness. After years of concentrating on my outward journey and the mechanics of building a transformational business, I found myself going deep within to face my inner demons of fear, limiting beliefs and self-sabotage. This stage, known as “The belly of the Whale,” represents the final separation from the hero’s known world and self. By entering this stage, you are demonstrating your willingness to undergo a metamorphosis.

I have spent most of my life focused on the light and avoiding the shadows.   Recently I learned that my what I considered to be my greatest strength, seeing the good in everyone and every thing, was also one of my greatest challenges. Knowing that, “Where focus goes, energy flows,” I believed that exploring the darkness could only lead to more darkness. While I was not ignorant to the “evil” in the world, I did not want to feed it. Now I am learning the incredible value of not only recognizing my own shadows and fears, but truly feeling them, appreciating them and exploring how they can guide me toward the light so that I may be a brighter beacon to others, especially to my family and to you!

Do you recognize any of these stages in your life now or in the past?

How have you grown from these challenges?

Please share your comments. Life is a team sport. I am grateful to be on this journey with you.