Are You Living Your Vocation?
Do you feel called to your work?
But then feel as though you’re not really experienced enough/ good enough/ the right person to do it?
Or do you have a sense that there is something you should be doing. Something clear and defined. You just have no idea what it is yet.
The idea of a vocation – a life of service to both the community and an art/ craft or spiritual power is an enduring but rather old fashioned one. As in “I’m not actually responsible for my motivation or what I create, I’m just under orders.”
If you are not religious, having a vocation can seem extra odd… because you have no clear name or image to define this divine order-giver with. But it is where the work flows from. And without it, it is dry and uninteresting. With it it is vivid, juicy and engaging.
Nor is it predictable or reliable. It doesn’t turn up to schedule. Though I do. I work whether or not it is there. But the days, like yesterday, when it is. Oh, it is the most wonderful feeling in the world. I described it as being invited to take tea with god. It’s not an invitation you turn down for anything.
I totally believe in my work. I am totally committed to it. I do it pretty much every waking moment that I can. It has my yes and confidence. I invest my time and creativity into it.
And this is a big but…
My work chooses me. I act as a vessel for it. A crucible for it to come to be through me. I do not sit down and “choose” my work, or plan it. In truth I do not really “create” it. I need to be there, open and trusting and it comes. My job is to put it down. In words, images, colour…
There are a number of problems with this:
1) I do not know where this “work” comes from.
2) I feel very weird and odd talking about it this way. I would find it much easier to say “yes, it’s all mine” and be in control of its content and direction!
3) I am “called” to do “work” which I would not consciously choose.
4) By doing the work, I have to put myself “out there” when really I am much more in my comfort zone being private and small. I am not after ego trips or fame or fortune.
5) I feel my skills are lacking for what I am called to do.
But what I realised this afternoon is this: The work is good. The work is needed. I am blessed to have it. My feelings about myself are beside the point. And in a way are an insult to the work.
It is truly not about me! Oh no!
And so I need to get out of it. Get out of my own way and show up. For no other reason than to let the work happen.
It doesn’t matter what I understand or don’t. Why or where it comes from, and if I believe in this or that. The work is there. I am here and it is calling to be born, and I can hear it.
What can I do?
How can I serve?
What lights me up?
These are the only questions that matter.
Do you feel like this about your “work” – be it healing, painting or mothering? Do you say “yes” to your life mission, or keep getting in your own way?