Happy April!

All month long, I’ll be sharing new stories, insights, advice, and writing and reflection prompts (including a new set of 6, below!) with you to help you claim your calling and live your life with greater integrity to your senses of meaning, purpose, and service in the world.

Our April celebration of personal leadership and being of service also marks the grand re-opening of my coaching collective, Claim Your Calling℠!

I’ve made 8 spaces available — and one has already been scooped up! — for new member-clients to join our community starting this May.

But remember:

When you become a part of my thought leadership incubator, which exists to help you stand in the fuller light of your leadership as you create, build, serve, and deepen into yourself, you don’t just join an amazing, cozy community of loving and like-minded peers with whom you’ll share space, ideas, and energy, twice per month.

You become a personal coaching client of mine.

We work in a private coaching container together, every month. You’ll have direct access to me, every week, in between.

I become, as I do with all of my cherished clients, immersed in your story. I become a genuine collaborator in all of your creative and professional goals. I become a co-conspirator in the pursuit and manifestation of your most sincere dreams. I become a trusted partner in your journey, no matter what arises in the months and years ahead.

Sudden career shift? I’m there for you.

Curveball thrown at your life trajectory? No problem, we can navigate that.

Trying something new or different… in a pandemic? Easy. We’ve got this.

So if the timeline feels right, and the investment feels abundant and honoring, and the next 6 or 12 months feel ripe with opportunity for you to create some real change in your world — personally, professionally, creatively, or a blend of all three! — then please apply to Claim Your Calling℠ today.

We’ll set up a no-pressure conversation to meet one another, discuss your story, and explore your goals.

Even if we go on to decide that CYC isn’t the best fit right now, you’ll still leave our discussion with greater insights and advice for how you might pursue your path from here — plus, we’ll now officially have “met” and might even consider ourselves to be friends. Hooray!

What’s In Store… Even If CYC Isn’t For You

Even if you have absolutely zero interest in becoming a coaching client of mine, ever, for any reason, at all, whatsoever — and ow, that stings a little, but I do trust you — all throughout April, I am still committed to serving you in highly supportive ways.

This month is not about blasting your attention span with spammy reminders and market-y nonsense.

Together, we will unpack what it means to claim your calling in today’s world.

I will offer prompts that you can journal through, reflect upon, or discuss with a trusted loved one about your path and dreams these days.

I’ll share some fresh perspective and guiding principles that I’d like you to consider taking to heart about what it means to live your leadership from the inside, out, in a world today that desperately needs more leaders without followers.

Specifically, in the interest of transparency, here’s our expected timeline…

— April 1: Grand re-opening! After two months of beta testing, CYC is now open to (up to) 8 new member-clients. We’ll be accepting new membership applications, hosting exploratory conversations, and slowly onboarding new member-clients throughout April.

— April 15: FREE Community Roundtable Event! Sample one of our two, recurring group coaching experiences on Thursday, April 15 at 2 PM Eastern US Time to learn more about CYC, share creative space with a small gang of heart-centered journeyers, and vibe out on meaningful explorations of goals, dreams, struggles, and resistance. You must register here in advance.

— April 30: CYC Applications Deadline Our application window closes at 11:59 PM Eastern US Time. Get your applications in by this date if you’re considering joining for our May 4 start date, or would like to reserve a space on the Waiting List for the near future. We have no set date to reopen to new members hereafter, quite yet.

— May 4: New CYC Member Orientation! Our newest member-clients will come together for an hour-long meet-and-greet, orientation, and live Q+A session. We’ll cover all of your monthly member benefits, get you signed up for your first 1:1 coaching sessions with me, and register you in our private, non-Facebook, non-intrusive CYC Members Portal.

For now, I’d like to kick off the month by sharing a fresh prompt set for you to help you unpack, uncover, and define your understanding of what may be “calling to you” today.

Answering the Ever-Elusive Question of, “What’s Calling?”

When I wrote you last, I shared an interesting insight that I recently learned about the etymology (or root origins) of the word, “claim.”

Today, the verb “to claim” carries pretty forceful imagery and ideas. “To claim” can mean to assert, challenge, defend, take, collect, or insist. “Claim” can evoke ideas of “owning,” “winning,” or “achieving,” in somewhat aggressive or over-masculinized terms.

But the original meaning of the verb, “to claim,” which dates back to around 1300 CE, is “to call” or “to call out,” especially “by virtue of right or authority,” from the Old French word, clamer. (Source)

Whenever we discuss the idea of what it means to “claim your calling,” I’d like you to keep this definition in mind:

To claim your calling is to “call out” that which calls to you.

And, what calls to you may be a very, highly personal and, perhaps, sensitive or vulnerable sense of vocation, dream, goal, mission, missive, or belief.

If that dream or goal exists at all, it remains your own right and authority to call upon it, should you choose to do so. You are not obligated to take ownership of your vision of the future, your dreams, or your goals.

