Could working at a pizza chain be a life calling?? Why not. I have a friend who worked there for years. He was (from what I surmise) the director of development and training and he LOVED his job. He loved working with people, thinking outside the box to develop new ideas, and fostering customer relations with every encounter. When he talked about his job he was so enthusiastic; he was bubbling with energy. When I told him how rare it is to run into people who speak so passionately about their job, he asked me if my job brought me that kind of passion. “I think so,” was my luke-warm reply. I had just made a career change and although the change felt right, I couldn’t say whether or not it was going to be my “passion.” Time would tell.
My job is wonderful. I love working with children and families in a helping profession. I am unendingly thankful for a career that provides me with financial stability and with time to pursue other interests. My work environment is warm and happy and my colleagues are friendly and supportive. I can absolutely see how the work we do would be fulfilling to a person.
The passion isn’t there for me. Then today, while reading Manifesting Michelangelo, I rested for a moment on the following passage:
The feelings that register within you–in your heart, throat, stomach–those unconscious clues will reveal to you your sacred purpose. … By listening to your inner signals and allowing your reactions to your environment, workplace, and family to register, and by paying attention to the message within, your sacred gift, the reason you were created for, will reveal itself to you. That sacred potential within you is your inheritance waiting to be claimed.
I looked back and contemplated the path that brought me to where I am today. Had I followed my “inner signals?” When I was younger, I always loved animals and nature. I enjoyed being alone or with one or two others. I loved reading great stories and writing my thoughts. I loved being contemplative. I can’t recall what I wanted to “be” during high school. Maybe it was “photographer” or “writer.” In college I started out as a creative writing major. But I felt compelled to find something more “realistic” which was really an excuse to escape the pressure of performance in such an abstract world. I needed the comfort of something more structured…something science-y. My mother, knowing I enjoyed working with children in my part-time work study assignment , and knowing I was fascinated with language, suggested the career of Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). It made sense: it was a science-based profession, it was well-received by people concerned with “stability,” and it forecast a clear path of 2 years of graduate studies then a job.
So here I am now–with a brief stint of PhD studies mixed in there–working as a SLP and enjoying the work that I do. Yet, there is this abiding lack of passion for what I do day-to-day. I don’t want to be working for the weekend and having to sing Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 to rally myself many mornings. Now, I fully believe in making the most of what you have, expressing gratitude for your blessings, and believing that the seeking soul is always right where they are supposed to be. I read recently, “Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water; after enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. I’m not looking for an escape, but I am curious. Could there be more of a connection to my work? Could there be something out there that I would feel passionate about doing every day?
I think the answer to this is going to be a two-way street. The first lane, me…making the most of the time I have in this job by facing demons that arise, walking in love and appreciating the moments full of potential and opportunity that surround me. The second lane, God (as always, please consider my meaning to be God according to my experiences and beliefs while you may prefer Source, Universe, Divinity, Higher Power, etc.)…unfolding the roadmap toward a meeting place where my deferred “desires of the heart” come together with the gifts, knowledge, and skills I have now. What I know is that the loves from my childhood are still those which bring an effervescence to my soul today. They are still my California Pizza Kitchen.
But this post isn’t just about me. It’s about US. I want us all to be living those “sacred potentials” that are our “inheritance,” our California Pizza Kitchens. I want us to be free individuals that are complete, fulfilled, and capable of passing all of it along to others. Tomorrow (hopefully tomorrow) I will tell you more about the book and what the author says about finding and embodying your “sacred potential” and how to use it to help others. I’ve gotten so much out of this book and I hope you’ll visit our site again tomorrow to find out about it.
Always with much love,