WLHQ: CALLING BS ON CALLINGS
Some people who love their job (lots of people in the yoga business) say they have found their calling. Maybe they were once hedge fund managers or cocktail waitresses or whatever, and then they felt the Universe tug them into a yoga class or a teacher training, and suddenly their calling revealed itself along with a beautiful, deep sense of purpose. They devote themselves to their profession, their passion, with sincerity and tenacity, inspiring those around them to follow their hearts and chase their dreams.
COOL, SO LIKE, NO PRESSURE.
The idea of finding your calling is about the same level of terrifying as the idea of finding your soulmate: There is one, it is perfect, and when you find it, you will magically morph into the person you were meant to be, angels will sing to you from on high, and the cool waters of contentment will rain down on you like skittles from a rainbow. Sounds wonderful, but for many of us, improbable. Most people can barely figure out how to pay rent while working a job that doesn’t suck. I’m one of the lucky ones whose job not only doesn’t suck, but is actually incredibly awesome. Still, I cant help but wonder, is this my calling? Will I ever find a calling? What if my soulphone (trademarking that one, asap) never rings? Or what if my calling doesn’t match up to my needs and desires for my life? Like, what if I feel called to weave baskets or break dance or date Ryan Gosling? Those just aren’t sustainable career choices for me right now. (Maybe later, RyRy.)
I understand that it’s kind of a luxury to be able to pick a job, even wait for one, that you really love. I know that the hard-working folk of generations past were grandfathered into a business (like, literally by their grandfather), put in sixty hours a week for fifty years, got the gold watch, and retired, never really considering whether or not their career nourished their soul because that nonsense is for the damn hippies with their long hair and their tight denims, bla bla bla… but that model just doesn’t work for a lot of people in the workforce today. We were raised by those long-haired hippies, and they taught us to dream big and follow our bliss. We want to work hard at something we love, something that our heart or the Universe or some greater power pulls us to. We want a calling.
When I left New York this summer to travel with Wanderlust for six-weeks, I told myself to pay attention to what part of my job or the travel or the mountains called out to me the loudest. On the morning of my birthday, I went up to the top of Copper Mountain at Wanderlust Colorado to think about what I felt called to. Nothing I came up with sounded like a viable career choice – making people laugh, making music, helping others live their truth and find their bliss, working to create a world with more space for self-exploration and actualization. These are all kind of “soft” callings – I don’t really feel called to master InDesign or learn how to write code – but by doing all of these things, I think I feel that same sense of purpose and satisfaction that those with a career calling feel. No matter where my career takes me, I can honor my calling to be a hard worker and a good person, offering positivity in my work place, honest counsel to the people I love, and sincere respect and compassion in all my interactions.
I am so lucky that my job at Wanderlust offers me the opportunity to serve all my little callings. I get to work really hard with brands I respect, sharing a mission to create an environment at the festivals that nurtures the soul and encourages personal growth. I am challenged to make an example of myself by how I live my life and how I approach stress, conflict, etc. Perhaps most importantly, I am offered the space to question and discuss all this deep soul stuff in my place of business. While I may never receive a career calling, I wonder if maybe I’ve found something even better. By identifying and honoring these little callings, I’m uncovering a clearer picture of the kind of person I want to be and the kind of businessperson I’ll aim to be in any position or career. I don’t want to think of it as a calling. For now, I’ll call it my True North.
~Lydia Berg-Hammond is a Brooklyn-based music lover, yogini, and self-proclaimed Half Hippie (because full hippie is too intense). Her work with Wanderlust as Partnership Manager has renewed the commitment to healthy living that her parents instilled in her comin' up on the mean streets of Chicago. You can spot her at Wanderlust racing around the sponsor village, playing ukulele, and dominating the dance floor.