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What is My Calling?

By Teresa Proudlove
Posted Wednesday, February 23, 2005

“What is my calling?” Do any of us really have complete clarity about our life calling? Even those of us with the knowingness we must teach, write or sing may often ask, “What direction am I to go, now?” How do we answer these soulful questions?

Richard Bolles, author of “What Color is My Parachute?” and the granddaddy of the employment industry says, when people are asked what they would like to do they often respond with “I don’t know.” Bolles maintains this is because people interpret the question to be “What am I going to do with the rest of my life?”

This question is too big, too daunting, immobilizing people. Instead, remind yourself that the career journey is much like driving a car in the fog. Sign posts arrive at the crossroads and we can reach our destination despite the fog. Instead of worrying ourselves with not having the answer to our career/path questions (that perhaps, can only be revealed as we grow into them) what if we simply looked for the slender threads?

Slender Threads at Work

As Robert Johnson, says in “Balancing Heaven and Earth,” slender threads are about “being in a particular place at just the right time, meeting someone who steers you in an unforeseen direction, the unexpected appearance of work or money or inspiration just when they are most needed… Whether called fate, destiny or the hand of God, slender threads are at work… weaving the remarkable tapestry of our lives.”

Tuesday morning I wrote in my journal, “If we had the money to retire right now with all of our needs abundantly met for life; what would I be doing with my free time? How would I enjoy contributing?”

That very night I ‘happened’ across an interview with Alanis Morissette on Much Music. Strangely enough, I watch little TV, dislike what I’ve glimpsed of Much Music, and I do not listen to Alanis Morissette’s music. Yet, quickly captured by Alanis’s words, I watched the one hour interview with her which helped clarify my longing for more direction in my career. Ah, slender threads at work!

Alanis attributed her enormous success to her willingness to be as transparent and authentic as she possibly can. By freely expressing herself, her truths – however frightening and humbling – Alanis said she gives people the courage to freely express their selves.

By accepting all aspects of her self including “the good and the bad,” Alanis spoke of how she has become more integrated, whole, and authentic. She is comfortable in her own skin. Being whole – with all of our short-falls is so much more freeing than working hard to always look good. Through allowing her self to be wholly alive and authentic, Alanis spoke of learning to love the human condition and having compassion for us all.

Closely living this transparent, authenticity resonates deeply in my soul. It is here we are our most vulnerable, compassionate and real. It is here we learn to trust who we are. What a precious reminder for all of us to follow our own authentic self and inner truth.

You Know Your Truth

When Alanis was asked how she comes up with song-writing ideas, she said she rereads her personal journals to find her truth and direction. What a pearl – however simplistic. We can all reconnect with our truth, our calling and direction through revisiting our journals. If you do not write a journal now would be good time to start.

Alanis inspired me to re-read my journal and the ‘theme’ of my life was readily apparent. My constant quest for a deeper understanding of myself, the human condition and of God is always there. Clearly, this lifeblood of mine must be the foundation of all that I do.

By looking deeply within at our own truths we can uncover our direction. We know it in ourselves if we would but nurture the expression of it rather than squelching it or adamantly sticking with, “I don’t know.” And yes, sometimes it does help to talk to the right person who can reconnect you with what you already know.

Trust that you do know what you want to do – even if it does not seem readily apparent. That’s O.K. Just begin by giving yourself the freedom to express your inner desires, dreams and fears by journaling everyday. Without judgment, allow yourself to write and think about what you enjoy doing, or would enjoy doing, if you had the money, time, education, experience, fill-in-the-blank.

Through these simple acts of trusting ourselves, listening to ourselves, and looking for the slender threads weaving our lives we nurture the relationship with our deeper self. Herein, we learn to reconnect with our inner truths and find the path to our calling.

About the Author
Teresa Proudlove has been inspiring, supporting, and guiding over 3000 people upon their lifework path for over fourteen years - with compassion and heart. Visit Teresa at (http://www.yourlifework.com); listen to your inner guidance and navigate through life and work with more acceptance and peace.