I once saw a wonderful quote that said; “If you have never left the safety of the harbour, I’m not going to come to you for sailing lessons.”
What I loved about this quote is that it very much points to our own personal inner journey, using the metaphor of the navigation of unknown territory. As a sailor, I relate!
It’s fair to say that for many of us, starting something new, taking risks in life and making a significant departure from our usual routines can feel scary and unsettling. We may hear those calls like a quiet and constant longing, but the lure and seduction of the familiar in these moments often becomes incredibly attractive to us.
It’s at this point that we often rapidly begin to convince ourselves of all the reasons why it is foolish, a mistake, something we should have outgrown, or perhaps irresponsible to follow that call. Our conditioning and programming suddenly occupies the forefront of our thoughts, and the mind dominates over the language of the heart. But what would it feel like to imagine a life lived where we have never taken any risks? What would it feel like to arrive at our retirement age knowing that we perhaps denied ourselves the opportunity to step fully into our greatness and potential, that we have allowed ourselves to be driven by fear of the unknown?
So let’s imagine for a moment that we are going to listen to the call.
What do you imagine you may need for yourself in order to build some resilience and determination? How can you build resilience that will support your dreams rather than squash them. How do you develop determination that will seek allies to strengthen it, rather than allowing the mind to dampen it?
As I start to write that, I can feel a sense of excitement building in my gut! The body often knows way more than the mind. It responds to those calls to adventure from an instinctive, open hearted and natural place. It responds from the innocence of the inner child, the one who remembered how exciting it was to dream and believe that those dreams were completely possible; and what if they are?
As we embark upon the second phase of our Hero’s Journey, assuming we’re going to respond to that call, we need allies and support networks who will reinforce the knowing that it’s important to follow our dreams, not to allow ourselves to be swayed by the limiting beliefs of others who may have failed in the pursuit of their own dreams, or perhaps who have never even tried.
Often, the concerns of others come from a genuine place of wanting us to be stable, secure, and safe in the world, but the sense of what may provide that stability and safety from their perspective may not be relevant to your life, so how do you seek out the people who will support you?
For me I find communities of practice where I can prioritize my personal sense of truth, ethics and values. I learn how to build up those supportive networks all around me, so that by the time I am ready to tell others about my dreams and intentions, I know that I can do that with confidence, and my dreams won’t suddenly deflate when meeting somebody else’s opinion about what’s best for me.
It seems fair to say that we all have similar basic human needs for love, shelter, support, connection, and fulfillment in life, but what we also need to consider is that how that looks for one person can be vastly different to how that looks for another.
Are you ready to leave the safe harbour of the familiar?