But if they are there, at all, then they are and always remain your own right to “claim,” or call upon them, should you choose to do so.

Choice, in other words, is requisite.

We have to show up for that which calls to us.

We have to call it back, by name.

No one else can do it for you. No one else can make you call upon them.

It is your right, your privilege, your gift, your honor, and your own responsibility to call upon that which calls to you… if you do, in fact, wish you call upon them.

6 Reflection Prompts to Uncover What’s Calling To You

So, dear friend, what is calling to you?

Try to bring yourself fully to this present moment — and this present-day version of yourself, or who you understand yourself to be.

Remember: Our callings change as we change.

So instead of defaulting back to expected answers that you’ve said many times before — as if when asking the question, “What has called to you in the past?” or “What dream or goal or vision of the future have you been chasing for so long, that you might not even really want it anymore?” — proceed by asking yourself, “What is calling… right now? What is calling, today?”

Let’s proceed.

1. “What’s calling to you?”

Start with generalities; you can always get more specific as you go. What feeling states are present for you? What are you sensing bubbling up when you think about “what is calling to you”?

Can you describe it in a series of emotions (ie. restlessness, eagerness, excitement, existential dread, anticipation, creative vigor, inner turmoil)?

Can you sum it up in a question (“How do I share my voice?” or “Is this all there is to my career now?” or “Here I am, but what comes next?”)

What are you sensing? What feels like it’s “coming” or “arriving” for you? What is the story that you wish to tell with it?

2. “Is this a new calling, or a familiar one?”

What has precipitated, come before, or lead up to this calling that you’re sensing now?

Is this a sudden hunch or a brand new hypothesis that you’re following?

Is it something deeper or longer whose roots you can trace to the past? And if so, how long has this been calling to you, do you suppose?

Can you call upon 1, 2, or 3 formative moments, past experiences, or “lightbulb” flashes of awareness that connect to how you’re feeling about what’s calling, today?

3. “What have you done to ‘call back’ to it, to ‘call upon it,’ or to ‘call it by name’, so far?”

In other words, how have you engaged with this idea, calling, or sense of intuition already?

Have you “done” anything with it, like written about it or explored it?

Have you ever shared it with anyone? Have you opened up and discussed it with a loved one, a therapist, a life coach, or friends?

How have you engaged with what’s calling to you before, whether in the distant or recent past?

4. “Where are you feeling stuck?”

Are there any immediate hesitations or worries that come up?

What doubts, questions or tire-screech moments arise when you think about “how to make your calling real”? Can you feel tension, stress, or another form of discomfort in a specific place in your body? If so, where is it? And what does it feel like?

Where have you previously gotten stuck, fallen off track, or lost the trail of “what comes next” in the past when it comes to making a dream or calling “real”?

Finally, does that feel like an old story or a new story? In other words, is that response you feel a reaction designed to protect or serve an older version of yourself, who needed protecting? Is that reaction still relevant to your current “incarnation” of yourself, today? Why or why not?

5. “What would it feel like to you to be truly, deeply, finally claiming your calling?”

How would you know that you’re actually “doing it”? Give your imagination some free rein. Open your heart, take some deep breaths, and try to imagine yourself in a future state of being in which this perhaps elusive or intimidating goal, dream, or vocation is actually manifesting. What does that feel like?

How do you imagine yourself feeling when you wake up? When you go to sleep? (Relieved, awake, alive, excited, grounded, alight, etc.)? Why?

What else can you imagine being “touched,” changed for the better, or supported in your life (ie. how might family life, relationships, personal wellness, your day-to-day, your creative pursuits, etc. change for the better)?

6. “If nothing changes, what is the “default future” that awaits you in 1 year? 2 years? 5 years?”

In other words, if nothing changes about how you engage with what’s calling to you — such as, how you call back to it, how you receive it, or how you “make it real,” etc. — what is the “default future” that you can expect to be living in those time frames?

What will it feel like for your calling to have gone unheeded, even years later?

What, if anything, might you regret?

Finally, when you consider what you might regret someday if you don’t heed your calling — whatever the timeline, whether today, sooner than later, or eventually — what feels worse and scarier: figuring out how to claim your calling, or never really or fully going for it?

What Did You Discover?

If something really juicy, important, or meaningful came up for you, please consider taking your reflections to a loved one, your partner, a trusted peer or friend, or a therapist or coach: anyone who can hold space for you, listen, reflect, and support you graciously.

Please also hang onto your reflections for the time being!

In the weeks to come, we will go deeper and further into unpacking, exploring, and activating that which calls to you.

Until next week, please remember: To claim is to call upon.

Simply call upon that which calls to you, friend.

Use your voice and your words. Listen, and respond.

To dialogue, engage, and converse with that which calls to us is always the first step.

Yours truly,