I have spent all my life up until this point working towards living my calling. I realised last week that I’m doing it. I’ve answered the call, I’m living it.
What made me realise it?
People talk about “act as if”: act as if you know what you’re talking about, act as if you know what you’re doing and you’ll get there. This isn’t what happened for me. It was the inverse. I realised that I needed to “stop acting as if I don’t know“, “as if I’m not there yet”, and instead step into it.
A part catalyst for this was something I heard in the background from a Youtube video as I was working: “look at the ways you’re practising lack”. Look at the ways you’re acting as if you don’t have enough and are not enough. How am I thinking I’m not there already? Three things came to mind:
- Treating these blog posts as a long (3 month) rehearsal.
- Writing notes for my book rather than writing my book.
- Losing weight to get to a point when I’ll be ready.
So I turned these around:
- Now I’ve integrated the intention of these blog posts and done away with the constraints that I needed to get me started. They were the necessary kindling. But now I need different fuel to keep it going. (I’ll share more about the shifts to get to this point in my newsletter.)
- I’m now writing directly into my book.
- I love the way I look and feel now. I still want to lose a little bit more. But that isn’t about not liking now, it is about playing with different “me”s that I love. I’m not fixed. I love my many forms.
On top of these, the other way I know I’m answering my calling, speaking the calling, living my calling, calling others, is because it is now routine.
Every single day I act on my wishes, my wishes that I know are generative–that impact everything that I do. Every day I get up early, I do a short meditation, I do exercise, I eat well, I drink lots of water, and I write. I write and/or design every single day. I write and design the way I write and design. Every single day.
And it is wonderful.
You may be thinking that living your calling means you’re meant to be a big success. I’m not officially answering my calling until I’ve published my book. Not so. It is living it every day. As Steven Pressfield talks about in his book The Artist’s Journey:
“I hadn’t written anything good. It might be years before I would, if I ever did at all. That didn’t matter. What counted was that I had, after years of running from it, actually sat down and done my work.
This was my epiphanal moment.
My hero’s journey was over.
My artist’s journey had begun.”
“[O]ur primary hero’s journey as artists is the passage we live out, in real life, before we find our calling. The hero’s journey is the search for that calling. It’s preparation. It’s initiation (or, more precisely, self-initiation). On our hero’s journey, we see, we experience, we suffer. We learn. […] The passage that comes next is the Artist’s Journey. The artist’s journey comes after the hero’s journey. Everything that has happened to us up to this point is rehearsal for us to act, now, as our true self and to find and speak in our true voice.”
The lure to live my calling has been with me my whole life. It is a place, a state, I wanted to be. But now I’m here, looking back over my life I realise that I have always been on the path. I have always been living my calling. Everything I have done in my life has been important and necessary. All of the friendship, dancing, travel, tears, poverty, abuse, research, games, theatre, stories, they are all the ingredients of the gifts I have for the world now.
I have reached a point where I am myself in this world. As an artist, I am sharing my unique gifts to the world.
And one gift that has been incubating for a while is beginning to sprout. I am not alone in offering this gift, but my way of bestowing it is unique.
The book I’m writing is on the “First-Person Transformation Journey”. And now you can hear a bit more about it, as my lovely colleague Simon Staffans just interviewed me about it briefly on his podcast.
It feels good to answer the Call to Self. 🙂
[That is what the image is for this post btw – from the book’s design kit – illustrated by Marigold “Goldie” Bartlett”!]