Finding the Deep Calling of Your SoulLit Corner | Posted 306 days ago | July 19, 2012 | 12:31 AM | Short Link: http://sethto.us/a3v
16 July 2012
by Sharon Janis
Some spiritual traditions suggest that even before you were born on this earth, the divine creator put deep into your heart the knowledge of what you’re supposed to do in your life, including what you’re meant to give and receive from this world.
From a spiritual perspective, it doesn’t matter if your deep calling is to be big or small, famous or publicly unknown, loved or feared, a leader or a follower, or any combination of these and more. What matters most is to find the avenues of experience and expression that are right for your soul’s journey in this world at this time.
The challenge is to find your soul’s deep calling beneath all the layers of outer experiences and expectations that have been piled upon you throughout your life — from friends, family, schools, television, music, writings, movies, and more.
Spiritual wisdom and practices help you clear away the cobwebs of mediocre, unenthusiastic living so that you can experience joyful, passionate inspiration and discover and fulfill why you are here. Taking time to pay attention to your soul’s deep calling is a good use of that time!
Discovering Your Dharma
What are you here to do? What is your job in life? The Sanskrit word dharma can be helpful in contemplating the deep calling of your soul.
Dharma doesn’t have an exact English translation, but it can be paraphrased as “righteous living”. Dharma is the way you are meant to live — in general as a human being, and also as an individual with a unique set of lessons to learn, experiences to have, and gifts to give. In a way, your dharma is also your mission in life.
When you have a sense of what your mission is, you make better choices about what to do and not do during your time in this world as you. When you live in accordance with your greater destiny, you are naturally guided to do what is right in both large and small situations.
All human beings share certain big-picture dharmas, such as to take care of this planet and one another, while discovering, expressing, and honoring the divine nature of life. Some spiritual sages say that the ultimate dharma is to live so that you go to Heaven or to follow practices that will bring spiritual enlightenment or liberation from this illusory world of limited experience.
Along with common group dharmas that should be followed by all human beings, each person also has his or her own individual set of dharmas. For example, someone may have the personal dharma of always being as honest as possible, regardless of the possible repercussions. Another person may feel deep inside that it is her responsibility to help when she sees someone who is in need, regardless of whether others would expect her to take responsibility in those circumstances.
Sometimes people find their dharma through challenges or tragedies. For example, many celebrities and others who have experienced certain illnesses come to sense that helping to find cures for these illnesses would fulfill their mission by helping to heal their loved ones, themselves, and the greater good of humankind. Their dedication to a good cause gives meaning to their suffering and helps remove the suffering of others, which is a great dharma for anyone to follow.
Discovering your Righteous Path of Living
A musician must make music, an artist must paint,
a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately
at peace with himself.
What one can be, one must be.
-- Abraham Maslow
Your dharma is what fulfils you. It’s what floats your boat, buoys your spirit, and opens your heart. Following your dharma may not always be comfortable or easy, but it brings a sense of underlying serenity and rightness that stays strong behind even difficult or challenging times.
When you’re following your dharma:
- Even if obstacles arise, they don’t overwhelm you.
- You feel yourself flowing with time rather than resisting its flow. You are neither pining for the
- past nor waiting anxiously for the future.
- You have a sense of fitting comfortably into yourself and your life as if you are sitting in a seat
- that fits perfectly.
- You trust that the challenges and temptations that come your way are helping you grow and
- giving you an opportunity to strengthen your commitment to following your dharma.
Finding Your own Style
Finding, accepting, and enjoying your own personal style is a great achievement and a wonderful blessing. Spiritual wisdom allows you to step into a higher vision of your life as an expression of divine universal creative spirit.
From this higher viewpoint, you can look at yourself with a bit more objectivity. You can even look at your faults and mistakes without feeling too much ego discomfort. You can be like a comedian who appreciates and uses even his faults to get big laughs.
Knowing your inherent greatness increases your self-respect and also sets a foundation for exploring, refining, and weeding out any aspects of your expression that are not in harmony with your greater self.
See how it feels for you to say and think these words: “I am great just as I am.” Say the phrase aloud and then repeat the words mentally as you breathe in, and again as you breathe out.
Here are some possible reasons why you may not be fully appreciating and expressing your own style:
You may think that your style is boring.
However, thinking that you‘re boring doesn’t mean you really are boring. I used to think I was totally boring during my years of monastic life, where the people around me seemed to have a lot more dramas and opinions than I did. Even now, on a day-to-day level, my life is generally quiet and not so outwardly exciting. But looking from a larger perspective, my life has been pretty creative and interesting. Sometimes you may think you are boring when you’re really percolating into a more fragrant cup of you. Your creative spark may be growing silently under a simple surface just as colorful flower seeds germinate quietly under a blanket of white snow.
You may think that your style isn’t good enough.
Maybe you don’t think you’re clever enough or considerate enough. Maybe you’re not a good listener or a caring son, daughter, mother, father, sister, brother, worker, or friend. Even if you find these kinds of shortcomings in yourself, you can still accept and love yourself while also taking steps to improve your personal style. Take a respectful inventory of your style. See which of your personality traits are natural, which have been created by imitating other people, which have come from the environments and cultures around you, and which aspects of your style and personality are serving you well versus creating obstacles to your greater good.
You are the artist of your life. Choose your colors. Choose your topics. Choose your modes of expression. If you don’t want to have so many dark colors in your life-painting, then stop mixing so many dark colors and start opening up tubes of brighter yellows, oranges, and reds.