Whose voice is that?
It’s a question I’ve asked myself, asked clients and been asked countless times.
The inner voices of doubt, criticism, resistance or perfectionism may be familiar to you.
Maybe you recognize them as the voice of a parent or an authority figure you reflexively give credence to. Maybe it’s simply the voice that’s been there for as long as you remember.
To be generous to those voices, and to help loosen their grip, we may regard them as unhelpful friends trying to protect us.
But what about the voice of your calling? The voice of your art? The work or contribution that has chosen you to bring it to life. Do you know what it sounds like when it’s speaking?
Are you courting this voice, inviting it to take up space in your world?
This past week, I hosted the Creative Cauldron’s Creator’s Retreat. Two days of making our art together. One morning, I invited my creative peers to tune into the Voice of their Work. Their Art. Check how the relationship is going. Discern what’s needed to move together to bring forth what they’re most called to create.
Alia, who is rocking it with her music (OMG her VOICE!), shares with us the doubtful voices surfacing, trying to take her down into a familiar spiral. At that moment she thinks about her creative work as its own entity and life force and tells us, with definitive knowing, “That voice of doubt is NOT the voice of my Art.”
We’re deeply moved. Relating so hard. It’s simple yet profound. To recognize the nature of these voices.
At the heart of my calling and life’s work is helping other people to meet their calling. When we work together and I witness old, entrenched and painful patterns unravel… when we discover new possibilities that simply weren’t on the radar… when new opportunities arise with whole new capacities to meet them… I am in awe and delight.
It seems if we’re interested in pursuing a life of Soul alignment, of knowing and meeting what we’re most called to, much of life ends up being about dissolving or overcoming the barriers to that calling.
We will face external obstacles. There will be circumstantial, relational and systemic barriers to rise to and navigate. Some doors won’t open, and some ceilings are too low. Sometimes life is simply hard and stinks.
But the internal barriers are the ones that can really take us out. They thwart our best efforts to navigate the external. Internal barriers can, without us even noticing, create circumstances or dramas that block our deepest and truest voices from being heard. Our precious Work or Art or Contribution goes unfulfilled, unmanifested.
Let’s not let that happen.
Many try to rid themselves of habits or patterns that no longer serve them. Rightly so. When the voices of a saboteur are loud, the impulse can be to silence them. Yes, good riddance!
Perhaps the move is not to spend our precious energy trying to silence or get rid of the voices blocking us from our jam, but to turn up the volume on the jam itself!
April, also in our Cauldron, is writing a sexy feminist retelling of a fairy tale. It’s amazing. I will not give more detail because it’s not my Art to reveal. Sometimes Art can be fickle as we bring it into form. April is courting her Art, suggesting that perhaps what the Art needs is for us to flirt with it more.
Being with others who are actively practicing this listening, this flirting, this courting is so nourishing and delightful!
If you can’t hear the voices of your Calling… of your Gifts… of your unique Art, try courting it. Lay in silence and invite its whispers. Dance to loud music and ask it to fill your body as you move. Create offerings for the Earth and invite the Muse to attend your ritual. Write love letters and encourage a reply. Sit your ass in your chair and do the thing.
If there’s one thing I know for sure about our life’s work, it’s that there’s LIFE there. If the voices are deadening, paralyzing, diminishing. If the voices are zapping you of life force, those are not the voices of your Calling.
Your Calling will breathe so much life into you when you head it. When you lean toward it. When you move together as one. Not always easy. But perhaps simpler than the emotional gymnastics of listening to the voices that are keeping things safe and known.
So…how do you know when the voices of your Calling are speaking to you? Hit reply and let me know!