March 11, 2012 – Callings

3/11/12 Gregg Levoy

Follow Your Callings

A calling can catch you by surprise, but it is a powerful vehicle. The ride can be nerve-racking and thrilling. Your soul doesn’t care. The work is just hanging on, having the willingness to go for the ride. The rub is that it creates turmoil and we resist it until the pain of resisting exceeds the pain of change. Heroes aren’t born, they are cornered.

There are many, many callings—work, relationships, and others that change with age, as we do. You can wait half your life for “the great calling” and miss the ones at your feet. The scrawny ones. They come as passions or a tune in your head hummed over and over again, or maybe in an overheard conversation. In resistance, we self-sabotage. We will blurt out our new-found path to the most cynical person in the family, knowing that’ll put a stop to it. We don’t want to rock the boat.

When something isn’t working it creates friction. But when the horse dies—get off! So where there is friction in your life, look for a calling. You might also find callings in the patterns that you have worn into your life. What section do you always go to first when you enter a book store? Maybe you have hidden them in your body, in your symptoms. Symptoms might be evidence of a flight from a calling.

These scrawny callings are quite helpful except they can’t get through all the busy signals. We are so addicted to our busy-ness, that it is even ok to put “workaholic” on your resume. But the end result is a loss of soul, a depletion of spirit. These scrawny cries need to be harnessed. That’s where the work is. It’s small steps, constantly stepping on the brake or the accelerator.

A sculptor tests a stone before starting to carve by tapping it. If it is good for sculpting, it is “consistent” and free of inner fissures which would cause cracking. It will ring. It will hold up under repeated blows. We must “tap in”. We must be conscious of our callings so that we “hold up under repeated blows”. Consciousness happens by keeping things in conversation. Match your walk with your talk. Take small steps. Honor Spirit’s calling!