This has been one of the more difficult weeks for me in the course. I’ve felt emotional, anxious, and even have had some physical symptoms come back which I had thought I’d gotten rid of. It’s been very strange.
I think it was last week (or maybe the week before) where Mark started talking about the Hero’s Journey in earnest, but more particularly about the phenomenon of refusing the call.
You see the diagram to your right, and the little guy at the top there? He gets a call (like every story hero does), but at first he refuses it. It’s not convenient, it’s too cold or hot or late or early or would cause him (or her) to get dressed up or get dirty. It’s just not going to happen.
But then, like I mentioned before, something happens, and off you go into your journey.
Something that I find interesting about the talk about refusing the call at this late date is the implication that we haven’t STARTED our Hero’s Journey yet. Which is kind of blowing my mind here, seeing as a lot of really cool things have happened so far.
But it occurs to me that there’s a point in time where you pass from what you know to what you don’t know (sort of like Sam Gamgee in the field there with Frodo). If you take one more step, you’ll be so far out of your comfort zone that you’re in the truly unknown, and you can feel it.
You could take that step, or you could refuse the call, turn around, and go home.
I think that this is where I’ve been this week.
You see, I’ve been getting all these signals from the universe over the past couple years or so, which can be summed up beautifully in this one:
And this, as it turns out, is the “threshold guardian” that I’ve had to fight this week (and it was a hell of a fight): Do I value myself or do I not? Am I worth taking steps to assert my right to make a living from my business, or do I retreat and write my passion off as a loss, or do I start giving excuses for why my ALL businesses are not doing well, or at best barely breaking even, like I have done so many times before?
I hadn’t really thought about the whole “threshold guardian” part before I started writing this, so I decided to look the term up just now.
The term “Guardian of the Threshold”, often called “dweller on the threshold” indicates a spectral image which is supposed to manifest itself as soon as “the student of the spirit ascends upon the path into the higher worlds of knowledge”… The Guardian of the Threshold is a spectral figure and is the abstract of the debit and credit book of the individual. “It is the combined evil influence that is the result of the wicked thoughts and acts of the age in which any one may live, and it assumes to each student a definite shape at each appearance, being always either of one sort or changing each time” (wikipedia)
A figure or event that tests the resolve of a Hero as he pursues his destiny and/or his goal. The Guardian is not necessarily adversarial, but puts the hero in a position where he must make a decision that reflects a sincere commitment to the task at hand, by providing a threat or bar to progress that the hero must specifically choose to overcome. In simpler terms, the Threshold Guardian exists to make sure the Hero is prepared for his adventure … Whatever form the Guardian and his challenge take, their defeat forces the hero to grow; heroes that are not yet ready for their journey are forced to turn back until they have matured sufficiently to handle the task … A hero may have more than one encounter with Threshold Guardians during his adventure — each one tests him and at the same time heralds an escalation of the danger (and consequent reward) the hero faces. (tvtropes, emphasis mine)
Reading this over makes me laugh, because this is exactly how I’ve been feeling.
The universe is calling. I can feel it. You can feel it, if you stop long enough to listen. But before you stands something that you have to overcome, and to you it’s something really truly big yet unavoidable. Once you overcome it, you can step over the threshold into the unknown.
For me, it involved summoning the courage to tell 300+ people that my community was going to a paid membership model, instead of hiding behind some sort of faux nobility and settling for staying broke — because I decided that I do value myself.
For you it will certainly involve something different.
Did I overcome it? I think so. I spent all day yesterday preparing, and I actually enjoyed that part … so I’m thinking that the actual overcoming was somewhere after a talk I had on the phone with my mastermind partner Leanne, where I was in tears about the whole thing. Somewhere in there, I decided what needed to be done.
So I guess I’m in the unknown. It feels sort of fun here. 🙂