At some level in their lives, everyone I know has issues with commitment. It might be a difficulty in settling into a relationship, or an inability to decide which major they want to stick to at university, or moving from job to job, or going from modality to modality in the self-transformation field, never settling, never finding. Think about it now. I guarantee there is some aspect of your life that you are not fully committed to. This blog will discuss the power of dedication, and it’s vital importance in the creative process.
Now diversity is an essential part of any life, and certainly always an opportunity for growth and development into the world, So I’m certainly not advocating a slavish devotion to a certain style or structure or lifestyle that precludes expansion into the world – but I do want to highlight the benefits of dedication, as an essential ingredient on the journey to self mastery.
Over the last few years I have become very aware of my issues with commitment, as well as my capacity for devotion and I have seen very tangibly the results that spring from these aspects of my consciousness. The simplest way to highlight my commitment issues is to say this:
For years and years I sought to have relationships with men who were essentially unavailable. It’s the old story: my daddy left me when I was two years old, so of course the pattern of absent men was repeated in my later life. The point I want to make here is that it was too easy for me to blame the men in my life for not having the balls, strength, power, etc. to commit, rather than notice that I was creating a situation where I never had to deal with my own commitment issues because theirs were always cropping up first, making it easy for me to be arrogant, and wander around griping about how there are no powerful men around. I’ve had some version of this conversation with so many women, but I refuse to have it any longer because I now realize that it is bullshit. There are plenty of really happening guys in the world – I just wasn’t meeting them, or even seeing them because at some level I wasn’t ready for the level of honesty, power and self-responsibility that they would require of me.
So two years ago I realized what was really going on with this dynamic – and I went on to have the most beautiful, fulfilling and transformative relationship of my life to date – and then you had better believe my commitment issues flared up massively. Now it was me who would have heart palpitations anytime my ex mentioned marriage, or children, or even next year. Now it was me saying things like “I just like it the way it is”, or “I don’t want to talk about this right now”, or “Can’t we just have fun?”
On the other hand, there are things that I have been extremely dedicated to in my life. For instance, I have made a deep study and practice of alchemy for the last 16 years. But even within my extreme commitment to my spiritual path – in the past I have always wavered.
There is a part of the hero’s journey (the symbolic story of the true pathway of human development), which is called “Refusing the Call”. This means when the hero knows his true destiny, or the true action that he must take, but he turns away from it, out of fear, or for some rational reason, or because he doesn’t believe in himself, or whatever.
An example of this is when Obi-Wan Kenobi says to Luke Skywalker “You must come with me to Alderaan…”, and Luke’s reply is:
“Nuh-uh, I have to take care of the farm. I can’t get involved.”
Joseph Campbell, the absolute expert in every aspect of the Hero’s Journey, says this of the Refusal of the Call:
“Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in boredom, hard work, or ‘culture,’ the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved….All he can do is create new problems for himself and await the gradual approach of his disintegration.”
Even throughout my intense study and practice of alchemy there have been many many times when I refused the call. This may have been quite literal, when I have walked away for years at a time, or more internal, where I may have stayed physically involved in magic, and seemed from the outside for all intents and purposes to be in it, but in truth, my mind was filled with doubt and questioning. “Should I really be doing this?” I would ask myself. “Is this the right path for me?”, “Will it lead to me having no skills in other areas and then not functioning powerfully in life?”
Now it is very human to have doubts, and one might think that they don’t really affect anything if you are still outwardly involved. But I can categorically say that this is not true. Whilst I questioned, I was not really in, and without really being in, I could not know the true benefits of being in. You cannot judge the magnificence of the experience of diving into the ocean waves by sticking a toe in the water. You cannot know the true power of what you are involved in until you fully immerse yourself in it.
And this is something I see in people. I see them trying to get a taste of their soul life, their true life, by trying a little piece of it, by testing the water as it were. What invariably happens when people do this is they simply get a greater sense of what they believe will happen when they go for their truth. They connect more deeply with the reason why not to go for it. Their fear increases, their doubts multiply, their mind presents all the rational reasons why it makes no sense. And so, in many cases people then give up on their truth, and go back to what is comfortable, safe in the knowledge that their truth cannot serve them really – not in the “real” world.
Recently I have given up on worrying about whether alchemy is true for me or not. I have given up on trying to make “deals” with the universe that will somehow guarantee me that I will be okay, that I will make enough money, that I won’t be laughed at if I pursue my passion. I have given up on waiting for it all to make sense. And I have given in, whole-heartedly to being in a business that has a massive dream: A dream of bringing light and magic to the entire world: A dream of instigating a Global Renaissance of Soul. And I cannot believe how energized I am – how excited I am about life – how passionate I am not just about magic, but dance, music, writing, theater, people, food, sex: you name it, if I love it, I’m in it, and pursuing it fervently.
Surrender is an incredibly powerful thing. And surrendering completely to what you love is the most beautiful, fulfilling and magical thing that you could ever do for yourself. There is no greater gift that you can give yourself or the world. And when you stop holding back – you can recognize the thing that you are passionate about for what it really is, and not what you imagine it to be from the outside.
Think about it like this: let’s say you are making love with someone. But your mind is elsewhere – you’re thinking about the dishes in the sink, whether others approve, or the list of things you have to do tomorrow. Most likely, the sex won’t be all that great. But how could you judge the potential of the connection that was available to you in that moment, with that person, based on the experience that you created by not really being there? Would you even be able to say that you have made love with that person? I don’t think so. You can’t be slightly pregnant. And you can’t be half in something. Don’t kid yourself. If you are half in something you’re not in it. It’s as simple as that.
The point is, that when you refuse the call of your soul you are actually robbing yourself of your power, and robbing yourself of the full experience of what your soul really is and what it can truly give you.
So many people think of what they will miss out on if they dedicate themselves to something they love. It will cost me time, or money, or if I’m in this relationship I won’t be able to be with that person, or if I buy this house I’ll be tied down, or if I commit to studying this for a time it will preclude me from learning other things, etc. etc. etc. But it’s just an excuse. It’s just a way to stay out of the true flow of your life. Because when you give in to your passion, you will find that it not only fulfills you at a level that is truly unbelievable, but it also gives you energy for all the other aspects of your life – rather than restricting you, it literally brings color and beauty and passion and delight to ALL of your creations.
If you don’t hear any other part of this article, JUST HEAR THIS: if you are standing on the edge of something, with your metaphorical toe in the water – then I promise you, I swear to you, that you DO NOT KNOW WHAT IT IS. You cannot know something from the outside. If you dive in, if you take the plunge, if you walk off the cliff into the wider mysterious “ocean” of your life – THEN you will know it, and you will look back at your old self, on the edge of the cliff, and laugh at your old fears; laugh at your old erroneous perception of what the “ocean” really is.
Mastery comes from full dedication. True freedom is not about getting away from things you don’t want. It is about the freedom to be fully involved in that which you do love. Dedication to your truth is the most truly freeing thing that I can possibly imagine. As Steve Jobs said, of going for what you love:
“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”
Wake up guys! Notice where you are refusing the call in your own life – and cut it out. Stop short-changing yourself. You are worth ever so much more than that. Don’t wait! Give in NOW to your passions, and let them guide you to the full magnificent life that is your absolute birthright.