Invisible Barriers to Living Your Best Life

At one point in Star Wars, Luke is training with Yoda strapped to his back.

They come to a cave. 

Yoda: “That place… is strong with the dark side of the Force. A domain of evil it is. In you must go.” 
Luke: “What’s in there?”
Yoda: “Only what you take with you.” 

Yesterday, I shared the Incredible Hulk — “I’m Always Angry” idea.

Just so we’re clear… I’m not always anything. And neither are you. At best we are the realization of potential flowing into the Universe. I’ll explain that much later, I hope you’re still around by then.

A word of caution: If you’ve not battled your Hydra a few times, you shouldn’t try to enter your inner most cave — nor should you make friends with your dark side. 

They will take over. You need to be battle tested, scared, and have a capacity to feel the tension of the void, or it will swallow you whole. 

So, let’s circle back around to this later, and get the MAP back out. 

3 Guarded Gates.

Steven Pressfield’s book War of Art discusses three predictable moments when the invisible force call “The Resistance” shows up to keep the Artist from living their calling.

This is Universal. 

Marked on The MAP as 

  • The First Threshold, 
  • The Refusal of the Return, and 
  • Third Threshold. 

The First Threshold
The reason you’ll start tomorrow
and tomorrow never comes.

When you push the edges of your comfort zone, the Identity knows what’s in store. 

Death. Pain. Trials and Tribulations. 

Here’s Joseph Campbell talking about crossing the first threshold and going into the belly of the whale…

The water motif — the subconscious

It’s why surfing became my metaphor, and why I Soul Surfer School became my creation.

What Campbell is saying… 

What I’m trying to show is, inside you lies a dormant and powerful force, it’s in the darkness.

One of these things happen when you cross the first threshold. 

  • The self falls to pieces and becomes fragmented until later when it’s resurrected

  • You kill the Dragon Power (but you have to drink it’s blood and absorb it’s power)

Fragmented and Unbroken

Ever feel fragmented? 

Like different parts of you are in a war. You want one thing, your actions create something else. You can’t seem to figure out who you are or be who you want to be. 

That’s normal — you’re not broken. Nothing needs to be fixed. You don’t need to protect anything. 

The summer of 2018, I rewatched the Bill Moyer Interview Series with Joseph Campbell and realized being broken is the first stage of being free. 

Once you get used to the tension of the void — you stop trying to fill the space in between your ears with speculations and fantasies. 

The less you identify with the stuff that comes from the abyss through you, the more you are able to create what you want to create.

Either path, as Campbell describes it, leads to the same thing

“Transcendence of your humanity and re-associate yourself with the powers of nature, which are the powers of our life, from which the mind removes us.”

The power of your creator

Listen to how Campbell describes the mind — a secondary organ of a total human being.

Your brain isn’t really running the show. It’s getting in the way of a much deeper and richer experience. You have to fight the impulse to put that secondary organ in control. 

Campbell further explains your brain “must submit and serve the humanity of the body.”

In other words… you are than your opinion of yourself. You are a magical journey unfolding on a moment to moment basis. You have the power of creation flowing through you. 

You have at your disposal the most valuable resource in the entire universe — Human attention and imagination. 

The Second Gate (Threshold) 

After you dive into the Abyss and get in touch with your Essential Self, it’s damn hard to want to go back and engage with the ordinary world. 

The Journey back home is sometimes more dangerous than the initiation. 

All sorts of events will make you lose what you’ve found. In many stories, we get some sort of magical flight to transport the hero back to the original realm. In others, they have to fight their way back and guard the treasure with their life. 

It’s damn hard to pressure test your newfound “zen” in the real world, but for it to be real. 

This manifests in our personal transformation as a frustration. “I feel really good on the Yoga mat, but I’m still raging in Traffic.” 

It’s easy to struggle and place some idealization on who you should be now that you’ve “found yourself’ — don’t fall for that trap. 

We humans are in a constant state of flux. Wishing it to be something else creates the wrong kind of tension. We in turn release that tension, and it never resolves itself properly. 

Third Gate to Cross

When we started this conversation, I showed you a drawing of a book about the Theory of Constraints. 

Theory of Constraints is a process of ongoing improvements that revolve around the bottlenecks in production. In manufacturing it’s common to measure all the wrong things, which leads to solving the wrong problems. When you simplify the goal and only measure Money in three different ways, then find your bottlenecks you optimize the “throughput” and balance production.

I use that as a metaphor. 

Pause. Get Stoked. Flow. 

Jump into the Abyss, tap into your creative process, and create something to share.

Define your throughput depending on your goal. 

Health. Love. Money. 

What do you want to create?

What would you create, if nothing was stopping you? 

Great. Write that down. Hold on to it. 

Tomorrow, we’ll unpack the “The ONE Rule” … not the ring that rules them all. 

If you have any questions.

Let me know. 

Love your face!

PS This post is part of a series about the Path of Transformation.

That series starts here.

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