I woke up early this morning.
I could go back to sleep, open my NYT app, or take a walk. I’m trying to read less news, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to fall back asleep. So I leashed Padre up and downloaded this podcast, which turned out to be the best 20 minutes of my week so far.
Michael Meade says,
When things get really rough, there’s an acceleration of calling. Calling is that thing that is secretly trying to awaken each one of us to what we came to life to do…There are only two philosophies about the human soul. Either it’s empty and it gets filled with what happens around you or it’s seated, aimed, and purposeful…The calling is calling to the thing that’s hidden in the soul. I call it the genius. This means “The spirit that’s already there.” We came here to give our gifts, and it becomes more important to do so when the world has gone wrong.
Calling isn’t what we do for a living. Michael is not talking about seeing a career counselor to change jobs (though do that if you’re stagnant or under-utilized). He’s not talking about taking Srengthsfinders or going to a conference for mamapreneurs (though do that if it enlivens your soul).
He’s talking about “calling to the thing that’s hidden in the soul…the spirit that’s already there.” Bill Plotkin says our psychological suffering comes from noble souls that know they haven’t reached their full potential. There is something in us that knows we’re meant for more—something calling out to us, sometimes barely discernible, reminding us that we’re connected to the stars and the earth, that the spark of the Divine hasn’t gone out.
There are strong forces that keep us from dropping into our True Selves—old stories, fear of losing the things that we think make us who we are, the siren calls of power, materialism, image. But, Meade says, we can’t afford to forget who we really are—“We came here to give our gifts, and it becomes more important to do so when the world has gone wrong.”
What’s heartening to me lately is that there are so many wise guides if we say “yes” to the acceleration of our calling. You don’t have to go the library and ask to see something on microfiche. You don’t have to pay $5000 to go on a yoga retreat or go on a raw vegan diet. If you begin with willingness, there are clues everywhere.
Because I get so caught up in my Little Self, I need reminders of my calling. These come in the form of spirituality books, time in nature, Tarot and oracle decks, prayer books, poetry, silence, candles, plants, service, solo time away from home, spiritual friendship, exercise, eating healthy food, and a severe limiting of notifications on my electronic devices. A few things that have accelerated my calling lately:
Peace and momentum to you on your journey of calling—I’m with you!
P.S. Photo from Easter Sunrise service on the shores of Lake Whatcom with my church. Though I continue to struggle with my place in a community of faith, I’m frequently enfolded into love anyway, despite all my misgivings or boredom or resistance. It’s good to be together.