Adventurer: Someone who engages in hazardous and exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory
So, hey, question of the day…a very big day: have you ever thought of yourself as an adventurer? Are you one that faces challenge with a “heck, yes!” on your lips or more like a “oh nooooo!” with a side of the shakes? I realize it’s not that simple. Some challenging “adventures” show up in our lives unexpectedly and rock the core of our safety beliefs, while others we choose to take on because we have a drive to accomplish something new and daring. Either way, adventure is a part of life, whether we sign up for it or not, because, at some point, we will all face an “unknown territory.” So the really big question has to do with our relationship with the unknown.
Welcome to a month of focus on the Call To Adventure in the Hero’s Journey. It is the point where something happens that is frequently unexpected and always challenges our normal while handily introducing us to the unknown. The way we live, have relationship, believe in something, are attached to and/or have counted on is called into question. How we face and dance with this new unknown reality is a good indicator of how this whole adventure shakes out.
Take a moment and consider when your last foray into the unknown was. I mean, we have little unknowns everyday, like whether we will hit traffic at the wrong time or our daily walk will be rained out. But I mean a big unknown, like a job in jeopardy, waiting on a diagnosis after some iffy blood tests, the outcome of a rift in your relationship…or, yes, I’m going to go there…who will become the next president of the United States? Might as well not ignore this BIG unknown!
So, back to the question. What was the last big adventure that took you into the unknown and how did you face it? We’d love to hear! In the meantime, here are some handy things to remember when a new adventure shows up:
- Adopt a Beginner’s Mind: Be willing to simply not know what it all means. Not know the outcome, the way it will play out, the devastating impact, the blow by blow, etc., etc. We think we know because our safety brain takes over and says “I know how this goes, what this means, and I know it’s not good!” No, we don’t know that. We don’t know anything we think we know. Because, this is the unknown and by it’s very nature, it hasn’t revealed itself yet. And, what beliefs and fears we pile on will impact how it will play out. So, for now, the beginner’s mind. I practice saying “I truly don’t know what all this mean, so I’ll keep my mind open to all possibilities.” It helps.
- Embrace the Unknown: I know, I know, you probably want to throw something at me. But, my friends, facing the unknown is a fact of life. Actually, it’s so full of unknowns that we have normalized them by looking around and assuming if Jim and Suzie did it, so can we. But every new endeavor carries a high unknown factor…relationships, marriage, kids, career, money, etc. So, why not embrace it as part of life and go directly onto the next step…
- Look for the gift: Every time our normal is interrupted there is a huge opportunity for us to see and experience something that will change us, permanently, for the better. It doesn’t mean we ignore how hard the sucky middle of the face the unknown process. We are, after all, human and normally want to stiff arm change just to gain a modicum of control. A friend recently wrote that the word for gift in German means poison. Isn’t that wild? Really makes you think. Anyway, be on the lookout for the gift. There is one, trust me.
Thanks for listening. I’ll wind this up with a toast to light and love to you and a world that needs to remember what feels like. Tomorrow, no matter what happens, we wake up to a new adventure!