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.
Christine Valters Paintner, The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom
Christine Valters Paintner, The Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice
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)
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.
A Simple Immediacy: Desert Wisdom for Advent by Cynthia Bourgeault: The Desert Fathers and Mothers of the fourth and fifth centuries are arguably the first Wisdom School in Christian history. At first in trickles and then in waves, they fled into the deserts of Egypt and Syria to escape the increasing imperialization of the Christian Church and to live in a simple immediacy with the Risen Christ. In the process, they generated an extraordinary body of practical teachings on the spiritual practices underlying this life of deeper awareness and mystical union.
Wisdom for Living: The Parables of Jesus by Thomas Keating, Contemplative Outreach: When rightly understood, the parables help us to see how extraordinary a wisdom teacher Jesus really was, and how revolutionary, in the best sense of the word, was the content of what he taught and to which he bore witness by his life and death.
Soulful Aging by Thomas Moore: As everyone knows, we are growing older all the time. But growing older is not the same as aging. Many people seem to grow older without going through the challenging life processes that make you a real person of substance and character. That kind of aging requires saying yes to the opportunities and difficult issues that life presents.
Themes in the Gospel of John by N. T. Wright: The course approaches the Gospel of John in a way that looks at seven key themes. These themes bind the Fourth Gospel together in a manner that allows us to see this ‘new way of living’ as possible for followers of King Jesus. In so doing, we then apply these themes to the current era in order to ask ourselves questions about how we are putting them into practice. In a way, this is the story of how to live out being the presence of God on earth through the indwelling of God’s spirit.
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. It is based on his book Simply Jesus. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
This course is a short course based on Prof. N.T. Wright’s latest book, Simply Good News. Tom Wright will guide you through the chapters of his book through videos that suggest what some of the main points are. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. You will be brought into their world in order to make more sense of what ‘good news’ means in our world.
Christian Prayer Methods: Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.
Prayer-Bracelet: Authentic Orthodox prayer ropes and bracelets are handmade by monks in the Orthodox monastaries reciting a prayer for every knot they tie. Peruse their prayer ropes and bracelets that are all handmade, provided by several orthodox churches around the globe.