Have you ever wondered whether there’s a difference between your soul’s calling and the call of your soul?
For those of us on a personal and spiritual growth path, discerning the difference is helpful for navigating the process of awakening to our deeper nature.
It’s important because both are necessary, intertwined, and yet ask different things of us.
And, although the process is not linear by any means, there are certain steps that can’t leapfrog over by rushing to live our soul’s calling and fulfill our purpose. I wrote about this in The 3 Soul Commitments: How To Honour Your Awakening Soul.
In a nutshell, the call of your soul is an invitation to personal inner transformation, and the soul’s calling is about bringing the fruits of our inner journey back out into the world as a way to be of service to others.
The Call Of Your Soul
Let’s start by exploring the call of your soul and what that looks like.
In the blog post, The Call of Your Soul: 10 Signs Your Soul is Speaking to You, I share the ways our soul tries to get our attention.
These soul nudges arise when our soul is awakening after waiting patiently for the right timing in our development to slowly come into our conscious awareness.
The call of your soul is really the beginning of what Joseph Campbell called “the hero’s journey” – a journey of transformation that ultimately results in the person bringing what they’ve learned back to share with others.
People can and often do refuse the “call,” which is understandable because responding to the call is often challenging. It requires that we step outside our comfort zone and forge a new path.
The call of your soul requires that we integrate the past and the parts of ourselves we had to leave behind to “survive” growing up; be present in the now; and grow spiritually by bringing the outer aspects of our lives into alignment with our inner truths.
In short, the call of our soul is about coming into right relationship with ourselves, other people and the Universe.
Coming into right relationship with ourselves, requires that we begin to understand and see our dual nature. Meaning we have a personality which is our lower nature and a soul that is our higher nature.
Our soul needs us to develop a healthy personality so that we can use our personality as an instrument through which our soul can be expressed. We want to use our personality and not be used by it.
As we embark on the journey to come into right relationship with our personality, we often come face to face with the ways that are “wounds” need to be healed. This requires courage and yet is a necessary step in responding the call of our soul.
The soul also requires that we develop new capabilities. This includes using both sides of our brain, sharpening our ways of knowing beyond the 5 senses, balancing our animal instincts and bringing our bodies, minds and hearts into alignment.
The Soul’s Calling
If the call of your soul involves responding to the inner journey of transformation, the soul’s calling is about being of service to something bigger than ourselves.
For some, the soul’s calling may feel like something they just have to do, even though they may not know why. For others, it’s a conscious process of discernment that begins after the inner transformation work is well underway.
I’ve experienced both of these doorways to living my soul’s calling in my own life.
During the first half of my life I responded to the call to be of service through my vocation as a Nurse. I didn’t know exactly why; I just felt a deep call to be of service.
I fulfilled my soul’s calling for many years and when I left nursing to “retire”, I began to get the call of my soul that I had chosen a path that wasn’t aligned with my soul.
Because we often don’t realize how important something is to us until we’ve lost it, I didn’t understand that being of service was a non-negotiable value for my soul.
When I neglected that value, I experienced the call of my soul trying to get my attention. At that time I didn’t know I had a soul and so I experienced a sense that something was missing, I wasn’t thriving, my health was starting to get effected and I felt lost. I had what I now call “soul hunger.”
Fulfilling our soul’s calling begins to flow when we’ve embraced the inner journey of transformation and created a healthy personality through which to express our calling.
Discerning our soul’s calling in a conscious way involves a process of trial and error. It requires that we follow lots of breadcrumbs and connect countless dots. This gives us endless opportunities to further develop our new found capabilities as we create our own path.
Lissa Rankin, author of The Anatomy of a Calling: A Doctor’s Journey from the Head to the Heart and a Prescription for Finding Your Life’s Purpose, wrote a helpful article highlighting 10 Signs You’re On The Right Track To Following Your Calling.
When the Universe decides that it’s time for our soul to awaken, and we find the courage to respond to the call, our lives take on a new depth of meaning, purpose and mystery. We leave the well-worn path behind us and learn to navigate, one step at a time using soul nudges as our GPS.
In the following interview, I speak with Kelly Hendershot about how she followed her soul’s calling in her 20’s after the death of her husband.
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