What Is Calling You? Honoring the Divine Voice Within

following the call
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When I was 20 years old, considering what to do after college, I had a very strong desire to attend seminary, on the path toward becoming a pastor. I had scouted schools, requested brochures (remember when that was a thing?), and envisioned the reality of my future life.

Ultimately, though, I didn’t enroll because I never heard “the call” I thought I was supposed to hear. Instead, I took a job as a financial risk underwriter at a large healthcare company… because that was naturally the next closest thing.

Several years later, I thought about returning to school to pursue a graduate degree in counseling. Once again, I identified schools with programs of interest and requested brochures. And once again, I didn’t enroll because I just wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do.

Have you ever felt nudges or inklings of this sort that you’ve ignored or pushed under the rug? Is there something right now that still tugs at you, when you allow yourself to get still and quiet?

After wrestling with these “desires” for years, here’s what I’ve come to believe…

Your desire is divine

I believe you are the doorway through which the divine–God, or Good–seeks to enter the world.

Or, sometimes, the desire is the doorway through which the divine–God, or Good–seeks to enter your world.

In other words, you don’t have to wait for an audible voice or a magical sign–something outside yourself. The desire is the call.

The key then–the #1 lesson I’ve learned over the last 20 years–is to trust yourself, to honor that divine voice within that speaks to you with such persistence.

Have you ever read the accounts in the New Testament of Jesus recruiting his followers? Do you remember what he said to them?

“Come, follow me.” (See the fourth chapter of the book of Matthew, verse 19, as an example.)

This was his invitation–his call–for them to change their course and step into a new life.

Isn’t that exactly what your desires or nudges or inklings are saying to you and me? “Come, follow me.”

What if, by not following them, you are denying the divine entry into you or through you?

And if you are denying the divine, what might you be missing? Love? Joy? Peace? Bliss? All the good you seek?

Let’s bring all this divine talk back down to earth

Going through the University of Michigan’s online course on “Finding Purpose and Meaning in Life,” one of my biggest aha’s was this: When you are contemplating your values or mission or purpose–what matters most to you in your life–there is increased blood flow to a part of your brain known as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. What’s especially interesting is the location of this part of your brain…

Have you noticed how people in some religious traditions wear a dot on their foreheads? This dot signifies the third eye or the divine self… and it happens to be almost directly over this part of your brain that “lights up” when you are thinking about your values or purpose.

In other words, when you think about what you want, what you value, we can say that it is coming from this “divine” location in your brain. So, regardless of your religious beliefs, we can say that your desire is divine. And by divine, we mean your true nature. Something that is unchanging, that you can’t get away from.

You can’t miss the call… you can only be slow to answer

My time as a financial risk underwriter was short-lived, as I received a call–an invitation–to join a speakers bureau (a booking agency for speakers) and build their corporate speakers division. The interesting thing is, while I never knew such a business existed, I found myself working with speakers I had cited just a few years prior in my paper on “How to Motivate Your Workforce to Perform.” I had written this paper for a Human Resources Management class, and it was in doing so that I discovered my love for helping people “live a better life,” knowing that in doing so, they would “build a better business” (the theme of The Better Life > Better Business Podcast).

It was ultimately out of this experience that desire to attend seminary grew–combining my interests in life, business, and spirituality. While I didn’t have the confidence to take that step forward, instead choosing the “easier” path into financial risk underwriting–where the path to “success” was clearly mapped out for me–it’s as if life had another plan to draw me back onto my course.

After working for years behind the scenes as a booking agent and manager for top speakers, authors, and thought leaders–including the likes of Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marcus Buckingham, Marci Shimoff, Magic Johnson, and others–the desire speak directly to an audience finally became too strong. In 2011, I decided I must begin speaking myself, and the message, “This Moment Matters,” came to me.

I enrolled in a course in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at Vanderbilt University and registered for the inaugural conference of the Experts Industry Association–two steps forward on my new path (because no decision is real unless it is accompanied by taking action)–and within six months, I had booked my first paid speaking engagement. That was 10 years ago.

It turns out, my desire wasn’t so much to stand up on Sunday mornings and lead a church, but simply to have a platform to speak words of positivity and encouragement into people’s lives. So, I’m grateful for every client who books me to speak and gives me that precious opportunity.

But, what about the interest in counseling?

In 2017, I found myself sitting in a counselor’s office for a relationship counseling appointment. The relationship didn’t last, but that appointment changed my life. That’s because, while sitting there, I had the distinct sensation that “I’m sitting in the wrong chair.” As in, I’m supposed to be in his (the counselor’s) seat.

It was after that appointment that I decided I would return to school to be a counselor. While I love speaking to large audiences, my favorite thing is the one-on-one or small group interactions–that’s where real change happens. While keynotes provide a spark, it’s the deeper work that creates real transformation.

As I was preparing to go down this new path and evaluating schools–this time, with the ease of hopping on the world wide web (no brochures needed!)–a friend challenged me to consider coaching as an alternate path. After review, it made a lot of sense. While in my earlier years, I simply wanted to come alongside people to provide comfort in times of difficulty, I had now realized (from personal experience) that you can get so comfortable in times of difficulty that you never change. This, I’ve come to believe, is the cause of true suffering–being out of alignment with your true nature as the creator of your life. Coaching allows me to not only meet people where they are, but to also help them connect to their power within to rise above the difficulties and create a life of true peace and joy.

It’s been a long and winding road to get to this point. I’ve taken lots of misguided detours. Many times, I’ve cowered in fear. Through it all, though, the divine within never stopped calling: “Come, follow me.”

What about you?

I haven’t shared all of this with you just to tell you my story. I’ve shared all of this with you to help you find your story. I’ve got a pretty good feeling that if you’ve read this far, you can relate to what I’ve shared… and that there is a divine desire knocking at your door.

So… sitting here in this heart-space, without thinking about it–but rather, trusting in the voice that’s been speaking to you all along–I ask:

What is calling you?

Where is the divine seeking to come to you or through you?

What would you do today, if you knew you could trust yourself?

If you’d like some support on the journey, that’s exactly what Heart Sessions are for. Book yours today and we’ll work together to help you get in touch with that divine voice within to find the clarity and confidence to move forward and create the life you love.

Here’s to the best you in ’22!

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