Your Soul’s Calling
By Kirsten Meneghello
The word “soul” is a tricky one because it can mean many things and have different connotations. It can have religious overtones, and therefore, scare some people off from a conversation once you mention the word. For others, it can be an exciting topic and grab their attention.
“Soul” can be defined as the “immaterial essence of a person” or “spiritual principle embodied in all human beings.” For me, I use the word “soul” interchangeably with “spirit.” It is the heart center or essence that exists within us and cannot be readily identified by others. Our bodies are so evident to others; our shape, size, skin, hair. But our souls remain a mystery to others, and sometimes, even to ourselves.
Our soul speaks to us through our deepest longings. When it speaks, we can decide whether or not to listen. Our soul can “call” to us, too. People have often referred to being “called” to a vocation in the priesthood, teaching or volunteer work in a foreign country. When you feel the tug at your heart strings to be doing something different with your life, that is a calling. I believe it is always spiritual in nature. It is a divine calling. But there are many names we can attach to it: being called by God, nature, the Creator, the Universe, a Higher Power, etc. No matter the name, it is a force that helps you to see the sacred in every day.
How to listen to your soul’s calling:
1. Listen to your intuition. Your intuition is a way of knowing that goes beyond logic and the facts presented to you. It is the little voice inside you that speaks when you make choices. It’s a feeling you have in your gut, when you just “know” something and you don’t know why. But that feeling is just as real as the chair you are sitting in right now. The more you tune into your intuition and listen to it, the more you can trust and rely on it.
2. Remain open and receptive. In order to allow the world to speak to you, you must stay open to what you are hearing and seeing in terms of signs, symbols, dreams, etc. If you are not willing to listen to what the Divine is sending to you, you will miss the message.
So have you ever experienced a time when you did not listen to your intuition? What was the result?
I experienced a “call” years ago when I was in my former career as a charitable estate planner. I helped people make charitable gifts to nonprofit organizations through their estate plan. The job required a combination of my technical, analytical side and my love of people. But over time, I continued to receive signs that this wasn’t what I was meant to do for the long-term. One night while on a spiritual retreat, Bono of U2 came to me in a dream and asked me, “What are you doing with your life to make the world a better place?” That was the whack on the head that I needed. I knew I was here to make a difference, but I still wasn’t sure how. But instead of continuing to ignore the signs like I had before, I started to do something about it by exploring other career paths. Eventually, I became a Career Transition Coach and now I am so blessed to help others find a meaningful work-life.
Maybe you are still continuing to climb the ladder of success in your professional life. At some point, you will run out of rungs on the ladder and other achievements to attain. You might look around and wonder “What’s next? I’ve done all the “right” things and yet I’m still not happy.”
When the “what” you do for a living doesn’t fit “who” you are anymore, it’s a crisis of the soul. We cannot solve spiritual problems by using our heads. It doesn’t work to analyze about our feelings of dissatisfaction or the deep yearning in our souls; we have to feel and experience these emotions. We cannot deny our soul’s longing because over time, it will find a way to make itself known.
What is your soul calling you to do or be?
Kirsten Meneghello, J.D., is a Career & Life Transition Coach based in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. She works with professionals who are dissatisfied with their career to identify who they really want to be when they grow up. Kirsten coaches, speaks, writes and hosts retreats. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @IlluminationPDX.