| Anne Williamson |
Whatever word to which you're drawn - vocation, purpose, meaning, work, calling, etc. - most of us believe its creation is at least a joint one. That is, our life is not wholly predetermined. If this is the case, then, how do we, as our vocation's joint, if not sole, creators, discern what to create?
There appears to be a common theme in the collective thinking around vocational discernment: it's a dance between being and doing, letting go and pursuing, listening and to borrow Martin's words in last week's reading, "[putting one's] butt in the chair." It doesn't matter whether we believe the inspiration is g/God's, our own, or some combination of the two; the dance is the same.
A significant reason why this dance is so important is because of resistance. In his book, The War of Art, Steven Pressfield defines resistance as "that negative force that arises whenever we try to move from a lower level to a higher level." Pressfield believes resistance is universal, a law of nature, and is a reality we must both accept and combat.
Using Pressfield's ideas on resistance, as well as those of theologian Simone Weil and Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron, this week in groups, we'll explore the dance of vocational discernment. As always, you are welcome at the table! If you cannot participate, checking out Pressfield's excerpts from his interview on Super Soul Sunday may prove a helpful place to start. (Begin here.)
To create meaning, find purpose, discern a vocation(s) is generally not easy. It requires the courage to both listen deeply and give it - whatever "it" is - a shot. We must find our way through fear and self-doubt, as well as the myriad of "shoulds" that often suffocate our process. My hope for you this week is you find that courage - even for a moment - and then share it with an other(s); discernment may be hard but it need not be solitary.