Prioritize Your Inner World, and the Outer World Will Follow

“I am called. I intend to listen.”

That’s what I told myself when I quit my job 9 years ago.

The Creative, calling. Me, answering.

I had an idea for a book, and I wanted to write it.

I was basically sure that this book — coming to me as if from the cosmos in a feverish midnight writing session — would launch me into a career of meaning, purpose and service.

Plagued as I was by doubt, depression, and a crisis of identity, the idea of writing and publishing a good book seemed to contain all of the promise that I desired most: feeling certain again, and peaceful within, and like my life truly mattered.

And yet, as I’ve looked back on that decision to ditch my career path to seek more purpose from my life over the past 9 years, I can’t tell you just how askew my priorities were… fine and admirable (if doe-eyed) as they may have been.

Because what 23-year-old Dave was essentially saying to himself was,

“If I get a literary agent, and land a publishing deal, and write my book, and get it on shelves, and sell a ton of copies, and start a speaking tour… maybe I’ll finally feel better.”

Ouch.

Even though my inner world was begging for attention, understanding and healing, I focused all of my energy towards outcomes and end goals that I presumed would help my inner world get better.

Looking back, I can’t help but wonder what would have been different had I instead told myself:

“My book dreams are an expression of my soul seeking more meaning, purpose and identity. So maybe I should prioritize those feelings first, since they are what my soul feels are lacking. If I take care of my inner world, my outer world will follow.”

What if I had made it my “full-time job” to heal?

What if my big, lofty, doe-eyed dream was to know my desire and how I wished to feel every day of my life?

What if my moonshot goal was to find and feel home within myself, wherever my feet might take me?

Would I have felt as lonesome, aimless, and isolated pursuing my writing goals if I had found “home” within first? If I had harmonized my daily life with my innermost values? If I had sought yoking within, before accolades in “work”?

I can’t help but think my journey would have felt a lot different… because I would have been different. 

At the very least, I would have felt more integrated. Less fractured. Like I was doing less guess-work.

Because when we give a voice to our soul — when we put words to the invisible essence of our values, beliefs, desires, and definitions of meaning and fulfillment — home, and harmony, and wholeness follow.

I know that our souls talk to us.

But being voiceless as they are, our souls tend to speak through subtle senses, feelings, inclinations, emotions, intuitive clues, small hints, wafts of awareness, and most notably in repeating patterns of events that play out over the years of our lives.

And as you start to pay closer and closer attention to those clues, certain themes begin to emerge. Missions reveal themselves. Everything from loneliness and heartbreak to love-spells and fits of joy mean to lead our conscious minds into stronger relationship to the inner code that our soul is trying to express. Contained within this invisible code is all of the information we require to live our life fully, purposefully, and with deep spiritual integrity.

But when we prioritize external outcomes over inner healing, our healing pauses.

When we base the state of our “inner world” on what the outer world is or isn’t providing, we drift and float; a peak this hour, a valley that hour.

When the value of our inner world hinges upon the value of our outer world, the vastness of our human spirit retreats, stagnates, regresses.

I didn’t think this way nine years ago when I quit my job.

I wish I had.

I wish I had known that prioritizing my inner world would naturally guide me toward my writing goals, my career dreams, and feeling like I had identity and purpose in my life.

I wish I had known that by giving a voice to my soul-code, all the rest that I desired, wondered and questioned would become clearer.

Because when you begin to speak to and through the invisible essence that is already trying to communicate with you, the path before you is revealed as if by magic. The fog of doubt and indecision that always seems to be lingering beyond your toes begins to lift, if slightly. And the next choice you are required to make is made feeling safe, secure, sturdy, congruent, and empowered.

When your soul is given a voice — when you give it words and stories to communicate with you on the tangible, physical plane we call life — life itself begins to feel ignited and aligned.

Because you are responding to the calling within.

Writing Gives Language to the Soul

Looking back almost 9 years ago to the day, I can tell you that I wasn’t so much a broke and broken-seeming guy who needed to quit his job to become a “best-selling” anything.

I was, though, someone who was ready to listen what his soul was shouting at him — what my mind and body, being so depressed, were begging loudly for me to respond to, as well. If I had started by giving my soul a voice — re-shaping the very words and stories that I was telling myself, and telling the world around me — I believe that the nine years that have followed would have naturally become more supported, direct, and abundant.

Because I would have been more directly acknowledging, encouraging, and revealing the invisible code that was already calling me.

Those years ago, I had no real help, guidance, mentorship or trusted friends telling me that my career goals, my writing dreams, and my desires for purpose and significance were all in fact most possible if I prioritized my inner world even more greatly than my outer one.

That’s why I’ve modeled my life and work in recent years to be that helper, guide, mentor and friend to folks who feel called as I did; as I still do.

No wonder why I’ve made the very writing course, Unavoidable Writing, that I wish someone could have shared with me 9 years ago.

I wish that I’d had a resource to show me that:

  • Diving deeper and deeper into the essence of my values, ideas, beliefs, desires, selfhood and personal philosophy would have provided me with infinite matters to write about;
  • As I unpacked and explored each idea and story in my heart, my writing skills and abilities would naturally evolve and grow
  • By giving language to my soul, I would be all the wiser in the decisions that I would go on to make (as with those I wouldn’t)

Writing itself gives language to the soul.

Our words and stories, paired conscientiously with self-inquiry and a willingness to become more of our whole and true selves, unlocks the mysterious code that is shouting to each of us to listen, and heed, and respond.

My friend, my role as your guide and friend is not to teach you how to become something you’re not; or strive for what you don’t possess; or yearn for what you’re without.

My role is to show you the wealth within; the stories that are already calling; and how you can harmonize the world that exists within you with the world today that surrounds you.

If you do that? I promise that every goal, hope, dream or desire will be better heard, better received, and better supported for it.

I believe we each owe it to ourselves to honor the calling of our souls.

My mission is to help you listen and respond to yours.

All you need to begin is a pen, some paper, and a few hours of your time.

I’ll teach you the process I have learned — all 9 years’ worth of trial and error, and countless hours of perfecting.

Meet me at the intersection of self-knowledge and self-expression.

Unavoidable Writing, my writing course, re-opens to new students on May 15, 2018.

Until then, please keep listening to your calling,

PS — This piece shares some of what you can expect to find in my unconventional writing course, Unavoidable Writing, which is relaunching and welcoming new students in just a few weeks. Inside, you’ll learn:

  • The Three Shadows of Writing: How to identify shadow behaviors and patterns of stuckness that hold you back in your writing, as in your life. Plus, how to heal and transcend old patterns you’ve outgrown through your writing.
  • The Three Promises of Writing: A three-step process of tactical approaches and spiritual how-to’s that guide you into the warm embrace a life more fully expressed.
  • Turn Your Resistance Into Your Refuge: Dozens of original prompts, smart exercises, and guidance to show you how to evolve your personal journaling time into a self-support system for maximum creative self-expression.

Revamped and redesigned from its debut beta launch, Unavoidable Writing is just $274, and as a subscriber to my newsletter I’ll be sharing a 10% discount code for you to take advantage of.

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