The Myth of a Calling

Alongside the myth of “the One” that our culture espouses, we’re also inundated with the pressure to find, pursue and live out our “calling.” The culture says: “If you’re not living out your dream career, you’re settling. If you have a regular job, you’re not fulfilling your potential. Follow your bliss! Live your dreams! The world is your oyster! Go make it happen!”

That’s great in theory, and I’m all for people living a life that is aligned with their passions, but there are several holes in this philosophy that arise when it shifts from theory to actual life with actual people, like the following:

1. You don’t know what your passion is.

2. You believe that if you changed jobs or careers you would fill the empty place inside of you.

3. You believe that there is only ONE career that is your calling. (For more on this, Click here to continue reading...

A Passionate Life

Inspired by the courageous, wise members of my July 2014 Trust Yourself program. Quotes from the forum reprinted with permission.

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My family and I were driving into town last summer when we saw a blue van pass by with the words “Mr. Pool” printed on the side.

“There goes Mr. Pool,” I said, as we had just hired him to finish hooking up our pool heater. And I had this moment of appreciation for the person who started Mr. Pool.

“Isn’t it great that someone had an idea or had a passion for pools and started his or her own business? It’s so much better than working in an office building for The Man,” I said.

My husband vehemently agreed. After working in cubicles for twenty years in the visual effects industry, my husband has a particular, visceral aversion to The Man.

“But wasn’t there some sense of … Click here to continue reading...

The Escape Hatch from Anxiety

Life is uncomfortable; there is no escaping that reality. From the time we emerge from the perfect, symbiotic state of the womb and enter the world, we’re confronted with the fact that the external environment doesn’t always meet our needs and our internal state fluctuates from equilibrium to disequilibrium, often a dozen times or more in the course of a single day. I remember when my son was a baby and he was suffering from digestion difficulties. I tried everything in my power to ease his pain – including limiting my diet to three foods – but nothing helped. I clearly recall looking at him one day in his tiny four month old body and thinking, “It’s uncomfortable being in a body and there’s nothing I can do to change that.” It was my first of many motherhood lessons about letting go and realizing that part of our lot as … Click here to continue reading...

New Job: Family in Transition

My husband starts a new job today. After three years of working from home, he’ll be away again for part of each day. As grateful as we are for this job, I realize as I sit down to write this that, of course, the element of loss is here. I haven’t wanted to admit it. Yes, I, a spokesperson for conscious transitions, has been in a bit of denial about the ramifications of this new job. But the truth is that my chest has been tight for days and my breath has been constricted. When is the last time I took a deep breath? I tried to find it in yoga on Sunday but it eluded me. Such is the case when emotions are denied and pushed aside.

Now I feel the grief. My husband, my best friend, my partner in parenting, my rock and my solace who’s been just … Click here to continue reading...