About 15 years ago, shortly after I was ordained, I attended a seminar titled “What Is Your Calling?” It was facilitated by an author named Gregg Levoy. I went reluctantly; a command performance if you will, thinking I already knew what my “calling” was. Had I not left my job and my home and traveled to the middle of the country to attend Seminary? I was an ordained minister. Certainly that was proof of my calling.
Wrong. What I learned in that seminar and what has directed the course of my life ever since, was that my calling has absolutely nothing to do with my vocation or any of my avocations. My calling is an internal mandate that I came here with when I was born, and that I can perform anywhere, anytime with anyone regardless of how I earn my living.
The seminar was actually an exercise in deep soul writing, although that’s not what Gregg Levoy called it. Throughout the day, he asked a series of probing questions which we answered by just letting whatever came to mind or heart express through fast, free-flow writing. I don’t remember the questions but the answer to me at the end of the day was very clear. I came to planet earth to remind people, all people who cross my path, that God loves them. Since that time, I have weighed all of my significant life choices against that calling. If what is trying to distract me doesn’t support my calling, it isn’t a good choice for me.
Gregg Levoy is still offering seminars, and if you’re interested in hearing him present, you can Google him. He is a former New York Times reporter and a very interesting man. Or – you can read his book titled “Callings – Finding and Following an Authentic Life”. In it he explores the “callings” of many people, and offers examples of ways that they discovered what drives in the direction of a most fulfilling life.
Most people, if they haven’t already uncovered their calling, or purpose, or passion or internal mandate want very much to find it. Some discover it early, like Ricky Roberts III, who founded the public service agency “You are Valued”, and devotes his life to reminding people that they are indeed a very valuable piece in Spirit’s vast eternal puzzle. His interview a few months ago with our publisher, Tracey Kern, speaks to that calling: http://consciousshiftcommunity.com/meet-ricky-roberts-founder-of-you-are-valued . Others are still searching for their special purpose or calling way into the later years of their life.
You have always had clues. What games did you play as a child? I was a writer or a reporter from the time I learned to write. For years I published, with pencil and plain white paper, a family newspaper for which I interviewed family members and reported real life events. A gentleman I heard talking about his calling recently said that he had always wanted to be a choir director, and when he was little and he couldn’t get his friends or brothers and sisters to sing for him, he lined up cans of beans and soup on the kitchen counter and directed them. It seems that our callings were clear to us when we were born, but – life can be distracting and we tend to forget.
Another book that might help awaken the calling within you is “The Path”, by Laurie Beth Jones. Laurie is a corporate writer who helps major companies develop their “Mission Statements”. You won’t find “The Path – Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and for Life” in the self-help book department. You’ll find it in the corporate planning section. It is her premise that most mission statements, corporate or personal, are way too long, too wordy and too meaningless. She maintains that a true mission statement should be thoroughly understandable to a twelve-year-old child and it should be short enough and memorable enough that you could repeat it if someone was holding a gun to your head. In “The Path”, Laurie also offers a series of questions for you to ask yourself and several lists of words to scan and glean from to help you identify your personal mission statement or calling.
Here’s the thing about callings. If you feel balanced, content, satisfied, filled, in general, with a sense of well-being, then you don’t need to go on this particular quest. You’re already following your calling whether you use that name for it or not.
But – if the pieces of your life don’t seem to quite fit and you’re vaguely dissatisfied much of the time, perhaps you would benefit from following the path to your personal calling, because it’s very probable that whether you are calling for it or not, your calling is calling for you.
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