Of course, on any adventure worth hearing about, challenge is part and parcel of the journey. A lot of people, or rather us in our old lives, would refer to ‘challenges’ as ‘problems’, or something that we simply wished didn’t have to happen. But, just like Luke must contend with the forces of evil, and Bilbo must face down the dragon if they hope to become better, wiser and more powerful, we too had our fair share of dragons to face if we knew we ever going to get the treasure. Our dragons came in the face of some of the following, to name a few… financial strife, serious illness, existential crises, consistent challenges involved in shifting one’s attitude about the world, and what is possible within it. The obvious challenges that arise from trying to improve your life. It’s not a walk in the park, nor should it be, because maybe then it wouldn’t be worth all that much.
Maybe that’s why the great scholar of mythology, Joseph Campbell, advised us to ‘follow your bliss’, but later reconsidered his wording and said he should have stated, ‘follow your blisters’, as that would perhaps be a more fitting description of the hero's journey, which is likely to challenge you to your very core. In other words, in order to get the gold, you’ve gotta’ face the dragon. It’s the very meaning implied in the phrase no mud, no lotus.
The dragon in this instance being a fancy metaphor for everything that was holding us back; insecurity, confidence issues, fear of the future not working out - all of the classic stuff common to human beings. I suspect some of you are thinking, but why? Why the flip would you say yes to something like that? Well, maybe because saying yes to the adventure, although undoubtedly challenging, is actually the least painful thing you can do. Does that sound paradoxical? Maybe it does, but perhaps if we think about it like this... What’s more painful? Experiencing the inevitable challenges that life throws at you in the life you want to be living, or have to face all of the inevitable challenges of life within a life that feels so alien and un-you that you can barely get out of bed on a morning. How are you going to face those challenges from that place? Surely that would be a thousand times harder. Thankfully, we might never realise just how hard that could really get. Personally however, I’d feel some semblance of how hard it could be every Sunday night, where I’d dread the working week ahead, never mind the unexpected challenges that life can throw at you on top of that. That's 5 days out of 7 every single week that I wished just wish would go away, even when things were otherwise going well. For example, no serious illness to contend with, no deaths in the family or any other manner of tragedy that can, do & will occur in life.
Maybe we could put it like this... though, don't take this to be preachy or self-helpie. When we say 'you', we're speaking to the general, all-inclusive you, which really is us speaking of ourselves, and by implication, everyone else, if that makes sense. We're in no means telling people how they should live their lives - just what has worked for us, and what really seems to work for others. So with that said, maybe it's something like this: When you're living your life, even the hard parts feel like they’re meant for you. They feel appropriate, they make sense, they fit in to the story of you. They’re challenges, but they’re yours, and you can see how they’re inviting you to be better in a way that makes sense, if your life was a story, which of course, it is.
And maybe that’s basically right. Because the journey unfolded (or is unfolding) in a manner a lot like that.
Perhaps that’s where the new website is sort of symbolically relevant. It’s cleaner, better, more reflective and more appropriate to who and where we are, as a business, as filmmakers, as friends, as individuals. It’s a symbol of what we’ve been through, and who we’ve become as a result. It’s more refined, like the smooth stone you find on the beach that is so smooth because it’s had the hell beaten out of it by the powerful force of the ocean. How’s that for a metaphor, eh? EH.
Perhaps this post runs the risk of becoming an autobiography, so we’ll leave it there. Though, I reckon we’ll sum up with a quote from the philosopher, Terence Mckenna, for those we might be toying with heeding their own call to adventure...
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it's a feather bed.”
Have you, or do you plan on heeding the call to adventure in your life?