Feel the flow, your natural magic. It is the glue that holds everything together in our lives.
What does that mean??
When we show up with our own unique spark, we are doing the most to help the cause even if it doesn't look like "enough" on the outside.
For example as an advocate for people of low wealth, I want to shout from a megaphone about racism and systematic oppression and help make lasting and meaningful change.
I can then easily get stuck in a loop of looking at what others are doing and feel like my advocacy must look like there's. It must be BIG and LOUD to make a difference.
But that is not my calling. My advocacy is an offering to a gentle awakening to the invisible machine that is the Patriarchy, Systemic Oppression, and Racism. I change hearts and minds in intimate settings, in discussions in safe places where people can try on new ideas and start to own the subconscious and often unconscious role that we each play in powering these machines -- whether by consent, ignorance, or indifference.
I also have the ear of people with megaphones, who the community look to for loud, bold leadership. And it is also my calling to offer those people the same safe place, often one-on-one.
When I embrace my small calling within in the larger conversation, I can be of maximum service to the movement.
I find myself not judging how others show up as right or wrong, I feel grateful they are showing up. And, I feel good about how I show up. Rather than scramble to look at how others are making change and trying to replicate it, I look within, find clarity and show up to my own role.
Sometimes I even end up hearing my words being shouted through those megaphones after holding space with someone who is BIG and LOUD. I showed up, and what we gleaned together in a safe space has been released exactly as it should be, and to who needs to hear it. AND, I feel reassured about saying yes to sharing my unique talents.
Other times, I don't, and will never, know the impact of a conversation. But I have faith. I feel good about the hour I spent with a friend walking them through why "All Lives Matter" is hurtful to Black people and isn't in alignment with what they are actually trying to say. It plants a seed. I have faith that it will spark more conversation with their loved ones. It will give them pause to think about their words the next time they are considering saying they are "colorblind."
I may never know for sure the difference it makes, but I have faith. If we all show up with our own unique gifts and talents, then momentum will continue to grow. And we will see change. And we will feel hope. And we will continue to show up.
I never feel exhausted when I am showing up to my calling, the fight for justice and equity feels overwhelmed and hopeless when I try to be someone else and show up in a way that replicates what I think it "should" look like.
Some of us do not yet know what our calling is, but that doesn't mean we sit and wait. There are lots of things people are doing that make change and a difference and some may feel too small, but they will grow if we water them. Until we know our calling, we CAN and I would say SHOULD show up with our skills. If you are not a gifted public speaker, that's okay, how can you show up? My partner, Krystle Baller, wrote a beautiful article showing up with her web design skills.
Chances are if you are reading this article, then you are looking to be of service at a soul level and that can take time to discover. That is service in what John Donovan calls your Zone of Genius. Three things are required to move into that soul level service. I advocate that we claim all three. They are:
I am willing to fail. I am willing to look foolish. I am willing to be wrong.
With these three I AM's under your belt you are free to find your calling, your Zone of Genius, the unique talent you have to lend to the revolution.
When we think about our calling, often we define it as something that is career based and it may be. But our true callings are things we do naturally with little to no effort. And may have nothing to do with our careers.
I can make art, but that’s not a calling. My calling is not to make art, facilitate workshops, etc. Don’t confuse what you’re able to do (skills) with your calling (comes natural, feels magical AF, feel spirit flowing through you).
There are three qualifiers for what your callings are:
It is with grace and ease that I do this.
It is notable to both critics and fans.
It’s something that other people have a hard time doing.
For me, one of my callings is that I naturally, without any effort, see the good in people. It's been pointed out to me by both critics and fans. My critics will say it’s not real and love to shout that some people are just evil and beyond reaching. And, my fans find it admirable and will say they wish they could do it too.
Once I accepted this was a calling, I stopped apologizing for seeing the good in everyone. And I use it to speak to the good within. It helps me plants seeds of change in the hearts and minds of even the most shutdown, angry people.
Some of my personal callings are:
Seeing the good in everyone, even if it is buried deeply within
Offer my full and undivided attention to the person in front of me
Walk the earth OPEN, keeping an open mind and remaining hopeful
Know and feel my “liquid luck” and trust that each moment is leading me to fulfilling my role here on Earth.
INVOCATIONS PRACTICE ACTIVITY
MY CALLING IS... What are things you do naturally that other people notice about you?
What behaviors do you have that make you feel like you are in your element? When do you feel most connected to yourself and the world?
List out your callings, don’t forget to say them aloud, palms open!
And so it is...
Author of The Art of Accepting, Elizabeth Palmisano’s work and voluntary service with youth, trauma survivors, and the under-served taps into the power of art, mindfulness, and experiential learning. Within these portals of discovery, connection, and expression, Elizabeth invites others to “try on” a new perspective. Her approach to teaching, training, art, work, and play revolve around allowance and space.