Finding and fulfilling your calling can be confusing, and your soul's true purpose might not be what you think it should be. Here are 10 signs that you're on the right track on your road to self-discovery:
Everyone wants to feel the deep fulfillment that comes with doing what you’re here on this earth to do, but most of us are scared to step outside of our comfort zones. We might try to compromise by asking, "Can I please keep my comfort zone and still find and fulfill my calling?" The Universe probably giggles a little bit before saying, "No, love. At some point, you have to choose. Are you all in? Or not?"
2. Your true calling activates your life force.
When you’re tuned in to your real calling, you’ll feel filled with Shakti — that creative force of love that ignites your passion and burns a fire inside your soul. You’ll feel as if Something Larger is taking you over and using you to fulfill a mission.
You might even find that your health improves, you attract a new love relationship, or you become a magnet to amazing people. It's because this kind of life force is the very stuff that moves mountains, works miracles, and changes the world.
3. Your calling doesn’t fit in a box.
Your calling will probably be perfectly unique to you. Someone else might offer you inspiration or share a similar calling to yours, but the way you will navigate your hero's journey will be as unique as a fingerprint.
After I quit my job as a doctor, I was searching for something else I could join — some preexisting thing that would fit me like a glove. But then my mentor, "Kitchen Table Wisdom" author Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, said, “Don’t join something. Build something.” If your perfect job doesn’t exist, create it.
4. You’ll realize that you’ve spent your whole life training for JUST THIS.
Even experiences that seemed like dismal failures helped lead you to what your soul is here on this earth to express. The addiction you recovered from, the divorce that failed to close your heart, the cancer you survived, the child you almost abused during your postpartum depression, the job that required you to sell your soul — all of it becomes grist for the mill. It made you just the perfect person to do what you’re here to do.
Many true callings will beckon you to disrupt the status quo. When one of us starts living fully aligned with the soul’s integrity, other people who aren’t doing the same tend to get uncomfortable.
This doesn’t mean you should let what everybody thinks hold you back from saying yes to your calling. It might not feel like it, but you’re doing those people a favor by illuminating something true within them, even if they feel triggered by the illumination.
6. Your calling seems to be a moving target.
You might think callings are black and white, but true callings don’t tend to work that way. Your calling might look like 10 different professions in one lifetime, or it could mean total loyalty to one job. Callings are a journey, and sometimes we’re only given one breadcrumb at a time.
Callings don’t usually come with business plans, so you might feel called to make one inspired move (like quitting the wrong job or signing up for more education) only to discover that you feel a bit lost after taking this initial step.
Don’t despair. You feel this way because the next step hasn't revealed itself yet. You can’t rush your calling. Trust divine timing and know that when the time is right for you to leap, you'll recognize what to do.
8. Callings don’t go away.
You don’t find a calling — your calling finds you. Like a true love, your calling won’t let you go. You might leave behind what you thought was once a calling but no longer feels like one.
And yet, your calling keeps trailing you like a shadow. You might deny your calling for a long time, but callings are patient. They wear you down until you finally fall to your knees, bow down, and say, “I’m in.”
When you’ve really found your calling, you know it’s not YOU who’s doing that thing you do in the world. It’s an organizing intelligence, a Universal Love, a Benevolent Presence, a God or Goddess — whatever you want to call this Thing That Takes You Over and uses you for sacred service.
Your work begins to feel not like an act of ambition but an offering of love. You care less about money (though there’s nothing wrong with a calling that offers you a comfortable living!) and more about living in alignment with your soul's truth.
10. Your calling opens your heart.
You start noticing that your calling becomes your spiritual practice. Your growth edges get pushed. Your shadows get illuminated. Your relationships get tested. Your comfort zone gets threatened.
You find authentic self, your soul, or what I call in my new book, The Anatomy of a Calling, your Inner Pilot Light.. Your heart opens. Your capacity for compassion expands. The love within you overflows. You realize that your calling is all about showing you how to love.
By Lissa Rankin M.D.