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BEING TRUE TO YOUR CALLING

‘Great is the person who stays utterly true to what they most love: their calling.’

Da Vinci and pomegranates

This is what I thought to myself as I was talking with a friend the other day and he was recounting an episode of the TV series, Da Vinci’s Demons. Da Vinci is fascinated with drawing pomegranates despite the fact that Florence is under siege and he’s being pressured to design new weapons to defend the city. Instead, staying true to his obsession, and how the pomegranate seeds are arranged, led him to design the hand grenade, the perfect weapon against the Roman forces.

Uncompromisingly in the centre

Life-Purpose-10This is what makes one great:

The uncompromising pursuit of what most sings to you.

It is such an art to be – and stay – in the heart of this calling, right in the centre of it rather than off to the side or slightly outside it.

I also realised during this conversation that this is what I had done years ago – I began my journey but slightly off centre. I knew I wanted to change my career – I’d been in arts marketing for many years – and make a living doing what I was doing anyway, doing what I love.

What I love

I did an exercise from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way listing my three favourite films and the themes which I loved about them. The themes were love, relationships, intimacy, devotion and sex.

Instead of sitting with the flavour of these combined themes that was suddenly so tangible – feeling the essence of it and claiming it inside myself – my mind jumped to the conclusion: ‘I should do a Psychology degree to get a recognised accreditation for the experience I already have in this area’.

Resisting society’s current

This was society’s interpretation, a pre-fab mold in which to fit, an ‘acceptable’ or ‘valid’ way to execute my calling. But did it make my heart sing? No it didn’t. I wonder what would have happened had a stayed with the feeling of what I most love, that which moves me and trust this – let it grow from here, let it guide me?

Resisting the tide of society’s expectations, the ways others have done it before you, the well-trodden route – this is the pioneering challenge. To be so devoted to that calling within that it gradually comes to move you and show you the next step. This is what I want.

I am a Lover

heartSo what is my calling? I am an archetypal Lover. I’ve known this for a long time. The area in my life I feel most at home and can be most me is in intimate relationships and close connections. Love is my language, and how I frame the world.

I love being in love, it feels like my natural state. And I’m talking not just about love between people, but also devotional love for the divine. I have had phases during my life when this has been just as real, if not more, than being in love with another person.

Love

Love is the great opener. It’s what puts me in touch with the vulnerability of my humanity and exaltation of my divine nature. I’ve experienced love as a fierce and immense force that can blast one open, melt down barriers, inspire high states of devotion and light one up with ecstatic joy. It has poured through me into others, held me, broken me open, softened me, healed me and given me great courage to act.

Committed to staying true

I still don’t know what it will actually look like, manifested, down the track. I do know it will be challenging to resist the self-doubts and social pressures to do something that ‘makes more sense’, is more likely to ‘bring in the money’ etc. But I am committed to staying true and keep on staying true.

I will sit in the centre of my calling because this is who I am and from where I want my life to be created.

What is your calling?

divine loveWhat is your obsession? Passion? One true love? Have you dismissed it, muffled its voice because you thought (or were told) it was fickle, unrealistic, silly, self-indulgent, never going to make you money? These are the judgements that have gone around in my head when I talk about loving to love. What are yours? Write them out.

Feel into the answers

Then have a go at answering these questions without thinking, but feeling into them (go with the ones that speak to you and ignore the others):

What do you love doing most in life?
What could you never get enough of?
What brings you alive? Makes you feel full?
What are you doing when you feel most like You?
What would you do each day if you could?
What are you at heart?

Your greatest offering

This is what you can be doing with your life. This is your calling. This is your obsession. This is your greatest offering. Your unique gift. It’s already there, it always has been. The work is to be true to it, commit to it, devote yourself to it. It is your greatest weapon, and your dearest friend.

What matters is what you do with your calling once you can feel it. Ignore it? Package it into a socially acceptable form? Or stay relentlessly true and devoted to it?

Come on retreat with me

And on that note, I am going to be in retreat for the next three months, sitting in the essence of my calling, letting it sing through me, opening to more and more love.

I’ll continue writing my blog during this time and it may have a different flavour to what you’re used to, but I hope you enjoy coming along for the ride with me.

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