Sunday, July 9, 2017
WHAT IS YOUR SOUL WORK?
Are we all born creative beings? While some say we are born being creative, others say it is a trait that has to be nurtured.This argument has been going on for a long time, and theories and opinions have differed.
But either way, we are all born with the innate ability and need to express ourselves.
As a teenager, writing was my drug of choice. Sad pathetic love songs that I could sing along my old Yamaha guitar. I wanted to be Joni Mitchell. I wanted to pour out all of my teenage angst in a song. I needed to be heard.
Soon after, the sad love songs turned into sad poetry. No beautiful flowers or love letters in my poems. No, I wrote more about the state of the world, or at least my view of it at the time. I wrote about homelessness, broken hearts, death of good friends, places lost in time.
It was a great place for me to vent, to escape. To who? Maybe no one. But setting my thoughts and the words free to escape into the universe not only made me feel heard but also made me feel complete. It made me feel as though I had accomplished something. It was my creative outlet, though I never came close to receiving a recording contract or to becoming a Walt Whitman.
I know many creatives who have put their art on the back burner.
It either wasn’t making them money, it was costing them too much money, or they didn’t have time to pursue their “hobby” as their life was too busy with their “real” jobs.
I heard a talk from Liz Gilbert once where she explained the difference between a hobby, a job, a career, and a vocation. In a nutshell she defined it as this:
· A hobby is something that you do for pleasure, relaxation, distraction, or mild curiosity. A hobby is something that you do in your spare time.
· A job is something you do to make money, to pay the bills, to make ends meet. Something most all of us have to have at some point in our life.
· A career is something that you build over the years with energy, passion, and commitment.
· And a vocation is your calling. The word “vocation” comes from the Latin verb “vocare” — meaning, “to call.” Your vocation is a summons that comes directly from the universe, and is communicated through the yearnings of your soul. Your soul calling could have everything to do with financial reward, or nothing at all.
Writing is my vocation. It has always been in my DNA. I could NOT not do it. It doesn’t matter if it is read, if my words are heard, or if they resonate with others. Even having one admirer can be enough. And mine was my mother.
Years ago I made her a little folder with all my poems and she loved them and proudly left the folder out on her coffee table for all to see.
My point is this, if you are an artist of any type, a writer, painter, ceramist, cook, you name it, you have to create. There is no other way around this unless you want to live with a big empty hole inside you. A feeling that something is missing.
So what is your vocation? What is your soul work?
Soul work is never insignificant. It doesn’t matter if others never see your work or buy your work. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make you a dime. It is an expression of your being, no less important than the love you share, the mark you make, and the legacy you leave.
It is in a sense, your duty to get it out of you and out into the world.
Somewhere. Whether your passion has been to write a Family Favourites Cookbook to share with your siblings or to write a New York Times best-seller, our gifts come in all shapes, sizes, and forms, and as they say, some of the best gifts come in small packages.
Share your gifts, for every one of them is a little piece of your soul, and that is a gift worth giving.