How Visceral Emotions Can Creatively Shatter Our Fearful Armour

My last post about John Hagel blowing my mind reminded me of something that I’ve been noticing over time as a reoccurring pattern.

Deep visceral emotions seem to awaken my mind and create a cascading effect of connected thoughts that help me to see this bigger picture of my life’s work within my mind.

But it doesn’t have to be something I’ve read creating these emotions, it can be anything. For example, I could be watching a movie and there could be a poignant emotional scene within it and it can strike a chord within me that suddenly helps me to see and realize something that I hadn’t noticed before in my work.

Sometimes these realizations are fully understandable but other times they can be metaphorical in that they intuitively communicate a deeper meaning of my work as a metaphor which I have to figure out on my own.

For example, there’s an emotional scene in the movie Man of Steel where his father tells him, “You could be the bridge between two peoples.” This eventually helped me to realize that often times I feel like I’m stuck in the middle and I can’t go forward or backwards. But I’m not actually “stuck.” I’m where I’m naturally supposed to be. I’m actually a bridge between two domains of knowledge that I’m trying to bring together to create something new (i.e. vertical development & MMORPGs) that our world greatly needs, a new way of being and living.

But what kills these emotions and synchronous connections are fear. Fear pushes us back and causes us to retreat from what what we love. But as Brené Brown noted, it also deadens and numbs our emotions in the process. Thus when I’m fearful, I can go through stretches of time where everything feels hollow and empty, even boring. But then something emotional slices through that fear, like a sword of truth slicing through armour, and I awaken again, feeling deeply about the work that I love.

It’s funny. When fear strikes us, it can feel like a fear of dying. But it’s actually not. It’s actually a fear of living, a fear of changing, growing, and evolving into something much more than we can conventionally understand in the present moment, which is why it seems so scary to us.

By Nollind Whachell

Questing to translate Joseph Campbell's Hero’s Journey into The Player’s Handbook for The Adventure of Your Life, thus making vertical (leadership) development an accessible, epic framework for everyone.

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