I didn’t aspire to become a writer someday only to offer condensed, CliffsNotes versions of meaningful stories that I had spent days writing.
Then again, I myself heavily relied upon condensed, CliffsNotes versions of literature to scrape through my academic life with a solid B to B- grade average.
So, who am I to judge?!
If you can’t or simply haven’t yet read my sprawling, two-part, 5,000-word “reintroduction story” from last week, here’s what I’d most like you to walk away with knowing:
— Our callings will change as we change
— A goal or intention is only as good as it continues to serve us over time
— If we’re doing self-knowledge “right”, we’ll always be learning and growing into our true selves
— Therefore, it stands to reason that many of our dreams, goals, wants, and even needs will evolve as we do
Our Callings Change As We Change
Among the many ideas, anecdotes, and experiences that I shared in Part One and Part Two of that essay last week — including, how my journey as a self-employed entrepreneur, coach, and creative guide began; how I self-published all five of my books (plus another ‘lil manifesto); how I got into yoga teaching and why I eventually left to recalibrate my career trajectory — I really wanted you to walk away with the knowledge that there seems to be an ever-moving nature to the pursuit of our dreams, passions, interests, and callings.
I know that that has been the case for me in my life.
But it also seems to be a constant for the many hundreds of people with whom I have spoken, worked, connected, and supported throughout my 12-year odyssey.
I’ve had thousands of candid conversations with people over the years, and one of the persistent themes that I hear most commonly expressed in these journeyers, creatives, and seekers is a reluctance and sadness to admit that they haven’t “figured out their life” yet.
Sometimes they say, “I still haven’t figured out what I want to be when I grow up.”
At other times they go on to admit, “And I’m scared that I’m running out of time to figure it out, at all.”
I am someone who hears emotions in words and stories; they can cut through me and, if I’m not careful, they can penetrate my own lived-experience and I can absorb those emotions like a sponge. (I’ve worked hard to learn this, grow from it, and practice established boundaries and barriers with others so as to not blend with their emotions and feelings.)
Even still, I can hear the guilt, shame, and embarrassment in their words and stories.
It pains me when I witness these heavy, burdensome emotions, all for the simple fact that people have changed their minds about who they understand themselves to be, or what they want to do for their work, or what provides them with senses of meaning, purpose, joy, satisfaction or contentment.
It’s painful to me because there is nothing more human than to change your mind.
To me, there is nothing more beautiful, and free, than that.
The Freedom to Decide for Ourselves
There is little else more beautiful to me than realizing and remembering that we hold a power to change our minds; to change course; to alter our direction; to shift, learn, grow, and evolve as we go; to outlast “who we once were” so as to become “who we really, truly are.”
In these conversations with friends new and old, and clients, and strangers, I say:
“Congratulations. This is good; it’s to be celebrated! You’re proving that you have changed. You must be doing your inner work well.”
In reply, they might reluctantly chuckle and say, “Well it doesn’t really feel worthy of congratulations; it feels like I’m just always changing my mind and can’t make up where to commit to going.”
Then I’ll reframe their perspective.
The point in life is not to hold a strict, stringent, invisible idea of “where we’ll end up someday” and to orient everything in our lives toward that destination… if we eventually realize that we do not, in fact, want to end up there, along the way.
That’s servitude to an idea.
That’s self-enslavement to an expectation.
And who, deep down, really yearns for that?
Who truly craves being beholden to an invisible image of what they once wanted, but no longer do?
Who deeply desires being stuck in ideas of old — in pursuit of illusions of what we once thought would give us pleasure, satisfaction, joy, contentment, meaning, or purpose?
Is not the greatest gift of all the power to change our minds, and to realize it, and to live in new accord with what our hearts now crave?
To me, it is.
And, of course, here’s a necessary waterfall of disclaimers:
Yes, changing your mind too often is just as bad as never changing it, at all; yes, it’s a potentially irresponsible thing to neglect responsibilities and obligations that you’ve come by, and we all owe ourselves to fulfilling those as best we can, when we can; yes, it can be really self-intoxicating and self-deceptive to romanticize huge, dramatic life changes than to gradually and sustainably shift course.
My only point here is to remind you, dear friend, if you do, in fact, require the reminder:
When you are called to become more and more of your true self — on a journey that I call self-knowledge, that others call self-inquiry, or self-awareness, or self-realization — it is, to me, the most natural thing in the world that what calls to you, what lights you up, or what makes you happy, will change with you as YOU change.
What’s Coming in April 2021
Last week, I wanted to illustrate how it can look and feel when you are on such a journey and following the truth of what is calling to you, when, and why. As you saw in that two-part story, what I perceived to be “my calling” evolved over the years.
Starting this April, I’ll be sharing new stories, ideas, reflection prompts, and more to promote the re-opening of Claim Your Calling℠, my recently-launched coaching collective and thought leadership incubator, which exists as a year-round community and through which you’ll work with me individually as a coaching client, all in support of standing in the fuller light of your personal leadership.
I’ll be opening 8 spaces for new member-clients to become my coaching clients and to join our collective, which runs year-round, and which member-clients can become a part for 6 or 12 months at a time.
You can learn more about the philosophy behind Claim Your Calling℠ here at any time, or apply here if you’re eager to explore this opportunity in depth with me.
Whether you’re called to level up your business; land your first coaching client; chart course for the second half of your professional life; plot your escape from the corporate world; unlock your voice; grow a podcast or start a YouTube channel; express your beliefs; create a new platform; write a book, or grow as a healer, teacher, coach, Claim Your Calling℠ is the place where we unite and I will help to guide, nurture, and support your journey.
But, for now, I’ll leave you for today with this.
The roots of the word “claim” date back to the 14th century.
The original meaning of the word “claim” is not, as we might assume today, “to own” or “to win” or “to achieve.”
The original meaning of the word “claim” is “to call” or “to call out” — in other words, to call out by name; to be in the journey of identifying it, knowing it, speaking it, and creating your way into and through it.
Based upon the literal, original, definition of the word “claim,” what I aspire to help you with in Claim Your Calling℠ is to help you call upon or call out that which calls to you and your soul.
When you claim your calling, you are not setting a hard, unmovable goal to which you are forever indentured to seek out, no matter how you or your wants or your dreams may change.
When you are really, truly claiming your calling, you are engaging in an ever-deepening, thoughtful, earnest, two-way conversation with that which calls back to you.
My greatest joy and privilege as a creative professional and coach is helping to support your understanding of what is calling, and why; to clarify the path as it arrives before your feet, and to help you make step after masterful step, in deep integrity and alignment to your beliefs, desires, and soul-code.
If you might like to experience this in real-time, please join me, for free, in my next Community Roundtable event, which will feature free Spotlight Coaching mini-sessions for select volunteers, this coming Thursday, April 15th at 2 PM Eastern US Time (11 AM Pacific US Time).
I hope to speak with you, live on Zoom, then.
But until next time, for now, please remember:
Your calling will change as you change.
That is the gift of what it is to be alive — the freedom to choose for yourself.