I was recently having a conversation with a friend who sadly shared that her life was just a to do list devoid of any form of self-expression or meaning. She said – “I don’t have a calling” and more importantly how do I find something that fuels my self? I am already overwhelmed getting through my day.
She isn’t alone. I have myself said this at many times in my life and have heard so many people around me repeat this. One of the key reasons we don’t find and pursue our callings is because of some limiting beliefs that we hold about them that come in our way. Here are a few reasons that hold us back:
I must always know my calling
Big lie! Yes, some people know when they were five that they were meant to paint, write or work with animals but for most of us it is a twisted, winding and rocky journey. Real world responsibilities come in the way, we have bills to pay, soul crushing jobs that take up energy and we may lose track. But all these experiences can give us information and we learn a little more about what matters to us and who we are meant to be…
Lesson 1: It’s okay if you don’t know what your heart’s deepest desire or form of self-expression is. You are not alone. Keep taking steps and you will get closer to what matters most to you.
My calling must stay consistent
Another story I don’t agree with. Again, for some there is something magical about cooking 5 hours a day for 25 years. That’s amazing & inspiring but that doesn’t have to be your version of a calling. Your calling may morph and take a different form as your life evolves and changes but you will notice that the core essence – the underlying value, the feelings it generates, the joy it brings will likely stay consistent even though its external form may change.
For example, I loved, loved teaching yoga at a studio for several years but I stopped in my last trimester of my pregnancy, as I didn’t have much energy to give to my students on top of a full time job. Once Vivaan arrived, I deeply missed teaching but leaving him for 3 hours on a weeknight wasn’t aligning well with my other values. I made some changes on how to manifest my love for teaching, self-expression and community by hosting meditation groups at home and giving birth to this blog that allows me to have the same joy and impact but in a different medium.
Lesson 2: The core of your calling stays the same but its expression and form can change & evolve
I don’t have time or energy for my callings
This one is so common. I was really nervous when I launched my blog when I have a pretty full life and thought I was setting myself up for failure. 6 months later with only 17 blog posts and my first guest blog, I can happily say, I am glad I followed my heart and didn’t listen to my inner critic.
Here’s what I believe – Pursuing our callings have a uniquely remarkable way of recharging & refueling us and giving us the energy we need to get through our day. I am not saying that on days I write or connect with you, my laundry suddenly gets done (Ah, I wish that were the case) but rather I feel more content and purposeful in my day and that’s what brings me back to my journal and my word document. There is a time constraint for sure and I don’t write for 2 hours a day, every day but 2 hours a week is possible on most weeks.
If you feel that you don’t have 60 minutes a week or a few hours a month to do something that matters deeply to you (say in the next six months), it is time to take an honest look at how you are spending your time and what needs to change to create that time and space in your life.
Lesson #3: Our callings add meaning and purpose to our lives that gives more energy to everything else we have to do on our to do list.
My callings have to be GRAND
Your calling may be to open a food truck that serves your entire town or your calling may be to cook a simple meal every week for your family or even just yourself and they are both equally beautiful. We often trick ourselves to believing that if our dreams are not big and larger than life that they are trivial and not worth pursuing. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.
Every individual is different with unique dreams, desires and life circumstances. The world we live in makes us believe that everything that bigger is better (houses, cars, paychecks, etc) but that isn’t true. What matters is that your callings are yours and are coming from a place of self expression, meaning and authenticity and not the ego, habit or lack of awareness.
Lesson # 4: Callings come in all shapes and sizes and each one is unique and worthy of your love, care and nurture
I’ll continue this post next week as I have a few more things I don’t believe about your callings.
How about you? Which one of these most resonated with you and what are some of the ways you hold yourselves back?