The trick is to find your vocation hidden in your life.
I recently read, “The Art of Work” by Jeff Goins and came across this wonderful quote.
Let me offer some suggestions. Slow down! Listen to your life. Observe your life. Take in all of life with all of your senses: taste, touch, smell, sight, auditory.
I think it is also very important to exercise your sixth sense – your spiritual awareness.
How exactly does one tap into the spiritual dimension?
A contemplative practice will dip into your spiritual awareness. My practice is centering prayer. Centering prayer is four simple steps.
Select a sacred word as the symbol of your intent to open to God’s presence and action within.
Sit comfortably. Close your eyes. Interiorly introduce your sacred word as your intent to open to God’s presence and action within.
When you become aware of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations, return ever so gently to your sacred word.
At the end of the centering prayer session, remain in silence for a minute or two before you resume your daily activities.
For many, extended times of silence is very difficult. Do not become discouraged. Start small. Take baby steps. Perhaps initially you will only be able to handle five minutes. Gradually increase the time frame of your session to fifteen or twenty minutes. Slowly incorporate a second centering prayer sit into your day.
Centering prayer is one path I recommend. There are other contemplative practices that you might wish to consider. Let me list a few: Christian Meditation, prayer labyrinth, chanting, walking, painting, photography.
All of these seem to have one common denominator. They all entail “letting go” of the endless monkey chatter that goes on within your mind. You ever so gently let it float away. You open to something else that is beyond words, thoughts, emotions and even physical sensations.
How does a contemplative practice help you discover your vocation? A long term, daily contemplative practice slows you down. When you slow down, many, many neat things can begin to happen.
You begin to notice things with all of your senses that you previously did not see, hear, smell, taste and physically feel. You become more present. You become more aware.
You listen to someone whose opinion is much different than your own. Things no longer need to be placed in categories and labelled right and wrong or good and bad. They just are. Everything belongs. Things that once bothered you seem to no longer annoy you.
You begin to notice things you enjoy to do. You begin to notice things that you are good at. You might be asked to perform a new task and you surprisingly seem very open to try this new opportunity. You begin to have a new excitement for life.
The amazing thing is that all of these things were always there. You simply have discovered how to see them. You have learned to see with new eyes. You discover your vocation in your day to day life. Your vocation is no longer hidden. It patiently waits for you to see it and move forward in life with it.
Check out Jeff’s newest book, Real Artist’s Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age. Here is one quote that I particularly love from this book:
“Living in what Thomas Merton calls the “false self,” we fall out of alignment with who we are, and I can tell you from experience there is no greater pain than living a lie when the truth is buried deep inside you.”
If you enjoyed reading this post, please recommend and share it to help others find it.
this post may contain affiliate links
 Jeff Goins, The Art of Work, A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant To Do, (Nelson Books: 2015)
Contemplative Light Course: For anyone who craves to deepen their contemplative journey through the intermediate and higher stages of the mystical path, The Devotional Practice of the Jesus Prayer offers an opportunity to travel through the various states of awakening and understand the territory. The historic practice of The Jesus Prayer joins with a thorough, experiential exposition of the Purgation/Illumination/Union path of Christian Mysticism. To help make these traditional dimensions and phases of the spiritual life more accessible for the contemporary seeker, we also use the most relevant material from Integral Theory, Mindfulness, and World Spirituality. Check out this wonderful course.
Contemplative Light Course – Contemplative Practice: 5 Spiritual Exercises To Get Closer To God. Learn methods practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within, including Centering Prayer, The Examen, Lectio Divina, Christian Meditation, and the Jesus Prayer.
Digital Photography School has what you need to take your photography to the next level. We offer daily tips, resources and free tutorials that will help you get the most out your camera and create stunning photos.
I just finished Presence and Process: A Path Toward Transformative Faith and Inclusive Community by Daniel P. Coleman and The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within by Christine Valters Paintner. I am currently reading Intimacy with God: An Introduction To Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating.
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks – This is a great way to listen to books with your cell phone while you drive, walk or relax at home. I frequently listen in my car during my commute to and from work. I’m a proud affiliate.
David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners.
I use a Prayer Rope after each Centering Prayer Sit.
Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.
The early Christians, teaches the Reverend Cynthia Bourgeault, were afire with the spirit of Jesus, inspired fully by his teaching of a total transformation of consciousness. How do we reclaim that fire today? On Encountering the Wisdom Jesus, this brilliant author and dynamic Episcopalian priest presents her first full-length audio course about rediscovering the Master of Wisdom. Twelve immersive sessions cover: the parables as wisdom tools; Jesus’s teachings about kenosis (or self-emptying: a path as radical today as it was 2,000 years ago); Jesus as tantric master; Centering Prayer, an approach to meditation as Jesus lived it, and much more. (Based upon her book, The Wisdom Jesus.)
Since the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century, Finley begins, Christian mystics have practiced meditation as a way of opening to the direct presence of God in daily life. Legendary seekers such as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart explored how meditation can lead us beyond the closed horizon of the ego, to an interior and holy refuge that is always available to us. On Christian Meditation, James Finley offers a gentle introduction to this all-transforming way of life, and the ever-deepening realization of oneness with Christ it leads us to. (Based upon his book, Christian Meditation.)
Check out my review of Christian Prayer Methods by Dr. Philip St. Romain.
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
Contemplative Light is a group of Spiritual Directors and writers. They offer a unique style of contemplative coaching based on the teachings and traditions of Christian Mysticism. Sign up for a Spiritual Map Session.