Mary Oliver once wrote, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
In 2018, Forbes published a Conference Board report showing that 53% of Americans were unhappy with their jobs. Enter COVID-19, and the Congressional Research Service documented that unemployment rates peaked at almost 15% in April 2020, plateauing at around 7% in December 2020.
Pre-pandemic, over half of the population was unhappy with their professional lives, and present pandemic, nearly one out of every five people is without his or her livelihood. These statistics are disheartening on one hand, and at the same time shows there is opportunity for many people to realign their life with a deeper part of themselves – their soul.
I’m passionate about this subject because I know what it’s like to live out of alignment with my soul and I also know that in the darkest of times we are often given our best opportunities to reconnect with our true selves, to get clear on what our soul is calling us to do and to finally say yes to that calling. This was my story.
Years of unrest and dissatisfaction from denying myself and my inner callings began to take a toll. This downward spiral eventually culminated in breast cancer and the end of my marriage. These jolting events awakened and inspired me to reconnect with my true essence, to not only connect with my callings but to always honor them. It was my gift to rise in my Radiance. The changes and resulting joy, peace, and fulfillment have been astounding (yes, even amidst the turmoil of a pandemic).
So that’s why I want to talk to you about soul callings: what they are, how they show up in our lives, how to evaluate them, and what it means to pursue them. Because COVID-19 forced us to get off the treadmill of life, we have been gifted with the opportunity to question our commitments, priorities and overall lifestyles that we were living before being told to shelter in place. Regardless of any obstacles or trials you are currently experiencing, I wholeheartedly believe that when you get clear on what is calling to you, when you say yes to it, and when you pursue it from a place of trust, your life will change in amazing ways.
What is a Soul Calling?
A soul calling, simply stated, is something that your soul is asking of you. It can be something you are being asked to do or it could be something you are being asked to be. It boldly proclaims, “You have to do this!” It is not something you question. You know in your bones that you are compelled to act on this message. Whether or not you act on it is up to you, but there is no denying the power of the call that resides internally within you.
Bringing the callings to life are part of the path to living your purpose, feeling fulfilled, and experiencing Radiant Achievement. Callings are not fluff. They are an essential part of your journey.
You don’t decide your calling; it has already chosen you.
You have not done anything special to “get” them; they are simply there. You are born with them deep, deep, inside you. They are the seeds of your Radiance and, ultimately, your fulfillment. At the highest level, when you say “yes” to your callings, you are committing to live your fullest life.
How do Soul Callings Show Up in Our Lives?
Our soul is coded with our callings but we must be open to hear, see, feel, and know them. Soul callings can and will show up in different ways for each of us. Here are some key ways callings can present themselves:
- Some people experience their callings as a knowing. I knew I was going to move away from the midwest, and that I would someday write a book. I never thought about how or why I knew this, I just knew it was true.
- Callings can also show up in our gifts, talents, and natural instincts. Many artists showed a natural talent at a young age and this talent turned into a lifelong calling to express themselves through their art. I recently watched Anatomy of a Male Ballet Dancer which is the story of Marcelo Gomes’ career. He definitely experienced a calling for ballet! He is an amazing, gifted, committed, passionate dancer who continues to inspire others through his dance and choreography.
- Often callings are just a whisper – a message we hear over and over again ever so softly. The voice is so small it can often be discounted. But, the whisper never goes away, even after many years. One of my favorite hashtags to use in social media is #itsnevertoolate. If you are still hearing a whisper, even 30 or 40 years later, the calling is still alive in you.
- We can connect with our callings in other subtle ways such as through an interaction with a stranger at the grocery store or a word or number that repeatedly finds its way into our everyday life. The words, thoughts or feelings in that moment can awaken our calling, can ignite the flame.
- Callings can show up in our dreams or through meditation, walking in nature or any time where we are still and relaxed. It’s often in these moments of non-thinking that our inner self can be heard.
- Lastly, callings can also come to us through intense events such as the loss of a family member or a medical diagnosis. In these cases, the knock on our metaphorical door can be so loud that we simply have no choice but to respond. This was definitely the case for me.
How Do We Evaluate Our Soul Callings?
Most of us have been trained to be critical thinkers. This habit and skill can unfortunately impact how we view our callings. Our logical brain wants to make sense of things and, oftentimes, our callings will not make sense from a logical perspective. It is critical that we avoid judging our callings in any way. To push aside a calling because you deem it “too small” simply impedes your ability to receive more – potentially, higher commitment – callings. You could feel a voice within you calling you to take an art class or take a vacation and you may immediately discount these callings for logical reasons like a lack of talent or time (which isn’t true). To ignore this voice and let logic win over, weakens your intuitive muscle for the next calling that wants to come through.
Like snowflakes, we are all unique beings. Your callings will never match up in perfect unison to someone else; therefore, your job is to heed to your internal call, not to judge or compare your call in any way, whether that be size, type or in relation to what others are doing.
How Do We Step into Inspired Action?
When you say “yes,” to a calling, it magnifies your inner-listening skills and empowers you into inspired action. Begin to follow the breadcrumbs your intuition gives you… one step at a time. Be OK not having it all figured out. Our callings test us and we may wrestle with the Paradox of Choice when it feels as if there are so many things to do to perfectly answer our calling.
My advice: Done is better than perfect.
Read that again. You don’t have to answer a call perfectly. You simply need to start. And you start by taking one small step forward. Today. Step out in faith that you have everything you need to bring your calling to life. Yes, while you may need to learn some things, and let go of other things, know that the seed of this calling is part of you and your purpose.
My fellow soul traveler, is there something that has been pressing on you as of late? Did the landscape of 2020 dramatically shift your priorities and expectations? Is there something that you continue to brush off with a variety of excuses, yet it simply will not stop speaking to you?
It goes without saying that 2021 will be the year that we define our “new normal.” You will be given the choice to re-join those old statistics of dissatisfaction, or you can opt in to co-creating a radiant existence by tapping into your soul.
Callings are your unique gift to bring to the world; they open you up for fulfillment, joy, growth, contribution, and impact. They give you purpose inside this one wild and precious life. I challenge you to say “yes.”
I have a video where you can watch more on this topic here.