I remember feeling tortured when I had to pick a college major–I was so unprepared to decide my future at 17 years old. I was a high school senior and was more interested in playing basketball than I was in determining my fate for the next 4 years, possibly longer. My parents were pushing hard for business school (“Everything is a business, Stephanie!”) and I wasn’t feeling particularly excited about it.
Deep down we all yearn to find our purpose or ‘our thing’; before we find it (and even after) it’s a confusing journey that takes us through many moments of starts and stops. I always knew part of my call was creation of some kind–painting, collage, photography, writing–I just never knew how to incorporate it into my everyday life. All I knew was if I was expressing myself in a creative way, my heart was singing; but it always seemed like a background noise more than a blaring fog horn. Weren’t calls supposed to be really obvious? I realized some people’s path are more clear than others.
We all have a calling–whether it’s to be a chef, an ice sculptor or a really great dog groomer–we all have something that beckons to our deepest desire. If you haven’t found your calling yet, don’t fear. Here are a few things that may help you recognize it:
1) “What you seek is seeking you” -Rumi. That man was a genius way before his time! He’s basically saying that the yearning you have? It’s something that is looking for you–even if you don’t know what it is yet. That pull towards something is a sign that your heart is being summoned. Explore, experiment and keep searching.
2) Notice the pockets of pleasure. By nature we seek pleasure; in that pleasure is the key to finding your path. If you struggle with math, that’s probably not your calling. If you feel blissful when you’re cooking, that’s probably closer to what you’re looking for. (But you new that already, didn’t you?)
3) Don’t overthink it. People throw around words like “destiny” and “fate” and get all preachy about what they’re supposed to be doing. Don’t go cuckoo trying to figure things out, just follow your gut and give something a try. When you act from your heart rather than your brain, you can’t go wrong (and it usually feels pretty right!) You may find when you open your mind to different options, the universe starts laying them at your feet.
4) Forget what everybody thinks and be the boss of you. Everybody, and I mean everybody has an opinion on what you should be doing. But guess what? They’re not living your life. When you start to follow what you think your calling may be, people may think you’re weird, crazy or impractical; never mind them. Follow your gut–let them make their own life choices and you make yours.
5) Give in to it. It sounds simple, but a lot of times we feel the pull and ignore it because we think it’s impractical or it can’t be done. That line dancing you like to do? It’s part of your path–and guess what? The fact that you love to do it means it’s not going anywhere. So you can choose to work with it and find a way to incorporate it into your life (yes! cowboy boots!) or you can mentally battle it forever. Your choice.
Finding your calling is not as difficult as it sounds, but it may come to you in different forms; be on the lookout.
I think it’s natural to feel unsure or tentative at first; the key is to follow the path and see where it leads. Life is like that–you just have to trust your gut, listen to the whispers and say yes.
Don’t stop there…