“Whenever you do things from your Soul, you feel a river inside, a joy.” – Rumi
- Your calling often speaks through an intuitive hunch, a quiet voice. So. Listen. And wait for it. Getting a clear vision of your calling is like glimpsing a deer in the woods. If you go crashing about in the forest, you may never see a wild animal. If you sit quietly by a tree, still yourself, and open your eyes and ears, your chances of seeing a wild animal or channeling your own life’s purpose increases. What is frustrating for seekers is that finding your calling is the opposite of seeking. Your calling finds you.
- Fine tune your senses, for your calling is often like an underground river. In Let Your Life Speak, Parker Palmer writes of a person’s life purpose as an underground river which provides an invisible (and sometimes un-sensible) pull towards our own destiny. Detecting an underground river may mean being able to hear the whisper of water beneath soil. Or notice where a lush green line curves ahead with no apparent water source. Or follow a pull towards something that doesn’t quite “fit” with the path you’re on.
- Sometimes it’s hard to hear past the noise of our thoughts, or the imperatives of the world around us. We live in a time of political, social, economic, and ecological imbalance for the whole of humanity. In the necessary movement towards equity, justice, and sustainability of future generations, the impetus for success in our work can feel like a heavy lift. This is where listening in, and past the “should’s,” can be literally life saving. Your life’s calling is to do what gives you sustenance and joy while making the kind of impact for collective betterment that only you can make.
- When your calling finally lands, your first response will probably be, “That’s too big. Who do I think I am?” If your first reaction is, “That’s crazy!” you’re probably on the right track. If you can get over how big your calling feels (or even if you cannot), and just keep taking the next step, you’ll be on your path. If you find yourself thinking, “I’m x-years-old, or I’ve got zero experience in x, so there’s no way this is my calling,” don’t get stuck there. Just keep taking the next step. Good things will come.
- Even when you’re on a path, find a daily way to tune in, so that you can continue to follow the course of your river. If you hear the call to go East, you may put all of your attention on going East. But a commitment to your calling is also a commitment to practicing practices that invite you stay in tune with yourself. You might follow the river East for a very long time, and then realize that it is time to go South. Or stop and finally make camp.
- Find a community to support you as you find and follow your calling. It will make you braver to be in community. Rockwood’s trainings give leaders the tools and space to hear their callings in the company of people whose callings are just as large as theirs. They go back out into the world bolstered, buoyed and brave. And when they feel scared, or small again, they can reach out to that community and someone will remind them, “Don’t back away from your purpose. We need you.”
How are you listening for your calling?
Find the space to hear your calling at one of our upcoming Art of Leadership trainings.