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Jan 21, 2014

How Do You Know It’s a Calling?

When I was a kid I thought that to be a grown-up meant knowing how to drive a stick shift car, speaking French and living in a Victorian. I realize these date me, but they represented a worldview that felt like it had my name on it. So did ‘sailing around the world.’ That when you got to be an adult, this was something that you could do.


Is this your calling? It was mine.

What I notice now are the other messages I was surrounded by that didn’t become part of my definition: buying a boat, going to the South Pole, having a big diamond ring or becoming President.

Each of us goes through life bumping up against thousands of experiences and being exposed to millions of ideas. I can look back and notice what stuck immediately, what captured my imagination, and what ideas kept recurring until I had them.

Most prominent for me were getting married and having children, becoming a teacher, spending much of my lifetime making art (in the form of Ukrainian Easter eggs), becoming a coach, and now, seeing the world.

The marriage and children were definitely in my DNA. But, I can easily remember the first time I saw a dozen Ukrainian Easter eggs shown to me by Dorothy Discko at Westhill High School in 1972. Or meeeting Valerie Barone (now Taloni), my first coach in the late 90’s and knowing I wanted to do what she did.

Only a few things hit us over the head so hard that we have to take notice.

So when my friend Chrissy mentioned a life-changing trip she was embarking on, I was struck. Had she said, “I’m going to the Arctic,” I would not have paid further attention. But when she said she was sailing around the world, all signals inside of me said: GO!

I’ve spent the past couple of decades clearing out my channels so that these kinds of messages can come through. I’ve let go of caffeine, sugar (not 100% on this score, but closer than I was), wheat, dairy, nightshades and a few relationships. I’m no longer blurry on what feels right or wrong. This can be a good thing, because my direction has become so clear.

But there’s also a responsibility attached to knowing what excites you and has your name on it. You have to do something about it.

I’m curious where you are on your journey and what’s got your name written on it.

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