For fans of the hero’s journey, they will know all about the hero being called into action and how, after some debate, the hero will either answer or reject the call. But it’s not just in stories that calls are made. In real life we’re called to adventure all the time. That one small whisper telling us to write a book, to paint a picture, to leave our jobs and go traveling around the world. Or, it might not be a whisper. It might be a life-changing event. The death of a loved one, the loss of a business or a job or a dream. What seems like the worst time in our life can also be a turning point.
The real trick is deciding how to answer our calls.
Do we block them out with distractions, food, shopping, television, or we do we take a tentative step forward and march into a new act? For me it’s been a combination of both. The call to write a book came in a flash almost twenty years ago, and once the seed was planted I didn’t stop until I had my first publishing contract. But there have been other, more subtle calls. The call to teach other writers. The call to step out of my cave and promote my books–something that I still struggle with.
These calls are ones that I’ve had to half drag, half push myself into answering. And while I still try and sneak back to the safety of what I know, experience has taught me that ignoring them isn’t an option.
Because, we are never called to do something that we’re not capable of doing.
So, for anyone else who’s heard a call and tried to ignore it, my advice is to save yourself the time! The call will either get louder, forcing you to go to more extremes to ignore it, or you’ll get more unsettled and anxious at the gap between the call you’re feeling and the life you’re leading.
Plus, calls help ground us in the present moment. Answering a call forces us into the unknown, and it is through the unknown that our minds are forced to live in the moment rather than falling back on old habits, beliefs.
So, I’d love to know what calls you’ve answered lately…