My Top Ten.

I was reflecting the other day on my biggest learnings as a LifePlan guide in regards to discerning and living out calling. Here are my top 10:

  1. Our wounding usually points toward calling. We most want to give that which we were not given.

  2. Oftentimes I find that when someone feels stuck, it is simply because they have stopped moving. Movement - steps toward anything - will guide us—even if they are the wrong ones and they tell us that along the way.

  3. Calling is easier to get to with clients who have risked and failed. To understand who we are, we need to know who we aren’t.

  4. Words matter. What we say- the words we choose- have so many layers of meaning. If we will get curious about our words we can uncover so much about ourselves.

  5. It is okay, and even necessary, to explore what brings us pleasure, delight, enjoyment. Without this, we can’t really identify what is meaningful, and therefore attached to our unique calling.

  6. Our Core Talents, or natural giftings, can be difficult for us to name on our own because we have a tendency to think that what comes really naturally to us (what doesn’t require striving) must come naturally for everyone else too.

  7. Community is infinitely important and worth fighting for. We need people who can accurately mirror us, helping us to see and affirm our greatness, as well as befriend and embrace our shadow.

  8. As Parker Palmer points out – we tend to think about burn out as a result of trying to do too much, when much of the time it actually is the result of trying to give out of what we do not possess (we take on roles that don’t align with our design).

  9. As Donald Miller says, every good story has a character who knows what they want and will overcome conflict to get it. Taking the time to write down a series of “I want…” statements can be revolutionary. Otherwise- how do we know what is worth fighting for?

  10. Calling must be rooted in identity. If we don’t get the answer right to the question, “Who am I?” we will twist how we live out the answer to “What is my unique contribution?” Our starting place is as The Beloved. Any other starting place will lead to hustling, earning and proving.

Calling starts in the nature of the human self.

“True vocation joins self and service, as Fredrick Buchner asserts when he defines vocation as ‘the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.’ Buchner’s definition starts with the self and moves toward the needs of the world: it begins, wisely, where vocation begins — not in what the world needs (which is everything), but in the nature of the human self, in what brings the self joy, the deep joy of knowing that we are here on earth to be the gifts that God created.”

-Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the voice of vocation, p 17