I often refer clients to Gregg Levoy’s book, Callings: Finding and Following An Authentic Life, and I was delighted to hear him speak at the National Positive Aging Conference recently.
He didn’t disappoint me with his poignant anecdotes of his own journey to leave a regular paycheck for the world of a freelance writer. Levoy’s premise is that all along the path of life, we receive information in myriad ways that can help us make decisions and recognize options that reflect choices true to ourselves.
For example, he was aware of a conflict between his head and his heart as he once contemplated the significant shift to self-employment. His clue was the queen of hearts playing card that kept appearing in obscure places (like wedged in between rocks on a hiking trail) no fewer than four times in the course of a few years. When he finally could not resist the call or dismiss the synchronicity any longer, Levoy made the break to fulltime writing.
While it was a daunting decision, it allowed him to forge a new path—one that was more aligned with his passion and talents. Years after, his popular book and speaking tours are testaments to the power of honoring one’s callings.
Levoy believes that our callings reveal themselves in many ways through synchronistic conversations, visual clues and somatic ailments.
They may come through physically, in symptoms that can symbolize meaning that goes beyond the illness or ache (like a an eye problem hinting at an issue we are unwilling to fully see). Or, the clue might be auditory, such as the line of a song that we find ourselves singing spontaneously over and over. Levoy’s clues were often visual and concrete, like the queen of hearts card that kept appearing and reminding him of his heart’s desire to change his work.
While clues to your calling may be diverse, they all share a common element: they require you to pay exquisite attention to your life.
Noticing what is happening around you and within you could make the difference between actually living an authentic life and thinking about the one you are yearning for.