The notion of a personal calling can feel elusive. Especially considering the commitment we have to others. We are committed to the company we work for. We are committed to make certain the bills get paid. We are committed to societal and family norms. How much time do we even allow ourselves to consider our personal calling? Let alone, take the steps to discover it. We ALL have a calling. It might not be as elusive as it appears.
There is a good chance that you know your personal calling. The challenge is, you don’t believe. We are burdened with so many contractual commitments. Some are actual contracts e.g. job, but others are unspoken – yet clear. When we are growing up, we idolize people and/or professions. Little children, will say that they want to be a construction worker. As we get older, more influences penetrate our commitments. Our teachers, parents, friends are quick to make bold statements about what we should do with our lives — in the interest of security or to follow family tradition.
I watched a video today that was narrated by Alan Watts. He asks his students, what would you do with your life if money was no consequence? This is an excellent way to begin a personal calling assessment. When we start with the ‘safety-path’, we will forever pin ourselves there. This is exactly what I did with my life, both professionally and personally. It did not serve me well. I had head aches almost daily. I found it very difficult to find any happiness in my life. Physical and emotional messages like these are our body telling us what our mind will not believe. I wedded my decisions. The wedding was far more absolute than the messages were.
Between age 24 and 40, I lived my life in the pain that only manifests with dishonesty. If I was honest with myself, I wouldn’t have gotten married. I wouldn’t have followed my sister to college. I wouldn’t have stayed in a position that didn’t suit me.
I’m 40 and have just begun to live my personal calling. It’s important to dig deep and discover our personal calling at any age, but if you are younger, this doesn’t have to be your journey. You can choose to access your choice-points earlier in life as they come up. Imagine living your personal calling from early in your adult life? I can say that my life would have looked and felt very different. I would have always been comfortable with my choices. Instead, I numbed myself on the outside and lived in constant pain on the inside.
What, then, can we do to align ourselves with our personal calling as early as possible in life? The first step is being aware that you have a personal calling. Below is an exercise that will guide you to discover yours.
Personal Calling Discovery
Sit down in front of your computer, take a deep breath. Hold it for a few seconds and let it out slowly.
In a blog post* answer the following questions. What if money had no consequence? What if outside influence had no consequence? What would you choose to do? Write your answers as they come. Don’t worry about how little or how much you are writing. Just continue until you are finished with these thoughts.
In the same blog post* transform the “want to do” into a holistic personal calling. Please include your ethics, values and priorities. Just write until you feel you’ve covered everything.
In the same blog post* answer the following questions. What changes do I want to make in order to begin on the path to my personal calling?
In the same blog post* please answer the question, what is my first step? Just consider your next step.
Continue this process until you have realized your personal calling. Don’t give it a time limit, but try not to put it off. Your relationship with your life deserves your attention.
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With love, Amanda